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E-231 - Thursday, July 18, 2019
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RECENT AURAL PLEASURE:
IN TODAY'S NOONER:
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First today, proponents of the referendum to overturn the law to eliminate money bail claim they are not the backers of the new initiative effort to write the right to money bail in the state constitution. The latest effort is signed by attorney Thomas Hiltachk, who also represents the referendum backers. For CapRadio, Ben Adler writes:
"The constitutional amendment’s proponent, Sacramento-based election lawyer Tom Hiltachk, said his client has not authorized him to discuss the measure. The Sacramento political consultant leading the campaign, Tony Russo, did not respond to requests for comment.
The industry must soon decide whether to spend millions of dollars it will cost to gather the nearly 1 million voter signatures necessary to place their constitutional amendment on the November 2020 ballot."
2020 is going to be a very good year for political consultants.
Meanwhile, the California Teachers Association has announced that Executive Director Joe Nuñez is out. Nuñez has been ED for six years and was previously director of governmental relations. Before he joined CTA in 1995, he was a teacher for 20 years.
In a release, CTA writes "The California Teachers Association recognizes the accomplishments and legacy of veteran educator and union advocate Joe Nuñez who has been the CTA Executive Director for the last six years. Nuñez is leaving the association following a vote by the Board of Directors to end his relationship with CTA."
CTA President E. Toby Boyd stated “The Board of Directors will immediately begin the search for the next Executive Director who will lead the association’s staff and work with our leaders to continue to move our union forward."
2020 PRESIDENTIAL CASH: For CalMatters, Ben Christopher looks at where in California President Trump is gathering cash for re-election. "Trump’s 2019 haul puts him ahead of the entire Democratic field, with two exceptions. Sen. Kamala Harris has raised over $7.5 million in her home state since January 1 and Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, has received over $4.8 million in California cash."
"Democrat Brynne Kennedy outraised Republican Rep. Tom McClintock more than two-to-one over the last three months, new fundraising reports show.
But after being outraised by a similar margin in 2018 — and still winning by 8 percent — it’s not clear that McClintock’s sluggish fundraising is a sign of real vulnerability in California’s 4th district, the most Republican congressional district in the state."
I still don't see how Democrats can pick up this seat, where Trump beat H. Clinton by 14.8%.
"Soria’s biggest challenge will be making it through the top-two March primary so she can square off against Costa in November 2020. One Republican has declared his candidacy so far — Kevin Cookingham, a retired educator from Clovis. Democrat Kim Williams, a former State Department employee in the Obama administration, is also in the race."
This district, like CA15, could shape up to be significant referenda of Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Democratic leadership.
USE-OF-FORCE: Also for CalMatters, Laurel Rosenhall has an explainer on where we are at in legislative actions to reduce police use of deadly force, with lots of cool charts.
DUNCAN: In the SDUT, Charles T. Clark reports that embattled congressman Duncan D. Hunter has been told by the United States Marine Corps Trademarking Office to no longer use protected logos and slogans of the branch on any campaign materials. In the recent mailer critiquing non-white Democratic women that some claim is racist, the trademarked slogan "Never Forget, Neve Deny" is used on one side that focuses on opponent Ammar Campa-Najjar's grandfather. On the other side, the Marine Corps trademarked logo is surrounded with the protected slogan "No Better Friend, No Worse Enemy."
SODA WARS: Politico's Angela Hart writes up the latest effort to reduce consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages, which is pushing for an end-of-legislative-year play to enact a statewide excise tax of 2 cents per ounce on such beverages. They also want the reversal of a 2018 law signed by Jerry Brown that bars new local ordinances imposing taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages through 2030. Hart writes "Coalition members include the American Heart Association, the California Medical Association, the California Dental Association and other health advocacy groups that worked to pass Proposition 56 in 2016, which raised tobacco taxes by $2 per pack of cigarettes."
In more good news for political consultants, there could be ballot measures on both sides. Hart writes:
"Their next moves are unclear. Industry representatives declined to discuss whether the soda industry would seek its own 2020 ballot initiative to place a constitutional ban on all new local soda taxes — an idea that has been floating around the Capitol for months.
Morgan Carvajal, a lobbyist with the California Medical Association, said she expects the industry to file its own initiative. She told POLITICO that preemption is "the next logical step" for the industry, fresh off its resounding win in the Capitol."
FROM THE DESK OF THE DEAN: George Skelton writes in the Times that the wildfire prevention and utility stability bill approved by lawmakers and signed by Governor Newsom, while not perfect, is overall a good compromise.
HOUSING: In the Bee, Theresa Clift reports that Sacramento mayor Darrell Steinberg is calling for a statewide right to shelter and a mandate that local governments provide sufficient shelter to house the currently homeless:
“We have sort of tacitly accepted as a society it’s okay for people to live under bridges or on the river bank while we fix the problem,” Steinberg said Wednesday during a Sacramento Bee livestream conversation on homelessness. “We cannot wait for the long-term housing strategy in the state of California to take effect and to get people inside.”
The “right to shelter” mandate would also establish a new legal requirement that homeless people accept shelter that’s available. The mandate could be created by a court action, like in New York, or more likely would be the result of a state bill in the legislature or executive action by Gov. Gavin Newsom, Steinberg said.
LEAD PAINT: The AP's Don Thompson reports the nation's former suppliers of lead paint have agreed to pay some California local governments $305 million for abatement of homes built before 1951. Thompson writes "It’s unclear if the settlement will spark other lead paint lawsuits, he said, citing legal conditions unique to California. The money will go to Alameda, Los Angeles, Monterey, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano and Ventura counties, as well as Oakland, San Diego and San Francisco."
FOOD STAMPS: California is leaving lots of federal food assistance funds on the table, reports Jackie Botts for CalMatters. Botts writes:
"California, a state with the nation’s highest poverty rate, consistently ranks near the bottom when it comes to enrolling low-income people in CalFresh, the state’s name for the federal food stamp program.
That translates to a lot of federal money that California forsakes each year. Low-income Californians would have received an additional $1.8 billion in 2016 in federal funding if CalFresh reached every eligible person, estimates California Food Policy Advocates, a non-profit that promotes greater access to food for low-income people."
POT OVERSIGHT: For the AP, Michael R. Blood writes that the state's Bureau of Cannabis Control is struggling to make hires to fulfill its regulatory and enforcement mission. Blood writes:
"About two-thirds of the 219 staff positions authorized for the Bureau of Cannabis Control remain unfilled, according to an audit by the state Finance Department. A shortage of staff in the enforcement unit is hindering the agency’s ability to conduct investigations.
While the cannabis bureau is in its relative infancy and has established a foundation to oversee the market, “the current status and location of personnel is not sustainable to provide effective and comprehensive oversight of cannabis activities throughout California,” according to the audit, which was released earlier this month."
CAKEDAY after the jump...
#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Congressman TJ Cox, Catherine Hazelton, Eric Jaye, and Anu Natarajan!