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¡Feliz Cinco de Mayo! In addition to the normal Sunday farmers market and street food scene, we have Fiesta en la Calle in Southside Park. Last night was great--fish and other tacos and a mangonada and great music. The celebration of the victory of the Mexican Army over the French in the Battle of Puebla continues from 12-6 today with free entrance, food trucks, music, ballet folklorico, and classic car show. Nom nom! 

Let me translate--farmers market, street tacos, music, and dance all around me--so, I'll probably be short today before another week chock full of cray-cray. 

Yesterday, I added Laurel Rosenhall's second episode of the Force of Law podcast to the list of recent pods. She's doing some great work on the police use-of-force debate for CALmatters. Her latest episode looks at the split on the two police use-of-force bills--SB 230 and AB 392. Of course, the bills have now been, uh, handcuffed together--or at least SB 230 has been locked to AB 392. 


The "Ballot Measure" committee loophole after the jump...



Pass SB 285

Hungry and frustrated, 4 out of 5 eligible seniors can’t access food assistance programs — leaving California with the lowest senior CalFresh enrollment rate in the nation.

How did we get here? Too much confusing paperwork. Too many physical hurdles. And a bureaucracy that leaves seniors behind.

State Senate Bill 285 (Wiener) is a low-cost solution that would streamline the application process and ensure no senior goes hungry, while also infusing our economy with up to $1.8 billion in federal funding. Let’s pass SB 285.


MOTHER'S MILK: In the LAT, John Myers writes that lawmakers have once again killed an attempt to close the "ballot measure" committee loophole. 

"'It is time to close the loophole, so that candidates and elected officials cannot use money intended for promoting or opposing ballot measures to instead promote themselves and their campaigns,' state Sen. Patricia Bates (R-Laguna Niguel) told a Senate committee last month.

But it's not going to change anytime soon, as Bates learned when the panel killed her Senate Bill 401 on a bipartisan vote. It was the fifth attempt since 2004 to stop what observers say is a campaign money maneuver that California voters unknowingly blessed through a ballot proposition in 2000."

Actually, I believe SB 401 didn't go far enough if your ultimate goal is complete transparency of dollars of influence. As you know, I've looked at how "ballot measure" committees are used to support political and fundraising oppositions of the candidate with no support or opposition of a specific ballot measure. This is legal, so long as the activities could result in a ballot measure. Perhaps unfairly, I regularly cite the "Valley Solutions" ballot measure committee of Assemblyman Adam Gray, who chairs the Assembly Governmental Organization committee known to be the biggest "juice" committee since it oversees the "sin" issues. Here are the 2017-18 receipts and expenditures of Valley Solutions. Of course, Gray is not the only one.

Let's see who else our magic mirror finds with active ballot measure committees. I don't have time to dive in to each one today and some of these may be Delta smelt, while others may be gray whales. I will use this list to peruse tonight. 

If you're looking at them, remember that most will have little or no activity for the current 2019-2020 legislative session. To understand what the cash on hand is, look for the year-end 2018 report which, while filed in January 2019, appears under "Historical" for 2017-2018. By clicking "Historical" it will automatically show you the ending balance as of 12/31/2018, and you can then click "Contributions Received" and "Expenditures Made" to understand the committee's activity.

In most cases, we're not talking big balances, but you might find some gems of interest contributions that exceed candidate limits ($8,800 for 2018 cycle, $9,400 for 2020). I most cases, any contributions to candidate-controlled "ballot measure" committees come after an contributor has maxed out to a candidate account.

From a quick glance, the largest contributions are to Atkins, Dodd, Gray, and Rendon, which comes as no surprise. 

Former Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez has one too with $399,575 in it. Of course, so does Jerry Brown. He has amalgamated accounts totaling around $15 million in the new "Committee for California," which he primarily plans to use to defend criminal justice reforms of his terms as governor. 


#CAKEDAY after the jump...


Probolsky Research 


#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Larry Levine!




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Barbara, Victoria & Javier Mother's Day Donation Drive
Announcing the Barbara, Victoria & Javier Mother's Day Donation Drive presented by Assemblymember McCarty & Vice Mayor Guerra in partnership with the Legislative Women’s Caucus benefitting Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services.

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