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THE Nooner for January 9, 2018


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  • TRE (Statewide): added office of Jerry Brown special advisor Vivek Viswanathan (D)
  • BOE3 (LA/Ventura): removed educator Nancy Pearlman (D)
  • CA10 (Stanislaus): removed Seth Michael Vaughn (D)
  • CA20 (Monterey): added nonprofit executive director Douglas Deitch (D) 
  • CA39 (Fullerton): moved from Leans Republican to Toss-up
  • CA39 (Fullerton): removed Congressman Ed Royce (R)
  • CA39 (Fullerton): added Mt. San Antonio College trustee Jay Chen (D)
  • AD07 (Sacramento): added Peter Delle (D)
  • AD18 (Oakland): removed James Aguilar (D)
  • AD45 (West San Fernando Valley): added business owner Raymond J. Bishop (D)


TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING: While the rain is generally welcome, it wasn't good news on the Central Coast that was hit this fall with fires. AP/KPCC report: "Several homes have swept from their foundations and residents are unaccounted for as mud flows into Southern California neighborhoods below hillsides scarred by recent wildfires."

All of our elections are scheduled--for now:

  • April 3: Special primary in AD39 (Bocanegra), AD45 (Dababneh), and AD54 (S. Ridley-Thomas)
    • Candidate filing and nomination papers period: 01/20/18 - 02/08/18
  • June 5: Special election generals to extent a candidate didn't get over 50% on April 3, SD29 (Newman) recall election, statewide primary election
    • Candidate filing and nomination papers period (recall election): 02/12/18-04/06/18 
    • Candidate filing and nomination papers period (statewide primary): 02/12/18-03/09/18 (extended by five days if incumbent does not file)
  • November 3: Statewide general election

CA39 (Fullerton): Well, that's that. Thirteen-term congressman Ed Royce will retire at the end of this term, opening up a wide-open race in a competitive district, reports Martin Wisckol in the Register. While several "insiders" repeatedly promised that he would not retire, there were hints that he would. 

Like Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-MA) on Judiciary, Royce hits the GOP's term limits on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. While Republicans are still favored to keep the House (perhaps barely), moving from the chairman's seat to a lower seniority position is not something generally found desirable. Similarly, some of the retirements are also members being uncertain about the outcome of House control.

Elena Schneider reports in Politico "In total, seven GOP committee chairs are either retiring or — in the case of Tennessee's Diane Black, the former chair of the Budget Committee — seeking another office."

Royce had $3.4 million on hand as of September 30. He can contribute all of that to party committees that can then spend it on a Republican running in the general in CA39 or other congressional districts. 

Here is the district map with AD overlays (residency, however, is not required).

Some demographics (h/t @rpyers - research director for California Target Book)

  • Overall Registered Voters (RV) - 34.4% D, 36.1% R, 25.5% NPP (as of 02/10/2017)
  • Asian - 20% of RV (29% D, 25% R, 43% NPP)
  • Latino - 25% of RV (50% D, 23% R, 23% NPP)

With Royce's exit, there are now eight Democrats and two "no party preference" candidates. However, there will be at least one Republican and there will be an effort to keep at only one to ensure the GOP has someone on the general election ballot next year. Here are some of the highest profile possible Republican candidates:

  • Scott Baugh is a former state assemblyman and former chair of the Orange County Republican Party. He lives in Huntington Beach, but district residency is not required for the U.S. House of Representatives. He's been raising money in the event Dana Rohrabacher doesn't run for re-election and had $545,403 on hand as of September 30.
  • Ling-Ling Chang is a former state assemblywoman from Fullerton in AD55 who is currently a candidate in the recall election of Democratic Senator Josh Newman (D-SD29), which is expected to be on June 5.
  • Phillip Chen is a first-term assemblyman representing the eastern part of CA39. He came to the Assembly as a board member of the Walnut Valley Unified School District, a former aide to LA supervisor Michael Antonovich, and a reserve sheriff's deputy.
  • Bob Huff is a former state assemblymember and senator from Diamond Bar and served as the Senate Republican Leader before being termed-out and was then succeeded by Ling-Ling Chang.
  • Young Kim is a former state assemblywoman from Fullerton in AD65 and a longtime aide to Congressman Royce. She is currently running for the Fourth District on the Orange County Board of Supervisors in the June 5 election.
  • Shawn Nelson is a ending his time as a member of the Orange County Board of Supervisors (Young Kim is running for his seat) and is a former Fullerton City Councilmember.
  • Janet Nguyen is a state senator from Fountain Valley who has served as a county supervisor and previously served on the Garden Grove City Council. Like Baugh, she lives out of CA39. 
  • Tim Shaw is mayor of La Habra and a former district director for Senator Bob Huff, policy advisor for then-supervisor Janet Nguyen, and policy assistant to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. He is currently government affairs director for the Pacific West Association of Realtors and is an adjunct professor at Rio Hondo College. 

The respected Cook Political Report moved the district from Leans Republican to Leans Democratic. I went from Leans Republican to Toss-up because of the "top-two" primary. If there are eight Democrats--half of whom are well resourced and only two Republicans, it is very possible that two Republicans advance to November.

If we look at the math from the June 2016 primary, we'll see that Democrats combined garnered 55.9% of the Dem+GOP vote, and Republicans captured 44.1%. Democratic turnout in the primary was propelled by the contentious primary within the party, while Donald Trump pretty much had it wrapped up (he received 73.8% of the vote in CA39) by the time primary season reached the Golden State. 

Despite the enthusiasm on the Democratic side in 2018, we would normally expect a midterm drop, particularly in the primary. Additionally, the SD29 recall election will be on the ballot June 5 along with the regular statewide primary. How this will drive turnout by either party is an unknown.

I would thus expect a similar 56%/44% Dem/GOP split on June 5. If the top three resourced candidates--Andy Thorburn, Gil Cisneros, and Mai-Khanh Tran--split 80% of that anticipated Democratic vote, the average vote per candidate would be around 19,500. Phil Janowicz is shopping a poll showing him in the lead among likely voters, although he and Sam Jammal, while in the margin of error, are far behind in fundraising--at least until the January 31 reports come out. Anyway, add him and the math gets even worse for Democrats.

Mt. San Antonio College trustee Jay Chen, who was the candidate against Royce in 2012, is reportedly in the race, making the math even scarier for Democrats.

Of the well funded districts, most have significant personal contributions/loans. This makes it very hard to drop out. Paying back your loans rather than refunding contributions is political suicide for the future.

If there is only one Republican, obviously, a Democrat will advance to November. However, if there are two and they come anywhere near splitting the anticipated GOP vote evenly, they would each receive nearly 29,000 vote. 

Thus, it's still very possible that the seat stays in the GOP column, and it all depends on how many Republicans get in the race. Democrats want only one Republican or three or more Republicans--the best way to ensure a seat at the table in November.

Because of these uncertainties, the race has to be seen as a Toss-up until we have a better understanding of the content and quality of the GOP field.

While several of the congressional races targeted by Democrats are likely to have crowded fields, only CA39 thus far doesn't have an incumbent. Thus makes it uniquely problematic for Democrats under top-two.

As an aside, President Trump last week nominated Ed Royce's wife Marie Royce as Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs.

Next in line for the House Committee on Foreign Affairs if the Republicans hold on to the House is Rep. Christopher Smith (R-NJ04); if the Democrats retake the House, Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY16) would move from Ranking Member to Chair.

Here is my perspective on the current competitive congressional districts:

  • CA07 (East Sacto County - Bera): Leans Democrat
  • CA10 (Stanislaus - Denham) - Toss-up
  • CA21 (Kings - Valadao) - Toss-up
  • CA25 (Santa Clarita/Antelope - Knight): Leans Democrat
  • CA39 (Fullerton - Open): Toss-up 
  • CA45 (Irvine - Walters): Toss-up
  • CA48 (Huntington Beach - Rohrabacher): Leans Democrat
  • CA49 (Carlsbad - Issa): Leans Democrat

PROGRESSIVE PAC: Los Angeles investor Joseph Sandberg  told the Sacramento Press Club yesterday that he is launching the "Working Heroes PAC" to support progressive congressional candidates running against conservative Republican incumbents, reports Katie Orr for KQED. This was on the same day that billionaire activist Tom Steyer announced that he would spend up to $30 million to flip congressional seats from red to blue.

BAGHDAD BY THE BAY: After former senator Mark Leno filed papers for his run for mayor yesterday, supervisor Jane Kim follows suit today. Former supervisor Angela Alioto has also qualified, while London Breed's papers are pending.

CENSUS: Tony Quinn writes for Fox & Hounds that if the Trump Administration is successful in adding a citizenship question to 2020 census forms, it could be a redistricting disaster for Democrats as immigrants refuse to participate. This is because congressional districts are drawn based on total population and, if immigrants are afraid to participate, this would shift political influence to districts with fewer immigrants. These are more likely to be currently represented by Democrats.

HARASSMENT: Melanie Mason writes in the Times:

Last week, Senate leadership used a procedural maneuver to revive the bill, Assembly Bill 403 [Melissa Melendez], and move it forward. That’s uncommon for legislation that had been previously tabled.

“The bill was withdrawn from Appropriations Committee and will be sent to the Senate floor for a vote later this month,” said Jonathan Underland, spokesman for Senate leader Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles).

Melendez said she was “very encouraged to see the bill moving.”

Also moving forward is Senate Bill 419 by [Anthony] Portantino, which will have its first committee hearing Tuesday. He said his measure would cover victims of all forms of harassment, including sexual harassment and discrimination based on age, gender or sexual orientation, and also would extend protections to lobbyists and other individuals who conduct work in the Capitol but are not employees of the Legislature.

The measure also would require the Senate and Assembly to retain records of all harassment complaints for a minimum of 12 years.

MONEY MATTERS: Ahead of tomorrow's 10am release of Jerry Brown's 2018-19 proposed state budget, the LAT's John Myers writes that the governor is anticipated to fully fund the K-12 "local control funding formula" next year, two years earlier than planned when the bill was originally adopted. The funding mechanism provides much more flexibility in spending by local school districts and aims to direct more funds to schools serving low-income students. Fully funding would add $2.6 billion in funding for schools as the Proposition 98 guarantee increases significantly with robust per capita personal income and the expiration of one-time funds provided in the current year.

DON'T HOLD YOUR BREATH: For CALmatters, Judy Lin writes that, despite the wave of unexpected revenues arriving for next year's budget and the filling of the voter-approved budget stabilization account, individual and corporate taxpayers shouldn't expect a special refund check or new tax breaks.


Probolsky Research


#WHYWEWEARBLACK: Yesterday, female lawmakers wore black to the Capitol to coordinate with the similar statement made at Sunday night's Golden Globe Awards, writes Alexei Koseff in the Bee. 

SINGLE-PAYER: SB 562 (Lara and Atkins): The single-payer health care bill remains parked in Assembly Rules Committee, reports Ben Bradford for Capitol Public Radio. "The speaker says he’s more interested in developing a universal health care proposal, which could mix government and private coverage options, rather than focusing solely on a single-payer system."

THE RESISTANCE: Blue states eye 'political gift' in tax workaround fight with Trump [Jimmy Vielkind, Ryan Hutchins and David Siders @ Politico]

Today in Senate Public Safety Committee: Senator Ricardo Lara's SB 183 to prohibit federal immigration enforcement agents from entering state buildings and those of public schools or community colleges without a warrant.

GOOD CAUSE:  Women in Business: Making Change Power Dinner and Fireside Chat

This year's feature speaker will be Fiona Ma, Board Member for the State of California Board of Equalization. With a dynamic panel planned featuring women in business who have overcome poverty and incarceration, Women in Business: Making Change aims to raise awareness [through honest dialogue and discussion] on the pervasive financial insecurity that continues to threaten the lives of women, their families and their communities. The fireside chat will also hone in on an even less addressed population, incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women.

#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Mark Orcutt, Terry Schanz, and Doug Yoakam!



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Can California Preserve Net Neutrality Despite Fcc? | The Sacramento Bee
Taryn Luna @
The go-to source for news on California policy and politics

Gov. Jerry Brown's Signature Plan For Low-income Schools Gets Full Funding In His New State Budget
John Myers @
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Women At Ca Capitol Wear Black To Protest Sexual Harassment | The Sacramento Bee
Alexei Koseff @
The go-to source for news on California policy and politics

Marin County Has Long Resisted Growth In The Name Of Environmentalism. But High Housing Costs And Segregation Persist
Liam Dillon @
Essential Politics

Blue states eye 'political gift' in tax workaround fight with Trump

Democratic leaders in New York, California and New Jersey aim to protect voters from changes related to state and local taxes.

Push To Reverse Fcc Rollback Of Net Neutrality Rules Gets Senate Boost
Opponents of the FCC’s effort to roll back net neutrality rules have gained enough co-sponsors for a bill that would force a Senate vote on the matter.

California Scheming: Playing Games With The Taxman :: Fox&hounds
ron de Arakal @

Trump Says He’ll ‘take The Heat’ If Lawmakers Pursue Comprehensive Immigration Reform - Politico

President Donald Trump has insisted that any compromise on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals initiative include funding for a wall and increased spending on securing the border with Mexico. | Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

'run, Oprah Run' Urges California Congresswoman | The Sacramento Bee
Angela Hart @
The go-to source for news on California policy and politics

Assembly Speaker Says Single-payer Remains Shelved -
Ben Bradford @
Capital Public Radio, Inc.7055 Folsom BoulevardSacramento, CA 95826

Transit director faces big fine over missing campaign finance reports
The state Fair Political Practices Commission is recommending that AC Transit Director Mark Williams be fined $60,000 for failing to file legally required campaign finance reports for five years. The commission, which enforces the state’s campaign finance laws, will consider imposing the judgment at its Jan. 18 meeting. Typically, an officeholder or candidate and the FPPC staff will negotiate a settlement when investigators find a finance law has been violated. But Williams had not responded to 14 notices to contact the commission. Attempts by The Chronicle to reach Williams on Monday were also unsuccessful.

Tom Steyer Says He's Putting Millions Into 2018 Elections, But He Won't Run -
Sally Schilling @
Capital Public Radio, Inc.7055 Folsom BoulevardSacramento, CA 95826

Everything You Need To Know About The Suddenly Wide-open Race For An Orange County Congressional District
Orange County Republican Rep. Ed Royce will retire. Here's a look at the political implications in one of the most closely-watched races in California.

Get A Grip. Oprah Should Not Run For President. | The Sacramento Bee
Paul Waldman @
By Paul Waldman

California Republican Rep. Ed Royce Won't Seek Reelection, Creating Bigger Opening For Democrats
Rep. Ed Royce, a 13-term Republican and a top target in the 2018 midterms, says he will not seek reelection.

Are Hospitals 'dumping' Homeless Patients On Shelters, Service Agencies In Sacramento? | The Sacramento Bee
Cynthia Hubert @
By Cynthia Hubert

Trump Order Upends Future For A Generation Of Salvadorans Who Now Must Leave U.s.
Joseph Tanfani, Cindy Carcamo @
The Department of Homeland Security will give Salvadorans covered by the protected-status program 18 months to return to the small Central American country or to find another way to remain in the U.S. legally. The lead time may also allow Congress to pass a law allowing them to stay.

2017 Was Costliest Year Ever In U.S. For Weather, Climate Disasters - San Francisco Chronicle
Last year’s devastating floods and fires in California combined with hurricanes and other natural disasters to wreak unprecedented financial damage on the United States, the federal government reported Monday.

Political Agenda Keeps Trump And Congress Apart On A Fix For Immigrant 'dreamers'
Lisa Mascaro @
President Trump convenes a bipartisan group of senators at the White House this week to discuss DACA, but the two sides remain far apart on a legislative solution to protect nearly 800,000 young immigrant "Dreamers" from deportation.

'hillbilly Elegy' Author Vance Urged To Run For Senate - Politico

Other Ohio Republicans, such as retiring Rep. Pat Tiberi and Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor, have also passed on challenging Brown, one of 10 Senate Democrats up for reelection from a state Trump carried in 2016.

Democrats Now Have The Edge To Win Ed Royce's House Seat, Cook Political Report Predicts
Javier Panzar @
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The grim cynicism of Trump's tweet about black unemployment

President Trump again takes undue credit for something about which he misled voters on the campaign trail.