The Riggs Report: Sacramento’s drought-driven makeover

Water meters, once unthinkable, are part of the ‘new normal’

California’s persistent drought is getting a lot of national media attention of late. Just this week, the New York Times took a detailed look at the state’s post-recession growth, and how that recovering prosperity is raising questions about how to manage scarce water supplies.

“It is forcing communities to balance a robust demand for new housing with concerns that the drought is not cyclical but rather the start of permanent, more arid conditions caused by global warming,” observed reporter Adam Nagourney.

It’s an updated version of an…

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The Riggs Report: Proposition fever

Huge number of ballot measures cleared for signature-gathering

We’re 15 months away from the November 2016 election, but these are hardly the dog days of summer for the political class.

Business is booming for California activists and consultants who are working to qualify a remarkably long list of proposed ballot measures.

Two measures have already qualified for the ballot in 2016; a measure to repeal the state’s ban on plastic bags and a measure designed to capture the state’s fair share of federal funding for Medi-Cal services. In addition, there is a dizzying array of 34 other…

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The Riggs Report: A budget ghost is retired

$14 billion bond approved by voters is now paid off

Think of it as a ghost of the massive budget crises that dominated California’s Capitol for years. Proposition 57 was approved by voters in March 2004 in order to keep the state from running out of cash to pay its bills. And now, 11 years later, that $14 billion bond is being paid off, and paid off early to boot.

That is significant. State Treasurer John Chiang’s announcement that the debt has been erased a year early means a savings to taxpayers of $60 million in interest payments.…

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The Riggs Report: Who has staying power in 2016?

On the right and the left, some surprises are brewing in the White House race

Donald Trump’s antics have gained him a lot of ink and airtime in recent weeks. And that has translated into early popularity; a new Monmouth University Poll in fact shows Trump leading in New Hampshire over his closest GOP rival, Jeb Bush, by a margin of 2-1.

It seems the more Trump voices controversial comments, such as questioning the war hero record of John McCain, the better he does in polling—which, by the way, has little meaning at this stage of…

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Christie Finance Team

Today, New Jersey, Gov. Chris Christie announced his National Finance Leadership Team for his 2016 Presidential Campaign. Congrats to Jeff Randle for being named a member the National Finance Leadership Team and longtime Randle friend Meg Whitman as a National Finance Co-chair.

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The Riggs Report: Aid-in-dying bill hits religious roadblock

Catholic Church’s opposition stalls controversial measure

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KCRA) —The Catholic Church’s political muscle proved decisive this week in the fate of a hotly-debated bill to allow the dying in California to speed their deaths with physician-prescribed drugs.

SB128 had already passed the Senate. And, significantly, the California Medical Association had gone neutral on the bill, removing its long-held opposition to such measures.

But when the measure reached the Assembly Health Committee, it was apparent to the authors, Senators Bill Monning and Lois Wolk that they didn’t have the votes to go the distance.

Rather than…

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The Riggs Report: Black plate nostalgia

California classic car fans embrace new DMV program

Earlier this year, my phone lit up with an “unknown” number. Against my better judgment, I answered, and I was glad I did.

The call, in fact, was from a woman in Bundaberg, Australia, whose husband had purchased a 1966 Ford Mustang from me a few months earlier. The Mustang was my latest in a string of restoration projects. It turned out that the Australian family, vacationing in California, had seen my ad, had come for a visit, fallen in love with the Vintage Burgundy V8-powered coupe, and bought it…

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The Riggs Report: A career spent defining California

Pollster Mervin Field spent decades taking our measure of political thought

During my years in the newsroom, the Field Poll was a well-known yardstick of how well — or how poorly — political campaigns were faring in California’s public eye. But it was also common for younger staffers to think the name referred to polling work done “in the field,” having no idea the survey’s name referred to its founder.

Mervin Field, who died Monday at the age of 94, started polling Californians in the years just following World War II. He learned his trade from pollster George…

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The Riggs Report: Backing up Bera

Bera occupies one of the most vulnerable House seats in the nation

President Obama needs every friend he can get in Washington right now when it comes to the fight over a new free-trade treaty. That requires providing political cover and support for his allies, especially when those allies find themselves taking withering fire.

Exhibit A is Sacramento-area Congressman Ami Bera, a Democrat, who occupies one of the most vulnerable House seats in the nation. Bera won re-election last year over challenger Doug Ose by only about 1,400 votes—or less than a 1 percent margin, in a race…

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Hannah Marrs Joins Randle Communications

June 3, 2015

SACRAMENTO – Randle Communications (Randle) today announced that Hannah Marrs has joined the team as an account coordinator. In this position she helps develop and support digital public affairs and social media strategies for a variety of clients including the California Hospital Association, California Association of Realtors®, Golden State Water Company and California Trailblazers.

“Hannah brings a unique combination of legislative and social media experience to our firm,” Randle President & CEO Jeff Randle said. “We are pleased to welcome her to the team and know that her knowledge and experience at the state…

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