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TWEET DU JOUR: @ChadMayes - "I’ve learned to despise labels. I’ve always defined myself as a "conservative." Unfortunately, that term has been hijacked and no longer means what it used to. What to do? 🤔"
Well, hello there! Thank you for the great feedback on yesterday's write-up on the impact of AIDS on gay men in politics. I have someone in my family who, along with his partner, has fought long and hard against the disease, so it's not just a hypothetical to me.
So, who is really behind the Twitter meme against Devin Nunes? Obviously, suing Twitter for $250 million has brought out his haterz. But, beyond that, did he piss off Russia? There is some level of organization to mobilize that quickly. Typing in "Devin" in Twitter's search yields many results before Devin's official account. The top one is "Devin's mother's cow's mother," which is actually CAGOPUnknown, a previously existing account that I frankly don't know who is behind. Anyway, I'll look at this further when I have more time.
It's Thursday so the end of the week is near. It looks like a decent spring weekend across most of California although not as beautiful as last weekend. It's going to be a quickie Nooner today (relative to the last few long-forms) to give you a break. That and Gibran and I are sitting down for a pod at 10am with San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer. We try to book pod guests in the afternoon, but when you have an out-of-town guest, scheduling flexibility is needed.
Speaking of the pod, we're now on TuneIn. In theory, that means you should be able to ask Alexa to play it while you're lying in bed (because I know that's your life goal), but I haven't found success yet. Anyway, we're growing and spreading to lots of platforms. From statistics, we know that most of you are listening through the Podcasts app on iPhones. That's how I get most my aural pleasure as well unless I am in bed. Oh, that really didn't sound good.
Faulconer is a Republican who has been involved in the New Way California movement, then-councilmember Faulconer was elected mayor in the special election in 2014 to succeed Bob Filner, who resigned under the cloud of sexual harassment. While considered a moderate on many issues, he has supported the pension reform effort, approved overwhelmingly by voters in 2012 and moved new hires from a defined benefit to defined contribution retirement system. The California Supreme Court subsequently ruled that the city had an obligation to negotiate the change before putting the measure, championed by then-mayor Jerry Sanders, on the ballot.
The issue is now with the Fourth District Court of Appeal with the messy question of what the remedy should be. The city has been depositing contributions in 401k-type accounts but if the court rules that the city must retroactively create pensions, it is unclear whether it can unravel those 401k contributions to pay for the pensions.
On both the Mayes tweet and thinking about sitting down with Faulconer, there is the question of where moderate Republicans go. Do they go the direction of Maienschein and jump into the Democrats' jacuzzi, where the water is warm and there is more policy relevance, or do they continue to fight to change their parties from within?
I took the "Exit Left" picture earlier this week after delivering mugs. I've seen the sign in the north Annex stairwell of the Capitol before but it caught my attention in the political context this week. Is there a choice other than "Exit Left" or "Exit Right"?
Anyway, today's Nooner won't be curated like the Louvre, which I know you expect. Apologies to the 10% of you who are Premium. For everyone else, I love you, but deal, yo'. ;-)
PEN PALS: So, this happened. Vice President Mike Pence sent a form letter wishing Speaker Anthony Rendon a productive legislative session, touting the success of the Trump Administration, and providing contact information for federal agencies. So, Rendon responded with a letter of his own and tweeted both letters.
"I thank you for your letter and appreciate you wishing us a productive and successful legislative session. I would have to say you and the President have already done quite a bit to help us with that. Thanks to your policies, voters in California added five Democrats to the Assembly in the last election. In addition, one Republican has decided to jump to the Democratic Party, citing the President's extreme positions. We now have a three-quarters majority -- plus one."
Rendon goes on to talk about California's status as the world's fifth largest economy and notes "Under Democratic (not Democrat, by the way) leadership.
"Thanks for the list of federal agency liaisons. If you are interested in diversifying that list beyond its current makeup -- roughly 75 percent male and between two-thirds and 95 percent white -- be sure to look to California. Our success is built on diversity."
TAXING MATTERS: For the Bee, Bryan Anderson reports on another legislative attempt to require presidential candidates to release the last five years of tax returns in order to appear on the California primary ballot. - SB 27 (McGuire and Wiener)
"Former Gov. Jerry Brown – who didn’t release his own tax returns – vetoed the same proposal in 2017, warning it "may not be constitutional" and could set a "slippery slope" precedent.
State Sen. Mike McGuire, D-Healdsburg, called Brown’s veto "hogwash" and is re-introducing the bill in hopes Gov. Gavin Newsom will sign it. Newsom has promised to be the first California governor to release his tax returns annually."
FROM THE DESK OF THE DEAN: George Skelton isn't crazy about Gavin Newsom's move on the death penalty and his proposal to tie transportation funds to local governments meeting housing needs, saying that they ignore the will of the voters.
I'm frankly a fan of Newsom's proposal on transportation dollars. As Gibran and I talked about on the pod, many local governments have ignored the state's housing goals for a long time, contributing to the number of people we see on our streets. I don't remember the No on 6 campaign being about the distribution of transportation dollars to each city. It was about our bridges and highways. For California's economic well-being, we all want the Bay Bridge to be safe and operational. It's in all of our interests to reduce congestion on the 405 in Los Angeles, for the air and economy.
POLLING A FAST ONE: Former San Diego councilman Carl DeMaio is grasping for relevance for his Reform California effort, stealing the "recall Gavin Newsom" mantra from Travis Allen. He is floating a poll by Remington Research group that is robo-call and uses completely biased questions. I hate link to the crap, but since people are talking about it, you should see it. He's releasing the "recall" number at 3pm.
ANTE UP: The committee for newly registered Democrat Brian Maienschein (D-San Diego) just gave the San Diego Democratic Party $20,000.
#CAKEDAY after the jump . . .
#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Tal Finney, Jim Kennedy, Ruben Lizardo, Greg Lucas, Melodi Masaniai, Cathy Mitchell, and Dennis Raj!
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