CalWatchdog Morning Read – October 11

  • CalWatchdogLogoTop Democratic donor  Tom Steyer considered for Cabinet position
  • Study: Climate change doubled number for forest fires in the West
  • Renewing tax on top earners only makes state’s top-heavy budget more top-heavy
  • Rohrabacher stands by Trump, calls GOP leaders “gutless”
  • “MASH” star leads effort against death penalty 

Good morning. Have a good Tuesday! We start this morning with someone else’s story — but it’s a good story.

“Tom Steyer, the billionaire climate activist and possible candidate for California governor, was under consideration to become President Barack Obama’s first energy secretary, according to a hacked email exchange released Monday by WikiLeaks.”

“John Podesta, an Obama transition adviser and now chairman of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, included Steyer’s name for the Cabinet post in September 2008 correspondence,” but Steyer was passed over.

“Emails from 2012, also disclosed by WikiLeaks, showed Podesta discussing a planned meeting between Steyer and former President Bill Clinton. Podesta wrote in the exchange that he would try to push Steyer to support the Clinton Foundation.”

“The praise heaped on Steyer, a major Democratic donor, by one of Clinton’s top advisers is being scrutinized for its political ramifications in California. Should Clinton win next month, she may look to Steyer for a Cabinet position, giving him direct White House policy experience and a formal title as he mulls a run for governor.”

The Sacramento Bee has more. 

In other news:

  • “Climate change from human activity nearly doubled the area that burned in forest fires in the American West over the past 30 years, a major new scientific study has found, and larger, more intense fires are all but guaranteed in the years ahead,” writes The San Jose Mercury News

  • “If Prop. 55 passes, the state budget will rely even more on California’s highest earners,” reports the Los Angeles Times. (Many budget experts think this is a troubling trend.)

  • The always-zigging-when-others-are-zagging Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, R-Costa Mesa, called “GOP leaders ‘gutless’ for bailing on Trump.” The Orange County Register has more.

  • “Over the past four decades, (actor Mike Farrell), who has wielded his celebrity to bring attention to social and political issues in Central America, the Middle East and Africa, has become a leading voice against the death penalty. This year, he is the author of a ballot measure that seeks to end capital punishment in California. For Farrell, the cause has taken precedence over others because at its root, he says, is the idea that some people are dispensable.” The Los Angeles Times has more.

Legislature:

  • Gone ’til December. 

Gov. Brown: 

  • No public events announced.

Tips: matt@calwatchdog

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