Jerry Brown vetoed 2016 bill aimed at preventing powerline wildfires | Nov 14 2018

Gov. Brown vetoed 2016 bill aimed at power line, wildfire safety

|| San Jose Mercury News Oct 2017

 

“Serious questions are once again being asked about the safety of overhead electrical wires in a state prone to drought and fierce winds.”

“A year ago, a bipartisan bill aimed at reducing the risk of wildfires from overhead electrical lines went to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk.

It was vetoed.

The author of the measure — passed unanimously by both houses of the Legislature — now says the governor missed out on a chance to tackle one of his state’s longstanding vulnerabilities: massive wildfires endangering residential communities. But the governor’s office and the California Public Utilities Commission say the bill duplicated efforts already underway among the CPUC, Cal Fire and utilities like PG&E.

Now, as a series of deadly fires rages in Wine Country, serious questions are once again being asked about the safety of overhead electrical wires in a state prone to drought and fierce winds.

On Wednesday, Cal Fire said that investigators have started looking into whether toppled power wires and exploding transformers Sunday night may have ignited the simultaneous string of blazes.

The acknowledgment followed publication of a review by the Bay Area News Group of Sonoma County firefighters’ radio transmissions in the fires’ infancy that found that there were numerous downed and arcing wires. In the first 90 minutes Sunday night, firefighters were sent to 10 different spots where problems had been reported with the area’s electrical infrastructure. The crews reported seeing sparking lines and transformers.

During that same time period, radio transmissions indicate 28 blazes — both vegetation and structure fires — breaking out, mostly in Sonoma County. Firefighters were sent to eight fallen tree calls, with many reports of blocked roadways.

“Those were witnessed,” Cal Fire spokeswoman Lynne Tolmachoff said Wednesday, regarding the blown transformers and downed wires. “However, you have to go and look to see if it was a cause of the fire or as a result of the fire.”

The state’s fire agency has said it has ruled out lightning, but said the investigation continues for an official cause of the blazes, which as of late Wednesday had killed 23 people and destroyed more than 3,500 structures in Sonoma, Napa and other Northern California counties.

PG&E acknowledges there were troubles with its equipment Sunday night, but says blaming the utility’s electrical system for the fires at this point would be “highly speculative.” It has labeled the conditions in the first hours of the fires a “historic wind event.”

But meterologist Jan Null, owner of Golden Gate Weather Services in Saratoga, said that Sunday night’s winds, while strong, were not “hurricane force” and had been surpassed in previous storms. Atlas Peak had gusts of 32 miles per hour at 9 p.m. on  Sunday night, Null said. By comparison, the peak had gusts of 66 mph in last February.

SB 1463 had been introduced in last year’s legislative session by Sen. John Moorlach, R-Costa Mesa. The bill would have required the state to identify the places most at risk for wildfires and would have required the CPUC to beef up plans to prevent fires sparked by power lines — including moving lines underground if necessary.

But Brown said the bill was unnecessary. “Since May of last year, the Commission and CalFire have been doing just that through the existing proceeding on fire-threat maps and fire-safety regulations,” he said in his veto message. “This deliberative process should continue and the issues this bill seeks to address should be raised in that forum.”

But the senator isn’t buying it.

“Up until my bill those guys were doing nothing,” Moorlach said Wednesday. “I think you got some false information.”

He said his bill would’ve sped up what had become a cumbersome process and given local communities more of a voice by clarifying how fire risk is defined.

Had the governor signed his bill into law, he added, “I think it would have changed things. … I think it would’ve given Cal Fire a whole different set of priorities.”

Brown’s sister Kathleen, he pointed out, served on the board of the energy services holding company, Sempra. Power and utility companies, Moorlach said, “didn’t want to spend the money” making things safer by moving lines underground.

That’s “so outrageous it doesn’t merit a response,” Evan Westrup, a spokesman for the governor’s office, said of the notion that the governor didn’t sign the bill to somehow help out Sempra. “It’s unfortunate this particular individual is trying to score political points by peddling inaccurate, self-serving claims at a time like this.”

CPUC spokeswoman Terrie Prosper said the years-long CPUC and Cal Fire effort has already reached key goals.

Phase One was completed in 2015 and Phase Two is nearly done as well, which will implement new fire safety regulations in high priority areas of the state.

PG&E has paid millions of dollars in fines and settlements over the years for its failure to properly maintain vegetation clearance around its electrical lines when it led to massive fires.

In April, the state Public Utilities Commission fined PG&E $8.3 million for failing to maintain a power line that sparked the Butte fire in Amador County in September 2015. That fire burned for 22 days, killing two people, destroying 549 homes and charring 70,868 acres.”

….Continue reading more @ San Jose Mercury News

Fraudulent Ballots in California Nov 2018

PHOTO: Four Identical Mail-In Ballots Pictured in California

 

Big League Politics has obtained a photo showing four ballots with the exact same voter identifier in Alameda County, California.

All four ballots say Count: 421, VBMP (Vote-by-mail-permit) 164325, Extract 15. They are also labeled as “official ballots” for the general election in Alameda County for election day, Nov. 6 2018.

Vice President and co-founder of Election Integrity Project California (EIPCa) Ruth Weiss examined the photo depicting the mail in ballots.

“It does seem odd to me that the identifier on the left-hand side of the envelope is the same. That would imply not that this voter is registered four different times but that somehow four identical ballots were printed for a single voter. That would suggest a glitch with the vendor,” she told Big League Politics. 

James Bradley, a U.S. Senate candidate from California told Big League Politics that the state has passed a law allowing for mail-in and provisional ballots to be machine counted. Previously, the signatures on such ballots had to be individually verified in order for the ballots to be counted. Since the safeguard of signature verification was nullified, Democratic mail-ins and provisionals have vastly increased, according to Bradley.

Thus, it is entirely possible that all four of these ballots were mailed in, run through a machine, and counted.”

….Continue reading more @ Bigleaguepolitics.com

California DMV registers Illegal Aliens Doesn’t Know How Many are Voting | Oct 13 2018

California Elections Official Does Not Know if Non-Citizens Have Voted

|| Breitbart

“California Secretary of State Alex Padilla does not know if any of the 1,500 people who were improperly registered to vote by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) this year voted in the June primary elections, the Associated Press reports.

On Tuesday, multiple news outlets reported that the DMV had erroneously registered 1,500 people, including non-citizens, to vote between April and September. The reports came after the state government insisted for years that its safeguards would prevent that for happening — a significant concern given a 2015 law that allowed illegal aliens to obtain driver’s licenses, and a 2017 law that automatically registered Californians to vote when they obtained driver’s licenses, if otherwise eligible. While the state says that no illegal aliens were registered to vote, at least one legal alien was confirmed as having been registered.

The AP elaborated:

The roughly 1,500 people either told the DMV they were ineligible or didn’t confirm their eligibility but were registered anyway, he said. The group included at least one non-citizen living legally in the state and perhaps many more. It could also include people under 18 or those ineligible to vote because of a criminal conviction, Padilla said. The DMV said none of the people mistakenly registered are people living in the country illegally.

The incorrect registrations occurred between April 23 and Sept. 25 because of a “processing error,” according to the DMV. California held its primary election June 6 [sic].

Early voting for the Nov. 6 election began this week.

California’s motor voter law letting residents automatically register to vote through the DMV took effect in April. Since then, people have newly registered or updated their voter registration more than 3 million times, DMV spokeswoman Jessica Gonzalez said. The new law is aimed at making it easier for people to register and boosting voter turnout.

 

Padilla added that the DMV may have to suspend the “motor voter” program if problems persist. Last month, Padilla admitted that 23,000 registrations had been filed with significant errors.”

….Read more @ Breitbart

California’s Fraudulent and Criminal Voter Registration System | Oct 9 2018

Motor Voter is on the ropes. California considers freeze of DMV registrations

|| Sacramento Bee

 

“Trying to get tens of thousands of voter registration errors under control, California Secretary of State Alex Padilla may temporarily halt a program that automatically registers voters through the Department of Motor Vehicles.

A freeze to the state’s Motor Voter program is “certainly on the table,” Padilla said at a news conference on Tuesday.

“We’re doing the homework as we speak of what does that mean and what it would take,” Padilla said. “These mistakes from the DMV are absolutely unacceptable.”

California launched the Motor Voter program on April 23, which automatically registers and pre-registers eligible voters when they go into a DMV office to complete a driver’s license, state ID or address change transaction.

The DMV reported last month that it made 23,000 voter registration errors resulting from technicians toggling between multiple screens and having registration information improperly merged. In May, the Los Angeles Times reported that a software error affected 77,000 voter records generated at the DMV.

On Monday, the DMV said about 1,500 people were improperly registered to vote, some of whom may not be citizens. Padilla said his office immediately removed all 1,500 people from the voter rolls. In a letter to the DMV, he called for the agency to hire an independent third-party to conduct an audit.

In light of the recent struggles, the California Department of Finance said its ongoing performance audit into the DMV will now include an expanded component regarding the Motor Voter program.

It’s unclear how Motor Voter would be frozen before the upcoming November election. The Secretary of State’s Office declined to comment further on how such an action could be possible.

Assemblyman Jim Patterson, a Fresno Republican who has been a sharp critic of the DMV, wants a complete shutdown of the Motor Voter operation until a thorough investigation is conducted. While a freeze could be done when lawmakers return to the Capitol next year, he pressed for Gov. Jerry Brown to take executive action in the meantime.

“The governor could do it with an executive decision to suspend things of this nature under what would be his emergency authority,” Patterson said. “If this isn’t an emergency with regard to the sanctity of our voter rolls, I don’t know what it is.”

….Read more @ SacBee

 

Clueless Sen Hirono Misleads on Ford ‘Corroboration’ | Oct 7 2018

Idiot Mazie Hirono Says Kavanaugh Did Not have Anyone to Corroborate His Story But Christine Ford Did

|| The Gateway Pundit

“This woman is dumb as a brick.
Senator Mazie Hirono told CNN on Sunday morning Judge Brett Kavanaugh did not have anyone to corroborate his story but Christine Ford did.
How stupid.

Once again, Hirono has NO IDEA what she is talking about.

EVERY ALLEGED WITNESS to Ford’s 36-year-old story says they don’t remember the incident and don’t even remember the party!

Even Ford’s friend, who was pressured by Democrats to lie about the incident, told investigators she did not remember the incident and had NEVER been to a party with Brett Kavanaugh. Someone needs to explain to Mazie what corroboration means.”

….Read more @ TGP

“Huntington Beach can immediately start ignoring California’s contentious “sanctuary state” law | Sep 28 2018

Judge rules Huntington Beach can defy California’s sanctuary law

|| OC Register

 

“Huntington Beach can immediately start ignoring California’s contentious “sanctuary state” law, a judge ruled Thursday, Sept. 27.

But even before he announced his decision, Orange County Superior Court Judge James Crandall acknowledged that the case will wend its way through higher courts for months to come.

In April, Huntington Beach City Attorney Michael Gates filed a lawsuit against the state claiming that Senate Bill 54 unconstitutionally interferes with the city’s charter authority to enforce local laws and regulations.

Signed into law last year, SB 54 limits interaction between local law enforcement and federal immigration officials — with exceptions, including cases that involve violent or “serious” felonies.

Crandall opened the hearing complimenting both sides, saying he found the opposing attorneys’ briefs “stimulating, in fact, invigorating.”

“I realize this is a very important case with significant implications,” he said.

From there, still early in the three-hour hearing, Crandall signaled that his sympathies lay with the city. Citing parts of the state constitution that grant charter cities a degree of autonomy, he said, “Laws are protections for the little guy, in this case, the city.”

Century-old constitutional amendments that allowed cities to create their own charters were meant to restrict “the ever-extending tentacles of state government,” Crandall said.

Huntington Beach is one of 121 charter cities in California, a designation decided by voters. Charters accord greater control over “municipal affairs,” such as how a city conducts elections and deals with its employees.

Still, California’s constitution holds that charter cities are subject to the same state laws as “general law cities” on matters considered to be of “statewide concern” — a point emphasized by Supervising Deputy Attorney General Jonathan Eisenberg.

The constitution’s charter rules do not give cities “a get out of jail free card,” Eisenberg said.

Specifically, Gates, Eisenberg and Crandall debated the two “subsections” of Section 5, Article 11, in which the constitution defines charter powers. Subsection A states that charter cities can “be subject to general laws.” Subsection B enumerates four areas over which a charter may bestow control, including “government of the police force.”

Crandall agreed with Gates that the subsections should be viewed as independent of one another, while Eisenberg said, “You do not get to skip whether there’s a matter of statewide concern.”

Huntington Beach, Eisenberg said, “is not a unique city” from the rest of California. And as a tourist destination visited by thousands of nonresidents, he said, what happens there regarding immigration enforcement affects the entire state.

Occasionally, Crandall drifted away from the core of the lawsuit – that SB 54 violates a charter city’s sovereignty – harshly criticizing SB 54 as forcing cities into “one size fits all” policing. He complained that legislators “want to keep bossing people around.”

When Eisenberg said that local law enforcement can still communicate with immigration officials regarding serious crimes under SB 54, Crandall replied, “You haven’t tied their hands and feet, you’ve just taped their mouths.”

Several times, the judge noted the presence of Huntington Beach Police Chief Robert Handy in the courtroom. After granting the city’s request to be free from enforcing SB 54 while the decision undergoes an appeal, Crandall said, “I think Chief Handy wants to get out there and do his good police work as soon as possible.”

….read more @ OC Register

 

Michael Moore’s Latest Becomes Box Office Poison | Sep 24 2018

MICHAEL MOORE’S ANTI-TRUMP FILM BOMBS AT THE BOX OFFICE. THE NUMBERS ARE HORRIFIC

|| Daily Caller

“Michael Moore’s anti-Donald Trump film “Fahrenheit 11/9” crashed and burned at the box office over the weekend.

The plot of the movie, according to IMDB, is: “Filmmaker Michael Moore examines the current state of American politics, particularly the Donald J. Trump presidency and gun violence while highlighting the power of grassroots democratic movements.”

Apparently, people just weren’t interested in going to the theater this weekend to get a political lecture because the numbers were abysmal.”

….read more @ Daily Caller

 

Weekend Box Office: ‘House With a Clock in Its Walls’ Eyes $25M; ‘Fahrenheit 11/9’ Falls Flat

|| The Hollywood Reporter

“Unless traffic picks up, Fahrenheit 11/9  is headed for an eighth-place finish with $3 million-debut from 1,719 theaters (pre-release tracking had suggested at least $5 million-$6 million). One bright spot: Audiences gave it an A CinemaScore.

Moore’s satirical, anti-Trump film marks the first release from Tom Ortenberg’s new company, Briarcliff. (Ortenberg worked with Moore on Fahrenheit 9/11 while stationed at Lionsgate.) It earned just north of $1 million on Friday.”

….read more @ THR