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E-182 - Tuesday, September 3, 2019
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RECENT AURAL PLEASURE:
TRUMP TAX RETURNS: Lawsuit information page for SB 27 (McGuire and Wiener): Primary elections: ballot access: tax returns.
LONG WEEKENDS AT THE NOONER:
IN TODAY'S NOONER:
Welcome back and I hope you had a great Labor Day weekend and are ready to, well, labor "bigly" over the next two weeks. I'm not writing about the boat fire again yet. I've been on overnight fishing boats and have dived in the same area so it's just heartbreaking. I posted this on social media and that's about all I can say this morning.
I hope those who perished in the dive boat tragedy lived wonderful lives and passed in their sleep. After all, many longtime fishermen and divers would say, if asked, where they would want to die, would answer "When my time comes, at sea." Where their souls now lie..
Of course, we're very likely to be talking boating safety next legislative session. That time will come. Today, we mourn.
THE FINAL COUNTDOWN: Ladies and Gents, the end of the legislative year is upon us with nine legislative days left before the gavel comes down on Friday the 13th. The opponents of SB 276 (Pan), the vaccinations bill, were all over social media this weekend with images of Assembly Appropriations Chair Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) with blood on her hands, Dr. Richard Pan (D-Sacramento) with a bright red "LIAR" stamped across him photoshopped onto the construction tarp on the west side of the Capitol, and evocations of Naziism and the Holocaust. Apparently, they plan on converging on Lorena's district office in San Diego today.
Somehow, I get tagged in most of these Twitter messages when the "targets" are really Pan and Gonzalez.
Anyway, next Friday can't come soon enough.
"Advocates for Physicians' Rights" is also up with cable ads urging calls to Governor Newsom urging a veto. The organization was formed his year and hired lobbyist Jarhett Blonien on May 6, but reported no expenditures through June 30. The contact on the paperwork filed with the Secretary of State is Lori Prescott of Ladera Ranch, who is a chiropractor and runs a consulting firm to set up practices. As often in issues advocacy, it's unclear where the advertising is coming from, something that legislators have pushed for on many issues over the years.
Of course, SB 276 is only one of 812 measures left to be dispensed with in the remaining days with the legislative activity beginning today around this hour. Lobbyist and friend of The Nooner Chris Micheli breaks down the work ahead:
ASSEMBLY FLOOR (convenes Tuesday at 1pm)
Bills to be heard in committee – 11
Total Measures in Assembly: 287
SENATE FLOOR (convenes Tuesday at 12 noon)
Bills to be heard in committee – 13
So, we have our Europe synthesizers to launch this critical legislative period. Who's bringing the kegs of pumpkin spice lattes and who is flying to Portland to load up on the Voodoo Donuts? Oh, and does anyone have a can of Aqua Net?
GUNS: CNN headline: "Walmart ends all handgun ammunition sales and asks customers not to carry guns into stores":
"Walmart on Tuesday announced it will reduce its gun and ammunition sales, one month after more than 20 people were killed in a mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas. Walmart also pressured Congress to enact gun safety measures.
The company, America's largest retailer, said it will stop selling handgun ammunition and ammunition for short-barrel rifles after selling all of its current inventory.
Walmart (WMT) will also stop selling handguns in Alaska, the only state where it still sells handguns. And Walmart will request that customers no longer openly carry guns into its 4,700 US stores, or its Sam's Club stores, in states that allow open carry.
However, Walmart will continue to sell long barrel deer rifles and shotguns and much of the ammunition for those guns. Walmart will also continue to allow concealed carry by customers with permits in its stores.
Walmart represents about 2% of the market for guns today, the company said for the first time recently. Walmart believes it is not among the top three gun sellers in the industry, but it estimates it has about a 20% market share of ammunition sales."
Dick's Sporting Goods last month also announced testing ending the entire firearms category at select stores following the El Paso and Dayton shootings.
2020 BALLOT BONANZA: Joel Fox looks at the big ballot showdowns that may be the biggest news in California's general election next year. Fox writes:
"Ballot questions, not candidate races, are destined to dominate voters’ interest in California’s November 2020 elections. Candidate races are very predictable at this time in the state. Democrats have a huge registered voter advantage and are likely to sweep away any challenges to their current dominance, while the presidential preference race in the Golden State is over before it starts.
The 2020 ballot bonanza likely will trigger a Tahoe real estate bonanza among political consultants. Add likely bondage measures for education, both K-14 and UC/CSU (and others?), to the measures that Fox mentions. Those will likely be on the March 3 ballot or as we can refer to it, "political spring training."
UTILITIES: For KQED, Lily Jamali looks at the requests by the three investor-owned electrical utilities to the Public Utility Commission to authorize larger shareholder profits ("reasonable return on equity" in regulated utility parlance) to attract investors "spooked" by uncertain liability from past and future wildfires and legislative uncertainty.
I'm being "lobbied" by both sides and have had many conversations with legislators that show how complicated the issue is and I don't know what will happen. We had a great conversation on the pod last week about this with Senator Bill Dodd (D-Napa), who carried water on SB 901 last year. The discussions around that bill, which passed on the last night of session on August 31, provided a conduit for financing liabilities incurred in 2017 but didn't foresee the Camp and Woolsey fires that broke out on November 8.
This is as complicated and difficult as it gets in California policy.
CHARTER SCHOOLS: For CalMatters, Dan Walters finds irony in the deal between the Governor and Democratic leaders, charter school advocates, and education unions:
"The agreement’s provision for giving “high-performing” charters easier renewals is particularly ironic. The education establishment has always resisted any such qualitative performance appraisals of its own public schools."
The agreement can be found in AB 1505 (O'Donnell).
MUNI MATTERS, CAKEDAY and CLASSIFIEDS after the jump...
SACTOWN: Yesterday, Sac City Unified School Trustee Mai Vang announced her candidacy for Sacramento City Council district 8, which will be an open seat currently held by Larry Carr. Vang worked for Carr for several years, is executive director of a nonprofit that provides scholarships to promising low-income students and is an adjunct professor at Sac State. She holds a Masters in Public Health from UCLA.
The district is the southeast part of the city, which is unfortunately best known for last year's shooting death of Stephon Clark in Meadowview.
Obviously, I can't cover every city council race, but mention Vang here because she's well known in the Capitol community, as evident by folks that were chattering about her announcement yesterday. Councilmember Angelique Ashby, who represents the north part of the city in Natomas, was at Vang's announcement as was Latino/LGBTQ/Midtown leader George Raya. The race will also be about the city's response to the Clark incident.
Vang is the first Hmong-American to run for the Sacramento council, reports Theodora Yu in the Bee. Yu notes "Sacramento NAACP President Betty Williams and Pastor Les Simmons have also announced their candidacies for the seat."
A MUST READ: Joe Mathews writes for Zócalo Public Square and Fox & Hounds (click the link to read the great column):
"The Center of the World is in California. But California isn’t the center of the world.
This paradox explains how California became so central to the culture and economy of Planet Earth. Since our state is in the middle of nowhere, on the dry edge of a lightly populated continent, Californians have always had to work harder to connect ourselves to other parts of the world.
I found myself pondering this while visiting the Center of the World, which is in California’s southeast corner, in the desert west of Yuma, Arizona.
The Center of the World is an official designation, bestowed on the tiny town of Felicity, California, by authorities from the French government to the Imperial County Board of Supervisors. The Center of the World is also an invention of Jacques-André Istel and his wife Felicia Lee, for whom Felicity is named."
I needed that coiumn as a closer after that cray-cray and very sad weekend. Thanks Joe (and Joel Fox who included it on Fox&Hounds, where I saw it this morning)!
CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Anthony DiMartino, Rich Lieb, Logan Pitts, and Sara Swan!