The Riggs Report: California’s political defiance

January 5, 2017

Democratic leaders put former Attorney General Eric Holder on payroll

The Democrats who run things at California’s Capitol issued a call to arms this week with the announcement that they havehired former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to oversee potential legal warfare with the incoming Trump administration.

Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, D-Paramount, said the Legislature’s hiring of Holder’s law firm, Covington and Burling, reflects a desire to be prepared.

“The Covington team will be an important resource as we work with the governor and the attorney general to protect California…

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The Riggs Report: Oil drilling angst

​December 15, 2016

Gov. Jerry Brown seeks offshore ban on new wells

President Obama could do California Gov. Jerry Brown a final favor before turning over the keys to the Oval Office to Donald Trump in January. But will he?

With the clock running out, Brown dispatched a letter to the White House this week, asking the president to use his authority under existing law to permanently ban the drilling of new oil and gas wells in federal waters off the California coast.

“Clearly, large new oil and gas reserves would be inconsistent with…

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The Riggs Report: Sac mayor-elect fights for civil rights

December 8, 2016

Darrell Steinberg gears up to oppose Trump deportation policies

Darrell Steinberg no longer wields the statewide political leverage he had during six years as president pro tem of the State Senate. But as he prepares to take the oath of office next week to become Sacramento’s mayor, Steinberg is not leaving behind conflict on another high-level stage with the incoming Trump administration in Washington.

“You work with him where you can, you fight where you must,” Steinberg told me this week in response to a question about Donald Trump.

In the…

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Riggs Report: One party rule in Sacramento

​December 1, 2016

Democrats now hold supermajority in California

California woke up to a new political reality this week: the Democratic Party now wields complete dominance in Sacramento, with word that Republican Ling Ling Chang lost her bid for a Senate seat in the Southern California-based 29th District.

That was the final piece to fall into place for the Democrats, who now hold a two-thirds supermajority in not just the Assembly, but in the Senate, as well.

It underscores just how different a political outpost California represents when compared to much of the nation.

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The Riggs Report: Death and taxes on the ballot

​November 17, 2016

CA voters surprise some with proposition approvals, rejections

Benjamin Franklin is famously quoted as saying, “Nothing is certain except death and taxes.”

California voters underscored that saying in last week’s election, turning down another effort to repeal the death penalty while also approving a higher tobacco tax and an extension of higher income taxes for the state’s wealthiest residents.

But with the dust settling on the outcome of a ballot crammed with the most propositions in 16 years, the overall results defy an easy explanation or road map of where the state…

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The Riggs Report: Trump trauma on the ballot?

October 27, 2016

GOP candidate’s polling slide spells trouble for other California candidates

Donald Trump’s polling deficit is no surprise in Democrat-dominated California. After all, no Republican has carried the presidential vote here for 28 years.

But how big is the current gap? The latest UPI-CVoter poll gives Hillary Clinton a 20 point lead in the Golden State. However, Trump, who once pledged to run competitively in California, is now threatening to become an election liability for other Republicans in close races on the ballot.

There has been longstanding concern within Republican circles about…

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The Riggs Report: Hot air about rigged elections

October, 21, 2016

Look back at hotly contested races amid Trump’s rigged election complaints

One of the great beauties of our democracy is the peaceful transition of leadership. No matter how bitter or divisive the campaign, once the ballots are counted, we accept the results and move on.

Two great examples of that come to mind, which I had direct experience with covering.

In 2000, there was the hotly contested presidential contest between Al Gore and President George W. Bush, which came down to a question of ballot counting in Florida and the state’s 25 electoral…

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The Riggs Report: Sutter Brown sadness

October 13, 2016

Why a political pooch’s illness has captivated the Capitol

Think of Sutter Brown as the accidental political superstar. When Gov. Jerry Brown and wife Anne adopted the Welsh corgi in 2011, it was to provide a home when owner Kathleen Brown, the governor’s sister, took a job out of state.

Whether it was intended or not, the arrangement became permanent. Sutter became a Capitol fixture, often spotted on walks around the grounds.

Tourists, Capitol staff and legislators alike became enamored of the little dog who likes to have his belly rubbed.

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The Riggs Report: ‘Tax the rich’ support remains strong

September 29, 2016

New poll numbers favor passage of Proposition 55

When Gov. Jerry Brown campaigned in 2012 for passage of Proposition 30, a package of tax increases, he made it clear he intended those taxes to be temporary to help plug a dangerous budget gap. Others had a different idea of what the term “temporary” meant.

That brings us to 2016, and Proposition 55. This week, a new Field Poll indicated that support is strong for the passage of Proposition 55, a descendant of Prop 30, which would extend higher income taxes on California’s wealthiest…

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Randle Communications Announces Promotion of Julie Hooper to Director of Public Affairs

September 15, 2016

SACRAMENTO, California – Randle Communications (Randle), Sacramento’s largest locally-owned public affairs and public relations firm, today announced that Julie Hooper has earned a promotion from Director to Director of Public Affairs. This achievement reflects her outstanding work developing and implementing public affairs strategies to support the goals and objectives of Randle clients.

“Julie excels at managing complex and multifaceted projects, leading some of the firm’s most high-profile client initiatives. She consistently raises the bar, exceeding client expectations and delivering exceptional results,” said Jeff Randle, Randle President and CEO. “Julie is an integral part of our…

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