CalWatchdog Morning Read – November 29

  • CalWatchdogLogoMr. Issa goes (back) to Washington
  • Democrats grab legislative supermajorities
  • Police-reform spotlight shines on the local level
  • CalPERS misses Wells Fargo warning signs
  • Startup aims to end dial-for-dollars
  • How CA became so blue

Good morning. Happy Tuesday. The Associated Press projected winners in two of the last and most high-profile races in the state: Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Vista, and Josh Newman, a Democrat who was elected to the state Senate.

Issa was sent back to Washington for his ninth term after squeaking through what was easily the toughest race of his career. He been a constant thorn in the side of the Obama administration in recent years as chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee — a position he recently rotated out of — and had just a 2,348-vote lead as of Monday afternoon. 

Newman’s name is likely not too familiar to most readers, having no prior political career. But his victory over Republican Assemblywoman Ling Ling Chang officially gives Democrats a two-thirds supermajority in the Legislature. In other words, free rein.

Here’s more on what the supermajority means — and doesn’t mean. 

In other news:

  • “The presidential campaign focused some attention on the long-simmering debate over policing and the appropriate uses of force, but as is typical with national campaigns, the nuances got lost amid ideologically charged soundbites such as ‘law and order’ and ‘Black Lives Matter.’ Some advocates for police reform worry about what a new Trump administration will mean for these discussions given the president-elect’s expectedly different approach toward the matter than President Obama’s Department of Justice. But others argue the election will send reform back to where it really belongs: at the local level.” CalWatchdog has more. 

  • “Critics of Wells Fargo’s scandal are raising questions about why the California Public Employees’ Retirement System — which for three decades has demanded that corporations it invests in must operate under a clear ethical code — didn’t question illicit banking practices by the San Francisco-based banking giant that were first revealed in 2013 and which resulted in huge federal sanctions in September.” CalWatchdog has more. 

  • “Silicon Valley entrepreneur Steve Spinner hopes the end is near for one of Washington’s most abhorred rituals: the daily rounds of fundraising calls by elected officials trying to fill the coffers for their next campaign. He thinks it can happen with an algorithm that improves targeting, and reduces time candidates spend casting around for cash.” Politico has more. 

  • The Sacramento Bee explains “How California became a blue state.”


  • Gone till December. 

Gov. Brown:

  • No public events announced. 

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