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E-276 - Saturday, June 1, 2019
RECENT AURAL PLEASURE:
Happy Saturday! We'll be breaking 90 today in SacTown and approaching 100 mid-week.
The California Democratic Party convention is underway with the parade of 14 presidential candidates beginning. The vote for chair will take place from 4-7 today with a runoff if necessary from 8-10 tomorrow. Here's the livestream, agenda, and speaking lineup.
This morning was Harris, Booker, O'Rourke, and Warren. This afternoon is Gillibrand, Gabbard, Buttigieg, Swalwell, Klobuchar, Hickenlooper, and Inslee. Tomorrow morning starting at 10 is Sanders, Castro, and Delaney. Each candidate will have around 5 minutes.
Joe Biden is making a smart move by avoiding a ballroom that has had hecklers before (ask Dianne Feinstein) and which now is livestreamed. Biden will never be forgiven by activists for carrying the 1994 crime bill and the California Nurses Association likely will be rallying the troops again for single-payer health care. Obviously, Biden was on board with the Affordable Care Act, President Obama's biggest legislative victory.
Meanwhile, a big split is being demonstrated as the State Building and Construction Trades shows its opposition to the Green New Deal supported by environmental activists. Labor fears loss of jobs in the biggest environmental/labor conflict in a long time.
Acting chair Alex Rooker announced that Biden called her on Wednesday to apologize for missing convention. Biden is at the Pride dinner sponsored by the Human Rights Campaign in Columbus, Ohio.
Politico's Carla Marinucci previews the convention and gets a quote about Biden's absence. "'He's leading in the polls, he's well known in California. He's been on the statewide ballot twice with Barack Obama — you can’t really have a better position,' says Democratic consultant Rose Kapolczynski. 'It's not really going to hurt him, not being part of this cattle call.'"
Jeremy B. White looks at the divides within the party.
Governor Gavin Newsom gave the welcome "Welcome to this wacky and wonderful city" and joked that someone knew of him as mayor, but then asked what he is up to these days.
In a speech heavily tilted to the left, he also acknowledged that he is the undercard the the convention hall packed with supporters of the twenty-four presidential candidates. After last night's shooting in Virginia Beach, he renewed calls for "common sense" gun legislation and also touted his death penalty moratorium.
"There's only one blue ribbon state...for the American Dream..."
Newsom left stage to California Love. There was then a video with highlights of Nancy Pelosi. The "Voice of God" announced her simply as "a woman who needs no introduction."
Pelosi was met with chants of "impeach" and to a mixed crowd. Billionaire venture capitalist Tom Steyer is speaking this afternoon and will certainly be in the impeachment camp.
Congresswoman Katie Hill, who represents my sister, is clearly a star among convention-goers. There were audible cheers when Pelosi named her and she got the role of introduction for Secretary of State Alex Padilla. A video was then shown on the Census immigration question, something previous speaker Xavier Becerra also brought up.
If you wondered where Eleni was on the presidential race, she wore a Kamala shirt for her speech.
Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara I stand before you as a "proud gay Mexican-American constitutional officer...I am Trump's worst nightmare." He notes his subpoena power. To folks from other states, Lara says "California is coming to your neighborhood." His t-shirt under a sports coat stated "The first Pride was a riot."
I never realized that the Stonewall riot was a week after Judy Garland's death. I know I have written here before that my very first class at UC Davis was gay politics and it was a new class. It was taught by Gary Segura who is now Dean of the Luskin School of Public Affairs at UCLA. It was an amazing class with many people still active in politics. I took it because it was far from my north Orange County upbringing, and several other enrollees were looking for something different from what they grew up with. Segura started by explaining why he was teaching the class--"I'm as queer as a three-dollar bill." According to Gary, it was the first time he came out to a class.
He's an amazing political scientist with a focus on Latino and gay politics. While I am neither, he's what I needed as a new transfer to UCD. I needed to expand my world beyond what I knew. Of course, I knew sick kids like I was. But, my world vision was opened by Gary. Another Gary--Gary Goodpaster--further opened my eyes in law school and I was delighted to be his research assistant in Constitutional Law.
That's it until 1:30 pm with Elizabeth Warren as the final morning speaker.
HORSEPLAY: Five days before the owner of the Santa Anita race track testified before a joint informational hearing of the Governmental Organization committees of both houses on race track safety following 26 horse deaths at the Arcadia track since December 26, the track sent $13,500 to Assembly Governmental Organization Committee chair Adam Gray. The check was received on May 17 and reported yesterday, ten business days. Okay, if you're counting, that's eleven business days if the date of receipt is considered. I am not alleging a violation and I got lost when trying to find the rules on the FPPC web site.
My elections law class with Floyd Feeney was all federal and I don't think it's all that relevant anymore. Buckley v. Valeo was the law of the land then and now it's Citizens United.
Of course, the state limit to candidates for 2020 is $9,400, so the money was put in Gray's "ballot measure" account called "Valley Solutions" and not his candidate account. As I've written before, the committee generally funds Gray's political operation of consultants. As long as it is reasonably connected to a possibly ballot measure, it's allowed. The committee's contributions shows the influence of the chair of Governmental Organization and why it has always been a continues to be the "juice" committee.
PAYDAY LOANS PAYDAY: A week after the Assembly passed a bill to cap the interest rate for short-term consumer loans with a surprising 60 "aye" votes, Community Loans of America spread $26,000 among twelve members of the State Senate. The company is a back-end lender for franchised storefronts, sort of like the insurance companies who back bail bonds.
Here's who got checks:
FRIENDS: Facebook Inc. gave both Republicans Brian Dahle and Kevin Kiley $4,700 (max) for the SD01 June 4 runoff.
SB 50 (Wiener) AFTERMATH: For Voice of San Diego, Sara Libby looks at the battle over the Wikipedia page of Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins, which has had various iterations of Atkins's role in the death (for now) of the housing density legislation.
You have to love the livestream, which shows the countdown clock for speakers. With all the speakers, that's quite welcomed. Right now, Senate President Pro Tempore Toni Atkins is speaking. She can have another ten minutes.
TRADE WAR: For the LAT, Samantha Masunaga and Margot Roosevelt report on the impacts on California of the threatened trade war with Mexico.
"The impact could be felt from the produce aisle to the car dealership and beyond, especially in California, the nation’s most populous state, with major ports of entry, by land and sea, for Mexican goods.
'Mexico is one of the largest trading partners of California,' said Jerry Nickelsburg, director of the UCLA Anderson Forecast. 'Our two economies are highly integrated.'
Trump said a 5% tariff would be levied on all Mexican goods coming into the U.S. starting June 10 'until Mexico substantially stops the illegal inflow of aliens coming through its territory.' Those tariffs would increase to 10% on July 1 and could potentially go as high as 25% by October, he said."
PRESIDENTIAL POLITICS and MUNI MATTERS AFTER THE JUMP...
LA-LA LAND: In the Times, Richard Winton reports that a Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy has been ordered to stand trial for voluntary manslaughter charges in the first use-of-force trial in the county since 2000. Winton writes "More than 1,500 shootings by officers have occurred since then without charges. . . After a hearing that stretched over three days, Superior Court Judge Michael E. Pastor on Friday rejected a motion by [deputy Luke] Liu's attorney to dismiss the manslaughter charge and a special allegation of intentionally discharging a firearm, which caused death."
LA-LA LAND 2: Steve Lopez writes "The city of Los Angeles has become a giant trash receptacle. It used to be that illegal dumpers were a little more discreet, tossing their refuse in fields and gullies and remote outposts."
BAGHDAD BY THE BAY: In the Chron, Evan Sernoffsky reports that the San Francisco Police Department obtained a warrant to tap journalist Bryan Carmody's phone two months before his home and office were raided in the investigation who leaked the police report of the death of public defender Jeff Adachi.
PRESIDENTIAL POLITICS: The Bee's Marcos Bretón looks at why Senator Kamala Harris is not carrying significant momentum and is just another candidate in the pack at the state party's convention. In particular, Bretón calls out Harris for not being more vocal about police shootings when she was attorney general.
The Bernie Sanders campaign has tapped former San Francisco supervisor Jane Kim as its California director.
CAKEDAY after the jump...
#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Justin McCarthy and Shannan Velayas!
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