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Good evening Noonerific people! Just a few items to check off my notepad. It's been a relatively quiet day and I even finally hauled the three bags each weighing around 50 pounds of potting soil up my stairs, put them in my new second fabric planter on my balcony, and planted lots of seeds. Those bags have been sitting outside my front door for two months! 

This evening's items:

  • Numbers
  • Unemployment
  • Property tax
  • Rape crisis center funding
  • Transcript of President Trump on mail-in voting
  • House Republican Leader McCarthy on mail-in voting

DEATHS: Between 11:30am and now, 39 new COVID-19 deaths have been reported in California. Fifty-three out of California's 58 counties have confirmed cases of the virrus.

UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE: PPIC is out with a new publication on unemployment benefits and COVID-19, including expanded eligibility and the $600 supplement that was included in the federal CARES Act and begins Sunday. Governor Newsom also has a press release on today's report of initial unemployment claims filed last week.

In the last four weeks, California has processed about 2.3 million unemployment insurance claims, which is more than the total number of claims filed in 2019. Just for the week ending on Saturday, April 4, 2020, the California Employment Development Department (EDD) processed 925,450 claims, which is a 2,418% increase over the same week last year.

Additionally, the EDD paid a total of nearly $684.3 million in unemployment benefits to Californians in need in the last four weeks, supporting families and their local economies.

PROPERTY TAX: The Bee's Dale Kasler writes that only four counties have agreed to give a blanket waiver of penalties for late payment of property taxes beyond tomorrow's deadline and received by June 30. They are San Francisco, San Mateo, Kern and Imperial. Other counties are waiving penalties on a case-by-case bases where taxpayers demonstrate a COVID-19 associated hardship.

Sacramento County is establishing a process for requesting a waiver of penalties. The procedure will be posted on the county’s website next week, said county spokeswoman Laurie Slothower.

RAPE CRISIS CENTER FUNDING: For Capitol Weekly, Scott Soriano reports that a "bipartisan group of state legislators are urging increased funding for California’s 84 rape crisis centers as reports of sexual assault and domestic violence rise under COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders."

Rape crisis advocates in the Legislature insist that rape crisis centers not only provide essential services, but that a vital response to COVID-19 fallout, specifically the reported rise in sexual abuse in the home, an unintended consequence of shelter-in-place.

The California Coalition Against Sexual Assault (CALCASA), which lobbies on behalf of the rape crisis centers, says most of the centers saw no drop off in calls to their hotlines, despite the danger and difficulty of the abused reaching out for help while still in physical proximity of the abuser.

While it is too early for hard data on in-home sexual assault to appear, Capitol Weekly contacted a number of rape crisis centers, who confirmed CALCASA’s claim.

VOTE BY MAIL: Here is the full interaction between President Trump and CNN's Jim Acosta from yesterday's briefing, from The White House transcript. This discussion was a follow-up to the commens by the President during Tuesday's press conference.

[THE PRESIDENT:] Jim, go ahead.

Q    Yeah, I wanted to get back to something you were saying yesterday about people going to Wisconsin and voting —

THE PRESIDENT:  Yeah.

Q    — in the middle of this pandemic, really putting their lives on a line.  And you said: Well, if they do that, vote by mail, perhaps we’ll have voter fraud in this country.

And I just wanted to ask you, voters in five states — Utah, Colorado, Hawaii, Washington, and Oregon — all vote by mail.  Can you or the White House staff or your campaign provide any evidence to back up your claim that mail-in voting is rife with fraud, like the example you gave of people working in rooms, filling out false ballots?

THE PRESIDENT:  Yeah, sure.  Well, what happened —

Q    You’ve been talking about voter fraud —

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, what happened — yeah.  True.

Q    — since the beginning of this administration.

THE PRESIDENT:  True and fair.

Q    And where is the evidence of it?

THE PRESIDENT:  The — I think there’s a lot of evidence, but we’ll provide you with some, okay?  And there’s evidence that’s being compiled just like it’s being compiled in the state of California, where they settled with Judicial Watch, saying that a million people should not have been voting in — you saw that.

Q    But all the experts say voter fraud is rare.

THE PRESIDENT:  Wait, excuse me.  I’m just telling you.  I’m telling you, in California, in the great state of California, they settled, and we could’ve gone a lot further.  Judicial Watch settled where they agreed that a million people should not have voted, where they were 115 years old and lots of things, and people were voting in their place.

What I see and — you know, every one of those states that you mentioned is a state that happens to be won by the Democrats.  And if you have a position like me, where it’s registered, you’re here, and we’re voting someplace where I’m not — I haven’t left the White House in, I guess, months, other than to, you know, ask a ship to — you know, wave it goodbye to New York — which, by the way, is now going — as you know, being used for the purpose that we’re talking about, which a lot of people wanted.

Q    Do you tweeted mail-in voting —

THE PRESIDENT:  Wait a minute.

Q    — “doesn’t work out well for the Republicans.”

THE PRESIDENT:  Well it’s — it hasn’t.

Q    So isn’t your —

THE PRESIDENT:  It certainly hasn’t.

Q    Isn’t your concern really just political?

THE PRESIDENT:  But if you’re a senior citizen and if you’re somebody that needs it, I’m all for it.  But they have to be very careful, because you know the things with bundling and all of the things that are happening with votes by mail where thousands of votes are gathered.  And I’m not going to say which party does it, but thousands of votes are gathered and they come in and they’re dumped in a location, and then, all of a sudden, you lose elections if you think you’re going to win.

Q    But where is the proof that that’s happened?

THE PRESIDENT:  I won’t to stand for it.  Well, we’re going to find out about the proof, because you’re going to see what’s going on.  And I’m not going to stand for it.  Our voting system — first of all, we should have voter ID.  When you vote, you should have voter ID.  And if you send something in, you should be sure — as a state and as a country, you should be sure that that vote is meaningful and it’s not just made fraudulently, because there’s a lot of fraudulent voting going on in this country.  This country should have voter ID.

HOUSE REP LEADER McCARTHY ON MAIL-IN VOTING: The Chron's John Wildermuth writes that House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) has joined President Trump in claiming fraud in mail-in balloting.

The Bakersfield Republican attacked Democrats for holding up a proposed coronavirus relief bill, partly because they want to add as much as $2 billion to help states make voting safer and easier in November, including by expanding mail elections.

“You want to hold a bill up because you want to change election law in November, that somehow you think that gives you benefit?” McCarthy said in a call with reporters. “That’s disgusting.”

McCarthy was echoing President Trump, who complained again Tuesday that voting by mail was dangerous for the country.

“Mail ballots, they cheat,” the president said. “OK, people cheat. Mail ballots are a very dangerous thing for this country because they are cheaters.”

...

But if McCarthy is looking to bash voting by mail, he needs to turn his sights closer to home.

In Kern County, which accounts for most of McCarthy’s 23rd Congressional District, nearly 70% of the voters now opt to receive mail ballots in every election.

In last month’s primary, McCarthy routed Democrat Kim Mangone by better than 2 to 1. According to election officials, 72% of Kern County’s turnout was from mail ballots.

If Democratic efforts to boost the number of mail ballots would ensure that “you’d never have a Republican elected in this country again,” as Trump suggested in a recent Fox News interview, McCarthy can’t prove it by Kern County.

Enjoy your evening and "see" you mañana!

Scott