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The Riggs Report: Jerry Brown’s 2016 Campaign

The governor’s campaign cash makes him an important player

Gov. Jerry Brown has a busy calendar for 2016.

He’ll wrangle with fellow Democrats, as in past years, to hold down spending in passing a balanced budget. He’ll need to resolve a $1 billion hole in the Medi-Cal budget caused by an expiring tax on health plans. And he still needs to resolve the state’s serious road and bridge repair needs. Both of those last two issues are unfinished business from 2015, and are the subject of special sessions that are still in effect at the Capitol.

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The Riggs Report: Plush press duty in Hawaii

As presidential vacation spots go, this one is especially popular

Pity the hardy White House correspondents who are spending the holidays in Honolulu.

President Obama isn’t making much news this week, by design, unless you count his sinking of a 40 foot chip from the edge of the green. But the press goes where he goes. Christmas in Hawaii? You won’t hear any complaints.

For reporters who covered the George W. Bush administration and remember their travels to Crawford, Texas, where Bush owned a ranch, there is no comparison. Instead of dusty plains and Lone Star beer,…

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The Riggs Report: The environmental evangelist

Gov. Jerry Brown hits the global stage

Governor Jerry Brown doesn’t hold a lot of news conferences. He doesn’t sit down for interviews with California media very often. He seems to prefer interviews with national media such as NBC’s Meet the Press or the Atlantic.

So it was notable-newsworthy on its own-that Brown consented this week to a round of interviews with Sacramento-based reporters in his Capitol office. That practice was common, by the way, with previous governors.

I sat down with governors Arnold Schwarzenegger and Gray Davis regularly; probably three to four times a year in…

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The Riggs Report: Another 2016 slugfest

Race for Sacramento congressional seat will be expensive

It’s long been true in politics that an incumbent traditionally enjoys an important advantage when it comes to election time. That’s not the case, though, for whoever occupies California’s Congressional District 7, which encompasses Elk Grove, Folsom, Rancho Cordova and Sacramento County’s foothills to the east.

Since 2012, that’s been Democrat Ami Bera. In 2014, the physician and former UC Davis medical school executive won re-election to a second term, squeaking to a razor-thin win by about 1,500 votes, or less than 1 percent of the votes cast.

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The Riggs Report: El Nino’s destructive footprint

1997 floods in Northern California were heartbreaking

It’s understandable, really, the enthusiasm I hear expressed about the potential for a drought-busting El Nino winter. After almost five years of dry conditions, people are weary of the drought, the calls for conservation, the scary moonscape pictures of Folsom Lake. The thought of replenishing the reservoirs and groundwater supplies is appealing.

But be careful what you wish for. With growing warnings of an intense El Nino pattern emerging, what happened here in Northern California during the last extreme system is worth revisiting, and raises a possibility that we could be…

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Randle Communications Promotes Caity Heim and Andréa Hansen

November 5, 2015

Sacramento - Randle Communications (Randle), Sacramento’s top-ranked locally-owned public relations firm, today announced that Caity Heim and Andréa Hansen have earned promotions to Account Executive and Assistant Account Executive, respectively. These achievements are a reflection of their professional growth and success delivering results for multiple clients.

“Caity Heim and Andréa Hansen joined the firm as interns and have become invaluable members of our team,” Randle President and CEO Jeff Randle said. “They are talented professionals with a passion for public relations and desire to provide the best possible client service. These promotions are well-deserved and…

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The Riggs Report: Joe Biden’s missed opportunity

Democratic debate in Vegas offers little incentive for him to enter the race

Vice President Joe Biden skipped the chance to make a dramatic declaration of his candidacy at this week’s initial Democratic debate in Las Vegas, opting instead to stay home in Washington and host a high school reunion gathering.

That decision to look back, instead of forward, represents a key missed opportunity.

Asked the following day what he thought about how Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and the other three Democratic presidential candidates did, Biden offered little insight.

“I thought every one of those…

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The Riggs Report: Pay parity in California

Gov. Brown signs legislation mandating same pay for men, women

My friend Deirdre Fitzpatrick’s 9-year-old son expressed amazement, she told me, when he heard a radio report about the pay gap between men and women. He wanted to know, she said, why they’d be paid differently for the same work.

It’s a great question that’s been asked over the years by plenty of adults, and the law isn’t exactly silent on this.

For years, it’s been illegal for women to be paid less than men for the same job. But that’s been interpreted as identical pay for…

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Randle Communications Announces Promotion of Paige Bedegrew to Senior Account Executive

September 30, 2015

SacramentoRandle Communications (Randle), Sacramento’s top-ranked locally owned public relations and public affairs firm, today announced that Paige Bedegrew has earned a promotion to Senior Account Executive. Randle is committed to recognizing and rewarding professionals who demonstrate growth and share a commitment to teamwork, high standards and delivering exemplary client work.

“Paige Bedegrew is an extraordinary project manager and a tremendous resource to numerous account teams,” Jeff Randle, President and CEO of Randle Communications, said. “She is meticulous and detail oriented, ensuring that complex projects move forward as planned and are successfully…

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The Riggs Report: Speakerizing California

Kevin McCarthy could become 2nd House speaker from Golden State

Kevin McCarthy wasn’t in Sacramento long. He represented a Bakersfield district in the Assembly from 2002 to 2006, the last two years of that tenure as Republican leader in the lower house, before an open seat in Congress beckoned.

What I remember about McCarthy, from my coverage of the Legislature during that period, was an easygoing, smiling demeanor, but someone who was always on the move through the Capitol hallways.

McCarthy plainly liked people, and they liked him back. His time in Sacramento was focused more on…

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