E-242 - Friday, July 5, 2019
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RECENT AURAL PLEASURE:
IN TODAY'S NOONER:
Well, Noonerific hello there. I hope you had a great Fourth of July. Malia Obama turned 21 yesterday. Whoa!
The good news is that, with warm weather but calm winds, there appear to be no major wildfires associated with fireworks triggering CAL FIRE's assistance, although as Contra Costa Fire reports, local firefighters kept plenty busy last night with smaller, fireworks-caused fires.
Based on sirens, I know that downtown Sacramento firefighters were certainly busy during the time I returned from dinner around 9:30 for at least a couple of hours. Only one fire was significant enough for Sac Fire to tweet, which was a house fire reported at 12:46am.
After the work-week island that was yesterday, legislators are back today with the big issue being the housing trailer bill.
Yeah, there's probably something to the thought that today's floor session business could have taken place Wednesday, but that would be no fun and would have forfeited $768 in tax free per diem ($192/day). So, throw in around $500 roundtrip on Southwest from SoCal to Sac, and you can imagine many legislators with those little cartoon thought bubbles with $1,268 floating above their heads. They are playing the rules of the game as it has been played for a long time.
The Senate had a quick session this morning with much of the time between 9:30-11:05 spent in the respective party caucuses.
The Senate Energy, Utilities, and Communications Committee was slated to hear AB 1054 (Holden, Burke, and Mayes) today, which is the gut-and-amend bill now carrying the ideas set forth by Governor Newsom's strike force on wildfires utility borrowing, debt repayment/rate recovery, and fire prevention. However, the hearing was postponed until Monday without explanation. No committee analysis of the bill on the bill is yet available.
WILDFIRES AND UTILITIES: In the Bee, Candice Wang reports that PG&E is conducting daily air patrols to spot wildfires sooner and prevent their spread. Wang writes:
"The patrols began June 1 and will continue through Oct. 31 or later, depending on conditions. Seven fixed-wing planes will fly daily routes from late afternoon into dusk, which is when most wildfires spark, according to the utility.
This is the sixth year for these patrols, which aid the U.S. Forest Service, Cal Fire and local fire departments with rapid fire detection and response. The patrols first began in 2014, when then-Gov. Jerry Brown issued an emergency drought declaration."
WITH DIEP APOLOGIES: Priscilla Vega writes for the Times that Assemblyman Tyler Diep (R-Westminster) has apologized to the Jewish community for mailers in his election last year following a meeting he held last week with rabbis and other leaders.
“I want to take this opportunity to publicly share my sincere apology to anyone in the Jewish community who was offended by my campaign during the 2018 election,” Diep said in an emailed statement Tuesday. “There is no place for anti-Semitism in our society, and while my campaign had no intention of doing so, we failed to recognize the sensitivity of the problem. I now have a greater understanding for the seriousness of anti-Semitic sentiments.”
GUNS: Along with republishing my Tuesday item (with permission) looking at what the federal courts might do with the challenge to the new California limiting the purchase of long guns to adults age 21+, Joel Fox looks at the arguments of plaintiffs against the law and the politics.
GRAND OLD FLAG: Joe Mathews writes that Governor Newsom shouldn't have gotten involved in the controversy of Kaepernick, Trump, and Nike. On Tuesday, Gavin tweeted after Arizona governor Doug Ducey tweeted and 8-part series stating that he had ordered the withdrawal of all state tax incentives for Nike to locate in The Grand Canyon State. This was after pulled a special edition featuring the Betsy Ross American flag amidst criticism by Kaepernick.
Newsom tweeted in response to Ducey's tweets:
"Hey, @Nike — we’re just a quick jaunt over the border...
Thank you for doing the right thing. CA is open for business and welcomes those that represent the best of our American values."
SWALWELL: Politico's Zach Montellaro writes that the scramble is on to capture the 20th debating spot for the July 30-31 Democratic presidential debate hosted by CNN in Detroit.
"Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) tried to make a splash in June, urging former Vice President Joe Biden to “pass the torch” to younger Democrats — but the attack had little impact, and Swalwell is now in danger of missing the next round of debates in July and being replaced by Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, who missed out on the June debates."
It's the same qualification thresholds as last week's debate requiring 65,000 individual donors or a "top" showing in one of three identified national polls to round out the 20 after the donor-qualified candidate spots are filled out.
EDISON $$$: On Tuesday, the California Republican Party reported another $100,000 from Edison International, the parent of Southern California Edison. That brings the state GOP into parity with the California Democratic Party, with the two majors each collecting $300,000 from the investor-owned utility this year. Is it unusual this year and with the wildfire utility bill in a rush for approval? You can decide with the latest and also my writing Monday on the topic. Hint, we won't know for awhile this year.
FEEL THE BERN: The "Feel the Bern" state "scam PAC" slate committee raised only $1,750 in the first six months a year, but continued paying consultant Renee Nahum $2,500/month in professional fees. That's a nasty bern being felt by donors. Anybody have some penicillin?
MUNI MATTERS AND CAKEDAY after the jump...
RIDGECREST EARTHQUAKE: The team at the LA Times covers yesterday's magnitude 6.4 earthquake in the Searles Valley, which led to lots of localized damage and small fires but no serious injuries. The largest aftershock this far was a 5.4 magnitude at 4:07 PDT this morning.
While the templor made national news, three people went missing fifty miles to the west on the Kern River yesterday, one of whom was found dead while the other two are still missing.
EL CENTRO: For NPR, Jim Zarolli looks at the unemployment situation in the El Centro Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is the worst in the nation and nothing new. Zarolli reports:
"While the United States is enjoying the healthiest job market in half a century, the metropolitan El Centro area has what the U.S. Labor Department says is an unemployment rate of 16.2%, the highest in the nation. By comparison, the rate for the country as a whole is 3.6%."
This morning's national jobs reports was strong with 220,000 payroll non-farm jobs added, although the unemployment ticked up a notch to 3.7% as more people jumped back into the workforce.
CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Mike Altschule, Randall Echevarria, and Madhavi Kennedy!
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