Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Tuesday Must Reads: Whistleblower Files Complaint Over Gov. Brown’s Oil Demand; UC Pushes Forward with Plan to Up State Student Enrollment

By Robert Gammon
Tue, Nov 10, 2015 at 9:55 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

click to enlarge jerry_brown.jpg
1. A state regulator has filed a whistleblower complaint over being ordered to conduct a special analysis for Governor Jerry Brown on the possibility of drilling for oil on his family ranch in Northern California, the AP reports. The oil and gas regulator, Jennie Catalano, said she faced retaliation after she complained about having to conduct the analysis for the governor, according to her attorney. The Brown administration has maintained that the work done for the governor was routine and didn’t violate state laws that prohibit public officials from using public resources for personal gain. But oil industry executives and former state regulators say they know of no other similar situation in which the state has provided the type of detailed analysis that Brown received. Regulators also said Brown became angry when an underling put the governor’s order in writing in the form of an email.

2. UC President Janet Napolitano is pushing forward with her plan to increase enrollment of California students by 10,000 over the next three years, the SacBee$ reports. The UC system has come under heavy criticism for increasing the number of out-of-state students who pay higher tuition in recent years to close funding gaps. Under Napolitano’s plan, the UC system would up enrollment of state students by 5,000 next fall — and another 2,500 during each of the following two years. The plan would qualify UC for $25 million in extra funding from the legislature.

3. SeaWorld announced that it plans to end its controversial shows involving orcas at its San Diego amusement park, the LA Times$ reports. But animal rights activists note that SeaWorld still plans to keep the wild animals in enclosed water tanks for spectator amusement.

4. The California Supreme Court let stand a lower ruling that requires so-called “dark money” groups — nonprofits that engage in political campaigns but refuse to reveal their donors — to disclose the identities of their contributors to the state Attorney General’s Office, the AP reports (via ABC). However, the attorney general will not be allowed to publicly disclose the information.

5. And the Obama administration plans to ask the US Supreme Court to overturn an appellate court ruling that blocked the president’s executive order to allow 5 million undocumented immigrants to stay in the country while they obtain work permits, the LA Times$ reports.

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