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E-106 - Monday, November 18, 2019, presented by SYASLPartners
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RECENT AURAL PLEASURE: Have a new pod episode related to California politics and policy that you'd like listed? Email Scott.
IN TODAY'S NOONER:
Happy Monday! What a crazy week. I was hoping to go to the California Community Colleges Board of Governors meeting today to listen to updates on a issues. I don't work for anybody, but after 20 years on the topic and with major changes happening within the system, I was looking forward to listening to the presentations and discussion.
However, it's back to electricity this week. At 11am, the Senate Energy, Utilities, and Communications Committee will hold a hearing on the previous public safety power shutoffs, what we learned, and what can be done better in the future (agenda | background). At the hearing of heavyweights (28 listed speakers!) including special opening comments from Pro Tem Toni Atkins, Pacific Gas and Electric president and CEO Bill Johnson is scheduled to testify.
Johnson is slated to be there next to his San Diego Gas & Electric and Southern California Edison counterparts, but all eyes will be on the PG&E exec. Tomorrow is a key bankruptcy hearing to consider various proposals for the utility's exit.
However, as I mentioned yesterday, today may be an announcement of yet another public safety power shutoff as high winds return with low humidity over a critically dry landscape. As of this morning, no announcement had been made, but early projections were that a shutoff for an event beginning Wednesday morning and ending Thursday was that it would affect 264,085 customers. While earlier warnings did not apply to the Bay Area and North Valley, this morning the warning was expanded to include them.
Neither Southern California Edison nor San Diego Gas & Electric have any public safety power shutoffs currently under consideration.
I'll be tweeting from the hearing and any developments relating to the possible Wednesday-Thursday shutoff.
Anyway, to ensure I have a seat in 4203, I'll be a bit short today. Trust me, there will be more today/tonight.
CADEM: For CalMatters, Ben Christopher looks behind the glitz of presidential candidates at the Democratic convention this weekend and looks at the endorsement battles for state legislative and congressional seats. In particular, Ben looks at the fights over two districts--CA22 (Tulare) and SD37 (Irvine).
In CA22, Bobby Bliatout emerged with the endorsement in a surprise over Phil Albarro. Bliatout lost in the top-two primary in 2018 to fellow Dem Andrew Janz for a November showdown with Republican Devin Nunes. Janz is supporting Albarro, who was expected to pick up the endorsement or, at worse, keeping the party out of the primary.
In the SD37 primary fight to take on John M.W. Moorlach, the party will stay on the sidelines as Costa Mesa mayor Katrina Foley battles with UC Irvine law professor Dave Min. Min ran in CA45 in 2018 and fell 2.5% out of the top two to fellow UC Irvine law professor and now congresswoman Katie Porter. While Porter hasn't endorsed in the State Senate race and has her own first re-election to focus on, it is clear that the Senate seat is not a "consolation prize" for Min.
Here is the full list of endorsements.
IF I WAS PRESIDENT... For CalMatters, Ben Chistopher looks at how the presidential wannabes pitched themselves to convention attendees. CapRadio's Ben Adler reports that while California got lots of love from presidential candidates over the weekend, it's still nothing like Iowa.
KAMALA: While a couple of years ago, there was excitement around having a home-state favorite in the presidential race, a woman of color who has won statewide, the weekend was anything but a coronation. As delegates have peeled off to carry the signs and swag of other candidates, the diehard Kamala backers were drowned out by the noise of delegates who span the Democratic ideological and image field with enough candidates for every one to find a lane.
Politico's Carla Marinucci writes:
"[I]n the halls and meeting rooms of the Long Beach Convention Center, many of the battle-scarred Democratic insiders — strategists, elected officials, campaign operatives — had a far more caustic view of her chances, suggesting that Harris’ team has already let slip away her shot at the White House.
With California polls strongly suggesting she might not win, place — or even show — in her home state, many privately expressed the view that Harris should begin seriously considering leaving the race to avoid total embarrassment in the state's early March primary. Her continued weakness in the presidential contest could even have a more damaging effect, several said — encouraging a primary challenger in 2022, when Harris is up for reelection.
'I don't think she can last until California,' says Garry South, a veteran strategist who has advised Newsom and former presidential candidate Joe Lieberman. 'I don't wish her ill, but she’s got a decision to make: you limp in here and get killed in your home state, and it damages your reputation nationally. Or you pull out before the primary like Jerry Brown did in 1980 … and you at least avoid the spectacle of being decisively rejected.'"
The LAT's Seema Mehta tweets "Kamala says she calls herself a "Sangeleno," bc her home was SF but now it's LA."
Isn't she actually an OakFrangeleno?
MORE, CAKEDAY and NEW CLASSIFIEDS after the jumpity jump...
VEHICLES: SIGN OF WHAT'S AHEAD? Joel Fox looks at the Newsom Administration's directive that the state will only buy hybrid and electric vehicles (except public safety) and ponders whether a similar mandate for all California lies ahead. "Would the governor and legislature aim a tax increase effort against gas-powered autos, especially those manufactured by companies that sided with the Trump Administration in the battle over tailpipe pollution? Already, Newsom has declared those companies, including General Motors, Fiat, Chrysler, and Toyota, are not permitted to sell cars to the state."
SACTOWN: Dan Walters writes on the Sac City Unified School District fiscal situation and as expected does not see things positively:
"Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE), a prestigious think tank created by California’s major universities, has chosen Sacramento City as a starkly negative example. Its report, issued this month, sees the district’s problems as a warning for other school systems, to wit:
“Unaffordable teacher benefits, however well intentioned, will impact district budgets if not addressed. Tense labor-management relations jeopardize financial stability and public confidence. Additional county or state authority to take corrective action may be needed to address the root causes of fiscal distress. Districts face real and unavoidable cost increases, and although money alone cannot address all the root causes of financial distress, more funding is an important part of the solution.”
“SCUSD’s fiscal crisis cannot be solved overnight,” it concludes. “Even with major fixes now, the district will be paying off liabilities for decades to come. What leaders in SCUSD can do now is stabilize the situation, steer a course toward future sustainability and success, and restore public confidence.”
There is, however, no indication that Sacramento City’s warring adults will heed the advice from FCMAT, Superintendent Gordon and now PACE."
CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Mike Burkholder, Rep. Salud Carbajal, Bryan Ha, Carlos Marquez, Dennis Meyers, Susan Naranjo, Martin Radosevich, and Ace Smith!