CVIndependent

Sat11252017

Last updateWed, 27 Sep 2017 1pm

Politics

13 Jun 2017
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Judy Deertrack and Robert Stone—both of whom have declared their intent to run for the Palm Springs City Council—recently disclosed that they were informants to the FBI regarding the Palm Springs City Hall corruption case. The case has resulted in bribery charges in connection with downtown development against former Mayor Steve Pougnet and developers John Wessman and Richard Meaney. In total, Deertrack, who is an urban lawyer, and Stone, a real estate broker and author, say they invested about 7,000 hours into collecting more than 10,000 pages of documentation. According to Stone, he called the U.S. Attorney on the morning of April 10, 2015. “That afternoon, I received a return phone call from Joseph Widman, U.S. attorney for Riverside County,” Stone said. “He informed me…
15 May 2017
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FBI Director James Comey was speaking to federal agents when news of his firing flashed across the television behind him. The regime blamed new Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and cited Comey’s treatment of the Clinton email investigation—as if daring us to pretend they are telling the truth. More than 200 people arrested en masse on Inauguration Day are now facing decades in jail. Authorities issued search warrants and slapped others, like Dylan Petrohilos, with conspiracy charges after the fact. “Prosecuting people based on participation in a public protest,” Petrohilos said, “seems like something that would happen in an authoritarian society.” Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from anything having to do with the investigation into Russian collusion with the Trump campaign after he was…
12 May 2017
Days after Tim Grayson won election to the Assembly, a Sacramento lobbyist greeted him at a reception with sheepish congratulations. Her client had supported his opponent during the campaign, the lobbyist explained, but now that he’d won, she told him she wanted to move past the election and forge a good working relationship. Oh and by the way, did he need any money to cover costs from the campaign? “Make-up money” is what it’s called in Sacramento—the contributions that flow to newly elected officials from interest groups that backed a losing candidate during the campaign. It’s a completely legal way of saying, in political terms, “Let’s kiss and make up.” Grayson has not taken advantage of the offer; campaign statements to date show no contributions…
07 Feb 2017
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SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters)—The California Public Employees’ Retirement System should maintain its investments in the controversial Dakota Access oil pipeline project in order to exert influence over the companies involved, staff for the largest U.S. public pension fund said on Monday, Feb. 6. Proposed state legislation would require CalPERS, a $300 billion fund, to divest from companies involved in the building and financing of the 1,168-mile-long underground pipeline project, which would affect an estimated $4 billion in CalPERS holdings, according to staff. CalPERS staff said that while divesting stocks of companies involved in the project may reduce stakeholder perception that the fund’s investments contribute to climate change, the move would limit CalPERS ability to change corporate behavior through engagement. “There is considerable evidence that divesting is…
28 Jan 2017
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The teams of President Trump’s temporary appointees who are laying the groundwork for taking over and remaking federal agencies refer to themselves as “beachheads” or “beachhead teams.” That’s a military term for the point of invasion. Politico reports there were approximately 520 members of such teams when Trump took the oath of office. In any presidential transition, there will be tensions between career civil servants and political appointees pushing a new president’s agenda—but according to experts on the matter, this administration’s use of the term may exacerbate those relations. The term was offhandedly used in 2000 by George W. Bush’s incoming press secretary, Ari Fleischer. It was central to the language of Mitt Romney’s 2012 transition plan, which was provided to the Trump team. But…
26 Oct 2016
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Indio is the Coachella Valley’s largest city—and faces complex challenges due to the fact that it’s the home of Coachella, Stagecoach and Desert Trip. In this year’s city election, seven people are running for two seats on the Indio City Council: Incumbents Glenn Miller and Lupe Ramos Watson, and challengers Joan Dzuro, Gina Chapa, Sam Torres, Jackie Lopez and Noe Gutierrez. Joan Dzuro (right), a retired human resources consultant, cited a lack of both redevelopment funds and a concise plan for redevelopment as problems in Indio, due in large part to the state of California dissolving all redevelopment agencies back in 2012. “One of the challenges that we have is the loss of the redevelopment funds,” Dzuro said. “… When those funds were removed by…
23 Oct 2016
As Election Day 2016 approaches, a heated debate among City Council candidates is disrupting the tranquility of La Quinta, the self-anointed “Gem of the Desert.” One issue fueling the controversy is the proposed 1 percent sales tax increase known as Measure G, placed on this year’s ballot by unanimous vote of the City Council. Another issue: the proposed CV Link project. The two mayoral candidates—incumbent Linda Evans and challenger Paula Maietta, a retail-marketing business specialist and 30-year La Quinta resident—have opposing views on just about all of the important issues. Regarding Measure G, Evans told the Independent in a recent interview”: “I supported putting Measure G on the ballot, and I am in support of the need for that 1 percent increase. That’s largely due…
27 Sep 2016
All five candidates for the three Palm Desert City Council seats up for election this year, not surprisingly, say they’re proud of their mid-valley city. All agree that the city’s wide roads, pleasant parks, good schools and upscale neighborhoods are virtues that continue to make Palm Desert an attractive destination for tourists and new residents alike. However, the city is facing fiscal and developmental challenges that could threaten the future growth and fiscal stability of Palm Desert. The Independent spoke with each of the candidates and discussed their concerns, their priority issues if elected, and their views on Measure T. The only city measure on this November’s Palm Desert ballot, Measure T calls for a 2 percentage-point increase—from 9 to 11 percent—in the city’s transient…