The Riggs Report: Choosing not to chew

New bill tries to divorce baseball from smokeless tobacco

Here’s something for them to chew on at the Capitol—or not. Assemblyman Tony Thurmond, D-Richmond, is carrying a bill that seeks, in effect, to upend a piece of baseball culture by banning chewing tobacco at all of California’s baseball stadiums. The idea? Stop role models from passing on a dangerous habit.

Major League Baseball has been moving to distance itself from the use of smokeless tobacco by players, asking them to keep cans out of sight and to use discretion when they’re indulging in the habit. But the big…

Read More »


The Riggs Report: The candidate who wasn’t

New Senate poll measures strong interest in Condoleezza Rice

Is it true that you always want what you can’t have? That’s certainly one way to interpret this week’s Field Poll of voter choices in the still-developing race to fill the U.S. Senate seat of the retiring Barbara Boxer.

That poll reflects substantial interest in Condoleezza Rice, the former secretary of state and national security adviser who traded national politics for a comfortable academic perch at Stanford University following George W. Bush’s presidency.

Specifically, the Field Poll found that Rice had the strongest showing, among a list of…

Read More »


The Riggs Report: President Obama’s long goodbye

This week’s presidential address a prelude to the 2016 campaign

It’s inevitable. As President Obama enters his final two years in office, attention will turn to questions of his legacy, and more importantly, to the budding contest to determine who will succeed him in the White House.

This week’s State of the Union address served to accelerate that shift. Although the president noted the obvious — that he had no more campaigns to run — his remarks seemed designed to set the stage for the 2016 campaign.

By focusing on the theme of middle class economics, including…

Read More »


Erin Dunlay Joins Sacramento’s Top-Ranked Locally Owned Public Relations and Public Affairs Firm

January 21, 2014

SACRAMENTO – Randle Communications (Randle) today announced that Erin Dunlay has joined the team as a Senior Account Executive. She will play a key role on a variety of accounts with a focus on two prominent public relations clients: University of Phoenix and Golden State Water Company. Dunlay is widely respected for her professional work and community service on behalf of public relations, public affairs and political clients.

“We are excited to welcome Erin Dunlay to the Randle Communications team,” Randle President & CEO Jeff Randle said. “Erin is an accomplished professional, with more than…

Read More »


The Riggs Report: California’s Senate scramble

AG Kamala Harris declares her candidacy this week

Flash! California Attorney General Kamala Harris declared her candidacy this week for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Barbara Boxer. Many political observers see her as the front-runner, although as the only official candidate thus far, doesn’t that follow by default?

Harris, who announced her intentions via social media only a day after Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom publicized his decision not to seek Boxer’s seat, is a formidable candidate. That’s clear. She has two statewide wins under her belt. She has a great story to tell about her role…

Read More »


The Riggs Report: Brown’s UC throw down

Political brawl brewing over tuition tiff

It’s a fascinating confrontation taking shape between Governor Jerry Brown and University of California President Janet Napolitano, a former governor of Arizona. And what’s at stake in this pending showdown is what some believe is a shakedown involving University of California students, their families, and the tuition they are required to pay.

Napolitano is playing budget hardball with Brown, who, with his recent landslide reelection and strong polling numbers, is enjoying a role as the dominant player in Capitol politics.

Napolitano is testing that, having engineered a vote by the Board…

Read More »


The Riggs Report: Defrosting Cuba

Another Cold War chapter is closing

I recently spoke to a California attorney who had just returned from a business trip to Cuba during which he had advised government officials there about streamlining the country’s antiquated court system.

Everything is handled in Cuba by trial, not by settlement, he told me, leaving the court schedules hopelessly backed up. This attorney also described the time capsule nature of Havana, where residents and taxi drivers travel the streets in vintage American cars built in the 1950’s. It’s not a matter of nostalgia, but an economic reality of the U.S. embargo…

Read More »


The Riggs Report: A troubling turnout trend

California’s voters are tuning out

At the sun-drenched Hotel del Coronado in San Diego, business leaders from across the country gathered this week to hear a sobering assessment of voter turnout in the just-concluded midterm election.

Most of those leaders probably feel much better about their own state after hearing about California’s dismal performance. Just 42 percent of registered voters filled out their ballots at home and at the polling place. That’s an historic — and embarrassing — low for the state.

Although midterm-election turnout has been trending downward in recent years, there were some specific reasons…

Read More »


The Riggs Report: A lackluster election season

Gov. Jerry Brown moves to block tuition increases

This week marked Janet Napolitano’s biggest and most significant challenge since she left her Homeland Security post in Washington D.C. and took over as University of California president a little more than a year ago.

Napolitano is engaged in a political showdown with Gov. Jerry Brown over her proposal to boost student tuition by up to 5 percent a year over the next five years.

Napolitano, who established a strong education record as the governor of Arizona, says the tuition hikes are needed unless the state Legislature agrees to…

Read More »


The Riggs Report: California as the Election Night exception

Voters rewarded the GOP nationally, but not in the Golden State

When the dust settled on Election Night last week, Republicans had plenty to celebrate on a large scale. They had regained control of the U.S. Senate, picking up eight seats. They had solidified their hold on the House of Representatives with a gain of 14 seats. They had gained the governor’s mansion in three states.

And then there was California; an island of exception to the GOP tide.

Democrats reelected Gov. Jerry Brown to a record fourth term by a landslide, swept all other statewide constitutional…

Read More »