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THE Nooner for October 5, 2017


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  • GOV (Statewide): added nurse Veronika Fimbres (G)

 Happy Thursday. Have you caught your roll of paper towels today? 

AD51 (East Los Angeles):  Last night, we got the first update of the number of ballots left to count in the special election. Here are the digits:

  • Provisional: ~1,180
  • Vote-by-mail ballots received on, or not processed before election day: ~4,459
  • Misc (damaged/machine rejected, write-ins, misc): ~36
  • Total: 5,675

Based on experience, around 70-80% of this collection of ballots are tallied. VBM's are almost always valid, as they are from voters who actually had ballots. The only silly thing that can disqualify them is non-matching signatures. Provisionals are the most likely to be invalid, as these are voters that showed up at a polling place believing they were registered somewhere in the county. 

So, we're likely talking around 4,000-4,500 more balllots.

Does this increase the likelihood of Mike Fong moving from third to second, bumping Luis López out of the runoff? Perhaps. 

Fong is behind Luis López by 431 votes, which may seem small relative to the outstanding ballots. However, as I wrote yesterday, early returns on Tuesday night had Fong in the lead and Wendy Carrillo in third. What's important is that the first batch are the vote-by mail ballots that were received and validated prior to election day.

Paranthetically, conspiracy theorists think that votes are counted before election day, but that's not the case. Elections officials validate the signatures and then open and prepare the ballots for the machine tabulation. No ballots are counted before 8 p.m.

So, the first batch counted were vote-by-mail ballots received before election day. Fong went from 1st in the VBM count, to 2nd in the second update, and 3rd in the third update. Carrilo, starting in third with the VBM count, and then was in 1st by the second update. Meanwhile, López started in 2nd with VBMs and didn't overcome Fong until the third update. 

Thanks to Paul Mitchell of PDI for tracking the updates and providing us political eye candy

Why are updates so different? Ballots are counted first-come, first-served as they are received by precincts, and some are closer to the county registrar than others. 

Back to where we are currently. Assuming the 4,000-4,500 more valid ballots, there are 23-26% more ballots left the tabulate. Fong has a shot, but it would be a real challenge to overtake López to proceed to the runoff. The gap will likely narrow as Fong clearly outpolled López in VBMs returned before election day, late VBMs are less predictable. Are they from voters who were just too busy or didn't have a stamp to mail them in, or were they undecided until election day. 

The next results update will be tomorrow at 1pm, and the next on Tuesday at 1pm.

ENDORSEMENT: Congressman Jimmy Gomez yesterday endorsed Carrillo as his successor. Of course, he and López battled it out in 2012.

DACA DEADLINE: Today is the deadline for Dreamers to apply for DACA extensions, reports Joel Rose for NPR. The LAT's Sarah D. Wire reports that California GOP congressmen Jeff Denham and David Valadao, who co-sponsored the Democrats' DREAM Act bill don't plan on supporting an effort to force a vote on the floor. 

GOV: The Bee's Christopher Cadelago looks at the challenges former LA mayor Antonio Villaraigosa--a former UTLA bargainer--faces with labor in his campaign for governor:

Yet as mayor, he disappointed some unions representing city workers when, in the depths of the economic recession, he laid off employees, curtailed services and extended early retirements to cut costs. The Democrat also accused teachers unions of defending a broken system, challenging their supremacy. Some in the unions, he later argued, were in “full-throated denial” over a superior court ruling striking down the state’s teacher tenure and seniority laws.

GUNS: The OCR's Martin Wisckol writes that the conversation about gun control is unlikely to have a significant impact on the races of the four vulnerable GOP congressional members, even though they're all supported by the NRA. "One reason is that those most impassioned by the single issue of guns line up overwhelmingly in favor of gun rights."

I don't disagree, but the convo could help shore up incumbent Democrats such as Ami Bera (CA07).

CA45 (Irvine): Martin Wisckol also profiles Ron Varasteh, one of the eight candidates who is challenging congresswoman Mimi Walters

Varasteh, 52, considers himself the early front-runner among challengers. He points to the name recognition he’s built in past campaigns, to his strong progressive platform and to his background as a business owner and engineer.


Varasteh has also shown a willingness to spend his own money — he’s already loaned his campaign $250,000 and has said he will spend up to $1 million this time around.

“At that point, we’ll hire somebody who knows how to raised money,” he said. “I’m told I should be on the phone (fundraising) 20 to 30 hours a week. Instead, we’re taking small online donations like Bernie did. So far, that hasn’t raised much, but I have plenty of my own money.”

Honesty doesn't help with fundraising...

CHOPPING BLOCK: It's the interim of the Legislature in the middle of the legislative session. It's like the trading deadline in professional sports. The following legislators have separated from their chiefs of staff:

  • Senator Henry Stern
  • Senator Tony Mendoza
  • Assemblywoman Blanca Rubio

It's always unclear who is severing the cord. I know some of the reasons, but not all. Sometimes it's mutual; sometimes it's the employer; sometimes it's the employee. Aside from chiefs of staff, many other staff members have found themselves looking for work after being let go during the interim chopping block.

This is also the time of the year when there's lots of gossip about why people are dismissed. I know you'd like me to share it, but I don't want to get in the #FAKENEWS business. ;-)

We'll just call some dismissals in the building as "irreconcilable differences." 

VOUCHERS? The Bee's Christopher Cadelago reports on a new Berkeley IGS poll sponsored by EdSource that finds that "[a] majority of California voters favor offering tax credits or vouchers to low-income parents for sending their children to private or religious schools, according to a new statewide poll."

From my perspetive, the key here is that it focuses on low-income parents, rather than all parents. Previous voucher proposals have been across-the-board. This is more of an Obamacare model. 

OBAMACARE, CALI STYLE: Governor Brown signed two bills [AB 156 and SB 133] to make enrolling in the health insurance through the state's exchange easier, reports LAT's Melanie Mason. "Gov. Jerry Brown signed two measures Wednesday to help Californians who buy health insurance under Covered California, the state's Obamacare marketplace. The measures ensure a longer enrollment period and continued treatment for some patients even if their insurer leaves Covered California."

The Golden State resistance continues...ironically making things easier on Washington's cutbacks. They will keep chipping away, knowing that the bluest of states will backfill.

MONEY MATTERS: The LAT's Melanie Mason reports on a proposed initiative that would require that full-time credentialed teachers be paid at least as much as the salary of a non-leadership member of the Legislature. It would be paid for with a 2% sales tax increase. 

THE GREEN TEAM: In the Times, Patrick McGreevy looks at the state's new Cannibis Advisory Committee and how they were picked.

DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS: I mistakenly said that John Chiang was "surging" in the governor's race yesterday. My brain was fried after doing the AD51 write-up.

The latest Berkeley IGS poll released conducted 8/27-9/5 finds among likely voters:

  • Gavin Newsom (D): 26%
  • John Cox (R): 11%
  • Antonio Villaraigosa (D): 10%
  • Travis Allen (R): 9%
  • John Chiang (D): 7%
  • Delaine Eastin (D): 4%
  • Undecided (including the 40 other candidates not polled): 33%



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Villaraigosa Gets Mixed Labor Reviews In Ca Governor Race | The Sacramento Bee
Christopher Cadelago @
The go-to source for news on California policy and politics

Pay Teachers The Same Salary As State Lawmakers? Voters May Decide In 2018
Melanie Mason @
California teachers' paychecks could equal those of state legislators under a new initiative that proponents are aiming to qualify for ...

House Passes Budget In First Step Toward Tax Reform - Politico
The House passed a budget Thursday that paves the way for tax reform, slashes spending over 10 years and calls for lawmakers to find at least $203 billion in extra savings from mandatory programs.

Poll: Majority Opposes Repealing Gas Tax Increases In California
Patrick McGreevy @
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California Mobile Home Owners Get Tax Amnesty | October 2017 | The Sacramento Bee
Hudson Sangree @
By Hudson Sangree

Gov. Jerry Brown Signs Bills Reforming Pace Energy-efficiency Loan Program
Andrew Khouri @
Gov. Jerry Brown signed two bills Wednesday that boost consumer protections for borrowers taking out PACE loans, a type of financing that funds energy-efficient home improvements.

Antonio Villaraigosa's Long History With Labor, Teachers Unions | The Sacramento Bee
Christopher Cadelago @
The go-to source for news on California policy and politics

House passes 2018 budget, taking a crucial step toward tax overhaul

Special procedures set out in the legislation would ultimately allow Republicans to pass a tax bill over a potential Democratic filibuster in the Senate.

California Republicans Who Co-sponsored Democrats' Dream Act Not Going To Help Force A Vote
Sarah D. Wire @
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Former Supervisor Dave Roberts Gets $12k In Worker's Compensation From The County - The San Diego Union-tribune
Joshua Stewart @

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher Says Trump's Chief Of Staff Is Keeping Him From Talking To The President About Julian Assange
Sarah D. Wire @
White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly is the reason Rep. Dana Rohrabacher hasn't spoken with President Trump about a meeting the con...

Democrats' Gun Proposal Has Some Republicans Listening | The Sacramento Bee
Emily Cadei and Lesley Clark @
The go-to source for news on California policy and politics

Hey, Nra: Stop Assuming Everyone Who's A Good Guy Will Never Become A Bad Guy
George Skelton @
Stephen Paddock, the shooter in Las Vegas, was the exact kind of criminal the NRA says is being harmed by gun control.

Nra Calls For Federal Review Of Whether Bump Fire Stocks Comply With Current Law - Politico
Wayne LaPierre, Executive Vice President of the National Rifle Association, addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference on Feb. 24. | Win McNamee/Getty Images

House Passes Budget Blueprint, Taking Step Toward Tax Overhaul

The approval of the budget blueprint is critical to Republicans’ hopes of remaking the tax code even if Democrats are unified in opposition.

House And Senate GOP Budget Writers Push Ahead With No Final Deal In Sight - Politico
House Budget Chairman Diane Black, who is expected to relinquish her committee perch in the coming weeks to pursue a gubernatorial bid, has made mandatory cuts a keystone of her tenure as leader of the panel. | Drew Angerer/Getty Images