CalWatchdog Morning Read – January 9

  • Is the Legislature’s contract with Fmr. U.S. Atty. Gen. legal?
  • CA bracing for no-growth future?
  • Presumptive state AG to fight stop-and-frisk
  • Solar power for all
  • Trump Treasury pick praised in past 

Good morning! Happy Monday. The struggle between the state and the incoming Trump administration continues to plod along with no end in sight.

Last week, the Legislature’s Democratic leaders announced a contract with former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder for outside counsel. While the Legislature’s decision made plenty of headlines, the move may violate the state Constitution, according to a California assemblyman.

Assemblyman Kevin Kiley, a Rocklin Republican, asked the California attorney general’s office on Friday whether Holder’s hiring for outside legal work in an impending battle with the incoming Trump administration violates a constitutional clause protecting against cronyism. 

“California courts have interpreted the civil service mandate of article VII of forbidding private contracting for services that are of a kind that persons selected through civil service could perform ‘adequately and competently,’” Kiley wrote, adding that there are almost 1,600 attorneys and support staff in the Legal Services Division of the state’s AG office.

CalWatchdog has more. 

In other news:

  • Demographics: “Driven by rising out-migration and falling birth rates, California’s population growth has stalled, leading analysts to consider a possible forecast of a so-called ‘no-growth’ period in the future,” reports CalWatchdog

  • AG appointment: “If confirmed as state attorney general, Xavier Becerra could lead California in fights against the incoming Trump administration on stop-and-frisk policing, a national registry of Muslims and rolling back regulation of carbon emissions. The Democratic congressman from Los Angeles highlighted those as proposed policies of President-elect Donald Trump with which he vehemently disagrees in his first public position statement since being tapped for the job: a letter to members of the special Assembly committee that will hold a confirmation hearing for Becerra on Tuesday.” The Sacramento Bee has more. 

  • Solar Power: “Newly sworn-in state Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, plans to introduce legislation Monday requiring all new construction in the state to include solar panels,” reports the San Francisco Chronicle

  • Trump Transition: “While Democrats in Washington ratchet up their criticism of Treasury secretary nominee Steven Mnuchin, former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa once offered public praise for the former Goldman Sachs executive.” Politico has more. 


  • Assembly in at 1 p.m. Senate in at 2 p.m. 

Gov Brown: 

  • No public events scheduled.

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