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BALANCE OF POWER:
GENERIC CONGRESSIONAL BALLOT: The current Real Clear Politics generic congressional ballot average of polls from 9/06-9/19/2018 has Democrats+7.8. (Change from yesterday: no change)
For comparison purposes only: In the same period in 2014, Republicans had an edge of +2.4.
FIVETHIRTYEIGHT.COM PROJECTION UPDATE:
SPORTS PAGE: Last night, the A's clinched an AL wild card spot, while the Giants fired their general manager. The Dodgers and Rockies both won, so Los Angeles is still holding on to the NL West. The series continue tonight with the Dodgers at Arizona (6:40), Angels hosting the Rangers (7:07), A's at Seattle (7:10), and Padres at the Giants (7:15).
STUDENTS: 4/10 free Nooner Premium subscriptions paid for by another subscriber are still available. Email me a photo of your student ID and you're set through 01/01/2020.
NOONER CONTEST: We're now six days from the 2018 General Nooner Contest! I have added SD36 (Carlsbad) to the contest questions. That makes 30 districts and two tie-breaker questions (Newsom % and Prop. 6%). Contest opens at noon on Monday, October 1st and is free for all Nooner readers. The list of districts were in last Wednesday's Nooner, which is available here. Just add on SD36 with a point value of 7.
Happy National Voter Registration Day! No, it's not California's deadline as some people have been thinking. Our deadline is October 22 (E-15) for either postmarks or completed online registration. 17-year olds who will turn 18 by Election Day can complete the regular registration. Other 16- and 17-year-olds can pre-register to vote with their registration becoming automatically active on their 18th birthday.
This morning, Secretary of State Alex Padilla announced that 209,577 pre-registration transactions have been completed by California 16- and 17-year-olds since the program launched in September 2016. More than 104,000 have turned 18 and are eligible to vote in this November’s election.
Also today, the Sacramento Kings announced a nonpartisan voter registration effort with eight other teams from the NBA, NFL and MLB. The effort uses team apps and other platforms to push online registration. The other California teams participating are the Clippers, Lakers, Giants, 49ers, and A's. The customized apps in partnership with nonpartisan, nonprofit Democracy Works will allow registration, absentee ballot requests, and election-related reminders.
The Kings will run a PSA featuring forward Marvin Bagley III in two pre-season games and the October 17 season opener before the 10/22 registration deadline. Kings owner Vivek Ranadive has an op-ed for Sports Illustrated today:
My life’s work has been focused on eliminating friction and I have lived by the belief that if you have the right information at the right place at the right time, you can make the world a better place. We live in an “Uberized” world. You can whip out your phone and have access to just about any product, service or information on the planet. Why not voting? Let’s Uberize democracy.
On National Voter Registration Day, we are standing alongside teams from the MLB, NFL and the NBA to provide a nonpartisan and seamless way for our fans to make their voices heard.
For those wondering, Ranadive has been registered as Decline to State/NPP for over twenty years (perhaps since he became a citizen) and regularly votes.
Meanwhile, yesterday was like a political day in dog years, so the week must be over, right?
#METOO: Here's a better picture from the walkout yesterday on the Capitol's west steps. Also CALmatters's @LaurelRosenhall tweets "UPDATE: In a tentative ruling this afternoon, a Sacramento judge overruled the Senate's argument that it doesn't have to follow the labor code & upheld argument that Whistleblower law is not retroactive. I'll update this story tomorrow after the court issues final ruling."
BIG BAD JESSE DADDY: It's that season, the ghost of Jesse Unruh is back answering reader questions at Capitol Weekly.
PROP. 6 (Gas tax repeal): For the Los Angeles Times, Patrick McGreevy reports that Prop. 6 opponents are out with their first ad, a 30-second spot. With nearly $30 million raised and more on the way, you're not going to want to drive over any bridge or any underpass until after the election.
The opposition is not just about the SB 1 gas tax and vehicle license fees approved this year. As the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst's Office writes "Proposition 6 amends the State Constitution to require the Legislature to get voter approval for new or increased taxes on the sale, storage, use, or consumption of gasoline or diesel fuel, as well as for taxes paid for the privilege of operating a vehicle on public highways. Thus, the Legislature would need voter approval for such taxes as gasoline and diesel excise and sales taxes, vehicle license fees, and transportation improvement fees."
This would be one thing if the above taxes and fees were all percentage taxes and not fixed rate. The problem as you know with percentage is that there are huge changes in gas prices over time--up and down, based on international market forces. However, the fixed costs of labor and materials to perform road maintenance and construction don't change in correlation with gas prices. So, over the years, to promote stability, it has been a fixed rate. That fixed rate can be adjusted on a two-thirds vote of the Legislature, as was done in SB 1.
I don't write this to persuade Nooner readers on SB 1. You all are smart enough to make up your own mind and likely have. I'm writing about why this is much higher stakes for business and labor backers of SB 1 than just whether or not that measure stands for the next ten years. Proponents likely overreached by requiring voter approval for all vehicle-related taxes, including fixed rate ones for inflation, without approval by the voters.
Try going to the voters every four years to explain a 10% increase in the excise tax on gasoline to adjust for the consumer price index and how it will make The 405 better.
Spending against Prop. 6 is about the next 50+ years, and not just the next ten. It's not just about the roughly $58 billion anticipated over the next ten years--it's about hundreds of billions of dollars in infrastructure spending. From benefactors in business and labor, no amount of spending against the measure is too small to block Prop. 6.
The main yes committee has raised around $2.5 million, with most of it coming from the California Republican Party and Members of Congress who see it as a political play to pump up turnout. Unlike the "no" side, those big donors have already likely exhausted what's available for the campaign. They have to pivot their funds to actually win over voters on five congressional races.
While I see a lot about the gas tax on social media, privately I hear from GOP electeds who think Prop. 6 is an overreach. Many are happy to have road funding behind them without a big general obligation bond or more toll roads for awhile, leaving the Dems with the political cost of "ramming it through."
Voters will have their say on November 6. Meanwhile, be prepared to be scared to death about driving after a deluge of teevee ads.
GOV: Last night, Gray and Sharon Davis hosted a fundraiser for Gavin Newsom at their Los Angeles home. Remember, the recall was fifteen years ago and people don't remember breakfast this morning, let alone rolling blackouts that weren't his fault. Ask a non-involved California voter how Arnold Schwarzenegger became governor in 2003, and I would bet 9 out of 10 would have no clue. Meanwhile, Gray has appeared with Arnold numerous times for discussions on California's challenges.
For those that have known me for a while, you may recall that I led colossal battles against Davis over community college funding and, while I voted against the recall, found a great friend in Arnold (a Santa Monica College alum) on those issues. As with most things in politics, it was timing.
Thank you Gray, for your service to the state and your continued work on the issues affecting California.
CA45 (Irvine): In the NYT/Siena College poll, we have interviews from 43.4% (467) of the expected 500 likely voters. IMPORTANT: With only that portion of the sample, the MOE would be +/- 4.7%. Thus far:
President Trump job approval:
Prefer GOP keeps control of House or Dems take control?
Do you support or oppose Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the United States Supreme Court?
Interviews continue in CA45 and should be completed tonight.
[NYT/Siena polls, WHEN COMPLETE: n= ~500 self-identified likely voters; live calls, random digit dialing; MOE +/-3.5%; numbers may not add up due to rounding; full methodology discussion]
CA50 (East San Diego County): Yesterday, Congressman Duncan Hunter, Jr. (R) and his wife Margaret appeared yesterday in federal court on the campaign finance fraud and related charges, reports Karen Kucher in the Union-Tribune. The hearing was just for the judge to accept a delay until December 3 (note: after the election) for the parties to review the voluminous documents in the trial. The formal delay is required under federal law ensuring the right of defendants to a speedy trial.
DOING THE LAUNDRY: The nice people in Mendocino County sent $30,000 to Sabrina Cervantes (D-AD60) and $25,000 to Cottie Petrie-Norris (D-AD74). That's $2.39 per Democrat from the small but beautiful county. No, they didn't drop the money in a coin jar at the awesome Mendocino Market on Ukiah Street in the village. Rather, it was legally laundered. Here are the top contributions given to the county committee this calendar year. Note that one of the two SEIU max contributions
Don't blame me. Y'all (well, 60.1%) including me voted for Proposition 34--written by the parties, for the parties. This is the game, and playas gotta play.
After the jump--WATER WARS and, of course, #CAKEDAY!
WATER: In Monterey County, there is a battle royale over water. While we normally think of California water wars about the rights to the liquid, in Monterey it's over who owns and thus charges for the conveyance of H2O.
Currently, the private California American Water company provides water to the Monterey Peninsula. The company is a subsidiary of the American Water Works Company. While much of the water delivered has historically been from the Carmel River, state rulings have ordered reducing the draw-down and there has been a shift to desalination and additional groundwater usage and wells to store the desalinated water. The question is how much of the cost of the new infrastructure is passed on to ratepayers when the rates are charged by a nearly $16 billion private company that pays dividends to shareholders.
Sound familiar? We just went through this issue of the cost recovery of liability incurred by PG&E relating to the wildfires.
That's about all I know. Anyway, for the second time, local activists are seeking a vote to require the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District to explore the feasibility of purchasing the infrastructure, including through eminent domain, that is currently owned and maintained by California American Water.
Supporters include numerous local officials, the League of Women Voters, and the county Democratic Central Committee. The main opponent is obviously California American Water Company.
Yesterday, California American Water reported giving $1 million to the campaign against the initiative. It spent $2.5 million in June 2014 to defeat a similar measure.
It reminds me of the 2006 effort by Yolo County to be annexed by the Sacramento Metropolitan Utility District (SMUD) for electrical service. For the out-of-towners, the city of Sacramento and many neighboring communities are served by SMUD for electricity and PG&E for natural gas. Yolo County residents wanted to have the same situation. The effort was killed when SMUD district voters were persuaded through an expensive campaign by PG&E that Yolo might increase the cost to existing customers.
Obviously, I don't live in Yolo anymore, so I don't know if activists are still dreaming of another push.
WILDFIRES: Speaking of PG&E, Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins and Senator Bill Dodd (D-Napa) take to CALmatters to explain their rationale for spreading the cost of wildfire damages that Pacific Gas and Electric may be responsible for to ratepayers.
CANCER FIGHT SCORE: The American Cancer Society - Cancer Action Network is out with its scorecard of the stance of congressional candidates on Medi-Cal expansion.
No, I am not going to start publishing all the scorecards out there. I get some level of editorial discretion here. I have friends on both sides of this particular card, but it occurred to me how little attention is being paid to health care this mid-term.
#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Joe Devlin, Anne Dunsmore, Jonathan Feldman, Stacey Fortner, and Lisa Kaplan!
#FAREWELL: Longtime jack-of-all-trades state government leader Cliff Allenby (1936-2018) and former state senator Robert Presley (1924-2018).
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TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
Anti-proposition 6 Campaign Launches Tv Ad Saying Repeal Of Gas Tax Would Put Public Safety At Risk
Patrick McGreevy @ latimes.com
The campaign against an initiative that would repeal increases to California’s gas tax launched its first television ad on Monday, asserting that Proposition 6 will put the safety of motorists in jeopardy by taking away road and bridge repair funds.
California Water Myths - Public Policy Institute Of California
California faces enormous challenges in establishing a sustainable path for water resource management. One challenge is the rhetoric surrounding major water issues in the state. This study highlights eight common water myths, focusing on water supply, ecosystems, and legal and governance issues. In combating these myths, the report sets the stage for a more informed approach to water policy and management.
House Conservatives Threaten Rosenstein Impeachment Vote - Politico
President Donald Trump's top allies in Congress say they'll force a vote on impeaching Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein if he refuses to testify this week about reports that he sought to secretly record the president after FBI Director James Comey's firing last year.