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E-159 - Thursday, September 26, 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.
MONEY MATTERS: This is the space where we look at interesting contributions to party committees or non-capped "ballot measure" committee accounts affiliated with legislators. Standard contributions to candidate committees up to the 2020 limit of $9,400 for primary and general are not included.
IN TODAY'S NOONER:
Happy Thursday! This is the last day of the era of E. Dotson Wilson, Chief Clerk of the California State Assembly. On this day 50 years ago, Abbey Road was released in the UK, which was followed five days later in the US. Like when I met Mitchell, Sir Paul wasn't wearing shoes.
As noted in today's subject line, the lobbying and association management firm of Shaw/Yoder/Antwih is now Shaw, Yoder, Antwih, Schmelzer & Lange with a new website.
While in New York for Climate Action NYC, Governor Gavin Newsom was on "The Daily Show with Trevor Noah" on Tuesday night. It's not yet on the show's YouTube channel. Meanwhile, Ben Adler sat down with former governor Jerry Brown for CapRadio.
news after the jump...
POLL POSITION: Berkeley IGS this morning released more data from its statewide poll. I tweeted "Biggest number of the new Berkeley IGS poll is that 72% of independent/other California voters disapprove of @realDonaldTrump's job performance. That's a huge factor in congressional and state legislative districts."
I'd add that 19% of registered Republicans disapprove, while only 5% of registered Democrats approve. The "wrong track" on direction of the overall direction of the country has climbed 8% to 72% since Trump was inaugurated in January 2017, despite a good but slowing economy and low inflation. Again, a critical number to look at is the "wrong track" number by voter group--Democrats 82%, Republicans 33%, NPP/other 75%.
The poll was conducted online from September 13-18, 2019 in English and Spanish among 4,527 registered voters. The poll director is Mark DeCamillo, the respected former director of the defunct Field Poll.
I plan to go long form on this poll's results and the one from Emerson College looking at the Democratic presidential primary this weekend. Looking at the topline numbers makes for headlines, but to understand how the race really stands requires time with crosstabs. Not all of the current candidates will be on the March 3 California ballot and there will be a realignment of supporters of departing candidate. And, more importantly, 272 of the 495 pledged delegates elected at the congressional district level and 90 of the statewide delegates are pledged.
In both cases, candidates need a viability level of at least 15% at the respective district or state level. Delegates are then shared proportionately among candidates among the viability threshold. Thus, if Kamala (8%) or Mayor Pete (6%) maintain those statewide levels of support (it will change is all I can predict), they would not be eligible for state-level pledged delegates, but could win delegates in congressional districts where they perform particularly well.
Kamala is strongest in the Bay Area, while Mayor Pete could find significant support in the Democratic Party in congressional districts with a sizable, active LGBTQ community. In addition to the Bay Area, look to places like Doris Matsui's CA06 (Sacramento), where West Sacramento Mayor Christopher Cabaldon is closely tied and a master organizer, and Raul Ruiz's CA36 (Coachella Valley), where the Palm Springs City Council is now entirely composed of LGBTQ members.
CALIFORNIA V. TRUMP: California joined sixteen other states yesterday in suing the Environmental Protection Agency over rollbacks of federal Endangered Species Act standards. The AP reports:
"The lawsuit, in federal court in San Francisco, follows a similar challenge filed last month by several environmental groups, including the Humane Society and the Sierra Club.
The new rules begin taking effect Thursday. They for the first time allow officials to consider how much it would cost to save a species. They also remove blanket protections for animals newly listed as threatened and make it easier for creatures to be removed from the protected list.
"It's a death by a thousand cuts for the Endangered Species Act," said Democratic Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson, announcing the lawsuit in a Seattle news conference."
This is important in the context of the SB 1 (Atkins), the bill that would maintain California environmental, public health, and labor standards through the Trump Administration. The bill awaits the governor's action and he has stated he will veto the bill. While the promised veto over the issue of the impact on state water contractors in negotiations with the federal government disappoints supporters including major environmental organizations, Governor Newsom has been front-and-center as the leader of the California environmental resistance since the Legislature left town September 14. This makes it more difficult to blast the governor's veto.
TRUMP v. CALIFORNIA: From the tit-for tat files, today Environmental Protection Agency administrator Andrew Wheeler sent a letter to Governor Gavin Newsom that claims the state is in violation of the Clean Water Act and Safe Drinking Water Act because of the homelessness crisis, particularly targeting San Francisco and Los Angeles. Wheeler requests a response from the state within 30 days. Before being appointed to run the EPA, Wheeler was a coal lobbyist and chief counsel to the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.
beJUULed: As we talked about here yesterday, there was a shake-up at e-cigarette maker JUUL Labs, Inc. JUUL's CEO was ousted and replaced by Altria chief growth officer K.C. Crosthwaite and was suspending all digital and conventional advertising. JUUL also stated that it won't oppose the Trump Administration's announcement that the FDA would take action to ban most e-cigarette flavor pods.
The actions came after it was reported that the company is under criminal investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California, although the subject matter of the probe is unclear. JUUL is also asking the U.S. International Trade Commission to block the importation of several e-cigarettes that the company claims violate its patents.
The promise to stop advertising doesn't appear to be stopping the campaign in San Francisco for Measure C on the November 5, 2019, which would overturn the e-cigarette ban adopted by the Board of Supervisors. According to the city's Ethics Commission, JUUL has spent $11,554,538 in support of the measure through the Coalition for Reasonable Vaping Regulation, which has an aggressive multimedia campaign, including these ads on Facebook.
The measure would not affect the ban on flavored tobacco products, including vape pods, which was adopted by the voters of the city and county in 2018.
Meanwhile, the San Diego County health officer has joined the state Department of Public Health in calling for residents to stop using vaping devices until the source of mysterious lung ailments is discovered and resolved. Karen Pearlman reports for the SDUT:
“I fully support the California Department of Public Health’s recommendation for people to refrain from vaping, no matter the substance or source, in light of ongoing investigations into cases of severe breathing problems and lung damage among individuals who have a history of vaping,” Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county’s public health officer, said Wednesday.
ISSA ISSA BABY: Alright stop. Consolidate and listen. Issa's back for a brand new position.
This morning, former congressman Darrell Issa announced that he is running for the Duncan Hunter's CA50, and as you see above, was joined by three fellow Republicans who had previously announced a bid, who now support Issa. Also joining the race is State Senator Brian Jones (R-Santee), who lost in 2011 when Hunter was elected to succeed his father. More about the move was sent yesterday in a Premium Alert and I'll be updating the race analysis for the district shortly.
Former San Diego councilman Carl DeMaio (R-San Diego), who is already in the race, tweeted in response to Issa's announcement "People of the 50th district need a fighter, not a quitter! That’s what’s wrong with career politicians. I will ALWAYS lead the fight to TAKE BACK CALIFORNIA!"
I'm not joking when I say that Amazon/Alexa is reading minds. In the random 90s mix playing, "Ice Ice Baby" played as I was editing this item. If there are errors, blame it because I heeded Vanilla's instruction to check out the hook while the DJ revolves it and grabbed my parachute pants and fanny pack and danced the time away.
HUNTER: In the SDUT, Jeff McDonald reports that the Federal Elections Commission has asked Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-Alpine) to explain $344,923 in unitemized donations under $200 in his report for the period ending June 30. McDonald writes:
"The correspondence is addressed to Hunter campaign treasurer Chris Marston, who said Wednesday that the influx of donations below the $200 threshold was due a recent direct-mail effort.
“The committee has complied with the itemization rules and properly disclosed all contributors whose contributions aggregate to more than $200 in this election cycle,” Marston said in a statement. “The committee has engaged in a large-scale direct mail fundraising campaign this year and has accepted many individual contributions well below the aggregation threshold.”
There's likely veracity to Marston's explanation as Hunter is using a "witch hunt" fundraising effort about his campaign finance prosecution that his wife has pleaded guilty to and on which she will be testifying against him.
MICRA: Throwing another high-stakes initiative into the mix of next November's ballot is Consumer Watchdog, which is filing an initiative to lift the $250,000 of compensation cap for pain and suffering in medical malpractice cases. In 2014, a similar measure was crushed with 66.76% of votes in opposition.
CANNABIS BANKING: Yesterday, the House of Representatives passed a bill 323-103 to "shield banks from federal prosecution for serving marijuana businesses in states where the drug is legal," reports Zachary Warmbrodt for Politico. The bill is a banking bill and does not affect the federal prohibition on the sale of marijuana. The support from House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) is credited with breaking a partisan logjam on this year's bill by Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.) and may be an indication that Mitch McConnell will not block it.
Members of the California delegation voting against the bill were Ken Calvert (R-Corona), Paul Cook (R-Yucca Valley), and Doug LaMalfa (R-Richvale). Norma Torres (D-Pomona) did not vote.
TAXING MATTERS: For CalMatters, Dan Walters looks at the tax measures in play for the November 2020 ballot, writing:
"There may be an effort next year to draft one big tax overhaul in the Legislature to replace the pending ballot measures.
If that doesn’t happen and several competing measures make the ballot — plus hundreds of local tax increases — they could so confuse voters that all would fail, thus tarnishing the golden moment tax advocates cherish."
CAKEDAYS and CLASSIFIEDS after the jump...
CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Cathy Dressler, Sean Wallentine, and Jordan Wright!