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E-229 - Saturday, July 20, 2019
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RECENT AURAL PLEASURE:
IN TODAY'S NOONER:
Happy Saturday! It's going to be beautiful out there today. Check this out: at 1:30 in DC, it's 97° (feels like 110°). In Sacramento at 2pm, it's forecasted to be 84° (feels like 85°).
Get out there and enjoy it while it lasts!
HUNTER...HUNTING FOR A WAY OUT: In the SDUT, Jeff McDonald reports that yesterday attorneys for embattled Congressman Duncan Hunter filed notice that they intend to appeal the ruling of federal district court judge Thomas J. Whelan in which he denied the dismissal motion of Hunter's attorneys on the grounds the investigation breached the "Speech or Debate" Clause of Article I, Section 6 of the United States Constitution.
I'm sorry sir, but those straws for which you are grasping are no longer served here.
In United States v. Brewster (408 U.S. 501, 512) the Court held:
"Johnson [383 U.S. 169 (1966)] thus stand as a unanimous holding that a Member of Congress may be prosecuted under a criminal statute provided that the Government's case does not rely on legislative acts or the motivation for legislative acts. A legislative act has consistently been defined as an act generally done in Congress in relation to the business before it. In sum, the Speech or Debate Clause prohibits inquiry only into those things generally said or done in the House or the Senate in the performance of official duties and into the motivation for those acts."
I don't think our Founders were thinking of using campaign funds to travel via Uber from a mistress' place to your office, rent a room at the Liaison Capitol Hill Hotel, or having an affair with a staff member when writing Article I. Being an elected member of Congress does not make every act a "legislative act."
Yes, there are whips and page kids in the Capitol, but that's for official business and not the extracurricular stuff.
Trip to Italy over Thanksgiving unjustified because a last minute request to visit a Naval base was unsuccessful? Nope.
The U.S. Attorney's office likely can pass the response brief to Hunter's attorneys' motion to a group of kindergartners with crayons. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals will consider the motion with the trial scheduled to start in San Diego on September 10.
IN THE GREEN: The Department of Finance yesterday released it's monthly budget and economic update and the news is good. From the 2018-19 budget projections updated with the budget's May Revision, year-end revenues outpaced projections already increased in May by $1.041 billion.
GLAD WE'VE GOT THAT GREEN: John Myers reports for the Times that, following the refusal of the Supreme Court of California to reverse lower court rulings that Jerry Brown's Administration (and Legislature) inappropriately used settlement funds from banks over wrongful mortgage practices to pay off housing bonds and free up General Fund money, the Gavin Newsom Administration is transferring $331 million to a special fund to provide more direct assistance.
CALIFORNIA ECONOMY: In yesterday's state release of unemployment data, the EDD reports that unemployment remains at 4.2% and that 42,000 non-farm payroll jobs were added in the month of June.
The largest growth in jobs was found in the construction (+11,900), education and health services (+8,200), and professional and business services (+8,000) sectors. On the losing end were only mining and logging (-200) and financial services (-200).
On the non-seasonally adjust rates by county, those with the lowest unemployment rate are San Mateo (2.2%), San Francisco (2.3%), and Marin (2.4%). Those with the highest are Imperial (18.7%), Colusa (10.5%), and Tulare (9.1%).
AB 1054: Public utilities: wildfires and employee protection. For the AP, Andrew Oxford writes about a legal challenge to the new bill approved by Governor Newsom on July 12. The plaintiffs argue that the new law shifts the burden too much to consumers trying to stop a rate increase and that the wildfire relief fund created by the bill to cover utility wildfire costs is a gift of public funds.
DEATH PENALTY: In the LAT, Alene Tchekmedyian reports that, with Gavin Newsom's moratorium on executions, defense attorneys are arguing that defendants won't get a fair trial when asked to rule on a capital case. Thus, they argue that trials should be limited to current possible punishment. The Supreme Court of California may decide the issue soon.
KERN COUNTY OIL SPILL: Chevron believes that efforts by a crew to cap a retired well may have caused the 855,000 gallon spill of oil and water near McKittridge, around 35 miles east of Bakersfield, report Dan Brekke and Ted Goldberg for KQED.
DEL MAR 🐎🐎: Two horses died in a "freak accident" while training Thursday at the Del Mar Racetrack north of San Diego, according to a tweet by the track. After the controversial Santa Anita that saw 30 horse deaths season ended, the focus has shifted south where the season began this week.
HOUSING: For the LA Times, Liam Dillon looks at the efforts of Oregon to combat a housing crunch and homelessness and contrasts Portland's success with the record in California's large cities.
CAKEDAY and NEW CLASSIFIEDS after the jump...
#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Assembly woman Sydney Kamlager-Dove, Haley Maciel, and David Ruff!