Government & Politics

News about government and politics

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.

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

It’s the last week of the legislative session, and as lawmakers rush to send bills to Governor Brown, one valley politician is at the center of the state's biggest political tug-of-war. At issue is the greenhouse gas reduction bill SB 350. It would cut the state's petroleum use in cars by half over the next 15 years. It would also set a 2050 deadline to cut greenhouse gas emissions to 80 percent below 1990 levels.

Jeffrey Hess/KVPR

California’s four year drought has taken its toll on many trees in the valley, and now some are concerned it could also kill iconic trees that line Fresno’s boulevards. But is the city doing anything to keep the trees from succumbing to the harsh conditions?

If you drive down some of Fresno’s historic boulevards, such as Van Ness and Huntington, you will be cruising in the shade of tall trees.

But you can also see the stress that the drought has put on them in their brown leaves and dead branches.

Jeffrey Hess/KVPR

It’s one of the most maligned stretches of road in Fresno, Blackstone Avenue. With a reputation for being dangerous, unwelcoming, and rundown. But city leaders say they have a plan to fix it, and it starts with a bus. However, not everyone is convinced the avenue can be improved.

It’s not hard to get a sense of what many people think of Blackstone Avenue.

Just ask one simple question of people in Fresno: Would you take a walk down Blackstone?

“No, because I don’t want to be considered as one of those little street walkers,”

Photo used under Creative Commons from Andy Patterson / Modern Relics / http://www.flickr.com/photos/modernrelics/4461010654/

A coalition including the ACLU and Equality California held a forum in Fresno Thursday evening to talk about certain state laws, they say criminalize people living with HIV. Including, the possibility of being charged with a felony for donating blood while HIV positive, for soliciting and for exposing others to the disease. And most often that means jail time.

Craig Pulsipher is with the AIDS Project Los Angeles.

Fresno County has a huge animal overpopulation problem. Very soon, the county could have a new animal control shelter and a new company running it. That group, The Animal Compassion Team, has been one of the biggest critics of the county’s animal kill rate.

Now, they says they have a plan to euthanize fewer animals.

At the Animal Compassion Team’s south Fresno shelter dogs bark and jump in a pen.

The group, which currently runs a no kill shelter, is likely to win the contract to take over animal control for the entire county later this year.

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