CalWatchdog Morning Read – October 31

  • CalWatchdogLogoRules on driverless cars tick off industry
  • Democratic voters looking to over-perform this cycle
  • Republican brand is toxic in CA
  • Big breaks to businesses equal billions of dollars
  • How would legal pot in CA work with federal laws?

Good morning and Happy Halloween. Today’s newsletter is totally free of news about Hillary Clinton’s emails. Instead, we begin with innovation and regulation — nothing more California than that. 

Hopes that California would emerge as the global center for what eventually could be a multitrillion-dollar industry — self-driving vehicles — have taken a step back.

New proposed rules unveiled this month by the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles drew sharp complaints from the leading companies in the field — Google, General Motors, Ford, Volkswagen and Honda — as being far too onerous and certain to slow innovation. They are among 18 firms with licenses to test autonomous vehicles in California.

A nascent industry group — The Self-Driving Coalition for Safer Streets, whose members include Lyft, Uber Technologies and Volvo — released a statement that the rules “could greatly delay the benefits that self-driving vehicles can bring to safety and mobility for individuals.”

CalWatchdog has more. 

In other news:

  • Bad news for Republicans: “More than 2.5 million Californians already have voted by mail, and Republican returns statewide are down about 1.4 percent from 2012, according to Political Data Inc., the voter data firm used by both Republicans and Democrats in California. Democrats, meanwhile, were exceeding their 2012 turnout at this point by two-tenths of a percent,” reports Politico.

  • More bad news for Republicans: “Perhaps the starkest view of the party’s problems comes from a poll last week by the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California. In short, the Republican brand has become radioactive. Of the state’s likely voters, 72 percent have an unfavorable opinion of the GOP. That’s eight points higher than two years ago, 14 points worse than four years ago and a massive 21 points above the party’s unfavorable rating six years ago. And then there’s this: 50 percent of registered Republicans have an unfavorable opinion of their party.” The Los Angeles Times has more.

  • Non-Republican news: “Businesses in California were given state tax breaks worth about $2.67 billion over the past two decades, with more than half the money going to two sectors of the economy – those trading in war and circus.” The Orange County Register has more. 

  • If voters legalize recreational pot, how will that work with federal laws? The Los Angeles Times answers that question. 


  • Gone till December. 

Gov. Brown:

  • In San Francisco at a breakfast benefit of the Willie L. Brown, Jr. Institute on Politics and Public Service.

Tips: [email protected]

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