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  • SD11 (San Francisco): added businessman Richard Greenberg (R) - safe D - challenge to Scott Wiener (D)

Well, hello there. First off, thank you to those who have responded to my plea for Premium subscriptions. I know the number one benefit is election analysis and this is the off-year, but the seven-day-a-week work continues. I'm working on analysis on big races next year (AD25 right now), and a Premium subscription now will get you through the March 3 primary until June 1.

Anyway, if you didn't see yesterday's message, only 8% of email readers (even less when website is included) are Premium members, and The Nooner is simply not sustainable under the current level. I hope you can join, whether it be for one month, monthly, or with an annual subscription.

There is no Taco Tuesday at the cafeteria at the Sac County Courthouse, or really anything that is not pre-packaged. I brought my lunch yesterday but today may have to venture out to find some goodness enclosed in tortillas. 

Fortunately, there's light at the end of the tunnel of this jury trial. We're back at it at 9am this morning and while it's fascinating, I am looking forward to returning to my regularly irregular schedule.

If you were interested in those New Kids on the Block et al. tickets for next Thursday at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, I had the wrong link for KimChi Nguyen yesterday. It should be correct today. The Golden 1 site notes that NKOTB starts the show so don't expect that Naughty by Nature will be getting down with NPP to warm up. So, legislative leaders, you real need to push it next Thursday to let the Gen Xers and Gen Yers get up L Street in their best pre-grunge attire.

Of course, after looking up O.P.P., the next song that played on YouTube was Bring the Noise by Public Enemy. I'm sure I've told the story here before but there are a couple thousand more Nooner readers since I did. Anyway, of the hundreds of flights I took while advocating for community colleges, the most memorable was a Friday night "Stripper Shuttle" (BUR->LAX) flight after a conference to meet friends for weekend fun that did not involve nudity.

Anyway, I was in the bulkhead aisle seat, because when going to Vegas, of course you want to be the first off, doncha? Anyway, the middle seat stayed empty and the last guy to get on the flight had a clock around his neck. Ha!, I thought, a Flava Flav impersonator going to entertain people in Vegas. However, the flight attendants knew he was the real deal and, before he assumed the seat next to me, the flight attendants asked him to give the passengers a rhyme. He did so with a mix and the plane was shortly singing Don't Believe the Hype.

I did what I normally do with passengers next to me early in the flight--leave them alone. He, however engaged me shortly into the air and the conversation was worth it. This was right after the Flava of Love dating show. I asked "Are you going to do a second season?" He responded, "No, the network wants to but my baby mama wasn't crazy about it."

We left together, chatting and using his knowledge of McCarran (he has a house there) to fast track around the people-mover before he left to a car and I headed to baggage claim. I hated most of the travel in my job that truly burned me out, but that night on the Stripper Shuttle next to a clock-adorned guy with white-rimmed sunglasses at night just might have made it all worth it.

Fight the power.

E-CIGS/VAPE AND CANNABIS: Juul is amping up its efforts against an ordinance that would block all e-cigs in San Francisco and with SB 38 (ban on flavored tobacco) moving through the Legislature (already banned in SF and several cities). The company is also engaging in a major advertising campaign as a company helping tobacco cigarette smokers quit. 

Of course, you can buy just the USB rechargeble device on Juul's web site and then find Juul-compatible pods on at licensed retailers.

I am working on connecting the dots on how prevalently e-cigs are illegally being used by those under 21 for ingesting cannabis. Of course, you have to be 21 to buy at a cannabis retailer and I trust they are strong on age verification, at least stronger than many traditional corner stores. Then again, kids have always found adults to buy for them.

As I've written here, all the "public talk" including committee analyses is about "flavored tobacco," but I have gathered a lot of anecdotal evidence that the devices are regularly used for ingesting cannabis and it's a problem on high school campuses. I have been told that the kids prefer the non-combustion devices because they can be quickly hidden.

I voted for Prop. 64, but I also hate charades and like to discover the real issue. That's my only real interest in this. I welcome materials or meetings from both sides to really understand the issue and I'm sure Gibran would welcome guests for a podcast on the topic as SB 38 likely heads to the Assembly.

By the way, if you like cooking shows and haven't seen "Bong Appetit" on Viceland, you might enjoy this season's cookoff. It's like "Chopped" with a cannabis infusion, and the jerk host is gone and has been replaced by B-Real from Cypress Hill.

SANTA ANITA: Another horse was euthanized at Santa Anita racetrack, making 25 since December 26. On Twitter, Paul Mitchell suggests a velodrome for the site. The LAT's John Cherwa reports that the jockey pulled up on the horse on the backstretch on Sunday after which Spectacular Horse was vanned to the barn and after examination for a pelvis injury was euthanized yesterday.

The timing of the death of the gelding after the horse's first start came two days before a joint legislative hearing on equine and human safety in California's horce racing industry. Of course, the informational hearing is before the Governmental Organization committees of both houses, which have been well greased to protect the industry. As of 6am this morning, neither had posted anything about who will be presenting, but only "SUBJECT: Overview of Equine and Human Safety and Welfare Policies and Procedures within California's Horse Racing Industry." 

The committees are out of the gates Wednesday in Room 4202 at 3pm or upon adjournment of sessions. 

The committees can rest assured that Santa Anita is tackling this issue head on, right from its home page:

Santa Anita home page

Take your pick--read up on horse safety or buy tickets for live racing Friday-Monday. Of course, if you don't want to watch the joint GO committee hearing, Santa Anita has free parking and admission on Wednesday for simulcast racing. Or, you can do both at the same time! 

I recognize the historic tradition of horse racing in America and California and the big industry--from track operators to owners and trainers to labor--behind it. I also know how to call out hypocrisy. Yesterday, the State Senate voted 34-0 to ban the use of animals in circuses. Oh, by animals, that means any animal other than a domestic dog, domestic cat, or horse." 

So, it's okay to use Grumpy Cat if we hadn't just lost the national treasure. If Ronnie and Bonzo were still alive, they couldn't appear under a big top, but Lassie, Mr. Ed or Trigger could? Explain that to Alf.

I don't mean to call out my friends who voted in favor of SB 313 yesterday, but let's call a spade a spade. Politics is the art of the possible, but it sucks with the Santa Anita headlines, but I guess we can all wear the same peripheral blinders they'll be putting on the horses racing in Arcadia at Santa Anita this weekend for tradition and a chance to bet on the ponies. 

For newcomers, you might assume that I'm a radical animal rights activist, but that would be wrong. I grew up hunting and fishing, and enjoy an omnivore diet (literally eating Riverdog Farm sugar free bacon as I type with greasy fingers). I'm just doing my job in this space of looking at the political and policy landscape and recognize that we're not always consistent. 


MUNI MATTERS and #CAKEDAY after the jump...

Probolsky Research 


FRESNO: Republican mayor Lee Brand will not seek re-election to Fresno next year to the non-partisan office. Democrat Andrew Janz, who ran against Congressman Devin Nunes in 2018, has already announced that he was running for the top muni office in California's fifth largest city. Hillary Clinton soundly defeated Donald Trump in the city in 2016, while Brand defeated former assemblyman Henry Perea by 2.66%. While it's unclear which Republicans will run, expect another tight race in the city.

LA-LA LAND: In the LAT, Howard Blume writes that after Eric Garcetti's visit to Jerusalem last week with the U.S. Conference of Mayors where he said that he supports the relocation of the U.S. embassy to the city, religious groups are calling on the Los Angeles mayor to retract his statement. 

COM-I-NON: Following the scuffle between two councilmembers Friday night at a conference in Indian Wells, the California Contract Cities Association has suspended the membership of the City of Commerce, the small town just south of East Los Angeles.


#CAKEDAY after the jump...



#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Robert Longer and Tracie Stafford!



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.



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