Around The Capitol

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THE Nooner for November 29, 2017


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Happy Wednesday! Today, the Davis High School Baroque Ensemble performs in the Capitol rotunda at noon as part of the holiday music program.

If you missed Jimmy Kimmel Live! last night, it was the annual (RED) episode to benefit AIDS prevention and treatment causes. Great show with Bono, Bryan Cranston, Ashton Kutcher, Sean Penn, Kristen Bell, Chris Martin, DJ Khaled, Sean "Diddy Combs, and a video message from President Obama. Great way to tackle your Christmas shopping with the benefit to a good cause. Amazon also has a (RED) shop.

Yesterday was the first meeting of the Assembly Rules subcommittee reviewing the sexual harassment policies and procedures in the Assembly, report Alexei Koseff and Amy Chance in the Bee.

“We have rapists in this building. We have molesters among us.” [California Democratic Party Women's Caucus chair Christine Pelosi] said. “There are perpetrators, enforcers and enablers in this building, and ... a lot of us know who they are. We find out through that whisper network. People do talk, they just don’t come forward.”

Melody Gutierrez writes in the Chron "Lawmakers in the state Assembly shield “rapists” in the Capitol through a sexual harassment policy that protects the guilty and allows records of investigations to be discarded well before accused lawmakers leave office, an Assembly committee was told Tuesday."

This was one of the most contentious issue in yesterday's hearing. After Assembly Chief Administrative Officer Debra Gravert stated that they didn't maintain complaints, but only those that reached the point of an outside investigation, although even that was unclear. There was also confusion as to whether complaints had been filed against legislators, but Gravert eventually said that there was one such complaint in the last six months. It was likely just semantics between complaints and investigations.

The problem is that if complaints aren't tracked, there is no way to track patterns of complaints.

The LAT's Jazmine Ulloa reports "Their calls for action came during a nearly six-hour committee hearing – the first of either legislative house — to review chamber policies and existing training against sexual misconduct. Leaders of the committee called the meeting a first step to combat a culture of sexism and fear that has created a hostile workplace environment for many women in politics."

For Capital Public Radio, Ben Bradford reports:

“Does anyone here believe the current policy is working?” Republican Assemblyman Vince Fong asked [longtime Capitol staffer and Rules Committee chair Ken] Cooley and staff who oversee the policy.

There was a 7-second pause.

Capitol Public Radio's Bob Moffett reports that staffers also feel that the harassment training is insufficient, although that be by the widespread use of cell phones in the room.   

The survivor panelists how younger workers are anxious about being "disappeared" from the Capitol scene if they complain. The lobbyists that testified also shared that the problem extends behind the walls of the Capitol into the lobbying and political communities.

The LAT's John Myers writes what was very obvious yesterday--the process for filing and tracking complaints is very confusing. 

It was a heartbreaking day, but it needed to happen. 

In the Times, John Myers writes about the crazy political world in which we find ourselves this week. 

Probolsky Research


HEALTHY KIDS: The LAT's Sarah D. Wire looks at the impact on California if Congress fails to renew the Children's Health Insurance Program.  "Unless Congress comes to an agreement fast, federal funding for a program that provides health insurance to 2 million California children and pregnant women will run out around the end of the year."

WAITING IN THE WINGS: As John Conyers (D-MI)--the longest serving member in the House--faces increasing calls to resign, including from his colleagues in the Congressional Black Caucus, California represented Zoe Lofgren (D-San Jose) is making it clear she wants to assume his seat as ranking member on House Judiciary, which would play a lead role if impeachment of the President was actually pursued.

PENSIONS: Dan Walters writes for CALmatters that Jerry Brown is winding down his long career in California politics by siding against unions on pensions in a case before the California Supreme Court. "Brown emitted a very strong clue to his unfettered status last week when he filed a brief with the state Supreme Court in a case affecting public employee pensions, in effect asking the justices to make it easier for state and local governments to reduce benefits."

HOUSING: For Fox & Hounds, Joel Fox writes that solutions for the homeless population should not come at the cost of existing homeowners. 

#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Barry Brokaw and Cally Wong!


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Sacramento Approves Financial Incentive To Lure Fortune 500 Company | The Sacramento Bee
Ryan Lillis @
News, insight and discussion on Sacramento and its neighborhoods

Democrat Bonnie Corwin Announces Run For Bocanegra’s Assembly Seat A Day After His Resignation – Daily News
Bonnie Corwin, a Democratic activist who led the calls for Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra’s resignation, is running for Bocanegra’s now-vacant office representing the northeast San Fernando Valley.

Gutierrez Eyes 2020 Presidential Run - Politico

"I will be reaching out to people across the country. I am going to take the steps to guarantee FEC regulations and rules about campaign financing, first and foremost, make sure I'm following the law, " Gutierrez told POLITICO on Wednesday when asked if he was entertaining a presidential bid.

San Francisco Ballot Measure On Affordable Housing Would Test Voters - San Francisco Chronicle
San Franciscans are famous for complaining about the city’s homeless problem, high housing costs and fleeing middle class, and in the same breath, blasting affordable housing projects planned near them.

Canadian Hacker Working For Russian Government Pleads Guilty
Alene Tchekmedyian @
Canadian hacker working for Russian government pleads guilty

Live Briefing: Senate Tax Overhaul Gains Steam as Floor Debate Awaits

After a Senate panel approved the tax rewrite on Tuesday, the full Senate could vote to begin debate on taxes as early as Wednesday afternoon.

Sf Supes Reverse Sale, Return Private Presidio Terrace Street To Homeowners - Sfgate
A private street in tony Presidio Heights that was sold to a San Jose couple for $90,000 in a little-noticed tax auction over two years ago will be returned to the residents who live there. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors on Tuesday voted 7-4 to overturn the sale of Presidio Terrace, a looping, exclusive street that went on the auction block after its residents failed to pay $994 in back taxes. It turned out the Presidio Terrace Homeowner Association's $14-a-year tax bill was being mailed to an accountant who hadn't worked for the association in years.

Sexual Harassment Rampant At Ca Capitol, Lawmakers Told | The Sacramento Bee
Alexei Koseff And Amy Chance @
The go-to source for news on California policy and politics

Trump Wanted a Bigger Tax Cut for the Rich but Lost to Ivanka

President Trump hoped to devote proceeds from repealing a health care mandate to helping the rich. Then came opposition from Ivanka Trump and Republican senators.

Placer Pays Out $100,000 Settlement In Auburn Jail Scandal As New Abuse Lawsuit Is Filed | The Sacramento Bee
Sam Stanton @
Covering crime, police and courts in the Sacramento region

Y Combinator President Sam Altman: Every Adult American Should Own A Share Of The United States
Y Combinator President Sam Altman likes to think about how American workers can be helped as automation and other technologies are poised to revolutionize the economy.

Sf Supes Reverse Sale, Return Private Presidio Terrace Street To Homeowners - San Francisco Chronicle
A private street in tony Presidio Heights that was sold to a San Jose couple for $90,000 in a little-noticed tax auction over two years ago will be returned to the residents who live there.

Editorial: Senate Considers Making a Terrible Tax Bill Even Worse

Dragging its abysmal standards lower, it may throw more money at billionaires to win two crucial votes.

Taxpayers Shouldn't Have To Pay For Capitol Harassment Settlements, Assemblyman Says
Melanie Mason @
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Trump Sells Tax Plan as â

President Trump says the country needs a tax cut to boost economic growth, but the economy already is humming, unemployment is low and inflation may be picking up.