Advertise in The Nooner to reach over 8,000 readers
¡Feliz Cinco de Marzo! Well, Taco Tuesday at least.
There is way too much going on this morning and it feels like an entire day has already gone by. It's spellcheck time and Bill Kristol is wrapping up and former Assemblymembers Kristin Olsen and Catharine Baker are about to take the stage in a discussion facilitated by KQED's Marisa Lagos. An interesting observer is State Senator Steve Glazer (D-Orinda), whose district encapsulates Baker's former Assembly district.
Meanwhile, Attorney General Xavier Becerra's presser on whether or not the California Department of Justice will bring civil rights charges against the officers involved in the Stephon Clark shooting will face civil rights charges is supposed to begin at any moment.
A protest by Black Lives Matter Sacramento is scheduled for 3:00pm at the Sacramento Police Department headquarters on Freeport Blvd. themed as "Occupy the Police Station."
Basically, today's Nooner is one big scratchpad rather than the literary masterpiece with no spelling or grammatical errors and brilliant reasoning you are accustomed to. If news warrants, I'll send out a Nooner Nightcap.
Good morning from the New Way California Summit of voices led by Arnold Schwarzenegger calling for a change in policy direction for California's GOP to survive. I'll be tweeting and will likely post pics to Instagram and Facebook. I was going to wear a tie, but instead, after the arrest of Bee reporter Dale Kasler (discussed below) last night, it's the shirt to the right and my The Nooner hoodie, both of which were sent to me by a reader.
It's fine. This group is not the navy suit, white shirt, red tie crowd that filled the CPAC ballroom. There's also no American flag on stage to dry hump.
It's Election Day for special elections and local governments that don't like to have elections when people vote. Major props to the Los Angeles County communities that have switched from odd-year to even-year elections, largely under the principles of the California Voting Rights Act.
I know the traditional arguments that off-year elections allows more focus on the down-ticket races that would be ignored in a presidential or gubernatorial race. However, the data are clear, fewer people vote in those off-year elections. In addition, I regularly hear criticisms of efforts to make it easier for people to register and vote that center on a thought that it should require some effort to vote.
These arguments become very dangerous as it suggests that fewer people who study more starts to sound a lot like literacy tests in our historic past.
Anyway, I'll be watching closely the results in the special election of district 5 of the Los Angeles Unified School District. I have a friend in the race (former Legislative Analyst staffer Ana Cubas) and former Assemblymember Jackie Goldberg is in the race as well. UTLA is supporting Goldberg and the big question is who will be the other of the ten candidates and one write-in who proceeds to a June runoff.
Los Angeles County election results (after 8pm). Remember, like we saw last November, there will be a trickle of ballots for up to a month that could change results, particularly in these relatively small districts. Don't think that when you're having coffee tomorrow morning that the numbers tell the story. It's more like a half-time score. No, it shouldn't take a month because they are odd-year local government elections, but the vote-by-mail ballot phenomenon will nevertheless be present.
Last night, I had the opportunity to attend the student networking dinner USC Dornsife Center for the Political Future Cerrell Political Leadership Summit. It was great to have an opportunity to talk with undergraduate students about their interests, and several approached me to talk about my odd career path, the future of journalism and how they might survive in it, and some of the big issues the state is wrestling with.
They told me about their great panel speakers in the Capitol during the day and the students were particularly impressed with Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis. Overall, it's wonderful to see students have that young interest in political science that I discovered after the bug bit me and got me off the professional track of health care.
Fortunately for the students who have been staying downtown, the Stephon Clark protests last night were in East Sacramento. Golden 1 was well secured, with fencing allowing only ticketed guests into the arena's plaza that is normally open to the public and includes several restaurants. On my way to the dinner, I walked through around the area since it was on the way. It was unclear if there was access to the Cinemark movie theatre or other shops not immediately adjacent to, but usually accessible through the plaza of, the arena.
On my walk, I saw dozens of Sac PD units parked away in the blocks around the arena, but they were leaving the security directly around the arena largely to the private guards unless there was an incident. It seemingly worked but it's also worth noting that last year's protests originated in the area around City Hall, had been there for hours, and then people marched to the arena. At $20-25 per pop for parking around the arena (the city has the street spaces largely blocked off until Wednesday night after the last game of this home stand) and with limited public transit, mobilizing thousands at 6pm is simply not possible.
All was quiet outside Golden 1 except for the usual street drummers as the action stayed in East Sac.
Here are some bits from the Bee:
"What began as a relatively mellow Stephon Clark protest outside a Trader Joe’s supermarket in East Sacramento turned into a spectacle as more than 100 riot police arrested 84 protesters and detained a Sacramento Bee reporter Monday night.
About 100 protesters, organized through The Table Sacramento, started marching shortly before 7 p.m. in opposition to Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert’s recent decision not to charge the police officers who shot Clark in his grandparents’ backyard last March. Clark, 22, had been holding a cell phone police thought was a gun.
On Monday, the trouble started when a Tahoe Park resident named Dan Iverson arrived at 40th and J streets in a “Make America Great Again” hat and quickly found himself facing several angry protesters. The protesters shouted Clark’s name at Iverson and blew whistles before stealing the hat off his head. Iverson, who came to the protest with his teen daughter, said he was shocked at the reception.
“I know, I know — why did I come down here wearing the hat? Because — to see what would happen,” Iverson said. “This is supposed to be a freedom of speech rally.”
Riot police moved in slowly, batons elongated, before the situation diffused. Around that time, police said, protesters keyed at least five cars in Fab Forties neighborhood."
The video in the Bee article of the incident over the hat shows that, yes, someone took his hat, but it also shows that march organizers immediately blew their whistles to summon police to help diffuse the situation. The bike cops came over but didn't intervene and the order to disperse was issued.
Anyway, things devolved by the time I got home and about 100 protestors were cornered with, according to video and audio from the Sacramento Bee, no way out. They were arrested one-by-one. As there was no violence, there won't be any charges but they got a free ride downtown to have their bags searched and identities checked.
Sacramento Bee reporter detained, released while covering East Sacramento protest march [Benjy Egel @ SacBee]:
"Sacramento Bee reporter Dale Kasler was detained Monday night while covering a Stephon Clark protest in East Sacramento.
Kasler was handcuffed and led away as other reporters shouted that Kasler was a member of the media on assignment. He had been standing on the west side of the street, where several protesters who were also arrested had been standing.
Kasler was released just after 11 p.m. after being held for about an hour."
You know, Kasler's business stories in the Bee have always been radically edgy...
The latter article states that Kasler was told while being arrested was that it was deemed a mass arrest and so press credentials don't matter. The article goes on to say that Mayor Darrell Steinberg was not happy about Kasler's arrest or the overall handling of the rally but would hold off on more comments until after talking to police leadership this morning.
There's a particular question over why the police used a much stricter policy last night than they did when protestors shut down I-5 and attendance to two Sacramento Kings games last year. While there was the one documented skirmish over the MAGA hat, there were no reports of personal injury and the reported property damage is five keyed cars. That's very different from last year, and city leaders privately are asking whether the neighborhood of Fab 40s and Tahoe Park led to the difference in policing.
Five keyed cars is considered a good afternoon in the 10th and L parking structure that's the prized spot for many lobbyists. If that's the extent of last night's damage...
The response of the neighbors was mixed. Toward the end of the protest as the remnants headed toward Tahoe Park, Bee reporter Sam Stanton showed residents applauding the police and saying "Thank you!" as force was being shown toward the protestors. Stanton noted that when the march was through the Fab 40s, residents were out applauding the marchers.
It was a strange night for Fab 40s residents for sure. They are more accustomed to lookie loos scouting out the Lady Bird filming locations than protestors of a police shooting. At the end of the night, lots of people were arrested and I surmise they were all released without charges. If the damage was limited to five cars being keyed, I'm guessing that's not an unusual night in any neighborhood in SacTown. Nobody appears to be hurt.
All that said, today will be another day of questions before a big test tonight. The marchers plan to
2020 and water after the bump. No #CAKEDAYs that I know of today. I mention it occasionally and we have lots of new Noonerites, so those wondering about birthdays, legislative ones are in a database. Others are often Facebook, while others are from tips. Since I don't keep a database of non-legislative folks, don't send me a message informing me of your birthday or that of a friend's anytime other than the day before. Yes, it's just fine for you to ask for your own birthday to be listed. No "nominations" are required and I won't tell.
KAMALA: Donald and Ivanka Trump each gave to Kamala Harris when she was running for Attorney General, writes Michael Burke for The Hill. Or, as her competitors will say, they didn't give, she "took."
DAM IT--ON MY WATER COMMENTS: I got into hot water yesterday, and it's not the kind of sous vide jacuzzi that my PT Ranch (Ione, CA) chicken is sitting in while I'm at the New Way California Summit.
Anyway, I flippantly and un-informedly wrote that developers were hoping for more dams to build lakefront homes. That is flat out wrong. Unlike the reservoirs I grew up with in Southern California that were natural lakes for which the water storage capacity was increased and watershed flooding was reduced like Big Bear and Arrowhead, modern reservoirs generally include the purchase of the surface area above the water line to preserve water quality for humans and wildlife. Obviously, federal and state environmental laws are far different than they were when the dam was added to Clear Lake after 1912 or Lake Tahoe in 1913.
In short, any new reservoir above ground or below ground has major financial interests upstream and major water interests downstream, but it rarely has anything to do these days with lakeside development.
I apologize to the advocates and legislative staff who work on water issues. I won't blame it on my fingers being ahead of my brain today. Water is complicated in California and that is the largest understatement I'll ever write in this space. Shame on me and back to more reading on the issue from all sides. Hot water is for a local, free-range bird and not for The Nooner.
TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM