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THE Nooner for November 8, 2017


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  • SD06 (Sacramento): added Jacob Mason (D)
  • AD05 (Foothills): added businessman James Lex Bufford (D)


¡Buenos midiodia, mis amigos! The Capitol Christmas tree arrived yesterday and the decorating will commence shortly. Hopefully, Governor Brown will bring back some cool ornaments from Europe. Speaking of, guv, can you bring me some lebkuchen back?

A formidable band of rain is heading into Northern California and is forecast to arrive tonight but ending by the time you head out for work tomorrow morning. An ideal storm. 

Those were some interesting elections last night. The most interesting thing was the diversity of candidates who were elected. Three transgendered candidates won. The most prominent was Danica Roem in the 13th district of the Virginia House of Delegates. She defeated the conservative sponsor of a "bathroom bill," which would have required people to use the bathroom of the gender assigned at birth.

I know that's a controversial issue and I'll leave you to decide on it for yourself. But, the story is that she won by focusing on the district's issues and not volatile social issues. 

Also in Virginia, Democrat Kathy Tran walloped Republican Lolita Mancheno-Smoak 61%-39%, flipping a seat. Tran fled Vietnam with her parents as a nine-month old as  boat refugees.

In Hoboken, NJ Sikh Ravi Bhalla was elected as mayor days after doctored flyers were being passed out on car windshields with a picture of him in a turban below a statement "Don't let TERRORISM take over our town!" Sikhism is known as one of the most peaceful religions in the world.

Here at home, my school board member is gay. My community college trustee is Latina. My city councilman is gay. My mayor is Jewish. My county supervisor is Latino. My state assemblymember is half-African American. My state senator is Chinese-American. My congresswoman is Japanese-American. One of my U.S. Senators is half-African American, half-Indian.

What's important politically is not their heritage, but rather that they deliver for their constituents. Yesterday, the city council, mayor and county board of supervisors collaborated on $44 million in funding to address the homeless issue, something that is a very bipartisan concern in Sacramento and across the state.


  • Virginia is significant because of the 2021 redistricting, but giddy Dems have to hold on to their majority (if they get it with final results) and pick up 2 Senate of Virginia seats. Legislative restraint will be important to accomplish those goals. After all, Democrats won statewide for Hillary in 2016. The suburbs are growing more diverse and more highly educated through the growth of the high tech companies in areas like Reston and Herndon that you pass in your shuttle from DC to Dulles.

    In Fairfax County where Reston and Herndon are located, Obama won in 2008 with 60.11% of the vote. Yesterday, Northam received 67.86% of the vote in an off-year election, usually unfavorable for Democrats.

    The Indian and Korean populations have swelled, and like Asian-Americans in most parts of the country, are voting more Democratic. There is a sizeable Vietnamese peopulation of immigrants whose families initially settled in the south but are moving north for jobs meeting the second generation's advanced educations. 

  • What is the impact on tax reform and repeal/replace of health care?

    In Maine, voters instructed the governor to expand Medicaid, which he opposed. The vote was 59% yes, 41% no, which has to cause real problems for Republican Susan Collins, who recently decided to run for reelection in 2020 rather than governor.

    In Virginia, the House congressional delegation is 7 Republicans and 4 Democrats. While southwest VA was soundly Republican yesterday, urban centers and their suburbs--some of which are in seats held by the GOP voted more Dem than they have in the last several statewide elections. This has to be a tough morning for those members, and you have to guess that they'll be getting a visit by the Majority Whip. Barbara Comstock (R-VA10) is particularly vulnerable.



  • Burlingame: a 0.25% sales tax passed
  • Glendora: a $98 million school bond failed
  • Hawthorne: a 0.75% sales tax (~$8.5 million/year) passed
  • La Cañada-Flintridge: a $149 million school bond passed
  • Lagunitas School District: $535/year school parcel tax failed
  • Pacifica: rent control failed
  • Pacifica: marijuana operation tax passed
  • Poway: measure to rezone a portion of the StoneRidge Country Club to allow the construction of 180 luxury homes failed. Shortly thereafter, the course announced its closure.
  • Santa Barbara: 1 cent sales tax passed



CLIMATE: Following meetings with European Union officials, Governor Jerry Brown announced that there is a tentative agreement between the EU and California to work together on tackling climate change with possibly a common cap-and-trade market, reports Catherine Stupps in the Times.

AD60 (Corona): In CALmatters, Laurel Rosenhall reports on the challenge to first-term Democrat Sabrina Cervantes, who is being challenged by Republican Corona councilman Randy Fox. Fox hasn't cashed in on his challenge to a Leans Republican district, and GOP leaders are still looking for a challenger to Cervantes.

POLITICS ARE TAXING: The LAT's Jim Puzzanghera reports that the GOP tax bill would eliminate the tax deduction for those who lose property because of natural disasters, except for those affected by hurricanes. This is a clear Cee Lo to California. 

The biggest losses were in areas represented by Jared Huffman (D-Healdsburg) and Mike Thompson (D-Napa), but Mimi Walters (R-Irvine) found her district affected by the Canyon fires, which destroyed 25 structures and damaged 48 more. Taxpayers affected by wildfires would still be able to take the deduction if they can figure out their losses by the time they file their 2017 taxes.

Beyond the 2017 catastrophe, it's important to note that many of the state's biggest fire areas are in GOP districts.

Speaking of the tax plan, the LAT's Sarah D. Wire writes that, while East Coast Republicans have been critical of the plan's effect on their high-tax states, California's House Republicans were largely silent.

However Darrell Issa (R-Carlsbad) said that he will vote "no" on the current version of the bill, reports Wire. Vulnerable Republican Dana Rohrabacher said yesterday that the tax changes on the home interest mortgage interest deduction will have a minimal impact. "Asked about the impact on people who will buy a home in the future, he said, “Those people do not represent a very high portion of the electorate.”



Probolsky Research


THE AG: Attorney General Xavier Becerra  said yesterday that "maximum prison sentences and crackdowns on undocumented immigrants is “absolutely wrong” and threatens to drive the country into poverty," reports Chuck McFadden for Capitol Weekly. 

CAPITOL STAFF: Dan Walters writes for CALmatters that most legislative employees should become civil service workers, losing their at-will status.

STATE BANK FOR POT? With FIDC-backed banks largely keeping their hands of funds from marijuana sales, Treasurer John Chiang suggests in a new report that the solution might be a state-backed bank, reports Adam Ashton in the Bee.

GREAT FOR ARMORED CARS? KQED's Katie Orr reports that the expansion of legalized pot may result in a lot more armored cars on the road.



#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Teresa Acuña, Ernesto Medrano, and Christopher Townsend!



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Pot Tax Money Should Ride In Armored Cars, California Treasurer Says - San Francisco Chronicle
State Treasurer John Chiang proposed a stopgap Tuesday for a weighty issue cash-based cannabis businesses face: He recommended the use of armored cars to collect what might amount to $1 billion in annual taxes when recreational cannabis becomes legal for sale Jan. 1.

Sacramento Teacher Deal Language Not Available, Union Vote Expected This Week | The Sacramento Bee
Diana Lambert @
By Diana Lambert

Rohrabacher Says Future Homebuyers Hurt By Tax Plan Don't Represent A Large Number Of Voters
Sarah D. Wire @
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher downplayed the effect of the lower mortgage interest deduction in the GOP tax bill Tuesday, saying that people wh...

Dnc Chair On Election Wins: 'trump Was Undeniably On The Ballot' - Politico

Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez said Wednesday that victorious Democrats nationwide have President Donald Trump to thank, at least in part, for the Election Night wave that helped carry them into office.

Darrell Issa Says He'll Vote 'no' On Current Tax Bill: 'we Can Do Better Than This'
Sarah D. Wire @
Share this update

National Anthem Is Racist, California Naacp Says | The Sacramento Bee
Alexei Koseff @
The go-to source for news on California policy and politics

East Coast Republicans Pushed Back Against Trump's Tax Plan. Why Didn't California's Gop?
Sarah D. Wire @
Essential Politics

GOP Tax Bill Would Have Impact On Pro, College Sports - The San Diego Union-tribune
Ben Nuckols @
The Oakland Raiders decided to move to Las Vegas largely because Clark County, Nevada, agreed to finance a new stadium with $750 million in tax-exempt bonds. Now, that tax exemption could be going away, leaving the county on the hook for even more money.

2018 Election A Test For Nancy Pelosi And Democratic Critics | The Sacramento Bee
Emily Cadei And Alex Roarty @
By Emily Cadei And Alex Roarty

Panel Grapples With Pot Banking Laws - San Francisco Chronicle
California is still grasping toward what State Treasurer John Chiang on Monday called “the best imperfect solution” for a fully functioning cannabis marketplace before recreational marijuana becomes available for sale next year.

Ryan: Democrats' Election Wins Put More Pressure On GOP To Pass Tax Overhaul - Politico

The state elections, in which Republican candidates Ed Gillespie and Kim Guadagno lost in Virginia and New Jersey, respectively, mean that congressional Republicans need to redouble their efforts on the tax bill, Ryan said.

Sherri Papini: New Video Shows Her Reappearance On I-5 | The Sacramento Bee
Ryan Sabalow @
Covering crime, police and courts in the Sacramento region

Cal State Trustees Face Budget Challenges Amid Efforts To Lift Graduation Rates
Rosanna Xia @
Cal State trustees will meet Tuesday and Wednesday to discuss budget gaps and other issues weighing the nation's largest public university system.

Hotel Taxes Again Eyed For Homeless Services - The San Diego Union-tribune
James DeHaven, Lori Weisberg @
Jaywalking infractions in San Diego has lowered in the last 5 years

Texas Church Gunman Once Escaped From Mental Health Center | The Sacramento Bee
Associated Press

Key Takeaways From Tuesdayâ

A suburban rebellion against President Trump propelled Democrats to victory in races for governor, state legislature and mayor, in a series of elections.

Transgender Woman Wins Virginia House Seat, Makes History - San Francisco Chronicle
Democrat Danica Roem, an experienced newspaper reporter, beat longtime Republican incumbent Bob Marshall in Tuesday's election. The race was one of the year's most high profile, drawing national and international attention and big money to the northern Virginia district outside the nation's capital.

Battered By Trump, Obamacare Triumphs At The Polls - Politico

A remarkable 4 out of 10 Virginians in an early exit poll said health care was their top issue in a race that saw Democrat Ralph Northam, the current lieutenant governor, handily defeat Republican Ed Gillespie to become Virginia's next governor. And in Maine, voters in a landslide backed Obamacare Medicaid expansion, which their governor had vetoed on five separate occasions.