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.”


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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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The Riggs Report: A break from bad news

December 7, 2017

California Hall of Fame grows by nine

Gov. Jerry Brown, passing me in the aisle, extended a high five and enthused about the just-concluded California Hall of Fame event on Tuesday night, calling it “a really inspirational event.”

It would be hard to disagree with that description.

At a time when there’s plenty of negative news to go around—criticism of the federal tax bill, reports of sexual harassment at the state Capitol, the destructive wildfires in Southern California—the governor and a host of others took a break this week to continue a tradition…

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The Riggs Report: Denham says tax bill doesn’t hurt Calif.

November 16, 2017

Amid uproar, Modesto congressman remains a ‘yes’ vote

Central Valley constituents of Congressman Jeff Denham were faced with a blunt message when they opened the Modesto newspaper on Tuesday.

“Tax reform shouldn’t hurt Californians, but the House of Representatives proposal does, in a big way,” read the full-page newspaper ad posted by the California Association of Realtors. “How could any member of the California congressional delegation think this plan is good for the Golden State?”

Denham, one of seven California congressional Republicans who are being targeted for defeat by the Democrats…

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The Riggs Report: A GOP defection on the tax bill

November 9, 2017

San Diego congressman lands in the ‘no’ column

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Vista, wants no part of this party.

Issa, who faces a difficult reelection campaign next year in his San Diego County district, broke with the GOP leadership this week in announcing Tuesday that he will not vote for the existing tax bill. In so doing, Issa became the first of California’s 14 Republican members of Congress to cast a thumbs down on the bill.

“Many Californians who need and deserve tax relief won’t benefit from the current framework, or…

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The Riggs Report: Is Sen. Feinstein vulnerable?

October 19, 2017

Fellow Democrat Kevin de Leon launches his Senate candidacy

Have Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon’s ambitions exceeded his good judgment? Termed out of the state Senate next year, de Leon has been pondering his next move for months. On Wednesday, he made it official—he will seek to unseat veteran Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a fellow Democrat, next year.

The move immediately set off closed-door chatter among Senate Democrats about whether de Leon could continue to serve effectively as their leader while also running a statewide race.

Bob Hertzberg, of…

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Randle Communications Promotes Robert Charette to Account Executive

Sacramento’s top public relations and public affairs firm, Randle Communications (Randle), today announced the promotion of Robert Charette from assistant account executive to account executive. This achievement reflects Charette’s tireless work ethic and commitment to teamwork, professionalism and superior client service.

“In a short time, Bobby has maximized his past political experience and delivered great value to Randle’s public affairs and public relations accounts,” said Randle President and CEO Jeff Randle. “He is eager to take on new responsibilities and has thrived in our high-performance culture. This promotion is a testament to his achievements and tremendous contributions to…

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The Riggs Report: Search for answers in Las Vegas massacre

October 13, 2017

What happens to those family members left behind in the tragedy?

The devastating wildfires this week in California have pushed, for now, the aftermath of the horrendous violence in Las Vegas out of the headlines in Northern California. But the search by investigators for a motive, for any explanation for the largest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, continues.

For family members of the 58 slain victims who were shot as they attended a country music festival outside the Mandalay Bay Hotel, the horror goes on.

And for the family of…

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