Government & Politics

News about government and politics

Jeffrey Hess/KVPR

A disgraced former Bakersfield Police detective has been sentenced to five years in prison for bribery, drug dealing and other corruption charges.

Damacio Diaz is receiving a sentence much lighter than the state recommended.

Diaz admits to lying on reports, taking bribes from drug dealers and himself moving as much as forty pounds of methamphetamine, among other crimes, during his time as an undercover narcotics officer.

PolitiFact California looks at claims made by elected officials, candidates and groups and rates them as: True, Mostly True, Half True, Mostly False, False and Pants On Fire.

A ‘Yes’ vote on California’s Proposition 67 would ban thin plastic carryout bags at grocery and convenience stores statewide. The ban is supported by environmental groups that argue the bags choke wildlife and cause problems for recycling centers when they wrap around machinery.

Jeff Thompson holds his 8-month-old son, Tyler, while voting in the Los Angeles County primary election at Canyon Springs School's library on Tuesday, June 3, 2016, in Santa Clarita.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC

Jeff Thompson holds his 8-month-old son, Tyler, while voting in the Los Angeles County primary election at Canyon Springs School's library on Tuesday, June 3, 2016, in Santa Clarita. Maya Sugarman/KPCC

Election Day is November 8. It's time to study up.

There's a lot on the ballot, including 17 statewide ballot measures certified by the California Secretary of State’s Office. You'll be voting on a range of issues like legalizing marijuana, the death penalty, prescription drug costs, taxes and much more.

Election 2016 FAQ: Proposition 63, Gun And Ammunition Sales

Oct 3, 2016

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Proposition 63 regulates ammunition sales, requires lost and stolen guns be reported, makes gun theft a felony. The basics

California already has some of the toughest gun control laws in the nation. But Proposition 63 aims to tighten them even further, while also placing new regulations on selling or buying ammunition.

Election 2016 FAQ: Proposition 66, Death Penalty Procedures

Oct 3, 2016

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Proposition 66 shortens process of death penalty appeals to “mend, not end” capital punishment. The basics

Election 2016 FAQ: Proposition 65, Money From Carry-Out Bags

Oct 3, 2016

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Proposition 65 requires grocery stores to turn over money from sale of reusable bags to a new state fund. The basics

You probably thought the plastic bag debate was over: The Legislature passed a statewide ban in 2014, and before that dozens of local governments in California had already banned supermarkets from handing out plastic bags at the checkout counter.

What you're voting on

Election 2016 FAQ: Proposition 62, Repeal The Death Penalty

Oct 3, 2016

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Proposition 62 bans the death penalty and replaces it with life in prison without the possibility of parole. The basics

There’s one thing supporters and opponents of capital punishment agree on: California’s death penalty simply doesn’t work. 

Since voters reinstated the death penalty in 1978, California has executed 13 inmates. Meanwhile, the population on death row has grown to nearly 750.

Election 2016 FAQ: Proposition 67, Plastic Bag Ban Veto Referendum

Oct 3, 2016

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Proposition 67 clears a path for a statewide ban on single-use plastic bags to go into effect. The basics

If you’re thinking California already has a statewide law and a passel of local laws banning single-use plastic bags, you’re right.

Cal OES YouTube Video / Cal OES

Governor Jerry Brown has signed a bill that will help build out an earthquake early warning system for California. Once it’s up and running, the system will detect the early stages of a quake and transmit a warning to people’s phones and radios. Mark Ghilarducci with the California Office of Emergency Services says it’s a big step.

Ghilarducci: "Technology to be able to sense the time that the energy gets released before the shaking occurs and be able to put that in a warning is very, very significant."

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

The news that the City of Fresno is set to receive up to $70 million from the state in the form of cap-and-trade funding is the latest issue in the Fresno mayor’s race.

Mayoral candidates Lee Brand and Henry Perea offered opposing visions of how to spend the money during a debate last night that focused on issue of downtown revitalization.

A former Bakersfield Police Detective is accusing the department of widespread and shocking misconduct in a multi-county drug enforcement unit. Detective Damacio Diaz is alleging a lengthy series of problems in a federal court filing released Thursday.

Diaz is one of two former detectives facing charges of bribery and corruption during their time on the force. He is facing 22 years in prison and is set to be sentenced Monday.

Prop. 61, the drug pricing initiative, explained

Sep 28, 2016

One of the 17 statewide propositions facing California voters on the November ballot is Proposition 61, which is intended to lower prescription drug prices.

Below, Impatient breaks down this initiative, which besides being one of the most complicated ballot measures, has sparked by far this year's most expensive campaign fight over an initiative.

In a nutshell

Under Prop. 61, certain state agencies would pay no more than what the Department of Veterans Affairs pays for prescription drugs.

PolitiFact California looks at claims made by elected officials, candidates and groups and rates them as: True, Mostly True, Half True, Mostly False, False and Pants On Fire.

Brock Turner’s brief jail term for sexual assault sparked outcry across California and the nation earlier this year.

File photo: Loretta Sanchez greets her supporters from the Ironworkers Union on the night of the California primary election in Anaheim, California, on Tuesday, June 7, 2016.
Susanica Tam/KPCC

File photo: Loretta Sanchez greets her supporters from the Ironworkers Union on the night of the California primary election in Anaheim, California, on Tuesday, June 7, 2016. Susanica Tam/KPCC

Orange County Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez failed to show up for more votes than any other U.S. House member running for another office, according to an analysis by Roll Call covering the first three weeks in September.

For decades, small growers in Humboldt County have made a living cultivating and selling cannabis. But over the last 10 years or so, outsiders have been pouring in to the region trying to cash in on the “green rush” for commercial cannabis.

The medical marijuana industry has certainly sparked a cannabis boon, but if Californians vote for Proposition 64 and allow adults to smoke cannabis purely for recreation, it will be a game changer for the industry.

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