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E-147 - Tuesday, October 8, 2019, presented by SYASLPartners
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RECENT AURAL PLEASURE:
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. The funds can be used for many things other than directly supporting the candidate's re-election, but are not required to be used for an active ballot measure. Standard contributions to candidate committees up to the 2020 limit of $9,400 for primary and general are not included in this space.
SCOTUS WATCH: Enough of you asked for updates on Supreme Court of the United States that I plan to include them regularly as they reasonably could affect California politics and policy. After this week, I plan to make it a Sunday feature as a preview of the week ahead and other updates.
Today, SCOTUS heard three cases seeking an answer whether federal employment law protecting employees from adverse actions "on the basis of sex" include protections for gay, lesbian, and transgender employees. Two of the cases are identical legal issues, but with a circuit split of different interpretation of federal law. Those cases ask whether Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protect gay and lesbian individuals from discrimination.
The third case of the day asks a similar question of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, but whether the protections from discrimination includes transgender individuals. That case is R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes Inc. v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission - Sixth Circuit answered "yes"
Definitely a morning I would like to be in the courtroom on First Street NW, as fascinating statutory construction and constitutional issues abound.
NOONER PREMIUM UPDATES:
IN TODAY'S NOONER:
ATTN LEGISLATORS/STAFFERS: Now that the legislative year is over, this is the time of retirements and other staffing changes. Please review the Legislative Directory for accuracy of the current Chief of Staff, Legislative Director, and Scheduler names I have for your office. Also, I want to add Communications Director/Press Secretary and District Directors for next year, so send those along as well.
I'll continue to have email addresses for those positions for Nooner Premium with a downloadable database, so if those five contacts are anything different than firstname.lastname@, send those to me as well!
¡Hola! ¿Has comido tus tacos hoy?
As noted above, we recorded a new podcast last night. As often, we had far more on our buffet of words we sought to consume than the minutes would allow, but I think we covered some interesting issues. We talked baseball stadium politics, homelessness, wildfires/PG&E shutoffs, polling on split roll property taxes and the education bond, the politics of the San Francisco District Attorney resignation/appointment/race, and more.
I don't really recall what we talked about and by the time my head hit the pillow to listen last night, I think I was only awake for about five minutes. I hope that you find the cause of my quick slumber was because I was exhausted (and maybe some Benadryl and not due to the content. I'll listen to it on my walk to/from a PPIC lunch briefing on community colleges. Always love to hear policy discussions on my former stomping grounds and the free salad and cookie isn't bad either.
LEGISLATIVE ACTIONS: We're in the final week for gubernatorial action!
CADEM PRE-ENDORSEMENT CONFERENCES: If you don't know what I'm talking about here, you probably want to read yesterday's Nooner.
LETTERS TO THE JOURNAL: For the National Law Review, Friend of The Nooner Chris Micheli writes on the increasing use of "letters to the Journal" in California's legislative proceedings. For those who watch or listen to California legislative sessions, particularly at the end of session on controversial bills, you likely have heard a legislator ask for approval to insert a letter in the journal to express legislative intent. Sometimes it has been "cleared by both sides," meaning that the party leadership of the author has agreed with the content of the letter. When they don't agree, it goes up for a simple majority vote.
In most cases, they are simple explanations of something that has emerged as unclear before a bill's final passage and which the author wants to make clear so that if there is ever a legal challenge to what the law means, the letter in the Daily Journal can be cited in the bill's legislative history. At worst, they can be used as "soft amendments" to a bill, sort of like the federal issue of presidential signing statements.
Micheli does a great job explaining the role and process of letters to the journal that should be required reading for everyone who works on legislation.
POLICING AND RACE: In the Los Angeles Times, Ben Poston and Cindy Chang report on a review of Los Angeles Police Department records that finds that, while black and Latinos are more likely to be searched in routine stops, they are less likely than whites to possess contraband. They write:
"The analysis, the first in a decade to calculate racial breakdowns of searches and other actions by LAPD officers after they pull over vehicles, comes amid growing nationwide scrutiny over racial disparities in policing.
The Times obtained the data used in its analysis under a new California law targeting racial profiling that requires the LAPD and other agencies to record detailed information about every traffic stop.
The Times analysis found that across the city, 24% of black drivers and passengers were searched, compared with 16% of Latinos and 5% of whites, during a recent 10-month period.
That means a black person in a vehicle was more than four times as likely to be searched by police as a white person, and a Latino was three times as likely.
Yet whites were found with drugs, weapons or other contraband in 20% of searches, compared with 17% for blacks and 16% for Latinos. The totals include both searches of the vehicles and pat-down searches of the occupants."
Much has improved in policing since the 1980s, but I can still understand why some still seek solace in Ice-T's lyrics from 1988 before he became Detective Fin Tutuola. "...thinkin' every n* is selling narcotics," just in case you don't know which song I'm to which I'm referring.
My guess is that the statistics are skewed by a few bad apples, not reflective over the overall force, and that with the LAT's attention to the matter, they can be part of employee performance reviews and the enhanced training being implemented by the new police use-of-force standards. While AB 392/SB 230 are about preventing unnecessary deadly force using de-escalation techniques, if we're already redesigning training, I see this as an issue to improve the overall image of our men and women who wear the badge.
This is outstanding investigative journalism and evidence that the LAT is a best-in-class newspaper. Subscribe today.
SIZE MATTERS: In the Bee, Andrew Scheeler reports that, as the state is grappling on the mat with the Trump over auto emissions standards to meet climate goals, not enough Californians are downsizing their automotive appetites to meet the reductions.
MUNI MATTERS, CAKEDAY, and CLASSIFIEDS after the jump...
LA-LA LAND: In the LADN, Eric Heinz writes that LA councilman Herb Wesson announced yesterday that he will pursue a public bank under the law recently signed by Governor Newsom. Heinz writes:
"Wesson said he’ll file a motion this week calling for the council to authorize a search for a 'banking expert' to help the city get a public bank up and running. The move comes several days after Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law AB 857 (Chiu), which allows statewide establishment of public banks.
'I do believe that this is the way that government is supposed to work, where we partner with the people … together trying to affect change,' Wesson said. 'Rarely do people have the chance to make history, and I just want to say to everyone standing beside me and behind me, that you folks have made history.'
Public banks are intended to focus local investment by offering business loans and could be used to finance public supportive housing among other projects, according to proponents of the system."
On the topic, Joel Fox wrote yesterday about the caution with public banking:
"Public banks are susceptible to political interference from elected officials pressuring public banks to favor certain projects and individuals with high-risk loans.
Private banks, which need to make a profit to survive, study the viability of projects presented to the banks. If the criteria for a loan change to an agenda driven process with less scrutiny to the business side, the results could leave the loan makers in a hole and with public banks that problem ends up in the taxpayer’s lap."
Welpers folks, I'm sure there is more out there, but I need to hop in the shower and get to the PPIC policy luncheon. Before we go, let's light some candles for those belly-button birthdays!
CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Syrus Deavers, Michael Kapp, Josh Kurpies, Rachael O'Brien, and Tammy Paster!