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The Riggs Report: Twin tunnels & Jerry Brown’s art of persuasion

April 19, 2018

How the governor secured the vote to finance California’s twin tunnels

By now, we know about last week’s closely watched, dramatic vote by the giant Metropolitan Water District of Southern California to keep the controversial twin tunnel project alive with a massive infusion of financing.

Metropolitan agreed to spend nearly $11 billion of the $17 billion project, which has been dubbed the California WaterFix and is designed to facilitate deliveries of water from the troubled Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to the agency’s customers in Southern California.

“This is a historic decision that…

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Mike Gazda Earns Promotion to Director at Randle Communications

SACRAMENTO – Sacramento’s top-ranked public relations and public affairs firm, Randle Communications (Randle), today announced that Mike Gazda has been promoted to the firm’s senior leadership team as a director. Gazda joined Randle Communications in 2013, after 15 years as a communications executive in professional baseball. He helps lead Randle’s public relations practice and specializes in water and electric utility customer education programs.

“Mike is an excellent strategist and media relations expert who has done an exceptional job managing Randle Communications’ utility clients,” Randle President and CEO Jeff Randle said. “We are pleased to recognize Mike’s achievements with promotion…

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The Riggs Report: Trump pokes the California bear

March 1, 2018

President’s March visit to the state will be his first since inauguration

If President Trump follows through on announced plans to visit California later this month, it promises to be a political and media carnival of the first order.

He did not visit last fall, when the disastrous Tubbs Fire swept through Sonoma County, claiming 22 lives and destroying more than 2,800 homes in the city of Santa Rosa alone. It has been tagged as the most destructive wildfire in the state’s modern history.

The president did not visit earlier this…

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The Riggs Report: Remembering Reagan

February 8, 2018

Gov. Jerry Brown designates Feb. 6 as tribute day to former CA governor

Ronald Reagan, the only California governor to be elected president, would have turned 107 years old this week. In tribute, fellow Gov. Jerry Brown, who succeeded Reagan in 1974, issued a proclamation declaring Feb. 6 as Ronald Reagan Day.

“Above all, we remember the man—his irresistible optimism, faith and good humor,” Brown said in a statement released by his office Wednesday. “As a way to honor his memory, I recommend that Californians give as generously as they can to…

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The Riggs Report: Dueling California congressmen

February 1, 2018

The Golden State’s ties to the fight over a classified Russia memo

President Donald Trump made it clear Tuesday night that he’s decided to make public a sensitive memo that alleges bias by FBI agents in the ongoing investigation into Russian efforts to influence U.S. voters in 2016.

“One-hundred percent,” Trump is heard on camera after his State of the Union speech, telling a South Carolina congressman of his intent to declassify the secret document

That decision would directly conflict with Trump’s own Justice Department and FBI Director Christopher Wray, who have argued…

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The Riggs Report: Schwarzenegger tweaks Trump

January 26, 2018

Latest skirmish centers on efforts to expand coastal oil drilling

Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger took to Twitter this week to chide one of his favorite targets, President Trump, on one of his favorite topics: environmental protection.

“Don’t touch California. If you want to drill, do it off Mar-a-Lago,” Schwarzenegger tweeted, followed by, “Our coasts are an economic gold mine. Do not put them at risk.” Schwarzenegger’s feuding with Trump on social media is nothing new, but his message underscores a significant political conflict while raising a fundamental point of fairness.

There could be…

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The Riggs Report: Brown’s last budget

January 11, 2018

Governor’s plan emphasizes saving, not spending

Gov. Jerry Brown was traveling a familiar path this week at the state Capitol when he unveiled his state budget proposal for 2018-19. Instead of spending a healthy general fund surplus, Brown wants to drop $5 billion into the state’s rainy day fund in preparation for the economic downturn that he warned is coming.

“California has faced 10 recessions since World War II, and we must prepare for the 11th,” Brown said in his budget letter to the Legislature. “Let’s not blow it now.”

Here’s…

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40 Under 40: Julie Phillips, Vice President of Public Affairs, Randle Communications

​January 5, 2018

Sacramento Business Journal

After five years with Randle Communications, Julie Phillips was promoted to vice president of public affairs in March. As part of the Randle team, she has helped lead public relations initiatives for such notable events as the unveiling of Golden 1 Credit Union as the naming rights partner of the new downtown sports arena.

In addition, she managed public affair campaigns for legislative races and large trade associations, including the California Hospital Association and the California Manufacturers & Technology Association. Phillips also helped create and lead the company’s digital…

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The Riggs Report: The Capitol’s harassment hangover

​January 4, 2018

Lawmakers return to a charged atmosphere

With 2018 comes the final year of Jerry Brown’s governorship, which is historic in the sense that he will have served longer than any other California governor. And as lawmakers return to the Capitol, they face pressing problems, including the lack of affordable housing, fallout from the federal tax bill signed by President Trump and whether to pursue universal health care.

But right now, lawmakers are faced with the explosive issue of what to do with sexual harassment claims; an issue that has taken on even…

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The Riggs Report: Punishing wildfire victims in California

December 14, 2017

Tax cut bill erases casualty loss deduction

There are a multitude of reasons why Gov. Jerry Brown and his administration have condemned the current tax cut bills being negotiated in a conference committee in Washington as especially harmful to California.

They include eliminating the state and local tax deductions used by one in three residents, hurting the ability to buy homes by capping the mortgage interest deduction and providing disproportionate tax relief for the wealthiest Californians.

But in a letter released Wednesday by Brown’s Director of Finance Michael Cohen, there is…

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