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Happy Friday! You made it and it looks like it'll be a beautiful weekend!
It's 4/20, also known as the same as 364 other days a year in California now. High school students though are walking out, not smoking out, today on the 19th anniversary of the Columbine shooting.
AURAL PLEASURE: Lots to listen to this weekend: On the Capitol Weekly podcast, John Howard and Tim Foster sat down with Louis Mirante of California YIMBY--"Yes In My Backyard"--about the failure of SB 827 (Wiener) and the efforts to promote more housing near public transit. For CALmatters's housing podcast, Matt Levin also looks at the failure of SB 827 as does Liam Dillon for the LAT housing podcast. On McGeorge School of Law's Capital Center on Law and Policy's podcast, lobbyist Chris Micheli talks about lobbying coalitions.
MONEY MATTERS: April net personal income tax collections as of yesterday are now $1 billion above projections for the month, reports the LAO.
POLL POSITION: Yesterday, a gubernatorial poll commissioned by the Silicon Valley Community Foundation on behalf of its "Choose Children 2018" initiative was released. The polling firms--business-oriented J. Wallin Opinion Research and Democratic polling firm Tulchin Research--are respected.
I'm not publishing the results for three reasons:
1) The summary document refers to Antonio Villaraigosa as "former mayor of Los Angeles" and Delaine Eastin as "former Superintendent of Public Instruction." I don't know if that is what was used in the actual poll questionairre, as I haven't been able to get it after request. Of course, neither of those are eligible ballot labels, as statute specifically prohibits referring to a former office. The poll was in the field from March 30-April 4, which was after the Secretary of State had certified Villaraigosa as "Public Policy Advisor" and Eastin as "Educator/Youth Advocate."
Now, it's a tough question for polling, as after media blitz by Villaraigosa (and the IE on his behalf), he'll be known as the former mayor. Eastin had $184k on hand on 12/31 and has collected $292k in $1,000+ contributions since, not enough for significant television purposes.
2) In yet another poll, late entrant Amanda Renteria, "COO, Justice Department," was not included. Now, Renteria has zero chance of being in the top two, but she likely affects both Villaraigosa and Eastin.
3) Unlike PPIC, no crosstabs are provided, so there's no indication as to the weighting, although the respondents were selected using PDI's main June 5 likely voter sample.
You can read the memo that was put out about the poll, but unless I get an actual questionnaire, I won't be publicizing it.
I did report the results of PPIC's April poll, because they used actual ballot labels and released crosstabs, although they too excluded Renteria.
GOV: In the Times, Mark Z. Barabak and Phil Willon write that this election cycle for governor is different than the last several:
As California chooses a new governor — one of just a handful in the last 40 years not named Jerry Brown — the state seems to be enjoying something unusual in these tumultuous political times: a feeling of relative contentment.
Not to say things are perfect.
Traffic is awful. Housing costs are crazy. Homelessness is acute.
The state’s 1 million-plus undocumented residents are a source of deep contention; some see a drain on taxpayers, others the victims of unwarranted scapegoating.
Still, more than 100 random interviews conducted over the length and breadth of the state — from Redding in the north to Santee in the south, from the Pacific coastline to the edge of the Sierra Nevada — found most saying things are looking up, at least so far as California’s direction is concerned.
Also for the Times, Seema Mehta reports on the limited responsibilities Gavin Newsom, like other lieutenant governors, has and that he often didn't attend three key panels--State Lands Commission, University of California Board of Regents, and California State University. Generally, electeds on the boards send staff, unless something like student fee increases are on the agenda. Jerry Brown actually surprised observers when he attended some non-controversial UC Regents meetings when he returned to the office of governor.
The MercNews's Casey Nolan asks whether the wealthy charter school backers can salvage Antonio Villaraigosa's campaign for governor.
On KQED's California Report, Katie Orr reports that John Chiang points to his past actions to how he would serve as governor.
Joe Mathews asks whether anyone can pass a frontrunner in California anymore:
When was the last time that a challenger, after trailing significantly, caught and passed a frontrunner in a major statewide California political race?
I ask that question because I’m not quite sure of the answer. The pattern for more than a decade has been for the frontrunner, who is usually the early entrant to the race, to get a lead and win.
For CALmatters, Dan Walters looks at why eleven people want to succeed Newsom's largely powerless office.
SENATOR HARRIS: On the same day that Kamala Harris appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Politico's David Siders writes:
Kamala Harris has been called “the female Barack Obama.” She’s built a national following with her outspoken criticism of Donald Trump and prolific fundraising for fellow Democrats.
But the California senator’s rapid rise — she’s just 15 months into her first term — has created an awkward issue: Even as progressives tout her as one of the top 2020 contenders, Harris remains something of a mystery back home.
GOP WOES: For Politico, Elena Schneider reports on the quarterly congressional fundraising reports, finding 16 GOP incumbents lagging their challengers in cash-on-hand. Three of these are in California--Tom McClintock (CA04), Dana Rohrabacher (CA48), and Duncan Hunter (CA50).
In CA48, Republican Stelian Onufrei dropped out of the race and endorsed Scott Baugh. Like other recent dropouts, his name will remain on the ballot, reports the LAT's tireless Christine Mai-Duc.
ELECTIONTRACK: So, midday March 30, the Secretary of State's Cal-Access wonks locked down the database to avoid distributed denial of service attacks. I'm working on rewriting the code, which has worked for fifteen years since I wrote the site to cover fundraising for the 2003 recall election. Meanwhile, I'll be doing highlights here, particularly of big independent expenditure spending. I wish I could manually do it all, but there were over 140 reports yesterday (many with multiple candidates on them), and going through that many PDFs is simply not possible for me.
Speaking of that, the California Charter Schools Association independent expenditure committee that is spending big for Antonio Villaraigosa reported yesterday spending $52,200 against former State Senator Tony Mendoza (D) in his attempt to retake SD32, who resigned earlier this year following sexual harassment allegations.
On June 5, there will be both a regular primary election for the 2018-19 session as well as a special primary election for the vacancy, with an August 7 runoff if no candidate receives 50%. With eleven candidates qualified for the special election ballot, it's likely going to be decided in August. The Legislature ends session with final recess on August 31, meaning that the new member will only serve around three weeks, depending on when the election is certified. While absurd, Governor Brown was required to call the special given the date of his resignation.
The IE committee is in regular rotation with ads for Villaraigosa. No, I don't "watch" TV all day. I write and research for about 12 hours each day and generally have the teevee on in the background.
Also, the United Nurses Association of California today reports dropping $250,000 into its independent expenditure committee for John Chiang.
HARASSMENT: We have another sexual harassment allegation found by "preponderance of the evidence" to be true against former Leland Yee chief of staff Adam Keigwin, and like many of the others, alcohol was a factor on multiple occasions, reports Angela Hart in the Bee. Keigwin is now a managing director at Mercury Public Affairs.
Disclosure: I don't know the alleged victim(s), but I consider Keigwin a colleague and friend, but as I have reported all other investigation conclusions, I'm reporting this one.
FPPC: For the Times, Patrick McGreevy reports that the Fair Political Practices Commission acted to reduce the powers of its chair, despite opposition from the governor. The commission, however, did not decide on exactly how those powers would be redistributed.
NATIONAL GUARD: In the continuing messaging conflicts between Washington and Mar-a-Lago, the California National Guard reports that the Pentagon has assured it that it will pay for the 400 troops being sent to police crime and drugs at the border without acting as immigration agents, reports John Myers in the Times. This follows the tweet hours earlier by President Trump:
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!
Politico's Andrew Restuccia and Nancy Cook write that this week's mixed messaging between official statements on sanctions by Nikki Haley and California National Guard funding by Kirstjen Nielsen and Twitter statements by Trump is largely due to staff shake-ups, something that people are even more concerned about if Trump decides to become his own chief of staffif John Kelly is fired or leaves.
UC: Members of AFSCME Local 3299, which represents more than 25,000 non-teaching employees at the University of California campuses and hospitals have authorized a strike and has called on confirmed commencement speakers to boycott the events, reports City News Service. Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the first Latina Supreme Court justice is scheduled to give the speech to my alma mater UC Davis School of Law on May 19. She would be the second SCOTUS Associate Justice to give the speech, which William Brennan gave in 1987. AFCSME is using the commencement dates next month to force an end to a contractual impasse.
Teaching assistants are represented by the Teamsters.
CSU: The Bee's Alexei Koseff reports that California State University chancellor Timothy White announced yesterday that the university is dropping its plan for a tuition increase next year. Its eyeing the state's revenue updates showing that things are even brighter than January, when Governor Brown insisted that neither UC or CSU would get more than the 3% increase he proposed for both segments.
HOMELESS IN OC: After community opposition or establishing a homeless encampment in Huntington Beach, Irvine or Laguna Niguel, south Orange County mayors are proposing that the county board of supervisors choose instead the former Silverado Elementary School, which is not being used as a library, reports Tomoya Shimura in the Register. The site is owned by Orange County in unincorporated part of Todd Spitzer's supe district.
For those familiar with Orange County, it's the perfect political decision for elected officials. Most of these homeless were evicted after living in along the Santa Ana River near Anaheim Stadium, seen every day along the 57 freeway--near retail, social service, and medical services.
The newly proposed location is "out of sight, out of mind," which is what lots of OC residents want. Ignoring the homeless is what communities around California are trying to do, particularly as the problem gets worse. It's a very complex problem that goes far beyond a roof or tents.
The problem with this new proposal? It's in the hills and there are essentially no services in the area. Okay, OC kids, admit that's where we used to go make out, so we know it well.
And, it's at 1,040 feet. There are no grocery or convenience stores. The nearest public hospital is UCI Med Center, which is down next to the former encampment. Orange Country Transit Authority's current line 54 is the closest and stops at Santiago Canyon College--7.3 miles from the proposed site.
The mayors proposing this need to provide a comprehensive plan for transportation, food, and social and medical services before the Board of Supervisors selects the site. Until then, we should all cry foul.
Thank you for allowing me to have a Friday rant.
#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Jaime Huff, Maureen Johnson, Sam Oh, and Garry South!
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Sierra Club Backs Gavin Newsom For California Governor
Phil Willon @ latimes.com
The Sierra Club endorsed Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom in the race for California governor, with officials in the established environmental group praising the Democrats record on climate change and clean energy.
Adam Keigwin Allegedly Sexually Harassed A Former Legislative Colleague | The Sacramento Bee
Angela Hart @ sacbee.com
The go-to source for news on California policy and politics
Some California Cities Want Amsterdam-style Pot Lounges, Push Limits Of Marijuana Legalization
Sarah Parvini @ latimes.com
West Hollywood, Palm Springs and Cathedral City are opening up applications for marijuana lounges. The cities' leaders say the lounges would be the pot equivalent of bars and coffee shops.
Stephon Clark Protesters March To Sacramento Da's Office | The Sacramento Bee
Sam Stanton @ sacbee.com
Covering crime, police and courts in the Sacramento region
UC Berkeley students elect a squirrel to the ASUC Senate
Furry Boi, who resides in Berkeley's Eucalyptus Grove and is endorsed by the UC Berkeley Memes for Edgy Teens Facebook page, finished the election in the top 10, winning a seat among 19 other senators.
Amid 'green Rush' Of Legal Cannabis, California Strives To Control Adverse Effects On Water - Water Education Foundation
Stevante Clark, Brother Of Stephon Clark, Arrested On Suspicion Of Assault | The Sacramento Bee
Nashelly Chavez, Ed Fletcher And Sam Stanton @ sacbee.com
By Nashelly Chavez, Ed Fletcher And Sam Stanton
Arizona lawmakers at odds over a bill that could keep a McCain successor off the ballot this year
Democrats have accused GOP leaders of playing politics with an election-related bill. Republicans say theyâÂÂre overreacting.
Three Big Questions Shaping California Politics « Calbuzz
Jerry Roberts spends most of his energy these days wrangling horses and politicos in Santa Barbara, where he is the RW Apple of hyper-local concerns. Occasionally he lifts his sights beyond Santa Maria to offer his thoughts on the state at large. This is from a recent post on the Santa Barbara Independent.
California Guard Says Federal Funding Approved Even As Trump Tweets Criticism - Capradio.org
Ben Adler @ capradio.org
Capital Public Radio, Inc.7055 Folsom BoulevardSacramento, CA 95826
California State University Cancels Tuition Hike Plan | The Sacramento Bee
Alexei Koseff @ sacbee.com
The go-to source for news on California policy and politics
Bolton And Russian Ambassador Meet At White House - Politico
The White House on Thursday said national security adviser John Bolton and Russian Ambassador Anatoly Antonov agree that both nations want to have a better relationship, but cautioned that Bolton said such an improvement will only occur if Russia address "concerns" about interference in 2016 election and it's actions in Ukraine and Syria.
Qualcomm Slashes 1,500 Jobs In California, And Its Nxp Bid Faces Objections In China
James F. Peltz, Mike Freeman @ latimes.com
Qualcomm is laying off at least 1,500 people as part of its effort to cut $1 billion in costs. Meanwhile, the San Diego chip maker's bid for NXP Semiconductors is facing antitrust objections in China amid escalating trade tensions between China and the United States.
GOP Megadonor Friess To Run For Wyoming Governor - Politico
Foster Friess said in 2017 that he was interested in running for Senate, possibly even in a primary against Republican Sen. John Barrasso. | Keith Srakocic/AP Photo
Report: Sugar-laden Drink Consumption On The Rise Among Ca Kids - The San Diego Union-tribune
Paul Sisson @ sandiegouniontribune.com
While the report suggests that San Diego County has not been immune to this saccharine resurgence, the problem has been less pronounced here than it has been elsewhere in the Golden State. Researchers found that 24.5 percent of San Diego-area kids had a daily sugary drink in 2009 compared to 28.9 percent in the 2013-2014 survey year.