SantaMariaSun.com | February 19, 2015 –
California’s Senate Judiciary Committee held an oversight hearing on Feb. 16 examining the legal questions and privancy challenges created by drones. The hearing included testimony from industry leaders, privacy rights groups, representatives of the media, and law enforcement representatives, such as Bruce Parks from the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, Jim Ewert from the California Newspaper Publishers Association, and Mitch Tavera from the California Police Chiefs Association. State Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) chairs the committee. “Drones are becoming popular and prevalent,” Jackson said in a press release. “There is no doubt that this is an emerging technology with innovative and ground-breaking potential. But these small devices also raise big legal questions that deserve a robust and thoughtful conversation. As technology advances at lightning speed, we need to ensure that our long-held values, and our right to privacy, are not left in the wake.” The senator recently introduced legislation that would prohibit drones from entering someone’s private property without their permission.
Just months after the close of 2014’s election, Deputy District Attorney and Templeton Unified School District Trustee Jordan Cunningham announced his candidacy for California State Assembly on Feb. 9. Cunningham is looking to represent the state’s 35th District, San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties, and replace Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian—who was re-elected to the Assembly in 2014 and terms out in 2016, after his third term in office. “Each day, I stand up for taxpayers and work to defend local residents and business owners. As our next assemblyman, I’ll provide a voice for the region that I have always been proud to call home,” Cunningham said in a press release. To learn more about him, visit jordancunningham.org.
Although California’s next race for governor won’t come to a head until 2018, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom announced his bid for the spot on Feb. 11 with the formation of a committee to run for governonor. “I’ve never been a fan of pretense or procrastination,” Newsom wrote on his campaign site. “Over the next four years, my advocacy and efforts on these issues as your lieutenant governor will continue unabated. … But the reality of running for governor—even four years from now—in America’s largest, most diverse state demands that I start raising resources now.” Newsom is in his second term as Jerry Brown’s lieutenant governor. The early committee formation gives Newsom “an early fundraising edge over any potential challengers,” according to The Huffington Post, which also reported that he still has $3 million leftover from his last campaign. The Huffington Post also reported that after Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-California) announced her decision earlier this year to retire after 2016, there was some speculation that Newsom would pursue the open seat, but he said he wouldn’t run in the 2016 race. California Attorney General Kamala Harris announced her candidacy for the seat shortly thereafter.