CalWatchdog Morning Read – October 3

  • CalWatchdogLogoRedevelopment nearing return?
  • San Diego Union-Tribune endorses a Democrat for president for the first time ever
  • “SoCal officials skeptical over smog fix”
  • Mixed reviews for actor-age database law
  • Why tobacco tax opponents aren’t talking about tobacco
  • CalPERS close to cutting pensions for small Sierra town 

Good morning. Happy Monday. Gov. Jerry Brown has finished deciding the fate of all the bills passed this last legislative session.

And so if up until now you felt like there was an overdose of election coverage, well, it’s about to get worse. So enjoy our first story about the possible return of redevelopment. 

Five years ago, when state courts upheld Gov. Jerry Brown’s and the Legislature’s move to shut down redevelopment in California and seize $1.7 billion in redevelopment funds from local agencies around the state, Brown’s crusade won cheers around the state.

Many saw the diversion of some property tax revenues to well-connected developers in the name of improving “blighted” areas as akin to crony capitalism, and many also didn’t like the frequent use of eminent domain to seize land for redevelopment projects.

But Brown never really made clear if he shared this critique — or if he just thought that during a budget crisis, the $1.7 billion he could take could be put to better use. 

Now it is clear that Brown was driven by fiscal pressures. Last year, he signed Assembly Bill 2, which allows local governments to expand and better fund entities called a “Community Revitalization and Investment Authorities.”

Last week, he signed AB2492, a companion bill that defines circumstances in which local taxes can be diverted for which projects — and it appears to encourage the same sort of mischievous declarations of blight that drove critics mad in redevelopment’s previous California incarnation. 

CalWatchdog has more. 

In other news:

  • “For the first time in its 148-year history, The San Diego Union-Tribune endorsed a Democrat for president — Hillary Clinton.” CalWatchdog has more. 

  • “As the worst smog season in years winds down, new doubts appear to cloud a costly strategy broached three months ago by Southern California’s regional air quality agency to bring air pollution levels down to healthful levels,” reports the Los Angeles Daily News.

  • “Rarely the subject of entertainment industry buzz, Gov. Jerry Brown sparked outrage and confusion among First Amendment advocates by a new law intended to protect actors’ privacy online,” CalWatchdog has more. 

  • The Los Angeles Times explains “Why opponents of increasing the tobacco tax aren’t talking about tobacco.” 

  • ICYMI: “CalPERS poised to cut retiree pensions in small Sierra town,” from The Sacramento Bee.


  • Gone ’til December.

Gov. Brown:

  • No public events scheduled.

Tips: [email protected]

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