Government & Politics

News about government and politics

According to Fresno City Council Member Clint Olivier, the city faces an existential threat from "vagrants" who have overrun parks, stores and neighborhoods. In an op-ed column in the Fresno Bee, Olivier calls for a new push from city hall on the issue. 

Kern County Public Library

A new poll shows that a majority of Kern County residents are opposed to the privatization of the county’s public library system. 

The Board of Supervisors commissioned the poll by Price Research of 600 county residents to gauge overall support for the library system. Earlier this year a budget crunch led county leaders to explore a number of possibilities for the system, including handing operations over to a private company.

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

Bakersfield’s Wild West Shopping Center is getting a new owner. FM89’s Joe Moore reports on why the city council voted last night to buy the property.

The nearly 5 acre parcel sits where westbound Highway 58 dead-ends into Highway 99. For years extending freeway access on 58 to the west side has been a top city priority - a plan now known as the Centennial Corridor freeway.

Creative Commons licensed from Flickr user Glenngould /

Governor Jerry Brown signed a pipeline safety bill today authored by Bakersfield Assemblymember Rudy Salas.

Assembly Bill 1420 will now require operators of pipelines near homes and schools to submit maps of those pipelines to the Division of Oil Gas and Geothermal Resources known as DOGGR. The bill also requires DOGGR to determine appropriate methods of testing pipelines.

Rudy Salas says the bill was inspired by a gas leak in Arvin in 2014. Eight families were forced out of their homes for the majority of the year after an underground pipeline leaked.

Joe Moore/ Valley Public Radio

The surprise decision by Bakersfield Representative Kevin McCarthy to withdraw from the House speakers’ race could mean bad news for the Central Valley, according to local political experts. Many have speculated that having a speaker from the valley could have elevated local concerns in Washington.

In an understated way, this is how Representative McCarthy opened his press conference to explain his decision.

“I think I shocked some of you, eh?”

Office of Kevin McCarthy

Fresno State political scientist Thomas Holyoke says the political future of Bakersfield Representative Kevin McCarthy looks bright. McCarthy, Holyoke says, is the odds on favorite to be the next Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. It’s a powerful position that could mean big things for representative and the valley. Holyoke takes on some of the bigger questions facing McCarthy.

Why would McCarthy want this job if John Boehner doesn’t?

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

  It's a little over one year from election day and that means potential candidates for offices from city council to Congress are sizing up their opponents, donors and political prospects. Which Democrats will seek to challenge Republican Congressman David Valadao? Will Henry Perea leave the Fresno County Board of Supervisors to run for mayor against H. Spees and Lee Brand? And what about Henry T. Perea's campaign warchest?

Megafires Don't Melt Opposition To California Fire Fee

Sep 17, 2015
Mike McMillan / US Forest Service

Rural Californians are reeling from yet another destructive fire season.

But that doesn’t mean they now support a controversial fire fee imposed several years ago by legislative Democrats and Governor Jerry Brown. Chris Nichols reports from Sacramento.

Bags stuffed with Betsy Miller’s family photos and quilting fabric sit ready to go in her Sierra foothills home. Miller and her husband, Les, are retirees who live in Amador County. The Butte Fire forced them to evacuate last week. Now, they’re back home. But they’re not unpacking.

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

Last week was a rough one for California Governor Jerry Brown. For the first time in years, one of the his top legislative priorities suffered a defeat. SB350 would have cut the fuel usage of California vehicles in half over the next 15 years, but it faced stiff opposition from oil companies and moderate Democrats in the Assembly. Ultimately the measure did move forward but not until Brown and Senate President pro Tem Kevin de Leon removed the controversial fuels provision from the bill. 

Rare Defeats For Brown As California Legislature Wraps Up

Sep 14, 2015

California Governor Jerry Brown has long appeared invincible, winning victory after victory in the Legislature and at the polls. Now, for the first time, Brown’s political armor has some chinks in it, as Ben Adler reports from Sacramento.