Capitol Alert

AM Alert: Rod Wright back in court for voter fraud sentencing

After three delays, suspended state Sen. Rod Wright, who was convicted of eight felonies in January for living outside the district he represents, is finally due in court this morning for sentencing. Will the fourth time be the charm?

Prosecutors are seeking six months of jail time for the Baldwin Hills Democrat, while Wright is asking the judge to throw out the jury’s verdict and grant him a new trial. He argues that a second home in Inglewood met the legal definition for his domicile and he was qualified to run for office in that district.

“I’ve never seen anything that says if you have more than one residence, the place where you spend the most time is your domicile,” Wright told The Sacramento Bee last month. “I’ve never read anything in statute that said the nicest place, the place where you spend the most time, the place where you have the most of your stuff, none of those are things I’ve ever seen that spoke to that.”

“All I know how to do is follow the law as I understand it.”

Stay tuned to Capitol Alert this morning for coverage of Wright’s sentencing from Laurel Rosenhall .

VIDEO: Teacher tenure, high-speed rail, Senate scandals ‒ California's political action is in the courts this fall, Dan Walters says.

FROM THE FIELD: A majority of Californians support caring for the surge of young Central American immigrants who have crossed the border illegally in recent months while their ultimate fate is settled, according to a new Field Poll. About 58 percent of voters favor extending “shelter and support” for immigrant minors until their cases are resolved, nearly double the 33 percent who believe they should be deported immediately. The issue draws a sharp partisan divide, however; while Democrats and independents overwhelmingly chose the first option, more than half of Republicans favor deportation.

Jeremy B. White has more on Californians’ opinions of how politicians have handled the border crisis in today’s paper. Here are the statistical tabulations prepared exclusively for Capitol Alert, and the publicly released results of the poll.

FRACK ON: Hydraulic fracturing, the well-stimulation technique used to extract oil, has been highly controversial in California, leading to a number of failed efforts to impose a moratorium on the practice. Environmentalists and energy companies argue over the the technique’s safety, but a new report from the California Council on Science and Technology that finds little evidence of danger has cleared the way for the federal government to resume oil and gas leasing on public land in California. The council sponsors a briefing on its report, which was conducted for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, noon at 1130 K Street.

GET ON YOUR SOAPBOX-ER: Both supporters and opponents of Proposition 46 are gearing up for an expensive and hard-fought campaign this fall. But now backers of the measure, which would raise the damages cap on medical malpractice suits and require drug-testing for doctors, have a high-profile advocate on their side: U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer. The California Democrat will join advocacy group Consumer Watchdog and mothers who lost their children to medical negligence for a press conference promoting the Yes on 46 campaign, 11:15 a.m. at the Consumer Federation of California office in San Francisco.

QUAKE IT OFF: Last month’s earthquake in Napa renewed calls for an early-warning system in California that could give at least ten seconds’ notice before the next big one hits, similar to warnings in place in Mexico and Japan. What will it take to bring earthquake alerts to the U.S.? Politicians – including Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and Democratic Sens. Jerry Hill of San Mateo and Alex Padilla of Los Angeles, who authored legislation last year to develop an early-warning system through a public-private partnership – will join with scientists to discuss the possibilities at a policy forum at UC Berkeley starting at 1:30 p.m.

ROAD TO RECOVERY: The California Association for Addiction Recovery Resources kicks off a statewide campaign to celebrate people who are recovering from drug and alcohol addiction with a pancake breakfast and rally on the west steps of the Capitol, starting at 8:30 a.m.

CELEBRATIONS: Happy belated birthday to Assemblyman Dan Logue, R-Marysville, who turned 64 yesterday, and to state Sen. Ben Hueso, D-San Diego, who turned 45.

READ MORE: Sen. Rod Wright: ‘Life ain’t fair’, an exclusive interview with Wright about his case.

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