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FIRES: After yesterday's respite from fatalities, we have one more in the Camp Fire reported this morning. There are media reports of an additional two, but they are not reflected in this morning's CALFIRE update, which is what I use. The fire is now 100% contained.
DEADLIEST WILDFIRES IN CALIFORNIA RECORDED HISTORY OVER THE LAST 13 MONTHS:
#1 Camp Fire (Butte): 85 deaths (November 2018) - active fire
MOST DESTRUCTIVE WILDFIRES IN CALIFORNIA RECORDED HISTORY OVER THE LAST 13 MONTHS:
#1 Camp Fire (Butte): 14,500 structures destroyed (November 2018) - active fire
THIRTEEN MONTH TALLY (only from top 20):
THE AFTERMATH: In the Los Angeles Times, Anna M. Phillips writes that the problem for evacuees now is finding housing in the region of the Camp Fire for the long, cold, and (hopefully) wet winter ahead.
Well, happy Sunday to you. It should be a nice day throughout California. Yes, that means that you're back on leaf-raking duty. Just a few notes this morning before I get my dharma on at church and fill up my bags at farmers market.
Last night, I finally got around to importing the October 22 voter registration date, which is now displayed on the district pages, as well as on the voter registration trends by district pages and the sortable voter registration statistics. Nooner Premium users can download the latest data for all districts in the subscribers section. If you forgot or haven't set a password, just click on "Forgot Password" on that page.
There was an oddity in the data that I had never noticed before. There is a congressional district that has part of a county, but has zero registered voters. It routinely appears on registration and election reports with all zeroes.
It is CA13, Barbara Lee's East Bay seat. Due to an interesting history, the City and County of San Francisco includes a slice of land on the island of Alameda that is part of the shuttered Alameda Naval Air Station. That piece of land is split between CA13 and Nancy Pelosi's CA12, but has nobody living on it.
Kudos to @Ricki_Wells for sharing this KQED Bay Curious piece on the history of the Alameda land!
DEMOCRATIC DISARRAY: Following up on yesterday's item regarding sexual harassment allegations against California Democratic Party chair Eric Bauman, and calls for his removal, let's just say that things are ugly and likely to get uglier. There may be more dirty laundry against both Bauman and Congressman Ro Khanna, who publicized the complaint that was made by party Second Vice-Chair Daraka Larimore-Hall.
Right after putting yesterday's Nooner to bed, Larimore-Hall sent out a lengthy email to executive board members of the party. In that email, he explains that the investigation has been ongoing (albeit, apparently internal), and includes complaints brought forth to Larimore-Hall by party staff and includes the word "assault."
"In the days since the first brave souls have come forward, they have been joined by others with similar stories and experiences. I want to thank all of them for their trust and confidence in me, and most of all for speaking truth to power. I stand with them and I stand by them."
It is unclear whether party Secretary Jenny Bach has mailed the Statement of Charges submitted by Larimore-Hall to Bauman yet, as she has 7 days to do so. Bauman then has 10 days to file a formal response.
There are conflicting reports as to whether Larimore-Hall was a private supporter of Kimberly Ellis or Bauman in 2017, while publicly neutral. It is also strange why staff went the political route through a second vice-chair rather than through an internal or external legal avenue. As I wrote yesterday, these issues against anyone in a supervisorial role must be independently investigated by an external party, as the Legislature is now doing.
Alleged victims need to be interviewed and a report needs to be provided to an appropriate body. The party's bylaws allows for a special committee created by the chair. I no longer am at all engaged with the party, but if I were, I would suggest a special committee of ten people, with each of the five officers appointing two.
While the officers beyond Larimore-Hall are more allies of Bauman than not, they are also people with political careers that would appoint people who would give a report from an independent attorney a fair shake if given the ability to ask questions of the attorney. No officers should be on that special committee. The special committee can then report on its findings to the Executive Board if Bauman is still in place and if the Statement of Charges by Daraka-More has not been withdrawn.
As I said on social media, until that process takes place, everyone on all sides should STFU until a process is followed, for the sake of alleged victims, Bauman, and the party. Home gamers, if you don't know what STFU means, just put duct tape over your mouth.
I have no knowledge of the veracity of the complaints and, as we have seen from investigations in the Capitol, allegations against legislators have ranged from one unwelcome hug to dropping trou in a Vegas nightclub. The results have ranged from resignations to publicly embarrassing rebukes to and, in one case, a re-election with financial support from other female legislators while an investigation was ongoing. The point is that this is a spectrum and nothing is being solved by the crap on social media--on both sides.
Bauman has announced that independent counsel has been hired by the party from the firm Churchwell White to investigate the accusations from staff members. He states that he is fully cooperating and encourages those with concerns of his behavior to step forward and share it confidentially with that firm. I like Steve Churchwell and Doug White (who I went to undergrad with), although it is a law-lobbying firm that is seen as quite political (bipartisan). Hopefully that's not used against the party. Of course, most law firms in Sac have both law and lobbying operations.
I believe Bauman should also announce that a special committee is being created and that, while the investigation is taking place, each officer will appoint members. The names of the committee members should be public, but they should be the only ones who see the law firm's report and interact with the attorney.
These are legal issues that could include liability and everyone should shut up in social media land. If they love the party, each time they hit "post" on either side could be at the detriment to the party they claim they love--politically and financially.
For now, the papers are all over it today and things are very ugly behind the scenes. But, you know, Democrats felt left out of all the November infighting taking place among their Republican brethren.
Meanwhile, as John Myers writes in the LAT this morning, the next campaign season is less than a year away.
BALLOT UPDATE as of November 21, 2018
TURNOUT as of November 24, 2018
AND THEN THERE WERE TWO...
More below the jump...
GUESS WHO'S BACK... And you thought it was okay to turn the boob tube back on following the election. But, now Tom Steyer is back with his "need to impeach" ads as he contemplates a run for the nation's highest office. House Democrats aren't crazy about the return of the commercials, which had been paused as he focused his organization's efforts on youth voter turnout.
There are plenty of Democrats eager to vote "yes" on articles of impeachment even though removal from office by the United States Senate won't happen. However, Pelosi and strategists know that doing so in advance of a Mueller report or some other independent finding will be seen as political and not helpful to the surge of new members. Whether it be on the left with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez or in a moderate-conservative district like CA10 with Josh Harder, none of these new candidates won on impeachment.
They won on pre-existing conditions, the perceived unfairness of the tax bill, infrastructure, and other concrete issues before Congress. The ads by the Patriot Majority USA PAC are focusing on that action agenda, in contrast to the Steyer ads.
Pelosi's camp knows that they need to focus on the issues of the campaign to lay the groundwork for holding the House in 2020 with this new cache of districts. An impeachment vote could come, but only after there is documented evidence that is seen as apolitical. Steyer is not helping House Democrats with his ads, but he is helping consultants and ad sales teams.
Whoa, I wrote this section before Steyer was on "Meet the Press" this morning.
THE ENTERING CLASS: For Politico, Heather Caygle finds seven incoming congressional Democrats to watch. Making the list from California is Harley Rouda (D-CA48). "Rouda’s victory helped secure a Democratic sweep of Orange County, once a Republican stronghold home to both Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon. Now Rouda hopes to land a spot on the Transportation or Energy committees so he can focus on his main goal: pushing an infrastructure bill that addresses climate change, he said in an interview."
THE SCHITTMAN: Congressman Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) provided his usual even-headed presence on CNN's State of the Union this morning.
EDUWARS: For CALmatters, Dan Walters looks at what is next for proponents of charter schools following their losses in the race for governor (Antonio Villaraigosa in the primary) and Superintendent of Public Instruction (Marshall Tuck in the general).
#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Zak Castillo-Krings, Kristina Hamilton, Joel Olsson, and Gregg Solkovits!
DEPT OF CORRECTIONS: Congressman Ro Khanna has six appointments to the Democratic State Central Committee, not three.
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The election is hardly over and yet California's next campaign season is less than a year away
John Myers @
More than a dozen Californians will win their first terms in the state Legislature or U.S. Congress if current election results hold, most for two-year terms in office. But they wonÂt even get half of that time Â less than any freshmen lawmakers in more than a decade Â to do the job before the pressure of fundraising, opponents and electoral politics begins to build again.
Klobuchar: Trump Has 'gut-punched' Immigration Reform Efforts - Politico
Trump also is staring down an impending clash with Congress over funding for his campaign-trail promise of a border wall, and has not ruled out shutting down the government if that money is not included in a must-pass government funding measure.
Lawmakers Disagree With Trump On Khashoggi Assessment - Politico
"I can say that I think the president is being dishonest with the American people," said. Rep. Adam Schiff. | Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Ex-Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos must report to prison Monday, judge orders
The judge rejected Papadopoulos's bid to delay the start of his 14-day sentence.
Trump Thanks 'president T' In Thanksgiving Weekend Tweet - Politico
Asked what he was most thankful for, Trump replied: "For having a great family and for having made a tremendous difference in this country. I've made a tremendous difference in the country. This country is so much stronger now than it was when I took office that you wouldn't believe it."
'Where do people go?': Camp fire makes California's housing crisis worse
Two weeks after CaliforniaÂs deadliest and most destructive wildfire sent thousands of evacuees fleeing the town of Paradise, ÂNo VacancyÂ signs have become a feature of the landscape here.
Politico Playbook: Trump’s Border Dealmaking - Politico
Good Sunday morning. The president is at Trump International Golf Course this morning, according to a pool report. He and first lady Melania Trump will leave Mar-a-Lago and fly back to Washington at 4:20 p.m. They are scheduled to return to the White House by 6:50 p.m.
Ernst: Congress, Trump Should Avoid Shutdown Over Border Wall - Politico
Sen. Joni Ernst also disagreed with the president on wanting to close the border, saying: "We would prefer that we keep it open." | Patrick Semansky/AP Photo
New Hampshire political legend falls prey to Trump effect
'One of the great ironies is backlash against President Trump is likely to cost to Bill Gardner his job,' says one Republican.
Mexico Agrees To Hold Asylum Seekers At Border
Ian Kullgren @
Incoming Mexican President AndrÃ©s Manuel LÃ³pez Obrador will work with the Trump administration to keep asylum seekers out of the U.S. while their applications are pending in court, according to a Mexican official with knowledge of the talks.
New book by Trump advisers alleges that the president has 'embedded enemies'
Phillip Rucker @
Two of the president's longest-serving advisers allege in a new book that scores of officials inside the White House, Congress, the Justice Department and intelligence agencies are "embedded enemies of President Trump" working to stymie his agenda and delegitimize his presidency.
Lewandowski on scuffle with John Kelly: 'The Secret Service didn't break anything up'
Felicia Somnez @
Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski on Sunday acknowledged tensions with White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly but disputed that the Secret Service once had to break up a fight between the two earlier this year.
Cummings: Asylum Seekers Should Be Allowed In U.S. - Politico
"They should be allowed to come in, seek asylum, that's the law," said Rep. Elijah Cummings. | Drew Angerer/Getty Images
The 2018 blue wave included quite a few LGBT wins -- even though voters are still wary of gay and trans candidates.
Gabriel Magni and Andrew Reynolds @
The blue wave in the midterm elections had some rainbow in it. Democrats gained a significant number of seats in the House of Representatives, state houses and governorships -- and women, people of color and LGBTQ Americans were in front.
EU leaders approve 'best possible' Brexit deal
Charlie Cooper @
EU leaders approved a Brexit deal agreed with the U.K. government at a special summit Sunday, but warned that there could be no meaningful renegotiation of the agreement, even if the British parliament rejects it.
Obama Alumni Return to Washington, This Time as House Freshmen
Nearly a dozen incoming House freshmen served in previous presidential administrations. Eight from the Obama administration are determined to restore Mr. ObamaâÂÂs legacy.
Trump called himself â
"Thank you President T," President T wrote on Twitter.
Judge Rejects George Papadopoulosâ
Last year, Mr. Papadopoulos, a former Trump campaign adviser, pleaded guilty to lying to the F.B.I. He is slated to begin his 14-day sentence on Monday.
More Republicans challenge Trump on defense of Saudi crown prince
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Conservative GOP senators say TrumpâÂÂs repeated suggestions that Mohammed bin Salman was not involved in the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi defies the intelligence theyâÂÂve seen.
Trump demands action to reduce deficit, pushes new deficit spending
The president is asking his aides to address the deficit, but his limits on what they can do have all but ruled out meaningful reduction.
Alabama GOP: Sessions not guaranteed to win back his old seat
The deposed attorney general would be the front-runner, and he remains popular in the state, but Trump remains a big X factor.
Gowdy: Avoid ‘carnival’ By Taping Comey Interview For Public To See - Politico
"I think the remedy is to videotape the deposition," said Rep. Trey Gowdy. | Zach Gibson/Getty Images
European Union to Britain: Lose-lose Brexit deal is best you will get
Papadopoulos Ordered To Jail Monday
Josh Gorstein @
A federal judge has rejected a last-ditch bid by former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos to put off his looming but brief federal prison sentence.
Sasse Says Conversation Needed On Climate Change Solutions - Politico
"What the U.S. needs to do is participate in a long-term conversation about how you get to innovation," said Sen. Ben Sasse. | Nati Harnik/AP Photo