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The Riggs Report: Diablo Canyon’s demise

Gov. Jerry Brown was a vocal opponent of the nuclear plant’s licensing

PG&E’s announcement this week that it had agreed to shut down Diablo Canyon—the last nuclear power plant left in California—reflects a steady shift toward the use of renewable energy in California. It also marks the end of an era of environmental conflict that has spanned the career of Governor Jerry Brown.

When Brown was governor the first time, in the late 1970s, he was a vocal opponent of PG&E’s efforts to license the twin reactor plant near San Luis Obispo. As a radio reporter just out…

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The Riggs Report: CA Senate scandal quietly expires

Plea bargain by former Sen. Ron Calderon means no corruption trial

Just like that, the potential for a sensational court case detailing steamy dealings at the state Capitol is over.

Former state Sen. Ron Calderon’s decision to plead guilty to mail fraud Monday means there will be no trial on the 24-count indictment handed down by a federal grand jury in 2014, which included bribery, money laundering, wire fraud and aiding in the filing of false tax returns.

Calderon’s plea bargain spares the Capitol from an extended colorful trial that would likely have included testimony from lawmakers…

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The Riggs Report: Hillary Clinton’s California challenge

June 7 primary is key measure for Hillary’s fall campaign

Hillary Clinton doesn’t need California to clinch the Democratic presidential nomination. She does, however, need California to give her valuable momentum heading into the summer party convention in Philadelphia.

That, in a nutshell, is the importance of the California primary vote on June 7.

The Clintons, Hillary and Bill, may have their political roots in Arkansas, but they know our state very well.

Dating from Bill Clinton’s days in the White House, the pair have spent a lot of time here—both public and private.…

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The Riggs Report: Crowded ballot ahead for California

Voters face long list of measures in November

California voters could be faced with doing a lot of homework this fall. Stacks of petitions turned in this week by campaign groups indicate that somewhere between 15 and 20 initiatives will end up on the November ballot, making it one of the longest in years.

What actually makes it on the ballot depends on a number of factors. County clerks have to confirm that enough valid signatures have been gathered by campaign workers. Backers of some of these measures also have the ability, under recent law, to pull their…

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The Riggs Report: Trump’s speaker smackdown

Republicans continue to differ on support for presumptive nominee

Congressman Doug LaMalfa, R-Butte County, who is a fourth-generation rice farmer and muscle car enthusiast, believes that after months of discord, it’s time for party unity.

So for him, it’s a head-scratcher—Donald Trump’s confrontational remarks challenging House Speaker Paul Ryan’s decision not to endorse him at this point.

“So (Trump) needs to just act like the winner, OK?” LaMalfa said. “Be a little magnanimous in this thing, say, ‘Speaker Ryan, we’re going to talk,’ not talk about removing him or whatever.”

LaMalfa, who is in his second…

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The Riggs Report: California’s return to irrelevance

High hopes for a pivotal GOP vote up in smoke

It was too much to hope for, really: the idea that California’s primary election would be the hinge upon which the Republican presidential nomination would turn.

As of last week, there was tremendous excitement at the prospect that the state’s June 7 vote would determine whether Donald Trump could claim his party’s nomination or would head into a bloody free-for-all and floor fight at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland this summer.

There was every reason to believe that Trump, Ted Cruz, and John Kasich would campaign…

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The Riggs Report: Cruz’s California gamble

His VP pick comes on the eve of state GOP convention

If Ted Cruz was looking to create some buzz heading into this weekend’s super-charged California Republican Party convention, he succeeded.

Picking Carly Fiorina as his running mate guarantees lots of attention at the gathering in Burlingame. The problem is, it’s likely to be the wrong kind of attention.

From a historical perspective, it’s a good headline. There hasn’t been a Californian elected vice president since Richard Nixon more than half a century ago.

As a woman, Fiorina would be able to aggressively go after Hillary…

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The Riggs Report: California’s election overload

Secretary of state predicts ‘major surge in voter turnout’

As Secretary of State Alex Padilla noted in a recent letter to Gov. Jerry Brown, all eyes will be on California on June 7 and Nov. 8.

With the state poised to play a pivotal role in this year’s presidential contest, the fast-approaching primary will be playing out on a global stage.

Padilla wants to ensure that county election officials aren’t swamped by a tsunami of voter interest and wants to avoid the embarrassing scenario that unfolded during Arizona’s presidential preference vote in March.

In…

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The Riggs Report: The California campaign begins

California GOP convention will feature all 3 presidential candidates

You can’t blame California voters for feeling overlooked or taken for granted. It’s been many years since the state’s primary election has figured prominently in the outcome of a presidential contest.

Our role typically has been as a rich source of campaign cash harvested in California, then spent in other states.

2016 is proving to be a very different story, with the level of campaigning about to gear up to levels that haven’t been seen in decades.

That’s because, on the Republican side at least,…

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The Riggs Report: California’s ‘Stop Trump’ campaign

With mail balloting near, CA becomes ‘center of the political universe’

If California had hurricanes, not earthquakes, we might be better prepared for the political storm that’s headed our way—an electoral weather front that may well determine whether or not Donald Trump heads to the Republican National Convention with the presidential nomination in hand.

The state’s primary is on June 7, but the voting begins long before that, and thus the brewing flurry of campaign activity.

“Throughout the month of May, the candidates are going to be here,” veteran GOP consultant Rob Stutzman said. “We will be…

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