Category Archives: Politics

Women Hoping For Change At California Capitol When It Comes To Sexual Harassment

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — New claims of sexual harassment continue to rattle the state Capitol. More women in politics are coming forward with disturbing accusations. They’re a few of California’s most powerful female lobbyists, making headlines from coast to coast for calling out sexual harassment in the highest levels of state government. “We shouldn’t be ashamed about this,” said Adama Iwu. Adama Iwu, a lobbyist for Visa, was inspired by the women who came forward with stories of sexual abuse by Harvey Weinstein, and those using the “me too” hashtag. She penned a detailed letter, published in the Los Angeles Times, about her own ordeal. “A colleague who had too much to drink came up to me and just was obnoxious… I finally push him away, and look at my other colleagues and said, how did you miss that?” she said. More than 140 women signed on to the op-ed, with one message: “We’re done with it,” said Iwu. Now hundreds of other government employees, from legislators to staffers are breaking their silence too, from California to Washington D.C., sparking a new movement, “we said enough,” and a website where victims are encouraged to share their stories anonymously, and without naming names. “There very well would be political and career ramifications for women who did that at this time,” said Samantha Corbin. Samantha Corbin runs a Sacramento lobbying firm. She says her focus now is changing the culture at the Capitol. And that starts when women can complain confidentially without fear of retaliation; being demoted or, in many cases, blacklisted. And, she says, when the right people are held accountable. “Particularly as men are allowed to remain in their positions after being repeat offenders. You certainly don’t want to repeat a conservation with someone who’s sexually harassed you,” she said.

Sonoma Sheriff Rips Immigration Official’s Statement On Arson Arrest

SONOMA COUNTY (CBS13) — The sheriff of a county devastated by some of the worst wildfires the region has seen has issued a scathing statement after a statement from federal immigration officials. Sonoma County Sheriff Rob Giordano called the Immigration and Customs Enforcement statement “inaccurate [and] inflammatory.” The statement in question was sent out on Wednesday, a day after conservative news site Breitbart incorrectly linked massive wildfires that have devastated wine country to a man who was arrested a week after the fires started. RELATED: Sheriff Refutes Breitbart Report Linking Wine Country Fires To Illegal Immigrant The controversy revolves around the arrest of Jesus Gonzalez on Sunday. An article published on Tuesday at Breitbart directly linked Gonzalez to the devastating wildfires started that started a week earlier and killed dozens. That same day, the sheriff came out and refuted the story, saying Gonzalez’s arrest was not linked to the fires. On Wednesday, ICE released a statement from Acting Director Thomas Homan entitled “Statement from ICE Acting Director on Sonoma County’s repeated releases of dangerous criminal alien:”
“Once again, a non-cooperative jurisdiction has left their community vulnerable to dangerous individuals and preventable crimes. ICE lodged a detainer against Jesus Gonzalez with Sonoma County jail officials on October 16, following his arrest on felony charges for maliciously setting fire to a property. This is especially troubling in light of the massive wildfires already devastating the region. Over the past year, ICE has lodged detainers against Mr. Gonzalez after four separate arrests by Sonoma County on various felony and misdemeanor charges. ICE was never notified of Mr. Gonzalez’ various releases. Additionally, Mr. Gonzales has been returned to his home country of Mexico on two separate occasions. The residents of Sonoma County, and the state of California, deserve better than policies that expose them to avoidable dangers. Non-cooperation policies – now enshrined in California state law – ensure only one thing: criminals who would otherwise be deported will be released and left free to reoffend as they please.”

The statement comes after California declared itself a sanctuary state under a bill signed by California Gov. Jerry Brown earlier this month. Federal immigration officials have been vehemently opposed to any form of legislation they believe impedes their ability to carry out their duty, and Wednesday’s statement made that abundantly clear. However, as Giordano pointed out on Thursday, Cal Fire is investigating the cause and has not indicated arson as a cause. He says Gonzalez was arrested in Maxwell Farms Park on Sunday on an arson charge and a misdemeanor drug warrant. Gonzalez had been seen by deputies sleeping in the same park, and he told deputies he lit the fire to stay warm. Temperatures on Sunday dipped into the low 40s. Giordano says the ICE detainer wasn’t signed by a judge, and federal courts have held such detainers unconstitutional. He said if he was presented a legal warrant, he “would be happy” to hold the person in question. Gonzalez is still being held at Sonoma County Jail on $200,000 bail for his charges and made his first court appearance on Wednesday. Giordano also pointed out the multiple arrests for Giordano were minor misdemeanors. Wildfires throughout wine country and Northern California have done well over $1 billion in damage and claimed more than 40 lives.

Democratic Divisions In California Hamper Party’s Chances For Gains

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Democrats are at war with themselves in California, where restless activists are challenging party leaders to resist all things President Donald Trump and move further left on health care, the minimum wage and populist issues. The conflict could complicate Democratic hopes of winning as many as nine congressional seats in the state, a cluster that would go a long way toward helping the party grab the House majority in next year’s midterm elections. The Republican civil war has been on full display, with forces aligned with former White House adviser Steve Bannon challenging the GOP establishment and incumbent lawmakers. In California, where Democrats control all levers of power in state government and no Republican has won a statewide election since 2006, the party is feuding over who is doing a better job resisting Trump. Republicans see a political advantage, arguing Democratic candidates will barrel too far left to win right-leaning seats currently held by the GOP. “You take what is a very unlikely scenario of victory and make it an impossible scenario of victory,” said former Orange County Republican Chairman Scott Baugh, who is considering a possible run in the 48th Congressional District. However, Baugh said challenging incumbent 15-term GOP Rep. Dana Rohrabacher “is not part of my thinking now.” Democrats counter that whatever discord exists is a symptom of unprecedented energy that will help them next year, but acknowledge they’re in new territory. “I’ve never seen the type of grassroots political activity I’ve seen since the election,” said Mike Levin, one of several Democrats – all of whom back single-payer health care – vying to face vulnerable GOP Rep. Darrell Issa in San Diego’s northern suburbs. “I’ve grown up here and I think we’re just going to have to wait and see. All I can do is talk about our priorities.” The headline-grabbing challenge to the Democratic establishment from the left is in the Senate race. State Senate leader Kevin de Leon is running against five-term Sen. Dianne Feinstein, pressing for fiercer resistance to Trump. Backers of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders have fumed that the Democratic-controlled state legislature balked at embracing single-payer health care this year, while an activist backed by Sanders’ loyalists almost captured the state Democratic Party’s top job. Hillary Clinton handily won California’s Democratic primary last year, but even state politicians who embraced her, like de Leon, now sound more like Sanders. For decades, older and more centrist liberals like Feinstein, 84, and Gov. Jerry Brown, 79, have dominated the landscape, creating a backlog of Democrats eager to climb the electoral ladder. Trump’s presidency has shocked the immigrant-friendly, majority-minority state, and liberals have tough demands. “People are saying, ‘why are you fighting Democrats, you really should be fighting Republicans?’ In California, that’s not the case,” said Eddie Kurtz, president of the liberal group The Courage Campaign. California’s unusual open primary in which all candidates run on a single ballot has frustrated some liberals because it can favor more centrist candidates like Feinstein. This allows the state’s dwindling number of Republican voters to join moderate Democrats and ensure Feinstein makes the November runoff with whoever challenges her from the left. In California’s 2016 runoff for Senate, both candidates were Democrats. A similar situation could help California Democrats in 2018 because Republicans may stay home without candidates at the top of the ticket. But while there may be little danger to Democrats’ Senate prospects in California, some Republicans argue that down-ballot challengers aren’t helping themselves by veering left. Four of the targeted GOP House members’ seats, including Issa’s, stretch into once-famously conservative Orange County, which Clinton became the first Democrat to carry in a presidential race last year. California’s competitive House districts are clustered in the affluent but rapidly diversifying suburbs between Disneyland and downtown San Diego and in its agriculture-heavy central valley. At the northern end of that valley, in the politically moderate suburbs of Sacramento, one of the state’s few vulnerable Democrats in Congress, Rep. Ami Bera, is being challenged by a 30-year-old lawyer and Sanders supporter, fellow Democrat Brad Westmoreland, as well as a Republican former Marine. At a forum last month attended by six Democratic challengers in the 10th District to the south – a seat held by Republican Jeff Denham – several candidates repeatedly echoed themes from Sanders’ 2016 outsider campaign. “If you work for a wage or a salary, you are getting railroaded by the economic system that has taken hold over the last 40 years,” said candidate Mateo Morelos Bedolla, who faulted national Democrats for focusing too much on presidential fundraising while the party “abandoned” working people. Liberals argue that candidates backing a true progressive agenda will do well, regardless of the district in which they run. Indeed, that argument could be stronger in a state like California. National Nurses United, one of the strongest backers of Sanders’ presidential candidacy, is already supporting Democratic challengers in three of the targeted congressional districts. Single-payer is “a litmus test” for the union, said its political director, Kenneth Zinn. “We have a growing mass movement of people who are not content to have elected leaders adopt half-measures that do not accomplish the goal” of providing health care for all, Zinn said. Copyright 2017 The Associated Press.