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SacTown Talks by The Nooner 



  • Taxing matters
  • SD01 (Northeast Cal.) - follow the money
  • CA50 (East San Diego County)
  • Recycling "deposits"
  • Muni Matters
    • Baghdad by the Bay
    • SacTown Smackdown
  • Cakeday

Good morning! We'll get in and out quickly at this midpoint of a three-day weekend for most you. For those who work in or around the Capitol, we have a few crazy days beginning Tuesday. While the "house of origin" deadline is Friday, both houses are expected to wrap by Thursday and Democrats don their dancing (and fighting) shoes and head to San Francisco for the state party's annual convention that starts Friday.

CADEM: Some supporters of California Democratic Party acting chair Alex Rooker note that my excerpt yesterday of the quote from political consultant Garry South suggesting that the first order of business for the "permanent" chair who will be elected next weekend at convention will be to "clean house." 

Some took that as suggesting Rooker hasn't done anything since Eric Bauman stepped down. Rather, she actually terminated several employees deemed to be Eric's inner circle and shut the Los Angeles office. Some of those terminations are in court as part of three lawsuits against the party, so I don't want to comment on it and have I myself don't want to write in any way that affects pending litigation. Nevertheless, it is important to recognize Rooker has not been an idle chair. 

I know the players and don't think Garry was speaking ill of Rooker. What I do agree with on that quote is that the incoming chair will need to be out-front talking up the party of changes already made and further proposals that come out of the race for chair.

Alex admirably didn't run for the permanent chair position but also should not sing about changes as phrases such as "cleaning house" could impose additional liability if coming from the "employer," which is the party and it's top officer (which is an elected and paid position, not just akin to a chair board of directors). That's life with pending litigation, particularly related to employment law. Generally, employers are advised to say nothing publicly that could become part of the record.

TAXING MATTERS: In his Sunday column, John Myers look at the two taxes for education that could end on the November 2020 ballot. As I wrote on Thursday, one has already qualified that is supported by the California Federation of Teachers and social justice groups. That's the already-qualified "split roll" property tax to remove industrial and non-residential, non-agricultural commercial property from the inflationary protections of Proposition 13. The other is the conceptual one tested by the California School Boards Association and the Association of California School Administrators for an income tax hike for high income earners and corporate profits.

FOLLOW THE MONEY: SD01 (Northeast Cal.): I missed this one yesterday, but on Friday the independent expenditure committee supporting Brian Dahle in the June 4 special election received $75,000 from another committee, "Building and Protecting A Strong California, a Coalition of Firefighters, Building Trades, Realtors, Correctional Officers Organizations and Energy Providers." One of the largest donors to that committee last year was Pacific Gas & Electric, all before the . deadly and devastating Camp Fire. PG&E's political contributions has ceased since the federal bankruptcy judge currently hold the bankrupt company's wallet, but have no doubt that the influence lingers. There were plenty of other big donors (CA Assn't of Relators, CCPOA, Chevron, Sempra, Edison Int'l, CA Prof. Firefighters, Building and Construction Trades), so the love given to the Dahle independent expenditure can be attributed all around.

CD50 (East San Diego County): In the SDUT, Greg Moran reports that Congressman Duncan Hunter, Jr. and former congressman Duncan Hunter, Sr. held a town hall meeting sponsored by the American Liberty Forum of Ramona yesterday on the topic of border security. The sponsoring organization "represents citizens committed to restoring Constitutional government at the Local, State and Federal levels."

Hunter, Jr. is scheduled to experience the Constitutional government of Article III courts in September as the campaign finance fraud trial of the congressman and his wife hits the courtroom.

And if things couldn't get stranger in the Might 50th, Carla Marinucci tweets about another wild claim.

RECYCLING "DEPOSITS": For the Press-Enterprise, Jennifer Iyer writes that, like in many areas across the state, it's increasingly difficult to find places to recover upon return the 5 cent deposits ("CRV") paid when purchasing bottles and cans. I don't know the SacTown situation, but my Hint/Hint Fizz water and occasional Virgil's Cream Soda (when I'm cheating) bottles go in my recycling bin and are regularly still fetched by elderly "scavengers." While technically against city ordinance, I tell them to go for it. Someone should get back those CRVs even if I don't know where they do.

MUNI MATTERS and CAKEDAY after the jump...

Probolsky Research 


BAGHDAD BY THE BAY: Well, what did you expect? Some San Francisco supervisors call on the police to figure out who leaked the police report of public defender Jeff Adachi's February death to freelance journalist Bryan Carmody's leading to a search warrant for Carmody's home and office and the seizure of his computers and other equipment on May 10. Allies of Adachi thought that the leak was intended to provide a character assassination as Carmody sold the report to area news station, a common practice of "stringers" like Carmody. The report showed that Adachi was in a rented apartment, a woman other than his wife called in the 9-1-1 call and apparently left. There was alcohol and cannabis edibles in the room but mischief was not suspected.

After media organizations attacked the search, other supervisors attacked the police for an alleged unlawful search.

Then, District Attorney George Gascón said that the search was wrong and that police shouldn't have used a single judge to secure the warrant, but rather a Special Master and the media and others joined the cause of Carmody's First Amendment rights. Rank-and-file police weren't happy and, unlike in many other places, police and the district attorney's office don't always see eye-to-eye after DA investigations in to use of force and corruption.

So, when police chief Bill Scott joined those who publicly said that the search was in error, the rank-and-file weren't too happy. They are now calling for Scott's head, saying that Scott had ordered the investigation that led to the warrant and search of Carmody and is passing the buck.

A series of events and political positioning that are quintessentially San Francisco...

If you are a "noob" as the kids say and wondering where the "Baghdad by the Bay" moniker originates, it was coined by the late great columnist Herb Caen and the name of one of his books of that name. Most people my age and younger think of Baghdad as the destination H.W. Bush didn't pursue in the Iraq War, but the phrase was coined by Caen in the 1940s before the control of the country by the Ba'ath Party era that concluded (sort of) with Saddam Hussein. Caen's usage was a compliment as a multicultural, exotic cultural center. 

Caen's legacy will never be forgotten.

SACTOWN SMACKDOWN: For CALmatters, Dan Walters writes about funding fungibility in politics and applies it to the debate among the Sacramento City Council and Mayor Darrell Steinberg over how to spend the proceeds of the 0.5% sales tax hike approved by city voters last November. Walters writes:

"'If we keep the second half-cent (of new Measure U revenue) in the general fund, every penny will go to pension and salaries,' Steinberg said. 'All of the money will be gone, and so will the increased public safety that we promised in this budget.' However, the mayor also acknowledged that if voters had been told that the extra taxes would be needed for pensions, they would not have approved them.

Steinberg wants to pledge the extra revenue to repay a proposed $400 million community improvement bond, but that would mean it would not be available as CalPERS demands for higher pension payments, thus requiring cuts in other city services to make up the shortfall.

That's fungibility. There is no free lunch, despite politicians' efforts to persuade voters otherwise."

For those outside of Sacramento, this is a hot issue pitting frequent allies against each other and seemingly everybody who follows the news, particularly downtown small business owners, has an opinion.

#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Jeff Freitas, Heather Greven, Tommy Ross, and Andrew Sturmfels!



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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