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THE Nooner for November 7, 2017
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Well, happy chilly morning! The threatened Sacramento Unified teachers strike that had been set for tomorrow has been averted. Among other things, teachers will be getting an 11% raise over the next three years.
It's election day, with the biggest eyes on the governor races in New Jersey and Virginia. Unless his account was hacked, there is evidence that Donald Trump, Jr. broke the law with voter fraud. He tweeted this morning at 8:40 a.m. "Virginia, the future of the Commonwealth is at stake tomorrow. Find your polling place at vote.gop to vote Ed for #VAGov"
Note that "TODAY" named Gillespie and "TOMORROW" did not.
While most cities have moved their elections to dates of statewide elections (particularly in light of the California Voting Rights Act, there are city council elections in Brisbane, Burlingame, Fairfax, Hermosa Beach, La Habra Heights, Larksburg, Novato, Rancho Palos Verdes, San Anselmo, San Bruno, San Marino, San Mateo, Sausalito, South El Monte, and Tiburon. There are also many school board elections, which have shown the continued fight between labot and charter school advocates.
GOV: The Bee's Christopher Cadelago reports that former congressman Doug Ose (R) is taking a "real look" at a run for governor next year.
BOCANEGRA: The LAT's Dakota Smith reports that Los Angeles City Councilmember Nury Martinez, a longtime political ally of Raul Bocanegra, says she asked him to his face whether there were other allegations of harassment against him than what has been reported in the Los Angeles Times. Martinez's husband is Bocanegra's district director. "The councilwoman, whose northeast San Fernando Valley overlaps with Bocanegra’s Assembly District 39, said Bocanegra told her he did not know of any."
GASSY: The Bee's Mark Glover reports that gas prices in Sacramento have increased 16 cents per gallon in the first week of the increased gas taxes for road infrastructure.
THE REPUBLIC OF CALIFORNIA: In Brussels, Jerry Brown suggested today at a joint conference of the European Parliament that European nations should explore linking with California in a joint cap-and-trade effort, reports Christopher Cadelago in the Bee. "California, which recently renewed its carbon market for another decade, already collaborates with Quebec on cap-and-trade and will soon be joined by Ontario, creating the largest such agreement in the world outside the European Union."
FOLLOW THE MONEY: The OCR's Marin Wisckol writes that the attacks on Republican House members for accepting money from firms that have lobbied on Kremlin interests could backfire, as Democrats don't necessarily have clean hands.
GASSY GOLD: Speaking of that, the California Independent Petroleum Producers PAC reports giving $25,000 to Assemblymember Sebastian Ridley-Thomas's "Californians for Full Employment and Balanced Growth" ballot measure committee. The "independent" producers committee reported $105,000 from Chevron ($100,000) and Valero ($5,000), hardly independent producers. Ridley-Thomas's district includes the Inglewood Oil Field, which is actually in Culver City. It is the largest urban oil field in the United States at a reported 7,484 barrels per day. Chevron divested from the field in 1990, as it moved from direct extraction to the refiner-retailer business. But, it still has a significant interest in the field, as oil in transported offsite by a Chevron-owned pipeline.
While oil has been in decline, the operators discovered a large pocket of natural gas through hydraulic fracturing. Neighbors are concerned that continued fracturing could trigger earthquake risks, something that has been experienced in Oklahoma. The county has studied ways to block fracturing. Sebastian's dad, Mark Ridley-Thomas represents the area on the LA County Board of Supervisors and involved in the issue--more so than the state Legislature.
Of course, Sebastian Ridley-Thomas can't use the $25,000 from the ballot measure committee for his own reelection. But they can be used for campaign consultants, fundraising events (which are frequently in Las Vegas), compliance and things like polling if it can arguably be tied to a possible ballot measure.
LET ME BE CLEAR: There is nothing illegal in the above description. I've reviewed a couple of dozen ballot measure committees this morning and saw nothing illegal. Sure, there are interesting fundraising expenses for travel and consultants in places like Vegas that far exceed the amount of contributions received in that reporting year, but there's nothing illegal about losing money. Officeholders of both parties do it and allows influence-seekers to contribute far more than allowed under candidate committees. And, sometimes it is for a clearly defined ballot measure, but that's a minority of such committees.
INFLUENCE: In the Bee, Dan Smith reports on California lobbying spending this year.
UP IN SMOKE: For Capitol Weekly, Chuck McFadden looks at the impact of the Wine Country fires on marijuana growers. "Hezekiah Allen, executive director of the California Growers Association, has estimated that some 32 cannabis growers have reported “significant to complete” loss of their crops so far from the fires. The figure could climb as growers further survey the damage, he said."
THE LEANING TOWER OF SF: On Sunday, 60 Minutes told the story of Millenium Tower at 301 Mission in San Francisco- (een as you're entering the city over the Bay Bridge), which is cracking and shifting, with its ability to withstand a major earthquake in serious question. The tower, which quickly sold condos ranging from $1.6 to $10 million wasn't built on bedrock.
You have to go 200 feet below the Millennium Tower, through layers of history in the ground -- below landfill from the time of the gold rush, sand, mud and clay -- to reach solid rock or bedrock. Karp says the fact that the tower's foundation isn't anchored in bedrock -- well, that's a problem.
Engineers for the tower's developer have tracked sinking here since the day the foundation was poured in 2006. Nothing unusual about that. Here's what is unusual: their data shows the Millennium Tower sinking -- 17 inches so far -- and tilting 14 inches to the northwest.
FAREWELL, FOR NOW: Great LA Times reporter Chris Megerian is heading to Washington temporarily to expand the paper's coverage on the Russian investigation.
#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Tyler Blackney, Gil Martinez, and Michael Wagaman!
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TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
California Homeowners Could Get A Tax Break To Capture Rainwater In Their Backyards
Mina Corpuz @ latimes.com
One California lawmaker says to incentivize rainwater capture, he wants a 2018 statewide ballot measure that offers homeowners a tax exemption.
Voters To Decide Pot, Rent Control Issues In Low-key Tuesday Election
A mellow off-year election could get an intriguing boost Tuesday when voters in two Bay Area cities consider marijuana taxation measures â but for those uninspired by ganja, local ballots also will feature rent control, an urban growth boundary and a school parcel tax.
Sexual Harassment In CA: Legislature Will Compile Summary
Amy Chance @ sacbee.com
Both houses of the California Legislature say they are preparing a summary of âinformation concerning sexual harassment related matters.â
GOP Candidate John Cox Launches Attack Against Democrat Gavin Newsom In California Governor's Race
Seema Mehta @ latimes.com
GOP gubernatorial candidate John Cox is attacking one of his rivals in the race â but not the candidate one would expect. Rather than critiquing the record of the other main Republican in the race, Assemblyman Travis Allen of Huntington Beach, Cox is blasting Democratic front-runner Gavin Newsom in a fundraising plea.
Tom Steyer's Campaign To Impeach Trump Hits Nerves
Phil Willon @ beta.latimes.com
The impeachment campaign also has stirred speculation over whether Steyer might launch a bid for office in California. Steyer has been weighing a run for California governor for more than a year, long enough for some California Democrats to express fatigue over his continuous flirtations.
Top Lobbyist Spending In California Capitol
Dan Smith @ sacbee.com
The end of Californiaâs legislative session in September saw lawmakers and Gov. Jerry Brown make a deal on a housing stimulus package, extend Californiaâs cap-and-trade program and hammer out legislation some say makes California a âsanctuary stateâ for undocumented immigrants.
GOP Sees Prospective Gas-tax Election Fight As Oasis In California Desert
When the price of gas went up 12-cents last week, thanks to a Democrat-backed state transportation bill, California Republicans responded with reproachful head shaking and murmurs of concern for those who will be paying higher prices.
Trump Tweets Election Day Push For Gillespie In Virginia: ‘vote Today, Asap!’ - Politico
President Donald Trump sought Tuesday morning to push Virginia voters to the polls, slamming the record of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ralph Northam while heaping praise on Republican Ed Gillespie.
Voters To Decide Pot, Rent Control Issues In Low-key Tuesday Election - Sfgate
A mellow off-year election could get an intriguing boost Tuesday when voters in two Bay Area cities consider marijuana taxation measures - but for those uninspired by ganja, local ballots will also feature rent control, an urban growth boundary and a school parcel tax. Voters in the cities of Pacifica and Cotati will decide whether to levy taxes on the gross receipts at cannabis dispensaries. The measures, both called Measure G, would raise an estimated $360,000 in Pacifica and $300,000 in Cotati, but the new taxes would also likely jack up the price of medicine for cannabis consumers.
SF Supervisors Stick To Their Guns On Geographic Limits On Cannabis Stores
The Board of Supervisors continues to wrestle with legislation to govern recreational marijuana when sales become legal in California on Jan. 1. After facing round criticism from state Sen. Scott Wiener, several San Francisco supervisors doubled down on restrictions theyâd proposed for the cannabis industry.
Orange County Congressional Candidates Wade Into Trump Impeachment Territory
Plenty of California congressional challengers have invoked the name and face of President Trump in their early ads, but not many have ...
George Runner Was Right: California Now Has The Highest Gas Prices In The Nation | Politifact California
subject @ politifact.com
Republican George Runner predicted in April that California’s gas tax hike would catapult the Golden State’s already high fuel prices to the "highest in the nation," after the increase went into effect on Nov. 1, 2017.
If La County Health Department Can Shut Down Restaurants, Why Not Air Polluters? Leaders Want To Know – Daily News
Does Los Angeles County’s public health department have the authority to shut down a facility that emits toxic substances into the air?
Calif. Legislative Staff Might Finally Get Whistleblower Protection - Capradio.org
Ben Adler @ capradio.org
Capital Public Radio, Inc.7055 Folsom BoulevardSacramento, CA 95826
Paradise Papers Spotlight Apple Tax Strategies Amid GOP Push To Cut Corporate Rates
Don Lee @ beta.latimes.com
Fresh revelations of U.S. corporate tax avoidance schemes add fuel to the debate over the Republican tax overhaul bill.
Trump Wrong To Blame Mass Killings On Mental Illness Rather Than Guns, Experts Say - San Francisco Chronicle
President Trump on Monday attributed the slaughter of 26 people in a Texas church — the nation’s third mass killing in five weeks — to “a mental health problem,” saying it wasn’t a “guns situation.”
Russian Billionaire Yuri Milner's Early Backing Of Facebook, Twitter Had Kremlin Ties
James F. Peltz, Tracey Lien @ beta.latimes.com
Leaked documents show early investments by Russian billionaire Yuri Milner in Facebook and Twitter included financial backing from Russian state-controlled entities.
Ed Gillespie: 'Ralph Northam's Policies are Wrong' | Campaign 2017
Republican Virginia gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie released a campaign ad criticizing Democratic opponent Ralph Northam and current Democratic governor Terry McAuliffe.
Marijuana Taxes, Rent Control Make Waves In Pacifica - San Francisco Chronicle
Off-year election days are typically sleepy affairs, and most Bay Area jurisdictions aren’t going to the polls Tuesday. But in Pacifica, voters will be making decisions on a pair of issues that are causing turbulence around the region.
Trump: ‘hundreds More’ Would Have Died In Texas If Gun Laws Were Stricter - Politico
Trump appeared to bristle at even the mention of gun control, suggesting to the inquiring reporter that such a question could be considered inappropriate just days after the shooting. The president also seemed to take exception that such a question would come during a bilateral press conference in South Korea.