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FIRES: The good news is that no new fatalities have been reported over the last twenty-four hours. The sad news is that there are reports that the devastation is so great that remains may be commingled and undetermined until DNA tests are complete. There are still 475 people on the missing persons list.
DEADLIEST WILDFIRES IN CALIFORNIA RECORDED HISTORY OVER THE LAST 13 MONTHS:
#1 Camp Fire (Butte): 84 deaths (November 2018) - active fire
MOST DESTRUCTIVE WILDFIRES IN CALIFORNIA RECORDED HISTORY OVER THE LAST 13 MONTHS:
#1 Camp Fire (Butte): 14,468 structures destroyed (November 2018) - active fire
THIRTEEN MONTH TALLY (only from top 20):
EAR TICKLER: A 60-Player Ensemble Of Young Sacramento Musicians — And Some Pros — Celebrate The Beatles' 'White Album' [Kate Gonzales @ Capital Public Radio] - performance at 6:30 tomorrow night at Harris Center in Folsom [more info]
Happy Saturday! What a morning already. While I have spent most of my time at my desk, I'm working my Instant Pot already this morning like it's the last. Since farmers market is tomorrow, today is about cleaning out the fridge. Defrosting now for an afternoon cook is one of my favorites--a pork shoulder from Riverdog Farm in Guinda. If you are not on the Instant Pot bandwagon yet, that big bad store has some great deals on them right now--about 30% off what I paid. Anyway, today's warm-up for writing is propelled by my love of local food. Yes, it requires a Pavlovian incentive to get through these days.
Yes, I know CA21 is TJ Cox, not Harder that I wrote yesterday. Fortunately, you all were smart enough (particularly since the actual results were right above) to understand what I meant. Blame it on the romaine. There is just too much STILL going on for late November...even as Dean Martin sings "Let in Snow" on my stereo. I figured you can get by without a correction email.
DEM DOWNER: Not everything is tangerine trees and marmalade skies within the California Democratic Party world following this month's huge victories.
The chatter has been around for a few days but because of the sensitivity of allegations, I was holding off writing about it. But, last night, Congressman Ro Khanna (D-Fremont) tweeted about sexual harassment allegations against state party chairman Eric Bauman. Khanna's tweet called on Bauman to be removed and replaced by Stanford law professor Michele Dauber, a nationally recognized leader on gender equity. Dauber appears to have welcomed the suggestion with a tweet of her own.
The allegations surfaced in a "Statement of Charges" memo by party second vice-chair Daraka Larimore-Hall, who provides information on two individuals, a witness, and a suggestion that there are more allegations that Bauman made unwelcome advances at state party functions. The memo begins a process whereby the party executive board can, with a two-thirds vote, remove Bauman. (Article III, Section 6)
Dauber is a regular donor to candidates across the country, including possible presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Beto O'Rourke (D-TX), and Khanna. Her husband, Ken Dauber, is a Google engineer and was just re-elected to the Palo Alto school board. She led the successful effort to recall Aaron Persky, the now-former Santa Clara Superior Court judge who gave a 6-month jail sentence to Stanford swimmer Brock Turner for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman.
There is no question that she is a strong voice on gender equity and assault issues, although the nexus to leading the state party is unclear and I'm sure it will play out.
Let me be clear. The allegations, like those against legislators, should be independently investigated by a non-political entity. There are plenty of good lawyers on the topic within blocks of the state party's 9th Street headquarters.
I have not seen the allegations although, from what I have gathered, they are in the realm of those that have led to rebukes of state legislators, not resignations. Most importantly for Bauman's case is that they appear to be social interactions and not professional ones, such as an advance on an employee.
Obviously, because it was publicly aired by a sitting member of Congress, there is a political backdrop, regardless of the ultimate veracity of the charges. I wouldn't write about this had it remained a private investigation (as it should have) and not been made public and political by Khanna.
To be sure, Bauman is a polarizing figure to many with his brash, foul-mouthed style (not unlike his predecessor John Burton). Bauman's consulting firm worked against Prop. 61 (2016), the prescription drug pricing measure supported by the same backers as this year's Prop. 10 (rent control), which was an argument against his state chair candidacy.
Bauman supported then-congressman Mike Honda (D-San Jose) in his unsuccessful re-election bid against Khanna, along with most of the Democratic establishment. Bauman was then the chair of the Los Angeles County Democratic Party.
Khanna was largely supported by the tech industry in his 2016 challenge to Honda, with the congressman perceived as out of touch (for those without tact, "old" for the 75-year-old). CA17 shares Silicon Valley with Anna Eshoo's neighboring CA18. In the last two years, MapLight reports that Khanna has raised $122,296 from Ken Dauber's Google employees, which has its headquarters in Eshoo's district. Mr. Dauber gives primarily through the company's employee PAC.
After the 2016 election was the 2017 election for state party chair, where Bauman defeated activist Kimberly Ellis in a highly contested race. While both were supporters of Hillary Clinton, the infusion of new "Berniecrats" clearly lined up behind Ellis. They were buoyed by the California Nurses Association, which shook up the entire convention over SB 562, the single-payer health care bill authored by Senators Ricardo Lara (now insurance commissioner-elect) and now State Senate Pro Tem Toni Atkins. Since Larimore-Hall was on the same ballot as Bauman for his successful bid to succeed Bauman as male vice-chair, Daraka didn't take a position on the chair's race. That said, he was a strong Berniecrat and, allegedly, a behind-the-scenes Ellis supporter.
If the executive board were to remove Bauman, it would also install a temporary chair until the next state party convention, which would be in the spring.
Congressman Khanna's tweet states "The allegations of sexual assault that @DarakaKenric is filing against @EricBauman are shocking. CalDems should replace him with @mldauber who is one of the nation’s foremost scholars on sexual harassment & led the Persky recall campaign. We need a bold feminist to lead for 2020." While Lauber has not been a Democratic Party insider, Khanna has three appointments to the state central committee that would vote on a Bauman successor.
However, Khanna has also tweeted that he would support Ellis is she ran as a Bauman successor. Khanna supported Ellis in the 2017 chair election, although he blamed his staff for screwing up a proxy vote, leading to his vote not being cast. Khanna also supported Kevin de León for his unsuccessful challenge to Dianne Feinstein for United States Senate.
If this were just about allegations of improper behavior, it wouldn't have been taken to the local media and Twitter. However, it's just perhaps the ugliest chapter in an ongoing battle within the California Democratic Party as the warring factions prepare for the 2019 legislative year and 2020 presidential election. Backers of single-payer health care are chomping on the bit, pointing to governor-elect Gavin Newsom's previous support of the proposal (which has been, shall we say, a bit softer lately).
Single-payer and Berniecrats activists are pissed. Their best hope was in AD15 (Berkeley), but Ellis and California Nurses Association-backed candidate Jovanka Beckles lost to former Obama administration official Buffy Wicks. In another "Berniecrat" vs. "traditional" race, Elizabeth Warren lost to Tasha Boerner Horvath in AD76.
Meanwhile, Republicans are all smiles for the first time this month.
FIRST LADY-ELECT: For the LA Times, Melanie Mason profiles incoming first lady Jennifer Siebel Newsom.
Recent governor’s wives have taken different approaches to the role. Shriver, whom Siebel Newsom considers a role model, built on her well-established public persona as a journalist to champion key initiatives such as revamping the state history museum during then-husband Arnold Schwarzenegger’s tenure. Anne Gust Brown, in contrast, chose to avoid public campaigns in favor of wielding her influence in private. Not only has she been a trusted political confidant, but she also held the official but unpaid post of special counsel to the governor.
Siebel Newsom is quick to assert she does not consider herself to be her husband’s political equal.
“But,” she added, “I see that we complement and support each other, and I’m obviously a thought partner of his — and the main thought partner.”
BALLOT UPDATE as of November 21, 2018
TURNOUT as of November 21, 2018
AND THEN THERE WERE TWO...
AD77 could very well be a photo finish. San Diego County reports around 72,000 ballots left to count. The north county district has 16.3% of the voters in the county, so if they were equally distributed, that would be 11,736 ballots in the race. The last batch reported yesterday split 40.96% for incumbent Brian Maienschein (R) and 59.04% for challenger Sunday Gover (D). If the uncounted ballots are validated and break in the same way as yesterday, Maienschein would eke out a 64-vote win. Sandy Eggo next reports on Monday.
More below the jumpity jump jump...
THE CLASS (ALMOST?): Politico's Beatrice Jin profiles the incoming congressional class as "younger, bluer, and more diverse than ever." Here's California's newbies, with the possible future addition of TJ Cox in CA21.
If Cox is elected, he would add a half-white/Chinese, half-Filipino face to the mix.
DAMMIT JANUS! In the Bee, Adam Ashton reports that a police officer for Cal Expo, the state fair facility, is suing his union that he claims is unconstitutionally blocking him from leaving mandatory membership in the California State Law Enforcement Association. The issue is over a clause in his union's contract with the state that provides that covered employees may not withdraw during most of the operative term of a contract. The employee argues that the U.S. Supreme Court's 5-4 decision in Janus v. AFSCME earlier this year prohibiting "fair share fees" for non-political representations costs requires the union to allow him to withdraw.
Basically, the Janus game is in the first quarter. Speaking of that, it's about time to watch the Cardinal take on the Bruins in Pasadena.
Join me in wishing great cakedays to those below and have a great day!
#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Cheryl Black, Kristin Bertolina Faust, and Allison Joe!
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Across South, Democrats Risk Speaking Boldly and Alienating Rural White Voters
Mike Espy, the Democratic nominee in the Mississippi Senate election Tuesday, has had to choose between satisfying African-Americans and white liberals or driving away conservative-leaning voters.
House results underscore that whatâ
The suburban wipeout in the midterm elections presents GOP candidates with difficult choices if they hope to regain control of the House in 2020 with Trump on the ballot.
New York state judge allows suit against Trump and his personal charity to proceed
Justice Saliann Scarpulla ruled that the New York attorney general âÂÂadequately allegesâÂÂ improprieties by presidentâÂÂs foundation.
Trump Administration Invites Health Care Industry to Help Rewrite Ban on Kickbacks
The goal is to open pathways for doctors and hospitals to work together to improve care and save money. The challenge will be to accomplish that without also increasing the risk of fraud.
Anti-Trump protests gave way to local fervor that helped turn Wisconsin back to blue
New activists said the presidential contest brought them into politics, but their focus stayed closer to home.
Mississippi Newspaper: Hyde-smith Attended Segregation Academy - Politico
Rogelio V. Solis, Pool/AP Photo
Politico Playbook: Pelosi Calls For Unity - Politico
"Our diversity is our strength and our unity is our power," wrote House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. | Zach Gibson/Getty Images
It's not just Ocasio-Cortez: Here are 7 freshman Democrats to watch
Heather Caygle @
The list includes the first black woman ever elected to Congress from Massachusetts and an openly-gay Ivy League-educated lawyer from Kansas.
Can House Democrats really protect Obamacare?
They face a tough time turning campaign rhetoric into reality.
Which Americans support the Second Amendment? The answer depends on whether whites or blacks have the guns.
The politics of gun rights are heavily racialized.
Want Congress to look more like the people it serves? Provide member housing, pay staff more
signing up you agree to our @
Without any course correction, only the wealthy will be able to afford to run for Congress and only the already well off will be able to staff the House and Senate.
A Winter-Coat Heavyweight Gives Trumpâ
Columbia Sportswear has worked around tariffs for decades âÂÂ and it says the presidentâÂÂs new wave of levies will not bring jobs back to America.
Romney's first duty in Washington? Fundraising
Senator-elect Mitt Romney is already collecting chits, hosting a donor event Tuesday evening in Washington for his Believe in America PAC.
Jerome Corsi, Friend of Roger Stone, Is in Plea Talks With Mueller
Mr. Corsi is said to have been presented with evidence that he was not truthful when investigators asked him whether he knew beforehand about actions by WikiLeaks during the 2016 campaign.
Congress's incoming class is younger, bluer, and more diverse than ever
Beatrice Jin @
The midterm elections are behind us and a new class of congressmen and women will start governing on Jan. 3, 2019.
House Democrats pile on to scrutinize DeVos
Committee leaders say theyâÂÂre eager to look at her treatment of for-profit colleges, student loan forgiveness and campus sexual assault.
Democrats going nuclear to rein in Trump's arms buildup
Control of the House will give them 'the power of no âÂÂ the ability to block programs, cut funding, withhold agreement.'
Trump Asks Supreme Court for Fast Appeal of Transgender Military Ban
In what has become an increasingly common move for the Trump administration, it asked the justices to step in before lower courts have ruled.
Former CIA director Michael Hayden hospitalized after suffering a stroke
Hayden served as director for the Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Agency during the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations.
EU summit to go ahead as Tusk recommends Brexit deal
Fuel protests turn violent in Paris
Ocasio-Cortez, Democratic freshmen look to shape party as it takes control of House
Their relative youth, energy and progressive bent raise the specter of future conflict as centrists and liberals fight for control of the partyâÂÂs agenda over the next two years.
More and more of the predicted impacts of global warming are now becoming a reality.
Among Conservatives, Some Measured Support for Chief Justiceâ
Figures in the conservative legal community saw Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.âÂÂs reproach as defending an independent judiciary.
Trump played so little golf last month that he tied Obama
After nearly 40 days away from the links, Trump's back at it in Florida.