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THE Nooner for June 11, 2017
If the subscription price is a bit steep for you and you don't need the election analysis, help support independent coverage of California politics and policy by chipping in whatever you can afford. Thank you for your support!
Happy Sunday! If you want to go to Game 5 in Oakland tomorrow night, tickets on Stubhub range from $694 to $40,600. Holy cow.
AURAL PLEASURE, DOLLARS AND SENSE STYLE: John Myers, Melanie Mason and Anthony York tickle our ears with the California Politics Podcast, talking about the tentative state $180 billion budget deal. The Legislature must pass a constitutionally balanced spending plan by midnight Thursday to keep the paychecks for Assemblymembers and Senators coming in. The fiscal year begins July 1. There doesn't seem to be many significant issues, but those of us who worked on/watched the budget for a couple decades know that issues always emerge.
GOV: The race between Gavin Newsom and Antonio Villaraigosa is heating up, reports Michael Finnegan in the Times. "The rivalry between Antonio Villaraigosa and Gavin Newsom intensified Saturday as the former Los Angeles mayor suggested his chief opponent in the governor’s race was a finger-in-the-wind politician unworthy of leading California’s resistance to President Trump."
GAS TAX: The LAT's John Myers looks at how the gas tax increase could play out in the 2018 elections. “It’s the price tag that’s in your face every day,” said Rob Stutzman, a longtime GOP political consultant who’s not backing the idea, but says it’s ripe for the taking. “It’s not hard to explain.”
HELPING HAND: The MercNews's Katy Murphy looks at the provision included in the budget approved by Conference Committee to increase the income limits under the state's Earned Income Tax Credit program for low-wage workers.
POT POLITICS: The LAT's Patrick McGreevy reports:
California is on the verge of creating a legal market for marijuana worth more than $5 billion that will help make the state a destination for pot-loving tourists, according to a new state-sponsored economic study.
But about 29% of all cannabis consumers may stay in the illegal market at first to avoid the cost of new regulations requiring the pot to be tested, tracked and taxed at 15% of its retail value, according to the study by the University of California Agricultural Issues Center.
THE COMB ATTACK: Congressman Brad Sherman (D-Sherman Oaks) is drafting articles of impeachment against Donald Trump, writes Christine Mai-Duc in the Times. Environmental activist billionaife Tom Steyer is also on board, writes Christopher Cadelago in the Bee.
GOP DECLINE: Phillip Reese reports in the Bee on the decline of registered Repubicans in California.
Fifteen years ago, Republicans comprised more than half of the voters in 66 of California’s 482 cities. Today, they are a majority in just 14 cities, according to the latest data from the California Secretary of State.
The population of those 14 cities represent less than 1 percent of the state’s city dwellers.
By contrast, the number of cities where most voters are Democrats has remained fairly steady at around 140 during the last 15 years.
No political party captures more than 50 percent of voters in 328 California cities, largely due to voters that decline to state a party preference. Democrats outnumber Republicans in 201 of those 328 cities.
Today, the annual LA Pride parade in West Hollywood is being replaced with a "Resist March" targetting President Trump, writes Hailey Branson-Potts in the Times. “This year, the LGBTQ community is lending our iconic rainbow flag to anyone who feels like their rights are under threat and to anyone who feels like America’s strength is its diversity,” said Brian Pendleton, who organized the march. “The political climate we find ourselves in has driven us to galvanize and unite.”
LET THERE BE LIGHT: The University of California is spending up to $210,000 on attorneys at up $595/hour to audit itself following a scathing report by State Auditor Elaine Howe, reports Emily Duroy in the MercNews.
The WaPo's Dave Weigel looks at the lasting effect of the Bernie Sanders campaign on the Democratic Party. "But as Sanders used his star power to unite activists behind the Democrats, some debated whether the Democratic Party could ever be fixed to their liking. Faced with unified Republican control of Washington, progressives were less interested in simple unity than in a purity that they believed could win."
Meanwhile, Kimberly Ellis is still challenging the legitimacy of the election of chair of the California Democratic Party.
#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Jim Anderson, Paul Fickas, Nicole Winger and my niece Taylor Ortega!
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TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
John Chiang Kicks Off Campaign With Swipe At Newsom - San Francisco Chronicle
The race to succeed Gov. Jerry Brown is starting to rev up, with state Treasurer John Chiang rolling into town last week to kick off his gubernatorial campaign with a labor endorsement.
Political Road Map: Here's How That Gas Tax Increase Could Give California Republicans A Lifeline In 2018
John Myers @ latimes.com
Sometime this summer, as temperatures begin to sizzle, California Republicans could do something that â if things worked out just rightâ could thaw out their long, cold winter of political isolation.
Jerry Brown Sells Green Business On His Trip To China - San Francisco Chronicle
Go green: Gov. Jerry Brown’s green jaunt to China, where he met with President Xi Jinping, certainly grabbed the international spotlight, especially with the governor’s quips about how America is “going AWOL” under President Trump.
Villaraigosa Gets It Wrong On California Poverty Figures | Politifact California
subject @ politifact.com
When asked to list his top three priorities for California at a recent forum, Democratic candidate for governor Antonio Villaraigosa responded: "I think we’ve got to start with the economy, the economy, the economy."
Comey Testimony At Senate Hearing Was Must-See TV
The Senate testimony of fired FBI Director James Comey may not have provided a blockbuster moment into the investigation of Russian influence in the 2016 presidential election, but it did produce a rarity: With 19.5 million viewers, it was a megahit for daytime TV ratings, falling just short of the 20 million viewers for Game 3 of the NBA Finals.
TV Ad Campaign Opposing Sanctuary Cities Launches In San Diego
Kate Morrissey @ sandiegouniontribune.com
An ad campaign denouncing California's sanctuary cities launched this week on San Diego televisions.
Pot Friendly Calaveras County Poised To Ban Commercial Marijuana Cultivation | The Sacramento Bee
Peter Hecht @ sacbee.com
By Peter Hecht
Hundreds Rally In Response To Protest Against Islamic Law
Ramona Giwargis @ mercurynews.com
As several dozen people protested against Islamic law in Silicon Valley on Saturday, across the street hundreds of counter-protesters chanted and held signs calling for peace â filling opposite sides of an intersection that separates Santa Clara and San Jose, much like the divide in national politics. The rallies in San Jose and Santa Clara were among hundreds in cities across the U.S., including Seattle, San Bernardino, New York and Chicago.
He Spent 20 Years In Prison For A Crime He Didn't Commit. Now He's Running For Office.
Matt Bloom @ scpr.org
After two decades in prison for a murder he did not commit, Franky Carrillo, 46, has spent his first year of freedom just trying to get back to a normal life.
16 Fires Before The Big One. Victims Say Cal Fire Waited Too Long To Make Arson Arrest | The Sacramento Bee
Ryan Sabalow @ sacbee.com
By Ryan Sabalow
Opposing Sides Sound Off In Marches About Islam
Gary Warth @ sandiegouniontribune.com
Competing rallies about Islam, particularly the religionâs rules known as Sharia law, evolved from peaceful marches to shouting matches near the beach in Oceanside on Saturday.
For New Citizens, America Is Still The Best Place On Earth - San Francisco Chronicle
For Bay Area liberals who value action on climate change, cooperation with foreign countries, widely accessible health care and grammatically correct tweets, it can feel like an embarrassing time to be an American.
Roseville Anti-sharia Rally Draws Hundreds Of Supporters, Counterprotesters | The Sacramento Bee
Nashelly Chavez @ sacbee.com
By Nashelly Chavez
San Francisco Joins 11 Cities In Posting Deleted Climate Data - San Francisco Chronicle
Lloyd Blankfein wasn't the only one who tweeted his opposition to President Donald Trump's decision to pull the U.S. out of the Paris Accrod on climate change. Scroll through this gallery to see some of the reactions from Bay Area and tech leaders.
Sessions Will Testify in Senate on Russian Meddling in Election
Instead of discussing the Justice Department budget, Attorney General Jeff Sessions will face questions from members of Congress who have access to intelligence materials on the Russia inquiry.
Sessions Will Testify Before Senate In Russia Investigation - Politico
Attorney General Jeff Sessions intends to appear on Tuesday before the Senate Intelligence Committee to address concerns raised by former FBI director James Comey. | Getty
Bay Area political events: Sierra Club, refugees
Bay Area political events: Political events The Sierra Club is seeking volunteers to recruit new members and educate people on environmental issues at Sunday Streets, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., in Golden Gate Park. Marchers to mobilize and call for the protection of rights for LGBTQ people and âÂÂthose targeted due to immigration status, ethnicity, religion, skin color, gender and disability.âÂÂ Oxfam America and Microsoft will host an interactive event exploring the Syrian refugee crisis. Nuclear weapons march: âÂÂWomenâÂÂs March to Ban the Bomb,âÂÂ in support of U.N. negotiations on a treaty to ban nuclear weapons. Demonstrators will meet at 11:30 a.m. at the corner of El Camino Real and Embarcadero Road in Palo Alto. Hosted by the Freedom Socialist Party, a conversation on countering racism and fascism. Nuclear weapons film: A screening and discussion of âÂÂThe Nuclear Requiem,âÂÂ on the challenges of controlling nuclear weapons. The free, two-hour event starts at 3:30 p.m. at the Los Altos Public LibraryâÂÂs Orchard Room, 13 South San Antonio Road. Californians for Electoral Reform and FairVote California will present an overview of local election systems and discuss possible reforms. Coal film: A free screening of âÂÂFrom the Ashes,âÂÂ a National Geographic documentary about coal, followed by a discussion on the environment and climate.
California Governor's Green Swing Through China: It's About Jobs, Too
Rachel Uranga @ dailynews.com
While President Trump spurned the Paris climate accords last week, Gov. Jerry Brown was busy serving as commander in chief of the United Counties of California, wrapping up a five-day tour of China that included a public session with President Xi Jinping at his side.
More Than 2,100 Buildings Are Already Being Retrofitted Under L.A.'s Earthquake Safety Law
More than 12% of the L.A.'s earthquake vulnerable wood apartment buildings have begun the process of retrofits.
Are Governors Ignoring Law When Appointing UC Regents? - San Francisco Chronicle
Most of the 26 regents who run the University of California are chosen in a process involving a ghostly, unnamed committee of 12 people who never meet, produce no public record of their actions, and publish no list of members. Some don’t even know who the other members are.
New Oversight Of Groundwater Taking Shape In Sonoma County
Guy Kovner @ pressdemocrat.com
In the aftermath of a historic five-year drought that prompted wholesale overdrafting of Central Valley aquifers â triggering dramatic collapses in the landscape â California is replacing a largely hands-off approach to groundwater with a regulatory system that includes metering, monitoring and potentially limiting pumping, along with fees to pay for the regulatory process.
Uber board to discuss leave of absence for top executive
Mike Isaac @ sfgate.com
SAN FRANCISCO âÂÂ UberâÂÂs board of directors is meeting on Sunday morning to discuss a leave of absence for Travis Kalanick, the companyâÂÂs chief executive, according to three people with knowledge of the matter. âÂÂCan they use this report as an opportunity to turn the corner?âÂÂ asked Andrew Gilman, chief executive and founder of CommCore, a crisis communications firm. Uber is fighting significant employee attrition, the tens of thousands of drivers it depends on are angry about their pay, and investors are concerned that one of the most well-funded startups in history has come unglued. Adding to the concerns is the tricky structure of the San Francisco companyâÂÂs board of directors, as well as KalanickâÂÂs outsized voting power that, when aligned with board allies, essentially gives him the right to ignore any of the recommendations of the report prepared by a former United States attorney general, Holder. Because Kalanick and a handful of close allies hold a majority of these shares, the chief executiveâÂÂs position has remained safe through months of controversy. J. William Gurley and David Bonderman, two venture capitalists and independent board members who also hold super-voting shares, are worried about the companyâÂÂs management, these people said. Outside investors are also nervous about the string of scandals, and have called board members directly about their concerns. The downside of that environment became clear in February when Susan Fowler, a former Uber engineer, wrote a lengthy public blog post detailing her history of sexual harassment and systemic issues with a dysfunctional human resources department. In March, the tech news site The Information reported that Kalanick and other executives attended an escort bar in South Korea with Uber employees, which later sparked a human resources complaint from an employee who was present. UberâÂÂs reputation became so bad that hiring managers in San Francisco were ordered to stop sending recruiting emails to potential candidates for a number of weeks, according to two people familiar with the matter. Uber is dealing with more than 200 complaints from current and former employees, doling out warnings, mandatory workplace training or, in some cases, firing the worst offenders. Last week, Uber announced it had terminated 20 employees over harassment, discrimination and other complaints uncovered in a separate internal investigation. Uber hired Frances Frei, a well-regarded Harvard Business School management expert, to be its senior vice president of leadership and strategy and to tackle restructuring an organization that in just a few years has grown to more than 12,000 employees on several continents. Kalanick is receiving management coaching from Joe Hubbard, an executive training director at Thrive Global, the company owned by Huffington, according to three people familiar with the arrangement.
Mcdaniel Urges An End To Congressional Russia-trump Probes - Politico
Both the House and Senate Intelligence Committees have launched such investigations. But she said, so far, no one has come forward with any evidence of collusion during the 2016 presidential campaign.