CalWatchdog Morning Read – August 5

  • CalWatchdogLogoAssembly challenger tries to make campaign issue of unreleased tax returns
  • Stockton mayor arrested
  • Deal reached on civil asset forfeiture bill
  • Climate change fight may move to 2018 ballot
  • Assemblyman under domestic violence restraining order and out on medical leave still drawing paycheck and per diem

Good morning and TGIF.

The Democratic challenger in an Orange County Assembly race is going after the incumbent, Republican Young Kim, for not releasing her tax returns — just like Hillary Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee, is doing to Donald Trump, the billionaire Republican presidential nominee.

But there’s two differences: While releasing tax returns is a time-honored tradition in presidential elections (as is fighting over them), it’s not common for legislative candidates. And unlike Trump, both candidates’ salary information is mostly available online.

The campaign of Sharon Quirk-Silva — the Democrat who Kim knocked out of office in 2014 — said Kim’s refusal to release her tax returns raises questions about her commitment to transparency: What is she hiding?

Of course, the campaign also concedes it doesn’t necessarily believe Kim’s hiding anything. Matthew Reilly, a Quirk-Silva spokesman, told CalWatchdog that “our politics are being dragged down by people who aren’t on the up and up,” but said he didn’t have much reason to believe Kim isn’t on the “up and up.”

“I don’t know,” Reilly said. “I assume that she is, but I don’t know.”

CalWatchdog has more. 

In other news:

  • The headline says it all: “Mayor of Stockton arrested for playing strip poker with teens and secretly recording it.” The Washington Post has more.
  • Legislators and law enforcement have reached a deal on a bill that would curb abuses of civil asset forfeiture — a practice where law enforcement can take citizens’ possessions without a conviction or even an arrest. The Los Angeles Times has more. 
  • With efforts to extend climate change policies stalling in the Legislature, Gov. Jerry Brown is considering moving the fight to the 2018 ballot, according to the Los Angeles Times.
  • “Assemblyman Roger Hernández, who was booted from his committee posts this summer after a judge issued a domestic violence restraining order against him, continues to draw per diem payments for travel-related expenses to Sacramento despite being absent from work and on medical leave,” reports the Los Angeles Times


  • Gone ’til Monday. 


  • Gone ’til Monday. 

Gov. Brown: 

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