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Depuis qu’il est devenu le co-animateur de Danse avec les stars, Laurent Ournac doit essuyer de virulentes chroniques. La chroniqueuse de Touche pas à mon poste, Enora Malagré, ne l’a notamment pas ménagé ces dernières semaines. Dans un entretien à Télépoche, le héros de Camping Paradis a mis les choses au point.

Si la sixième saison de Danse avec les stars est globalement un succès en terme d’audience, le programme n’échappe pas aux critiques.

Nouveau venu dans l’émission musicale de TF1 cette année (en remplacement de Vincent Cerutti), Laurent Ournac doit faire avec, les avis parfois sans concession, des observateurs du PAF (paysage audiovisuel) « Je ne m’attendais pas à autant de violence et de virulence, avoue l’animateur dans les colonnes du dernier Télépoche. Ils n’y vont pas avec le dos de la cuillère. C’est un poil trop insultant, trop agressif. Ça leur donne un sentiment de puissance. Cette méchanceté les desservira un jour”.

Dans le viseur du binôme de Sandrine Quétier : Enora Malagré et la bande de Touche pas à mon poste. “Je suis très sensible. Notamment à la critique. Mais seulement des gens que je respecte et que j’admire, poursuit-il. L’arrogance, l’aigreur, la méchanceté, je m’en fous ».

Si Laurent Ournac jure ne “pas être agacé” contre ses détracteurs et assure avoir « une semaine suffisamment chargée pour ne pas perdre de temps à regarder ou réagir à ce genre de propos », il en profite néanmoins pour tacler la forte en gueule blonde de TPMP.“Comme disait Coluche : ‘J’arrive à m’en gratter une sans réveiller l’autre’ quand je pense à Enora Malagré donc tout va bien”, lance Laurent Ournac.

Ce dernier est par ailleurs revenu sur le petit tacle qu’il avait adressé à sa meilleure ennemie sur le plateau de Salut les terriens dernièrement. “Je ne suis pas quelqu’un de violent, nuance-t-il. C’était un bon mot pour répondre. Mais ce n’était pas méchant comparé à ce que j’ai pu entendre sur mes prestations ou sur l’obésité. Comme si on pouvait en rigoler, parce qu’après tout ce n’est pas très grave de se moquer d’un gros…”.

Nul doute qu’Enora Malagré et la bande de TPMP ne devraient pas se priver pour revenir sur ses propos.

Crédits photos : JEAN-PIERRE AMET

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Pour la 23ème année consécutive, la Villette organise son festival de cinéma en plein air. Rendez-vous Parc de la Villette, à ciel ouvert, du 24 juillet au 28 août !

Renseignements pratiques et programmation complète juste ici !

 

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Depuis maintenant 23 ans, l’été, à la nuit tombante, la prairie du triangle du Parc de la Villette devient la plus grande salle de cinéma de Paris à ciel ouvert. Confortablement installés sur des transats, munis de chaudes couvertures, les spectateurs vont pouvoir voir, revoir ou découvrir des films sur le thème “Tous en scène”. Sachez que l’association Valentin Haüy renouvelle son partenariat avec le parc de la villette pour favoriser l’accessibilité des lieux et plusieurs de ses contenus culturels aux personnes déficientes visuelles.

 

Les festivités démarreront le 24 juillet au soir, avec la projection de Polisse de Maiwenn. Parmi les autres films programmés, Harvey Milk de Gus Van Sant, Super 8 de J.J. Abrams, A propos d’Elly d’Asghar Farhadi, The Social Network de David Fincher ou encore Ocean’s Eleven de Steven Soderbergh… Pour ne citer qu’eux. Au total, 27 longs métrages sont diffusés : les notions de groupe, de bande et de collectivité sont au coeur de cette sélection de films. L’essentiel est d’y être Tous… Alors rendez-vous dès la semaine prochaine !

 

 

Stromae s’est marié!

January 20, 2020 | News | No Comments

La presse belge est formelle: samedi 11 décembre, Stromae 30 ans, s’est marié, enfin pour de vrai!

Déjà à ses débuts en 2010, Stromae étonnait avec une rythmique festive et entraînante opposée à des paroles moroses dans Alors on danse. Quelques années après, il créait le buzz en apparaissant ivre et inquiétant dans un clip qu’on croyait amateur, l’énorme carton Formidable. Depuis, il n’a eu de cesse de renforcer ses succès à coups de surprises incroyables et de communication rondement menée. Par deux fois déjà, on avait annoncé son mariage: la première en juin 2014 à l’époque de Tous les mêmes, tout de Jean-Paul Gaultier vêtu, il épousait son double ; la seconde il y a quelques semaines, où il prêtait serment à lui-même. Ne dit-on pas jamais deux sans trois? Voici la troisième, et c’est la bonne! Ce samedi, dans le plus grand des secrets, il a épousé sa compagne, Coralie Barbier.

Très vigilant sur le respect de sa vie privée, le chanteur ne s’était jamais ouvertement confié sur sa relation amoureuse avec cette jeune styliste à qui il doit ses looks ultra-travaillés. Et il n’avait aucunement l’intention de le faire, et encore moins de gérer des importuns à la noce. Alors, comme le rapporte la presse belge où s’est passée la cérémonie, il s’était contenté d’inviter quelques 180 convives à “une fête”. Une fois réunis à Malines, en région flamande, au sein du Martin’s Patershof, une ancienne église transformée en complexe hôtelier de luxe, Stromae a expliqué ce qui allait se passer puis expressément demandé à ce que personne ne laisse échapper quoi que ce soit sur les réseaux sociaux.

Stijn Beschuyt, le directeur général de l’établissement entièrement réservé pour l’occasion, s’est finalement confié aux médias belges. “Coralie était très belle, les décors stylés et les invités supercool et sympas!”. Un des invités à quant à lui avoué que le mariage, célébré par le célèbre et farfelu père Guy Gilbert, n’avait pas été “décadent. Ni caviar, ni huitres, ni homard au menu.”

L’histoire ne dit pas si la mariée était aussi surprise que l’assemblée…

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Ce mardi matin, le Palais Princier du Rocher a publié sur sa page Facebook une vidéo exceptionnelle: Albert et Charlène de Monaco répondent aux questions du journaliste Richard Barnes, en présence des jumeaux.

L’année 2015 a été chargée pour Albert et Charlène de Monaco. Quelques jours après avoir célébré le premier anniversaire de Jacques et Gabriella, ils ont souhaité offrir aux Monégasques un petit film enregistré avant les fêtes de Noël, dans le prestigieux Salon de Glaces, du balcon duquel ont lieu les apparitions officielles. Une fois n’est pas coutume, en présence des deux bambins occupés à jouer sur le tapis, le couple princier a accepté de répondre aux questions du journaliste australien Richard Barnes qui les a interrogés sur leur nouvelle vie de famille.

Charlène, visage pincé mais bien plus assurée que d’ordinaire, se prête au jeu en complétant les réponses de son mari, mais jamais quitter ses enfants du regard. Albert, plus serein, répond sans détour et ne manque jamais une occasion de saluer l’excellent travail de son épouse auprès des petits. “Ils sont très actifs, très joueurs, mais absolument adorables” commence la jeune femme, “mais c’est beaucoup de travail.” “Charlène s’occupe des enfants de manière merveilleuse” la rassure aussitôt le prince avec des étoiles dans les yeux.

Et tandis que le couple évoque le possible avenir étudiant des enfants en admettant qu’il est encore bien tôt, Charlène montre à quel point elle a mûri, compris quelle place elle occupait et la charge qui lui incombait. “Jacques et Gabriella sont nés avec une responsabilité et un devoir. (…) envers leur nation et leur famille et c’est ce qu’ils devront transmettre aux générations futures.” assène-t-elle, pleine d’une sage résolution. Albert tempère en revenant sur sa propre expérience: les enfants ne comprennent pas la particularité de leur naissance, de leur environnement avant l’âge de 5, 6 voire 7 ans. “J’ai compris qu’on attendait quelque chose de moi même à cet âge-là. Mais nous allons essayer de les préparer de la façon la plus douce possible.”

Jamais avares d’une attention pour leur peuple, le prince et la princesse de Monaco se sont réunis une dernière fois devant la caméra avec les bébés sur les genoux pour adresser leurs remerciements aux Monégasques et leur souhaiter de Joyeuses fêtes.

Crédits photos : getty images

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Céline Dion: « René, je t’aime tellement »

January 20, 2020 | News | No Comments

Cette nuit, sur la scène du Colosseum du Caesars Palace de Las Vegas, un hommage était rendu à René Angelil. Une «célébration de la vie» à laquelle a participé Céline Dion qui a conclu la cérémonie par un discours des plus émouvants.

Cette scène du Colosseum, au Caesars Palace de Las Vegas, Céline Dion l’arpente depuis des années en interprétant ses plus grandes chansons. Mercredi soir, elle y est remontée, pour la première fois depuis le décès de René Angelil, mais pas pour y chanter cette fois. Comme elle l’avait annoncé quelques heures plus tôt dans la journée, la chanteuse participait à une «Célébration de la vie» consacrée à son époux. Une soirée hommage à laquelle ont pu assister près de 2000 personnes.

Dans les fauteuils installés sur scène, Céline Dion était entourée de René-Charles et des enfants de René. Au centre, une sculpture en or représentant la main de René symbolisait l’un des gestes préférés du couple, lorsque le mari et manager donnait la main à son épouse avant qu’elle entre en scène.

Un quatuor à cordes à jouer plusieurs morceaux comme Because you love me et L’amour existe encore. David Foster a interprété au piano The color of my love, un titre très important dans la vie personnelle de Célion Dion et René Angelil. De nombreux discours et éloges ont été prononcés, mais c’est bien évidemment celui de Céline Dion qui était le plus attendu. Nous vous en proposons les grandes lignes:

«Laissez-moi commencer par vous dire bonsoir mes chers amis. Nous sommes présents ici ce soir pour célébrer la mémoire de René, l’amour de ma vie. Il aurait été tellement heureux de nous savoir tous réunis ici racontant des histoires, partageant des souvenirs jouant quelques unes de ses chansons préférées. En particulier dans ce théâtre où il y a des années un de ses rêves est devenu réalité.

Je voulais aussi vous remercier d’avoir parlé si élégamment de mon cher mari. Je ressens de l’amour dans cette salle, mais aussi sa force, sa chaleur dans chacun de vous. Je vois les plus belles personnes, celles qui croyaient en nous et qui travaillaient toujours tellement dur pour notre bien être.

La plupart de vous êtes là avec nous ce soir, pardonnez moi de ne pas tous vous nommer. Mais vous savez qui vous êtes, et le plus important, il sait qui vous êtes.

De manière assez incroyable, René ne détestait personne et n’avait pas de mauvaises opinions sur les autres. Il ne me disait jamais ce qu’il n’aimait pas ou les personnes qu’il n’aimait pas. Le temps était très précieux pour lui, il aimait tellement la vie. Et la vie l’aimait. Il ne perdait pas une seule seconde pour me parler des autres. Et même lorsque j’avais une opinion sur quelqu’un, il ne m’autorisait jamais à la donner si nous n’étions pas seuls.

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Si nous étions en compagnie, il me faisait un signe et me faisait comprendre que moi, sa femme, l’artiste que je suis, la chanteuse que je suis, je ne pouvais lui dire ce que je voulais que derrière une porte close, pas devant les gens.

Une artiste, une chanteuse ne doit jamais juger quelqu’un d’autre. J’ai tout appris de lui, mais ce principe je m’en souviendrai toute ma vie

Je sais qu’il aurait voulu que je remercie chacun d’entre vous de lui avoir permis de réaliser ses rêves, d’avoir pris soin de ma famille. Merci encore d’être ici avec nous ce soir, pour ce magnifique hommage à «mon amour». René je t’aime, tellement. Merci»

Vous pouvez revivre l’intégralité de la cérémonie hommage à René Angélil sur le site http://reneangelilcelebrationoflife.com/

WASHINGTON — 

As the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Tulare) presented a fiery defense of President Trump during impeachment hearings last month, angrily accusing Democrats of ginning up a false narrative about the president’s efforts to get Ukraine to dig up dirt on a political rival.

But newly released text messages suggest Nunes’ staff was aware of and involved in portions of the scheme, casting a new light on his combative defense.

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Documents released by the House committee show repeated contact between Lev Parnas, who worked with Trump’s personal attorney Rudolph W. Giuliani, and Derek Harvey, an aide to Nunes on the committee, about meetings with Ukrainian prosecutors to get damaging information about Democrat Joe Biden, who is running for president, and about a debunked theory about Ukrainian involvement in the 2016 U.S. election.

The messages between Parnas, who functioned as Giuliani’s emissary to Ukrainian officials, and Harvey indicate Nunes’ office was aware of the back-channel White House effort that has led to Trump’s impeachment on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

Parnas, who is facing federal campaign finance violation charges in New York, has publicly turned on Trump and Giuliani in recent weeks. He has provided documents to the House committee and given explosive media interviews as the Senate prepares to determine whether to remove Trump from office. The trial will begin in earnest on Tuesday.

In his interviews, Parnas has sought to tie Nunes closely to the attempt to unearth dirt on Biden and to gather information on an unsubstantiated theory promoted by Russia — but refuted by the U.S. intelligence community — that it was Ukraine, not Russia, who interfered in the 2016 presidential election.

A spokesman for Nunes did not return an email seeking comment Saturday.

During the House impeachment inquiry, Nunes accused Democrats of coordinating with the still-anonymous whistle-blower who first alleged that Trump had blocked nearly $400 million in military aid to Ukraine until newly elected Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky publicly committed to announcing an investigation of Biden and his son Hunter, who had served on the board of a Ukrainian energy company while Biden was vice president, and the false claims about 2016.

The text messages appear to show that Parnas sought to set up Skype and FaceTime calls last spring between Harvey and Ukrainian officials who were assisting Giuliani in his efforts to gather negative information on Biden and to oust the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, who was seen as an obstacle.

It is unclear from the messages whether the calls took place, but Parnas’ attorney has said they did. One from April 3 shows Harvey grumbling that Parnas was providing information to John Solomon, a former columnist for The Hill, rather than to him.

“Any documents for us or are you going to keep working through Solomon?” Harvey wrote.

Eight days later, Solomon published the first in a series of articles promoting the conspiracy theory that Ukraine had interfered in the U.S. election, that Biden’s son had worked for a corrupt Ukrainian company, and a story that Yovanovitch gave Ukrainian officials a list of people not to investigate. The named source in that article has since recanted his accusation.

Other messages show Parnas and Harvey arranging to meet with Giuliani and Solomon at the Trump International Hotel in Washington on May 7, the day after the U.S. Embassy in Kiev announced Yovanovitch had been recalled and just days before Parnas and Giuliani were scheduled to meet with members of Zelensky’s new Cabinet in Ukraine.

Parnas’ attorney had previously told CNBC that Harvey initially planned to interview the Ukrainian officials in person but scrapped the trip in favor of Skype interviews after realizing that the travel would need to be approved by Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Burbank), who heads the House Intelligence Committee and who had not signed off on investigations involving Ukraine.

Parnas told MSNBC in an interview aired this week that he was told to work with Harvey because Nunes “couldn’t be in a spotlight” because of an ethics investigation.

In 2017 the House Ethics Committee investigated whether Nunes had improperly disclosed classified information during the Republican-led investigation into what the Trump campaign knew about Russian attempts to interfere in the 2016 election.

The GOP-led Ethics Committee cleared Nunes of the allegations, and the investigation was dropped in December 2017, long before Harvey and Parnas began texting.

Harvey previously served on Trump’s National Security Council as a special assistant to the president and senior director for the Middle East.

Nunes’ apparent role on the margins of the Ukraine saga has been slow to emerge.

Last month, Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee released a report that included records showing several phone calls between Nunes and either Parnas or Giuliani in early 2019, including a call with Parnas that lasted nearly nine minutes.

House Republicans criticized Democrats for pointing out the calls in their report, saying it was done to give the impression that Nunes had done something wrong.

Nunes brushed aside the suggestion, saying he spoke to Giuliani about special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation, which was winding down at the time. He said he had no recollection of speaking to Parnas, and while he needed to check his records, it “seems very unlikely I will be taking calls from random people.”

“You know, it’s possible,” Nunes told Fox News. “I haven’t gone through my phone records. I don’t really recall that name.”

But last week, shortly before Parnas told MSNBC that he and Nunes had spoken on the phone and met in person but don’t “have too much of a relationship,” Nunes said he did recall a phone call with Parnas.

“I checked it with my records, and it was very clear — I remember that call, which was very odd, random, talking about random things, and I said, ‘Great,’ you know, ‘Talk to my staff,’ and boom, boom, boom,” Nunes told Fox News on Wednesday. “That’s just normal operating procedure.”

Following that interview, Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Torrance) announced on Twitter that Nunes had threatened him with a lawsuit in December unless he apologized for saying Nunes had conspired with Parnas. Lieu included both the original letter from Nunes’ lawyer and Lieu’s Jan. 16 letter in response.

“I welcome any lawsuit from your client and look forward to taking discovery of Congressman Nunes,” Lieu wrote. “Or, you can take your letter and shove it.”

Nunes has filed several lawsuits in the last year against reporters whose coverage he did not like, and against Twitter users who were critical of him during the 2016 election, including users pretending to be his mother and his cow. Most of the cases are still pending.


WASHINGTON — 

President Trump’s legal team on Saturday accused the House of a “brazen and unlawful attempt” to overturn the 2016 election in a scathing response to the impeachment trial summons issued by the Senate ahead of its trial to decide whether to remove the president from office.

The House, in a separate 111-page brief filed Saturday, countered by calling Trump’s alleged attempt to involve a foreign power in the 2020 election — the issue at the base of the House impeachment — the exact reason the framers of the Constitution added such a drastic remedy to check abuses by the executive branch.

The filings were the first of several arguments Trump’s lawyers and House managers are expected to file before the Senate formally begins the impeachment trial Tuesday, giving a taste of the harsh rhetoric expected for the next several weeks in only the third presidential impeachment trial in U.S. history.

The Senate has not agreed on a set of rules to govern the trial, such as how long each side gets to speak and whether witnesses will be called. It could be Wednesday before arguments begin on the merits of the two articles of impeachment.

The House last month voted largely along party lines to impeach Trump on two counts: abuse of power for withholding military aid to Ukraine and a coveted White House meeting unless the newly elected president of Ukraine opened investigations into Trump’s political rivals; and obstruction of Congress for blocking current and former federal employees from producing documents or testifying as part of the House investigation.

The president’s seven-page filing argues that the articles “violate the Constitution,” are “defective in their entirety” and should not be considered valid because they don’t cite a specific federal law that has been broken.

Most constitutional scholars agree that the term “high crimes and misdemeanors,” which appears in the impeachment clause in the Constitution, does not refer to a violation of federal criminal statutes, but to a crime against the American public at large, and that it is up to Congress to determine what qualifies.

Beyond letters to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco), the president and his lawyers explicitly refused an invitation to participate in the House investigation and impeachment hearings, saying the process was unfair.

Their filing to the Senate on Saturday, a day after naming five outside lawyers to the president’s defense team, marks the first time they’ve fully engaged and given a sense of their legal strategy.

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Trump’s legal team, led by White House Counsel Pat Cipollone and Trump personal lawyer Jay Sekulow, challenged the House impeachment on both procedural and constitutional grounds.

The filing states that Trump was mistreated by House Democrats during their investigation. It says he did nothing wrong by withholding nearly $400 million in congressionally approved aid, because the executive branch dictates foreign policy; or by preventing federal officials from complying with the investigation, because the president needed to protect the confidentiality of executive branch information and decision making.

“By approving the articles, the House violated our constitutional order, illegally abused its power of impeachment and attempted to obstruct President Trump’s ability to faithfully execute the duties of his office,” they wrote.

The filing from the House managers, the seven Democrats tasked with proving the House case to the Senate, is effectively the prosecution’s opening brief of the trial.

Trump’s legal team has until noon Monday to file a similar trial brief, where the legal justifications they plan to rely on should become more clear. The House has a chance to rebut it in a brief due by noon Tuesday, an hour before the trial proceedings are expected to begin for the day.

The House managers’ filing gathers the public testimony and closed-door depositions of more than a dozen current and former federal officials. The officials had raised concerns about Trump and his personal attorney Rudolph W. Giuliani’s attempts to get Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to announce an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden’s son Hunter and the Ukrainian energy company he worked for, as well as into the debunked theory that Ukraine, not Russia, sought to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Trump’s “effort to gain a personal political benefit by encouraging a foreign government to undermine America’s democratic process strikes at the core of misconduct that the Framers designed impeachment to protect against,” the managers wrote.

The evidence cited in the filing includes new information that has become public in the month since the Dec. 18 House vote to impeach Trump, including text messages and audio recordings provided by Lev Parnas, a confidant of Giuliani’s who faces federal campaign finance violation charges. Parnas has turned on Trump and Giuliani in recent weeks.

The evidence also includes information unearthed by multiple news organizations who have sued the administration for access to the documents Trump refused to provide the House.

It was not up to Trump to decide whether to release the military aid to Ukraine, which had been approved by Congress, the House managers argue.

The nonpartisan Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress, made the same determination Thursday, saying in a report that federal law “does not permit the president to substitute his own policy priorities for those that Congress has enacted into law.”

In their brief, the House managers argue that “evidence overwhelmingly establishes” that Trump is guilty of both charges, and that the only question is whether the Senate will fulfill the responsibility placed upon it by the Constitution and remove him from office.

“If the Senate permits President Trump to remain in office, he and future leaders would be emboldened to welcome, and even enlist, foreign interference in elections for years to come,” they write.

It takes a vote of two-thirds of senators to remove a president from office, meaning 20 Republicans would have to join 47 Democrats to convict Trump. So far, no Republicans have indicated a willingness to do so.

The previous two presidential impeachment trials, of President Clinton in 1999 and President Andrew Johnson in 1868, resulted in acquittals.


SACRAMENTO — 

As most Californians reach deeper into their pockets to pay higher gas taxes for road repairs, electric vehicle owners have been getting a free pass. Many will continue to benefit under a little-known provision of the law, costing the state tens of millions of dollars annually and drawing objections from taxpayer advocates who say all who use the roads should pay their fair share.

With some provisions of Senate Bill 1 taking effect later this year, the tax breaks have reignited a debate from 2017, when the Legislature and then-Gov. Jerry Brown raised gas taxes by 17.6 cents per gallon and implemented an annual $100 fee for some zero-emission vehicles, effective July 1, 2020, to help pay for repairs to state roads and bridges.

The contentious law — which led to a failed repeal effort and the recall of a state senator who voted for the legislation — exempts all 100% electric and hydrogen-fueled cars with model years before 2020, amounting to more than $32 million in lost transportation revenues each year.

Lawmakers who approved the measure, including several who have benefited from the exemption, say they see a greater good in encouraging more people to drive cars that don’t pollute at a time when climate change is a deep concern.

But that reasoning has not swayed Jon Coupal, president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Assn., which opposed Senate Bill 1. Coupal said many California workers would not get a tax break because they could not afford an electric car, which can run from $36,000 to more than $124,000.

“It’s reflective of policies that favor the elite and the wealthy in California relative to working-class Californians,” he said. “There are a lot of tradespeople who don’t drive electric cars. They drive gas-powered pickup trucks, and they are being punished by the highest gas prices in America.”

The annual $100 “road improvement fee” on zero-emission vehicles from SB1 was touted as a way to ensure that owners of the vehicles had skin in the game when it came to fixing the state‘s aging transportation infrastructure. But implementation of the fee was delayed after until July 1, 2020, and it applies only to vehicles of model year 2020 or later.

Some 320,000 zero-emission vehicles older than the current model year are registered with the DMV, including cars owned by at least eight legislators, four of whom were co-authors of the bill.

“Hypocrisy in politics? I’m shocked,” Coupal quipped.

Legislators say there is an important goal at stake. Brown set a target of having 5 million zero-emission vehicles on the roads by 2030, but with so few operating so far, some question whether the goal can be reached in time.

That concern colored the legislative debate over SB 1, as Democratic legislators insisted the gas tax increase was needed to address an estimated $78-billion backlog of repairs to the state’s crumbling system of roads and bridges.

The measure signed by Brown raised the gas and diesel taxes and vehicle registration fees to bring in an estimated $5.2 billion annually to improve roads and mass transit.

But taxing vehicles that don’t use gas has proved politically challenging. State leaders have spent years trying to encourage Californians to buy electric cars, offering subsidies worth up to $5,000 and other incentives, including access to high-occupancy-vehicle lanes for single-passenger ZEVs.

The exemption was part of a compromise aimed at avoiding opposition to SB 1 by environmental groups and like-minded legislators who wanted protections for zero-emission cars as part of efforts to combat climate change, said state Sen. Jim Beall (D-San Jose), the author of the bill.

“There are two important principles,” said Beall, who is chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee. “The first is that everyone who uses our roads should pay for their upkeep. The second is that we need to continue supporting our efforts to address climate change. The ZEV provision reflects a compromise which honors both.”

Groups that urged lawmakers to provide tax breaks to zero-emission cars included Sierra Club California and Plug In America, a Los Angeles advocacy group for electric cars. The tax waiver on pre-2020 vehicles will help reach the state goal to boost zero-emission vehicles on California roads, said Joel Levin, Plug In America’s executive director, who noted that he would have preferred a longer delay for the fees on new electric cars.

“There is a public benefit to having EVs on the road because they help to clean up the air, so the state wants to incent[ivize] people to drive EVs,” Levin said. “When you are charging a fee, that is a little bit of a discouragement to driving those vehicles.”

Levin said a move to charge the $100 annual fee to current electric car owners after giving them a government subsidy would be inconsistent.

“You are giving money with one hand and taking away money with the other,” he said, adding that his group “philosophically understand[s] that you need to take care of the roads and that EVs should be part of that discussion.”

The California League of Conservation Voters also would have opposed SB 1 if tax breaks for electric cars had not been included, said Chief Executive Officer Mary Creasman. The group ended up neutral on the bill but later defended it by opposing a 2018 ballot measure that sought to repeal the gas tax.

Creasman said state officials weren’t doing enough to increase the number of electric vehicles on the road and that taxing the existing cars would not have helped.

“It’s a huge problem, and it’s one our biggest focuses as an organization, because as we know climate change is here and over 40% of carbon emissions comes from the transportation sector,” she said.

Supporters of SB 1 deny that electric car owners are getting a free ride. They note that owners of zero-emission vehicles exempt from the $100 fee still pay annual vehicle registration fees charged to all car owners, including another levy in SB 1 that goes to road repairs.

Though Beall does not own a zero-emissions vehicle, several co-authors of the bill do. Assembly Speaker Pro Tempore Kevin Mullin of South San Francisco drives a Chevy Bolt he bought in 2018, and state Sens. Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo) and Bill Dodd (D-Napa) bought Teslas in 2017 and 2018, respectively.

Mullin and Dodd noted they purchased their ZEVs after the bill was approved.

“Climate change is an existential threat, and vehicle emissions account for the lion’s share of carbon going into the atmosphere,” Dodd said. “As someone who drives 30,000 miles a year, representing six counties and 22 cities, I feel it is incumbent on me to model the change we need.”

Another supporter of the bill, Sen. Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica), and his wife own a Nissan Leaf they bought in 2016, according to spokeswoman Allison Towle.

“Sen. Allen spent his political capital fighting for transit funding in SB 1, not a tax break” for his family’s car, Towle said.

Hill said there was an argument to be made for existing owners of electric vehicles paying the $100 fee and he was willing to do so, but the exemption was kept in the bill at the insistence of then-Gov. Brown. In a 2017 public hearing with Brown, Hill acknowledged that he had an electric car, and he questioned not immediately charging the $100 fee.

“They are using the roads,” Hill told Brown, referring to electric car owners, adding they were “wearing out the roads as we go.”

Brown told Hill and other legislators that putting off the fee was justified at a time when too few zero-emission vehicles were on the road.

“We want to give as much of a boost as we can,” Brown said at the hearing. “We do think they should pay, but we are so in our infancy in zero-emission cars, it’s really just a way of trying to provide a little subsidy for a couple of years longer.”

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In the end, Hill voted for the bill, calling the overall package “reasonable.”

In addition to delaying the fee until after July 1 for models from years 2020 and later, it also waived the fee for the first purchase of those cars, meaning many will not pay it until 2021.

SB 1 was opposed by most Republican lawmakers, including Assemblyman Vince Fong of Bakersfield, who offered an alternative proposal without tax increases. Fong, who drives a gas-powered car, said the public would be frustrated that many electric car owners were not paying the new road improvement fee.

“Sacramento picking winners and losers — that was the whole debate on SB 1,” said Fong, who is vice chairman of the Assembly Transportation Committee. “I think ZEV owners need to be part of the solution” of fixing roads.


KANSAS CITY, Mo.  — 

Fifty years of frustration, anguish, and heartbreak floated to the heavens Sunday in the form of a collective roar.

The Kansas City Chiefs are headed to the Super Bowl.

Led by the phenomenal play of quarterback Patrick Mahomes, and a defense that hardened like ice, the Chiefs secured their spot in Super Bowl LIV on Sunday with a 35-24 victory over the upstart Tennessee Titans in the AFC championship game at a frigid-but-rollicking Arrowhead Stadium.

The temperature at kickoff was 17 degrees, with a wind chill of 5, and the day didn’t get warmer. Still, players and their bundled-up families shrugged off the cold so they could bask in the moment, hugging, dancing amid the confetti, and cheering the end of a drought two years older than the stadium itself.

“I mean, it’s amazing. It really is,” Mahomes said. “To be here, to be a part of Chiefs Kingdom and to be able to do it here at Arrowhead, these people deserve it. And, we’re not done yet.”

The Chiefs, who lost to Green Bay in the first Super Bowl, last made an appearance on the NFL’s biggest stage with a Super Bowl IV victory over Minnesota in January 1970.

The magnitude of the moment was not lost on the 73,656 people at the game.
“This town has been hungry, thirsty, whatever you want to call it for a long time,” said punter Dustin Colquitt, who has been with the Chiefs since 2005 and is the team’s longest-tenured active player. “So it feels nice just to deliver that to them. Looking up, you could tell how excited – nobody moved, they were that excited.

“Nobody was in the aisleways. Never seen a football game like that, where nobody’s trying to get closer or do anything like that. They’re just in their seats taking in the moment. That was special.”

In the locker room after the game, the Chiefs passed around and cradled the Lamar Hunt Trophy — named for their founder, and presented to the AFC champion — and now are in the hunt for the Lombardi. They will play the San Francisco 49ers, victors over Green Bay in the late game Sunday, in Miami on Feb. 2 in Super Bowl LIV.

Chiefs coach Andy Reid is 0-1 in Super Bowls, with his Philadelphia Eagles losing to New England 15 years ago. The Patriots spoiled the party for Reid and the Chiefs last season, posting a 37-31 overtime victory at Arrowhead in last year’s AFC championship. What looked to be a victory-clinching interception by the Chiefs was wiped out because Kansas City’s Dee Ford lined up in the neutral zone.

“I think we were all bitter over it,” Reid said. “That’s not a good feeling. It wasn’t just Dee, it was everybody. Everybody took responsibility… I was proud of that driving us through training camp and into the season.”

The Kansas City same team that fell behind, 24-0, to Houston last week before a 51-7 scoring spree in the final three quarters, again found itself staring up out of a hole. Tennessee led, 10-0, in the first quarter, and 17-7 early in the second.

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But the home team would come to life in a big way.

“When you play teams that are as good as the Chiefs, as explosive as they are, you kind of knew they were going to make a run,” said Mike Vrabel, coach of the sixth-seeded Titans, who had to upset New England and Baltimore to get this far.

The Chiefs stayed in the game with a pair of touchdown passes to the blistering-fast Tyreek Hill, first on a jet sweep (ruled a pass) that covered eight yards, then a 20-yard strike down the seam.

Then, near the end of the first half, Mahomes seized control with 27-yard touchdown run for the ages.

The signature play of the game — and maybe the Chiefs’ season — came with 23 seconds remaining in the half and Kansas City trailing, 17-14.

Mahomes took a shotgun snap, dropped back to the 35 and surveyed his options. He didn’t see anyone open so he darted left and began a run that could lead the club’s all-time highlight video. Linebacker Derick Roberson made a futile dive at his feet at the 32, then the quarterback twisted away from linebacker Rashaan Evans at the 29.

Dashing up the sideline, with his left foot coming within three inches of the chalk boundary, Mahomes did a tightrope act to stay inbounds. At the 10, he veered to his right, spun away from a strip attempt by cornerback Tramaine Brock at the five, and plunged into the end zone under a last-gasp tackle attempt by defensive end Matt Dickerson.

The Chiefs had their first lead, and Arrowhead erupted. Even fellow Chiefs seemed stunned by the playmaking ability of Mahomes, with receiver Demarcus Robinson waving his arms at him as if fanning a fire.

“If anything, [that touchdown] just shows his will to win and never be denied,” tackle Mitchell Schwartz said of Mahomes. “When people ask what he’s like or how hard he works, that play is Pat. Makes one guy miss, could have taken the easy way out but doesn’t, finds a gap, breaks a tackle or two, fights and gets in the end zone. There’s nothing that’s stopping him.”

Kansas City’s defense was able to limit the damage inflicted by Tennessee running back Derrick Henry, who had rushed for at least 180 yards in each of his last three games, an NFL record. He gained 32 yards in the first quarter, but only 37 more the rest of the game.

Henry had run for 188 yards and two touchdowns against Kansas City in a 35-32 victory during the regular season.

In discussing the performance of the Kansas City defense, the Chiefs’ Frank Clark started down an R-rated path before abbreviating his remarks the way his team curtailed Henry.

“We’re the baddest … on the planet,” Clark said.

The 49ers might disagree. But that’s for another day.


SANTA CLARA — 

Over the last three years, he has built the team that will now represent the NFC in Super Bowl LIV.

John Lynch’s long-term vision as general manager of the San Francisco 49ers cannot be doubted.

Nor can his short-term vision.

“The [Green Bay] Packers had a fantastic year. …We had a lot of respect for them,” Lynch said Sunday night. “We felt we could overwhelm them, though.”

Behind a little-known and often-doubted running back named Raheem Mostert, the 49ers overwhelmed the Packers in the manner that a steamroller would overwhelm a stuffed animal.

Mostert became the first player in NFL history to rush for at least 200 yards and four touchdowns in a postseason game in a 37-20 San Francisco victory at rocking Levi’s Stadium.

His 29-carry, 220-yard effort helped the 49ers win with a markedly lopsided offensive attack. Of their 51 plays, 42 were runs. Jimmy Garoppolo threw only eight passes, completing six for 77 yards.

The last time a starting quarterback threw fewer passes in a postseason win was Miami’s Bob Griese in Super VIII. Griese finished six for seven in a victory over Minnesota in January 1974.

“We got in there and we were going eight, nine yards a pop,” Lynch said. “So, why not, you know? Make ’em stop you.

“That has nothing to do, I promise you, with our belief in Jimmy Garoppolo and our passing attack. It’s just, if you can run it, why throw it?”

San Francisco will make its seventh Super Bowl appearance Feb. 2 in Miami against Kansas City. The 49ers most recently played for the NFL title in 2013, losing to Baltimore.

In his third season, Kyle Shanahan is looking for his first Super Bowl championship as a head coach. His father, Mike, won two Super Bowls while coaching Denver in the 1990s.

San Francisco’s great day running the ball actually began with a glaring failure. Green Bay stopped the 49ers on third and one by stuffing Tevin Coleman to force a three-and-out on the game’s opening series.

But, with Mostert then grabbing the game — and the Packers — by the throat, San Francisco scored on its five remaining possessions in the first half to open a 27-0 lead.

“It seemed like every run he did he was about to score every time,” rookie wide receiver Deebo Samuel said. “I was just out there going crazy.”

Mostert moved into the No. 1 running back role after Coleman left the game in the second quarter because of a shoulder injury, and behind a line that was opening gaping holes and with the help of receivers neutralizing defenders downfield, he barreled around and over whatever resistance Green Bay offered.

“I can’t believe that I’m in this position right now and I did the things that I did tonight,” said Mostert, who signed with Philadelphia in May 2015 as an undrafted free agent out of Purdue.

“I can’t believe it. This is so surreal.”

Mostert, 27, has been with seven teams and cut multiple times. He also has played with Cleveland, Miami, Baltimore and Chicago. The Eagles and the New York Jets had him and released him before he appeared in a game.

Mostert has been with San Francisco since November 2016, mostly as a special-teamer. He had only 42 career carries until emerging this season as one of the 49ers’ main three options at running back.

“He’s just resilient and never gives up,” fullback Kyle Juszczyk said. “All you need is one person to believe in you and one person to give you an opportunity.”

The 49ers had the NFL’s No. 2 running game during the regular season, averaging 144.1 yards, thanks to a committee approach. Mostert was the team’s top rusher with 772 yards, which ranked 26th in the league.

They certainly advanced to Super Bowl LIV on their soles. In a divisional-round victory over Minnesota, the 49ers rushed 47 times for 186 yards. On Sunday, they totaled 285 yards in 42 tries.

“I don’t know if you ever truly envision rushing for 300 yards in a game,” Juszczyk said. “We felt like we could be successful, definitely. But I don’t think you ever anticipate that kind of success.”

Facing a massive halftime deficit, the Packers did respond enough to close to within 34-20 midway through the fourth quarter. But that’s when their unlikely comeback stalled.

Aaron Rodgers finished 31 for 39 for 326 yards and two touchdowns. But he also threw two interceptions, turned the ball over when he couldn’t handle the center exchange and had two fumbles that Green Bay recovered.

The victory came eight weeks after San Francisco dominated the Packers at Levi’s Stadium in the regular season. That final, on Nov. 24, was 37-8.

“Both wins feel really, really good,” right tackle Mike McGlinchey said. “But the timing of this one feels a little better.”


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