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SPORTS PAGE: The San Jose Sharks gobbled up the Anaheim Ducks in one sweeping gulp. San Jose scored 16 goals in the four games to Anaheim's 4. I'm guessing that Kansen Chu is going to make Matthew Harper wear a Sharks jersey on the Assembly floor, because this one won't suffice this year.
Crazy times leading up to the policy committee deadline next Friday and with June 5 approaching fast.
ILL-TIMED: Cracker Barrel is opening its first Sacramento restaurant at 1000 Howe Avenue in mid-June, reports Mark Glover in the Bee. The restaurant has been accused in the past and paid a legal settlement for alleged racial discrimination for NAACP-backed lawsuits backed by the U.S. Department of Justice over its seating practices and treatment of black customers and employees.
I've never been to Cracker Barrel and haven't seen recent stories alleging malfeasance, but opening a week or two after the primary election in the racially heated race for district attorney could be ugly. With only two candidates (incumbent Anne Marie Schubert and challenger Noah Phillips), the DA's will be decided on June 5. Emotions will be running high. While Schubert is a Republican, most incumbent local Democratic officials (Mayor Steinberg, the entire city council, and the entire board of supervisors) endorsed her well before the Stephon Clark shooting.
Protests continue in front of her office Tuesdays, Wednesday and Thursdays. Yesterday, Black Lives Matter Sacramento literally held a barbecue on the sidewalk in front of her office. The protests, while smaller than those the first week after the shooting, still are drawing 30-50 people. Sac PD has basically left them alone and allowed rush hour marches downtown as long as the protests keep moving. The California Highway Patrol, which shares downtown policing with Sac PD from the history of the former State Police, has basically just ensured that protestors don't enter the freeways off I Street
MONEY MATTERS: Yesterday was another good report on personal income tax revenues, reports the Legislative Analyst's Office. As of yesterday, personal income tax revenues (withholding, FTB tax payments, and refunds) totaled $600 million more than the $4.5 billion estimated to be collected through April 17, or 13% above projeections. Daily collections start to slow now, but the state is well on the way to exceed the $13.9 billion estimated for the month. In contrast PIT revenues were around $13.1 billion in April 2017.
Now the big question is what to do about the provisions of Proposition 2, which created the Budget Stabalization Account. The governor's proposed budsget fills the "Rainy Day Fund" at the max of 10% of State General Fund revenues. If the current year budget is not revised before the June 30 end of the fiscal year, the extra revenue would be in an infrastructure "lockbox." While the state has clear infrastructure needs, it's unclear how quickly they could be built out withe new infrastructure spending revenue stream and a construction industry that is already strained with demands for workers.
There is high-speed rail, which is well beyond budget with the latest story being the much higher than projected costs for relocating underground utilities ($396 million instead of $69 million) in the 29-mile stretch near Fresno, reports Ralph Vartabedian in the Times. However, that's a big political hot potato to write big checks to right now. As my dad just said as I was talking to him on the phone, it likely wouldn't pass on the ballot if put before voters again today, particularly without federal funds to complete the project to the state's population centers beyond the Central Valley (which already doesn't include Sacramento).
Of course, it's a top priority for the governor and he has the total upper hand in budget negotiations. He has line-item veto, and legislators forfeit pay if a budget isn't approved by June 15. In the "old days," their pay was just delayed until a budget was passed, and the Golden One Credit Union handed out interest free loans to members and staff.
GOV: For the last few days, there has been chatter on Facebook among my GOP friends that they have been getting polling calls seemingly from the Antonio Villaraigosa camp. Well, we learned yesterday in a campaign filing that they were being conducted by the independent expenditure committee "Families & Teachers for Antonio Villaraigosa for Governor 2018, sponsored by California Charter Schools Association Advocates."
The "Families and Teachers" that have funded the committee are Netflix CEO Reed Hastings ($7.5 million), homebuilder Eli Broad ($1 million), and--reported yesterday--former Los Angeles mayor Richard Riordan ($1 million). All three have been involved in the public charter movement for some time. Hastings is the co-founder of EdVoice and Broad is on the board of the organization now. Hastings is no party preference, Broad is a Democrat, and Riordan is a Republican.
Villaraigosa, once a darling of liberals, got crosswise with the United Teachers Los Angeles and the California Teachers Association when he supported creating charter schools within L.A. Unified, as well as other unions for cuts during the recession. We've known for awhile that many Republican leaders know that there's a 90%+ chance that the next governor of California will be a Democrat. To them, the most palatable Democrat is Villaraigosa, but it's very unclear whether he will be able to capture enough votes to make it to November, which is what his backers are hoping for.
In the PPIC poll earlier this month among likely voters, he captured 13% overall, but only 5% of Republicans. He's within the margin of error of current #2 John Cox (R) but the poll didn't include late entrant Amanda Renteria (D), whose February entrance into the race certainly was not an assist to Villaraigosa. Renteria, chief of operations at the California Department of Justice, has reported only $74,180 in $1,000+ contributions through yesterday, but she'll be on the ballot.
GOV: This morning, the California Medical Association (CMA) announced that it has endorsed Gavin Newsom for governor. I rarely include endorsements in The Nooner because it would become overwhelming, but this one is significant as Newsom was an early supporter of single-payer SB 562, something that CMA opposes.
Not just because the CEO and I go way back to community college days, the organization is known as one of the politcally smartest in town. In addition this endorsement, it is sponsoring an independent expenditure committee for LiteGov candidate Eleni Kounalakis, which has been mostly funded by her father Angelo Tsakapolous, who has given $2.6 million into the committee (plus $100k from CMA), and along with her strong fundrasing, has vaulted her to the favorite in a race long seen as Ed Hernandez's to lose.
As I've written before, Hernandez is an optometrist and tangles with CMA on scope of practice issues.
US SENATE: Tom Steyer clarified that, in endorsing Kevin de León, he has nothing against Senator Dianne Feinstein. Of course, they differ on the impeachment of Donald Trump, but that's not something Feinstein has to worry about unless the House sends Articles of Impeachment (not going to happen this year for sure).
SF MAYOR: Is Mark Leno's Mayoral Campaign Doomed? [Scott Lucas @ San Francisco Magazine] - "Everyone likes him. He has decades of experience. He’s an LGBTQ hero. So why does it feel like Mark Leno’s already lost the mayoral race?"
The problem--he's the most well known among longtime residents, but is being squeezed on the "left" by Jane Kim and on the "right" by London Breed. Of course, those labels mean something entirely different in San Francisco than in most parts of the state.
A decade ago, having the city's first gay mayor would have been a big deal 16 years ago when he was elevated from supervisor to the State Assembly. With the tech boom and erection of the huge expensive condo towers, the Castro is a political afterthought. Willie L. Brown, Jr. strongly supports London Breed, but his longtime ally Chinese political matriarch Rose Pak died in 2016 and nobody has really filled her shoes.
NATIONAL GUARD: @realDonaldTrump at 8:48am- "Governor Jerry Brown announced he will deploy “up to 400 National Guard Troops” to do nothing. The crime rate in California is high enough, and the Federal Government will not be paying for Governor Brown’s charade. We need border security and action, not words!"
Remember this Tweet LAST NIGHT from Department of Homeland Security Secretary @SecNielsen "Just spoke w @JerryBrownGov about deploying the @USNationalGuard in California. Final details are being worked out but we are looking forward to the support. Thank you Gov Brown!"
Theme of the week: thow female administration officials under the bus. First UN Ambassador Nikki Haley and now Kirstjen Nielsen, There are three left--Elaine Chao, Betsy DeVos, and Linda McMahon. Chao is Mitch McConnell's wife, so she's safe, and DeVos and McMahon were big donors. Chao, Haley, and Nielsen are really the only ones with significant government and subject matter eperience.
Uh, SCPR's Lindy Deckmann reports ""In response to a call from President Donald Trump to use the nation's military to secure the U.S.-Mexico border, Gov. Jerry Brown is ordering the mobilization of 400 members of the California National Guard to fight drug trafficking, gangs and other crime."
Isn't that the crime that Trump says is caused by loose borders? Brown just doesn't want to put California National Guard troops in the role of immigration agents, which they are not trained to do. Professional border patrol agents are highly trained to understand legitimacy of documents. California's undocumented population largely comess throgh legitimate border crossings and many are undocumented because of overstayed visas, including from Europe and Asia.
And, don't get me started on the "breeding concept," whatever that means.
Don't worry, former Assemblyman and congressional candidate Tim Donnelly (R-Twin Peaks) emailed this morning:
Since Gov. Brown has made it clear that he will not heed the call of the President of United States to deploy National Guard to the US-México border for the purpose of keeping our "state free from invasion"—as called for in Article IV, Section IV of the US Constitution—I’m calling all Minutemen and Patriot group members in good standing and any and all good citizens of this state to come to the aid of their country, and do the job that feckless Brown refuses to do.
How do I know if I'm a Patriot in "good standing"? After all, I rooted for the Vikings in the Super Bowl.
Sorry for the rant. It jusft seemed like Brown was trying to meet Trump in the middle, and Jensen seemed to agree.
CA39 (Fullerton): The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has given he nod to Gil Cisneros , adding them to its "Red-to-Blue" program for the open seat, reports the LAT's Christine Mai-Duc. Two things:Cisneros has a fair amount of traction in the seat and he and his wife won a $266 million California Lottery jackpot, freeing up the DCCC to focus on other races. Yup, that matters big time. The other "Red-to-Bljue" candidate in California in T.J. Cox running in CA21 (Kings againste David Va;adao. Cox hadd his arm-twisted to move from the CA10 (Denham) race after Emilio Huerta (D) dropped out of CA21.
MR. SPEAKER? IT'LL COST YOU: Bakersfield Republican Kevin McCarthy wants to be Speaker, as he did three years ago, report Rachel Bade and Kyle Cheney for Politico. But, like then the House Freedom Caucus want concessions from him as they feel he's too much of a deal-maker. Of course, he may not have a chance at that role should Democrats take back the House, which would give Nancy Pelosi the gavel.
Emotions are definitely mixed among the GOP members on the Hill. Many conservatives aren't happy after the spending binge this session, and this includes concerns with the size of the tax cut package.
McCarthy is campaigning today in Arizona for Debbie Lesko in the April 24 AZ08 (Maricopa County north and west of Phoenix) special runoff election. Trent Franks (R) resigned the seat in December under the cloud of sexual harassment allegations. It's a seat won by Donald Trump 58%-37%, so it should be safe for the GOP. Nevertheless, the visit by McCarthy is a key play as he counts votes for Speaker (or House Republican Leader if the House flips.
It's worth noting that this was Democrat Gabby Giffords's district before redistricting, who resigned after being shot at a public event. Cook Poliitical Report has it as a Likely Republican seat--the safest category.
BINDING ARBITRATION: Following the legislative harassment scandals and the recent story about the Munger Tolles law firm requiring employees (including summer associates at Munger) to sign binding arbitration clauses barring lawsuits for most related claims, Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (D-San Diego) has introduced a bill to prohibit the practice, reports Melanie Mason in the Times. AB 3080 has been deemed a "job biller" (a play on its annual list of "job killers," and has been referred to Assembly Labor and Employment, which has until next Friday to act on it.
Gonzalez Fletcher is on Labor and Employment and is the chair of the influential Assembly Appropriations Committee, so it should fly through that house.
Remember, these were the words of Harvey Milk's famous "Hope Speech:"
My name is Harvey Milk and I'm here to recruit you.
I still love the movie Milk (in which conversion therapy was a minor theme as Harvey tried to talk a teen out of committing suicide as he faced conversion), which won a Best Actor Oscar for Sean Penn and Best Original Screenplay for Dustin Lance Black, who graduated from Pasadena City College. It was an honor to preside over his addition to the Community College League's Distinguished Alumni Award, even after he had been shunned as a commencement speaker (after being invited by the students) at the college district over concerns by a conservative board member about a sex tape stolen from had been stolen from an ex-boyfriend's computer and sold tabloids.
It was fixed five years later in 2014 when he was PCC's commencement speaker.
Another multiple Oscar winner who attended community college is Tom Hanks, who then transferred to Sac State, and I'm sure there are many more.
I know the bill was a controversial, but having Milk on Netflix got me through this vey long Nooner.
Enjoy the beautiful day! Make your plans for Sunday's Earth Day. It's going to be a beautiful day. Setting aside politics, plant some flowers for your neighbors to enjoy and stop by farmers' markey if you're in Sac. The local asparagus at Riverdog Farm's booth is wonderful right now, along with the pork sirloin chops--my dinner last night.
#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Raul Alvarez and Courtney Jensen!
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Gavin Newsom Gets Backing From Doctors Group, Despite Differences Over Single-payer Healthcare
Melanie Mason @ latimes.com
California’s doctors are siding with Gavin Newsom in the governor’s race, even though they don’t see eye-to-eye on a defining issue of the campaign: single-payer healthcare.
Ca State Worker Named In Three Harassment Lawsuits Keeps Job | The Sacramento Bee
Marjie Lundstrom @ sacbee.com
Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers
The Power Game Behind The Search For A New L.A. Schools Leader
Howard Blume @ latimes.com
The search for a new LAUSD superintendent is happening behind closed doors, but the underlying power politics extend well beyond the room where seven elected Board of Education members are at work.
Ca State Workers Accused Of Sex Harassment Can Keep Their Jobs | The Sacramento Bee
Marjie Lundstrom @ sacbee.com
Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers
Weed Bank Proposal Passes First Legislative Hurdle In California
Patrick McGreevy @ latimes.com
California would license special banks to handle billions of dollars generated by the legal marijuana market under legislation buoyed by recent comments from the Trump administration and given initial approval by state lawmakers on Wednesday.
Republicans fear political risk in Senate races as House moves to extend tax cuts
Senate GOP campaign strategists warn McConnell against a vote that could help red-state Democrats.
California Leads Nation In Pushing Back Against Trump Health Policies
Ana B. Ibarra @ latimes.com
The Golden State embraced the healthcare law early and eagerly, and has more to lose than any other state if the ACA is dismantled: About 1.5 million Californians purchase coverage through the state's Obamacare exchange, Covered California, and 3.8 million have signed up for Medicaid as a result of the program's expansion under the law.
California Orders National Guard Deployment To Mexico Border | The Sacramento Bee
Alexei Koseff @ sacbee.com
The go-to source for news on California policy and politics
Sheriff's Captain Donated To Gore Campaign After Avoiding Criminal Charges For Illegal Gun Sales - The San Diego Union-tribune
Jeff McDonald @ sandiegouniontribune.com
Trump's Epa Argues More People Will Die In Car Accidents Unless California Fuel Rules Are Weakened
Evan Halper @ latimes.com
The Trump administration is embracing a curious argument as it builds it case against Obama era car fuel economy rules: It says they kill people. Climate change deniers have long pushed the theory. Now Trump's EPA is trying to use it for leverage in its intensifying confrontation with California.
Sacramento District Attorney Defends Self Against Protests | The Sacramento Bee
Sam Stanton @ sacbee.com
But, she emphasized, the police review and county coroner autopsy results have not been turned over to her investigators.
With One Tweet, Trump Appears To Scrap Funding For Gov. Jerry Brown's National Guard Deployment
John Myers @ latimes.com
The awkward dance between Gov. Jerry Brown and the federal government over the National Guard jerked back toward discord on Thursday, when Trump said he would refuse to pay for a new deployment of troops — just hours after his administration said otherwise.
Senate committee plans Monday vote on Pompeo as secretary of state
TrumpâÂÂs CIA director will need to win backing from a Democratic to secure the panelâÂÂs blessing before a possible floor vote.
Sacramento Region Gets 'f' For Worsening Air Pollution. Here's How To Stay Healthy | The Sacramento Bee
Molly Sullivan @ sacbee.com
By Molly Sullivan
Senate votes to allow babies on the floor following Sen. Duckworth's delivery
Duckworth, 50, last week became the first senator to give birth while serving in the Senate
John Mccain Was Tortured As A Pow In Vietnam. Will He Help Sink Cia Nominee Implicated In Torture Program?
Chris Megerian @ latimes.com
All eyes are on Sen. John McCain in the brewing Senate battle over whether to confirm Gina Haspel as the next CIA director. He is an outspoken critic of torture, and his influence could torpedo Haspel's nomination if he publicly opposes her.
Illinois Governor’s Race Rattled By New Candidate - Politico
Seth Perlman/AP Photo
On Anniversary Of Great 1906 Quake, California Still Struggles To Prepare For The Next 'big One'
Los Angeles is the largest of a few cities to tackle what officials consider one of the most dangerous types of buildings. A law requires the retrofitting of hundreds of brittle concrete buildings, one of the most vulnerable types of structures in California. But experts have worried that a major earthquake will hit Southern California before the deadline to fix these buildings comes. These buildings were the subject of a 2013 Times investigation.
Qualcomm Begins Layoffs As Part Of Promise To Boost Financial Results - The San Diego Union-tribune
Mike Freeman @ sandiegouniontribune.com
San Diego has agreed to sell 16 lots in Nestor for $1 each, in the pursuit of affordable housing. The nonprofit San Diego Community Land Trust plans to build three and four-bedroom homes there for people with moderate incomes. That means a family of five with an income of up to $102,750.
'i Have Nothing Bad To Say About Dianne Feinstein,' Tom Steyer Says While Backing Her Rival
Seema Mehta, Sarah D. Wire @ latimes.com
The two have a long friendship and worked together to pass environmental policies in Sacramento. But the endorsement still took some by surprise. Steyer has previously avoided getting involved in Democratic primaries and also has a long relationship with Feinstein.
Male Democratic Senators Join Push For New Harassment Rules In Congress - Politico
Schumer was the sole male Democrat to not sign on, as a leader on the receiving end, but he has long supported taking up the harassment legislation that the House passed on a bipartisan basis in February.