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REMINDER: My firstname.lastname@example.org email address is still in DNS hell. email@example.com (where that other email usually goes anyway) is working just fine.
EAR TICKLER: Yesterday, I sat down with John Howard and Tim Foster to discuss the long ballot count, what it means, and whether it can be improved for the Capitol Weekly Podcast.
Happy Tuesday. Thank goodness I was awake early today as they are now sawing the concrete in the alley right outside my window. It's excruciating. Fortunately, it's about time to put this baby to bed.
MENDOZA: A superior court judge refused to dismiss a retaliation lawsuit against the State Senate by a former employee of former state senator Tony Mendoza (D-Artesia). The LAT's Taryn Luna reports:
"In a ruling issued Friday, the court rejected the state Senate’s arguments that a signed severance agreement bars the staff member, Adriana Ruelas, from filing a lawsuit and that the institution is immune to defamation claims under government tort law."
Just in case you needed to be reminded that you are on the hook, not Mendoza. Merry Christmas!
CADEMS AND THE STATE OF JEFFERSON: As I've written before, next month the California Democratic Party has caucuses in Assembly districts to elect members of the state central committee. The date, time (within specs), and location(s) of the caucuses within each Assembly district are each selected by conveners chosen by the party's 21 regional directors for the Assembly districts within each region. The caucuses occur during two weekends in January.
Any registered Democrat within that district is eligible to participate, although those running for one of the fourteen delegates to the state central committee and one member must have been registered by October 22, 2018 and file for candidacy a $30 filing fee in by December 27. Same day voter registration is allowed and, as long as the registration is as a Democrat, the individual is eligible to participate.
Being elected doesn't just mean free ice cream and beer at hospitality suites paid for by candidates and interest groups at State Convention, or just voting on who the chair to fill the remainder of Bauman's term will be, but most importantly in the eyes of many among factions, who the party endorses in the 2020 elections.
In 2020, there will be five State Senate seats opening up because of term limits--SD05 (San Joaquin), SD13 (San Mateo), SD15 (San Jose), SD17 (Monterey), and SD19 (Santa Barbara). Of course, the remaining fifteen odd-numbered State Senate, all 80 Assembly, and all 53 congressional districts will be up for endorsement, but likely with an incumbent (we'll see if Rep. Eric Swalwell sticks with his presidential bid).
I won't go through the convoluted endorsement process for you, but the delegates elected in January play a key role in those 2020 endorsements, both in local pre-endorsement caucuses and during state ratification of the results thereof.
Well, Scott, why do we Noonerites care?
As I mentioned earlier, the locations are selected by the conveners of each Assembly District selected by the elected regional director whose region covers that district. This is frequently a political decision and the regional director selects the sites.
There is one district that I am aware of where some Democrats are particularly unhappy--Assembly District 2 (North Coast). The district is a sprawling one that stretches along the beautiful north coast from Crescent City to Santa Rosa, a distance of 300 miles and a five-hour drive. From Humboldt State University, it's nearly a four-hour drive.
In that district, one caucus location has been convened--Saturday, January 12 at 10am in Santa Rosa. That's far from the residents of Mendocino, Humboldt, and Del Norte counties to the north.
In contrast, let's look at the neighboring district, AD04, which is Yolo (except West Sac), Napa, and Lake counties. Most of the population is on the southern end and Davis-Napa is a popular bike ride on weekends over highway 128 by Lake Berryessa for many who wear Lycra, definitely not me. In AD04, two caucuses have been convened. They will be Sunday, January 13 in Napa at 10am and the same day in Davis at 10:30am.
Here are the two districts and the convening locations in a map:
You can tell why people from Crescent City, Arcata, Eureka, Fort Bragg, Mendocino, Willits, Ukiah, etc...are pissed. Wait, for Glenda Corcoran (who I haven't talked to about this) I have to include Ferndale--3:30 away from the convening. Glenda and Shanda grew up in the bucolic town. Glenda and Dustin got married there.
Highway 101 is also notorious for construction delays and dense fog and occasional ice. There is no guarantee that leaving Humboldt State at 6am will get someone to Santa Rosa in time for voting. If it's foggy, give it up, or travel unsafely. It's not like college students and many other residents in many of these north coast communities can pony up to go to Santa Rosa Friday and stay overnight. There is no proxy voting or alternatives to in-person participation.
As you see in the table below, Sonoma has a large majority of registered Democrats in Assembly District 2. However, the northern counties total can't be ignored. Also, based on my experience in my work up there relative to my work with the two community colleges, they are very activist communities. While Santa Rosa reliably votes Democrat, it's not seen to the same activist degree as the north.
That perception of different types of Democrats allows the northern counties an argument that there is a political motivation to have only one caucus five hours from the furthest Democrats (on a good day), while pointing to the neighboring AD04 that has two caucuses, 1 hour apart. I don't think the concern of northern AD02 is centered around the chair's election or 2020 endorsements. Assemblymember Jim Wood was not challenged in the primary and received 69.6% of the vote. In November, he received 69.4%. Congressmember Jared Huffman had a challenger in the primary, but still won over 70% of the vote both then and in November. There is no State Senate race in 2020, and Mike McGuire was just easily re-elected with 67% of the vote. So, 2020 endorsements aren't really the issue.
AD04 is splitting the delegates between Yolo and Napa/Lake. In AD02, 30.4% of the Democratic voters are from the northern counties. So, it would be fair to allocate 2 of the 7 "self-identified female" and 2 of the 7 "other than self-identified female" delegates to the northern counties for a caucus to occur in Eureka at the same time as the one takes place in Santa Rosa.
Let me clear that I don't know of any such proposal...I throw it out there as someone in no way involved in party politics.
It's still a long drive from many of the northern Democrats, but it's not 4-5 hours on a good day or an even longer bus ride for older voters who may not drive. I'm sure space can be found at one of the labor halls in Eureka or at College of the Redwoods on a Saturday. We're not talking about 1,000 people.
North coast Democrats feel ignored. Frankly, north state residents from the coast to the Oregon and Nevada borders, from dark blue to deep red, feel ignored. They are finally getting attention because of tragic wildfires, but expect the focus and resources to disappear before long. They will return to feeling as disconnected from the state's wealth and opportunity.
And, that's why you found the counties names now listed on the most recent proposals for a new state that has evolved over time--the State of Jefferson.
I don't know if things are set in stone. I haveve reached to the regional director and party acting chair, albeit to be fair, around 6 this morning. If I hear back after this goes out, I will convey any response tomorrow.
CAGOP: Former state senator Ray Haynes continues with his opinion piece on FlashReport.
"Republicans will have to go to strange places, talk to people they don’t know, use their title to obtain an audience in nontraditional venues, in order to advance the agenda they believe in. As important, we should expect that of our Republican elected leaders, or find someone who will do what is necessary to win. I don’t want to leave this state. I think it is worth fighting for."
Does this mean that he's on the list of candidates for GOP chair?
ELECTORAL DYSFUNCTION: For KQED, Alexandra Hall looks at the confusion about the new laws and insufficient supplies in some cases in some of the contested Central Valley counties.
PG&E: PG&E, facing losses over Camp Fire, vows to step up wildfire safety [Dale Kasler @ SacBee] - The "expanded" prevention activities sound a lot like the commercials that were all over our teevees before the latest fire.
HIGHER ED: The Public Policy Institute of California is out with a new publication on how access and completion to higher education affects socioeconomic equity in California. I'll be attending a briefing on the topic tomorrow and will likely have more to write following.
More below the jump!
GASSY MATTERS: Joel Fox looks at the different reactions to gas tax increases in California and France.
2020: For The Hill, Garry South cautions possible presidential candidates from California that they can't assume that, just because it's called The Golden State, it doesn't always deliver gold.
#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Tam Ma!
DEPT OF CORRECTIONS: I've used two different versions of the congressmember-elect from New York. It is Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez.
Add your classified of up to 100 words by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org for $40/week.
Criminal Justice Bill Will Go Up for a Vote, McConnell Says
Senator Mitch McConnell said the Senate would vote on a bill rewriting prison and sentencing laws before the end of the year, a potential bipartisan policy achievement for President Trump.
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says Senate will vote this month on bill to overhaul criminal justice system
McConnell has said for weeks that there was little time left to act on the bipartisan legislation with higher priorities such as a bill to keep the government open and a farm bill. But on Tuesday, he said that at the request of the president and changes to the legislation, the Senate could consider the [âÂ¦]
Cornyn: Senate To Vote On ‘dark Money’ Resolution - Politico
Senate Republicans can lose only one vote on the Congressional Review Act resolution.
Brady Moves Right In Revised Tax Plan - Politico
He also added controversial language backed by abortion opponents stipulating that "unborn children" may be designated as beneficiaries of 529 education-savings accounts.
McConnell: Senate will take up Trump-backed criminal justice reform
The president had pushed the Senate majority leader to vote on the bill, which has divided Republicans.
POLITICO Playbook PM: Welcome to divided government
And Mitch McConnell says the Senate will take up the criminal justice reform bill this year.
Kamala Harris To Keep Her Spot On Judiciary, Schumer Says - Politico
It had been unclear whether the California Democrat, who is weighing a 2020 run, would be able to keep her spot on the Committee since Republicans picked up several seats in the midterm elections.
Trump Proposes To Roll Back Decades Of Water Protections - Politico
In the arid West, where the majority of streams flow only after rainfall or for part of the year, entire watersheds would be left unprotected from pollution. | Patrick Meinhardt/AFP/Getty Images
McConnell to bring up criminal-justice bill for a Senate voteÂ
Senators should be prepared to work between Christmas and New YearâÂÂs, the majority leader said.
The 2020 presidential election could determine whether Trump faces consequences for alleged crimes
Winning a second term could protect the president against allegations of criminal conduct.
Republican Women Leaders Tell Trump To Chill - Politico
MATTHEW CHOI @
Republican Reps. Mia Love of Utah and Elise Stefanik of New York on Tuesday asked President Donald Trump to cool it with the incendiary comments and tweets, adding that the GOP should focus more on policy and efforts to advance female candidates.
Mia Love is right. The loss of black Republicans in Congress really could hurt the party with black voters.
When a party elects a black official, a significant proportion of black voters shift toward that party.
On Politics: Midwest Republicans Fear Losing a Gerrymandered Advantage
Republicans lost four key governorships in the Midwest. Now conservative lawmakers fear the new Democratic governors will alter their gerrymandered maps.
Trump Prepares to Unveil a Vast Reworking of Clean Water Protections
The proposed new rule would chip away at wetlands safeguards put in place during the administration of President George H.W. Bush.
Lawmakers Clash Over Claims Of Google's Anti-GOP Bias - Politico
Alex Wong/Getty Images
Post-prison, ex-Trump aide George Papadopoulos looks to reboot through new docuseries
Now that he has completed his role in the special-counsel investigation, the former Trump campaign adviser and his wife are turning to Hollywood.
Key Democratic lawmaker objects to Redskins stadium on federal land
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Rep. Betty McCollum (D-Minn.) is set to lead the Appropriations subcommittee directing Interior Department spending and could block a potential land deal in D.C. or Maryland.
Freshman Dem Spanberger Says She Won’t Break Vow To Oppose Pelosi - Politico
Spanberger did not say who she would vote for instead of Pelosi, saying she would support someone who is "representative of what I believe to be the next generation of leadership."
Trump Denies That He's Having Trouble Finding A Chief Of Staff - Politico
President Donald Trump insisted on Tuesday that he's having no trouble finding a new chief of staff, despite having already burned through two such top aides and being turned down by his reported first choice.
Trump Insists Border Wall 'will Get Built' Ahead Of Meeting With Dem Leaders - Politico
President Donald Trump threatened to use the military to build a wall along the southern border if need be, while claiming that much progress has already been made on the structure. | Win McNamee/Getty Images
Fact-checking President Trumpâ
The president's latest tweets mangle the facts on French protests, NATO funding, the cost of the Russia investigation, the hush-money payments to his alleged mistresses, and more.
On Politics With Lisa Lerer: Why Canâ
In the On Politics newsletter, why itâÂÂs hard to give away the most coveted job in Washington these days; plus, a look at how much money was spent on the midterms.
Newsbook: President Trump Seeks New Chief of Staff. 3 Books Show Why His Next Pick Matters.
From NixonâÂÂs White House to ObamaâÂÂs, these books highlight presidential right-hand men and their outsize power.
Treasury Official To Be Nominated To Head Commodity Futures Trading Commission - Politico
Prior to joining the Treasury Department, Heath Tarbert was a partner at the international law firm of Allen & Overy LLP. | Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images