Monday Must Reads: Chevron Pumps $3 Million Into Richmond Campaigns; Kaplan Returns Illegal Donations from Lew Wolff

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Chevron has poured nearly $3 million into political campaigns this year to elect favored candidates in Richmond — including mayoral candidate Nat Bates, KQED reports (via Rough & Tumble). Chevron’s political committee — Moving Forward — is also backing Donna Powers, Charles Ramsey, and Al Martinez for Richmond City Council. The oil giant is also spending large sums to defeat progressive council candidates Mayor Gayle McLaughlin, incumbent Jovanka Beckles, and Eduardo Martinez.

2. Oakland mayoral candidate Rebecca Kaplan has decided to return $2,100 in potentially illegal campaign donations from A’s co-owner Lew Wolff and his family members, the Chron reports. It’s against Oakland law for individuals and companies to donate to local political campaigns within six months of signing a contract with the city. Kaplan had helped negotiate a ten-year lease extension that the city signed with Wolff in July.

[jump] 3. Oil companies are spending heavily this election season to defeat Democrats who support cap-and-trade and work to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions in the state, the SacBee$ reports. Big Oil wants to block California from applying cap-and-trade to gasoline starting next year, and has created a political campaign group known as The California Drivers Alliance.

4. Governor Jerry Brown is raking in millions of dollars in donations for his two favored statewide ballot measures — Propositions 1 and 2, the LA Times$ reports. Among the largest donors is the Fisher family, which owns the Gap clothing empire and is the majority owner of the Oakland A’s.

5. And California is currently suffering from a teacher shortage, as the number of people enrolled in teacher preparation courses has dropped by more than 50 percent in the past six years, the Chron reports.
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