CalWatchdog Morning Read – December 2

  • CalWatchdogLogoLos Angeles congressman tapped for CA attorney general
  • How much will e-cigs be taxed under new measure?
  • Court reopens lawsuit against bullet-stamping law
  • Richmond mayor spoke too soon on local crime
  • Kevin de Leon rules out congressional run?

Good morning. TGIF. The wait (and inane speculation) about who would fill the upcoming attorney general vacancy ended yesterday as Gov. Jerry Brown (kinda) nominated Democratic Congressman Xavier Becerra. 

Becerra, who would need to be confirmed by the Legislature, would fill a vacancy left by Kamala Harris, who was elected to the U.S. Senate last month. The nomination will not be official until Harris resigns.

The move set off a scramble to backfill Becerra’s congressional seat, with former Assembly Speaker John A. Perez announcing his candidacy around an hour later.

The pick breaks up the Bay Area’s stranglehold on statewide offices – only two of the eight statewide elective office holders are from outside the Bay Area. Becerra, from Los Angeles, will be the third.

The pick also ends months of speculation, which at times suggested Brown would pick his wife, Anne Brown Gust (Brown dismissed those rumors). Becerra’s name had not been previously mentioned, which says what about media speculation?

CalWatchdog has more. 

In other news:

  • Vape tax: “The claims that e-cigarettes are just as much of a health hazard as regular cigarettes and must be heavily taxed has touched off a fight in the public health community. … The issue is coming to the fore in California because of voters’ passage of Proposition 56 last month. It will increase the state tax on a pack of cigarettes from 87 cents to $2.87 and mandates an ‘equivalent’ increase in taxes on e-cigarettes. … It’s not clear yet what ‘equivalent’ means.” CalWatchdog has more. 

  • Bullet stamps: “Gun manufacturers have the right to present evidence supporting their claim that technology does not exist to comply with a California law requiring new models of semi-automatic handguns to stamp identifying information on bullet casings, a state appeals court said Thursday,” reports The San Jose Mercury News

  • Oops: “On Wednesday, [Richmond Mayor Tom Butt] boasted on his popular e-forum that a recent list of ‘Top 12 most dangerous cities in Northern California’ did not include Richmond, which has struggled with high crime for many years, although the rate is nowhere what it was a decade ago. What the mayor failed to mention in his post is that the Richmond Police Department did not even submit its crime figures to the FBI due to a glitch in the crime reporting system that wiped out about 15 months worth of data last year.” The San Jose Mercury News has more. 

  • More on Becerra: “California Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León on Thursday lauded the appointment of Rep. Xavier Becerra as state attorney general, while a source close to the Senate leader said he has no plans to run for Becerra’s congressional seat when it is vacated.” The Los Angeles Times has more. 


  • Back on Monday. 

Gov. Brown: 

  • No public events announced. 

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