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E-202 - Wednesday, August 14, 2019
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RECENT AURAL PLEASURE:
UPDATED: Lawsuit information page for SB 27 (McGuire and Wiener): Primary elections: ballot access: tax returns.
IN TODAY'S NOONER:
Happy Humpday! I'd encourage you to get out to farmers market or to check on the mural progress in Wide Open Walls, but who am I kidding? If you're in Sac, you'd hunkered down in air conditioning today. San Franciscans are melting with a high of 76. They ran out of layers to peel off hours ago.
CENSUS 2020: There are five days left for applications to serve on the Citizens Redistricting Commission that will draw the state and congressional lines for the next decade. The extended closing is Monday, August 19 at 5pm.
DUNCAN HUNTER: The court agreed yesterday to postpone the campaign finance trial of Congressman Duncan Hunter until January 14, 2020, well after the 2020 filing deadline at the beginning of December.
The trial had been scheduled to start on September 10. The delay is primarily to await the appeal to the Ninth Circuit of a denied pre-trial motion by Hunter's attorneys to suppress certain evidence.
Practically, it ensures that there won't be a special election for CA50 and Hunter keeps getting paid while he awaits a trial that, with his wife testifying against him, almost certainly will result in his resignation from office. His wife already has a plea deal that will send her to the federal pokey for up to 5 years along with a fine up to $250,000.
While it's still a likely Republican seat, the delay is good news for Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar. He wants Hunter on the March 3 ballot along with five other Republicans. That sets up primary wins for Campa-Najjar and Hunter, even if Hunter is convicted awaiting sentencing. It is now very possible that voters in the East San Diego County district could have Hunter and Campa-Najjar on the ballot in November with Hunter behind bars.
If that's the case, the sentencing likely included a bar on serving in public office, for life or a period of time. Like a candidate who dies after the primary, Hunter's name would be on the November ballot should he place in the top two in March.
If voters cast a majority of votes in November for Hunter, a vacancy would be declared at noon on January 3, when the 117th Congress is sworn in. At that point, Governor Newsom would be required to call a special election for CA50 within fourteen calendar days. Of course, if a majority of votes are for Campa-Najjar, the seat will have flipped.
DEVIN NUNES: For McClatchy, Kate Irby looks at how the legal fight by Congressman Devin Nunes (R-Tulare) against is Twitter-based antagonists is actually a boost for his critics. She writes:
"In recent weeks the anonymous authors of parody Twitter accounts known as Devin Nunes’ Cow and Devin Nunes’ Mom have employed their now-massive followings to promote Democratic candidates around the country and to solicit campaign donations through the Democratic fundraising machine known as ActBlue.
They could become formidable assets for Nunes’ challenger, Phil Arballo, too. In fact, the cow has already endorsed the Fresno Democrat.
Andrew Janz, local prosecutor and a Fresno mayoral candidate who ran against Nunes in 2018, said he believes the parody accounts will have a “huge” fundraising impact for Arballo’s campaign, capturing both local and national appetites to boot Nunes from office."
PG&E: Pacific Gas and Electric plans to unveil its plan to exit bankruptcy on September 9, reports J.D. Morris in the Chron. The move comes as debt holders and equity owners each jostle to have their own plans adopted by the court.
TAX RETURNS BILL: For Politico, Jeremy B. White reports that Republican leaders argue that the true motivation of Democrats in approving SB 27 (McGuire and Wiener) is to suppress primary turnout and lock Republicans out of the November top-two general election. White writes:
“We all know that the top of the ticket generally dictates the turnout,” California Republican Party Chair Jessica Patterson told POLITICO. “If the Democrats have a huge intensity — which they likely will, because our primary is so early — and Republicans don’t have their likely nominee to turn out to vote for, this could really affect our legislative and congressional races, where two Democrats could end up in the general.”
Of course, I've written that I believe the measure is unconstitutional on either Article II or First/Fourteenth Amendment grounds and won't affect the March 3 ballot. That said, Patterson is sounding alarm bells as she should to rally the base. She should also be focused on the many traditionally competitive seats that don't yet have GOP candidates.
Meanwhile, today at noon is the deadline for the state to file its preliminary response in Patterson v. Padilla, the case before the Supreme Court of California challenging the law on state constitutional grounds for the top-two primary. The petitioners' response to the state is due Friday.
beJUULed: The amendments to AB 1639 taken in Assembly Governmental Organization before the summer recess are available this morning. The amendments remove from the bill penalties to youth for purchase or possession of tobacco products, including e-cigarettes.
The amendments also add to the prohibitions against advertising, promotion, or packaging of e-cigarette products with dessert flavors, including “milkshake,” “cupcake,” and “thin mint,” and prohibit advertising at events aimed at youth or with paid participants under 21.
Note that JUUL's amendment to exclude mint along with menthol and tobacco flavors was added to the retail limitations of the bill. JUUL sells "mint" and will continue to be able to do so at our retailers, while smaller companies have "thin mint." It will have to continue selling its "creme" flavor online or in tobacco stores that limit entrance to age 21+, which it has already done.
When does "mint" turn into "thin mint"?
The new sponsorship language is meant to parallel the national Master Settlement Agreement between the federal government and major tobacco companies. The AB 1639 language now bans paid or unpaid sponsorship events "by means of paid or unpaid sponsorships of concerts, sports events, and any events with an intended audience having a significant percentage of persons who are under 21 years of age and events with paid participants who are under 21 years of age."
Hmmm...would that include the California Democratic Party convention, which JUUL sponsored this year paid or unpaid, depending on your view. What is significant? Young and College Democrats are a portion of attendees and certainly some of the people on site doing work were paid participants under 21, likely including the party.
One can look at this two ways. On one hand, JUUL is being the good corporate participant and is working with the Legislature to crack down on competitors that haven't taken the same proactive steps by the market leader. On the other hand, as the market leader and biggest political $$$ player, JUUL is crafting limitations that will likely lock many competitors out of the market through semantics and vague legislative language.
Assembly Health Committee has not yet set a hearing for the bill.
SPLIT ROLL: The language of the new "split roll" property tax initiative to replace the already-qualified measure is now at the Attorney General's Office for title and summary. Backers of the measure to remove inflationary protections for most commercial and industrial properties for funds dedicated to schools and local government must collect 997,139 valid signatures to qualify the new constitutional amendment for the November 2020 ballot, far more than the 585,407 required for the previously qualified one, as the signature threshold increased significantly with the high turnout in the 2018 gubernatorial election.
AB 5/Dynamex: Food-delivery company Postmates is out with a full-page ad on page 5 of today's Los Angeles Times. The ad aims to push the compromise offered to AB 5 by the tech companies, including Lyft and Uber, to create a worker status in between employee and independent contractor.
Bill author Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) tweets a response to the ad: "Dear @Postmates -if you buy a full page ad saying your workers want a minimum wage, why not provide that now? You can “unlock” that benefit plus maintain flexibility. It doesn’t take any change in the law. Instead, during these discussions you cut your workers min guarantees.#AB5"
As expected, the bill was sent to the Senate Appropriations Suspense File yesterday and will likely next be acted on August 29 or 30 at the fiscal committee deadline.
RECYCLING: In the LAT, Alex Wigglesworth reports on why it may be a challenge to find a recycling center to take those cans and bottles to claim your deposit redemption. Wigglesworth writes:
"Redemption centers are crucial to implementation of a 1986 state law, informally known as the “California Bottle Bill,” which aims to reduce litter and excessive consumption of natural resources. Under the law, the state pays subsidies to redemption centers, including a processing payment to cover the cost of containers they collect — including glass and plastic containers — that are more expensive to process than the raw material is worth. The payments are calculated using a formula that takes into account national economic data.
But two years ago, China started refusing to accept many kinds of U.S. recyclables, contributing to the collapse of recycling markets. The declining price of commodities sent the formula dipping into negative territory, said Lance Klug, a spokesman for CalRecycle."
AIN'T OVER TILL IT'S OVER: For CalMatters, Dan Walters looks at the menu of big issues left for the last month of session. "There are nearly 1,200 bills still awaiting final action and while most are fairly mundane, there’s no shortage of high-profile, high-dollar issues, and the 1,000-plus lobbyists who work the Capitol on behalf of specific interest groups will be hustling."
MUNI MATTERS, CAKEDAY, and NEW CLASSIFIEDS after the jump...
BAGHDAD BY THE BAY: The controversial mural at George Washington High School depicting historical events including slavery the Native American impact of European arrival will not be painted over following a 4-3 vote of the San Francisco Unified school board. Instead, it will be hidden by panels and digitized for historians that want to use it in research.
Liberals were on both sides with proponents of the paint-over arguing that the historical reminder was dispiriting to students who saw it each day while others believe that it's an important reflection of where the country has been.
So, it's there but not really there. That's so San Francisco. Meanwhile, tourists, come to our beautiful Union Square and Golden Gate Park. There's nothing to see in the Tenderloin.
LA-LA, ISN'T THAT SPECIAL? In yesterday's runoff for Los Angeles City Council district, the election night results are:
The first post-election update is expected Friday afternoon although Lee's lead is seen as insurmountable. Lee is a consultant and former council aid and is a registered Republican in the non-partisan race. Lundquist, a scientist and educator, is a Democrat. He was welcomed to the city council chambers today by friends and foes alike, tweets the LAT's David Zahniser.
CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Dan Kalb, Nina Kapoor, Ryan Morimune, Eva Spiegel, and Pamela Woudstra!