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E-142 - Tuesday, October 15, 2019, presented by SYASLPartners
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RECENT AURAL PLEASURE:
LEGISLATIVE DIRECTORY UPDATES:
IN TODAY'S NOONER:
POLL POSITION: CALIFORNIA PRESIDENTIAL: We have a new CA120 Capitol Weekly Presidential Tracking Poll this morning that we will add it with the recent PPIC and Berkeley IGS polls. Each of the polls use different methodologies. CA120 uses Political Data Inc.'s data to email a poll to voters with email addresses on the voter file and then weights response in the same way.
What's most noticeable are two things--Sanders appears to have lost ground which has shifted to Warren. This makes sense as it's the first poll in the field after Sanders's well-publicized heart attack and stent-insertion procedure. Biden is statistically consistent, as are Buttigieg and Harris.
Remember that delegates are awarded at two levels--statewide and by congressional district. For both, there is a minimum viability threshold of 15%. After voting results, candidates below 15% are first eliminated and then those above 15% are shared proportionally.
Gibran and I were harsh on Kamala Harris on Friday's podcast as we looked at the PPIC and Berkeley IGS polls and we heard from listeners. Remember, Gibran a few episodes was calling me a Kamala fanboy. Indeed, her swag was the first I ordered, and I have cool "BOOT EDGE EDGE" and "WE RISE" shirts from Mayor Pete and Cory Booker. While I don't wear partisan shirts when we're recording the pod, you've likely seen me wearing one at farmers market or other times around town.
That said, now that we have three different polls from the last 45 days that find Kamala at 8%, phrases like "polling anomaly" and "margin of error" are nonsensical. And while Bill Clinton was the "comeback kid" in New Hampshire in 1992, 2020 is nothing like that primary. Let's remember back to who was in that February 18, 1992 New Hampshire primary:
I was a total Paul Tsongas guy at the time, so I was elated. Of course, by the general, Paul Mitchell, Dustin Corcoran, and I were organizing students for Clinton/Gore, including for a final rally at the Pacific Amphitheater with Whoopi Goldberg in the last week before the election.
The reason I'm talk about 1992 is not to remember Paul with long hair, but rather because 2020 is so different. We didn't really have a top tier of candidates as well known as Biden, Sanders and Warren. Tsongas, Clinton, Kerrey, and Harken had nothing on name recognition of the Big Three for 2020 and the primary wasn't front-loaded--California voted in June.
We clearly have a big three already both nationally and in California polling. In California, the top three (Biden + Sanders + Warren) combine for an average total of 68% of the vote. Everybody else is fighting for a share of 32%. To get above 15%, Kamala needs Booker, Buttigieg, Castro, and Yang to all drop out and if she could capture all of her supporters, she would end up at 19% in California. That is not going to happen.
She's tried to bring down Biden, which gave her a momentary bump that we say after the first debate. That bump is gone and she is consistently at 8%. She can't look for enough to the candidates beneath her, so she really needs to erode support from the Big 3. There's little she can do without going intensely negative, which would have a collateral effect of dragging down her current and future ambitions and increasing her negatives, possibly threatening a 2022 re-election bid as U.S. Senator.
Among the top three, we've seen in both California and national polls that the Sanders and Warren voters are malleable, although they really move between those two. Some may have been with Harris after the first debate, but seem to have settled elsewhere now. The Sanders/Warren voters are unlikely to move over to Biden unless he is the nominee, and they are unlikely to go to the two middle-tier candidates, Buttigieg and Harris.
I wanted Kamala to do well, and I got my shirt, hat, and shopping bag for farmers market as soon as she announced. However, without a major misstep by one of the Big Three, it is very likely we're at wind-down time. I wish only the best for Sanders, but if had to step aside for health reasons, the vast majority of his supporters go to Warren -- we've now tested that over the last couple of weeks.
Buttigieg and Yang can both stay in. They came in and still are under the presumption of low expectations. They are extemely unlikely to be the nominees. But neither of them are looking at a 2022 statewide race for re-election which could be threatened by playing the presidential game for too long.
Make no doubt about it -- Kamala's team is talking about exactly this while the "The only poll that counts is on February 2 (Iowa caucus) or February 10 (New Hampshire primary). With a majority of California voters likely casting ballots during the month of February ahead of the March 3 primary, an appearance on that ballot with an embarrasing showing threatens not only a chance to be a running mate or Attorney General in a Biden, Sanders or Warren administration but also re-election as United States Senator.
Here are the numbers:
PG&E POWER SHUTOFFS: For the AP, Juliet Williams reports that the Public Utilities Commission has ordered Pacific Gas & Electric to rework its much-criticized Public Safety Power Shutoff program that triggered power outages to 2+ million northern and central California customers during last week's high winds and low humidity.
"California's top utility regulator blasted Pacific Gas and Electric on Monday for what she called "failures in execution" during the largest planned power outage in state history, one that she said, "created an unacceptable situation that should never be repeated."
The agency ordered a series of corrective actions, including a goal of restoring power within 12 hours, not the utility's current 48-hour goal.
"The scope, scale, complexity, and overall impact to people's lives, businesses, and the economy of this action cannot be understated," California Public Utilities Commission President Marybel Batjer wrote in a letter to PG&E CEO Bill Johnson."
"Before and during the event, we closely coordinated with the CPUC and the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) and CAL FIRE in our emergency operations center in San Francisco. Representatives from those agencies were embedded in our Emergency Operations Center and we welcomed and accepted their help and counsel, and PG&E employees were also embedded at Cal OES in Sacramento. We also worked closely with county and local officials throughout the PSPS. We know there are areas where we fell short of our commitment to serving our customers during this unprecedented event, both in our operations and in our customer communications, and we look forward to learning from these agencies how we can improve.
We appreciate the significant impact that turning off power for safety has on our customers and the state. While we recognize this was a hardship for millions of people throughout Northern and Central California, we made that decision to keep customers and communities safe. That was the right decision.
We share the state’s focus on reducing the threat of catastrophic wildfires in California, and that’s why we took this action. We welcome inquiry and feedback from all our stakeholders, including our regulators, lawmakers, customers and communities and will be reaching out to them for comment in the days and weeks ahead."
NEW EDUCATION FUNDING INITIATIVE: Yesterday, the California School Boards Association (CSBA) filed with the Attorney General's Office a request for title and summary on an initiative to be placed on the November 2020 ballot. The action does not come as a surprise as CSBA has conducted polling on a revenue alternative to the initiative backed by labor and community-based organizations to assess most commercial property at market rates for the purposes of property taxes.
I ran out of time to finish this item today and will come back with what's in the CSBA initiative tomorrow and we'll probably talk about it in relation to the split roll measure in Friday's "What a Week" podcast.
STEM CELL BOND INITIATIVE: With the frenetic activity around the deadline for gubernatorial action on bills, I missed that the state's "stem cell agency" has filed for title and summary to place a $5.5 billion bond on the November ballot. It has been widely known that the agency was running out of funds to continue its research grant-making, but the Legislature had little interest in adding it to a year that will likely have education and water bonds. David Jensen reports for Capitol Weekly:
"The complex, 30-page initiative, filed Thursday, would also restructure a number of aspects of the agency and provide for financial assistance for patients and their families who might be involved in clinical trials. The proposal was submitted by Robert Klein, the Palo Alto real estate investment banker who led the ballot campaign that created the agency in 2004.
Klein was also the first chairman of the agency, known formally as the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM). He is chairman of the stem cell advocacy group, Americans for Cures."
CA53 (San Diego), CAKEDAY and CLASSIFIEDS after we pay some bills...
CA53 (San Diego): In our mailbox, yesterday there was an announcement from Sara Jacobs's campaign for the seat currently held by retiring Rep. Susan Davis that Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis has endorsed Jacobs. That's a big ole head scratcher.
"I'm proud to endorse Sara Jacobs for Congress today. As a former Ambassador, I know how important having someone with Sara's foreign policy and national security credentials will be in Congress.
"We need to send a new generation of leaders to Congress. Young women who know that change cannot wait. Our children, our climate, immigrants, and refugees - they need champions now. That's why it's critical that we elect a leader who will hit the ground running, who knows how to get things done, and who understands the tough policy decisions that need to be made to safeguard a better future for our children. Sara Jacobs is that leader."
The leading candidate is San Diego City Council president Georgette Gómez, who has the endorsement of significant locals--Senate Pres. Pro Tem Toni Atkins, Congressman Juan Vargas, Assemblyman Todd Gloria, Assemblywomen Lorena Gonzalez, Tasha Boerner Horvath and Dr. Shirley Weber. Gómez is fully expected to pick up the California Democratic Party at the convention November 15-17 in Long Beach. Gómez has the endorsement of SEIU, UNITE HERE, Laborers and the Carpenters.
I like Jacobs and followed her candidacy in CA49 in 2018, where she came in third in the top-two primary that yielded Repubican Diane Harkey and now-Rep. Mike Levin. She was talked about as a candidate for CA52 if Rep. Scott Peters ran for mayor, as she grew up there and her wealthy family still lives there. Well, Peters stayed put and Todd Gloria is instead the leader in the mayoral race.
Closed out of opportunities to the north, she rented an apartment in the "Vici Luxury Rentals" in the Little Italy district near the SAN airport and is running for CA53.
Eleni's endorsement release cites the youth and foreign-policy credentials of Jacobs, who is 30 and worked for the State Department during the Obama Administration, among other foreign-policy roles. As much as foreign policy could very well (and I hope will) be part of the presidential race, it won't be the top issue in congressional races, even in a traditionally military heavy district. (It really isn't anymore in terms of voters.)
Meanwhile, the other leading candidates Gómez and Jose Caballero ("Berniecrat" wing) are from the same general younger demographic, at 44 and 33 respectively. Basically, that rationale for preferring Jacobs over others also doesn't carry water.
Gómez was born and went to college the district. She is Latinx and LGBTQ. She's backed by labor and local electeds who, shall we say, are not always on the same page.
I hate to say it, but it's what you expect from The Nooner where you know my job is to call out even friends--this sounds like rich white girls standing together.
For her first year in elective office and frankly a new name on the political block, this was a major misstep by Kounalakis and doesn't coming
CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Assemblyman Bill Brough and Maha Rizvi!