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IN TODAY'S NOONER:
MONDAY EVENT NOTE: Make sure you saw my message yesterday about the change in format in Monday night's event at Capital Books with UC Davis constitutional law professor Carlton F.W. Larson! More information and registration.
PRESS CLUB EVENT NOTE: Yesterday's postponed Sacramento Press Club luncheon with campaign strategist talking about the presidential election has been rescheduled for Thursday, January 9. More information and registration.
Happy Friday! We made it!
With the server humming along and tons of content for a December, I'm in a great mood. The rumors of me typing and dancing to Erasure might have some veracity. I hope you're in a similar jovial mood without cable news on your television.
There's a lot going on in the news and I'll catch up over the weekend. As you can see below, six hours this morning was not nearly enough for a day like today (or yesterday for that matter).
CLOSING TIME: Close of business today is the filing deadline for most state and congressional offices in California. For those who feel like I repeat myself, thank you for reading daily. But, for those that don't, today is the deadline to file in most races. For districts in which there is an eligible incumbent that does not file, the deadline is extended to close of business next Wednesday, December 11 to avoid any monkey business of an incumbent not filing and passing the knowledge off only to a friend who files.
Here are the races that we know have the five-day extension:
The big open State Senate seats of SD13 (Hill), SD15 (Beall), SD17 (Monning), SD19 (Jackson) are not extended as the senators are not eligible incumbents because of term limits. SD28 (Temecula-Blythe) does not have a regular election this year, but the March 3 special primary filing deadline is January 9.
CH-CH-CH-CHANGES: One seat for which the deadline will not be extended but many people believe should be is AD42 (Yucaipa), where incumbent Chad Mayes filed for re-election late yesterday and, well, re-registered to vote from Republican to No Party Preference. That doesn't change today's deadline.
Mayes has not tweeted on topic, but he did retweet Laurel Rosenhall's tweet stating "Mayes said he's sick of the attack counter-attack culture of the 2-party system. In leaving the GOP, he's also doing what a lot of voters in his district have done."
As noted above, I'm told that San Jacinto mayor and business owner Andrew Kotyuk (R) will file today. Kotyuk ran as a conservative in the 2018 primary. when Mayes was seeking re-election and considered a "squish" or "RINO." He placed fourth in the top-two behind Dem Mazingo (in again this year), Mayes, and retired Palm Springs police chief Gary Jeandron. The game has obviously changed for 2020.
Jon Fleischman broke the story and Mayes later confirmed it. Politico's Jeremy B. White writes that the California Republican Party vows to defeat him. Here's conservative Steve Frank's take on the story. His headline makes his take obvious: "Chad Mayes Makes the Obvious Official: “I am Not a Republican” Finally Honest."
Let's look at the 2018 primary for AD42, a district that was Trump+4.1 in 2018 and Cox+4.4 in 2016:
The performance numbers of the top of the ticket are always important to look at--more so than voter registration. However, they are not conclusive. Localized issues can be big, and this is a region that has been undergoing transformation from desert to suburb.
One of the biggest issues where Mayes faced Republican criticism over his July 17, 2017 vote on AB398 to extend the state's "cap-and-trade" emissions reduction and investment program. He was one of five Assembly Republicans to vote for the measure, with the others being Cunningham, Flora, Mathis, and Steinorth. While Cunningham and Steinorth are moderates from very moderate districts, Flora and Mathis and pretty conservative from safe GOP districts.
Their districts are Central Valley ones--Flora is from Ripon and Mathis is from Visalia. For the valley, air quality and other environmental issues (drinking water) transcend politics. I've only been thinking about this since Fleischman tweeted about Mayes at 2:48 yesterday and I've had a few other issues to work on. That said, I think the GOP needs think about that in how it frames its effort to unseat Mayes.
Republicans have not been doing well in suburbs (particularly with growing Latino populations) in the Trump era (started in the Virginia state elections in 2017 and continued through 2019 elections). AD42 has a lot of characteristics in common with the Central Valley and the same dynamics are in play as Democrats try to break through in CA08 (Paul Cook retiring) and SD28 (special after Jeff Stone took Trump appointment).
I don't even know how to "rate" the district's partisanship for 2020 which I changed to "Toss-up" yesterday. The district by the numbers is "Leans Republican," which is also how I would rate Chad Mayes. He just doesn't want to wear a red hat in 2020 and by the numbers, that might fit AD42.
If successful, he would be the first person elected in the "No Party Preference" era. We had changes from Dem to indie by both Juan Arambula and Nicole Parra while in their last term in office, but the last person to be elected without a party label was Quentin Kopp of San Francisco in 1994. Before Quentin, Lucy Killea of San Diego was also a decline-to-state. Both caucused with Democrats, something that Mayes is saying he doesn't plan on doing. It's unclear where he'll get his coffee and cookies, although he may have to go across the street to Chicory to do so.
For those students of "recent" California political history, Juan Arambula and Nicole Parra did switch from Democrat to independent while in office, but did not seek re-election as such. I have a lot more on this topic after talking to Alex Vassar this morning on topic but let's wait until we're not "talking" with a firehose of news and filings.
Quentin Kopp backed off of a threatened challenge of State Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco). Wiener, who has embraced controversial issues, such as housing density in SB 50, is seen as a left-wing liberal by many and a near-Republican by San Francisco standards, has already drawn a challenge from the left. Expected to finish filing is public banking advocate Jackie Fielder (D), who identifies as queer, and teaches at SFSU. She has a fundraiser scheduled for 6pm right after close of filing, so unless there is a paperwork problem, she's in.
While I don't know if she's aligned with a presidential candidate, she's certainly running in the AOC/Bernie theme. From her web site:
"I am not accepting contributions from luxury real estate developers, fossil fuel corporations, or police unions because I’m accountable to everyday people. As a community organizer, educator, and service worker, I am running for renters, teachers, minimum wage workers, students, incarcerated people, undocumented people, nurses, and children that will inherit our climate some day."
Her major policy issue has been public banking, although Wiener voted for Chiu's bill. Her campaign is more evident of the divide in a San Francisco of growing inequality and deep societal issues. It's not without mentioning that Wiener won the Senate seat to succeed Mark Leno over fellow supervisor Jane Kim. Kim is the state director for Bernie Sanders.
SD11 could be one of the most interesting races to watch after March, after which it will likely be Wiener v. Fielder.
Thank you, San Francisco.
Lots more after the jump...
A DIEP NGUYEN-NGUYEN SITUATION? I grew up with people playing with my last name, so you have to have patience with me doing so with that of others.
As of last night, the leans Rep race in AD72 (Seal Beach) looked like Assemblyman Tyler Diep (R) facing Westminster City Council member and cancer scientist Dierdre Nguyen (D). It was seen as a showdown between Vietnamese-Americans who have served on that council, which is deeply polarized. How polarized? All five council members are currently subject to recall efforts on the council that is divided 3-2--four of whom are Vietnamese yet from different camps. The fifth, Sergio Contreras is running for the Orange County Supervisors in a rave that includes incumbent Andrew Do.
Also in that supe race is Kim Nguyen who is on the Garden Grove City Council and Miguel Pulido, the mayor of Santa Ana. Garden Grove is a planning a new second Tet Festival parade the day after the one held by Westminster, and the customary host city is anything but happy.
I know...it's hard to follow along as we were supposed to be talking about AD72, and we are.
Enter former Orange County supervisor and Senator Janet Nguyen (R), who was defeated by Tom Umberg (D) for SD34 in 2018. Assemblymember Diep is a former Westminster City Council member. Nguyen served on the Garden Grove City Council.
I think you guess what happens next.
This morning, Janet Nguyen pulled papers to run against Diep. As a sweetener, Supervisor Do previously worked for Janet Nguyen and he also served on the Garden Grove City Council.
If she completes filing by close of business, we have Assemblymember Tyler Diep (R), Janet Nguyen (R), and Diedre Nguyen (D). Diep is a former Westminster councilmember and the two Nguyens have served on the Garden Grove council.
This my friends, is politics in the Vietnamese-American community in Orange County (and San José). Whose parade and the name of business districts are far more at stake than partisan politics. Different soups are referred to differently because of family origin and, well, there are flag debates as well.
There's a fourth candidate, Democrat Bijan Moseni, an attorney who is the son of an Iranian-American father and Latina mother, and graduate of UCLA Law. He identifies as LGBTQ. Hope he brought his popcorn because this could be a hell of a show.
Josh Lowenthal, the son of Congressman Alan Lowenthal and former Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal, had expressed intent in the race but did not pursue filing.
WATER: Yesterday, PPIC had an event and released a report on a path forward for California's freshwater ecosystems. I missed the even because I was supposed to be at the postponed Sac Press Club event and likely won't read this one until next week. This afternoon, I'm finishing reading and commenting on a PPIC manuscript on a totally different topic and over the weekend I need to finish Carlton F.W. Larson's "The Trials of Allegiance" before Monday night's event.
This freshwater issue a key part of the debate about water flows through the Sacramento/San Joaquin Delta leading to the San Francisco Bay. With all the political talk of "dumping water into the ocean," reductions in that freshwater flow changes brings the salinic water further inland and creates inhospital environments within the biodiverse food chain. Yes, you don't have Delta smelt on your dinner plate, the birds that rely on them on their Pacific Flyway route from the north to winters in Southern California, Mexico, and beyond do.
Growing up in Orange County, I would have gone right along with the "Why dump water that we (and farmers) need?"
Now I listen to experts from both sides, know it's complicated, and appreciate those talking solutions and not just politics on either side. That's what PPIC facilitates across issue areas and why I so frequently write about the nonprofit, nonpartisan organization and go to their events--particularly on which I have a knowledge deficit.
SCOTUS ON HOMELESSNESS: In conference today, the Supreme Court is expected to decide whether to hear the appeal on the Ninth Circuit of City of Boise, Idaho v. Martin. In the case, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that generally applicable laws regulating public camping and sleeping constitute cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. In the Ninth Circuit holding (upheld in part, and reversed in part), the substantive answer was the city's ordinance was cruel and unusual under the presented facts. From the Ninth Circuit decision summary (written bu the court's lawyers:
[T]he panel held that the Cruel and Unusual Punishments Clause of the Eighth Amendment precluded the enforcement of a statute prohibiting sleeping outside against homeless individuals with no access to alternative shelter. The panel held that, as long as there is no option of sleeping indoors, the government cannot criminalize indigent, homeless people for sleeping outdoors, on public property, on the false premise they had a choice in the matter.
Perhaps another issue for Professor Larson on Monday night. Orders from today's conference will likely be announced Monday morning and I think it's 50-50 whether they grant certiorari in this case.
DUNCAN NOVOTES: Yesterday, the House Ethics Committee informed Rep. Duncan Hunter, who pleaded guilty to one count (of 66!) of campaign finance violations and is facing prison in sentencing on March 3 that, under House Rule XXIII 10(a), he is ineligible to cast floor votes. He was stripped of committee assignments when indicted in 2018 and has said that he intends to resign but has offered no timeline.
CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to John Connelly, Assemblymember Jordan Cunningham, and Stuart Waldman!