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E-225 - Wednesday, July 24, 2019
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RECENT AURAL PLEASURE:
IN TODAY'S NOONER:
Happy humpday! Hope your week is groovy and that you're staying cool. I've learned to just go to bed when the Giants go into extra innings. 18-3 since May 30 and four walk-offs in six days.
CA08 (San Bernardino High Desert): Yesterday, I shared the fundraising number of challenger Audrey Denney (D) in CA01. Another district in which a Democratic challenger is raising eyebrows is the sprawling CD08 that stretches from Victorville through the foothills up to east of Sacramento, where it meets Rep. Tom McClintock's CA04. In that district, challenger Chris Bubser (D) raised $204,800 in the second quarter, spent $36,055, and has $168,744 on hand. Republican Rep. Paul Cook raised $139,299 in the second quarter, spent $48,461, and had $298,565 on hand June 30.
PGE MATTERS: A third group has emerged to seek control of bankrupt Pacific, Gas & Electric Co. Dale Kasler reports in the Bee:
"Under the insurers’ plan, much of their claims against PG&E — the result of paying damages to policyholders victimized by the wildfires — would be converted into new stock in PG&E. That would give them a sizable share of the company’s stock holdings, although the precise amount wasn’t clear from Tuesday’s filings.
Also unclear: how much the insurers are offering individual fire victims--those holding damages that exceed their insurance payouts."
So, the three groups seeking control of the company are the current management, the bondholders, and now, the insurance companies. The companies have claims on PG&E after they funded claims for policyholders if, as assumed, inverse condemnation is found in the fires due to PG&E equipment.
TAXING MATTERS: For CalMatters, Dan Walters looks at why while state and local tax revenues are flush, advocates for programs continue to seek new tax revenues. Walters writes:
"The answer is found on the outgo side. Local governments and schools are seeing their pension costs skyrocket, thanks to some really bad pension-fund management over the last couple of decades, while state officials are beset by demands from their political allies for higher spending on a wide variety of education and social welfare programs.
Politically, it’s easier to say yes to taxes than to say no to spending."
GUN MATTERS: The California Rifle and Pistol Association has asked a federal judge for an injunction to block the new state law requiring background checks for purchasers of ammunition, writes Don Thompson for the AP. Thompson writes:
"The motion raised concerns about identification requirements and high rates of denials among ammunition buyers undergoing the new background checks. Moreover, the system blocks out-of-state ammunition vendors from the California market, the motion argues.
The judge is expected to decide in early August whether to order a halt, though any such decision is almost certain to be appealed.
[Federal district court judge Ricardo] Benitez in October rejected the state’s attempt to throw out the lawsuit. He allowed opponents to proceed on arguments that the ammunition restrictions impede interstate commerce and are pre-empted by federal law."
WATER MATTERS: As the state directs $130 million annually for cleanup, Jose A. Del Real reports for the NYT on the drinking water crisis in many California communities. He writes "As many as 1,000 community water systems in California may be at high risk of failing to deliver potable water — one out of every three — according to a previously undisclosed estimate by senior officials at the California State Water Resources Control Board, which regulates drinking water. These troubled districts, which include Sativa, often operate in mostly poor areas on thin budgets. With little oversight, they face problems ranging from bankruptcy to sudden interruptions in water capacity, to harmful toxins being delivered through taps."
MUNI MATTERS and CAKEDAY after the jump...
BAGHDAD BY THE BAY: KQED's Sonja Hutson reports:
"A San Francisco police sergeant did not explicitly tell a judge that a search warrant probing the leak of a police report on the death of Public Defender Jeff Adachi was for the phone records of a journalist, according to the newly unsealed warrant application.
The same judge, San Francisco Superior Court Judge Rochelle East, ruled last week that the March 1 warrant for Bryan Carmody's phone records was improperly issued because he is a journalist. First Amendment attorneys have argued that the warrant violated California's shield law, which protects journalists from revealing confidential sources.
The police report, leaked within about a day of Adachi's death on Feb. 22, revealed that he was at a friend's apartment with a woman who was not his wife and that officers found empty bottles of alcohol and marijuana gummies. Carmody sold the police report, along with footage he shot of the apartment, to several news outlets."
LA-LA LAND: Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has pushed out Department of Water and Power General Manager David Wright earlier than expected, writes the team at the Los Angeles Times. "Garcetti’s announcement came as activists called for more forceful action at the DWP, which has been reeling from a scandal over the city’s response to a disastrous rollout of customer billing software at the utility."
"The DWP commission, a five-member panel appointed by Garcetti, voted Tuesday to appoint DWP Chief Operating Officer Marty Adams as interim general manager, paying him about $400,000 annually. The commission also recommended that the City Council make Adams’ appointment permanent."
DIGDUG: In the Times, Laura J. Nelson reports on the rising cost estimates to connect the West Side of Los Angeles with the San Fernando Valley via Metro. "
The price tag for a rail line or monorail through the Sepulveda Pass could be between $9.4 billion and $13.8 billion, significantly higher than previous estimates, according to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. The estimated shortfall of billions of dollars is a significant hurdle for one of the most ambitious and long-awaited transit projects in L.A.’s modern history."
#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Senator Ling Ling Chang and David Creager!