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Happy Monday! Just in case you are wondering, if you send your AirPods through the washing machine, all is not lost. I did the dried rice trick overnight although I don't know if that was required. But, I do know they say about to not turn on your wet phone before drying it out for a couple of days.
There are lots more stories about the Poway synagogue shooting but I assume you have been reading them over the weekend so I won't repeat them in this space.
CA50 (East San Diego County): Congressional candidate retired Navy Seal Larry Wilske (R) is being criticized for anti-Muslim comments on Facebook from 2015 through January 2019 as he seeks to fill the seat currently held by Duncan Hunter (R). Hunter was similarly criticized in his run last year against Ammar Campa-Najjar (D) with an ad relating Campa-Najjar's grandfather's ties to the PLO with a suggestion he is Muslim. As Chuck Todd says in that clip, Campa-Najjar was born 16 years after his grandfather died and passed a background check to serve in the Obama White House.
Campa-Najjar is running for the seat again as Hunter faces a September federal trial on campaign finance abuses. SDUT's Charles T. Clark reports that Wilske responds to the criticism:
"'While I must admit some of my comments may be hard to digest for those who have not exchanged rounds with and lost friends to these extremists,' Wilske said in a statement, 'it is common sense to use rhetorical ammunition against those who seek to take our lives and freedoms. I highlighted the physical abuse of women and criticized the lax attitude toward child rape by Islamic extremists. I would hope more people join me in addressing these issues.'"
I assume the statement was written before Saturday's shooting at the Poway synagogue, but I advise against using "rhetorical ammunition" in this context for awhile. The suspect in the synagogue shooting is also expected in last month's burning of the Islamic Center of Escondido that also included hate speech on the exterior. Escondido is in CA50, but it appears that Wilske's posts were all before the mosque burning.
It may all be moot, as also in Clark's story is "Tony Krvaric, chairman of the Republican Party of San Diego County, said, 'Larry Wilske is not a serious candidate.'"
SD01 (Northeast Cal): In the Bee, Bryan Anderson provides an update on the special general election on June 4 between Assembly GOP members Brian Dahle and Kevin Kiley for the seat formerly held by now-BOE member Ted Gaines.
HEALTH CARE: Dan Schnur writes for the Bee's California Influencer series that while most believe that expanding health, CNA/National Nurses United continues to believe in being bold. He writes: "But words like 'building blocks' and 'path' are a red flag for more aggressive advocates like Bonnie Castillo, the California-based executive director of National Nurses United."
Also in the health care world, the Bee's Sophia Bollag reports on Governor Gavin Newsom's budget proposal to extend full-scope Medi-Cal coverage to undocumented young adults aged 19 to 25. Many are currently eligible for limited-scope Medi-Cal benefits.
PENSIONS: For CalPensions, Ed Mendel looks at how the long-term funding plan for the California State Teachers Retirement System (CalSTRS) is squeezing local school district budgets. Before the unfunded liability plan, the employer rate had been a fixed 8.25%. Mendel writes:
"Responding to school pleas for rate relief, Newsom proposed spending $350 million in each of the next two fiscal years to lower the last two scheduled CalSTRS rate increases by 1 per cent, dropping to 17.1 percent of pay next fiscal year and 18.1 percent in 2020-21.
Newsom also proposed spending $2.3 billion to pay down the school district share of the CalSTRS debt over four years and a one-time $3 billion payment on the state share of the CalPERS debt. Each payment is expected to save more than $7 billion over three decades."
This is using a windfall of one-time funds from the current year. While using one time funds, it will lower the rates for districts for the long term. It's like extra principal payments on a mortgage.
COMMUNITY COLLEGE: In the Chron, Nanette Asimov reports on the progress to open the state's "free" online community college, which is scheduled to be online in five months for the 2019-20 academic year.
SMOKIN': The Politico team writes that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's proposal to raise the smoking purchase age from 18 to 21 nationally is not being greeted enthusiastically by public health advocates. They believe that it will replace efforts to ban flavored tobacco products and raise taxes in states, and they believe that the bigger issue with teen smoking is not the age but rather the products. Walk near a high school these days and you'll see plenty of kids under 18/21 vaping. Someone is already buying it for them or retailers are violating law by selling directly to them.
Of course, California already has increased the age to 21, so it likely won't take the wind out of the sails of the efforts to ban flavored tobacco, such as menthol and flavored vaping. SB 38 (Hill) is on the Senate Appropriations suspense file. With Hill and chair Anthony Portantino (D-La Cañada-Flintridge) as a co-author, one would expect it makes it off Suspense.
It is unclear if Senator McConnell will try to preempt state bans on flavored products, although that would likely not be sustained as states are generally allowed to have laws that conflict with federal law if it provides greater consumer protection. Under preemption, states just can't have lesser protections for their residents than that provided under federal law.
Two flavored tobacco bans were introduced this year, the aforementioned SB 38 (Hill) and AB 739 (McCarty). Both authors were co-authors on the respective bills, but AB 739 was double-referred to Assembly Health and Assembly Governmental Organization. SB 38 was only referred to Health and not G.O.
Assembly G.O. is chaired by Adam Gray (D-Merced). Gray's "Valley Solutions Ballot Measure Committee" received $25,000 from Juul Labs last year, plus another $8,800 to his candidate committee. Juul is the leading seller of vaping devices. All in the game, yo'.
Assuming SB 38 gets out of the Senate, it'll be an interesting test of Assembly Rules as to whether it is double-referred to Gray's G.O. committee.
CENSUS: In the LAT, Sarah Parvini writes about the unique threats of an undercount in Los Angeles County. Parvini writes:
"The county, officials say, will be the nation’s hardest to tally because of its high concentrations of renters and homeless people, as well as immigrant communities that may not participate, because of language barriers or because they fear reprisal from the federal government — especially if a citizenship question is added to the form.
Many believe that appears likely. Last week, the Supreme Court’s conservative majority seemed ready to uphold the Trump administration’s plan to add the question. The court’s decision is expected in June.
Already, census workers, community organizations and local politicians have started outreach efforts to ensure an accurate tally in next year’s count. At stake nationally are nearly $800 billion in federal tax dollars, political redistricting and the reapportionment of seats that each state is allocated in the U.S. House of Representatives.
In Los Angeles, home to the largest hard-to-count population in the nation, ensuring participation is particularly important."
FROM THE DESK OF THE DEAN: The LAT's George Skelton writes that Kamala Harris is following a familiar pattern of being cagey on policy specifics and looks at the recent dust-up over felons voting as an example.
BETO: Yesterday, Beto O'Rourke had a (apparently strong from Instagram photos/videos) town-hall style rally in San Francisco, today he is visiting Yosemite and in Modesto, and tomorrow he is in San Diego.
SACTOWN: In the Bee, Mila Jacobs looks at the concepts being explored for the redesign of Capitol Mall.
HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE: This story in the NYT about the raisin industry around Fresno was really fascinating. Actually, I heard the story to the Twittervine, as it was quite a buzz yesterday.
#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Evan Michael Minton, Andre Quintero, and Tom White!
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