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Happy State of the State eve, Noonerites! Do you have your gameday fare planned and is will you be wearing a Rams, Patriots, or Saints jersey? Oh, what's that you tell me--wrong game?
At 11am tomorrow, Governor Gavin Newsom will be giving his first State of the State address in the Assembly chamber. While the era of drive-time evening addresses may be over in the era of so many channels, the morning slot covers the lunchtime news cycle as well as those in the evening. And, if Virginia stays out of the news for five minutes, Newsom may get in the national news cycles through the afternoon and evening.
And, the first big float of the speech's content is that Newsom will significantly withdraw California National Guard troops assigned to the U.S.-Mexican border to assist Customs and Border Patrol. For Capitol Public Radiio Ben Adler reports:
"Gov. Gavin Newsom is rescinding former Gov. Jerry Brown’s deployment of California National Guard troops to the Mexican border, pulling most of 360 troops off their current missions but leaving some in the area to combat transnational drug smuggling.
“The Border ‘emergency’ is a manufactured crisis,” Newsom will say during his State of the State address Tuesday morning, according to advance excerpts provided by his office. “And California will not be part of this political theater.”
Instead, the governor is splitting the troops up into three new deployments in a move he will tell lawmakers will allow the National Guard to “refocus on the real threats facing our state:”
Adler has the details of the new plan, which focuses on wildfire prevention and suppression, drug interdiction, and drug cartel suppression.
Newsom's move likely comes amidst a still significant uncertainty of whether Friday night will bring another government shutdown over border security. As of this writing, the conference committee working on a solution doesn't plan to meet today and, practically speaking, time may run out to avert a shutdown. Of course, that's why continuing resolutions (CRs) are usually written to lapse on Fridays. It gives a bit more breathing room. While there are likely the votes for another CR, it is unclear whether the President would sign one.
The California point is that there is a significant opportunity for Newsom to capture national eyeballs outside of the overcrowded school bus of Democratic presidential candidates. While I certainly don't believe he's going to throw his hat in the ring, he is attuned to the fact that his opportunities to capture the national spotlight between now and November 2020 will be limited. Thus, the previewed speech focuses on a national issue that affects 350 National Guard troops that are a relatively small issue confronting the Legislature and other state leaders he will be speaking to in the chamber tomorrow.
I believe Newsom sees the value of the national spotlight beyond just his personal political future. Rather, there are many policy tangles with the Trump Administration from the significant to mundane. By elevating California's profile and with the Democrats controlling the House and that chamber's appropriations and oversight authority, a strong executive presence on the national scene will allow the state to prevail in those wrestling matches over policy decisions and funding appropriations.
With the Administration's threat of removing disaster assistance and flood control funds, billions of dollars are on the line. And, notably, much of that money is destined for California GOP districts.
Meanwhile, Travis Allen pounced on it as he seeks to gain traction in his campaign for chair of the California Republican Party. Wouldn't that be ironic.
BIGGER, FASTER, STRONGER (sans Kanye): In the Los Angeles Times, Taryn Luna looks at the ambitions of Governor Newsom to return the staffing levels to those of yesteryear with regional offices and the Office of the First Partner. Supporters see the moves as allowing a larger braintrust and access for various viewpoints compared to the lean and insular Brown Administration, while critics point to the relatively high marks Brown got for his administration.
FROM THE DESK OF THE DEAN: For Capitol Weekly, George Skelton asks whether the state should bail out Pacific Gas & Electric:
"The most probable outcome is requiring much better PG&E maintenance and a lot more independent inspections. Homeowners in risky areas might be required to buy wildfire insurance — like earthquake or flood coverage.
But no politically unpopular bailout.
One way or another, however, the state needs to help PG&E survive. And the utility needs to reorganize. It can start by chucking those crazy bonuses."
LA-LA LAND: As expected, Kevin de León is running for Los Angeles City Council District 14, which is Jose Huizar, who is termed out. Huizar's wife was running, but she dropped out after the FBI got a little too close to the councilmember's home. By "close," I mean inside with a search warrant. No charges have been filed in the far-reaching investigation into city council corruption.
Just worth noting: if elected, he'll make more in salary than he would have as a United States Senator. That said, you don't get a cool train between your office and where you cast votes.
LAO-LAO LAND: For Capitol Weekly, Chuck McFadden profiles Gabriel Petek, the state's new nonpartisan Legislative Analyst:
"A Wall Street public finance expert who says analyzing California’s fiscal condition was the “defining passion” of his career is the state’s new legislative analyst. He is Gabriel Petek, 47, who until recently was Standard and Poor’s chief credit analyst covering California from an office in San Francisco.
Patek’s career trajectory is unusual: He has had no direct experience in California’s Capitol, although he has been a respected outside adviser."
SEEN IN CMR: Look what's coming to K Street -- books!!! I'm hoping that they can stock any new books on our Sofa Degree! I would love for those of you who eat on K Street to pick up a book bricks and mortar than to send you online. That's how we revitalize K Street.
2020 and #CAKEDAY after the jump...
KAMALA'S EARLY LIFE: In the MercNews, Casey Tolan looks at how Harris's childhood of immigrant parents shaped her life and political frame.
OAKTOWN ON KAMALA: While Harris was born in Oakland, she never really lived there or had significant connection to politics and government there. That, Mark Z. Barabak writes, has some in the 510 still wary of her launch in the city's Ogawa Plaza and commitment to a city with a strong economy amidst increasing inequality.
KAMALA ON POT: On The Breakfast Club podcast while laughing..."Half my family is from Jamaica...are you kidding me?" Her serious answer was legalize marijuana but also advocates need to research the impact of weed on the developing brain.
#CAKEDAY: Hippo bird-day two ewe to Lucy Dunn!
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