Gavin Newsom found a receptive audience at the Teamsters 431 hall in Fresno on Friday (June 1) afternoon.

GV Wire Reporter David Taub

Politics 101

David Taub

Speaking to about 100 supporters, Newsom played the hits: gun control, immigrant rights and fighting Donald Trump.

The lieutenant governor vowed to increase Valley representation on state boards, including those overseeing the UC and CSU systems.

“I serve on those boards, “ Newsom answered. “The Central Valley is underrepresented, significantly underrepresented on both bodies, so yes.”

Newsom hedged his comments regarding Temperance Flat. Last month, the California Water Commission funded only part of the dam organizer’s request from Proposition 1 funding, at $171 million.

“I’m not trying to get in the way of it. I want to make sure we go through that objective analysis and we do justice to the process,” Newsom said. “Folks who support Temperance have been very aggressive in getting them to re-evaluate, reconsider. It is a tough competition because there is just $2.7 billion. That is not enough money to support satisfy the needs of so many of these projects.”

Newsom said he also supported Prop. 68 —the water and parks bond on Tuesday’s ballot— as well as the high-speed rail project.

Fresno was the second stop on Newsom’s big blue bus tour Friday. Earlier, he held a roundtable in Bakersfield. Afterward, Newsom headed to Stockton.

Feinstein Tours Valley Children’s Hospital

Dianne Feinstein will celebrate her 85th birthday this month. She has represented California in the U.S. Senate since 1992. She and husband Richard Blum, an investment banker, are fabulously wealthy.

So why is she running for another six-year term?

And traveling up and down the state with a knee replacement in one leg and “donated parts” in the other knee days before the primary election?

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, standing, visits with Bruce Mansy, 8, of Fresno. A car accident last year left him a paraplegic. Bruce’s favorite sport is wheelchair basketball. (Valley Children’s Hospital Photo)

Because “in the Senate, seniority plays a big role” in getting things done, Feinstein said Friday afternoon following a tour of Valley Children’s Hospital in Madera.

“I know I can go the course,” Feinstein said. “If you live long enough and learn enough, you can give back.”

Feinstein said that she is counting on a Blue Wave in November to change the political calculus in Congress.

“Right now, it’s really difficult to get anything done,” she said, speaking from a Democratic Party perspective, “because one party is in control of everything.

“If we can get back one house, we can change the dynamics and get more done for the people.”

During her tour of the hospital, Feinstein said she was emotionally inspired by the sight of seeing a 21-day-old infant who had been on a heart/lung bypass machine Friday morning “reach up and grasp the hand of his mother.”

Said Feinstein: “That makes me want to (provide) the most help that I can.”

Feinstein is the runaway leader in the polls and will face either fellow Democrat Kevin de Leon or Republican James P. Bradley in the November runoff.

School Board Town Hall

FTA hosted a Fresno Unified School District trustees candidates forum Thursday night.

In a way-too-early public forum for Fresno Unified school board candidates, five hopefuls took the stage at Bullard High School on Thursday night.

Hosted by the Fresno Teachers Association, the candidates fielded questions from moderator Manuel Bonilla (the incoming FTA president) as well as members of the audience.

The topics included how to reduce class size, how students learn best, and thoughts on restorative justice. The answers revealed little in specifics or much differentiation from one candidate to another.

The participants included Terri Edwards and Nasreen Johnson (Area 7/Bullard); Robert Fuentes and Keshia Thomas (Area 1/Edison) and Va Her (Area 4/McLane).

Potential Area 4 candidate Clint Olivier pulled out late in the day. City duty called: The Fresno city councilman attended a Fresno Council of Governments meeting.

Two incumbents, Valerie Davis (Area 3/Sunnyside) and Christopher De La Cerda (Area 4) also had previous engagements, attending graduation ceremonies.

FUSD Budget

The Fresno Unified school board unanimously approved a $1 billion dollar budget Wednesday (May 30) night. That’s a 9% increase over last year. For comparison, the city of Fresno’s recently announced budget for FY 2019 is $1.115B.

Gov Appoints Republican to Tulare County Judge


Kerri Lopez

Add another San Joaquin College of Law alumni to the list of California judges.

Gov. Jerry Brown appointed Kerri Lopez as a Tulare County judge, his office announced Friday.

Lopez, a Republican, is the assistant district attorney for the county. She has served in the prosecutor’s office since 1999.

GV Wire’s Bill McEwen contributed to this report.

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