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THE Nooner for January 8, 2018


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  • BOE3 (LA/Ventua): added educator Nancy Pearlman (D)
  • BOE3 (LA/Ventua): added Sheldon "Shelly" Thomas (D)
  • CA10 (Staislaus): added Luis Uribe (NPP)
  • CA16 (Merced): added Richard Gomez (G)
  • CA17 (Milpitas): added retired quality engineer Kennita Watson (L)
  • CA18 (Silicon Valley): added retired teacher John Karl Fredrich (NPP) 
  • CA22 (Fresno): added human resources specialist Bill Merryman (L)
  • CA33 (Torrance): added Emory Rodgers (NPP)
  • CA34 (Los Angeles): added Melissa Garza (NPP)
  • CA47 (Long Beach): added teacher Lee Harrison Chauser (PF)
  • SD08 (Foothills): added Charlie Lee Soto (D)
  • SD18 (San Fernando Valley): added lighting technician Rudy Melendez (R)
  • AD08 (East Sacto County): added Janice Bonser (L)
  • AD27 (San Jose): added retail clerk Anthony Macias (R)
  • AD28 (Campbell): added teacher Michael L. Snyder 
  • AD28 (Campbell): added Clay Goodman (R)
  • AD31 (West Fresno): added Lupe Espinoza (R)
  • AD39 (East San Fernando Valley): added environmental justice advocate Yolanda Anguiano (D)
  • AD39 (East San Fernando Valley): added Guadalupe Montano (D)
  • AD45 (West San Fernando Valley): added economic development deputy, Councilmember Blumenfield Tricia Robbins Kasson (D)
  • AD45 (West San Fernando Valley): added Serena Sharp (D)
  • AD70 (Long Beach): added nonprofit founder Rachel Bruhnke (G) 

Good morning and happy rainy Monday. Admittedly, I skipped watching the Golden Globes last night since I only saw a couple of the movies. But, Oprah's speech certainly was the moment of the night and it was great to see Lady Bird director Greta Gerwig thank the people of Sacramento for giving her "roots and wings to get [her] where she is today."

HARASSMENT: For CALmatters, Laurel Rosenhall reports that the leaders of the Legislature announced that they will release some documents about "well-founded" sexual harassment complaints:

“The Senate and the Assembly will release documents related to sexual harassment claims that have been substantiated against a high-level legislative employee or legislator for which discipline has been imposed or allegations have been determined to be well-founded,” Senate leader Kevin de León and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon said in a joint statement released Friday.

STEYER: At a talk in Washington, D.C., billionaire activist Tom Steyer announced this morning they he will not run for U.S. Senate or governor in 2018, but instead will spend up to $30 million to try to flip congressional races to help Democrats take back the House, with a focus on increasing the youth vote.

U.S. SENATE: McClatchy's Emily Cadei asks whether Dianne Feinstein is too old to run for re-election.

[A]s she gears up for a race that would keep her in office until the age of 91, Feinstein’s biggest challenge may be to prove to voters that she hasn’t lost a step – or lost touch with Californians’ values.

Feinstein’s main challenger, state Senate President Kevin de León, and his allies are trying their best to sow doubts about the latter, while insisting they are not going after the senator’s age. It requires walking a tricky rhetorical tightrope.

GOV: The LAT's Phil Willon reports that the race for governor will likely be decided in Los Angeles County, while the Bee's Christopher Cadelago offers five things you need to know about Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Willon writes:

The election will be decided here, where 1 in 4 of the state’s voters live. It’s diverse, sprawling, expensive to advertise in and voters often don’t show up, especially compared with the Bay Area. That’s why anyone hoping to topple Democratic Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom has to win the county.

For two hometown Democratic candidates especially — former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and state Treasurer John Chiang of Torrance — doing well in L.A. County is essential. Yet this overwhelmingly Democratic stronghold continually bedevils even the most adept campaigns.

Also on the gubernatorial race front, the LAT's Seema Mehta reports that San Diego businessman John Cox (R) plans to add $1 million to the $3 million he has already spent/loaned of his own money to keep pace with recent race entrant Doug Ose (R).

BLAST FROM THE PAST: You may have noticed that I added Suzi Park Leggett (D) to the candidates challenging Congressman Ed Royce in CA39 (Fullerton) yesterday. Longtime California politicos may recognize the name. Her late husband Robert Leggett served in the House from Vallejo between 1963 and 1978 and passed in 1997. The could wed in 1981 after Robert was done in the House. Park Leggett, a Korean-American, was a former congressional staff member and socialite.

After Robert had left the House, she and Robert were implicated in "Koreagate" with allegations that members of Congress were receiving bribes from the Korean CIA, coordinated by Suzi Park Thompson at the time, as South Korea sought to keep American troops in south of the DMZ. She was granted immunity for testifying, reported the LA Times at the time. Congressman Richard Hanna served a year in prison for accepting $250,000 from a South Korean businessman.

The entrance of Park Leggett in the race was a surprise. She doesn't live in the district (not that it's required), but rather than the adjacent Garden Grove. Few people had her on the political radar and some are going to the extent of suggesting that the 72-year-old was talked into running by another candidate.

It's bad news for pediatrician Mai-Khanh Tran, a fellow Democrat with an interesting personal story--a Vietnamese immigrant who went on to Harvard and Dartmouth/Brown medical school. Until this weekend, she was the only female in a race with nine men. Tran started with a significant personal loan of $200,000 and raised an additional $412,467 through September 30. 

However, her fundraising is dwarfed by personal spending by Gilbert Cisneros and Andy Thorburn and the fundraising ability of Congressman Royce. Still, in a year that might be a big opportunity for women and health care to certainly to be a major issue, Tran is still in it. Additionally, the recall election for SD29 is likely to be on the day of the statewide primary and a leading Republican seeking to replace Josh Newman is former Assemblymember Ling-Ling Chang--something that could drive up Asian turnout in the overlapping district.

SD29 (Fullerton): In the recall election of Newman, in addition to former Assemblymember Chang, Fullerton City Council member Bruce Whitaker is also planning to run.

POT: The AP's Paul Elias writes that the initial shock by the burgeoning marijuana industry by the announcement by Attorney General Jeff Sessions that the Department of Justice will crack down on recreational marijuana sales in states that have legalized it, industry leaders are now largely shrugging it off. The announcement by Sessions reverses an Obama-era policy that looked the other way for state-level legal operations. 

FROM THE DESK OF THE DEAN: George Skelton writes in the Times that, while it sounds silly, Kevin de León's legislation to allow California taxpayers to "donate" to a state government fund, the idea is worth exploring. The bill has been introduced as SB 227 and will be heard in Senate Governance and Finance on Wednesday, coincidentally at the same time as the governor unveils his 2018-19 proposed budget.

I recently wrote that the idea was cockamamie. Then last week, it was actually introduced as legislation by state Senate leader Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles).

On second thought, maybe the concept isn’t so screwy. And even if it is, given the pugnacious, polarized time we’re caught in, it’s probably a justifiable tax dodge in an effort to defend millions of California taxpayers from President Trump and the Republican Congress.

It fits snugly with the current shoot-first, ask-questions-later political climate.

Meanwhile, for CALmatters, Dan Walters writes that he isn't as sold on the idea, while Joel Fox writes "The bill is creating a way to collect money for the state, not appropriate money. Whether that is accomplished via a tax levy or a donation, the IRS will take note."

On another battlefront with the Trump administration, the Bee's Taryn Luna reports on the dueling legislation by Senators Kevin de León (SB 460) and Scott Wiener (SB 822) to require internet service providers to observe net neutrality in California. SB 460 is being heard Thursday in Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications.

With the news of President Trump's of the planned end of temporary protected status (TPS) for Salvadorans, the scramble is on to determine the impact in California. There are 49,100 from El Salvador under TPS in California, according to the Center for Migration Studies. TPS was granted after the country was hit by two powerful earthquakes in January and February 2001 following years of civil war. 

President Trump plans on making his first visit to California since his election after the State of the Union, reports Rebeca Savransky for The Hill. He'll be visiting the prototype border walls outside of San Diego.


Probolsky Research


DIFFERENT WORLDS: In the Times, Liam Dillon reports on the aversion to development in Marin County and the resulting segregation.

When a Los Angeles-based nonprofit examined demographic data on wealth, education, criminal justice and other issues, it found that Marin is home to the largest inequities between racial groups of any county in California. Disparities in homeownership rates and housing costs between whites and blacks and Latinos were a predominant factor leading to Marin’s ranking.

. . . 

Marin residents’ resistance to development exasperates low-income housing advocates, who say the opposition from locals is antithetical to their professed values. The county, while predominantly wealthy and white, is also one of California’s most liberal: Almost 80% of voters there chose Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election.

REAL ID: The Bee's Tony Bizjak reports on the implementation of the new federal ID requirements by the DMV. 

ASK A MEXICAN: For the NYT, Jennifer Media reports that former OC Weekly columnist and editor-in-chief Gustavo Arellano has landed at the Los Angeles Times, writing a weekly opinion column. The writer and author of the "Ask a Mexican" and "Taco USA" books left OC Weekly last year after balking at ordered cuts across the newsroom.

#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Paula Velascaz!

DEPT OF CORRECTIONS: Long Pham, candidate for AD72 (Seal Beach) is a Republican.



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How Dianne Feinstein's Age Is Shaping California Senate Race | The Sacramento Bee
Emily Cadei @
The go-to source for news on California policy and politics

'be Loyal To The Idea Of California,' Says Gov. Jerry Brown
John Myers @
Essential Politics

Pleasant Grove Student Says Racism In Viral Video Is Common At Elk Grove School | The Sacramento Bee
Anita Chabria And Diana Lambert @
By Anita Chabria And Diana Lambert

Why Dianne Feinstein Shouldn't Run Again
Harold Meyerson @
She should give up-and-comers a chance.

Greta Gerwig's 'lady Bird' Wins Big At Golden Globe Awards | The Sacramento Bee
Molly Sullivan @
By Molly Sullivan

All About Redistricting -- Who Draws The Lines
Redistricting institutions

ICE fires back at Pro-Trump union leader who bashed agency and president's pick for its chief

ICE union president said agency managers laughed at the labor organization, saying “Trump used you and threw you away like trash when he was done with you.”

Farms Face Shrinking Immigrant Labor Pool | The Sacramento Bee
He didn't speak Spanish, but he understood the essential words the foreman barked out: "Puro amarillo." And "rapido, rapido!" Quickly, Flores picked only yellow melons and flung them onto a moving platform.

Bay Area Tech Exec Raises $160,000 In Fundraiser For Roy Moore Accuser - San Francisco Chronicle
More than $160,000 has been pledged to an online fundraising campaign started by a Bay Area tech company executive to help a Roy Moore accuser whose Alabama home burned down in a case of suspected arson.

Oprah Winfrey's presidential candidate-esque Golden Globes speech, annotated

Winfrey has conspicuously leaned into the idea of running for president. Sunday sure seemed like a test run.

Wine Mogul Dave Phinney Poised To Transform Mare Island With Distillery - San Francisco Chronicle
If Dave Phinney has his way, Mare Island, once the largest naval base west of the Mississippi River, may soon become the Bay Area’s newest adult playground.

Republicans Still Have An Opportunity For Free-market Health Reform In 2018 | The Weekly Standard
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Farmers Gave Trump Their Votes And Are Looking For A Return | The Sacramento Bee
Alan Bjerga @
By Alan Bjerga

As Trump Appeals to Farmers, Some of His Policies Donâ

The president will cast himself as a friend to farmers in a speech on Monday, but his position on trade and some parts of the new tax law threaten to undercut their interests.

'it's Going To Be A Big, Fat, Beautiful Wall!': Trump's Words Make His California Climb An Even Steeper Trek
Michael Finnegan @
Donald Trump is out of step with California on immigration, guns and the environment, and he’s making his uphill fight to win the state in November an even steeper climb by stressing his stands on those issues as he campaigns ahead of Tuesday’s primary.

Trump And Corker Mend Fences After 'liddle Bob' Tweets - Politico

As for Trump and Corker, people familiar with their relationship said they have spoken on the phone several times in recent weeks, as CNN reported earlier Monday, including about tax reform.

An ad aimed at discouraging drivers from getting behind the wheel under the influence of marijuana was removed by California officials after critics said it promoted use of the drug. The 30-second video, part of the “DUI Doesn’t Just Mean Booze” campaign by the California Office of Traffic Safety, starts with a montage of people listing off reasons why they use cannabis — before assuring that they never drive while intoxicated. “OK, I love it,” one man says of marijuana, smiling and looking into the camera. Rhonda Craft, director of the Office of Traffic Safety, said in a statement, “We are cognizant and share the concerns expressed over certain elements of our most recent ads.

Trump doesn't always seem to like being president

Sometimes President Trump sounds like he misses his "other life" before becoming commander-in-chief.