Category Archives: San Diego

More Opposition to California Sanctuary City Laws as San Diego Votes to Support Trump | Apr 17 2018

San Diego County supervisors vote 3-1 to support the Trump lawsuit against California sanctuary laws

|| U-T San Diego

“The San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted 3-1 to support the Trump administration’s lawsuit against California over laws that the state passed last year to limit its role in immigration enforcement.

The county will file an amicus brief at the first available opportunity, likely on appeal, said Kristin Gaspar, supervisor for District 3 and chairwoman of the board.

The Department of Justice filed the lawsuit against the state at the beginning of March over three laws.

SB 54, the law that received the most publicity when it passed, limits the ways in which local police can interact with federal immigration officials. Under the law, police can turn immigrants over to federal immigration enforcement agencies only if they have committed crimes listed in the legislation. It says local police cannot participate in task forces that are focused on immigration enforcement.

It also requires the California Attorney General to set policies limiting assistance with immigration enforcement at public schools, libraries and hospitals.

AB 103 prohibits local governments across California from adding new contracts with the federal government for civil immigration detention or expanding old ones. It also requires the California Attorney General’s office to monitor conditions in existing immigration detention facilities in the state.

AB 450 says that employers cannot voluntarily allow immigration officials into non-public areas of the workplace unless the officers have judicial warrants. It also requires employers to notify employees about upcoming immigration inspections.

“We’re talking about people who are crossing the border illegally, coming into this county and committing a crime and them being let loose probably to commit another crime,” said Dianne Jacob, supervisor for District 2. “That creates a public safety issue and creates a problem in our neighborhoods.”

Gaspar, Jacob and Supervisor Bill Horn voted to support the lawsuit. Supervisor Greg Cox voted no. Supervisor Ron Roberts had a previous commitment and did not attend the meeting.

A long line of supporters and detractors addressed the board Tuesday morning after a group of people hoping to dissuade the supervisors from supporting the lawsuit rallied outside.

Supporters of the lawsuit felt that the laws in question were an overreach of state power and worried that it would inhibit the federal government from deporting people with criminal convictions.

Critics said they worried that allowing local police to work closely with federal immigration officials, which the laws limit, would create less safe communities because immigrant victims or witnesses wouldn’t call the police.

Many accused Gaspar of bringing the issue to a county vote to gain media attention for her campaign to take the Congressional seat of Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Vista.”

…..Continue reading more @ U-T San Diego

 

Jerry Brown Blames ‘Low-Life Politicians’ for ‘Sanctuary State’ Backlash

|| Breitbart

“California Governor Jerry Brown blamed “low-life politicians” for a growing backlash against the “sanctuary state” policies he has enacted in his state during an appearance at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, on Tuesday.

Brown spoke as a revolt continues to spread throughout Southern California against the state’s sanctuary laws in the wake of a Department of Justice lawsuit filed last month against the Golden State’s “sanctuary” laws.

The lawsuit seeks to invalidate three state laws — the Immigrant Worker Protection Act (HB 450), the Inspection and Review of Facilities Housing Federal Detainees law (AB 103); and the California Values Act (SB 54) — under the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

Roughly a dozen local governments have joined the revolt, and many more are considering joining the lawsuit, with three new cities climbing aboard last week.”

….Continue reading more @ Breitbart

San Diego Schools Secretly Partner with CAIR on Pro-Islam Programs | Feb 22 2018

Families: Schools secretly teaming with ‘Muslim mafia’ CAIR on ‘anti-bullying’

|| WND

“San Diego school officials insist they have ended their partnership with the Council on American-Islamic Relations to combat bullying and “Islamophobia” among students, but five families who have filed suit over the program contend they have evidence the initiative continues through an informal relationship with the controversial Muslim group

The families filed a motion in the case Tuesday asking for a temporary order to halt the initiative and the San Diego Unified School District’s partnership with CAIR, a group founded by members of the Muslim Brotherhood, according to FBI evidence presented in a Hamas-funding case in which CAIR was named an unindicted co-conspirator.

The families filed a motion in the case Tuesday asking for a temporary order to halt the initiative and the San Diego Unified School District’s partnership with CAIR, a group founded by members of the Muslim Brotherhood, according to FBI evidence presented in a Hamas-funding case in which CAIR was named an unindicted co-conspirator.

As WND reported, the families filed suit in May 2017 against the “anti-Islamophobia” campaign, which was launched the previous month featuring curriculum and materials published by CAIR. FCDF later revised its complaint to focus on CAIR’s radical Islamic origin. The complaint asserted the school district’s partnership with CAIR violated the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause, the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment and California law. Last week, WND reported, a federal judge objected to a reference to CAIR’s terrorist ties in the complaint, saying it was “impertinent, immaterial and scandalous,” designed only to “inflame the public.”

The program, the families argued, singled out Muslim students for special accommodations and called for changes to school curricula to make it more favorable to Islam. It also allowed CAIR officials into classrooms to teach students about Islam and “how to be allies” to Muslim students.

‘The true faith, Islam’

The influence of Islam in public schools has become a nationwide issue.

In May, in Groesbeck, Texas, a couple moved their sixth-grade daughter to a new school after they discovered her history homework assignment on Islam.

In late March, as WND reported, a middle school in Chatham, New Jersey, was using a cartoon video to teach the Five Pillars of Islam to seventh-grade students, prompting two parents to obtain legal services to fight the school district, which has ignored their concerns.

Teaching the five pillars of Islam also created an uproar in Summerville, South Carolina, and in Loganville, Georgia, last year.

WND also reported in March a high school in Frisco, Texas, has set up an Islamic prayer room specifically for Muslim students to pray on campus during school hours. The same type of prayer rooms have been set up in high schools in St. Cloud, Minnesota, and other school districts.

In 2015, parents in Tennessee asked the governor, legislature and state education department to investigate pro-Islam bias in textbooks and other materials.

WND reported in 2012 ACT for America conducted an analysis of 38 textbooks used in the sixth through 12th grades in public schools and found that since the 1990s, discussions of Islam are taking up more and more pages, while the space devoted to Judaism and Christianity has simultaneously decreased.

….Continue reading more @ WND

Gov Moonbeam Tries to Move Sanctuary State Law Forward || Sep 13 2017

California’s Sanctuary State Law Is Moving Forward

|| Hot Air

“Monday California Governor Jerry Brown reached an agreement with California Senate leader Kevin de León which will make California a “sanctuary state.” The bill, known as SB54, is designed to create a legal wall of sorts between illegal immigrants and U.S. immigration authorities.

s originally submitted by de León earlier this year the bill would have prevented ICE from interviewing people about their legal status in the state’s jails and prisons, even if they had been arrested for a violent crime. However, strong opposition from state law enforcement officials had an impact. In March Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones told reporters, “If SB 54 passes, it will allow dangerous, violent career criminals to slip through the cracks and be released back into our communities.”

Governor Brown apparently heard those complaints and convinced de León to water down his original version of the bill in exchange for his guarantee he would sign it. The Mercury News reports on what the bill does and doesn’t allow:

The latest version of Senate Bill 54 would allow federal immigration officers to interview people in custody — though they can no longer have permanent office space in jails, according to information provided by Senate Leader Kevin de León’s office, who wrote the bill. The changes also would exclude state prisons from many of the requirements and would expand the list of crimes that would be exempted from some of the bill’s key provisions, amendments sought by some law enforcement groups as well as Brown…

SB 54 still prohibits law enforcement officers from asking people about their immigration status, participating in border-patrol activities, arresting people on civil immigration warrants, or acting as deputized immigration enforcement agents.

It still would restrict the ability of California law enforcement officers to notify federal immigration agents about the immigration status of some detainees or to transfer some inmates into federal custody. But in a concession to law enforcement, a longer list of crimes would be exempted from those restrictions, such as felony assault convictions within the previous 15 years.

The Hill adds that the bill “would also require California schools, hospitals, libraries and court houses to restrict enforcement of federal immigration laws on their premises.” All of this is being done to block what is seen as increased deportation activity by ICE under the Trump administration.”

….Continue reading more @ HotAir

 

San Diego Hepatitis A Outbreak Deaths Reach Sixteen To Date

|| Union-Tribune San Diego

“San Diego County’s hepatitis A outbreak shows no signs of slowing, according to the latest update released Tuesday by the county Health and Human Services Agency.

The outbreak’s death total rose to 16 — one more than last week’s total. The number of confirmed cases reached 421, up 23 from last week. The number of hospitalizations also pushed higher, reaching 292 from 279 the week before.

New numbers came one day after a city of San Diego contractor began a new sidewalk and street cleaning campaign that has workers using high-pressure sprayers to scour sidewalks with bleach-infused water capable of killing the hepatitis A virus.

The county declared a local public health emergency on Sept. 1, enhancing an ongoing vaccination campaign with the installation of hand-washing stations in locations where homeless residents, who have been hit hardest by the outbreak, gather.

Hand hygiene is a focus of the public health effort to stem the outbreak because the virus can spread when people don’t wash their hands well enough after going to the bathroom and then share food, drink, drugs, have sex or other close contact with an uninfected person.

In recent weeks, public health officials have said that, because the incubation period for hepatitis A ranges from 15 to 50 days, it may take several more months for any positive effects of the current sanitation campaign to be obvious.

The symptoms of hepatitis A infection, which do not appear in all cases, include: fever, fatigue, nausea, loss of appetite, yellowing of the eyes (jaundice), stomach pain, vomiting, dark urine, pale stools and diarrhea.

Infection can be prevented through vaccination. Though most recover with little or no treatment, a hepatitis A infection can be fatal for those with pre-existing liver damage and other health conditions.

On Wednesday, Mayor Kevin Faulconer has scheduled a news conference to give details about locating multiple large tent structures that could give temporary shelter to hundreds of people living on the streets.

The industrial tents will include beds, showers, restrooms and hand-washing stations.

The mayor’s morning news conference is schedule for the parking lot next to Father Joe’s Villages, which provides services and indoor shelter for the homeless in downtown San Diego. It is unclear whether the parking lot will be a site for one of the tents or how long it will take the city to get the tent program up and running.

The idea of the tents was pushed by San Diego Padres Managing Partner Peter Seidler and chain restaurant operator Dan Shea. They announced in July that they had raised enough money to secure at least two tents, which could accommodate 250 people each.

The city in past years erected temporary tent shelters for the homeless, but that program was abandoned in favor of getting them into permanent housing. That effort has lagged because of a lack of affordable housing and various individuals and groups have urged the city to again provide more temporary shelter until the “housing first” model picks up steam.

A January count of homeless people in San Diego found the population had reached 9,116, a 5 percent increase from last year. Of those, 5,621 were unsheltered, an increase of 14 percent.

The unsheltered population downtown jumped by 27 percent.”

….Continue reading more @ UT San Diego

 

SCOTUS Sides With Trump on Travel Ban over 9th Circuit & other Federal Judges

|| TownHall

“The Supreme Court handed President Trump a win Tuesday when it upheld his ban on refugees from six Muslim-majority countries. The ruling blocked a lower court decision.

Trump’s travel moratorium, which temporarily bars visitors from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, stirred protests across the country earlier this year when it was first implemented. In airports from JFK to Dulles, activists charged the White House with discrimination. The airports themselves were overwhelmed because they were not properly prepared. In its second try, the Trump administration offered more guidance, took Iraq off the list of banned countries and assured those with visas that had already been approved that those documents would not be revoked.

The court will consider the travel ban again on October 10.”

…Continue reading more @ TownHall

 

Cuomo assigns ‘gang prevention’ cops to Long Island schools where MS-13, others thrive

|| NY Daily News

 

“ALBANY — Calling schools “the breeding ground” for dangerous gangs like MS-13, Gov. Cuomo on Wednesday announced state police will be going into schools to combat the problem.

Cuomo during a Long Island appearance said “gang prevention officers” from the State Police will be posted in the 10 Suffolk County schools believed to have the highest incidents of gang-related activity.

Suffolk County has been ravaged murders and violence committed by the Central American-based gang. The situation even resulted in a visit recently by President Trump, who vowed to “destroy the vile cartel MS-13.”

Cuomo said he considers MS-13 “domestic terrorists.”

“They are thugs,” Cuomo said. “They are thugs that have to be stamped out.”

Cuomo said school teachers are not equipped to deal with gang violence, which reinforces the need for a police presence that can work with educators to identify early warning signs of gang activity, interact with students, instructors and the community, and serve as a needed resource.

The State Police will also release a gang awareness curriculum, Cuomo said.”

….Continue reading more @ NY Daily News

 

California State Senate President Pro Tem Kevin De Léon ‘Half My Family’ is Here Illegally | Feb 5, 2017

 

The Foreign Invasion of the USA continues | Aug 28, 2017

23 Chinese Illegal Aliens Caught near Cartel Tunnel at U.S.-Mexico Border

|| Breitbart

“Twenty-three illegal immigrants from China and seven from Mexico used a cartel tunnel to sneak into California. The arrest uncovered an illicit ingress point near a U.S.-Mexico port of entry, revealing the latest structure in a vast network used to smuggle humans and drugs.

The arrest took place in San Diego when U.S. Border patrol agents arrested a group of illegal immigrants who just crossed from Mexico into California, information provided to Breitbart Texas by the U.S. Border Patrol revealed. Some tried to run back to Mexico, triggering a short chase by authorities. While searching the surrounding area near the Otay Mesa international port of entry, agents uncovered a crude opening in the ground with a ladder inside.

In total, authorities arrested 23 Chinese nationals and seven Mexicans. A search of the tunnel did not reveal any narcotics, however as Breitbart Texas has reported, tunnels are a favored method to move illegal immigrants and drugs into the U.S. particularly, on the California and Arizona border areas.

A recently released report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found from 2011 through 2016, 67 tunnels were discovered along the U.S.-Mexico Border. Sixty-two out of the 67 were in the Border Patrol’s Tucson, Arizona, and San Diego, California, sectors–which are known strongholds for the Sinaloa Cartel.”

….Continue reading more @ Breitbart

 

Border agents arrest 12 after smuggling boats spotted near beaches

|| FoxNews5 San Diego

“Federal agents detained a dozen people suspected of entering the country illegally early Thursday after spotting them in the ocean aboard a pair of small fishing boats, headed for landings in Mission Beach and Sunset Cliffs.

The first of the two unsuccessful human-smuggling runs came to light shortly before 2:30 a.m., when a camera operator at the multi-agency Joint Harbor Operations Center on San Diego Harbor spotted a crowded skiff offshore from Belmont Park and notified the U.S. Border Patrol, according to USBP public affairs.

The boat landed near Ostend Court, where 10 people ran onto the beach, officials said. The operator of the boat then re-launched into the sea and headed back to the south.

Within minutes, Border Patrol agents arrived in the area where the migrants had debarked and took them all into custody.

Minutes later, JHOC personnel spotted a second small watercraft just west of Sunset Cliffs. It soon landed near the western terminus of Adair Street. The group then raced up a slope and a set of stairs below the Beach Cliff Villas where federal personnel intercepted and arrested two people and seized the motorboat.

Pictures of the panga-style boats showed the vessels were from Ensenada, which is about 75 miles south of Mission Beach.

The detainees — seven men and five women ranging in age from 19 to 43, one of them from Guatemala and the rest Mexican nationals — were all in the country illegally, according to the Border Patrol.”

…..Continue reading  more @ Fox San Diego

California Refuses to Cooperate with Trump Voter Fraud Commission Yet Sells Voter Info for a price | June 29, 2017

California, Virginia Refuse To Cooperate With Trump Voter Fraud Probe

|| HuffingtonPost

“California and Virginia on Thursday refused to comply with a request from President Donald Trump’s voter fraud commission to provide personal information about registered voters.

California Secretary of State Alex Padilla said in a statement that Trump’s voter fraud commission’s request of personal voting data on every American voter “is a waste of taxpayer money” that aims to ratify a false claim that millions voted illegally. Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe called the probe “politically motivated and silly.”

California, which had more than 19.4 million registered voters as of February, was the first state to announce it will not comply with the commission’s request. Virginia soon followed. Trump’s commission on Wednesday asked all states to provide personal information about registered voters. Trump has claimed, without evidence, that millions voted illegally in last year’s presidential election.

″I will not provide sensitive voter information to a commission that has already inaccurately passed judgment that millions of Californians voted illegally,” Padilla said.

“California’s participation would only serve to legitimize the false and already debunked claims of massive voter fraud made by” Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and Kris Kobach, vice chairman of Trump’s Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, Padilla continued. “The President’s Commission is a waste of taxpayer money and a distraction from the real threats to the integrity of our elections today: aging voting systems and documented Russian interference in our elections.”

….Continue reading more @ HuffPo

 

Sale of Voter Registration Data Raises Questions, Objections

|| NBC San Diego

“If you’re a registered voter, are you aware that what you write on your registration form is publicly available?

“Commercial” interests are barred from that data.

But all sorts of other people have legal access to it.

A lot of people think only government agencies can access voter registration information – the courts, for instance, to summon you for jury duty.

But it can be purchased for purposes such as scholarly and journalistic research, and for use in “elections” and “politics”.

Buyers are only a phone call away from you.

“So I received a phone call and was invited to be paid to share my political opinions,” says Jennifer Armour, a voter registered in the city of San Diego. “And I was told the reason I was being called was because of information that was tied to my voter registration.”

Armour was being solicited for a political focus group — under state law, an appropriate cause to which county voter registrars can sell voter registration information ‘at cost’.

But the telemarketer, whose phone number Armour eventually tracked to a local research firm, wouldn’t tell her who was behind the request.

And that just didn’t seem ‘cricket’.

“The marketing firm that represents a political organization is not the political organization themselves,” Armour said in an interview Thursday. “So that is another entity that was given my information that maybe should not have.”

She filed a complaint with the registrar’s office, where voter forms say your information is protected against “commercial use”.

Purchasers of that data have to fill out forms certifying they’re qualified to receive it.

But ‘gray areas’ seem to abound.

“Those definitions are going to be defined and investigated by the Secretary of State’s office to determine whether or not it meets the letter of the law,” says Michael Vu, San Diego County’s registrar of voters, whose office handled about 160 voter data requests last year.

Voters need not disclose their phone numbers on the registration forms, so that’s one way to ward off calls from telemarketers.

Vu says the last four digits of Social Security numbers and drivers’ licenses are never publicly revealed.

Armour offers this suggestion: “If they just give out a list that has however many voters that are registered in San Diego County and say ‘Have fun looking for the people you’re interested in contacting’ — even that would make me feel a little bit better.”

Changes like that are the province of the Legislature, and no doubt there’d be pushback from various interest groups — especially the folks who send you those election-cycle mailers.”

….Continue reading more @ NBC San Diego

 

 

Alien Invasion: Thousands of Foreigners Registered to Vote (and Voting) in Virginia

|| PJ Media


“Some inside the Beltway are in a froth about foreign influence in our elections.

Yet I’ll wager they won’t say a word about real foreign influence in elections — even when actual evidence exists.

A new report released today documents that in Virginia alone, 5,556 voter registrations were cancelled because of citizenship defects. Many of those cancelled had gotten on the voter rolls despite saying on their voter registration form that they were an alien and not eligible to vote.

Voter history records also show that many thousands of ballots were cast by registrants removed for citizenship defects.

Only Americans should be electing American leaders, but that isn’t happening.

Even worse, the report documents the extensive efforts by state and local election officials to conceal the extent of noncitizen registration and voting.

These efforts include internal emails that revealed an intent to alter public records to hide the full extent of noncitizen cancellations.

The report, titled “Alien Invasion II: The Sequel to the Discovery and Cover Up of Non-Citizen Registration and Voting in Virginia,” notes that the 5,556 removed for citizenship defects in Virginia are only the tip of the iceberg. These 5,556 were only caught by accident after each told a state agency of his or her alien status after previously registering to vote. Had they never provided an inconsistent answer to citizenship status, they never would have been detected.

The report released by the Public Interest Legal Foundation, of which I am president, can be accessed here.

PILF originally asked in 2016 for election records demonstrating registrants removed from the voter rolls for citizenship defects. Under federal law, all list maintenance records are subject to public inspection. You would have thought election officials would be transparent and keen to comply with federal disclosure laws.”

…..Continue reading more @ PJ Media

USCIS Immigration Services does not track illegal voting in USA | June 08, 2017

San Diego State Assoc Dean Calls Republican Party “Extremist terror organization” | June 02, 2017

Associate Dean at SDSU Calls GOP ‘Extremist Terrorist Organization’ On Facebook

|| theGatewayPundit

“Patrick McCarthy, who serves as the Associate Dean of Library and Information Access, made the remark in the comment section of a post by a friend wherein a Newsweek article claimed that the “Right-Wing Extremists Are a Bigger Threat to America Than ISIS”.

Campus Reform writes:

“The Republican Party has become an extremist terrorist organization,” McCarthy asserted, eliciting a rhetorical nod of agreement from another user, who commented that Republicans “would rather save themselves than our country.”

Another user, however, questioned whether McCarthy’s statement is indicative of the opinions he presents in his classes, and suggested that conservative students should be keeping a close on his public remarks.

“You’re an associate dean at SDSU? I hope your CR chapter is watching your statements and actions closely,” the commenter wrote. “If your [sic] making outrageous statements like this in public I can only imagine what you are saying and doing behind the scenes.”

When McCarthy was challenged on his statement, he only pressed further on the direction he had intended, rebutting, “College Republicans and the Republican Party of the United States are separate organizations.”

Campus Reform:

Upon discovering the exchange, SDSU College Republicans President Brandon Jones issued a statement rebuking McCarthy for his comments and demanding that he apologize for defaming conservative students.

“SDSU College Republicans strongly condemn the comments made by SDSU Associate Dean Patrick McCarthy comparing the right-wing conservatives in America to a known terrorist organization (ISIS) who [sic] has killed hundreds, if not thousands of people across the world,” Jones began. “This is intellectually dishonest, especially from an Associate Dean at an institution of higher education. Statements like these inaccurately paint a picture of College Republicans at San Diego State and across the nation.”

McCarthy has since taken his Facebook page down. What a coward!”

….Continue reading more @ TGP

San Onofre Nuke Remains a Problem Even After Kamala Harris | May 09, 2017

As tunnel with nuclear waste collapses in Washington, anger over spent fuel storage intensifies in Southern California

|| OC Register

“Just as activists planned to demand that San Onofre’s spent nuclear fuel be stored farther from the breaking surf, a tunnel containing nuclear waste collapsed at the troubled Hanford waste site in Washington, underscoring the hazards they hope to highlight.

The U.S. Department of Defense, which runs Hanford, evacuated workers closest to the collapse and told others to shelter in place. Responders are on the scene and reporting that the tunnel roof gave way in a 20-foot-by-20-foot area next to the Plutonium Uranium Extraction Facility, also known as PUREX, it said.

“There is no indication of a release of contamination at this point,” the DOD said in an update. “Responders are getting closer to the area where the soil has subsided for further visual inspection.”

The collapse was discovered during a routine surveillance of the area by workers, the agency said. The tunnels are hundreds of feet long, with about eight feet of soil covering them.

Activists in Southern California had planned to demand that the California Coastal Commission revoke the permit it granted Southern California Edison to bury millions of pounds of San Onofre’s spent waste in a “concrete monolith” just yards from the beach, for fear of similar, unanticipated breakdowns. The Commission will meet Wednesday through Friday in San Diego.

“Remarkably, the Coastal Commission says you can’t plant roses in the coastal area because they are non-native plants, but at the same time have approved a nuclear waste dump. Something is very wrong here!” said a statement by Ray Lutz of Citizens’ Oversight Projects in San Diego.

Such concerns will be repeated at the Laguna Hills Community Center on Thursday as well, when the volunteer San Onofre Community Engagement Panel, which advises Edison on San Onofre’s decommissioning, holds its quarterly meeting. The topic: off-site storage of used nuclear fuel.

The CEP will hear updates on potential storage sites in Texas and New Mexico, which could accept spent fuel from San Onofre and other commercial reactors if federal laws are changed. Two officials from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission officials will be on hand as well, and Edison vice president Tom Palmisano will update the crowd on decommissioning efforts.

The CEP meeting begins at 5:30 p.m. at the Laguna Hills center, 25555 Alicia Pkwy.

As more aging reactors shut down, leaving “stranded waste” all over the country, momentum is building for the United States to finally find a solution to its half-century-old nuclear waste problem.

To encourage the development of nuclear power, the federal government promised to accept and dispose of spent nuclear fuel and high-level waste from commercial reactors by Jan. 31, 1998. In return, the utilities operating nuclear plants made quarterly payments into a Nuclear Waste Fund to pay for disposal.

The utilities and their customers pumped about $750 million a year into the fund. But nearly two decades after the deadline once set to solve the problem, the DOE has not accepted an ounce of commercial nuclear waste for permanent disposal.

The nuclear industry sued the DOE and a federal judge said DOE couldn’t charge for a service it not only wasn’t providing but wouldn’t provide for many decades. Utilities across America stopped charging customers the disposal fee in 2014.

Even after spending more than $10 billion on a proposed Yucca Mountain, Nevada, disposal site, the Nuclear Waste Fund has about $36 billion that can go toward development of permanent or temporary storage.

The delays have left plants like San Onofre to figure things out for themselves. A trial was set to start last month over the legality of what has been dubbed a “beachfront nuclear waste dump,” but both sides agreed to sit down for settlement talks.

The likelihood that such talks would result in the immediate removal of the 3.6 million pounds of waste from the bluff overlooking the Pacific are slim, some observers said, as construction of the “concrete monolith” dry-cask storage system on site already is well under way, at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars.

Some hope that officials can be moved to at least store the waste on the inland side of Interstate 5.”

….Continue reading more @ OCRegister

 

President Kamala Harris? She’s making the first moves for Obama 2.0

|| SacBee

“Now’s the time prospective presidential candidates start taking the subtle but crucial behind-the-scenes steps that get them noticed by the political intelligentsia, and Sen. Kamala Harris is quietly following the script.

She’s making speeches to key national constituencies. She’s due for an appearance at a Washington think-tank panel full of chattering-class presidential favorites that the national media will be reporting and analyzing, probably for days. She’s been fundraising for colleagues and making sure that she is forming relationships with key national reporters.

They’re all boxes that prospective presidential candidates routinely check. It’s a chance to ultimately convince insiders they’ve got the gravitas and the fundraising chops to be taken seriously.

The California Democrat, sworn into office four months ago, insists she’s not thinking about a run for president. Her inner circle forcefully tries to tamp down 2020 speculation – after all, there is no upside to being seen as a new senator focused more on national political ambition than on California.

But the speculation is not going away, not with the absence of a clear Democratic presidential frontrunner and the party desperately in search and in need of a new generation of leadership.

“A lot of activists in the party would love to see a new leader step forward,” said Roger Hickey,” co-director of the progressive strategy group Campaign for America’s Future.

Harris is being closely watched.

“Looking forward to see how she performs as a senator, I think that the sky is the limit for her,” said Jaime Harrison, associate chairman and counselor of the Democratic National Committee.

So far, Harris has leaped into the political spotlight with a resume that screams potential presidential material. She’s 52, a generation younger than better-known favorites such as Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts or former Vice President Joe Biden.

“From everything I’ve seen of her she’d be an attractive candidate, she could be a compelling candidate, and I think she’d have a lot of appeal for primary voters,” said Bob Shrum, a senior adviser to the presidential campaigns of Al Gore and John Kerry.”

….Continue reading more @ SacBee

 

Sen. Kamala Harris likely to face lawsuit over California attorney general conduct

|| Washington Examiner

“Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., will likely lose an effort to get a judge to dismiss a lawsuit alleging that she abused her authority as California’s attorney general.

On Wednesday, a San Diego dstrict court judge indicated the allegations likely have enough merit to go to trial.

“At this juncture, given the limited scope the court has to view these allegations … it seems almost inconceivable the court could grant a motion to dismiss,” District Court Judge Conzalo Curiel said, according to Courthouse News.

The lawsuit by Prime Healthcare Services, a national healthcare company, alleges that Harris imposed onerous requirements on its efforts to purchase another healthcare company. Prime claimed that Harris did this to benefit the Service Employees International Union, which was seeking to organize its workers. SEIU had donated to Harris’s 2010 and 2014 campaigns for attorney general as well as her 2016 Senate.

The California attorney general’s office oversees the sale and purchase of nonprofits and their assets. In most cases, the office required that any company purchasing a healthcare provider nonprofit had to maintain the nonprofit’s current level of services for at least five years. Harris expanded that requirement to 10 years in the case of Prime’s attempt to purchase the Daughters of Charity Health System.

Prime contended that the change made the planned $843 million sale “financially unviable” and was done deliberately by Harris to undermine it as part of a “quid pro quo” with SEIU. “The only time Attorney General Harris veered from that pattern (of requiring five years) was with respect to Prime and the 10 years condition for the first time,” said Prime’s attorney John Mills.”

…..Continue reading more @ WashingtonExaminer

 

Recent History |

Kamala Harris Questioned about Conflict of Interest in San Onofre Edison Closure Deal during Senate Debate  |  May 2016

– KPBS

 – Senate candidate and current California Attorney General Kamala Harris was asked her opinion on a recent Public Utilities Commission plan to keep the San Onofre nuclear waste on site for the foreseeable future. Harris declined to answer stating as AG she was representing the CPUC as well as conducting a criminal investigation into the CPUC and the plant closure deal.
    The moderator correctly pointed out that the two issues were not related when Harris let out the bombshell that she was conducting a criminal investigation into the nuclear plant and ‘the conduct that took place there.’
    This appears to the tip of a very large iceberg here. In the middle of her Senate campaign, Kamala Harris faces a huge conflict of interest in a major scandal. The deal ironed out between the CPUC and Edison was clearly illegal, Harris has evidence as the result of a search, and now we find that Gov Jerry Brown is refusing to release emails related to the matter.
 – The San Diego Union-Tribune published an article on the issue the moderator is raising here

 

Gov Jerry Brown Refuses to Release emails and other records related to the backdoor Edison deal that stuck the rate payers with a 3.4 billion bill  |  Why?

– CalWatchDog.com

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“But while the criminal division of the state Attorney General’s Office is pursuing the criminal probe, the civil division of the office is supporting Gov. Jerry Brown in his fight against disclosing emails between his office, the PUC and utilities during the period decisions were being made about how to pay for the costs of closing San Onofre.

Recent coverage of the case in the San Diego media has featured sharp criticism of Harris’ dual role in dealing with the scandal.

“In this case, for the [attorney general] to investigate the communications with the [California Public Utilities Commission] while representing a potential witness who is a potential subject of the investigation is a conflict,” former San Diego County District Attorney Paul Pfingst told KPBS.

“One of the problems with the conflict is it invites the attorney general to narrow the investigation to avoid the conflict,” former San Diego City Attorney Mark Aguirre told the San Diego public broadcasting affiliate.

“If the investigation into the Public Utilities Commission involves the nuclear power plant, and that is something that’s the subject of the governor’s emails they are trying to keep secret, then I think there is a conflict,” Georgetown University law professor Paul F. Rothstein told the Union-Tribune. “The Attorney General’s Office should probably turn over one or the other of these cases to an independent counsel.”

“Government works best when it shines light on problems, not seeks to keep the public in the dark,” University of San Diego law professor Shaun Martin told the newspaper, criticizing Harris for helping efforts to keep public records from being released to the media.”

…Continue reading @ Calwatchdog.com

Attorney general Kamala Harris’s predictable “malpractice”

– San Diego Reader

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Statute of limitation runs out on San Onofre investigation
“On March 26, 2013, an executive of California Edison, Stephen Pickett, had a clandestine meeting with Michael Peevey, then president of the California Public Utilities Commission, at a hotel in Warsaw, Poland.

At this meeting, Peevey sketched out a strategy for Edison (majority owner of the now-shuttered San Onofre power plant) and San Diego Gas & Electric (minority owner) by which they could pass on the decommissioning costs of closing San Onofre to ratepayers, who had nothing to do with the mismanagement that led to the shutdown. Later, the commission approved a deal, which was very similar to what Peevey had suggested in Warsaw: ratepayers would pick up the tab for a whopping $3.3 billion. (Edison and SDG&E already had among the highest utility rates in the nation.)

The state attorney general’s office investigated and recovered the notes from that Warsaw meeting. Those notes were a smoking gun for obstruction of justice. But skeptics guffawed: attorney general Kamala Harris was running for the U.S. Senate. She wouldn’t dare cross Peevey pal and fellow Democratic governor Jerry Brown — whose sister Kathleen has been on Sempra Energy’s board of directors since 2013. (Sempra is the parent company of SDG&E.) The skeptics doubted that Harris would actually pursue a prosecution.

The skeptics were right.

Last month, the three-year period of the statute of limitations ran out. Unless the attorney general’s office investigates another angle on this case, Peevey, Edison, and Brown will skate. Harris did the same in the case against San Bruno, which suffered the destruction of a neighborhood and several deaths from an explosion that Pacific Gas & Electric will have to throw some money in the pot for. At least, in the San Bruno case, federal investigators have moved in. But “the feds are missing in action” on San Onofre, says San Diego attorney Mike Aguirre.

“For her to let the statute go is malpractice,” says Aguirre.

Harris has not put anything close to sufficient firepower on the case, as she has stalled it to advance her own political career. Since that Warsaw meeting, the legislature has passed bills to reform the utilities commission. Brown vetoed them.

Meanwhile, Aguirre and his law partner Maria Severson are fighting the San Onofre battle and have not been able to get copies of emails that are essential to the case.”

….More @ The Reader