Capitol Alert

Auditing the DMV + An uncivil take on The Diplomat + campus competition

At Gov. Jerry Brown’s directive, the California Department of Motor Vehicles will soon undergo an audit. But it’s worth examining how Brown reached the decision and what brought the DMV to this point.

Here’s a comprehensive timeline of the DMV’s struggles over the past year.


Gov. Jerry Brown pumped out a set of bills Sunday morning before leaving the state to attend Climate Week NYC in New York. He’s scheduled back Wednesday, and the bill actions will resume. He has a few hundred measures left to handle before the deadline next Sunday at midnight.


College football may have just started, but the bowl season is already in full swing. California Secretary of State Alex Padilla is heading to UCLA at 11:30 a.m. today for the state’s first-ever “Ballot Bowl.” The event aims to challenge public and private colleges to register as many students as possible. Padilla’s office describes it as a “friendly competition” for campuses to get the highest number of students and percentage of the student body to register. Results will be posted after the contest ends Oct. 22.


This is how dining critic Kate Washington describes The Diplomat Steakhouse. Needless to say, she’s not a fan of the restaurant located just across L Street from the Capitol. Washington pulled no punches in her review, and we thought a few comments might be worth sharing. Do you agree?

  • “The Diplomat Steakhouse is clearly aiming for the expense-account crowd, with sky-high prices and a pleasant setting featuring soft gray paneling and one of the best patios in town. It’s a shame you have to eat there to enjoy it.”
  • “Over three visits, the best dishes I ate barely reached the low threshold of being passable.”

  • “Meretricious, showy and wildly expensive, this gimcrack restaurant might be the perfect metaphor for the governmental era we’re living through.”

  • “One server reminded me of an overeager puppy, bounding up to our table while we were mid-bite on entrees to ask if we had saved room for dessert. It turned out there’s a lava cake that has to be ordered 30 minutes in advance, but instead of graciously presenting an opportunity to order it, the server interrupted clumsily and made us feel rushed.”

  • “The Diplomat presents itself as a fine-dining restaurant and mimics some of the flourishes of the grand restaurant tradition. It has some of the highest prices in town to match. But it all feels like a grift. Underscoring that sense, there are no prices on the website. And if you visit the website, you should also be aware that the food I was served on three occasions bore scant resemblance to the photos online.”

Note: If you’re looking for fine dining, might I recommend Cracker Barrel?

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Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez (@asmMelendez) — “Republicans have been calling for an audit of the DMV for months. As my my colleague @JimPatterson559 said ‘Every now and then, pigs do fly’, We finally got a much needed audit. MM”


Should California voters repeal the gas tax in November? Influencers have plenty to say.

“Here in L.A., the obvious challenge is traffic. There are just too many cars on the road. We’re building rail lines, but building the system to New York-style accessibility will take decades. I think committing to more and faster bus routes could go a long way to easing congestion. Buses need to have their own dedicated lanes and promise faster commutes than cars. And we could take a page from Phoenix and use autonomous shuttles to address the first mile/last mile problem.”

— Madeleine Brand, Host, KCRW Radio Los Angeles

MUST-READ: California’s DMV to undergo audit after all


The Bee’s Editorial Board speaks out against the gas tax repeal, urging voters to oppose Proposition 6.

The Ed Board also says voters should reject Proposition 7 — an initiative that would repeal the Daylight Saving Time Act that requires you to set your clocks back an hour each November and set your clocks an hour forward each March.

Finally, the Ed Board recommends a no vote on Proposition 3, arguing the $8.9 billion water bond is good for special interests and bad for California taxpayers.

André-Tascha G. R. Lammé, an education and mental health policy and advocacy consultant who attempted to take his own life last year, says Californians need to take action to address the issue of suicide.

Jamal Evan Mazyck, an equity programs and compliance investigator at San Francisco State University and a member of the Scholar Strategy Network, worries about the impact Brett Kavanaugh could have on affirmative action in California if he is successfully appointed to the Supreme Court.

Adrian Martinez, a staff attorney for Earthjustice, a nonprofit advocacy group based in San Francisco, wants the California Air Resources Board to pass a rule requiring transit agencies to phase in zero-emission electric buses over the next two decades, with the goal of a statewide zero-emission bus fleet.

Christine Robertson, vice president of community engagement and advocacy at Visit SLO CAL, believes California should encourage transportation growth away from our big cities.

Karen Skelton, founder and president of Skelton Strategies in Sacramento, says California must modernize transportation in order to combat climate change.


Jack Ohman takes a drive on the road to Proposition 6.

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