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This afternoon, Gibran and I are sitting down at 2pm with political data guru Paul Mitchell for the podcast. Tweet your questions to @scottlay or @GibranMaciel. Will California lose a congressional seat in reapportionment? Should the make-up of the redistricting commission shift with voter registration, which would give "no party preference" voters an additional seat at the cost of Republicans? What have we learned about "ballot harvesting"?
ISN'T THAT SPECIAL?
DOUBLE-X FACTOR: At the Sacramento Press Club yesterday, the three women constitutional officers all answered that they intend to run for governor in 2026. Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis, Treasurer Fiona Ma, and Controller Betty Yee. Carla Marinucci reports for Politico:
"The three have all been mentioned as potential candidates for the top office in California once Gov. Gavin Newsom can no longer run, presumably making 2026 their next opportunity. In the 2018 election, Yee not only garnered more votes than any other candidate in California, but she also ranked as the nation’s highest Democratic vote recipient of the 2018 election.
Kounalakis, a former U.S. Ambassador to Hungary, became California’s first-ever female lieutenant governor in November. And Ma — the first female Asian-American speaker pro tem of the California Assembly — racked up more votes in 2018 than any other California state treasurer in history."
Joel Fox writes "You think the unions backing the split roll and the business community opposed didn’t notice these off-the cuff responses? The next open gubernatorial election may be over seven years away but political interests are already keeping score."
WITH A LITTLE HELP OF MY FRIENDS: Matt Levin reports for CALmatters that Assemblymember Sharon Quirk-Silva (D-Fullerton) received a short-term loan from former Congressmember Loretta Sanchez to buy a house. "To buy a house, an Orange County legislator received a $430,000 personal loan from a former Orange County congresswoman—an arrangement that some legal experts labeled unusual, but that both politicians said was not improper."
WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MOM: The retired director of the California Department of Industrial Relations, Christine Baker, helped her daughter get hired and obtain promotions in violation of the California State Civil Service law. Patrick McGreevy reports for the Times:
"State Auditor Elaine Howle cited whistleblower protection laws in declining to name the former administrator or agency in her report, which alleges that a person identified only as “director” attempted to retaliate against whistleblowers who raised concerns about the director’s actions. The audit also says that the state agency overseeing the department failed to implement recommended changes to prevent misconduct in the future."
HOUSING: At a roundtable discussion in Sacramento, Gavin Newsom yesterday said that he wants to continue on rent affordability despite the failure Prop 10 last November. CapPubRad's Chris Nichols reports:
"We've been working behind the scenes with a number of the key parties and participants to see if there is a — forgive the vernacular — a deal on this that could be a constructive first step," Newsom told reporters after hosting a roundtable on affordable housing in Sacramento. "I'm not wedded to any specific proposal right now."
HIGH-SPEED RAIL: Yesterday, the Legislative Analyst's Office provided an update to Senate Transportation and Senate Budget Sub 2. Also yesterday, the state sold $600 million in general obligation bonds for the continued build-out of the system. The AP's Kathleen Ronayne reports "The bond money is a key source of funding for the troubled project, which has been beset by cost overruns and delays. Voters approved $10 billion in bonds in 2008 and the state routinely sells them. The entire project is estimated to cost $77 billion."
VAXX: For the Bee, Sammy Caiola reports on the presser yesterday to announce a bill by Richard Pan (D-Sacramento) to crack down on parents shopping for a doctor to issue a vaccine exemption for school-age children. "Physicians will submit information to CDPH, including the reason for the exemption, the physician’s name and license number and they will need to certify that they have examined the patient," Pan's office said in a statement for SB 276."
RECEIPTS: Dan Walters gives us our vocabulary lesson for the day, using the word "pettifoggery" as he talks about about Phil Ting's (D-San Francisco) to ban paper receipts in retall unless requested by the customer.
"Although the origins of "pettifoggery" are somewhat obscure, the word’s meaning is quite clear.
It refers to engaging in trivial arguments or activities, consuming energy better spent on important matters. And it perfectly describes the busybody ethos of today’s state Legislature."
The bill, AB 161, got airtime on Jimmy Kimmel Live! last night. The late-night host said that receipts should be at least tall enough to ride Space Mountain.
More and #CAKEDAY after the jump!
TAXING MATTERS: Up in Local Government Committee at 1:30 today is ACA 1 (Aguiar-Curry), which would ask the voters to approve lowering the theshhold for approving local government projects, including affordable housing, from two-thirds to 55%. K-14 schools have this authority now.
While initiative and referendum measures now only have access to the November general election, this would go on the March 2020 if approved by two-thirds of the Legislature.
"...Congressman Devin Nunes, a staunch Trump supporter who recently co-sponsored the Discouraging Frivolous Lawsuits Act, has filed a $250-million lawsuit against Twitter.
The lawsuit makes it very easy to laugh at Nunes — not because it exposes him as a hypocrite, but because he was so vexed by two anonymously written Twitter accounts.
One parody account falsely purported to be written by his mom.
Inadvisable as that was, the lawsuit might’ve spurred fewer jokes from late-night comedy shows if he hadn’t also decided to sue a parody account purporting to be written by his cow. (I could not independently confirm whether any cow owned by his family is literate.) Before the lawsuit was filed, @devincow had 1,200 followers. Now it has 557,000 followers, making it the most followed imaginary cow on the platform, as far as I know.
Legal experts who’ve reviewed the lawsuit are laughing, too."
Nunes's actions have really just exploded the number of such fake accounts.
CHARTERS: In the LA Times, Anna M. Phillips tells the story of one Beverly Hills couple that appear to be using three charter schools in Vernon, Compton, and Inglewood for their own benefit.
"The Parkers have cast themselves as selfless philanthropists, telling the California Board of Education that they have “devoted all of our lives to the education of other people’s children, committed many millions of our own dollars directly to that particular purpose, with no gain directly to us.”
But the couple have, in fact, made millions from their charter schools. Financial records show the Parkers’ schools have paid more than $800,000 annually to rent buildings the couple own. The charters have contracted out services to the Parkers’ nonprofits and companies and paid Clark Parker generous consulting fees, all with taxpayer money, a Times investigation found.
Presented with The Times’ findings, the Parkers did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
How the Parkers have stayed in business, surviving years of allegations of financial and academic wrongdoing, illustrates glaring flaws in the way California oversees its growing number of charter schools.
Many of the people responsible for regulating the couple's schools, including school board members and state elected officials, had accepted thousands of dollars from the Parkers in campaign contributions."
CRABBY: The Dungeness crab season will close three months early in April to protect whales why normally feed off the California coast in the spring. Olga R. Rodriguez reports "The April 15 closure, three months before the crab fishing season normally ends, is part of a settlement reached by the Center for Biological Diversity and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife."
Meanwhile, there has been an unusual number of gray whales hanging out in San Francisco Bay, which has some biologists concerned that the whales aren't finding enough food in the summer feeding grounds off Alaska.
#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Supervisor Luis Alejo, Mark Capitolo, Christopher Castillo, Leah Herzberg, Paul Hogarth, Midge Hough, and Manuel Saucedo!
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