Not only are Democrats opposing the nomination of Republican Senator Abel Maldonado as the new lieutenant governor — members of his own party aren’t happy about it either. According to the Chron, at least three GOP hopefuls also are eyeing the lieutenant governor’s position in next year’s election and don’t want Maldonado to be able to run as an incumbent. Plus, conservatives aren’t happy with Maldonado’s record as a moderate, particularly his decision earlier this year to break ranks and join the Democrats in a budget compromise.
In yet another attempt to stop the Oakland A’s from leaving town, team boosters plan to present Major League Baseball with a few possible sites for a new ballpark. According to the Chron, the sites include the current Coliseum parking lot; Oak and Third Streets in the Jack London Square district; and the Howard Terminal at the Port of Oakland. The boosters are being led by Doug Boxer, son of a Senator Barbara Boxer. Mayor Dellums also is said to be on board.
First, there was Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums. And now comes the Governator. The IRS has lodged a federal tax lien against Arnold Schwarzenegger for failure to pay $79,000 in back taxes. The lien was first reported last week by the entertainment site TMZ.com. Schwarzenegger originally disputed the existence of the lien when contacted by the media. But then he later acknowledged it, although he claimed the matter was “completely unrelated to the payment of taxes,” which, of course, is a Kafkaesque way of describing a tax issue.
Oakland has reached number three on CQ Press' annual crime rankings for US cities with more than 75,000 residents, reported the Chron's inOakland blog today. This places Oakland behind Camden, NJ and St. Louis, MO — and ahead of Detroit MI, Flint, MI, and New Orleans, LA. It's two steps in the wrong direction from last year, when Oakland was ranked 5th, and one worse than 2007, when it was 4th. The new rankings are based on 2008 crime figures, while last year's were based on 2007. The new rankings also do not reflect the city's 13 percent drop in crime in 2009.
Oakland school board member David Kakishiba has decided not to step down from his post and will serve out the rest of his term, which concludes next year, the Trib reports. Kakishiba had said he was going to resign, following a report by the school district’s new general counsel who concluded that he has a conflict of interest. Kakishiba runs a non-profit that has scored millions of dollars in district contracts over the years for after-school programs.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company wants to renew its operating license at the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant through 2045, the Chron reports. The utility’s twin reactors near San Luis Obispo generate about 20 percent of the electricity used by its customers.
Alameda County prosecutors have decided not to file felony charges against a rowdy BART patron who shattered a glass window after being shoved by a BART cop. Instead, prosecutors charged Michael Joseph Gibson, 37, who suffers from bipolar disorder, with three misdemeanors. BART is investigating whether the officer who pushed Gibson used excessive force as his family and attorney contend.
Democratic state Senate leader Darrell Steinberg is indicating that Republican Senator Abel Maldonado might not win confirmation as lieutenant governor. Governor Schwarzenegger nominated Maldonado to replace John Garamendi after he won election to Congress. But Steinberg said that the position should be left vacant until next year's election to save money. In truth, however, Steinberg and other legislative Democrats are concerned that if the moderate Maldonado is confirmed, he will have a significant advantage in 2010, running as an incumbent.
Home sales jumped nationwide in October for the second straight month, raising hopes that the housing crisis might be over. The Associated Press reports that home resales surged 10.1 percent last month, the largest monthly increase in a decade. Nationally, home sales are up 36 percent since they reached bottom in January.
Cal football coach Jeff Tedford apparently is worth every penny he earns. Not only does he guide the team to lucrative bowl games every year after beating Stanford in the Big Game, but according to the San Jose Mercury News, the football team’s graduation rate has shot up 48 percent since he took over.