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Well, happy Saturday! Last night, the parade of Californians on the teevee continued with Adam Schiff (D-CA28) visiting with Bill Maher on the first segment of HBO's Real Time. Just before the taping, President Trump kicked the Schiff-led Democrats memo on the FISA warrants back to the Intelligence Committee to be rewritten by the majority. Maher skewered Devin Nunes (R-CA22) with "25 Things You Don't Know About Me." Ouch, but Maher's humor won't be persuading any voters in Nunes's district.
Let's get a few items that have slipped through The Nooner cracks the last couple of days as I wrote long segments on polling, harassment and south east Los Angeles and San Gabriel Valley politics. More on the latter two tomorrow or Monday. Honestly, the constantly evolving political allegiances are very difficult to objectively unwind, and I'm getting contradictory tips.
After the jump, I do revisit polling in the governor's race, and have added two polls to the table--the internal one conducted for John Chiang's campaign and the poll conducted by PPIC in November. I talk about where I think things really stand.
AURAL PLEASURE: On the California Politics Podcast, John Myers and Melanie Mason talk about, what else, the allegations of sexual harassment against Cristina Garcia. They also chat about the passage of the bill of protections for legislative staff whistleblowers. On KQED's Political Breakdown, Scott Shafer and Marisa Lagos visit with San Francisco Board of Supervisors president London Breed, who is running for mayor in June [iTunes only].
HARASSMENT: For CALmatters, Laurel Rosenhall continues her great reporting on the harassment issue, and looks at the discrepancies of record-keeping and disparate discipline meted out to those found "more likely than not" to have committed alleged transgressions.
While I've been focusing on polling results on the major election issues, the PPIC poll did also test the issue of sexual harassment in the Legislature. In included these numbers on Thursday, but that seems years ago.
Sexual harassment/misconduct in the Legislature (registered voters)
How closely are you following news about sexual harassment and misconduct in the California state legislature — very closely, fairly closely, not too closely, or not at all closely? 18%
Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way Democratic leaders in the state legislature are currently handling the issue of sexual harassment and misconduct in the California State Legislature?
I call BS on these results. 59% of registered voters are not following the issue fairly or very closely. They are giving what they think is a popular answer. Look at local television ratings and newspaper readership. Fifty-eight percent are not following the issue in Orange and San Diego Counties, where none of the accused are from and thus where there has been less coverage. I read these papers every day. And, it ain't because they are reading The Nooner.
I'd throw both of these questions out and focus on what our community does going forward. Complete current investigations and develop a better much culture and strengthened processes going forward.
U.S. SENATE: In Politico, David Siders writes that things are lining up strongly for Senator Dianne Feinstein's re-election as Pro Tem Kevin de León struggles in early fundraising and polls. Even liberal critics of hers are starting to see de León's role as more to pull Feinstein toward the left (along with Kamala Harris she voter "no" on Friday morning's budget bill to reopen the government) rather than having a serious shot at winning in November.
Li'l birdies tell The Nooner's hamsters that de Leon's back-up plan is Los Angeles City Council, although that's Gil Cedillo's seat, which won't be up until 2022 and Cedillo isn't termed out until 2026. However, the neighboring seat currently is held by José Huizar, who is term-limited in 2020. Of course with the Los Angeles DA's vigilance on residency that led to the conviction and resignation of Senator Rod Wright, the physical move would have to be legitimate and bullet-proof.
There may also be other factors in play that guides his political future.
TUNNELS: A story that occurred mid-week that I skipped because of everything else that was going on was Governor Brown's revision to the California WaterFix project. With overwhelming opposition from Bay Area and the southern San Joaquin and southern Sacramento Valley governments, a federal government that is already stiffing California on the Oroville Dam fix, and a gubernatorial election ahead, Brown knows time is running out on one of his big legacy projects. And, I won't even talk about the challenges facing the high-speed rail project today.
The biggest thing facing Brown's goal is the leadership to whom he hands the baton on January 7, 2019.
The major candidates express direct opposition to the tunnels (they may have in forums), either twin or solo, but it's clear that nobody is willing to, uh, carry the water for the project as Brown has.
RECALL: Also for CALmatters, Dan Walters writes that the recall campaigns against Senator Josh Newman and Santa Clara Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky could "bring more chaos to California’s already fragile structure of governance, declaring open season on any official who happens to do something that’s unpopular and encouraging politicians to protect themselves by distorting election laws even more."
THE WALL: In the Times, Kristina Davis reports on a San Diego federal court hearing yesterday of three consolidated lawsuits, including by Attorney General Xavier Becerra, challenging the federal government's authority to waiver certain laws to move forward with construction on a border wall. This includes the prototypes built on Otay Mesa.
Oh, and the judge in the case? Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who oversaw the case against Trump University and who, according to the WSJ, POTUS claimed would be biased because he "had had "an absolute conflict" in presiding over the litigation given that he is "of Mexican heritage" and a member of a Latino lawyers’ association."
According to Politifact, the President also said: "He is a member of a club or society, very strongly pro-Mexican, which is all fine," Trump said on Face the Nation on June 5. "But I say, he's got bias. I want to build a wall." The organization is La Raza Lawyers.
I don't know the exact legal issues in the case, but you can bet that Curiel, if he finds against the federal government, will write a bullet-proof opinion. From there, it would go to the Ninth Circuit and then to the Supreme Court. Yeah, that one year delay to block confirmation of Obama-appointee Merrick Garland to hold a seat for Trump-appointee Neil Gorsuch may pay off yet again.
Well played gents, well played. The game is the game
No secret I'm not crazy about the wall. I get that we need to have increased border security. If Intel can help South Korea put 1200 drones in the air to reshape from shapes of athletes to the Olympic rings, we can do this with technology, without interrupting the ecosystem that critters are currently living in. Democrats should put a proposal on the table if that's what gets a DACA fix. Of course, agribusiness--from California's fields to the mega meat processing plants in the southeast and construction contractors throughout the country--don't really want to stop the flow of low-wage workers.
So, we hit a stalemate in March or after a short delay that likely means that DACA grantees have to return to the shadows, literally moving since they were required to give their address for the security check that originally protected them.
As mentioned above, I've added two polls to the table of the gubernatorial race--the December PPIC statewide poll (conducted in November) and John Chiang's internal poll, essentially taken the same time as the latest PPIC poll.
Here are some key takeaways. All of these are of likely voters, but the methodology is based on June 5 likely voters and the only thing we can say with certainty is that no pollster is exactly correct in their methodology.
#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Courtney Baxter and Morgan Roth!
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