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TWEET DU JOUR: @davidsiders - "Hallway chatter at #NCSLsummit : lawmaker 1 complains about $17 well drink, plots Walgreens run. lawmaker 2 recommends finding a lobbyist instead"
The National Council of State Legislatures meeting continues its 2018 Summit in Los Angeles today. Unfortunately for our out-of-state guests, the Dodgers are out of town. No lobbyist-paid Dodger-dogs for you.
With another hot day and with the Legislature still on recess, I'm guessing this will be a day pizza orders to the Capitol for the game. Angels are in Tampa (4:10), the Blue Jays are in Oakland (7:05), and the Dodgers host the Brewers (7:10). It's another cray-cray day, even without the Legislature in town.
Of course, the big issue continues to be the fires. All things considered, yesterday seemed to be a pretty good day. It's the last day of August, can we turn the page from a miserable July, please? They say that climate change creates uncertain crazy climates. We would welcome snow.
There are of course dozens of stories out there on the fires, so I'll stay macro with this good one by the LAT's Rong-Gong Lin II and Ruben Vives about the record high sustained heat the state is facing, which is driving the spread of the fires.
Vegetation can have various degrees of dryness — a wet log in the woods could smolder before puttering out, while tinder-dry chaparral on a 110-degree day could explode when ignited, Swain said. Extremely flammable vegetation can create a particularly intense fire with the potential to grow much faster — leaving less time for firefighters to get a handle on a blaze and for people to escape.
“What that means is the fire has to do less work to ignite the vegetation right next to it. And it can spread faster, and it releases energy more quickly,” [Neil Lareau, assistant professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Nevada, Reno] said.
Sixteen states are providing mutual aid to California from as far away as Maine. As the Cranston Fire in Riverside County being mostly contained, crews from Northern California are not returning home but rather are being sent to the Carr or Mendocino Complex Fires. Tough on the individuals and their families, but its a brotherhood in arms.
I generally know legislative districts, but I don't have the lines of all 173 state and federal legislative districts memorized. Yesterday, I found out that Senator Mike McGuire (D-Healdsberg) has not only the Mendocino Complex fires in his district, but now also the Carr Fire as it moves into Trinity County. He and his staff have been work tirelessly, as have many other state and federal legislators.
Anyway, today's updates:
CARR FIRE (Shasta/Trinity): Many evacuees were allowed to return to neighborhoods yesterday, although it is unclear what they will find. The fire is now the 7th most destructive in recorded California history, by number of structures destroyed.
CRANSTON FIRE (Riverside County): Most of the evacuation orders have been listed with extensive containment in populated areas. In contrast with the early days of the Carr Fire, Cranston has been largely steady, allowing for strong structure defense, which was also relatively safe for firefighters. There was no new report this morning, so these are yesterday's numbers.
FERGUSON FIRE (Yosemite area): Progress continues on the fire around Yosemite, with no new damage or injuries reported yesterday.
"Yosemite National Park announces Yosemite Valley will reopen to all visitors at 4:00 pm on Friday, August 3, 2018. Limited visitor services will be available inside Yosemite Valley, including campgrounds, lodging, and food service operations. Due to continuing firefighting operations along the Wawona Road, the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias and the Wawona Road (Highway 41) from the South Entrance of Yosemite National Park to Tunnel View will remain closed until further notice. For information on Yosemite National Park, go to: nps.gov/yose or call 209-372-0200."
MENDOCINO COMPLEX (Lake/Mendocino): It was a very intense day for residents of the north and west shores of Clear Lake. The mandatory evacuations extended down to Kelseville, and Highway 29 toward Lower Lake and northern Napa Valley was packed with fleeing motorists. Some were off to look for lodging and undoubtedly others were likely vacationers that were finally forced out.
But, the good news in this fire was the impressive line drawn by firefighters, ground crews, dozers, and air crews to defend the county seat of Lakeport. The fire was reportedly within two miles of the town. Reportedly, 4,000 feet worth of hose is pre-laid on the fire line ready to confront that bad-boy.
CAMPAIGN FINANCE: RACES TO WATCH: Here are the races I'm most anticipating reading campaign finance reports for when they are filed today. You can watch the reports as they are filed here. With the number of reports filed today (lobbying, political action committee, and major donor reports are also due today), that page will get cluttered. This page listing all of the state general election candidates may be easier to navigate.
I will be sending out a spreadsheet on these (and maybe a few more) periodically as the reports come in to Nooner Premium subscribers. Thank you for your support to make this work possible!
* = incumbent
CA22 (Tulare): Rory Appleton writes that Devin Nunes has added Twitter to his target list, claiming that the social network is shadow banning and states that a colleague will be filing a complaint with the Federal Elections Commission. Twitter says it was a glitch and that it does not suppress accounts, particularly not on political ideology.
I will confirm that. You wouldn't believe the amount of cray-cray stuff about Jerry Brown's conspiracy (along with the "commie Democrat majority") to burn down the state as he leaves office on the fire hashtags I have spent a lot of time following the last few days.
CA50 (East San Diego County): In the SDUT, Michael Smolens reports that congressional candidate Ammar Campa-Najir (D), who is challenging Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-Alpine), has hired political strategist Joe Trippi. Trippi is most well-known for running most of Howard Dean's campaign, although more recently is credited with the assist to Doug Jones's U.S. Senate victory in Alabama.
Trippi was fired by Dean nine days after the "Dean Scream," because well, you know, Trippi was responsible for the ridiculous media overplay of an over-exuberant microphone moment. Consider how silly that seems now. But then again, her emails.
GASSY: In the LAT, John Myers writes that Senator Ling Ling Chang (R-Diamond Bar) is not happy with the signs posted near road projects touting the state's commitment to road projects and has "SB1" prominently in the middle of the sign and states "YOUR TAX DOLLARS AT WORK/REBUILDING CALIFORNIA."
In related news, the Bee's Alexei Koseff reports that backers of Proposition 6 are planning a sequel for 2020, whether the gas tax repeal is successful or not. It would:
That would be a heckuva ballot war. It looks like Carl DeMaio wants to ride this hobby horse as long as it keeps on rocking. Modern day Howard Jarvis?
VAXX: Anti-vaccination advocates are suing Senator Richard Pan in federal court or blocking them on Twitter, reports Bryan Anderson for the Bee. Pan authored SB 277 (Chapter 35, Statutes of 2015), which made it more difficult for parents to opt out of vaccinating their children for personal beliefs. Pan is a pediatrician.
The theory by the plaintiffs is that Twitter is a public forum and thus there is a First Amendment right to participate and petition the government. This conclusion was reached in Knight v. Trump at the federal district court level in the Southern District of New York. Don't worry, you can block your ex-, as the legal conclusion only applies to public officials. Private citizens can't be compelled to participate in a public forum, as that violates their First Amendment rights.
STEMMED: In Capitol Weekly, David Jensen reports on the challenge facing the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, as the stem cell bond fund for awards nears exhaustion. "Its leaders are trying to raise more than $200 million privately to tide it over until November 2020. That’s when they hope another bond measure will be approved by California voters and pump an additional $5 billion into the 13-year-old enterprise."
AILK? naa... NILK? naa... SCREW THE DAIRY LOBBY LIQUID? Perhaps: Like the fight over soy milk previously that led to Silk, the dairy lobby now has its eyes on almond, soy, and rice milk-like products, reports Dale Kasler in the Bee.
Of course, its a mix bag for California. The state is by far the largest producer of cow's milk. However, it also produces 82% of the world's almonds, an industry already beleaguered by the trade war as it is a huge export, particularly to China. It is also the second largest state in rice production.
Blue Diamond’s Almond Breeze has helped turn a quiet agricultural cooperative into a commercially savvy household brand. The beverage, introduced to consumers in the late ’90s, has opened up new markets for Blue Diamond and the 3,000 Central Valley almond farmers who own it.
One problem, though: The federal government has taken issue with how Almond Breeze and others in its product category are marketed. The Food and Drug Administration said recently it plans to prohibit makers of almond milk — and soy milk and rice milk and other non-dairy alternative drinks — from labeling their products as “milk.”
The final rules won’t be established for another year, but FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb indicated he has pretty much made up his mind.
Personally, for my smoothies I turn to Califia Farms almond milk, because it has few additives. I don't care what it is called, but I've already made the transition. From their website:
Oh, and P.S.: Califia is pronounced like "California." But without the "orn." So now you know where we're from, too (the San Joaquin Valley, to be exact).
#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Jonathan Bash, State Treasurer John Chiang, Mai Harvill, Dane Hutchings, and Amy Supinger!
#FAREWELL: Former Congressman and Oakland mayor Ronald Dellums (1935-2018)
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Kamala Harris' Challenge In A 2020 Presidential Bid? Defining Herself Before Her Opponents Do
Sarah D. Wire @ latimes.com
Sen. Kamala Harris is casting herself as a newcomer to Washington with a relatable personal story and the toughness to take on President Trump, while Republicans and her likely Democratic opponents are calling her too liberal to win nationwide, and too inexperienced in Washington.
Facebook Has Identified Ongoing Political Influence Campaign
Facebook has identified a coordinated political influence campaign that includes stoking division around white supremacy and the Abolish ICE movement.