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AroundTheCapitol Headlines | California Legislative Directory | Classifieds | Sofa Degree
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AURAL PLEASURE:

  • On SacTown Talks by The Nooner, Gibran and I sit down with GOP consultant Mike Madrid about the future of the Republican Party in California. Yes, I call him Mikey during the pod that goes back to community college days.

DISTRICT UPDATES:

  • SD23 (Redlands): added Lloyd Alfred Wright (R) - open seat, as Mike Morrell is termed out of the State Senate in 2020.
  • SD30 (Culver City): added Tax Attorney/Commissioner Cheryl C. Turner (D) - 2022, Holly Mitchell is termed out, which would lead to a special election in 2021 if Mitchell wins her Board of Supes race in 2020. Also running for supe is Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson, the former speaker.
  • SD33 (Long Beach): The "Coalition to Restore California's Middle Class, Including Energy Companies Who Produce Gas, Oil, Jobs and Pay Taxes" is playing bigly in the special election to fill Ricardo Lara's former State Senate seat. As of yesterday, the independent expenditure committee has spent $1,052,987.83 in support of Long Beach councilwoman Lenz Gonzalez.

    The donors to the IE committee are:

    NAME OF CONTRIBUTOR

    CITY

    STATE

    ZIP

    AMOUNT

    TRANSACTION DATE

    FILED DATE

    VALERO ENERGY CORPORATION

    SAN ANTONIO

    TX

    78249

    $1,000,000.00

    8/18/2017

    1/31/2018

    CRC SERVICES, LLC

    HOUSTON

    TX

    77046

    $250,000.00

    12/12/2017

    1/31/2018

    TESORO COMPANIES, INC.

    SAN ANTONIO

    TX

    78259

    $1,000,000.00

    12/20/2017

    1/31/2018

    KEEPING CALIFORNIANS WORKING

    SAN RAFAEL

    CA

    94901

    $5,000.00

    4/27/2018

    5/24/2018

    PHILLIPS 66

    WASHINGTON

    DC

    20004

    $2,000,000.00

    5/9/2018

    5/24/2018

    VALERO ENERGY CORPORATION

    SAN ANTONIO

    TX

    78249

    $1,000,000.00

    1/29/2018

    4/26/2018

    CRC SERVICES, LLC.

    HOUSTON

    TX

    77046

    $500,000.00

    2/7/2018

    4/26/2018

    CHEVRON CORPORATION

    SAN RAMON

    CA

    94583

    $1,000,000.00

    3/26/2018

    4/26/2018

    TESORO COMPANIES, INC.

    SAN ANTONIO

    TX

    78259

    $1,000,000.00

    7/26/2018

    9/27/2018

    VALERO ENERGY CORPORATION

    SAN ANTONIO

    TX

    78249

    $1,000,000.00

    8/3/2018

    9/27/2018

    CRC SERVICES, LLC.

    HOUSTON

    TX

    77046

    $500,000.00

    8/13/2018

    9/27/2018

    CHEVRON CORPORATION AND ITS SUBSIDIARIES / AFFILIATES

    SAN RAMON

    CA

    94583

    $1,000,000.00

    8/16/2018

    9/27/2018

    CHEVRON CORPORATION

    SAN RAMON

    CA

    94583

    $500,000.00

    4/17/2017

    7/31/2017


    You know most of the names. CRC Services describes itself as "California Resources Corporation (NYSE: CRC) is a publicly traded oil and natural gas exploration and production company and the largest oil and natural gas producer in California on a gross-operated basis." CRC actively operates in the Wilmington Field and in the Long Beach tidelands. The tidelands, where the Los Angeles River meets the Pacific Ocean, are also a big economic interest for the City of Long Beach.

    The independent expenditures include billboards, $600,000 in television ads, and associated consulting costs.

    That's a hell of a lot of money for a safe Democratic State Senate seat. But, if you know the district, you likely know that it is only a handful of Democratic seats with significant oil business.

    The Port of Long Beach has major crude oil terminals, including those owned by BP Pipelines of North America, Chemoil Marine, Petro-Diamond Terminal Company, and Tesoro Refining and Marketing. Large numbers of automobiles are also imported through the port. Much of that oil is destined for the Carson Tank Farm and then processed by refiners like Chevron for distribution around Southern California. While the Carson Tank Farm and the Wilmington Oil Field are in the neighboring SD35 of Steven Bradford, make no mistake that oil is big business for the Port of Long Beach.

    The race will likely go to a June 4 runoff after the March 26 special primary election and the successful candidate will be sworn in shortly after. If Senator Bob Wieckowski's SB 246 for an oil and gas severance tax moves, it will be in the Assembly by that point. However, the likelihood is that it would be coming back to the State Senate if it passes the Assembly. It needs a two-thirds vote, and the oil companies can use any friend they can get. I don't know if Gonzalez has a position on the oil and gas severance tax, but opponents certainly think they've got shot of a new ally in Sacramento.

    Meanwhile, the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor announced its endorsement of Lena Gonzalez today.
  • SD33 (Long Beach): Democratic candidate Leticia Vasquez Wilson was removed from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California board. Brian Hews reports "HMG-LCCN reported that Vasquez had threatened, via a letter from her oft-used attorney-husband Ron Wilson, other District 33 candidates and their supporters using a bogus defamation lawsuit." She had been serving on the MWD board via her role on the board of the Central Basin Water District.
  • AD55 (Yorba Linda): added Michelle D. Hamilton (D)
  • AD77 (North San Diego): added small business woman Sunday Gover (D)

Yesterday was a heavy day in the Capitol, with a hearing on Dynamex (independent contractors), Cal Grants, public bills, and charter schools. But, the talk of the town wasn't about policy or politics. It was about the L Street turkey. 

The turkey lingered for awhile outside of See's Candies and the Goodie Tuchews cookie shop, seemingly happy to be out of the significant rain that fell from the sky. Turkeys aren't usual downtown although folks who work in the Capitol treat them like hail in Los Angeles or a sunny, 70-degree day in San Francisco. Did you see it? I saw it! 

Gobble gobble. 

It's a sad day in Guerneville and other western Sonoma County towns that were flooded last night after over 21 inches of rain fell. Dan Brekke and Ryan Levi report for KQED:

"The Russian River at Guerneville is on track to reach a crest of 46 feet Wednesday night-- 14 feet over flood stage and a level high enough to prompt mandatory evacuation orders for an estimated 4,000 residents along the waterway.

Daylight Wednesday morning showed a wide area of Sonoma County inundated by water rising in both the Russian River and creeks draining into it."

It is day 5 of the Oakland teachers strike. The school board meets today at 4pm. Both sides have been quiet about negotiations this week, which is generally seen as a good sign. My sources say that they are close and they likely close out on the strike on Friday with a weekend deal. Unlike Los Angeles, there doesn't appear to be any shuttle diplomacy involving Sacramento, except for Monday's participation in negotiations by Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond.

Since state leaders gave United Teachers Los Angeles a commitment to consider a moratorium on charter schools and they are fast-tracking a bill on transparency and accountability, Oakland is largely down to fiscal issues.

The district says that the strike is costing it $1 million per day in lost average daily attendance state funds. Only 6% of the district's students have attended each day since the strike began last Thursday. The school board will go into closed session at the beginning of their meeting to get an update on negotiations, but no agreement is believed to have been reach.

SB 126 (Leyva): charter schools. The bill to explicitly put charter schools under the Brown Act (public meetings), Public Records Act, and conflict of interest laws passed out of Assembly Education on a 5-1 vote yesterday. Since it's not keyed as a fiscal bill, it could be on Governor's desk in the next week. 

DIFI: In The Atlantic, Caitlyn Flanagan writes that Dianne Feinstein offered a master class in grace in dealing with the Sunset Movement of kids that confronted the senior senator at her district office on Friday.

"A group of jackbooted tots and aggrieved teenagers showed up at the local office of Dianne Feinstein—85 years old and holding—with the intention of teaching her about climate change and demanding that she vote for the Green New Deal.

The resulting encounter was so gonzo that it made Gran Torino look like The Pajama Game. At the 13th hour of a long career, Feinstein did something that the kids weren’t expecting. She took them seriously, and she patiently explained some truths about American political life that they didn’t understand. And then she did the one thing that an old woman isn’t supposed to do. She said that she wasn’t good at her job in spite of being old, but because of it."

CAGOP: For Capitol Weekly, Chuck McFadden talks to GOP convention delegates about the future of their party, while Dan Walters writes that the party dodged a bullet over the weekend but is not out of the woods.

HOUSING: At a joint committee hearing of Budget Sub No. 4 on State Administration, the Asm Housing And Community Development, and the Asm Local Government yesterday, it was clear that legislators are not excited about Governor Newsom's proposal to tie SB 1 transportation funds to commitments by local governments to meet their state housing allocations. KQED's Guy Marzorati reports:

"Legislators on three committees that convened to review Newsom's housing plans (including Democrats typically aligned with the governor's goals) argued that the road repair money should not be contingent upon housing development.

"I’m taken aback right now," said Cecilia Aguilar-Curry, D-Winters. "Because going after [transportation] funding is not something that I think should be on the table."

The affected cities are largely coastal, but many Los Angeles County urban districts are also on the list maintained by the Calif. Dept. of Housing and Community Development as those out of compliance or in review.

TEAM NEWSOM: In the Los Angeles Times, Phil Willon looks at how Newsom is defining his early administration through the appointment of people to key roles.

POLL POSITION: A new study by Pew Research finds that the number of respondents willing to answer telephone polls has fallen to a new low, reports Steven Shepard for Politico. "The Pew Research Center reported Wednesday that the response rate for its phone polls last year fell to just 6 percent — meaning pollsters could only complete interviews with 6 percent of the households in their samples. It continues the long-term decline in response rates, which had leveled off earlier this decade."

More and #CAKEDAY after the jump... 

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THE WALL: For Capitol Weekly, Monet Muscat looks at the fight between California and other states against the Trump Administration over the border wall.

MEDICARE FOR ALL: In the Bee, Kate Irby reports that first-term Josh Harder (D-Turlock) is the only Democrat from a moderate district who has stepped forward to support the health care plan being rolled out by House progressives. Harder beat Jeff Denham (R-Turlock) in 2018 in a district south of Sacramento.

Meanwhile, in the Bee, Sophia Bollag writes that California Democrats are not pushing single-payer health care this year despite personally supporting it, at least from the bills introduced by last Friday's deadline.

"Stephanie Roberson, a lobbyist for the California Nurses Association, said the union was in talks with Sen. Mike McGuire about running a bill this year, but those discussions fell through."

“Senator McGuire’s admission that he could not get enough political consensus to move a bill around this issue is troubling,” Roberson said in a statement. “To not have a comprehensive solution on the table in the first year of a two-year session in the most progressive legislature in the country is baffling.”

It was no secret that last year's SB 562 had no chance of passage. The halftime death in Assembly Rules Committee was known by legislators supporting the bill. There was zero chance that Governor Jerry Brown would sign it and Speaker Anthony Rendon didn't want the pain of moving the bill through a futile process.

To implement single-payer in California, it would require big Medicaid waivers from the federal government. As we all know, California and the Trump Administration are not BFFs at this point so a waiver is extremely unlikely. California could sue the feds under the Administrative Procedures Act, but that would be a lengthy lawsuit of an uncertain outcome. 

Meanwhile, Democrats had a very successful election and Ricardo Lara, the SB 562 co-author with now-Senate President Pro Tem, is now Insurance Commissioner. I don't accuse Lara of being insincere on the bill, but 2019 is not the same as 2018.

Democrats have supermajorities and a friend in the Governor's Office. The last thing they want to do is jam Gavin Newsom this year. You may not like the sausage factory that has policy consequences on the lives of Californians. However, expect legislative leaders to carefully manage the flow of legislative down to the office found behind Bacteria Bear.

DMV: The operating account that the state's Department of Motor Vehicles relies on for operational costs is heading to financial collapse according a new Legislative Analyst Office budget report, writes Bryan Anderson for the Bee. 

STATE OF BLACK CALIFORNIA: Tomorrow at 3:30, Assemblymember Sydney Kamlager-Dove (D-Los Angeles) will moderate a panel on the state of incarceration. Panelists will include Brant Choate -CDCR Director for Rehabilitative Program, Connie Gipson -CDCR Director for the Adult Institutions, Dr. Kelly Hernández -UCLA Ralph J. Bunche Center Interim Director, Michael Romano -Stanford Law School’s Three Strike Project Professor, and Zachary Norris -Ella Baker Center for Human Rights Executive Director.

The event at the Secretary of State's Auditorium runs 9am-5pm and is hosted by the California Legislative Black Caucus. RSVP here.

THE OC: Yesterday, the Orange County Board of Supervisors approved a resolution to become a Voters' Choice Act (VCA) county for 2020. In 2018, there were five such counties--Madera, Napa, Nevada, Sacramento, and San Mateo. The law opens it up for other counties next year. Under the VCA, all registered voters are mailed a ballot, which can be returned in the mail or dropped off at "vote centers."

Los Angeles County is also observing the VCA beginning March 2020. In June 2016, the two counties combined for 31.79% of statewide voters. It could be a significant assist to Senator Kamala Harris's presidential bid as California receive ballots beginning the day of the Iowa causes and a week before New Hampshire votes. Between when ballots are mailed and when final results in California are known, twenty-two other states will have voted.

WILD LANDS: The House of Representatives yesterday approved the National Resources Management Act, which will expand Death Valley and Joshua Tree national parks and names the St. Francis Dam in Los Angeles County as a national monument. The dam 10 miles from Santa Clarita failed in 1928, killing several hundred people, sweeping many victims out to sea.

It was the end of the Mulholland era of waterworks that inspired the 1974 movie Chinatown.

LAW AND DISORDER: The AP reports that Attorney General Xavier Becerra " is demanding that a university journalism program return a state list that includes law enforcement officers convicted of crimes in the past decade, saying the information wasn’t meant to be public and shouldn’t have been given out by another agency." 

IMMIGRATION: For Capitol Public Radio, Chris Nichols reports on the ugly conditions at federal immigration detention facilities in California.

"Immigrants at federal detention centers in California lack sufficient access to health care and legal aid and the facilities operate with little to no oversight, according to reports released on Tuesday by the state’s attorney general and auditor.

Democratic Attorney General Xavier Becerra said those held at the centers are “civil detainees” awaiting a hearing on their immigration status. He said they are due fair and humane treatment."

HERTZBERG, THE ARTIST: Senator Bob Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys) painted a picture for Assemblymember Phillip Chen (R-Yorba Linda). Who says there is no such thing as comity anymore? California Democratic Party acting chair Alex Gallardo-Rooker also received one. Hertzberg had a fundraiser last night of 

#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Cynthia Moreno and Alyssa Selogie!

Classifieds

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The California Council on Science and Technology (CCST) seeks an Executive Director located in Sacramento.
The California Council on Science and Technology (CCST) seeks an Executive Director located in Sacramento. The Executive Director develops programs and services to provide science, engineering, and biomedical advice to the State of California's government and is the chief executive responsible for CCST's administration, fundraising, budgeting, and directing the CCST Science Fellows Program. Review of applications will begin immediately and preference is given to applications received by March 25th. Click here for more information.
The UC Office of the President is seeking a Legislative Director for Business Operations.
Primary responsibility for expertise, political strategy and lobbying in business and finance issues, operations, labor relations, non-collective bargaining employee issues, economic development, and energy and utilities. Key UC advocate in Sacramento, develops relationships with members and staff of the Legislature, executive branch, and external organizations on business operations, labor relations, and research matters. Job requires knowledge of UC, executive and legislative branches of California government and state higher education. Bachelor’s degree and 5-7 years of experience in legislative affairs in large academic/governmental organization preferred. Apply online at apptrkr.com/1397717
The UC Office of the President is seeking a Legislative Director for Health Services and Sciences.
Primary responsibility for subject knowledge, political strategy and lobbying in health matters, including: hospital administration; patient care and staff issues; health professions education; and health-related research. Key UC advocate in Sacramento, develops relationships with members and staff of Legislature, executive branch, and external organizations on UC and UC Health. Job requires knowledge of UC, executive and legislative branches of California government, state higher education, and health sciences public policy. Bachelor’s degree and 5-7 years of experience in health-related legislative affairs preferred. Apply online at apptrkr.com/1397713
Sheehy Strategy Group -- Launches New Lobby Firm
Longtime capitol insider Tom Sheehy announces the launch of Sheehy Strategy Group. SSG specializes in legislative & regulatory lobbying & fiscal strategy pertaining to the state budget. Contact Tom Sheehy (916) 213-8998 or tom@sheehystrategygroup.com for more info or see www.sheehystrategygroup.com
SEIU-UHW – Regional Political Organizer (Los Angeles)
The Political/Community Regional Organizer is responsible for a broad range of program objectives to build and strengthen our infrastructure and engage our members to be a powerful force at their worksites, in the legislative process, in the community and at the ballot box. Proven track record is a must. Competitive salary and excellent benefits. For more information on the position and to apply please visit our candidate portal at seiuunitedhealthcareworkers.appone.com/.
SEIU-UHW – Regional Political Organizer (San Francisco)
The Political/Community Regional Organizer is responsible for a broad range of program objectives to build and strengthen our infrastructure and engage our members to be a powerful force at their worksites, in the legislative process, in the community and at the ballot box. Proven track record is a must. Competitive salary and excellent benefits. For more information on the position and to apply please visit our candidate portal at seiuunitedhealthcareworkers.appone.com/.
Political Data Inc.
For 30 Years PDI has been California’s premier data vendor. Now, you can get live online trainings on the newest PDI software every week:
 

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