CalWatchdog Morning Read – January 19

  • Assemblyman: Russian interference should be taught in schools
  • Maldonado passed over for secretary of Agriculture
  • Bullet train survives another legal challenge, several more to go
  • Becerra to enforce speedy-executions measure
  • EPA questions CA’s vehicle-emission rules

Good morning. Happy Thursday. We begin this morning with an inauguration eve question: Should Russia’s interference with the 2016 presidential election be taught in schools?

One assemblyman thinks so.

The extent to which Russia interfered is still being investigated, but reports suggest there’s consensus among U.S. intelligence officials that Russia hacked emails of Democratic officials and operatives in an effort to influence the election. The hacked emails were distributed to the news media, including CalWatchdog, throughout the election through the site WikiLeaks. 

Assemblyman Marc Levine, D-Marin County, has introduced legislation to require state educators to develop curriculum for students to learn about Russia’s involvement in the election.

CalWatchdog has more. 

In other news:

  • Trump Transition: “In selecting former Georgia governor Sonny Perdue for agriculture secretary, Donald Trump dealt Abel Maldonado, the former California lieutenant governor and apparent finalist for the position, one more high-profile, if unsurprising, blow,” writes Politico

  • Bullet Train: “A lawsuit filed in 2014 by Kern County against the California High-Speed Rail Authority will be dismissed under the terms of a settlement announced Wednesday afternoon by the state agency. … This is the third of the seven CEQA lawsuits to be settled.” The Fresno Bee has more. 

  • AG appointment: “(Xavier) Becerra also said he’d defend and enforce recently approved voter-enacted ballot initiatives to speed up the death penalty process and legalize recreational marijuana.” The Sacramento Bee has more. 

  • State vs. Feds: “Donald Trump’s pick to head the Environmental Protection Agency cast doubt on whether California should continue to have power to impose its own emission rules for cars and trucks, an authority the state has enjoyed for decades that is also the cornerstone of its efforts to fight global warming.” The Los Angeles Times has more. 


  • In at 9 a.m.


  • No public events announced.

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