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Happy Saturday! The UC Davis Aggies face Eastern Washington in the third round of the FCS playoffs at 1pm in Cheney, WA. One of UCD's two lossed was to the host, with the other to Stanford. It should be dry but a chilly 31 at kickoff. You can watch it on ESPN3, which is streaming and available through cable connected to the Internet.
For those looking for a couple of quick PowerPoint slides on the election results in Congress and the Legislature, here is what I've prepared. Just quick and simple.
If you recently changed houses or left the Legislature and didn't unsubscribe, let me know so I can clean up the list. Too many failed delivers starts blocking would-be recipients.
CAGOP: I don't know how I left former Assemblymember David Hadley off the list of possible candidates for GOP chair since I wrote about him on Thursday. He has declared and is currently a party vice-chair.
MONEY MATTERS: With all the talk of "ballot harvesting," Emily Cadei writes for the Bee that Democrat congressional challengers really just overwhelmed their Republican counterparts in fundraising:
"In the contests for seven GOP-held congressional seats that Democrats won in November, the party’s candidates raised and spent more than $50 million, roughly $30 million more than the Republicans running in those races. And in all but one contest, the victorious Democratic candidate outraised his or her Republican opponent by at least $2 million over the course of the campaign."
The one exception: Rep. David Valadao, who raised about $900,000 more than his Democratic challenger, T.J. Cox. Valadao still lost, albeit by the slimmest of margins in a race that was resolved just this week."
Money certainly isn't everything but provides a remarkable advantage. Two things the Dem challengers had going for them was that none of them were incumbent legislators and could spend more time fundraising and campaigning. I don't know of many state lawmakers who could have done what the newcomers did, frequently over a two-year campaign, while not facing the accusation of neglecting their state legislative offices.
While there are plenty of good GOP fundraisers, candidates are usually deceived, as raising money as a Sacramento lawmaker is completely different from raising money for a House bid. Money can't be transferred from state committees or "legally laundered" from other state lawmakers, the limits are far lower, and corporations can't donate. These multi-million-dollar campaigns rely on vast amount of donors, frequently courted from a national base. We could see it coming, but the number is still a shock.
WILL HARRIS'S BIG CHALLENGE STICK? The Bee's team reports that the subject of a $400,000 harassment payout by the state was a close confidant of Senator Kamala Harris., though there's no evidence Harris had knowledge of thee allegations. It could be a point of criticism by others if she jumps into the presidential race, but she didn't have an affair with a porn star and pay her off to keep her quiet. That said, it could keep her out of the 2020 race, while not hurting her eventual career.
ISN'T THAT SPECIAL? Some have asked why Governor Jerry Brown hasn't called special elections in SD01 (Northeast) and SD33 (Long Beach). Senators Ted Gaines (R) and Ricardo Lara (D) aren't sworn in to their new offices, BOE1 and Insurance Commissioner respectively until January 7 and it is customary to continue serving constituents until then. Cynics would say that it's to stay on payroll since their won't be legislative activity until then. That said, they still have living expenses in SacTown and receive state-paid health benefits until then, like other state employees.
So, they'll file their resignation after being sworn in and Gavin Newsom will call the specials within 12 days. Technically, the governor calls the special general for 120 to 140 days from that date, although the special is seven Tuesdays prior to that. For geeks following campaign fundraising for would-be successors, you have to look at committees identified for 2020, as there is no official 2019 election until the specials are called.
GOV-ELECT: For the Times, Phil Willon reports on Governor-elect Gavin Newsom's visit yesterday to Fresno:
Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom spent Friday in Fresno reassuring business, agricultural and labor leaders of his commitment to the Central Valley, and dropped a few hints that his first budget will set aside more money for young children and to address contaminated drinking water in the region.
"Newsom spent most of his time Friday focused on issues crucial to the Central Valley. He made no promises about the fate of the state’s high-speed rail system, but promised to conduct a detailed assessment of the management and cost of the project. But he praised the Central Valley-to-Silicon Valley leg of the rail line, saying it could prove to be a major economic benefit to both areas."
THE TALLY: Michael Finnegan and Ryan Menezes report that there are discussions about how to use better official terminology on vote count pages to explain why it takes so long to count the state's ballot. There are some cool charts in the article, including the vote shift by county from election day to the current count.
As I've written here before, there's a specific order to ensure that no voters cast more than one ballot. Each step must be concluded in order.
It's not a technology issue and is quite laborious as election workers compare the signatures on the ballots not cast in person. Frequently, this requires the review of more than one worker because we don't know how to sign our names anymore. If it's determined not to be a match, a postcard is sent to the voter who submit an affidavit to correct it up to 2 days prior to the certification of the election by the county, which was yesterday. Ballots are not opened until there is a signature validation.
Basically, it's written in to law that the vote count may not be final until 2 days before the certification, and that may mean that the ballot may not be counted for up to the following two days.
I don't know what the solution on signature validation is, but it's worth noting that your credit card signature is meaningless these days. When we sign on that iPhone at farmers market, it's often something more resembling a straight line.
My grandmother has macular degeneration and my mom has signed her name for her for years. Even my mom's handwriting has changed. They are in Oregon, but this is a personal issue. Oregon does all-mail elections.
Unlike the North Carolina situation, the signature authorizing another person to deliver the ballot is on the outside of the envelope, presumably which has been sealed. While North Carolina admirably has "no excuse needed" vote-by-mail, it doesn't have permanent VBMs and requires a form to be filed with the county office of elections. This morning, the link to the county office of education list was resulting in a server can't be reached error.
BALLOT COST: For the Times, John Myers looks at what it will cost to qualify ballot measures for 2020, as the 2018 gubernatorial election was a significant increase (+5m) than ballots cast for governor in 2014.
CANNABIS: Yesterday the Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) issued draft regulations that include statewide delivery, including in municipalities that have not issued the retail permits. The League of California Cities is opposed, as are the California Police Chiefs Association and the United Food and Commercial Workers. Additionally, many businesses that have gotten permits are opposed, as they fear competition from big players outside of their existing stores. The regulation package is to replace existing temporary regulations. The regulations draft is now with the state's Office of Administrative Law, whose job is to review whether BCC followed the state's administrative rulemaking procedure, not the substantive content of the regulations.
ROBOCALLS: Attorney General Xavier Becerra yesterday announced that he was joining AGs from 39 other states for a crackdown on illegal robocalls, which frequently spoof local numbers. I don't about you, but I regularly get calls to my cell with the same 214- prefix as my number. The attorneys are currently reviewing legal options, although it's believed that many of the calls originate outside the United States.
FIRES: For Capitol Weekly, Scott Soriano looks at the ways President Trump could punish California financially over the state's wildfire preparation.
LA-LA LAND: As expected former Assembly Speaker and LA City Council president Herb Wesson has launched his campaign for Mark Ridley-Thomas's Board of Supervisors in 2020, when Ridley-Thomas is termed out. It sets Wesson up for a free ride for mayor in 2022, which could also include Kevin de León. Former councilwoman Jan Perry, who ran for mayor in 2013, may also run for the supe seat.
NEW SHERIFF IN TOWN: Under new leadership, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department has pulled the plug on the program of stops ostensibly to search drugs and other contraband on the 5 over the Grapevine that critics argued targeted Latino drivers. The LAT's Joel Rubin and Ben Poston report:
"The move comes amid accusations of racial profiling after a Times investigation in October found that 69% of drivers stopped by the team were Latino and that two-thirds of them had their vehicles searched — a rate far higher than motorists of other racial and ethnic groups. Cars belonging to all other drivers were searched less than half the time, according to the newspaper’s analysis of Sheriff’s Department data."
Responding to an inquiry from The Times, department spokeswoman Nicole Nishida said Friday that sheriff’s officials were gathering data on the Domestic Highway Enforcement team’s activities and would evaluate whether to resume operations some time in the future. The decision to shut down the unit was made Nov. 16, before newly elected Sheriff Alex Villanueva was sworn in this week, she said."
Villanueva beat incumbent Jim McDonald largely on a campaign against the Sheriff's Department's immigration enforcement policies.
MIGRANTS: Political consultant Dan Newman and two friends went to Tijuana to document the refugee crisis. "What they found was more than 6,000 migrants, including more than 1,000 children, living in the open-air Benito Juarez sports stadium, often referred to as a shelter."
WEEKEND EYE CANDY: Two great videos on the SacBee's site: waterfowl currently taking over the Sacramento Valley's rice fields during their winter migration and the beauty of Yosemite after the first now.
More below the jump...
Come to the Political Collectibles & Pop Culture Show and Sale in Sacramento on Sunday, December 9.
New button collectors, political junkies, armchair historians, and curiosity seekers will be flocking to Sacramento for the political memorabilia and pop culture collectibles show hosted by the Northern California American Political Items Collectors (APIC).
Sunday, December 9
Sierra 2 Center, 2791 24th Street, Curtis Hall, Sacramento
Admission: $3; children and students are admitted for free.
#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Tod Burnett, Elizabeth Huber, Hans Johnson, Lance Lewis, John Lovell, Michael Shaw, Gary Smith!
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The legal battle that could undermine law at center of Mueller probe
JOSH GERSTEIN @
A political consultant is challenging the decades-old federal law barring foreign involvement in U.S. elections.
Trump Claims 'no Collusion' After Court Filings Detail Campaign's Contacts With Russia - Politico
President Donald Trump began tweeting just after 7:30 a.m. Saturday, also swatting at President Emmanuel Macron of France. | Evan Vucci/AP Photo
Trump Will Nominate William Barr as Attorney General
William Barr, a skeptic of the Russia investigation, was attorney general in the first Bush administration. His nomination comes at a turbulent time for the president.
The Invisible Primary Becomes Visible - Politico
Attorney Michael Avenatti said earlier this week that he would not run in 2020, despite previously visiting key early states and chatting with advisers about a potential campaign. | POLITICO Illustration / Getty
Trump Calls Tillerson 'dumb As A Rock' And 'lazy As Hell' - Politico
MATTHEW CHOI @
Former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and President Donald Trump had a rocky relationship from the beginning, culminating in the president abruptly firing the secretary of state via tweet. | Chris Kleponis-Pool/Getty Images
Congress will have to â
The comments from John Dean, who was convicted for his role in the Watergate scandal, come in the wake of court filings Friday that implicated President Trump in hush-money payments facilitated by his former lawyer Michael Cohen.
Sen. Tim Scott tells fellow Republicans: Do better on judicial nominees
signing up you agree to our @
âÂÂWe should stop bringing candidates with questionable track records on race before the full Senate for a vote,âÂÂ Scott writes in response to Wall Street Journal editorial on Thomas A. FarrâÂÂs nomination to the federal bench.
Trump Blasts Tillerson as â
Former Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson said that President Trump regularly pressed for action that would violate the law. Mr. Trump fired back on Twitter.
The government implicates Trump and the Trump campaign in federal campaign finance violations
A new filing related to Michael Cohen demonstrates how it happened.
Michael Cohen Should Receive A 'substantial' Prison Sentence, Prosecutors Say - Politico
In a separate Friday filing from special counsel Robert Mueller, Michael Cohen was described as "credible" and having provided "useful" information to authorities. | Richard Drew/AP Photo
Man Who Drove Into Charlottesville Counterprotesters Is Convicted Of First-degree Murder - Politico
ASSOCIATED PRESS @
A memorial to Heather Heyer and the other victims of last year's hit and run is seen a few blocks away the first day of jury selection for James Fields's murder trial at the Charlottesville Circuit Court, November 26, 2018 in Charlottesville, Virginia. | Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images
White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly will leave by year’s end, Trump tells reporters
At the South Lawn on Saturday, President Trump said heâÂÂll announce KellyâÂÂs replacement in the next day or so. Kelly, a retired four-star Marine Corps general, has been the presidentâÂÂs top aide since late July 2017 and has had a rocky tenure. Trump has chafed at KellyâÂÂs management style and resisted some of his moves [âÂ¦]
John Kelly, Trumpâ
The departure of John F. Kelly leaves the president with an ever-shrinking team of close advisers as he begins to navigate the new power structure on Capitol Hill.
Huawei executive skirted sanctions on Iran, court told
She faces multiple charges, each with a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison, and so is a flight risk, a Canadian lawyer said.
President Trump said Ms. Nauert âÂÂhas done a great jobâÂÂ at the State Department. But she would bring less experience in government or international affairs to her new job than almost anyone who has had it.
White House Memo: Eric Trump Weighs In on Kellyanne Conwayâ
The Trump family has tightened its embrace of Ms. Conway as her husband, George, a prominent conservative lawyer, has attacked the president.
Mueller says Manafort told â
Special counsel Robert S. Mueller IIIâÂÂs team informed a judge last week that they believed former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort had breached a plea agreement by lying to them. Manafort was convicted of tax and bank fraud charges in federal court in Virginia in August and pleaded guilty in September to additional charges in [âÂ¦]
Heather Nauert, President TrumpâÂÂs nominee to replace Nikki Haley as U.S. ambassador to the U.N., is the latest Fox News personality to catch the attention of the White House.
Federal prosecutors recommend â
Cohen pleaded guilty in August to tax evasion, making a false statement to a bank, and campaign finance violations, admitting that he helped buy the silence of two women who alleged they had affairs with Trump. Last month, Cohen added a guilty plea to one count of making a false statement to Congress, admitting that [âÂ¦]
Tillerson Calls Trump â
In an interview, former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson unloaded about his time serving in the Trump administration. President Trump fired back at Tillerson in a tweet, calling him âÂÂdumb as a rock.âÂÂ
Trump stumps for wall funding, criminal justice overhaul. But the wall is what captivates him most.
One reason for the light focus on the criminal justice bill during TrumpâÂÂs speech Friday could be that the legislation has split the law enforcement community.
On Politics: The Biggest Stories of the Week
ItâÂÂs been a busy week in American politics. Here are some of the stories you might have missed.
U.S. Will Charge Chinese Hackers With Widespread Attacks On Tech Service Providers - Politico
The charges are the latest example of a broad pressure campaign against Beijing over its theft of U.S. trade secrets. | Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP Photo
N.C. GOP candidate says he â
Mark Harris said in a video statement that he and his campaign are âÂÂcooperating fullyâÂÂ with investigators, a shift from last week, when he insisted voting irregularities could not have changed the outcome in N.C.âÂÂs 9th District.
Trump Announces Army Chief Mark Milley As Next Joint Chiefs Chairman - Politico
Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley | Andrew Harnik/AP Photo