CalWatchdog Morning Read – September 26

  • CalWatchdogLogoInequality in San Francisco breeds political unease
  • FPPC to investigate contributions made to Gov. Brown, but not Brown himself
  • Union pressures L.A. County to make it easier to promote probation workers with discipline problems
  • Volunteer imposter causing trouble for Assembly candidate?
  • You can now smash a car window to free a dog (no way this could backfire)

Good morning! We’ll get to legislative action in a second, but first we turn to San Francisco, where inequality is making for tense politics.

As San Francisco’s sharp inequality draws national attention this election year, California Democrats have begun to question how to explain their role in fostering — and reversing — the trend.

The gulf between the progressive city’s richest and poorest, and the emptying space between the two, has come to haunt Democrats worried that their almost unfettered control over state and municipal politics has left promises unfulfilled and little plan for change in the future.

“During all my years in Asia I constantly grappled with the perniciousness of poverty,” Thomas Fuller wrote in a dispatch for the New York Times Sunday Review. “Yet somehow I was unprepared for the scale and severity of homelessness in San Francisco. The juxtaposition of the silent whir of sleek Tesla electric vehicles, with the outbursts of the mentally ill on the sidewalks … .”

CalWatchdog has more. 

In other news:

  • “The California Fair Political Practices Commission will investigate donations made to the California Democratic Party by privately owned utilities and other energy interests. The action was prompted by an August report. Despite the report’s heavy focus on Gov. Jerry Brown — it was entitled “Brown’s Dirty Hands” — the commission did not see fit to investigate the governor himself.” The San Diego Union-Tribune has more. 

  • “More than 50 employees working inside Los Angeles County’s juvenile lockups received promotions despite a history of disciplinary problems or criminal arrests under a deal county leaders quietly cut earlier this year,” writes the Los Angeles Times.

  • “State Assembly candidate Madison Nguyen appears to be dealing with at least one argumentative campaign volunteer impostor. A man posing as a campaign volunteer has been visiting San Jose homes and getting into arguments with residents, but there might be more than one person involved, Nguyen’s campaign said,” The San Jose Mercury News has more.

  • “Offering relief to dogs stuck in hot cars, Gov. Jerry Brown on Saturday signed legislation letting Californians in limited cases – and without fear of civil liability – smash car windows to set them free,” reports The Sacramento Bee.


  • Gone ’til December, but there will be a hearing on the use of psychotropic drugs in the foster care system at 1 p.m. 

Gov. Brown:

  • No public events announced.

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