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The Nooner for Friday, December 27, 2019, presented by SYASL Partners
Happy Friday! Thank you for the great feedback on the item yesterday on ZUFFA, LLC, the mixed martial arts (MMA) sports marketing group that is very interested in AB 5 (Gonzalez) and likely will be among the bevy of interests seeking exemptions when the Legislature reconvenes on January 6. It was an intense morning of research and writing, but I think it makes for a good story and raises the question how a donor can be filing under the wrong name for a couple of years without someone catching it and raising the issue.
Now, how long will it take to get those filings corrected? I don't know if they can just keep the second ID number (1413671) and just correct the name on all the filings or if the reports need to be re-filed under the previous ID number 1296314 that has the correct name of ZUFFA LLC.
After working on it a bit more after The Nooner went out, it appears that a new law firm was used for the filings beginning on 10/31/18. While they used Nevada-based attorney Ike Lawrence Epstein (also licensed in California) previous to 2018, the 10/31/18 one was filed by DC-based campaign attorney Jeff Hunter. The change in campaign filers may have been because ZUFFA LLC sold the Ultimate Fighting Championship but continues in the MMA sports entertainment business under various event names and thus is particularly interested in gaining exemptions to AB 5 for the events it hosts in The Golden State.
The biggest question is whether the law firm will bill the client to clean this up. Most likely it was just an innocent typo by a legal assistant. There are plentiful typos in campaign filings, like "CECELOIA AGUILAR-CURRY FOR ASSEMBLY 2020" in the "ZUFFIA LLC" filing on Christmas Day. Anyway, as I noted yesterday, I tried unsuccessfully to reach the attorney as I was writing the item but sent him a long email and explanation with FPPC contact information about whether they can just change the name on the new ID number or need to return to the original one and withdraw the filings under the new one.
Can I bill them for that?
Speaking of billing... Amid the cray-cray that was yesterday's writing, I had a bad link to--what else--the year-end subscription special of 14 months for the price of a year. After all, 2020 is a leap year, so why not throw in a couple of extra months?
As a final note on yesterday's item, some of you asked about why some legislators were listed as Sacramento rather than their district. I should have omitted that column, as the city is the campaign's filing address, which is often one of the professional compliance firms in SacTown. Kevin McCarty need not worry that David Chiu has taken up residency in Sacramento.
THE MENU OF CANDIDATES IS FINAL: The Secretary of State's office has released the final candidate list for the California presidential primary as well as the 153 congressional, State Senate, and State Assembly on the March 3 ballot. Now it's to the work of updating all the district pages on ATC which will take several days.
AD57 (Whittier): In the race to succeed Assembly Majority Leader Ian C. Calderon (D), the leading business PAC Californians for Jobs and a Strong Economy has jumped in with $4,700 to Sylvia Rubio (D). It shouldn't come as a big surprise as whether or not Sylvia wins AD57, there will be two Rubios in the Legislature, sisters Senator Susan and Assembly woman Blanca. If Ian's stepmother Lisa wins AD57, the business groups have one pissed Assembly member still with allies in each house.
After all, the PAC led an effort to spend $623,903 to elect Susan Rubio to SD22 over labor-supported former Assembly member Mike Eng in 2018. Eng is the husband of Rep. Judy Chu (D-Monterey Park).
CA12 (San Francisco): I tweeted this morning "Christine Pelosi (@sfpelosi) appeared on CNN's New Day this morning to talk about the Speaker's strategy on the Articles of Impeachment. Expect more visibility of her in what is likely to be a mid-term retirement by the Speaker and a wild special election in #CA12 in 2021."
Christine Pelosi isn't simply the "daughter of Nancy." She's chair of the California Democratic Party's Women's Caucus, a long-time member of the Democratic National Committee and a Hastings-educated lawyer who has worked significantly on harassment issues, on Capitol Hill, and in many other political and policy roles.
As she scrambled for votes particularly from the new left-leaning members and the Congressional Black Caucus, Speaker Nancy Pelosi committed to serving only two terms as Speaker. And, Speakers leave office in three ways--death (Rayburn), resignation in disgrace (Wright), defeat of party control (Hastert), defeat locally (Foley), choice not to run for re-election (Ryan), or graceful resignation mid-term (Boehner). The preferable ways are the last two, but lots of folks . Nobody wants to leave office as Speaker through the first four. The last one is the best as it allows the outgoing Speaker to hand the gavel to an ally, although Ryan was smart as he knew the odds were good that Republicans would lose control in 2018.
The last one allows plentiful speeches, parties, and the ceremony of handing the gavel to a successor of the same party. That will be Nancy's choice of departure.
We'll have lots of time to talk about the very big field that will likely include Christine Pelosi. In Baghdad by the Bay--named as such by the late great SF Chron columnist for it's bazaar-like qualities and not modern military conflicts--expect every political child with ambition to jump in, particularly since it would be a free ride for incumbents in state offices (Wiener, Chiu, Ting).
It would be good news for MAGA grifter Deanna Lorraine, who will not win in 2020 but can continue reaching out to CA43 candidate Omar Navarro's donors with $20 asks while he remains behind bars in San Francisco County Jail. It's really a great business. We're all in the wrong one.
AB 5 (Gonzalez): For AP, Joyce M. Rosenberg looks at what small businesses in California are doing to adjust for the new law regarding independent contracts that takes effect next Wednesday. Rosenberg writes:
Although the law affects companies of all sizes and out-of-state businesses that use California contractors, it likely will have a greater impact on the many small businesses that have hired independent contractors because of limited staffing budgets.
The law approved by the California Legislature in September codifies a 2018 ruling by the state’s Supreme Court that said workers misclassified as independent contractors lose rights and protections including a minimum wage, workers’ compensation and unemployment compensation. The ruling came in a lawsuit brought against the delivery company Dynamex; workers around the country have complained that services like Uber and Lyft have misclassified them as well.
The law is being challenged in state courts, and companies including Uber and Lyft are campaigning for a referendum on the 2020 election ballot on whether they should be exempt from the law. And employment law attorneys expect the Legislature to add to the list of professions the law already excludes.
Well, it's not a referendum, but I digress... A referendum would leave Dynamex as is and would disrupt many industries for whom short-term (newspaper carriers) and "permanent" exemptions (barbers and cosmetologists) were provided.
NEW LAWS: The LAT team covers new laws by subject area.
GUNS: For the Bee, Ryan Sabalow reports on the new gun laws taking effect on January 1:
Most of this this year’s gun laws expand existing regulations, but the changes they enact could have sweeping repercussions for gun owners. They increase fees, expand the state’s “red flag” and gun-storage laws, raise the legal purchase age and set caps on the number of guns Californians can buy.
California is already testing the limit of the regulation of guns and ammunition amidst an uncertain Second Amendment doctrine of the Supreme Court of the United States. While the Court heard New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. City of New York, New York on December 2, it's seen likely that the Court will hold that the case is moot since the City of New York has since made substantial changes to the ordinance in question, which included strong limits on the transportation outside of one's home. The current Second Amendment doctrine under Heller and McDonald relate primarily to defense of one's person and property within one's home. Before the NYC case, the Court has been reluctant to reopen the issue.
Meanwhile, there are several cases in federal courts around California on assault weapons, ammunition purchase background checks and waiting periods, magazine limits, and open carry. Any one of these could find their way to SCOTUS for an opportunity to rewrite the current Second Amendment doctrine.
Of the new bills identified in Sabalow's article, from my perspective I believe the following are susceptible to challenge as testing the limits of the current SCOTUS (all descriptions are Sabalow's):
To my knowledge, the Supreme Court has never addressed age limits such as in SB 61, SB 172 tests the ability of the state to impute the acts of others to limit a constitutional right of the someone (gun ownership), and SB 376 tests how much a state can limit gun transactions (ownership). The remaining bills in the article likely would be considered health and safety regulations that don't infringe on a constitutional right, likely regardless of if and how the current SCOTUS redefines the Second Amendment doctrine.
REALIGNMENT: Jason Pohl of the The Sacramento Bee and Ryan Gabrielson, ProPublica look at the more than $8 billion that has been sent to counties by the state for criminal justice realignment since 2011 and find that many counties may be abusing the law by using the funds for public safety priorities other than the county jails for which they are intended.
Sen. John Moorlach, R-Costa Mesa, vice chair of the state Senate’s Public Safety and Budget and Fiscal Review committees, said Sacramento should audit how each county spends its realignment funds.
“The state should have been asking for supportive documents every year,” said Moorlach, a former Orange County supervisor who has been critical of local realignment spending. “That’s just a simple management program.”
State and local authorities need to scrutinize county sheriffs’ finances, said Assembly Member Kevin McCarty, D-Sacramento, who sits on the state Assembly’s budget oversight subcommittee. While boards of supervisors typically set law enforcement budgets, sheriffs decide how to spend that money within their own operations.
DAMMIT JANUS: In a consolation prize for unions, the Ninth Circuit ruled yesterday in Dale Danielson v. Jay Inslee out of Washington that plaintiffs seeking a refund of previously union-collected "fair share fees" from non-members are not entitled to a refund following the Supreme Court's ruling in Janus v. AFSCME. The plaintiffs will likely seek Supreme Court review and similar cases have been filed in California district courts but for now the Ninth Circuit resolves them.
Meanwhile, coming from the Seventh Circuit on petition for a writ of certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court is a new challenge to mandatory state bar fees for attorneys, something that has been upheld in the past by the Court but now under renewed scrutiny following the Court's holding in Janus.
ROAD KILL: If you kill a deer with your car after January 1, it's not legal to eat it yet, KQED Dan Brekke reminds us. The Department of Fish and Game still must develop regulations to ensure that the new law doesn't create a cover for poachers.
Cakeday and new Classifieds after the jump...
CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Allan Acevedo and Mitchell Oster!