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THE Nooner for October 22, 2017
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THE WALKING DEAD DAY: Tonight at 9pm on AMC is the launch of The Walking Dead. A great recap of the journey--told through the voices of the actors--aired last night. Even if you're a fan like me, it was good to be reminded of key points in context.
AURAL PLEASURE: It'll be a beautiful day. As I walk to the Buddhist Church to get my dharma on this morning, I'll be tickling my ears with the California Politics Podcast. LAT's John Myers, LAT's Melanie Mason, and KQED's Marisa Lagos talk about the national sexual harassment discussion about the State Capitol this week, triggered by the Alyssa Milano's #metoo effort responding to the Harvey Weinstein situation, but buoyed by courageous Capitol scene women who organized a drive to get a letter about the situation under and around the dome signed by 140 women, and another 160 or so have added their names to the letter.
They also talk about billionaire investor Tom Steyer's $10 million effort to bring down Donald Trump and some final notes on the 2017 legislative year.
GOV: The California Teachers Association endorsed Gavin Newsom, while influential Assembly Appropriations chair Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher came out in support of John Chiang.
The endorsement of Newsom comes as a blow to Antonio Villaraigosa. Villaraigosa is a former organizer for the influential United Teachers Los Angeles, which is affiliated with both CTA/NEA and AFT/AFL-CIO. CTA and UTLA were instrumental in getting him elected to the Assembly, and CTA provided the escalator to the Speakership for the kid from the City Terrace neighborhood of East LA.
Gonzalez Fletcher's endorsement of Chiang also hurts Villaraigosa. Before joining the Assembly, Gonzalez Fletcher was the secretary-treasurer of the San Diego-Imperial Counties Labor Council, AFL-CIO. Her legislative agenda is very progressive, championing labor and womens' rights, and she became the chair of Approps after after serving a little over one term. Chiang is undoubtedly a progressive, although he hasn't been in a legislative position that directly tackles the issues for which Gonzalez Fletcher toils.
What happened to Villaraigosa's friends in labor and the base of low-income workers he counted on in his ascendency? Well, he became mayor of Los Angeles in 2005 and served through 2013. It was a period of a deep economic recession that required deep cuts in the city's union workforce and services. More importantly, as mayor he first tried to gain control of the city schools, arguing that major changes were needed to decrease the success gap of lower-income students and English-language leaders. When that failed, he used his bully pulpit to argue for policy reforms such as changing teacher tenure.
Villaraigosa also is seen as closely allied with the public charter schools within the district, much to the consternation of UTLA. He previously hired former charter executive Marshall Tuck to run his nonprofit Partnership for Los Angeles Schools. CTA spent handily in 2014 to defeat Tuck in his challenge to incumbent Tom Torlakson. Tuck is running next year carrying the reform banner, while CTA is supporting Richmond Assemblymember Tony Thurmond.
This doesn't mean Villaraigosa is without supporters. The Los Angeles Unified School District board now has a pro-charter majority after very costly elections earlier this year, and the wealthy backers of charters likely will be on board with Villaraigosa. But, the realignment from his traditional friends in apparent.
MONEY WOES: In Politico, Gabriel Debenedetti and Edward-Isaac Dovere write about the Democratic National Committee's fundraising struggles, a major issue in Vegas this weekend during the DNC's fall meeting.
Many donors are refusing to write checks. And on-the-ground operatives worry they won’t have the resources to build the infrastructure they need to compete effectively in next year’s midterms and in the run-up to 2020.
Here in the halls of the Bally's hotel and casino for the DNC's fall meeting through the weekend, state committee chairs and operatives echoed a now-common concern among donors and strategists: the DNC's recovery is still a ways away, and that could have serious repercussions for the party in the coming years.
The "donkey in the room" is that there is plenty of progressive money out there willing to play, but those with the cash aren't sure about the DNC's strategy. Thus, several Super PAC's have opened up with clear messaging about their targets. In California, we have Tom Steyer's $10 million effort to get House members to vote for impeachment of President Trump. We have:
They are reaching out for committments from the same donors the DNC has regularly relied upon in the campaign cash-rich California. The donors like to see clear targets rather than sending it to DC, where it would be in the hands of a very divided party. The last report for PACs was closing 06/30, so none of the committees have significant money yet, but they are likely gathering commitments.
CAGOP: The California Republican Party's fall convention continued yesterday. Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton continued to give hope for the activists in the room, albeit with less red meat than Stephen Bannon's Friday night speech, reports Phil Willon in the Times. The LAT's Seema Mehta reports on House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy's (R-Bakersfield) speech, which committed Washington resources to defend California's Republican House members.
The LAT's John Myers writes that, in order to win statewide, California Republicans need candidates.
The state GOP chairman, Jim Brulte, has focused more on legislative races and shoring up the party’s finances than expensive high-profile campaigns. Before last winter’s state convention, he told The Times that Republicans “believe there is” a path for victory in statewide races come 2018. First, though, the party needs credible candidates. Or in the case of the California controller’s race, any candidate at all.
In the bitter election to lead California College Republicans, UC Irvine student Ariana Rowlands won. Rowlands's slate calls for more aggressive in the campus culture wars.
KQED's Scott Shafer provides five takeaways from the convention.
HOMELESSNESS: The Bee's Cynthia Hubert reports on Friday's gathering in the Capitol of around 150 staffers and insiders to discuss the issue of growing homelessness around the Capitol.
A panel of people who are immersed in the subject, including service providers and Mayor Darrell Steinberg, who has made curbing homelessness a centerpiece of his administration, had no easy answers. They said it is generally OK to hand out food and small amounts of money, but that the real answer is more affordable housing and programs to address substance abuse, mental illness and lack of health care among the city’s homeless population.
The numbers of people without permanent housing in Sacramento County varies from estimates of 2,500 to more than 10,000, depending upon who is counting and the definition of homelessness. In recent years their numbers have grown, a phenomenon that many blame on downtown development, rising rents and a lack of housing and services for people with very low incomes.
Thank you to Jennifer Fearing, Christine Dugger & Erin Taylor for organizing the discussion. I'm bringing a couple of cans of chili (with pull tops), plastic spoons and apples from farmers' market this morning as I make my Sunday morning walk to church, the market and through Southside Park. Band-aids to the overall problem, but something in the interim.
Have a beautiful day!
#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Mike Shimpock and Bob Twomey!
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TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
California Teachers Assn. Votes To Endorse Gavin Newsom For Governor
Seema Mehta and Phil Willon @ latimes.com
The politically influential California Teachers Assn. on Saturday endorsed Democratic Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom for governor, praising his ...
Smart Money Is On Feinstein In 2018 - San Francisco Chronicle
Sen. Dianne Feinstein doesn’t need to worry about being challenged for re-election by state Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León or any other single candidate.
Mcconnell Will Bring Bipartisan Health Care Bill If Trump Says He Will Sign - Politico
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Sunday "If there is a need for some kind of interim step here to stabilize the market, we need a bill the president will actually sign" in regards to scheduling a vote for a bipartisan health care bill. | AP
Political Road Map: It's Hard For Republicans To Win Statewide In California If They Don't Have Candidates
John Myers @ latimes.com
California Republicans wrapped up their fall convention on Sunday and head into 2018 with a daunting statistic: They've lost 92% of races for statewide office since 2002.
California GOP Has A Plan For Beating Democrats, If It Can Unite - San Francisco Chronicle
ANAHEIM — California Republicans may not have well-known candidates running for governor — or any candidate of note running for Senate next year. But they’re settling on a two-point game plan for trying to return to relevance in a state where they’re a super-minority in the Legislature, have no statewide officeholders and can count only 1 in 4 registered voters as being a fellow Republican.
Schumer: Bipartisan Health Care Bill 'has A Majority' - Politico
"This is a good compromise. It took months to work out," Senate Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer said of a bipartisan effort to stablize health care insurance markets. | Andrew Harnik/AP Photo
Gold Star Father Khizr Khan, Who Clashed With Trump During The Election, Goes After Him Again In California
Phil Willon @ latimes.com
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Trump Pledges At Least $430,000 To Help Staff Pay For Russia Probe Lawyers - Politico
President Donald Trump is committing at least $430,000 from his own wallet to help White House and former campaign staffers pay legal bills tied to the Russia investigation, White House officials said on Saturday.
'brand New, Recently Stolen': Inside Tijuana's Sex Tourism Trade Of Young Children - The San Diego Union-tribune
Kristina Davis @ sandiegouniontribune.com
McConnell says Trump needs to provide clarity on health care
The Senate majority leader expresses readiness to move a bipartisan bill but wants to hear from Trump what kind of legislation he might sign.
Trump to rally House Republicans around Senate budget
The president will join a House GOP conference call to rally Republicans behind the budget bill.
News Analysis: Political Guardrails Gone, a Presidentâ
MICHAEL D. SHEAR @
The weeklong feud between President Trump and a Democratic congresswoman after a soldierâÂÂs death might never have happened had either side followed convention.
San Bruno Explosion Hangs Over Pg&e Amid Wildfire Investigation - San Francisco Chronicle
Authorities suspect that downed PG&E power lines may have sparked the devastating wildfires in the North Bay that have so far killed 42 people. In the past dozen days, about 100,000 people have been evacuated statewide as 21 large fires decimated at least 8,400 structures and burned through more than 246,000 acres. Most of the damage was in PG&E’s vast service area.
Bannon Rips Bush, Silicon Valley 'lords Of Technology' - Politico
Steve Bannon cast California as a linchpin in the fight to halt the spread of what he called the globalist and elitist agenda. | Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images
Millennials, Who Grew Up With The Internet, Accelerate Shift To Telecommuting - San Francisco Chronicle
As companies get more comfortable with telecommuting and the U.S. immigration system continues to tighten, workplaces may start to look a lot more like Paul Walsh’s startup — with most employees in different cities.
R&b Singer Miguel Headlines Concert In Adelanto Calling For End Of Immigrant Detention
Andrea Castillo @ latimes.com
Miguel did not give his specific views on immigration, but said his grandparents came to the U.S. to find work in the late 1960s, when his father was a toddler. He said he wants to learn more about the conditions inside immigrant detention facilities.
Khizr Khan: Families Of Fallen Soldiers In Niger Deserve 'dignity And Respect' - Politico
"They deserve utmost dignity and respect and privacy at this moment," said Khizr Khan, a Pakistani-American lawyer and gold star father, of other gold star families in light of recent comments made by President Donald Trump and others about the family of a U.S. service member killed in Niger. | Alex Brandon/AP Photo