Around The Capitol

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THE Nooner for October 29, 2017


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GAME FIVE: Opening pitch at 5:20 p.m. PITCHERS: On the mound for the visiting Dodgers--Clayton Kershaw (21-4, 2.39 ERA). On the mound for the Astros--Dallas Keuchel, 16-7, 2.92 ERA). ODDS: Los Angeles -145. TV: FOX.



Happy Sunday to you! It'll be another beautiful day and not just for Dodgers fans glowing in last night's victory. Speaking of beautiful, 28 flowering cherry trees were planted yesterday in Southside Park, creating a "Sakura Grove" as part of the Sakuramoto effort that also plans a line of 150+ cherry trees and other amenities along the Sacramento River running from the Robert T. Matsui Park to Discovery Park. 

Supporters write:

Our goal is to celebrate our community’s rich multi-cultural heritage by planting a “Sakura Grove” in Southside Park. The neighborhood surrounding Southside Park was once the home of many of Sacramento’s Japanese families, a large portion of whom were displaced during the WWII internments. We aim to honor the Japanese community by bringing the experience of "hanami" (the gathering of the community under the blooming "sakura," or cherry blossoms) every spring.

#WESAIDENOUGH: In the Times, Chris Megerian, Melanie Mason, and Jack Dolan report about how the decades of whispers of harassment in the Capitol became strong voices.

No matter the details, each story involves a man with power — the kind of power bestowed by voters, an influential lobbying client or a supply of campaign cash. And instead of wielding that power to shape politics or public policy, the man used it to proposition women or to touch them inappropriately.

In fact, many of these women had strong voices before, but now they can't be muted. And men can look the other way no longer. Make no mistake, changing procedures will not be easy and has to consider due process and a victim's possible desire for privacy.

This morning, the above team at the Times (plus Dakota Smith) also has stories of sexual harassment from twenty women from around the Capitol and California politics. 

The LAT's John Myers writes that the California Legislative Open Records Act--much more difficult to penetrate than the Public Records Act--has made it easier to keep harassment claims and settlements from becoming public.

U.S. SENATE: I don't think I mentioned it earlier this week, but several of Senate President Pro Tem and U.S. Senate candidate Kevin de León was endorsed by several of his female legislative colleagues, each of whom is known as a strong advocate for women's issues:

  • Speaker Toni Atkins
  • Sen. Cathleen Galgiani
  • Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson
  • Sen. Holly Mitchell
  • Asm. Eloise Gomez-Reyes
  • Asm. Lorena Gonzalez-Fletcher



Probolsky Research


GOV: The Chron's Joe Garafoli looks at Antonio Villaraigosa's path to the governorship.

He’s going to paint [Gavin] Newsom as a Tesla-driving, elite ex-mayor of a wealthy city with fewer problems than Villaraigosa had to deal with during his eight years as head of a virtual city-state, one with nearly five times the population of San Francisco.

Villaraigosa will draw the contrast between Newsom, the privileged friend of the wealthy Getty family, and his own upbringing in the City Terrace area of east Los Angeles, where his mother raised him after his abusive, alcoholic father abandoned the family. He will be talking about “the other California,” away from the wealthy coast, the one where 20 percent of people live in poverty.

And he’s banking on turning out Latino and working-class voters who will vault him into first or second place in the June primary, putting him into the fall runoff.

HIGH SPEED RAIL: The LAT's Ralph Vartabadian reports that backers of the high speed rail project "will have to deal with opposition from land owners and expensive mitigation demands from others along the way."

Officials have said they are mindful of the project’s impacts and have tried to minimize them, but they have a railroad to build. In lengthy remarks in 2015, rail authority Chairman Dan Richard cited the larger benefits of the bullet train and lamented the effects, adding: "It just comes with the territory.”

For CALmatters, Dan Walters writes that, while California's economy "continues to hum along." However, "Last month, the Census Bureau published its annual data on poverty, revealing that once again, by a “supplemental measure” that takes housing and other costs of living into account, California had the highest rate of any state, 20.4 percent, in 2016."



MONEY MATTERS: The MercNews's Casey Tolan looks at what may be waiting back home when California House Republicans return following a vote to eliminate the tax deduction for state and local taxes. "In all, California taxpayers deduct $112.5 billion in state and local taxes each year, the most of any state, according to the Tax Foundation."

ELEPHANT BEARS: Similar to the California College Republicans, the Berkeley College Republicans have an internal fight between "Steve Bannon"-style and more moderate members, report Emily Deroy and Thomas Peele in the MercNews. 

In the past, the student club was a quiet group of Ronald Reagan admirers who talked about issues such as free trade. In the last year or so, however, a vocal contingent of members have sent the club lurching to the right and into the spotlight.

#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Rob FlaniganCoby King, and Kara Ueda!

GHOST OF BIRTHDAYS PAST: Assemblyman Kansen Chu (Friday)!

DEPT OF CORRECTIONS: Raul Bocanegra is Assembly Majority Whip. Ian Calderon is Assembly Majority Floor Leader.



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Political Road Map: Access To Official Documents? A 1975 Law Lets California Legislators Deny, Deny, Deny
John Myers @
Recent sexual harassment allegations serve as a reminder that there are two standards for government disclosure in California: One for the Legislature and one for everyone else.

Southern California’s House Republicans Face Pressure From GOP Hard-liners – Press Enterprise
Conservative activist Tim Donnelly wants to rid Congress of President Donald Trump’s opponents.

Ryan Loses Key Ally On Tax Reform After Switch On Breaks For Homeowners - Politico

In response to Speaker' Paul Ryan's decision, NAHB Chief Executive Officer Jerry Howard told POLITICO that it was unfair to nix a mortgage tax credit proposal without "vetting it with the conference." | Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Want To Know Who's Filing Public Records Requests? City Says No Dice. - The San Diego Union-tribune
Lauryn Schroeder @

Pot Dispensary Security Guard Shoots At Robbers In South Los Angeles, Police Say
Joel Rubin @
A security guard at a marijuana dispensary shot a man Saturday night during an attempted robbery, police said.

Collins Wants More Testimony From Dnc And Clinton Campaign Officials - Politico

Sen. Susan Collins said Sunday that Hillary Clinton Campaign Chairman John Podesta and former DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz "absolutely need to be recalled" to testify before Congress. | Jacquelyn Martin/AP

California Fires Near Contained, But Long Rebuilding Ahead
After burning almost three weeks, the wildfires that devastated the North Bay and killed at least 42 people are nearly contained -- but rebuilding may take years, officials warned Saturday.

Deadly Mendocino County Fire Under The Radar Of Wine Country Devastation - San Francisco Chronicle
REDWOOD VALLEY, Mendocino County — Like thousands of other North Bay fire victims, the traumatized residents of the bucolic Redwood Valley are sifting through rubble, negotiating with insurance agents and struggling to figure out how they are going to rebuild their fire-scarred lives.

Fresno Family Meets Family Of Organ Donor | The Fresno Bee
By Cresencio Rodriguez-Delgado

Fire-scorched Fountaingrove In Santa Rosa Focal Point Of Debate Over Rebuilding | The Press Democrat -

Too Many Tourists: Crowding Is A Big Headache At National Parks And Theme Parks
Hugo Martin @
Excessive crowds are making some tourist destinations unbearable, forcing park and tourist attraction managers to try to switch the number of visitors to off-peak times, among other alternatives.

Kushner Took Unannounced Trip To Saudi Arabia - Politico

Kushner left Washington, D.C., via commercial airline on Wednesday for the trip, which was not announced to the public, a White House official told POLITICO. He traveled separately from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who led a delegation to Riyadh last week to focus on combating terrorist financing.

Sj Flood Survivors, Low-income Homeowners Get Long-awaited Home Repairs


The Post-U-Md. survey reveals a starkly pessimistic view of the U.S. political system under President Trump.