Daily Briefs


Sam Blakeslee gets an opponent

The August special election to fill the state Senate seat of Abel Maldonado heated up Monday when Democrat John Laird announced his candidacy. [Tribune] Laird, 60, a UC Santa Cruz environmental studies professor and former state assemblyman, will face Republican... (Continue reading)

PG&E’s Prop 16 campaign tactics declared illegal

Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) was warned on Monday to stop using illegal telephone and direct mail tactics in their $35 million campaign to pass Proposition 16. (Los Angeles Times] The warning letter came from the  California Public Utilities Commission... (Continue reading)

Schwarzenegger changes his mind on offshore drilling

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger backed away from comments his staff made over the weekend and reversed his position on offshore oil drilling. Citing the extreme environmental damage being caused in the Gulf Coast by the British Petroleum spill, Schwarzenegger announced Monday... (Continue reading)

Schwarzenegger still wants to drill off Santa Barbara

Despite the British Petroleum (BP) oil spill that threatens coastline from Louisiana to Florida, considered by experts to be the worst U.S. ecological disaster in decades, members of Gov. Schwarzenegger’s administration continued to call for new drilling off Santa Barbara.... (Continue reading)

Abel Maldonado interviewed on Colbert Report

Another first for the Central Coast — Abel Maldonado became the first local public figure to be interviewed by Stephen Colbert on Comedy Central’s popular TV show, “The Colbert Report.” [Los Angeles Times] Maldonado flew to New York City for... (Continue reading)

State auditor criticizes high-speed rail project

A new report by State Auditor Eileen Howle raises serious concerns about California’s plan to build a multi-billion dollar high-speed rail line to connect major cities. [California Watch] The report, commissioned last year by the Legislature, accuses the California High-Speed... (Continue reading)

Blakeslee to run for State Senate

To the surprise of no one, Sam Blakeslee has decided to seek the California State Senate seat vacated by Abel Maldonado’s recent elevation to lieutenant governor. [Tribune] Blakeslee is expected to make a formal announcement Friday morning at his Pismo... (Continue reading)

Anthem Blue Cross drops request for rate hikes

California’s largest for-profit insurance company is withdrawing rate increases of as much as 39 percent for thousands of policyholders statewide. [Los Angeles Times] The action by Anthem Blue Cross on Thursday came after state insurance regulators rejected the proposed increases.... (Continue reading)

Billionaire banker buys Pacific Capital Bancorp

Billionaire banker Gerald Ford has agreed to buy a 91 percent interest in Pacific Capital Bancorp, the parent company of First Bank of San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Bank and Trust, for $500 million. [Rueters] The company plans to... (Continue reading)

Arnold resigns from Arroyo Grande city council

The Arroyo Grande City Council will move quickly to fill a vacancy following Tuesday’s announcement by councilman Ed Arnold that he will resign. [Tribune] Arnold made the announcement at the start of last night’s meeting. “It’s a very sad time... (Continue reading)