Jose Luis Villegas/ jvillegas@sacbee.com
Gov. Jerry Brown, accompanied by first lady Anne Gust Brown, speaks outside the governor's mansion in Sacramento on Tuesday, June 3, 2014.

Gov. Jerry Brown continues to expand his massive financial advantage over Republican Neel Kashkari in his bid for re-election, reporting Thursday that he had $22.4 million on hand as of June 30.

The Democratic governor raised $5.7 million in the first half of the year and spent less than $270,000 in the primary election. Brown finished first anyway, and is polling far ahead of Kashkari early in their general election contest.

Brown’s major donors include the Democratic State Central Committee of California, labor unions and myriad business interests.

Kashkari, a former U.S. Treasury Department official, relied on $2 million of his own money to pull ahead of Republican rival Tim Donnelly in the primary election, and he has continued to struggle raising campaign cash. He has not yet filed his semi-annual financial statement, which is due next week.

GER2MLCUJ.2Senior Photographer
Paul Kitagaki Jr./ pkitagaki@sacbee.com
Gov. Jerry Brown talks about former Sen. John Vasconcellos during a memorial ceremony in Sacramento on Wednesday June 11, 2014.

When he leaves next week for Mexico for talks on trade and the environment, Gov. Jerry Brown will be accompanied by more than 100 administration officials, lawmakers and business delegates, including many of his political donors and a handful of old friends.

Of the roughly 90 businesspeople joining Brown, about one-third have donated to Brown’s political causes in recent years or represent companies that have, with contributions totaling about $750,000 since Brown ran for office in 2010.

Delegates paying a fee of $5,000 each for the four-day trip are subsidizing the cost of Brown’s travel. The delegation includes Sempra Energy, BP America and other representatives of the energy, tourism and agriculture industries, but also the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Environmental Defense Fund.

The delegation includes about 10 members of Brown’s administration, five state senators and 10 Assembly members. All of the traveling lawmakers are Democrats but one, Assemblyman Rocky Chávez, R-Oceanside.

AP Photo
President Barack Obama waves to supporters as he arrives at Los Angeles International Airport Wednesday, July 23, 2014, in Los Angeles, for a 24-hour visit.

President Barack Obama concludes his west coast fundraising swing today, following another big-donor event in Los Angeles and some policy talk this afternoon at a southland community college before jetting back to Washington.

Obama, who headlined Democratic fundraisers in Seattle and the San Francisco Bay Area earlier this week, arrived in Los Angeles yesterday for an evening reception. The president will attend another party fundraiser this morning before making remarks at Los Angeles Trade-Technical College, where he is expected to highlight the value of job-training programs for healthcare and other sectors.

California has been a fundraising mother lode for both parties, but particularly Democrats, and Obama has made repeated trips to the Golden State campaign ATM. During the 2012 election cycle, the state generated almost a fifth of every Democratic campaign dollar, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

The latest westward trip has been criticized by Republicans and even questioned by some fellow Democrats as ill-timed given the international crises in Gaza and Ukraine and the flood of Central American refugees along the U.S. southern border.

GMR2MH9TK.3Special to The Bee
Robert Durell
Thomas Barnes of Sacramento fills up his tank at Bonfare Market in November 2008.

Californians continue to strongly support their state’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gases – until they find out it involves higher gasoline prices, according to a new poll released Wednesday.

The Public Policy Institute of California’s annual environmental survey also found majorities oppose the greater use of fracking for oil exploration (54 percent), increased offshore oil drilling (51 percent) and building more nuclear power plants (64 percent).

California’s cap-and-trade program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions will include fuels as of Jan. 1. That has prompted an oil industry-backed campaign for a delay or repeal amid predictions that the cost of gas could rise by 15 cents or more per gallon. Though a group of moderate Democrats in the Legislature has asked for a delay, Gov. Jerry Brown has shown no interest in doing so.

More than two thirds of adults and 60 percent of Californians likely to vote this year support the state’s greenhouse gas efforts, according to the poll. Three-fourths of adults like emissions limits on power plants and clean fuel requirements on gasoline


Explaining his nomination of Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar to the California Supreme Court at a press conference Wednesday afternoon, Gov. Jerry Brown emphasized Cuéllar’s academic credentials and noted that he was “not unaware” of California’s diversity as he decided whom to appoint.

“When 50 percent of the kids in kindergarten through 12th grade are of Latin descent, it’s important that they see, in all of the positions of power, people who they identify with,” Brown said. “So that’s a thought. But I would also point out that this is a very accomplished individual.”

If confirmed, Cuéllar, a law professor at Stanford, would become the court’s only Latino justice and the first Latino immigrant justice in its history. Carlos Moreno, who was confirmed as the U.S. ambassador to Belize in May, was the court’s only Latino justice when he retired in 2011.

Cuéllar has a law degree from Yale Law School and a doctorate in political science from Stanford, where he has taught since 2001. He has also worked for the Obama and Clinton administrations on immigration policy, regulatory transparency, food safety standards and public health.

Randy Pench/ rpench@sacbee.com
Gov. Jerry Brown talks about revisions to his budget on Tuesday, May 13, 2014 in Sacramento, Calif.

In his first public comments on the controversial Vergara v. California ruling that struck down teacher tenure laws in June, Gov. Jerry Brown offered little insight into his thinking on the ruling.

At a press conference Wednesday afternoon, he said only that Attorney General Kamala Harris had on Monday filed a request for additional information from the Los Angeles County Superior Court.

Brown said the state will wait to see the court’s response to its request before taking any other steps, such as an appeal.

“You haven’t heard from me because I haven’t said anything,” he told a reporter who noted he had not yet commented on the ruling.

Jeremy B. White/ The Sacramento Bee
Assemblyman Richard Pan, D-Sacramento, speaks about immigrant health care in Sacramento on July 23, 2014.

California immigrants who are newly eligible for government health care are being rebuffed because of inadequate communication between public agencies, Assemblyman Richard Pan, D-Sacramento, and advocates warned on Wednesday.

Enacted by President Obama amid a record number of deportations and pleas from advocates to help young immigrants, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program extends temporary deportation immunity to immigrants who are in the country illegally but have established roots. Many of them arrived in the United States as young children.

In addition to being shielded from deportation, immigrants who receive deferred action can obtain work permits and access to what are called “full-scope” benefits for Medi-Cal, California’s health insurance program for low-income residents. But Pan and others said on Wednesday that many young immigrants are not getting the care to which they are now entitled.

“There are potentially thousands of people with DACA status, who came to this country as children, who have been turned away locally and across the state when they go to the county office to sign up for Medi-Cal,” Pan said. “They are being denied the opportunity to see a doctor, the opportunity to get their medication, being denied access to treatment.”

GE22M9SRG.3Senior Photographer
Paul Kitagaki Jr./ pkitagaki@sacbee.com
Gov. Jerry Brown talked about his priorities for a second term during a meeting with the Sacramento Bee Editorial Board on May 15, 2014.

Before Gov. Jerry Brown heads south on a four-day trade mission to Mexico, he’ll meet with Mexican Secretary of Foreign Affairs José Antonio Meade Kuribreña at a luncheon hosted by the California Chamber of Commerce this afternoon.

Both men will give remarks and are expected to discuss the potential for cooperation on economic and environmental matters, reflecting Brown’s agenda for his upcoming trip.

From July 27 through July 30, Brown and dozens of businesspeople with interests in Mexico will attend government-to-government meetings and tour California companies and projects in the country. The trip is Brown’s first to Mexico since taking office in 2011. Last year, Brown led a seven-day trade delegation to China.

Mexico purchased 14.2 percent of all California exports in 2013, making it the single biggest buyer of California goods, ahead of every U.S. state.

Eric Paul Zamora/ The Associated Press
President Barack Obama, second from left, walks and chats with, from left, Gov. Jerry Brown, farmer Joe De Bosque and his wife Maria Gloria De Bosque in Los Banos, Calif. on Feb. 14, 2014.

President Barack Obama has been making lots of visits to California recently, but mostly just for golf and fundraisers, Dan says.

Have a question you’d like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

Governor’s Office
Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar

Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday nominated a Mexico-born Stanford Law School professor to the California Supreme Court, moving to replace one of the high court’s most conservative members with a Democrat.

Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar, who would replace retiring Justice Marvin Baxter in January, is Brown’s second selection to the court of his third term, both coming from the halls of academia. Brown appointed Goodwin Liu, then a UC Berkeley law professor, in 2011.

Cuéllar, who previously advised President Barack Obama on immigration matters, would join Liu as the only Democrats on a court dominated by Republican appointees. Its composition is becoming increasingly liberal under Brown, however, and the Democratic governor has one more immediate vacancy to fill, to replace retired Justice Joyce Kennard.

Cuéllar served as a special assistant for justice and regulatory policy in the Obama White House in 2009 and 2010 and co-chaired the Obama transition team’s immigration policy working group in 2008 and 2009. He worked in the Clinton administration’s U.S. Treasury Department from 1997 to 1999.

Rich Pedroncelli/ AP
Sen. Ron Calderon, D-Montebello, right, works at his desk at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif. Calderon was indicted on federal corruption charges earlier in the year.

The corruption trial of Democratic Sen. Ron Calderon will likely be delayed until next May, months after the suspended lawmaker is forced to leave office because of term limits.

Calderon is fighting federal corruption allegations of fraud, bribery and money laundering, and the case was scheduled for trial on Sept. 16.

Mark Geragos, his attorney in the case, described the amount of documents being produced by the government as voluminous and ongoing. Prosecutors agreed to Geragos’ request for time to go over the paperwork with his client ahead of the trial. The new date would be May 19.

“That’s our estimate based on the amount of discovery,” Geragos said.

Olivier Douliery/ MCT
People protest outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington over a case that tests the Constitutional limits of campaign finance laws involving contributions to candidates and political parties and follows the 2010 Citizens United decision.

Opponents filed a lawsuit Tuesday seeking to remove from the fall ballot a nonbinding question asking whether Congress should overturn the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United campaign finance decision.

The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association argues the advisory measure, which passed the Legislature on party-line votes and would appear as Proposition 49, amounts to an illegitimate exercise of legislative power because the ballot is reserved for lawmaking.

“Legislative power can be exercised in numerous ways but this is not one of those,” said Jon Coupal, the president of the association.

The organization dismissed the measure as a cowardly effort by the Democratic-controlled Legislature to boost voter turnout in what is expected to be an uneventful statewide election.

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