Monday Morning Memo for November 14, 2016

Law Enforcement
Jump in assaults on California police officers alarms police, communities
Nine police officers have died in the line of duty so far this year in California, five of them since October. The total is not unusual – California loses 10 officers per year on average, according to the Attorney General – but the concentration of killings jammed into just a few weeks is unnerving to many on all sides of the thin blue line. More disturbing, perhaps, is the jump in assaults on police officers. Such attacks can include anything from armed ambush, similar to the one that killed two officers in Iowa on Wednesday, to a push or punch from a recalcitrant suspect.
Murdered LA deputy honored
A sign designating the interchange of the San Bernardino (10) and Long Beach (710) freeways in memory of slain Los Angeles County sheriff’s Deputy Thomas H. Pohlman was unveiled Tuesday. Sheriff Jim McDonnell, Pohlman’s widow, Jenny Liepitz, and children Bryan Pohlman and Kelly Padilla-Pohlman attended the ceremony at Biscailuz Center Training Academy in East Los Angeles, said Eric W. Rose of the Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs.
LAPD fires two officers following death of UCLA student
The Los Angeles Police Department fired two officers who visited the apartment of UCLA student Andrea “Andy” DelVesco shortly after she was killed in September 2015. Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck fired Rhoadell Sudduth in May and Alisha Williams in September, according to documents obtained by CNN. An internal LAPD investigation found both officers guilty of misconduct because they responded to an emergency call from DelVesco’s neighbor but did not enter DelVesco’s apartment.
Women who alleged sexual assault by 2 LAPD officers testify: ‘I didn’t really feel like I had a choice’
She first met the two narcotics officers in July 2009 when they drove her to jail after she was caught buying methamphetamine in Hollywood. If she gave them names of drug dealers, they said, they could get her out of jail. The woman didn’t make any promises, she recounted, but took one cop’s phone number before she was booked.
Are Los Angeles police chases worth the risk to bystanders? Last year saw record injuries
Los Angeles police chases injured more bystanders in 2015 than in any other year in at least a decade, a surge that has renewed calls for the LAPD to reform a pursuit policy considered one of the most permissive in California. Seventy-eight people were hurt during LAPD chases they had nothing to do with last year, eclipsing the previous highest tally of 61 in 2005, according to a Times review of pursuit data reported to the California Highway Patrol.
California movie producer arrested in $26 million fraud A California movie producer has been arrested on charges in a $26 million investment fraud. Prosecutors said David Bergstein was arrested Wednesday in Hidden Hills, California, and faces an initial court hearing in Los Angeles. The government said the 54-year-old Bergstein and a co-defendant – Keith Wellner – carried out the fraud by cheating investors at Weston Capital Asset Management, an investor adviser firm. AP
Robert Durst appears in LA court, enters plea in Susan Berman’s 2000 slaying
Real estate heir and documentary figure Robert Durst made a long-awaited appearance Monday in a Los Angeles courtroom on a charge of killing his friend 16 years ago. Durst pleaded not guilty during an afternoon arraignment at the Airport Branch courthouse in Los Angeles for the killing of his one-time spokeswoman Susan Berman in 2000.
Ex-Sheriff Lee Baca mentally incompetent? Trial awaits
Former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca is seeking to introduce testimony at his forthcoming trial linking actions charged in a felony indictment to a diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment he received years later. Baca’s attorneys want a jury to hear opinions from a psychiatrist, Dr. James Spar, regarding the retired lawman’s mental state in 2011 and 2013, according to court papers obtained Wednesday by City News Service.
Prosecutors reject criminal case against Manhattan Beach teacher
The District Attorney’s Office has rejected filing criminal charges against a Manhattan Beach Middle School teacher placed on leave last month in an alleged child annoyance case, police said Monday. The unidentified teacher, however, will remain on administrative leave from school while Manhattan Beach Unified School District officials conduct their own inquiry into the matter, authorities said.
Jury finds reporter, Rolling Stone responsible for defaming U-Va. dean with gang rape story
A federal court jury decided Friday that a Rolling Stone journalist defamed a former University of Virginia associate dean in a 2014 magazine article about sexual assault on campus that included a debunked account of a fraternity gang rape. The 10-member jury concluded that the Rolling Stone reporter, Sabrina Rubin Erdely, was responsible for defamation, with actual malice, in the case brought by Nicole Eramo, a U-Va. administrator who oversaw sexual violence cases at the time of the article’s publication.
Dallas Raines’ wife sentenced to probation, drug rehab for trying to strangle daughter
e wife of KABC-TV’s longtime weatherman Dallas Raines was sentenced to three years’ probation and drug rehabilitation for beating and trying to strangle their adult daughter as they drove home from a La Cañada country club, prosecutors said. As part of a plea deal, Danielle Raines pleaded no contest Friday to one felony count of assault by means likely to produce great bodily harm on her 25-year-old daughter, according to Ricardo Santiago, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.
Driver gets 10 years for hit-run death of junior high teacher-cyclist
A Canyon Country man was sentenced to 10 years in state prison Monday for hitting a 53-year-old bicyclist with his car and then fleeing the scene of the crash, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced. Deputy District Attorney SuSu Scott said Lucas Guidroz, 28, pleaded no contest on Oct. 4 to one count each of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and hit-and-run driving resulting in death.
Killer gets life term for rampage at Los Angeles Airport
A gunman who killed a federal transportation security officer and wounded three other people during a rampage at Los Angeles International Airport was sentenced to life plus 60 years in prison Monday for the attack that crippled the nation’s second-busiest airport and disrupted travel nationwide. Paul Ciancia, 26, had faced the mandatory life sentence for murdering a federal officer, but prosecutors also sought the additional 60-year term because he showed no remorse and still clings to the beliefs that led to the violence in 2013.
Prison & Jail
Onetime jails chief returns to head troubled probation
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Wednesday formally appointed Terri McDonald, the onetime jails chief, to head the troubled Probation Department. Supervisor Hilda Solis called McDonald a proven leader and said she “will provide the seasoned command, leadership and management skills that the county needs right now.” Solis said the board had been looking for a candidate with a commitment to both public safety and the rehabilitation of offenders.
LA County jail problems linger with big lawsuits
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors agreed Wednesday to pay more than $3 million to the families of two people who died while in county jail. One case is from 2009, the other from 2013 – before reforms were underway in the jails, sheriff’s officials say. Helen Jones alleged her son John Horton, 22, was never properly placed in a mental health unit, despite a court order instructing jailers to do so.
Washington state prison department to stop calling prisoners ‘offenders’
The Washington state Department of Corrections is phasing out the word “offender” in an attempt to shake a negative social stigma connected with the term. For prisoners in classes, staff should now use “students.” And for those in the infirmary, they should say “patients.” “Individuals” is a better term, too, the department says.
Ballot Measures
Prop. 64: What to know now that marijuana is legal in California
California has joined a growing trend across the country by legalizing the recreational use of marijuana and hemp. By passing Proposition 64, Californians over 21 years of age can now legally smoke marijuana privately, and can have up to 28.5 grams of marijuana and up to 8 grams of concentrated marijuana, such as hash, in their possession, according to the Official Voter Information Guide for the proposition.
Calif. voters decide to uphold death penalty, streamline the process
California voters rejected a ballot measure that would have abolished the death penalty, and narrowly approved a competing measure designed to streamline the execution process. Proposition 62, which was opposed by about 56 percent of voters, would have repealed the death penalty for murder and replaced it with life in prison without parole.
Suit filed to block death-penalty measure Prop. 66
Opponents of a newly passed initiative aimed at speeding up executions have asked the state Supreme Court to block it from taking effect. Proposition 66, approved by voters Tuesday, will cause “confusion and upheaval” in the courts, interfere with their authority, and force both courts and lawyers into hurried and less-reliable decisions in capital cases, said the suit filed Wednesday by former state Attorney General John Van de Kamp and Ron Briggs, a former El Dorado County supervisor.
Proposition 57 passed
Law enforcement thinks they’ll be a lot busier now that one of the more controversial measures, Proposition 57, passed yesterday. “Law enforcement and the citizens are going to have to live with the effects of Proposition 57.” George Hofstetter with the Association For Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs is afraid that crime will go up… now that many violent felons will be reclassified as non-violent.
After Prop. 57, DA says we can’t forget about victims
At least 30,000 of California’s 130,000 state inmates could soon be considered for early release, the latest step in an unprecedented five-year effort to reduce California’s prison population, after voters approved a sentencing reform measure championed by Gov. Jerry Brown.
Voters approve California gun control law
A gun- and ammunition-control initiative, the provisions of which include prohibiting the possession of large-capacity magazines, will become the law of the land in California thanks to voters’ approval. In addition to requiring the destruction or removal from the state of large-capacity ammunition magazines, Proposition 63 will also require most individuals to pass background checks and obtain Department of Justice authorization to purchase ammunition.
County Government
With Hahn and Barger elected as L.A. County supervisors, board will see its first female majority
Even in a state known for its diversity and progressive culture, women remain seriously underrepresented in California’s state and local government. The 15-member Los Angeles City Council has only one woman on it, and a report released two years ago found that women occupied fewer than 30% of elective city, county and state posts. But with Tuesday’s election, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has become a major exception.
California Democrats’ supermajority quest hinges on close races
Democrats were within striking distance of a supermajority in the California Assembly Wednesday, and liberal groups were successful in their bid to throw out a moderate Democratic Assemblywoman who has opposed labor and environmental regulations. But elsewhere, moderates reigned, and voters did little to upend the fractious balance of power between moderate and liberal lawmakers in the Democratic Party, giving Democrats only tepid gains on a night when they had hoped to sweep in more liberal candidates and score supermajorities in both houses.
Democratic supermajority won’t stop intraparty fighting, but may grow center
Democrats on Election Day have a very real chance at winning a two-thirds “supermajority” in the California Legislature. While that would be a major disaster for Republicans politically – if it were to happen – it would likely have little effect on the legislative process if recent history is any guide.  In fact, most of the larger defeats over the last year or so have been due to intraparty fighting.
Election 2018
Candidate filing period opens for LA mayor, city attorney, council seats
The exhausting, never-ending 2016 presidential election isn’t even over yet, but local Los Angeles candidates are already gearing up for the March election. The candidate-filing period for the Los Angeles mayoral, city attorney, controller and council seats opened Monday. Aspiring candidates will have until Friday to submit their declarations of intent to run, and about a month – from Nov. 12 to Dec. 7 – to submit nominating petitions.
See how they run: Candidates lining up for 2018 governor’s race
Up and down the state, candidates are gearing up for the next election. The 2018 gubernatorial election, that is. Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom is in and is quickly assembling a war chest. Ditto state Treasurer John Chiang. Former California schools superintendent and East Bay Assemblywoman Delaine Eastin says she’s gearing up to run, and Bay Area billionaire Tom Steyer is said to be considering it, too. And former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa says he’ll be jumping in as soon as next week.
Antonio Villaraigosa, former L.A. mayor, jumps into the California governor’s race
Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on Thursday began his 2018 bid for governor after a three-year hiatus from the political limelight, joining a heady field of candidates that is expected to grow larger in the months ahead. The former mayor, who was raised by a single mother in Boyle Heights, said his campaign will focus on rebuilding the middle class and assisting Californians who have been “left behind” in the new economy, along with improving public schools and repairing the state’s deteriorating roads, bridges and other infrastructure.
State Bar
State Bar does not have to disclose racial data, judge rules
The State Bar does not have to disclose the race or ethnicity of the many thousands of Californians who took the bar exam because it would invade their privacy, a judge ruled Monday in a setback for a researcher who hoped the data would support his opposition to affirmative action. Richard Sander, a UCLA law professor, sued in 2008, seeking information on everyone who had taken the exam since 1972 – their race or ethnicity, what law school they attended and their scores on the exam.
Here is what Donald Trump wants to do in his first 100 days
At the end of October, Donald Trump spoke in Gettysburg, Pa., and released a plan for his first 100 days in office. The plan outlines three main areas of focus: cleaning up Washington, including by imposing term limits on Congress; protecting American workers; and restoring rule of law. He also laid out his plan for working with Congress to introduce 10 pieces of legislation that would repeal Obamacare, fund the construction of a wall at the Southern border, encourage infrastructure investment, rebuild military bases, promote school choice and more.
What does Donald Trump have in store for California?
Californians gave Donald Trump a stern rebuke Tuesday, handing Hillary Clinton a victory so lopsided that she ended up winning the nationwide popular vote. Now the multibillion-dollar question is: What does the president-elect have in store for California? As some disheartened California Democrats launched an online movement to secede from the United States, policy experts tried to gauge what to expect from a president-elect who thinks global warming is a hoax, free trade is a job killer and the Affordable Care Act must be repealed.
Liberal California braces for a Donald Trump presidency: ‘We are on high alert’
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee was avoiding questions about his interest in joining a possible Hillary Clinton administration last week, instead stressing the urgent need for more affordable housing to help lessen the scourge of homelessness in his city. “I need a good partner in the White House,” Lee, a Democrat, said at a campaign stop, where he touted his party’s presidential hopeful and sharply criticized her Republican rival, Donald Trump.
President Trump’s Justice Dept. could see less scrutiny of police, more surveillance of Muslims
The Justice Department is set to significantly shift its priorities under Donald Trump, reflecting the themes of a presidential candidate who consistently described the country as riven by chaos and in need of more powerful law enforcement. The department, which under President Obama built an aggressive civil rights division, is likely to take a more hands-off approach toward police departments alleged to have overused force and to loosen restrictions on surveillance in Muslim communities, according to legal analysts and Trump’s public statements.
California today: With Trump’s rise, a return to the ‘rebel state’
As the nation delivered Donald J. Trump a stunning victory, California went the other direction, embracing a progressive agenda. The state resoundingly backed Hillary Clinton, delivering her its 55 electoral votes, but it wasn’t enough to stem the wave of battleground states that lined up for Mr. Trump. “Probably no state is going to be more shocked by tomorrow morning’s headlines than California,” Bruce E. Cain, a professor of political science at Stanford University, said late Tuesday.
Trump plan calls for nationwide concealed carry and an end to gun bans
Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump — who said he has a concealed carry permit — called for the expansion of gun rights Friday, including making those permits applicable nationwide. In a position paper published on his website Friday afternoon, Trump called for the elimination of gun and magazine bans, labeling them a “total failure.”
What now for true-blue California?
This was supposed to be, in the minds of many, the election that moved the rest of the nation closer to pluralistic, pro-tax, anti-gun, “progressive” California. Never mind. California voters reinforced the state’s image in a big way, favoring Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump by a nearly 2-to-1 margin and passing ballot measures to tax the rich, regulate ammunition sales, soften criminal punishment, ban plastic bags, lift the ban on bilingual education and legalize marijuana.
What a difference a year makes!
One year ago the Dow was 5000 points higher than it opened today. Did I hear that right? Can this be? One year ago the Dow was at 14165! Now it is down 35%. Even Cramer, the thoroughly entertaining (to me, anyway) and highly energized TV financial markets commentator, now says get out of stocks. Get out of stocks? Who’da thunk? And, most of the rest of the world’s organized economies are in the same, sinking boat.
What we’ve learned about the media industry during this election
When the 2016 campaign began, legacy news organizations already faced dim industry projections. Slides in print revenue at newspapers and magazines were accelerating; online advertising, the escape plan for these businesses, teetered. Television executives, lamenting smaller audiences and less enthusiastic advertisers, had finally realized that the huge changes elsewhere in the media industry were coming for them, too.
Why the Latino vote didn’t save America
As someone who had, just 24 hours earlier, asserted that Latino voters would turn out in droves for Hillary Clinton and help save the republic from Donald Trump, I spent Election Night with huevos rancheros on my face. I was wrong. Actually, I was right but I was wrong.  I was right that Latinos did turn out big, at least in early voting. According to The Washington Post, Latinos accounted for a larger percentage of early voters than they did four years ago.
Who will Jerry Brown pick to fill very powerful office?
Tuesday’s election may be history, but another contest for one of California most influential offices looms – with just one voter who counts. With Attorney General Kamala Harris easily claiming a U.S. Senate seat Tuesday, Gov. Jerry Brown must appoint her successor, subject to confirmation by both legislative houses. Brown could name a caretaker to oversee the Department of Justice for the next two years or launch someone on a political career that could lead to the governorship, a U.S. Senate seat or even the presidency.
LA leaders to state: Don’t let SoCalGas resume at Aliso Canyon – yet
County supervisors voted Wednesday to press regulators to deny Southern California Gas Co.’s request to resume injecting natural gas into wells at the Aliso Canyon storage facility, where a four-month leak emitted 109,000 metric tons of methane and displaced thousands of residents. Supervisor Michael Antonovich recommended sending a letter to the California Public Utilities Commission and the Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources asking that no new injections be allowed until regulators complete an analysis of the root cause of the leak.
Say goodbye to government by the people
When San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera announced that he would not defend the city in a federal lawsuit challenging state bail laws, he said, “Keeping people locked up for no reason other than they can’t afford to post bail can have far-reaching consequences. People lose their jobs and their homes. Families fall apart. Taxpayers shoulder the cost of jailing people who don’t need to be there. In other words, the current bail system is not just unconstitutional, it’s bad public policy.”

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