At L.A. City Hall, Incompetence And Corruption Are Close Cousins

By Steve Lopez, Columnist, LOS ANGELES TIMES

July 24, 2019

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2019-07-23/dwp-investigation-c…

The timing is perfect, isn’t it?

Here come the most searing, sweaty, sun-blasted days of the year, when the temperature and utility bills rise in unison. And right on cue, everyone’s favorite public agency in Los Angeles has stormed back into the news.

Juiced - PG&E poured $2 million into the Rebuild Northbay Foundation as the utility ramped up its political machine after 2017 wildfires

By Will Carruthers, THE NORTH BAY BOHEMIAN

July 24, 2019

https://www.bohemian.com/northbay/juiced/Content?oid=9026523

As summer brought blue skies to the North Bay, a recent editorial in Santa Rosa's Press Democrat was uncharacteristically out of sync with the editorial stances of California's two largest newspapers.

Editorial: A Cloud Of Suspicion Hangs Over State Insurance Commissioner. Can He Clear The Air?

By The SACRAMENTO BEE Editorial Board

July 23, 2019

https://www.sacbee.com/opinion/editorials/article232988522.html

With the appearance of corruption threatening to undermine his legitimacy as California insurance commissioner, Ricardo Lara would do well to review the classic steps of scandal management:

Step one: Admit the error.

Step two: Come clean.

Step three: Make a plan to do better, then follow through.

Consumer Group Gives California Insurance Commissioner to Month’s End for Contributions Records

By Staff Writers, INSURANCE JOURNAL

July 18, 2019

https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/west/2019/07/18/532770.htm

A watchdog group has given California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara until July 31 to produce public records related to meetings with insurance industry representatives who reportedly gave him $54,300 in campaign contributions.

California Insurance Commissioner Won’t Disclose Calendars After Accepting Industry Donations

By Hannah Wiley, SACRAMENTO BEE

July 18, 2019

https://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article23…

An advocacy group is demanding that California’s insurance commissioner release records about his business meetings following a report that he accepted tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from insurance leaders and their spouses.

Chevron's Huge Kern County Spill Endangers Valley Residents, Highlights Agency's Capture

By Dan Bacher, INDYBAY

July 18, 2019

https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2019/07/18/18824825.php

“We have lost all faith in the ability of DOGGR to do its job of protecting Californians, and we call on the Governor to completely reform this corporate-captured agency,” said Linda Hutchins-Knowles, California Senior Organizer for Mothers Out Front. “Regulators should not be allowed to own stock in the very industry they’re supposed to regulate."

Governor Newsom Orders Firing Of Top Oil Regulator After Fracking Increases By 103%

By Dan Bacher, INDYBAY.ORG

July 13, 2019

https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2019/07/13/18824655.php

The announcement of Ken Harris' firing came several hours after two watchdog groups, Consumer Watchdog and the FracTracker Allliance, released a report revealing that eight DOGGR officials own stock in corporations they are responsible for regulating.

Gov. Gavin Newsom Fires Top Official Over Fracking Permits — But Won’t Ban The Oil Well

By Phil Willon, LOS ANGELES TIMES

July 12, 2019

https://www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-ca-gavin-newsom-oil-fracking-20…

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday defended firing California’s top oil industry regulator for issuing too many hydraulic fracturing permits, but offered no details on whether he plans to ban or limit the oil extraction process in the state.

Gavin Newsom Fires California Offical Who OKd Big Increase in Fracking

By Alexei Koseff, SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE

July 12, 2019

https://www.sfchronicle.com/politics/article/Gavin-Newsom-fires-Califor…

SACRAMENTO — Gov. Gavin Newsom has fired the head of California’s oil and gas regulatory agency after watchdog groups complained that the department was rife with conflicts of interest amid a sharp rise in drilling permits.

‘I Am Very Angry’ — Newsom Blasts Fracking Regulator He Fired Over Conflict Of Interest Claims

By Sophia Bollag, SACRAMENTO BEE - CAPITOL ALERT

July 12, 2019

https://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article23…

California Gov. Gavin Newsom a day after firing the state’s top oil and gas regulator said he’s looking into ways to reduce the state’s reliance on fossil fuels.

Gov. Newsom Orders Firing Of California’s Top Oil, Gas Regulator Over Fracking Permits

By Andrew Oxford, ASSOCIATED PRESS

July 12, 2019

https://www.mercurynews.com/2019/07/12/california-governor-orders-firin…

SACRAMENTO  — Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered the firing of California’s top oil and gas regulator Thursday over an increase in state permits for hydraulic fracturing and allegations of conflicts of interest among senior government officials.

California Lawmakers Moving Wildfire Fund Bill for Utilities

By Timothy Darragh, BESTWIRE

July 11, 2019

The California Assembly is considering legislation to create a wildfire insurance fund to help utilities manage costs associated with increasingly widespread fires.

The fund, according to the bill, could be as large as $21 billion and would reduce the costs to ratepayers in addressing utility-caused catastrophic wildfires.

California’s Tax Hike Makes The State’s Gas Prices The Highest In The Nation

By Larry Mantle, AIR TALK - KPCC 89.3FM SOCAL PUBLIC RADIO

July 1, 2019

Click here to listen to the audio of this radio broadcast segment: https://www.scpr.org/programs/airtalk/2019/07/01/64644/california-s-tax…

California’s nation-leading gas prices are set to climb even higher Monday, when the state gas tax increases another 5.6 cents a gallon. 

California Lawmakers Move To Implement Newsom’s Utility Wildfire Plan

By J.D. Morris, SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE

June 28, 2019

https://www.sfchronicle.com/business/article/California-lawmakers-propo…

Three Assembly members have introduced legislative language that would enact Gov. Gavin Newsom’s plan to address the wildfire crisis enveloping California’s electric utilities, setting off a political scramble to act quickly on one of the state’s most urgent and complicated problems.

Is Facebook Listening To Me? Why Those Ads Appear After You Talk About Things

By Jefferson Graham, USA TODAY

June 27, 2019

https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/talkingtech/2019/06/27/does-faceboo…

My editor, Michelle, was at a birthday party for her son's friend recently, when the mom mentioned a company she liked called Joymode. Minutes later, an ad for Joymode appeared on Michelle’s Facebook news feed.