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SPORTS PAGE: In the NFC semi-finals, the Dallas Cowboys face the Los Angeles Rams at the Los Angeles Coliseum (5:15pm FOX). Tomorrow at 10:05, the Los Angeles Chargers face the New England Patriots in Foxborough for the AFC semi-finals.
EAR TICKLER: On CapPubRad's Capitol Chat podcast, Ben Adler talks about some of Governor Newsom's headline proposals.
Welcome to the weekend, Noonerific people.
DAVIS: What started as a tragic shooting of 22-year-old rookie Davis police officer Natalie Corona became strange and even more horrific as the news developed throughout yesterday. The shooter was not involved in the three-car accident that occurred at Fifth and D, but rather rode up on a bicycle, engaged in the shooting, and then went inside his rental house at 501 E.
The Bee's team reports:
"As she stood talking to one of the motorists, the gunman glided up on a bicycle, stopping in the shadows on a sidewalk, then walked toward the 22-year-old rookie police officer and began firing.
“The suspect basically just opened up firing, shot her once and she went down to the ground, and he ended up shooting her multiple times,” [Davis Police Chief Darren] Pytel said at a news conference Friday night at police headquarters. “At that point, he unloaded a magazine, reloaded and started shooting in another direction.”
The shooting 24 hours before was indiscriminate, Pytel said: Corona, who was wearing a protective vest, was shot in the neck and went down, then shot numerous more times.
After shooting Corona, the gunman opened up on the surrounding scene, striking a nearby fire engine, a house, a passing bus, shooting through a backpack worn by a young woman who was saved when the round lodged in a textbook, and firing at a firefighter running away who was struck in his boot but uninjured.
Authorities still have not released the gunman’s name, saying they may not do so before next week, but Pytel said he had no known history of violence or threats. His only prior contact with Davis police came last year when he reported being a victim of a crime, “nothing that was extraordinary at all,” the chief said."
For those unfamiliar with the area, this all essentially took place across the street from the central Davis fire station. For Aggie alums, the address of the suspect's rental house--501 E Street--was long known as the "KDVS House" after the campus's radio station. That claim to fame seemed to subside sometime after law school after ownership of the house turned over, but it will always be known by may alumni the location of many house parties featuring emerging bands.
Thursday night brought great tragedy to the college town, but the facts make clear that it could have been much worse without the quick work of the Davis police and fire departments, and officers from agencies from the Sacramento region and Bay Area. Much of Davis was searched with officers carrying high-powered rifles but in the end the suspect was found in a self-inflicted gunshot wound in his residence 350 feet away.
The State Capitol's flags are at half-staff in observation of the loss of Officer Corona.
TRANSITION: Governor Gavin Newsom yesterday announced the following appointments:
There are several others in deputy and asst. directory positions contained in the release.
CADEM: Yesterday, five California Democratic Party caucus chairs launched a petition effort to call an executive board meeting to elect a "temporary chair" until the state party's convention, which is May 31-June 2 in San Francisco. The petition needs 50 of the party's executive board members to trigger the meeting. The petition requests the meeting 10:00 AM on Saturday, February 9, 2019 at the Anaheim Hilton. The petititoners are Darren Parker (Chair, African American Caucus), Thom O'Shaugnessy (Chair, Irish American Caucus), Karen Bernal, (Chair, Progressive Caucus), Raymond Bishop (Chair, Business Caucus), and Iyad Alfalqa, (Chair, Arab American Caucus).
Currently, Alex Rooker is serving as Acting Chair in her capacity as First Vice Chair. The move by the caucus chairs is not against Rooker, as she is not a candidate for the full term to succeed Eric Bauman, which ends in 2021. Rather, it appears to be an attempt to give someone an edge going in to the convention when the full term will be filled.
This weekend and January 26-27 are the party's Assembly district election meetings (ADEMs), during which 1,120 delegates to the Democratic State Central Committee (DSCC) are elected for the next two years. They account for roughly one-third of the the DSCC members, which is really just a body that meets at the annual convention.
There are aggressive battles of slates of candidates for these caucus elections in many of the Assembly districts. Generally, the slates pit those identified as more closely aligned with elected officials and most labor unions against those who want a more aggressive strategy on issues such as single-payer health care.
A third group are generally activists who don't land on either slate but seek to peel off enough voters to land in the top 7 for their self-identified gender in each district.
To boil it down, the caucuses are proxies of a fight similar to Nancy Pelosi and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez factions. Many on the more aggressive agenda were "Berniecrats" in 2016 leading in to the party's 2017 convention. That convention saw a heated race between Bauman and Kimberly Ellis, an Oakland activist and former Emerge California (which recruits and trains female candidates).
At this point, I don't think that the five caucus chairs calling for the special E-board meeting have a common candidate to elect as chair. Ellis is running, as is Daraka Larimore-Hall, who is currently the party's second vice chair and Orange County attorney Lenore Albert. Most elected officials I've talked to aren't settled on any of these candidates. There is still the question as to whether former Senate President Pro Tem and senatorial candidate Kevin de León is in the running.
As many think KDL is not going to run, the focus has shifted to Los Angeles County Federation of Labor president Rusty Hicks, who is looking at it but apparently is awaiting a decision by KDL. Hicks is a veteran both of the Navy in Afghanistan and the Labor Fed, serving as its political director from 2006 until 2014, when he was elected president.
The caucuses this weekend and in two weeks will have a large impact on the tone and outcomes of the convention. Because slates are being pushed strongly between two distinct sides, it is largely binary and the outcomes will be a function of who shows up. Any registered Democrat in a given Assembly district can vote in the caucus, but it requires physical presence.
By next week, we should know the outcomes of many of these caucuses, whether the field of candidates for chair expands, and whether there will be a special executive board meeting on February 9. In addition to the 1,120 delegates elected this weekend, one from each district will be elected to the executive board. Again, those 80 new members of the executive board will largely determine on which slates win in the ADEMs.
And, yes, some of the Los Angeles-area ADEMs are during tomorrow's Chargers playoff game.
CAGOP: On the announcement yesterday of Jessica Patterson's candidacy for state GOP chair, her effort is being run by Meridian Pacific, the veteran and well-connected political firm led by John Peschong, Matt Rexroad and Tom Ross. She announced the following legislative endorsements:
California Assembly Republican Caucus (13 of 20 members)
California Senate Republican Caucus (6 of 11 members)
While Steve Frank is apparently still in the running, the February 24 vote at the convention in Sacramento is seen as between Patterson and former Assemblymember Travis Allen.
By the way, can the communications folks at the party find some new items for its home page? There has to be something newer than Cox cutting Newsom's lead in half, the November voter guide, and upcoming gas tax repeal events. It's like a highlight real of the just concluded Oakland Raiders season. As I've said many times, I truly want a vibrant and relevant California Republican Party.
WATER WOES: Yesterday, Gavin Newsom and team including First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom paid a "surprise" visit to the Central Valley town of Ceres for a roundtable about the concerns of available safe drinking water from the town's wells. The Bee's Erin Tracy and Sophia Bollag write:
"Newsom and his cabinet made their first stop at the Monterey Park Tract in Ceres, where he held a roundtable discussion with people who for years had to used bottled water for drinking and cooking because their community’s two wells were contaminated with nitrates and arsenic.
Newsom said he’s committed to helping communities around the state find clean sources of water. A McClatchy investigation last year found that 360,000 Californians, most of whom live in the San Joaquin Valley and Mojave Desert, are served with drinking water that does not meet state safety standards for toxins."
The event was not announced to the press, something that led to some Twitter dismay of the Capitol press corps, and there still hasn't been a formal release on the discussions and proposals. The Bee team continues:
"The budget proposal he released on Thursday includes about $190 million for safe drinking water projects. It also asks lawmakers to implement some kind of fee that would pay for future work.
Last year, lawmakers considered a fee of 95 cents a month that would have provided about $110 million a year for drinking water projects. The effort failed, but Newsom indicated he wants to revive it."
For critics of Newsom, the "T" word comes out in the first week, although clean drinking water is probably a safe zone for the governor to tread in.
LA-LA LAND and #CAKEDAY after the jump...
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LA-LA LAND: As the weekend began, it appeared that there was no progress in the talks between LA Unified and United Teachers Los Angeles and a strike is planned for Monday. The district serves 500,000 students and a strike goes far beyond the schools to child care, business operations, public safety, as well as Los Angeles's overall economy. The LAT team reports that at this point is "all but certain" after UTLA rejected the districts latest offer. They write:
"Friday marked the week’s third negotiating session, and the district upped its offer based on the expectation of new money from Gov. Gavin Newsom’s proposed budget.
The latest offer would provide a full-time nurse at every elementary school and lower class sizes by about two students at middle schools. It builds on a proposal from Monday, in which the district also offered a small decrease in class sizes."
Class size and nurses is about new hires, but most observers still believe the biggest issue is the timing of a pay increase that's on the table. The district is at 6%, while the union wants 6.5%. That might not sound like a huge sticking point, the timing of such increase is. The district is offering 6% spread over the first two years of a contract, while union wants a 6.5% increase retroactive to the first year of the contract. That topline 0.5% difference translates into big money for UTLA members and thus the district based on timing.
Of course, timing is also key to the union's most senior members eyeing retirement while times are good. That means it poses both a fiscal and human resource challenge for the district. Although retirees replaced by more junior teachers costs less, it's not like the district can staff up quickly with a large number of new vacancies, particularly during an effort to reduce class size and expand kindergarten.
CASTRO 2020: This morning, former San Antonio mayor and secretary of Housing and Urban Development under Obama Julián Castro announced his presidential bid.
#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Sabrina Ashjian, Senator Steve Bradford, Assemblymember Reggie Jones-Sawyer, Joseph Lopez, Karina Talamantes, and Jamal Wilson!
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