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THE Nooner for February 3, 2018

 

 

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John Cox for Governor

 

DISTRICT UPDATES:

  • CA25 (Santa Clarita-Antelope): added insurance agent Mary Pallant (D)
  • AD56 (Ontario): added Jeffrey Gonzalez (R)

 

CA25 (Santa Clarita-Antelope): Mary Pallant is a repeat candidate (2008) and becomes the ninth Democrat hoping to have a shot of challenging Republican Congressman Steve Knight in November. Like in CA10, the DCCC has been hoping these fields would be winnowed, not increased. Pallant lives in Ventura County in Julia Brownley's (D) CA26, in which she ran when it was represented by Elton Gallegly (R).

AURAL PLEASURE: John Myers and Melanie Mason at the LAT talk about, what else, THE DOCUMENTS and campaign finance reports, on the California Politics Podcast. Like all of us, they were racing to review the document dump on what should have been a quiet afternoon on a beautiful seemingly spring day. On KQED's Political Breakdown podcast (iTunes only), Scott Shafer and Marisa Lagos discuss the campaign finance reports and the machinations of the ballot measure process. They taped before yesterday's document dump. On the Capitol Weekly podcast, editor John Howard sits down with SacBee reporter Alexei Koseff to chat about the challenges facing the University of California, something highlighted last week as the Regents wrestled with the student fee issue.

 

Happy Saturday! I sure hope this is the only time you see my name in your email box yesterday. Even the hamsters were unhappy and went on strike. That's why some of you received duplicate emails. For some reason, the server stopped delivering halfway through the list and then restarted the process. My deepest apologies. 

And the band plays on . . . 

Hamster band

 

 

Obviously, the document dump yesterday of responses to sexual harassment complaint by the State Senate and Assembly yesterday afternoon created a frenzy on an otherwise quiet, beautiful Sacramento day. Laurel Rosenhall at CALmatters, a nonprofit news organization that supplies content to the state's major papers, was quick to post the response to her Legislative Open Records Request. Visit CALmatters and sign up for their emails, as they are doing great investigative reporting.

The release covers responses over the last decade but does not include any ongoing investigations. Five current year candidates were implicated in the reports -- Assemblyman and gubernatorial candidate Travis Allen (R-AD72), Assemblywoman Autumn Burke (D-AD62), state Senator Bob Hertzberg (D-SD18), and state Senator Tony Mendoza (D-SD32). Former Assemblyman Steve Fox (D) has filed to run to regain AD36 from Tom Lackey (R) and is implicated in a previously reported settlement. Fox hasn't raised any money and may make it to the November election just by having a heartbeat and with no other candidates.

Autumn Burke

Burke's complaint was probably the weakest, and she is likely to have no problem being re-elected to her Inglewood district. Burke's mother Yvonne Brathwaite Burke served the area in the Assembly, House of Representatives and on the Board of Supervisors for a combined 41 years. The complaint was over a candid conversation about sex among office employees creating an uncomfortable work environment for one allegedly disgruntled employee, but no alleged physical contact or advances. 

Steve Fox

It was no surprise to see a settlement agreement in a case involving former Assemblymember Steve Fox (D), as previous settlements for harassment and expecting a legislative employee to do work in his law office without compensation have been widely publicized [1  2]. I mentioned it before but will again--the Legislature paid more in settlements from his one term in the Assembly than it paid him in salary. 

Bob Hertzberg

Senator Hertzberg (D) was alleged in 2015 to have entered an employee's office to talk about the office's paint color. He allegedly pulled her close to dance as he sang a song to her. 

Hertzberg is one of the most liked legislators in the Capitol and among the community, although the behavior was inappropriate. He is known for being very affectionate with hugs to women and men alike, and it has made a few people uncomfortable. 

In a meeting with Senate HR and its employment attorney, he was reminded of the policy, but there was apparently no formal reprimand or settlement with the employee. For the first time since the caucus vote designating Toni Atkins as President Pro Tem, he's probably relieved to not be behind the rostrum. There are no serious challengers against him, and I can't envision any entering based on this disclosure.

Tony Mendoza

This Tony Mendoza complaint is from 2010 when he was in the Assembly, and is about alleged advances and inappropriate text messages. It is unrelated to the current investigation about advances toward a Senate Fellow and retaliation against other employees who complained about it that has led him to a paid leave of absence. Regardless of the outcome of the independent investigation, this now-public paper trail doesn't make things easier. 

Before yesterday's release, these documents were not known by his fellow Senators, except perhaps those on the Assembly Rules Committee at the time. They were confidential in personnel files or under attorney-client privilege. The saga continues . . .

Travis Allen

The biggest hit likely comes to Travis Allen whose campaign for governor is already struggling. 

Fellow candidate Delaine Eastin (D) called for Allen to withdraw from the race following the release of the documents.

Here is his campaign finance situation:

  Receipts
07/01-12/31/17
Expenditures
07/01-12/31/17

Cash on Hand
as of 12/31/17

Debt
as of 12/31/17
$5,000+ Contributions since 01/01/18
Travis Allen (R)  $368,827 $653,447 $135,535 $342,850 $35,000

His fundraising, while broad, has largely been among small donors $10-$100 who got behind him while his gas tax initiative was still alive. Breadth and small donors is a nice message, but doesn't come anywhere close to the money being raised in $59,200/donor increments by Gavin Newsom and Antonio Villaraigosa, or the personal wealth of John Cox (R) and Doug Ose (R).

While Eastin called for his withdrawal, other Democratic candidates are privately mixed. An Allen withdrawal increases the chance that a Republican will make it through the top two primary. With him in the race, that means three "major" Republicans are in along with four "major" Democrats.

I haven't talked to any of the campaigns in the last 24 hours since the news came out, but my bet is that Newsom would love for Allen to get out to draw a November face-off against Cox or Ose, while the other three (Villaraigosa, John Chiang, and Eastin) would likely prefer Allen to stay in to increase the likelihood of two Democratic spots for the fall. Of course, Cox and Ose likely want Allen out.

After the jump, several articles on the story.

 

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Upward Mobility at Cal State LA

 

Here are some articles on the document dump:

 

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Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute

reserve this space

 

HOUSING: In the MercNews, gubernatorial candidate Antonio Villaraigosa shares his ideas on how to solve the state's housing crisis.

More housing will mean more economic opportunity, more economic equality and more families with jobs that bring respect and dignity, lower rates of homelessness and a reduced level of poverty.

What are we waiting for?

DEARTH: I missed it yesterday as I was obsessed with campaign finance numbers, but Joel Fox asks on Fox & Hounds where the GOP bench is.

The question is why these State Senators, who are not up for election this year, have not been persuaded to file for U.S. Senate, Lieutenant Governor, Controller, Treasurer, Insurance Commissioner -- all statewide offices without a serious Republican. If anything, just to have names on the conservative slate mailers. It's just embarrassing at this point:

  • Ted Gaines (R-SD01)
  • Anthony Cannella (R-SD12)
    - He has a committee for and $742,000 on hand in two different accounts, but doesn't appear to be campaigning. If he completes filing, he likely ends up on the November ballot as three active Democrats duke it out.)
  • Scott Wilk (R-SD21)
  • Mike Morrell (R-SD23)
  • John M.W. Moorlach (R-SD37)

Here's a problem for the GOP bench. In the State Senate, there are 13 senators, four of which are in odd-numbered districts and nine of which are in even-numbered districts. That means that in elections in which statewide offices are open, that's the "free ride" field. Let's be candid that statewide offices are largely long shots for Republicans right now. But, carrying the party banner in a year in which a senator doesn't have election duties unlike most other, one can ask, why not take one for the party?   

 

Probolsky Research

 

I'm sure there are more stories, but time is up. I'll continue reading this afternoon and include those I missed in tomorrow's edition.

#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Joe Krovoza!

 

 

CLASSIFIEDS

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TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
GOP Gubernatorial Candidate Travis Allen Calls Release Of Sexual Harassment Complaint 'a Political Attack'
Seema Mehta @
latimes.com
Gubernatorial candidate Travis Allen is among the state lawmakers who were accused of sexual harassment in the past several years, according to documents publicly disclosed Friday by the California Legislature.

Billionaires Dominate Elections. Here's A Solution
Dan Morain @
sacbee.com
In the 2016 election cycle, the Adelsons spent $82.5 million to elect Republicans to Congress and the White House, second to Democratic billionaire Tom Steyer, who spent $91 million, the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics found.

Legislature releases details of sexual harassment cases dating back 11 years
sfgate.com
SACRAMENTO — The state Senate and Assembly released a cache of documents Friday revealing 20 substantiated complaints of sexual harassment or inappropriate behavior against lawmakers or high-level legislative staffers over the past 11 years. The nearly 100 pages of documents include cases against six current and former elected officials: Republican gubernatorial candidate Travis Allen, an Assemblyman from Huntington Beach (Orange County); Assemblywoman Autumn Burke, D-Inglewood (Los Angeles County); Sen. Bob Hertzberg, D-Van Nuys; former Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra, D-San Fernando Valley (Los Angeles County); former Sen. Roderick Wright, D-Inglewood; and suspended Sen. Tony Mendoza, D-Artesia (Los Angeles County).

California Legislature Releases A Decade's Worth Of Records On Sexual Harassment Investigations
John Myers, Melanie Mason @
latimes.com
There were 79 sexual harassment claims filed against California state lawmakers or legislative staff since 2006.

Four Current California Lawmakers, Including Governor Candidate Travis Allen, Named In Sexual Harassment Claims - Capradio.org
Ben Adler,Sammy Caiola,Nick Miller,Bob Moffitt @
capradio.org
Capital Public Radio, Inc.7055 Folsom BoulevardSacramento, CA 95826

CalPERS Costs "Unsustainable" CA Cities Say
Adam Ashton @
sacbee.com
Most California cities expect their spending on public employee pensions to climb by at least 50 percent over the next seven years, restricting their ability to fund basic services like public safety and parks, according to a study their lobbying organization released on Thursday.

State Sen. Ted Gaines Asked Aide To Resign Over Sexual Harassment Allegations, Then Hired Him As Political Consultant
Patrick McGreevy @
latimes.com
Steve Davey left Gaines’ legislative staff in 2015 after a complaint was made that a female subordinate felt uncomfortable with his treatment of her, which included unwanted physical contact, according to documents released Friday by the Senate. The complaint filed said that on two occasions, Davey put his arm around the staff member when they were at public events. Davey also yelled at her in front of others, according to the complaint.

Travis Allen Should Drop Out Of Governor's Race, Rivals Say
Christopher Cadelago @
sacbee.com
Democrat Delaine Eastin‏, the most prominent woman running for California governor, issued a scathing rebuke of a Republican rival accused of sexual harassment, urging Assemblyman Travis Allen to suspend his campaign.

California Wants More Electric Cars. The Trump Administration Doesn't. Automakers Are In The Hot Seat
Evan Halper @
latimes.com
The signals to automakers couldn't conflict more: California, with the nation's largest auto market, is stepping up pressure to stay on track with the state's ambitious climate goals. The Trump administration is moving to free the companies of such obligations and even has threatened to strip California of its power to impose existing requirements within its borders.

Republicans Raise More Money Than Democrats In County Campaigns
Joshua Stewart @
sandiegouniontribune.com
Despite a smaller share of the county’s electorate, Republicans lead Democrats in campaign fundraising in races for two Board of Supervisors seats as well as for district attorney, sheriff and assessor.

Nunes Memo Raises His Profile But Will Voters Punish Him?
Lewis Griswold @
fresnobee.com
With the release of a controversial memo that bears his name, Rep. Devin Nunes has cemented his national identity as a relentless defender of President Donald Trump.

Skyrocketing Water Bills In San Diego Prompt Internal City Investigation - The San Diego Union-tribune
Joshua Emerson Smith @
sandiegouniontribune.com


California Legislature Has Spent $294,271 Investigating Sexual Harassment Claims Since 2006
John Myers @
latimes.com
Sexual harassment investigations by the California Legislature cost taxpayers $294,271 from early 2006 through the end of last year, according to a document provided Friday to the Los Angeles Times.