“Our California Counts collaborative will host a U.S. Senate debate with California Attorney General Kamala Harris, Rep. Loretta Sanchez, Duf Sundheim, Tom Del Beccaro and Ron Unz 7 p.m. at KPBS in San Diego Tuesday, May 10. The debate will air live on 88.5FM and stream on KQED.org.”
“Homeland Security Sec. Kirstjen Nielsen confirmed on Tuesday that her agency has asked the Justice Department to look into policies that would allow for criminal charges against elected leaders who refuse to enforce federal immigration laws.
During a Senate Judiciary Committee oversight hearing, Nielsen said that a request has been submitted to DOJ for consideration.
“The Department of Justice is reviewing what avenues might be available,” Nielsen told California Sen. Kamala Harris.
Harris had asked Nielsen about comments made recently by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Tom Homan.”
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.”
President Kamala Harris? She’s making the first moves for Obama 2.0
“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.”
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.”
– 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?
“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.”
Attorney general Kamala Harris’s predictable “malpractice”
– San Diego Reader
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.”
‘FAKE NEWS BAN’ California Attacks the First Amendment
“A bill was introduced back on February 17 by the California State Assembly, which attempts to ban “fake news” – a difficult term to define. Wednesday, March 29, saw the bill filed to the Assembly’s Committee on Privacy and Consumer Affairs.
The bill, which would ultimately amend the California Political Cyberfraud Abatement Act, would make it illegal to spread so-called “false or deceptive” information.
The following is a portion of the proposed amendment as it stands:
It is unlawful for a person to knowingly and willingly make, publish or circulate on an Internet Web site, or cause to be made, published, or circulated in any writing posted on an Internet Web site, a false or deceptive statement designed to influence the vote on either of the following:
(a) Any issue submitted to voters at an election.
(b) Any candidate for election to public office.
As previously stated, the term “fake news” is hard to define and given this, the text that makes up the amendment is equally ambiguous and does not in explicit language define what “false or deceptive” information, or statements, are, which would allow for subjective interpretations of the law to be used to discredit or devalue narratives that are counter intuitive to the individual/entity attempting to use the law for some sort of claim.
Another major problem that will undoubtedly arise is the prospect of an individual using social media who wishes to explore political ideologies that could be in stark contrast, or contradiction to, the people who are carrying out the law.
The bill is fundamentally flawed.
A memo attempts to clarify certain aspects of the bill:
This bill will fuel a chaotic free-for-all of mudslinging with candidates and others being accused of crimes at the slightest hint of hyperbole, exaggeration, poetic license, or common error. While those accusations may not ultimately hold up, politically motivated prosecutions—or the threat of such—may harm democracy more than if the issue had just been left alone . . .
At this point in time, it is clear that this bill endangers free speech, it also can be used as a tool by the left to silence opposition in the state of California. The left has been actively attempting to undermine conservative or contradictory thought for far too long and now their efforts are moving toward totalitarian policy measures.”
| Let me get this straight, in a state where identity fraud is rampant, the state is considering adopting a law called ‘Cyber fraud abatement Act’ which does nothing about identity cyber fraud? /CJ
Obama spying looks even worse than Trump claimed
“WASHINGTON – The spying by the Obama administration on then-presidential candidate Donald Trump reportedly was even worse than what he has alleged.
And it had nothing to do with Russia but everything to do with politics.
Sources in the intelligence community claim the potentially illegal revealing of names, or unmasking, of people in the Trump camp who were under surveillance was done purely “for political purposes” to “hurt and embarrass (candidate) Trump and his team.”
The bombshell revelations come from rank and file members of the intelligence community who are fighting back against a stonewall by the leaders at the nation’s spy agencies, according to Fox News.
Reporter Adam Housley said the sources are “not Trump” people but are “frustrated with the politics that is taking place in these (intelligence) agencies.”
And what they have revealed is amazing. Here is what they told Fox:
1) Surveillance targeting the Trump team during the Obama administration began months ago, even before the president had become the GOP nominee in July.
2) The spying on the Trump team had nothing to do with the collection of foreign intelligence or an investigation into Russia election interference.
3) The spying was done purely “for political purposes” that “have nothing to do with national security and everything to do with hurting and embarrassing Trump and his team.”
4) The person who did the unmasking was someone “very well known, very high up, very senior in the intelligence world, and is not in the FBI.”
5) Congressional investigators know the name of at least one person who was unmasking names.
6) The initial surveillance on the Trump team led to “a number of names” being unmasked.
7) House Intelligence Committee chairman Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., has known about the unmasking since January.
8) Two sources in the intelligence community told Nunes who did the unmasking and told him at least one of the names of someone in the Trump team who was unmasked. The sources also gave Nunes the serial numbers of the classified reports that documented the unmasking.
9) It took Nunes a number of weeks to figure out how to see those intelligence reports because the intelligence agencies were stonewalling him, and not allowing the chairman or other people to see them.
10) There were only two places Nunes could have seen the information: where the sources work, which would have blown their cover; and the Eisenhower Executive Office building on the White House grounds, which houses the National Security Council and has computers linked to the secure system containing the reports he sought.
11) Nunes got access to that system on March 21 with the help of two Trump administration officials.
The Wall Street Journal’s Kimberly Strassel reported that the documents Nunes saw confirming the Obama administration spied on the Trump team for months “aren’t easily obtainable, since they aren’t the ‘finished’ intelligence products that Congress gets to see.”
She said there were “dozens of documents with information about Trump officials.”
Strassel also reported there was a stonewall against the Intelligence committee chairman because, “for weeks Mr. Nunes has been demanding intelligence agencies turn over said documents—with no luck, so far.”
She also learned that, along with former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, one other Trump official was unmasked.”
“You need the coercive power of government to say “do this” – Jerry Brown
CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR JERRY BROWN: Tom, you used the phrase “policy, good policy.” But I want to unpack that term a little bit. Inside the policy, you need a law, you need a rule, you need the coercive power of government to say “do this.”
Now, you have to be wise and don’t say something stupid, or try to order something stupid. But the fact is, the regulations supported by the laws drive innovation.”
But a recent piece of legislation introduced by California Assemblyman Ed Chau (D-Monterey Park), “The California Political Cyberfraud Abatement Act or AB 1104 for short, gives the “cow fart” bill a run for its money in terms of its complete idiocy. The bill, filed Wednesday in the Assembly’s Committee on Privacy and Consumer Affairs, would have effectively made it a crime to be wrong on the Internet.
The text of the bill implicated anyone who writes, publishes or even shares news stories that could be false, if those news stories are later found to have had an impact on an election.
As of right now it looks as if the legislation has been pulled after Chau just cancelled a hearing originally scheduled for Monday. Presumably Chau got a little pushback from mainstream media outlets after they realized his bill would effectively ban them, and their fake “Russian hacking” narratives from California.”
Evelyn Farkas Suggests the Russians May Be Behind ‘Fake News’ About Her
“Former Obama official, Evelyn Farkas has come under heavy fire for her March 2nd appearance on MSNBC where she admitted to having a lot of knowledge on the surveillance of Trump and his team. She is now in damage control mode and her nervousness is causing her to make some odd statements.
Evelyn Farkas appeared on MSNBC to defend herself, claiming the recent stories about her knowledge of Trump being wiretapped is fake news and perhaps the Russians are behind it. We are officially in the twilight zone, folks.”
Kamala Harris says Minnesota police wouldn’t have shot Philando Castile if he were white
– LA Times
“California Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris on Wednesday said that Philando Castile, who was shot and killed by a Minnesota police officer during a traffic stop last week, would be alive today had he been white.
Harris, a candidate for U.S. Senate, made the comment to Jake Tapper on CNN.
Tapper noted that Castile had been pulled over by police on 52 separate occasions before the shooting. Tapper asked Harris if she agreed with Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton that Castile’s race factored into why he was shot.
“I think that there’s no question … that based on the facts as I know it that he would not be dead,” Harris said. “That officer perceived him differently.”
Kamala Harris Claims Castile Shot Because He Was Black
“I think that there’s no question that he was … that based on the facts as I know it that he would not be dead if that police officer perceived him differently,” she told Tapper.
Harris spoke on the same day that Fresno police released body cam footage of the shooting death of an unarmed white teenager.
Harris, who is running for U.S. Senate, spoke to Tapper after video emerged of an emotional speech she gave last Friday in which she lost her composure as she described her competing emotions as the state’s chief law enforcement officer on the one hand, and as a black woman on the other.”
– Yet not a single word about Kate Steinle who was murdered in San Francisco by an illegal alien who had been deported five times previously. And not a tearful word about police killing an unarmed white 19-year-old, Dylan Noble in Fresno. By Harris’ logic neither Kate Steinle nor Dylan Nobel would be dead if they were white.
Wait, they were white.
Do white lives not matter to Kamala Harris?/CJ
Body Cam Footage of Cops Who Shot White Fresno Teenager Released
“Fresno police released the “body cam” footage Wednesday of officers who shot and killed an unarmed white 19-year-old, Dylan Noble, during a traffic stop last month.
Noble’s death has sparked outrage in the community, as well as an impromptu protest in which mourners carried signs reading “White Lives Matter,” a reference to the “Black Lives Matter” movement against alleged police racism. The Noble family believes the teenager was “murdered,” and is suing the city.
The video shows officers confronting Noble, guns drawn, as he sits in a pickup truck at a local gas station. Officers tell him to put both of his hands up, but Noble only puts one hand through the driver’s side window. Later, Noble emerges from the truck and is seen raising only one hand, ignoring demands to show both hands as he walks toward police. Two shots are heard, and he collapses in agony. Officers demand that he put both hands above his head, and he is shot two more times on the ground.”
Kamala Harris Questioned about Conflict of Interest in San Onofre Edison Closure Deal during Senate Debate |
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.
No answers, but plenty of platitudes and political evasion. And still now word about that ‘on-going’ criminal investigation at San Onofre Nuclear Plant. Why not?
Is she planning on running out the clock like the Seal Beach Drakkai Murder case, until after the November elections?/CJ
Kamala Harris’ Two Roles – State’s Top Cop and Senate candidate – Leave Dekraai Seal Beach Murder Case in Limbo
– OC Register
Photo: CINDY YAMANAKA, ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
– Kamala Harris’ tv ads claims she fights for the little guy, this case proves that is hardly the case. Having just suffered a major loss in Federal Court, Harris shies away from major murder case in Orange County.
“California Attorney General Kamala Harris is talking a lot these days in her bid to become a U.S. senator, but one subject she’s not mentioning is her complex role in Orange County’s highest-profile criminal case – the penalty phase in the trial of confessed mass murderer Scott Dekraai.
Nearly 16 months after an Orange County Superior Court judge ordered Harris’ office to take over Dekraai’s prosecution, the case remains in limbo.
Two actions – an appeal of the judge’s order and a separate investigation of county prosecutors, both led by Harris’ office – figure to delay the case for years.
Harris’ actions raise the specter that the misuse of jailhouse informants by prosecutors in Orange County could, in a small way, play a role in the state race for Senate.
Dekraai has admitted killing eight people in a 2011 shooting at a hair salon in Seal Beach, the most lethal mass murder in county history.
Last year, as prosecutors and defense lawyers argued whether Dekraai should face the death penalty, Superior Court Judge Thomas Goethals ruled that the Orange County District Attorney should be removed from the case because the office could no longer be trusted to be fair.
Goethals’ ruling came after he determined that local sheriff’s deputies either lied or willfully withheld information about jailhouse informants.
Relatives of Dekraai’s victims say any delay in his punishment means, for them, extended pain and fear.
But while Harris’ roles in the case might be key reasons for the delay, the victims’ relatives blame others for the slow pace of justice.
“The OCDA and the Sheriff’s Department both got greedy on an open-and-shut case,” said Beth Webb, whose sister was killed in the rampage.
“This is going to be in the courts for the next 20 years because of the appeals.”
– The question is continually asked why is Kamala Harris dragging her feet on justice for Californians?
The answer is simple: She is merely running out the clock, so she can leave the legal mess behind in California and with a senate victory snake off to the Washington DC circus./CJ
BUSTED: U.S. Senate Candidate Kamala Harris Got Political Start From Her Connected Boyfriend
“Kamala Harris got her political start as the girlfriend of California Assembly Speaker Willie Brown. She was 29, he was 60 and he helped advance her career with political patronage.
Harris, who is now running for U.S. Senate to replace Barbara Boxer, is now the Attorney General.
Harris’s ties to Brown came up during her bid for San Francisco District Attorney in 2003. San Francisco Chronicle columnist Herb Caen once called Harris “the Speaker’s new steady.” Brown went on to become the first black mayor of San Francisco.
As Brown’s time as speaker drew to a close in 1994, he named Harris to the California Medical Assistance Commission, a job that came with a $72,000 annual salary. Brown had previously appointed her to the state Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board.
She “was described by several people at the Capitol as Brown’s girlfriend,” the Los Angeles Times reported at the time.
Although that job paid nearly $98,000, Harris’ term was set to expire in five weeks when Brown tapped her for the Medical Assistance Commission slot. That body met only monthly and the $72,000 position was not consider a full-time job.
The Brown-Harris affair didn’t last long. She was spotted dating talk show host Montel Williams in 2001, but Brown continued to support her, helping her as mayor to become San Francisco’s first black district attorney over Terence Hallinan, a popular two-term incumbent.
Harris was narrowly elected California’s Attorney General in 2010. The election was widely seen as fraudulent.
Despite voter registration rolls that showed Democrats outnumbering Republicans statewide by some thirteen percent, Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley led Harris by 34,000 votes after more than 7 million were counted. But after provisional ballots were counted, she was declared the winner by approximately 50,000 votes.”
Supreme Court Delivers Huge Blow To EPA’s Ability To Control Private Property
“The U.S. Supreme Court just made it easier for individuals and companies to challenge federal agencies’ authority to regulate private property under federal law — a decision with huge implications for a major Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulation.
Chief Justice John Roberts sided with Hawkes Co., a family-owned business in North Dakota, that wanted to extract peat from wetlands they owned in northern Minnesota. The court said Hawkes could immediately challenge a federal agency’s decision to prevent them from using their private property.
Federal Court Rebukes Atty Gen Kamala Harris on Donor Information Decision
– Wall Street Journal
Free Speech 1, Kamala Harris 0
A federal judge blocks an attempt to disclose conservative donors.
Kamala Harris has been a hero of the left’s campaign to use donor disclosure as a tool of political intimidation. Since 2013 the California Attorney General has been demanding that nonprofits provide unredacted donor names if they want to solicit donations in the state. On Thursday a federal court declared her disclosure requirement an unconstitutional burden on First Amendment rights.
Federal Judge Manuel Real granted a permanent injunction against Ms. Harris in a lawsuit brought by the Americans For Prosperity Foundation. The group, which is affiliated with free-market supporters Charles and David Koch, has argued that as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, it should not be forced to supply the Attorney General with the organization’s IRS Form 990 Schedule B, which contains its donor names.
In his 12-page decision, Judge Real notes that while Attorney General Harris argued that she needed donor disclosure to identify lawbreaking like “self-dealing” or “improper loans,” that was a stretch. “[O]ver the course of trial, the Attorney General was hard pressed to find a single witness who could corroborate the necessity of Schedule B forms in conjunction with their office’s investigations,” the judge wrote.
Ms. Harris claimed the donor disclosure was only for internal purposes and not for public use or to precipitate any targeting of the donors, but the judge didn’t buy that either. Americans for Prosperity discovered 1,400 publicly available Schedule Bs on the Attorney General’s website. “[T]he Attorney General has systematically failed to maintain the confidentiality of Schedule B forms,” the court wrote, a fact that should be considered “of serious concern.”
The First Amendment says “Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech,” and Ms. Harris’s play for donor disclosure would have impermissibly burdened that freedom. During the trial, the judge heard evidence that donors and supporters of Americans for Prosperity have faced harassment and retaliation when their relationship to the group is made public.
The judge is an LBJ appointee who can recall when disclosure was used as a political weapon in the Jim Crow South. “[A]lthough the Attorney General correctly points out that such abuses are not as violent or pervasive as those encountered in NAACP v. Alabama or other cases from that era,” he wrote, “this Court is not prepared to wait until an AFP opponent carries out one of the numerous death threats made against its members.” Amen.”
– The Comments section is especially interesting on this issue. /CJ
Federal Judge Manuel Real Hands down Big Loss for Kamala Harris
“Americans For Prosperity won a huge court victory in California Thursday against that state’s hard-left vindictive attorney general, Kamala Harris. Naturally, the national press is doing what it does when it doesn’t want to cover a story: letting the Politico cover it and then pretending that this suffices.
Harris demanded that AFP provides the section of its not-for-profit Federal Form 990 identifying its donors. Anyone with an ounce of sense knows, despite Harris’s lip service to confidentiality, that her motivation is to have the names leak out so that donors are subject to the kind of public intimidation to which those who supported the pro-traditional marriage Proposition 8 in California were subjected in 2008.
Judge Manuel L. Real in the California District Federal Court forcefully denied that demand (HT Powerline). Deceptive headlines at two of the state’s largest newspapers betrayed clear displeasure with the result.
The San Francisco Chronicle began Bob Egelko’s story with a sore-loser headline:
Koch-run foundation exempt from naming top donors, judge rules
Here is what Judge Real actually wrote:
… After conducting a full bench trial, this Court finds the Attorney General’s Schedule B disclosure requirement unconstitutional as-applied to AFP.
Judge Real didn’t say that AFP is exempt from Harris’s law. He ruled that it is protected by the Constitution, specifically a landmark 1958 Supreme Court ruling which protected donors to the NAACP from having their names disclosed to the State of Alabama. In that ruling, the Court recognized “the vital relationship between freedom to associate and privacy in one’s associations.”
Harris’s goal, again despite denials, is to breach that privacy. Judge Real noted that Harris’s office “has systematically failed to maintain the confidentiality” of such records. Egelko reported AFP’s assertion that “more than 1,400 filings by foundations were publicly available on Harris’ website.”The headline at the story by John Myers at Los Angeles Times was also deceptive:
Nonprofit backed by Koch brothers won’t have to reveal its donors to Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris
Even if Harris were conducting her office honorably, access to donor information would include any number of employees under her command. In this case, given her track record, the headline really should be: “Nonprofit backed by Koch brothers won’t have to reveal its donors to the vast national army of leftist thugs.
“Harris is “the first female, the first African-American, and the first Asian-American attorney general in California.”Her aim is to undo the kinds of protections which ultimately led to the civil-rights progress from which she is now benefitting. Her picture belongs by the word “ingrate” in the dictionary.”
– The real question is why is this story about candidate Kamala Harris being ignored in the middle of a California Senate Primary? This decision and legal rebuke goes to her policies and ultimately to character. /CJ