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The Riggs Report: Climate change twins

July 27, 2017

Arnold Schwarzenegger, Gov. Jerry Brown and their common dismay with the White House

Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Gov. Jerry Brown are separated in age by a decade. They are of different parties. Brown’s time in elective politics dates back to the 1960s; Schwarzenegger’s to a couple of terms as governor.

But those differences between the current governor and his predecessor shrink in comparison to a common passion and priority: their belief in the need to address the effects of climate change.
Both men regularly, if separately, lampoon President Donald Trump’s decision to…

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The Riggs Report: A win for cap-and-trade and Gov. Brown

​July 20, 2017

What’s this? A highly-controversial climate change program approved by Democrats and Republicans?

This week’s high-wire act at the state Capitol is a big win for Gov. Jerry Brown. He said this political battle was not about his legacy. But let’s face it, all politicians care about that, no matter what they might say publicly.

In Brown’s case, the vote to extend the state’s existing cap-and-trade program cements his credentials and his credibility as someone who can advocate for efforts to fight climate change, not just on the national level but on the…

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The Riggs Report: Recall warfare at the Capitol

​July 6, 2017

Fallout from gas tax hike creates high stakes drama

The political chess game over efforts to recall freshman state Sen. Josh Newman, D-Fullerton, is picking up speed, with accusations of fraud and betrayal filling the air. At least, the air that’s breathed by California’s political community.

The California Republican Party recently submitted nearly 85,000 signatures to election officials, a number far greater than what’s needed to qualify the recall for the ballot.

Radio talk show host Carl DeMaio, a former San Diego City Council member, is spearheading the effort over Newman’s…

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Lindsey Goodwin Earns Promotion to Director at Randle Communications

June 28, 2017

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Sacramento’s leading independent public relations and public affairs firm Randle Communications (Randle), today announced that Lindsey Goodwin has joined the firm’s senior leadership team as Director with the company. Goodwin, who has been with the firm for four years, will help develop and execute strategic local and statewide public affairs campaigns for clients while continuing to lead a portfolio of public affairs and public relations accounts.

“Lindsey Goodwin personifies Randle Communications’ culture and values, and she has earned the promotion to Director because of a tireless work ethic, tremendous professional growth and a…

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The Riggs Report: The Comey showdown

June 8, 2017

Thursday’s Senate appearance of former FBI director draws intense interest

There’s nothing like a good political scandal to focus the mind. Or, in this case, to focus the public’s attention on the unfolding drama in Washington, D.C., that centers on whether President Donald Trump sought to influence an FBI investigation of alleged election-tampering by the Russians.

It’s no small thing when a former director of the FBI testifies before Congress about conversations with the president that made him so uneasy that he felt compelled to document what was said in a series…

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The Riggs Report: Democratic dysfunction in Sacramento

May 25, 2017

California’s party in power faces internal drama

There are very good reasons why Gov. Jerry Brown and U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein did not attend last weekend’s Democratic party state convention in Sacramento.

They were following an axiom that Jim Brulte, now chair of the state Republican party, was fond of reciting to me when he was Senate Republican leader.

“Only harm can come to an elected official at events like this,” Brulte said to me prior to a GOP gathering in Los Angeles. And as usual, Brulte was right.

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The Riggs Report: Governor’s race could get more crowded

May 18th, 2017

Former hedge fund executive Tom Steyer is reportedly polling voters

When billionaire Democratic activist Tom Steyer, the founder of Farallon Capital Management, started showing up in TV ads across California last year, it was widely seen as the tactic of someone laying the groundwork for a campaign for governor.

So it was anything but a surprise when The Hill newspaper reported this week what many expected all along. Quoting multiple Democratic sources, the paper reported that Steyer had commissioned a pollster to survey what voters know about him; a traditional step to…

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The Riggs Report: Looking back at the Los Angeles riots

May 4th, 2017

25 years ago, urban warfare shook Southern California

A quarter century has passed since chaos gripped the Los Angeles region in the wake of the acquittal by a Simi Valley jury of four police officers charged with the beating of Rodney King; a series of riots killed more than 60 people and caused nearly $1 billion in property damage.

I never covered conventional warfare during my years as a reporter—the kind of shooting war that we associate with Iraq, Syria or even Vietnam. But the four days I spent in Los Angeles,…

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The Riggs Report: When free speech is no longer free

April 27, 2017

Ann Coulter cancels her UC Berkeley appearance due to safety concerns

It came as no surprise this week when conservative speaker Ann Coulter announced to media outlets that she would no longer appear on the UC Berkeley campus for a planned speech, backing away from her earlier insistence that she would show up despite prospects of violent protests.

Coulter indicated that the last straw came when her original sponsors, the Berkeley College Republicans and Young America’s Foundation, withdrew their support in the face of an increasingly hostile and tense atmosphere.

Coulter…

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The Riggs Report: Brown’s road-repair pitch

​April 6, 2017

Plan depends on no Democratic defectors

Gov. Jerry Brown’s powers of persuasion are being put to a crucial test this week: He’s facing the daunting task of convincing every single Democratic lawmaker at the Capitol to get on board with his comprehensive road repair plan, and more important, the tax increases it will require.

There’s been a lot said and written about the supermajority that Democrats hold in both the Senate and the Assembly. But in practical terms, it sounds more impressive than it is.

Like any caucus group, Democrats are…

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