Thursday, September 30, 2010

Thursday Must Read: Whitman Maid Scandal and Latino Voters; More Polls Show Boxer with Strong Lead

by Robert Gammon
Thu, Sep 30, 2010 at 7:03 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Allegations that Meg Whitman knowingly employed an illegal immigrant housekeeper and then fired her when she launched her bid for governor promises to further damage the ex-CEO’s chances with Latino voters. At a tearful news conference yesterday, the maid, Nicandra Diaz Santillan, alleged that Whitman exploited her and had received several notices from the Social Security Administration raising red-flags about Diaz’s immigration status. Whitman acknowledged employing Diaz for nine years, but said she never received the notices and didn’t learn that Diaz was an illegal immigrant until just before firing her in 2009. Diaz’s attorney, Gloria Allred, told the Mercury News that she will release more “evidence” today. Either way, pictures of the weeping Mexican immigrant will surely damage Whitman’s standing with Latinos. Throughout the campaign, Whitman has called for a crackdown on employers who hire illegal immigrants.

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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Cal Cuts Teams, One in Five Athletes Affected

by Madeleine Bair
Wed, Sep 29, 2010 at 12:27 PM

One hundred and sixty-three athletes can now join the ranks of angry Cal students who feel they are getting less for more out of their UC education. Chancellor Robert Birgeneau announced on Tuesday a drastic trimming of the UC Berkeley Athletic Department. As of the next school year, intercollegiate women’s lacrosse, men’s and women’s gymnastics, baseball, and rugby (both male teams) will be relics of the school’s history.

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Door Opened for Perata to Buy Oakland Mayor's Race

by Robert Gammon
Wed, Sep 29, 2010 at 10:42 AM

A new legal opinion from the Oakland City Attorney’s Office will effectively allow ex-state Senator Don Perata to exceed the city’s spending cap in the mayor’s race and not have to worry about potential consequences until well after the election. The opinion, coupled with the city’s cumbersome process for investigating campaign finance violations, also likely means that voters won’t know for sure whether Perata has broken any laws until after they’ve cast their ballots.

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Wednesday Must Read: Brown Wins Debate, But Will It Matter?; Cal Axes Five Sports

by Robert Gammon
Wed, Sep 29, 2010 at 7:02 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Jerry Brown appeared to win last night’s debate with Meg Whitman, but because of low expectations for the ex-eBay CEO, it’s not clear whether the event changed voters’ minds. The Chron described Brown “as fiery, focused, and at ease,” and noted that Whitman looked “over-rehearsed.” But Sacramento Bee columnist Dan Walters pointed out that Whitman appeared to “hold her own” because she didn’t run away from questions as she has done for much of the past year. In short, expectations matter. Brown may have won the debate, but he was supposed to. And Whitman may have performed better than people thought she would.

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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Perata Spreads Falsehoods About Oakland Police Union

by Robert Gammon
Tue, Sep 28, 2010 at 11:52 AM

Ex-state Senator Don Perata has been spreading false information about the Oakland police union’s pension deal with the city. On the campaign trail and in the official ballot argument against Measure X, the $50 million parcel tax measure, Perata has asserted that there is no deal for cops to pay 9 percent of their pensions if the measure passes. But in an interview today, Oakland police union President Dom Arotzarena said Perata is wrong. “There is a deal,” Arotzarena said. “I sat through the negotiations myself. There’s a signed deal. I even had a vote from the entire membership.”

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Mountain Lion Seen in Kensington

by Anneli Rufus
Tue, Sep 28, 2010 at 9:41 AM

A mountain lion has been spotted in lower Kensington.

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Oakland Writer Wins "Genius" Grant

by Anneli Rufus
Tue, Sep 28, 2010 at 8:20 AM

Oakland author Yiyun Li has just been named a recipient of the 2010 MacArthur "Genius" Grant.

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Tuesday Must Read: California Runs Out of Execution Drug; PG&E Lost Power Before Blast

by Robert Gammon
Tue, Sep 28, 2010 at 6:52 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. California’s first execution in nearly five years has been delayed until Thursday night and may be put off until early next year because the state is running out of the lethal injection drug sodium pentothal, the Chron reports. It turns out that state officials had scheduled the execution of Albert Greenwood Brown for tonight because the sodium pentothal on hand expires Thursday. But a federal appeals court said yesterday when granting a delay of Brown’s execution that the timing of his death should not be dependent on the availability of a drug. If Brown is not put to death on Thursday, then he may not be executed in until early 2011 when more sodium pentothal will be available.

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Monday, September 27, 2010

Monday Must Read: Brown and Boxer Extend Leads; PG&E’s Pipes Leak a Lot

by Robert Gammon
Mon, Sep 27, 2010 at 6:55 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Democrats Jerry Brown and Barbara Boxer are widening their leads over Republicans Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina, according to a new LA Times/USC poll. Brown is outpacing Whitman 49 percent to 44 percent, while Boxer has a strong, eight-point advantage over Fiorina, 51 percent to 43 percent. The new poll also shows that President Obama remains popular in California. Voters approve of his job performance, 54 percent to 40 percent.

2. Immigrant bashing by Republicans and Tea Party activists this year also appears to be backfirng for Fiorina and Whitman in California. The LA Times reports that Whitman trails Brown by 19 points among Latinos, while Fiorina is losing to Boxer by a whopping 38 points.

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Saturday, September 25, 2010

East Bay Quintet Steal $6.2 Million from IRS

by Anneli Rufus
Sat, Sep 25, 2010 at 10:55 PM

Five East Bay scammers were indicted by a federal grand jury in Oakland last week on charges that they perpetrated a massive false-tax-returns scheme that netted them $6.2 million from the IRS.

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