Around The Capitol

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THE Nooner for February 24, 2017



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Happy Friday! You made it! 

The Capitol was abuzz yesterday after OC Senator Janet Nguyen was removed from the chamber by sergeants at arms after she read a statement in Vietnamese and English critical of deceased Senator Tom Hayden about his Vietnam War opposition and didn't stop talking after being ruled out of order by presiding officer Ricardo Lara. Nguyen arrived with her family in 1981 after the fall of Saigon where she was born and spent lots of time in refugee camps.

In 22 years around the Capitol, I don't recall seeing a member of either house being ejected ever happening before (although there is debate as to whether former Assemblymember Roger Hernandez was). Of course, it's becoming a rallying cry for GOP senators. The rest of us are just embarrassed for the institution.

The Bee today has a crtical editorial on the situation. The closing graf hits it spot on:

"Our guess is that Hayden, never one to adhere to the rules, would have urged that fellow senators allow Nguyen to speak. And then Hayden would have stood and spoken his mind, loudly."

Meanwhile, the GOP is gathering for its spring convention at the Hyatt in SacTown this weekend, and the timing couldn't be better for Janet Nguyen.

The Oscars are Sunday night. You thus have a couple of days to watch the best picture nominees you haven't seen yet:

  • Arrival
  • Fences
  • Hacksaw Ridge
  • Hell or High Water
  • Hidden Figures
  • La La Land
  • Lion
  • Manchester by the Sea
  • Moonlight

I've only seen two (Fences and Manchester). I guess I need to get my butt out before Sunday! So, I just bought a ticket to see Hidden Figures later today. I'm still torn between Casey and Denzel for best actor.

The Kings beat Denver last night 116-100 last night in the premier of their new lineup. That's important, as they are a half-game behind Denver for the 8th Western Conference playoff spot, something that hasn't happened in 11 years.



  • POTUS spoke to the CPAC conference this morning, spending much of his speech criticizing the media. He also claimed that ObamaCare covers "very few people." If by very few he means 20 million, he would be correct.
  • And, yes we are still going to build that "great great wall."
  • The speech is likely very similar to the one he will give to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday, although his crowd won't be as fanatical as CPAC, which returned to the chant of "lock her up," referring to Hillary Clinton.
  • The National Governors Association is meeting in Washington, and the backchannel from even GOP governors is "don't move so fast" on the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, which they see as budget-busting for the states.
  • Press Spox Sean Spicer hinted yesterday that the Administration is going to crack down on recreational marijuana in states (like CA) that have legalized it.




  • GOV 2018: San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer appears not to be running to be guber, writes Christopher Cadelago in the Bee. The GOP desperately wants a legit candidate, but individuals seem to be unwilling to put in the effort in a state that voted 61.7% for Hillary Clinton.
  • In the Bee, Jim Miller writes that Governor Jerry Brown is not willing to pull the fiscal emergency trigger to free up $6.7 billion in "rainy day" funds, something that lots of public spending advocates want. It's an odd structure, put in place by Proposition 2 in 2014. The governor has the authority to free up those funds, but that turns them over to the Legislature. Of court, the gov has line-item veto authority in California. Nevertheless, doing billions of dollars of vetoes has (I believe) never happened, and would create a backlash, particularly as it comes to school funding.
  • Speaking of LA-LA Land, I admit I haven't updated race analysis on the race to fill now Attorney General Xavier Becerra's congressional seat in Los Angeles. With 23 candidates competing on April 4, it's almost certain to move to a runoff on June 4. When we're down to two candidates, I'll provide analysis. Clearly, Assemblymember Jimmy Gomez is very likely to be one of the two, although there is also an anti-Sacramento, anti-Washington attitude among many voters in the district. 
  • The LAT's Mark Z. Barabak writes up the 90th birthday celebration for the legendary GOP consultant Stu Spencer. best known for the strategy to elect Ronald Reagan. On Trump, Spencer stated “Today, half of America is holding its breath,” he said. “I’m one of them.” Barabak also writes "He wished Trump well. But, he said, “he is President Trump, not President Reagan.” The Jeffes write about him on Fox and Hounds.
  • If you're feeling charitable and have the means, the Orange County Rescue Mission desperately needs food to serve the needy, writes Theresa Walker in the OCR:

A decline in donations of canned and boxed food items since the holidays has been so severe, the nonprofit is cutting in half the number of monthly food boxes it hopes to provide in the near future to homeless and other needy families, from 800 down to 400.

A few inexpensive solutions available on Amazon:

Mailing address:

Village of Hope at OCRM Donation Warehouse, c/o Mike Martinez, 1 Hope Drive, Tustin, CA, 92782


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Ca Senate Removes Lawmaker Over Tom Hayden Vietnam Criticism | The Sacramento Bee
Alexei Koseff @
The go-to source for news on California policy and politics

Bay Area politics: Feinstein protests, environmental rallies
Bay Area politics: Feinstein protests, environmental rallies Political events Rallies, protests and town hall events are a part of political life in the Bay Area. Health care town hall: Starts at 9 a.m. at Piner High School, 1700 Fulton Road, Santa Rosa. Town hall: “A Conversation About America” hosted by Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Hillsborough, from 10 to 11 a.m. at the Cabrillo Unified School District, 530 Kelly Ave. in Half Moon Bay. Meeting in front of the Environmental Protection Agency’s regional offices in San Francisco to protest the new head of EPA and fight for “environmental justice,” from 1 to 3 p.m., 75 Hawthorne St. Meet and greet for women and members of women’s organizations working to elect progressive, pro-abortion-rights women to office. Hosted by Democratic Activists for Women Now, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., 2302 Zanker Road, San Jose. Activists organizing to resist the Trump administration will hold a general meeting from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Finnish Hall, 1970 Chestnut St., Berkeley. Residents are planning to attend the meeting to speak out against a Muslim registry and calling for the board to pass an ordinance divesting city funds from the Dakota Access Pipeline. Hosted by San Francisco “Berniecrats,” featuring a guest speech by Supervisor Jane Kim, to discuss how the grassroots organization can “fight for issues they care about.” Hosted by Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Palo Alto, on how to shape the 2018 election, from 2 to 4 p.m. Crowne Plaza Cabana, 4290 El Camino Real, Palo Alto. The organizers behind the Women’s March on Washington are calling for a general strike to show what a day without women would look like. Standing Rock march: A march and rally calling for President Trump to meet with tribal leaders before continuing work on the Dakota Access Pipeline.

California's Gay And Lesbian Lawmakers Condemn Trump's Action On Transgender Students
Melanie Mason @
Update on 'Essential Politics: Local leaders struggle to keep up with the marijuana business, hundreds rally for single-payer healthcar...

Santa Clara County calls Trumpâ
Santa Clara County officials asked a federal judge Thursday to impose a nationwide preliminary injunction against President Trump’s executive order threatening to withhold federal funds from sanctuary jurisdictions, calling the move “extortion” by the White House. San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera alleged the executive order targeting sanctuary cities violated the 10th Amendment, which limits the reach of the federal government in state matters. [...] Santa Clara County officials argued that nearly $1.7 billion in annual health, safety and social services were at stake, even though Medicaid and Medicare are currently mandatory spending programs under the law. County officials gathered in the basement of the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center Thursday for a news conference denouncing the order as coercive, an overreach of Congress’ power over the federal purse strings, and the catalyst for a possible “massive and untenable public health crisis in the county.” The order, which appears to prioritize deportation of criminal offenders, adds that “we cannot faithfully execute the immigration laws of the United States if we exempt classes or categories of removable aliens from potential enforcement.” In that view, it also aims to target those who have abused public benefit programs or were judged a security threat at the discretion of an immigration officer. The order includes a provision to produce a weekly list of “criminal actions committed by aliens” to emphasize the belief that sanctuary city policies in which law enforcement officials do not release people to federal immigration agents for deportation enable such behavior. “The order is a patently unconstitutional attempt to coerce the county and other state and local governments to participate in the Trump administration’s expanded immigration enforcement and deportation efforts,” Williams said.

Feds Deny Duping California Police Into Immigration Raid | The Sacramento Bee
Federal immigration officials pushed back hard against the assertion that they had duped the Santa Cruz, California, police department into helping them make immigration arrests during a raid on an El Salvador-based gang.

Gov. Jerry Brown On Measure S: It 'goes Too Far'
Emily Alpert Reyes @
Gov. Jerry Brown is against a Los Angeles ballot measure that would restrict real estate development, its opponents announced Thursday.

Muslims Seek Mental Health Aid After Mosque Attacks, Travel Ban | The Sacramento Bee
Sammy Caiola @
By Sammy Caiola

Protesters Seek Out California's Republican Members Of Congress At Their Homes
Javier Panzar @
Update on 'Essential Politics: Local leaders struggle to keep up with the marijuana business, hundreds rally for single-payer healthcar...

Doris Matsui Talks Party Politics, Donald Trump, Internment | The Sacramento Bee
Robin Opsahl @
By Robin Opsahl

Utah Governor 'cautiously Optimistic' About Trump - Politico
Herbert abandoned Trump in October after a tape featuring the GOP nominee bragging about groping women without their permission was made public. Although he said he would not vote for Trump, the governor did not reveal who ended up voting for on election night.

Santa Cruz leaders slam feds over immigration detentions during gang operation
Santa Cruz law enforcement leaders took the unusual step of castigating federal Department of Homeland Security officials Thursday over a joint gang bust that the city participated in, only to later learn that federal agents detained individuals based solely on their immigration status. “This has violated the trust of our community and we cannot tell you how disappointed we are by the betrayal of the Department of Homeland Security,” said Santa Cruz Police Chief Kevin Vogel, who was joined by the city’s mayor and his deputy chief at a news conference. The police officials revealed in specific detail how the recent operation was conducted, and just how much local police knew, as they accused federal officials of misleading them on the full scope of the raid and said they had contacted members of Congress to investigate the matter. The city’s response came just days after the Trump administration released a pair of memos explaining how it will implement the president’s executive orders cracking down on illegal immigration. Experts and advocates for immigrants said the episode highlights the tension local agencies could face — particularly in sanctuary cities like Santa Cruz and San Francisco — if they cooperate with federal authorities in investigations that target gangs, terrorism and other high-profile crimes. “I think the fact that the (Police Department) felt the need for a post-event press conference to ‘apologize’ to the community indicates how much they believe that their participation in immigration enforcement is going to be detrimental to their public safety goals,” said Pratheepan Gulasekaram, a professor at Santa Clara University School of Law and an immigration expert. Deputy Police Chief Dan Flippo detailed the operation at the news conference, saying the investigation started years ago after officers learned the gang had moved into the city. On the day of the operation, however, Flippo said he learned from the local news media that some community members were concerned about federal agents making identification checks during the raids.

How Increased Immigration Enforcement Could Impact San Diego County Farms | Kpbs
Maureen Cavanaugh, Brooke Ruth @
How Increased Immigration Enforcement Could Impact San Diego County Farms

Santa Cruz And Federal Agents In War Of Words Over Whether A Gang Sweep Was Really A Secret Immigration Raid
Richard Winton, James Queally @
Santa Cruz police chief accuses Homeland Security of lying about secret immigration raid

Water District Official Criticized For Anti-muslim Comments On Twitter, Facebook - The San Diego Union-tribune
Kate Morrissey @
What you should know about the U.S.-Mexico border and the wall Trump has ordered.

In Guatemala, Trump's Homeland Security Chief Contradicts New Immigration Directives
Kate Linthicum @
Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly says his agency will deport migrants to their countries of origin, not Mexico

California Immigration Policy Debate Brings Local Law Enforcement Role Into Focus – East Bay Times
Gulasekaram said the state has a strong argument in asserting it has the authority to restrict the use of state resources to cooperate with ICE, even as the feds try to make inroads with local agencies.

Spicer: Expect To See 'greater Enforcement' Of Federal Marijuana Law - Politico
Spicer suggested that the administration is opposed to encouraging recreational marijuana use and connected it with the crisis with opioid addiction in some areas.

Gov. Jerry Brown Could Declare A Fiscal Emergency, LAO Says | The Sacramento Bee
Jim Miller @
The go-to source for news on California policy and politics

Protesters Target Sen. Feinstein For Not Holding Town Halls - San Francisco Chronicle
Republican members of Congress aren’t alone in feeling the heat from constituents at town hall meetings this week. California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein will be the target at two Bay Area events over the next three days — and she won’t even be at one of them.

What Trump's Policy Means For Transgender Students In California
Sonali Kohli @
President Trump announced Wednesday that he is dropping federal protections for transgender students. In California, students are mostly protected.

White House Adviser Asked FBI To Dispute Russia Reports | The Sacramento Bee
White House chief of staff Reince Priebus asked a top FBI official to dispute media reports that President Donald Trump's campaign advisers were frequently in touch with Russian intelligence agents during the election, a White House official said late Thursday.

Kansas's governor arrives at CPAC after a grueling tax fight - but doesn't mention it

Appearance comes a day after Gov. Sam Brownback's veto of a bipartisan attempt to raise taxes after his signature 2012 reforms blew annual holes in the budget.