When a sheriff is also coroner, bad cops can get protected, hands might get cut off corpses. It should be a relic of California’s provincial past that one person can serve as both sheriff and coroner of a county, as Steve Moore does in scandal-plagued San Joaquin County.
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Dan Walters, CalMatters: California’s long-running feud over the direction of its 6-million-student public school system has raged in many arenas, but never in a high-profile campaign for political office. That day, however, may come soon. Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, two candidates for governor who run a close 1-2 in the polls, are exhibiting serious differences over education policy.
Jack Ohman sees a new Giant of the Senate, and it’s not Al Franken. Check him out here.
Lynn Silver: The overall breadth of California’s new emergency marijuana regulations and their lack of caution will fulfill big business’s wildest dreams. They will promote the unfettered growth of a new harmful California industry dominated by special interests and wealthy investors, not the health and well-being of our communities.
Erwin Chemerinsky: Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution provides for impeachment for “Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.” There is no definitive answer to what constitutes a “high crime or misdemeanor.” There is no Supreme Court case addressing it. But having researched this extensively, I believe the Constitution provides for impeachment if there is a serious abuse of power. A criminal violation could be a basis for finding a “high crime or misdemeanor,” but it is not required.
Assemblyman Rob Bonta: A culture of objectification and misogyny allows men to get away with harassment and assault. Not enough men are standing up to defend women even when they know what’s happening is wrong.
Tia Boatman Patterson: The GOP tax bill would kill a tool California needs to build housing. This would be devastating for the millions of low- and moderate-income Californians struggling to afford housing.
Take a number: 58
In the first – but perhaps not last – vote to start impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump, 58 Democrats supported the move. The motion to kill the impeachment resolution passed on a 364-58 vote in the House on Wednesday. Those who wanted to proceed included 12 Democrats representing California, including Rep. Jerry McNerney of Stockton.
Among other things, the impeachment resolution offered by Rep. Al Green of Texas cited Trump’s response to the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., the president’s attacks on NFL players for kneeling during the national anthem and the anti-Muslim videos he recently retweeted.
House Democratic leaders, including Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco, opposed taking up the resolution now. They said that while Trump has made divisive statements “beyond the pale” and there are “legitimate questions” about his fitness for the presidency, an impeachment fight now would distract from attempts to stop the Republican tax cut bill and the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller.
Impeachment talk is getting louder after the guilty plea Friday of Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser. Democrats, including Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, say a case is building against Trump for obstruction of justice. –Foon Rhee, @foonrhee
Kansas City Star: Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley has filed another lawsuit seeking to overturn California regulations regarding the sale of eggs. We wish we could endorse Hawley’s decision. The possibility of endless egg-related puns comes close to justifying the cost of the litigation. But not close enough. Hawley’s lawsuit, filed with the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of Missouri and 12 other states, is flawed and unnecessary and should be dropped.
Salt Lake City Tribune: Reasonable people might accept the argument that the two giant national monuments in Utah are too big, too restrictive or too much the result of an undemocratic process. But no one should be able to look at the celebration that unfolded Monday in our state’s Capitol building and see anything other than a disgraceful display of powerful people whooping it up over the pain they were inflicting on, among others, hundreds of thousands of Native Americans.
East Bay Times: Oakland city workers seem hell-bent on killing the goose that lays their golden eggs. About 3,000 employees went on strike illegally Tuesday insisting Oakland officials fatten the city’s offer currently on the negotiating table. The city cannot afford it; council members have already offered too much.
San Diego Union-Tribune: Tuesday the San Diego City Council made the right call giving the San Diego police officers union giant raises that will lift the department in morale and in salary scales when compared to other public safety agencies in cities across California that are competing for officers to protect their residents. That was the easy part, of course.
Los Angeles Times: Wildfires have been a part of the California ecosystem since long before modern settlement, let alone the exurban sprawl that brings housing and development into fire-prone areas. We tend to deal with the possibility of raging firestorms abstractly – local governments do a little planning, fire departments offer advice on clearing brush and other flammables from property, insurers sell policies to cover our losses if a fire actually burns our homes and businesses to the ground. But those steps don’t prepare us for the violent reality.
Santa Rosa Press Democrat: Remember the civics class version of Congress in action? A bill is introduced, vetted in committee, perhaps amended, and debated on the floor before a vote. If it passes, the process is repeated in the other house, and any differences are reconciled in a conference committee. It hasn’t happened that way for a long time. But the handling of this year’s tax legislation represents a new low, a complete break from the traditions and ideals once professed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Chicago Tribune: Russia unveiled its uniforms for the upcoming Winter Olympics in South Korea last week, a gesture of “What, me worry?” confidence ahead of Tuesday’s momentous decision by the International Olympic Committee on whether to ban the nation from competition in Pyeongchang because of state-orchestrated doping. Well, the verdict’s in. Russia can start looking for the nearest Goodwill bin.
Frank Bruni, New York Times: Show me a person who has no true friendships and I’ll show you someone with no adequately moderating influences on his whims, no sufficient cushion for his moods. I’ll show you a full-blown narcissist. I’ll show you the president of the United States.
E.J. Dionne Jr., Washington Post: The whole world will be watching the U.S. Senate election in Alabama on Tuesday as voters decide whether party and ideology trump decency and moderation, and whether there is simply no end to the extremism Republican voters are willing to tolerate in their ranks.
Ross Douthat, New York Times: GOP lawmakers could have made the discontented working class voters who put Donald Trump in the White House the major beneficiaries of their tax reform. Instead, with Trump’s enthusiastic blessing, they devised a bill that was more solicitous of their donors than their voters.
Thomas L. Friedman, New York Times: The Trump administration, like Barack Obama’s, actually wants to get away from the Middle East – as much as possible – but while leaving as little Iranian influence behind as possible.
Dana Milbank, Washington Post: The high court has enshrined the right to same-sex marriage, but neither the court nor Congress has protected sexual orientation the way they protect race, religion, gender and disability.
“President Donald Trump and the right wing have used this [Kate Steinle] case to play politics, but the left is doing something even worse. They’re arrogantly shrugging off this event because the murderer was one of their sacred cows: a poor, sad sack illegal alien.” – Kevin Rogenski, Vacaville
San Joaquin County’s Dr. Bennet Omalu is like Zelig, but with really bad luck.