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Happy Humpday! The New Way California Summit was very interesting yesterday and I'll be writing more about it. This morning my fingers have however been typing away/researching for six hours and I'll leave the wrap on the event to some folks who were also there: Bryan Anderson/SacBee | Chris Nichols/CapPubRad | Carla Marinucci/Politico.
Ruh-roh. There is a movie screening of the documentary "The Apology" about the "comfort women" in World War II, sponsored by the great nonprofit My Sister's House and JACL. I was looking for restaurants near the screening and the address sounded familiar. Indeed, the screening is the same address as the Sacramento Police HQ, which is where tonight's Black Lives Matter Sacramento protest is scheduled.
What a wild day yesterday was, and I hope that today is much quieter for some catch up. Meanwhile, today I got up at 5:20, made my coffee, and assumed my place at my desk at The Nooner's palatial headquarters. I turned on CNN and literally the first commercial was from "Protect California" advocating for SB 230 (Caballero), calling for pass the bill "to provide police the training they have been asking for." Here is one of the ads.
Literally, the first words I heard this morning were from a scary narrator talking about police shootings and California legislation. Come on folks, the coffee isn't even ready yet. I rescued my brain to the extent possible for the time being and immediately switched to Stephen Colbert.
But, as Abbey Bartlet would say, "GAME ON, BOYFRIEND."
While Protect California is not required to register as a lobbyist coalition and report expenditures unless the coalition rather than individual entities in the coalition make direct lobbying expenditures, its web site list members, which are:
Plumbers are like the second cousin nobody knows at Thanksgiving who just happened to be in town.
The contact information on the website is for the Los Angeles Police Protective League, the LAPD's police union. The five-point plan for Protect California are centered on "resources" and "tools" to address economic opportunity, mental health, and training. The final point comes across as a jab at outspoken legislators with "Holds all stakeholders accountable to match their rhetoric with resources."
The plan concludes:
"We will work with like-minded individuals and organizations interested in achieving a comprehensive solution to improving neighborhood safety, strengthening trust between public safety officers and the communities they serve, and addressing the root causes of crime. We will work toward establishing, and participating in, a fact-based and data-driven dialogue to achieve these goals. We hope you will join us!"
The effort is of course to push back on AB 392 (Weber and McCarty), a bill which focuses only on the statutory definition of unlawful deadly force. In addition to calling for more training, SB 230 would reduce the circumstances in which individual officers can be held criminally liable for using deadly force in the arrest of a suspect.
I choose my words carefully and feel like I'm in the first year of law school with the great late Professor John Poulos. Yes, I had a liberal professor for Crim. That said, before you jump to thinking I'm a left-wing activist, I have told many people that I believe the District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert, and now Attorney General Xavier Becerra, are correct in their analysis that a criminal trial would not be successful against the officers in the Stephon Clark case--under current statute and the contemporaneous facts at the time the officers fired their weapons.
My problem with Anne Marie Schubert's Saturday presser announcing her conclusion introduced far more facts than were contemporaneously present on the minds of officers at the time of the shooting. Most would be relevant in a criminal trial but, in my opinion, some were not.
As I watched the presser, I was thinking back to Evidence class and I was objecting loudly to me television. The point is that those facts should not be introduced to the "jury" until evaluated by the neutral arbiter, a judge. There is an existing $20 million civil case against the City of Sacramento and the potential jurors have now been exposed to facts not contemporaneous to the shooting, and those facts have not actually been introduced in a trial.
In contrast, I thought Becerra stuck mostly to the contemporaneous facts and, as I said, I agree with the criminal conclusions. The city will be paying the Clark family a significant sum even with the evidence publicized by the DA. The city's lawyers will warn against trial as, while we know a lot more about Stephon Clark, there hasn't been a similar investigation of the officers, and you never know what could come out at trial that could lead a jury to arrive at the upper end of the lawsuit's demands.
Remember, as much as it may seem to suck, much of civil lawsuits is about a cost-benefit analysis of proceeding or settling.
Neither SB 230 nor AB 392 have been set for respective Public Safety committee hearings, although both committees have two bill hearings scheduled over the next month that occur after the bills are eligible. Clearly leadership and I'm guessing the governor's office would like to see some private negotiations occur early instead of having the bills move quickly.
Protect California knows that most legislators kick off their shoes at the end of very long days three nights a week in Sacramento and wake up to catch the news around the time I get up to start writing. Thus, the television ads to influence these early negotiations amidst nightly news footage of protests and crazy city council meetings last night.
Capitol Public Radio's Ben Adler gets national Morning Edition ears with a story of the negotiations toward a middle ground between the two bills.
Meanwhile, Mayor Steinberg and the Sacramento City Council have asked the City's Office of Public Safety Accountability to investigate the situation that led to 84 arrests, plus the detention of Bee reporter Dale Kasler. Kasler was released after Steinberg got an angry call from the paper's editor. The two reporters arrested and cited were from the Sacramento Business Journal and the Sac State Hornet. The Office of Public Safety Accountability is an office that directly answers to the mayor and council rather than the city manager.
THE SEVEN: Yesterday, the Secretary of State's Office released to the Supplement to the Statement of Vote, which breaks down statewide races by congressional and legislative districts and political subdivisions within counties. It's the stuff that geeks are made of.
I'll be looking at key races over the next few days, in particular looking at performance some districts in the gubernatorial race. Today we'll look at the seven congressional districts that flipped from Republican to Democrat to see how they compared in the race for Governor. This tells us whether there was a distinct partisan trend in the district or whether it was specific to the congressional race issues of health care, the GOP tax bill, and President Trump.
As I have highlighted, in four of the seven districts, Republican gubernatorial candidate John Cox actually won the district, while the GOP lost the congressional seat. Most analysts who watched these elections felt that the seven races were largely down-to-the-wire competitive with no major stumbles, except in CA49, where Diane Harkey's (R) campaign just didn't really match up well with Mike Levin and you had an underlying Dem-on-Dem race in the southern half for State Assembly.
Now, let's look at the final results of the congressional races for these districts. Of course, these are all districts where the Democrat won. In order, CA10-Harder over Denham, CA21-Cox over Valadao, CA25-Hill over Knight, CA39-Cisneros over Kim, CA45-Porter over Walters, CA48-Rouda over Rohrabacher, and CA49-Levin over Harkey.
Let's look at the differential by raw votes between the race for each House race and that for governor in each of these districts.
One of these districts stands out and for longtime observers, it is no surprise. While CA21 and SD14 (Hurtado) both flipped to the Democrats this region, voters in both districts cast far more votes for Democrat Gavin Newsom for governor than for the respective district-level Democrats.
This has been a perennial phenomenon in these districts on the western side of the San Joaquin Valley. Look at the voter registration for these districts. CA21 is D+16.14 and D+18.55. Those are safe Dem numbers everywhere else, even in mid-term elections. However, voters regularly split their tickets between statewide and national votes and those for local representatives. Democrats broke through this year, but it will continue to keep them on the edge of their seat. The first test will be in 2020 when Cox is up for his first re-election, while birthday girl Hurtado has a little bit of time before she will be up in 2022.
Some may think of it as a voter drop-off down-ballot rather than ticket splitting, so look at those data.
Voter drop-off from total votes cast for governor to for the House averaged 0.698%. I display the raw vote difference between the two. Remember, congressional districts are drawn based on absolute population in the 2010 Census, which includes legal non-residents, undocumented residents, and incarcerated and paroled individuals.
Some love to jump to the voter registration numbers and think that low-registration numbers are because of undocumented immigrants counted in the Census. In some cases that is true. Good luck on amending the United States Constitution with the votes of three-fourths of the states.
In CA21, one finds Avenal, Corcoran, North Kern, Pleasant Valley, and Wasco state prisons. As of last week, they accounted for 31,255 persons per census counts, although they aren't voters. That's an important thing to keep in mind when comparing overall voter registration by district and the wonder of why the number of voters is so different among congressional districts.
Anyway, for our purposes, we see that among these seven districts, CA21 is not an outlier in drop-off between gubernatorial and congressional vote but rather just just above average. The odd outliers are in the largely white and wealthy coastal areas in CA48 and CA49. In these two districts--coastal Orange County and South Orange County/coastal northern San Diego County, in CA48, voters gave a 4.2% edge to Republican John Cox while they gave a 3% edge to Democrat Gavin Newsom in CA49.
In both cases, we see the largest dropoff between gubernatorial and congressional vote. I haven't done the numbers statewide just yet, as all aren't simple Dem-Rep comparisons like we have in these seven. The same-party races, like here in CA06 (Dem on Dem) or CA08 (Rep on Rep), are just noise in the drop-off analysis. Of course they will have greater drop-off.
In short, CA21 does not have a huge voter drop-off, moderate Democrats continue to split voting more for Democrats statewide than in district level elections, but Democrats found a way to gain two narrow winds to breakthrough this traditional area of electoral heartbreak where registration and statewide voting rarely explained district-level results.
I've written about it before and I still have the theory that many Democrats are former farm workers who have moved in to management roles. They are deeply Democrat, but not necessarily union Democrats in their roles. Thus, they often split their tickets between the top of the ticket and bottom.
ABOUT THIS WORK: For Nooner Premium, I have put the above data in spreadsheet for in Subscriber Central. Click "Forgot Password" if you can't remember your password or never set one up.
If you are not Nooner Premium but like this work, become a subscriber. This is late night work, well beyond the "morning read" that started The Nooner. I want to keep doing it and want to have a blend between free and Premium and I'm happy to provide the above free, which I would normally bury in district-level analysis only in Premium. So, I hope you can become a subscriber or renew today.
#LA-LA LAND ELECTIONS and the youngest legislative #CAKEDAY after the jump . . .
LA-LA LAND ELECTIONS:
#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Robert Baird, Senator Melissa Hurtado, and Assemblymember Miguel Santiago (for realz this time!)!
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