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Happy Humpday! After writing yesterday's Nooner, I took a break from working to walk over to the Tuesday farmers' market at 9th/P. The stone fruit right now is awesome. I got cherries, peaches, nectarines, plums, and pluots. I might have to freeze some. But, that works great for smoothies. With the heat, those morning smoothies are essential. The flowers have also been beautiful. Anyway, my point is, if you're in the Capitol area, you have until 1:30 today to get to the farmers' market at Cesar Chavez Park, and then there is tomorrow's at 6th and Capitol Mall.
Of course, my favorite one is also the largest, the Sunday market under the W-X freeway between 6th and 8th. It's from 8am-12pm. Anyway, that's my PSA for regional small businesses.
Anyway, I realized this morning that I was out of coffee beans. Fortunately, Insight Coffee is only three blocks away here in Southside Park. So, I just got back from a walk to pick up a large coffee and a bag of delicious, albeit expensive, beans. I think it's time to order my 5# bag from Pepper Peddler in Davis.
Yesterday was a weird day, as postings on Twitter and Facebook claimed, and the CHP is investigating, cell robocalls and/or text messages to members and staff with a recorded "I can't breathe," referring to the 2014 death of Eric Garner in Staten Island, NY where he uttered the phrase 11 times before losing consciousness and later dying. The phone campaign happened on the day of a hearing on topic, as noted below. Clearly it was a sophisticated effort to assemble the numbers. Most are not in the voter file, so that's unlikely where they came from.
USE OF FORCE: Alexei Koseff writes “Assembly Bill 931 [Weber], which would raise the standard for lethal use of force from “reasonable” to “necessary,” passed the Senate Public Safety Committee on an initial vote of 5-1." The final vote was 5-2, and was on party lines.
BUH-BYE: The LAT's Washington bureau was absolutely giddy yesterday as the spot on the wall in their lobby that previous was adorned with "Tronc" was replaced with "Los Angeles Times / San Diego Union Tribune," posting pictures and video to Twitter of the new sign. Tronc actually announced that it was returning its name to "The Tribune Company" yesterday after years of ridicule. I'd say ridicule and rebellion. A lot of seasoned journalists fell in love with newsprint at a young age and the suggestion that the parent company was all about "online content" was insulting and trying to push out more senior (meaning costly) employees.
POLL POSITION: The first poll is out on the General Election from USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times:
Cox gets 7% of Democrats and 72% of Republicans. Newsom gets 72% of Democrats and 9% of Republicans.
Feinstein gets 46% of Democrats and 24% of Republicans. de León gets 17% of Democrats and 22% of Republicans.
[June 6-17, 2018; n=811 "eligible voters who intend to vote in November"; online through invitation; English/Spanish; MOE +/- 4%]
The LAT'S Seema Mehta and Phil Willon have a write-up on the poll.
Shortly before the poll numbers came out, Antonio Villaraigosa hosted Gavin Newsom to make it clear he was putting the primary behind him and was committed to ensuring that Newsom is elected in November, reports Seema Mehta in the Times.
“This wasn’t personal. Both of us love this state,” Villaraigosa told reporters after having breakfast with Newsom at Homegirl Café in downtown Los Angeles. “We grew up here, we want the best for our state and we both thought we had special qualities that would help us lead the state.”
I don't see anything particularly surprising in this poll. It hit the field the day after the election and those who supported other candidates--roughly 41% for governor and 44% for U.S. Senate--are unlikely to settle, particularly in the Senate race where two Democrats advanced to November.
To get to 50%+1, de León would need to get 69.6% of the undecided vote, while Feinstein would only need 30.4%. That's a tough wall to climb for de León.
Using the same analysis in the race for governor, Newsom needs only 18.5% of undecideds, while Cox would need 81.5% of undecideds. That'll be very difficult.
Of course, it's only June and we haven't even seen the final results. Obviously, the top line results in the race for governor and U.S. Senate are not going to change. Meanwhile, voters are heading to the amusement parks and vacation and want nothing to do with politics. Polls are meaningless until mid-September.
CA48 (Huntington Beach): The trend in provisional ballots in favor of Harley Rouda broadened his lead over Hans Keirstead from 40 votes to 69 votes in counting yesterday. The two are in a close fight for the chance to take on Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R).
TOP-TWO: In the Times, Javier Panzar reports that as Arnold Schwarzenegger wants to expand the top-two primary system nationwide, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is not on board.
TRAILER BILLS: For CALmatters, Dan Walters writes that budget trailer bills written behind closed doors are becoming Christmas trees, with issues unrelated to the budget being added in to avoid policy hearings and, thus, public testimony.
BORDER BATTLE: Senator Kevin de León has called for Jerry Brown to call back the California National Guard troops that were sent to the border for non-enforcement duties, reports Melanie Mason in the Times:
“Removing any and all material support for the President’s racist, inhumane and un-American immigration agenda is critical to upholding California’s values and America’s position of moral leadership in the world,” wrote De León, who is currently running for U.S. Senate against longtime Democratic incumbent Sen. Dianne Feinstein.
IT'S ELECTRIFYING! The bill to link California's electric grid with other Western states passed Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications on a party-line vote yesterday, reports the AP's Jonathan J. Cooper. Under the proposal, the California Independent System Operator (CalISO), which is overseen by gubernatorial appointees, would be transitioned to the coordinating committee of the western states, which is not overseen by political appointees.
If you look at the supporters and opponents listed on the committee's analysis, you'll understand how complicated the issue is, leading to strange bedfellows.
HEALTHIER KIDS OR STATE GONE WILD? For CALmatters, Elizabeth Castillo looks at a bill [SB 1192 (Monning)] that would require restaurants marketing meals to children to make the default beverage either water or milk, essentially prohibiting soda, juice, and chocolate milk. This is only in the marketing or menu listing, and doesn't prohibit the sale of other beverages to the children.
In Assembly Health, a broad coalition supported the bill, including healthy groups and local YMCA's. No opposition came forward. Castillo reports "The California Restaurant Association has not taken a position on the bill, and the American Beverage Association is neutral, writing in a letter to Monning that it "is committed to increasing access to beverages with less sugar and smaller portions in stores and restaurants."
The bill passed Assembly Health 12-0, with 3 Republicans abstaining. One Republican, Marie Waldron (R-Escondido), joined majority Democrats in voting "aye." On the Senate Floor, 5 Republicans joined Democrats for a 32-7 vote.
From a political perspective, you have to assume that the unwillingness of the American Beverage Association to step in to the fight is that they are on the defense at the state and local levels on much bigger battles. Some cities are looking at taxing soda like cigarettes. And, as we just saw in San Francisco, where menthol and other flavored tobacco products were banned in the June 5 election, this is a real threat when put in the hands of voters.
And, of course, water, sparkling water, and flavored water are sold by the most influential members of the American Beverage Association. Dasani is produced by Coca-Cola, and PepsiCo produces Aquafina.
The chair and vice-chair of the American Beverage Association are from PepsiCo's beverage division and from Coca-Cola, respectively. The president of PepsiCo North America is also on the board, as is the president of Coca-Cola North America, and there are several other members of the board from each company.
Nestlé owns Arrowhead water, and is regularly the target of protests for its Sacramento plant that uses municipal water (mostly from the Sacramento River) for its Pure Life Purified Water Drinking Water brand. This was heightened during the water crisis when residents were told to stop watering their lawns and washing their cars and as the Capitol grounds turned brown. Arrowhead is spring water, obtained from its namesake and from springs in El Dorado, Placer, Tuolumne and Napa.
Nestlé is not on the beverage association's board, but its water products are a tiny share of the Swiss company's holding.
Nevertheless, the water products produced by these big brands are among the highest profit items for these companies. So, while they may not like the reduction of choice for kids ordering combination meals, it's a wash for the brands--or perhaps even a net positive. Buy municipal water, filter it like you could do with a $30 attachment to your home tap, and put it in a bottle. For the other beverage brands of these companies, they do the same thing, and then have to pay for corn syrup, dyes, and flavorings. So, you can see why they can sit on the sidelines on this bill.
#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Theo Cline and Manolo Morales!
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