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THE Nooner for January 31, 2018
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Happy campaign finance deadline humpday! I'll be tweeting interesting findings as they come in today and tonight @scottlay. Receipts, expenditures and cash on hand will be on the AroundTheCapitol.com district pages as they come in. I plan to send a spreadsheet on Friday with likely updates over the weekend to paid subscribers.
Did you enjoy the speech last night? Without getting in to the politics of the speech, I'll just say that it was too bad that the prompter to the president's right -- the one in the Democratic direction -- appeared to not be working. I know he said during the campaign that he hates prompters, but should have used that time to practice.
It was a long speech. How long? Well, I played a little test. I started a paleo beef stew in my Instant Pot at the moment the president started speaking. The warm up time, 45 minutes of pressured cooking time, and pressure release time all passed, and I was eating a delicious bowl of stew before the speech was over. No exaggeration -- here's the pic.
Meanwhile, I found "beautiful clean coal"!
LA-LA-LA WE CAN'T HEAR YOU! Who wasn't watching the State of the Union? That would be the four leading Democrats for governor, who instead appeared at a forum in San Francisco sponsored by the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL). The three leading Republicans were invited but didn't attend. Travis Allen and John Cox are against abortion rights, while Doug Ose favors them but would like to see more limits on "late-term" abortions.
The Chron's Joe Garofoli writes:
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa conceded that “all four of us ... would be the strongest defenders of a woman’s right to choose.”
Yet, each agreed that there are battles to be fought. Even though California offers some of the strongest abortion rights protections in the country, according to NARAL state ratings, there is still room to improve, particularly when it comes to access to health care services. Nearly half of California counties don’t have a clinic where abortions are performed.
. . .
Each of them said they disagreed with Gov. Jerry Brown’s decision last year to veto a bill that would have banned employers from firing or disciplining a worker for “their reproductive health decisions.”
“I think Jerry was dead wrong about that,” said former Superintendent of Public Instruction Delaine Eastin.
And each of them supports a bill before the Legislature that would allow student health centers at public university campuses to provide abortion pills.
“I am seriously considering it,” said Delgado, who is also a Democrat. “We’re unrepresented. We have been for some time, given Tony Mendoza’s leave. The way the timeline works out for his leave and a possible expulsion, somebody has to be positioned to run if he is going to leave early or not.”
Delgado also clarified her relationship with the Calderatti:
Delgado purchased a home in Montebello in 2014 from former Assemblyman Tom Calderon, who has since served a prison sentence for laundering bribes accepted by his brother, Sen. Ron Calderon, who remains behind bars. Still, Delgado said she is not allied with the once powerful Calderon family, which has supported candidates against Mendoza before.
“I don’t even know them. I’ve never interacted with them,” Delgado said of the family, adding that the house purchase was handled by her broker.
Of course, there are still more questions than answers. As I wrote yesterday, it's possible the results of the investigation and response from the Senate, if any, could extend beyond the March 9 filing deadline. Delgado is being smart by being prepared. But, it's still unclear whether she would challenge Mendoza if he is exonerated or the investigation is inconclusive. After all, the conclusion of the investigation is attorney-client privileged and it'll be up to Senate Rules whether or not it is released.
BAGHDAD BY THE BAY: Interim mayor Mark Farrell tapped San Francisco Catherine Stefani for his former District Two seat on the Board of Supervisors, reports Rachel Swan in the Chron.
Stefani, a longtime legislative aide who worked for Farrell and former District Two Supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier, has amicable relationships with the progressive supervisors who put Farrell in the city’s top job.
The filing deadline for the District 2 seat, up in November, is June 12. It's unclear whether Stefani will be filing for it or whether Farrell will. Farrell is not on the ballot for mayor in June, having withdrawn from the race. That's why his fellow supervisors replaced London Breed with him, as she is a candidate.
KQED's Scott Shafer looks at how the political developments also reflect changing San Francisco demographics, opening old wounds.
For CALmatters, Dan Walters looks at the turmoil in the San Francisco and Los Angeles city governments.
PLAYING DARTs: This session's SB 705 (Allen) to ban polystyrene containers failed on the Senate floor 18-16 yesterday. Six Democrats abstained (Glazer, Mendoza, Newman, Pan, Portantino, Roth) and two (Dodd and Leyva) voted no.
The bill would have prohibited single-use expanded polystyrene (what you think as Styrofoam) containers for most food service--January 1, 2020 for those required to post calorie counts (generally large restaurant chains) and January 1, 2022 for others. Beyond just a general concern of "needless" waste, the author (and that of Assemblymember Richard Bloom who had a similar bill) is concerned with the impact on the oceans.
Opponents point out that Styrofoam is completely recyclable. Proponents argue that you can't recycle something that floats away in the ocean. Previously, Senator Alan Lowenthal carried the bill.
The main opponent? DART Container Corporation.
You may not have heard of the company, but its a significant player. According to business intelligence publication D&B Hoovers:
Dart Container is a world cup winner -- not in soccer, but in foam cups and containers. The company commands about half of the global market in foam cups in addition to the iconic red solo cup. Its foodservice products, which include lids, containers, dinnerware, plastic cups, and cutlery, are sold to hospitals, schools, restaurants, and retailers. To make its products, family-owned Dart touts a secret molding method for expandable polystyrene. It also builds its own molding machinery and uses Dart trucks to deliver products from more than 40 plants in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, the UK, and the US.
As mentioned there, in addition to Styrofoam, DART produces the ubiquitous red cups, thousands of sleeves of which are used each year for beer pong. Speaking of waste . . .
DART has manufacturing or distribution facilities in Chino, Corona, and Lodi and has been a major player in California politics and lobbying, even if most home-gamers haven't heard of the company or looked at the bottom of their Styrofoam ferrying their chow fun or red cup before before throwing ping pong balls in it.
As of my deadline this morning, DART hadn't filed its year-end major donor report (due by midnight), but here is the report for the first six months of 2017. During that period, it spent $414,508 in direct contributions and independent expenditures (phone calls for Gil Cedillo and Curren Price for LA City Council), including $50,000 to the California Democratic Party (convention sponsorship).
For lobbying, DART employs three firms. Here's what was reported from 01/01/2017 through 09/30/2017:
Another session, another dead bill. Another lucrative year for beneficiary parties, lawmakers, caucuses, "do-gooder" groups, and lobbyists--and everyone downstream. Lots of red cups are being raised . . .
MUST READ: For the NYT, Tim Arango and Adam Nagourney write that the ongoing management issues facing the Los Angeles Times is symbolic of the sprawling metropolitan area's inability to share a common vision.
SCPR's Sharon McNary looks at why Southern California's newspapers are having such a tough time, literally threatening their survival.
EASY JOLT: In the venerable Capitol Morning Report, we learn that those empty spaces on 10th and L on the first floor of the city parking garage are going to be filled with a Starbucks. The Grebitus & Sons Jewelers and Russo Shoe Repair spaces will be combined to create the new space. It's expected to open early this summer.
Stay local, my friends.
#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Amy Braden, Kelly Calkin, Andrea Jones, Joshua Walters!
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TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
Investigator Pressed On Why UC President Not Blamed For Audit Interference - San Francisco Chronicle
SACRAMENTO — State lawmakers on Tuesday questioned retired state Supreme Court Justice Carlos Moreno over why an investigation he conducted last year did not find University of California President Janet Napolitano responsible for her office’s interference with a state audit.
State Treasurer, Attorney General Team Up To Explore Creating California Pot Bank
James Rufus Koren @ latimes.com
Should California start its own bank to serve the cannabis industry? State Treasurer and gubernatorial candidate John Chiang on Tuesday announced his office is starting a study that will answer that question.
Kevin Mccarthy's Wife Works For California Republican Party | The Sacramento Bee
Christopher Cadelago @ sacbee.com
The go-to source for news on California policy and politics
California A.g. Blows The Whistle On The Paint Industry's Deceptive Ballot Measure
Michael Hiltzik @ latimes.com
California Attorney General Hector Becerra was having none of the paint industry's effort to deceive the public about its $2-billion ballot bailout.
Law Enforcement Objects To Trump Administration Order To Target Immigrants - San Francisco Chronicle
Mayor Ed Lee rebuked the president's executive order during a press conference on Wednesday, Jan. 25, stating: "I am here today to say we are still a sanctuary city. We stand by our sanctuary city because we want everybody to feel safe and utilize the services they deserve, including education and health care."
State Gas Tax Increase Gives $10.5 Million For New Coaster Trains | Kpbs
Andrew Bowen @ kpbs.org
The North County Transit District is getting $10.5 million to purchase seven new, low-emission trains for its COASTER rail system with money from the recent gas tax and vehicle fee increase, state transportation officials announced Tuesday.
Sex Assault Of Exchange Student Draws 183-year- Prison Sentence | The Sacramento Bee
Cathy Locke @ sacbee.com
Covering crime, police and courts in the Sacramento region
Fact-checking The Economic Claims Trump Is Likely To Make In His State Of The Union Address
Jim Puzzanghera @ latimes.com
Americans probably will hear a lot about the economy in President Trump’s State of the Union address Tuesday.
California's Treasurer And Attorney General Move On Plan To Create Public Bank For Pot Businesses | The Sacramento Bee
Brad Branan @ sacbee.com
By Brad Branan
Legislature Approves First State Audit Of Bullet Train Project Since 2012
Ralph Vartabedian @ latimes.com
The California bullet train will get its first state audit in six years, after the Legislature's joint audit committee gives its approval.
Porn Actress Stormy Daniels Jokes With Jimmy Kimmel About Trump | The Sacramento Bee
MICHAEL FINNEGAN @ sacbee.com
Porn actress Stormy Daniels stopped just short of saying on television Tuesday night that she had sex with President Donald Trump in the early days of his marriage to Melania Trump.
Bob Brady Not Running For Reelection - Politico
Brady has been dogged by questions about retirement in recent months amid a looming federal probe into allegations his campaign paid a primary challenger to drop out in 2012. The 11-term congressman has denied any wrongdoing in the investigation, and aides close to the lawmaker continued to insist he was running for reelection as recently as a few weeks ago.
Sf Tourist Industry Struggles To Explain Street Misery To Horrified Visitors - San Francisco Chronicle
As president of the Handlery Union Square Hotel, part of Jon Handlery’s job is to scour travel websites to find out what tourists are telling one another about his hotel and San Francisco.
Cal State Trustees Debate Tuition Increase, 'unsustainable' Funding Gaps At Nation's Largest Public University System
Rosanna Xia @ latimes.com
Cal State Chancellor Timothy P. White delivers a reality check during his annual state of the university address, and trustees debate another tuition increase during the first day of a Board of Trustees meeting.
Mcconnell: Mueller ‘seems To Need No Protection’ - Politico
McConnell told reporters that he sees no imminent threat to Mueller's job from President Donald Trump, who has publicly aired frustration with the special counsel's probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and potential collusion with Trump campaign allies. Senators have pitched two bipartisan bills designed to prevent Mueller's firing by Trump, but efforts to combine them have stalled as the GOP professes a continued lack of urgency.