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FIRST PRIMARY ELECTION MAIL-IN BALLOTS SENT: 23 days
The Nooner for Saturday, January 11, 2020, presented by SYASL Partners
Happy Saturday and what a crazy week we had! Just a few items today before the Niners face off against the Vikings at 1:35pm on NBC. (Odds: SF-7O/U44.5)
To add to the crazy week, after I inputed all the updated candidate names and ballot designations yesterday, I made a stupid command-line SQL query at 5:30 this morning that wiped out the entire database table. I'll have it back up by tomorrow night but at least I did some interesting analyses of the 547 candidates last night that I'll discuss below.
I wasn't around Sacramento in 1996 when we had the last early primary--I was running for Davis City Council. Yeah, it's really smart to run as a student when the election is March 26, 1996, which was over Spring Break.
Anyway, while I like this has been brutal for election officials, campaigns, and analysts alike. The deadlines fell around the holidays and many of us were splitting time between holidays and election news with holiday time with our family and friends. To make it worse, I tackled both Orange County and Portland for the first time in five years. Thank you mom, dad, and sis for understanding the amount of computer time.
The move to the first Tuesday in March is for all elections and not just presidential years. I see no hazard in Election Code amendments to add 30 days in advance of the primary election for the various filing deadlines. Candidates shouldn't be scrambling to gather signatures in surprise district openings in December.
Kevin Yamamura tweets the timestamp of the governor's presentation and Q&A - "2:51:11. Not a marathon time, but the length of Newsom's press conference according to his archived Twitter video. Still shy of "The Irishman" and its 3:30 running time, though."
SANCTUARY STATE: For the AP, Amy Taxin reports that a California appeals court has ruled that all of the state's cities are required to comply with its "Sanctuary State" law limiting law enforcement cooperation with federal immigration officials.
The decision reverses an Orange County judge’s 2018 ruling that cities that create their own charters, like Huntington Beach, have a greater degree of autonomy.
California enacted the law following President Donald Trump’s crackdown on illegal immigration. It was hailed as a victory by immigrant advocates seeking to encourage immigrants to trust in local police officers and report crime.
But critics decried the law, saying it makes it harder to deport immigrants who commit crimes and leads law enforcement to release them back into communities.
In California, some cities have their own charters and others follow the state’s general law. Huntington Beach argued that cities that create their own charters to have a greater say over local affairs shouldn’t be subject to the law since it relates to local policing.
The case is City of Huntington Beach v. Becerra.
SD07 (Contra Costa County): Mirroring the SD22 (San Gabriel) fight in 2018 between now-Senator Susan Rubio (D) and former Assemblyman Mike Eng (D) business and labor groups are facing off over whether to retain Senator Steve Glazer (D) or SEIU Local 2015 member and health care provider Marisol Rubio (D)--no relation to Susan. It's not a particular surprise as former Orinda mayor and Jerry Brown advisor is known to be an independent moderate. And, the top-two primary is the current game.
Glazer had $1,549,560 on hand as of June 30. While we won't see the year-end cash figures for a couple of weeks, he reported $96,000 in large/late contributions between 07/01 and 12/31. Under the law, contributions over $5,000 had to be reported between 07/01 and 12/4, when the threshold changed to $1,000 from "large" to "late."
It started yesterday with the Coalition for a Healthy And Safe California in Support of Glazer for Senate 2020 with California Medical Association giving $50,000 as well $100,000 from the California Associations of Hospitals and Health Systems. While it appears to be health interests only at this point, other business interests are likely to play as well, although they may wait until after the primary.
Marisol Rubio entered the race after June 30 so didn't have a report, but has reported $70,800 in large/late contributions since, with all but $1,000 from labor.
Republicans had a challenge finding a candidate for the race, like in several others (see below), but recruited Julie Mobley, a Danville resident with the ballot label "Mother." The only contribution reported so far was from the Contra Costa Republican Party for $1,114.59. The filing fee for State Senate this year is $1,014.59, so it came with a Benjamin of gravy. Google searches find little about Mobley, but the SOS report shows that she has been a registered Republican for the last 10 years.
Of course, this is a top-two race, so what are the relevant numbers for SD07?
In 2016, Hillary Clinton received 64.3% to Donald Trump's 29.6%. In 2018, Gavin Newsom garnered 63.1% to John Cox's 36.9%. Obviously, those are both general elections, but most people I talk to believe the D:R ratio will be similar in the March 3 primary with a spirited presidential campaign on the Democratic side with President Trump headed for an easy nomination.
This is one of those close calls as to whether it will be Dem on Dem in November or Dem on Rep. Glazer's supporters hope to push him up to 45% in March, which after subtracting 30% for GOP candidate Mobley would leave Marisol Rubio with 25% and locked her out of the general.
However, if Glazer receives 40%, that would make the fight for the other top-two spot between Rubio and Mobley very close. If it results in Democrats Glazer and Rubio facing off in November, look for another independent expenditure Super Bowl as the fights among ideology in the Democratic caucuses continue.
THE NUMBERS AND THE FUTURE OF THE PARTIES: By my count, 551 candidates have qualified for the March 3 ballot in the 53 congressional and 101 legislative races up on March 3. That includes four candidates who qualified for the CA25 (Santa Clarita-Palmdale) special primary but not the regular primary. Got me--I surmise either paperwork errors or saving one of the two $1,740 filing fees. And, the SD28 (Temecula-Blythe) special pushes the normal number of legislative district races from 153 to 154. That district will be up again in 2022.
There are 40 district with more than 5 candidates, ranging up to 17 in CA53 (San Diego), the seat where Rep. Susan Davis (D) is retiring.
But, that's not today's story.
In AD13 (Stockton), AD50 (West LA) and AD78 (Coastal San Diego), there are three Democrats running with no Republicans. In CA38 (Whittier), AD46 (Sherman Oaks), AD53 (Downtown LA), AD63 (South Gate), and AD64 (Carson), it's two Democrats.
There are no such 2+ candidate races among Republicans.
Here's the list of districts with only one candidate, all of which are held by incumbents:
What you'll note about this is that of the 15 districts with only one candidate, 13 are held by Democrats and 2 are held by Republicans. This doesn't mean that in these fifteen districts that there won't be two candidates in November. Under top-two, write-in candidates are only allowed in the primary election and require 40-60 valid signatures by February 18. So, if a potential candidate sees no other activity than the incumbent, they can bypass the $1,014.59 filing fee for State Senate or State Assembly gather the signatures.
Then, if they get one write-in vote on the March 3 ballot, they will be in the top two in the November ballot. It's a pretty good deal in all those safe districts, but there's a down side.
I'm not writing on this Saturday morning to pour on to the already tough situation for the California Republican Party. If you are a regular reader, you know that I want just the opposite--competitive elections.
As most of you know, Paul Mitchell, Dustin Corcoran and I (and many others) got our political starts in ruby red Orange County. While none of us are active in Democratic politics anymore because of our professional lives, we learned politics while for hopeless Democratic candidates at the state and federal levels.
While community college students, we didn't know just the fruitlessness of our efforts but we learned a lot that contributed invaluably in our professional lives. There are plenty of college students and other youth out there that are looking for opportunities to learn about politics and campaigns. I fear the non-competitiveness will hurt such folks across the political spectrum and the impact on the future generation of would-be leaders.
Today, Orange Coast College has a Democrat representing it in both the House of Representatives and State Assembly, and Senator John M.W. Moorlach is in the top-two must vulnerable incumbents in November.
Last night, when these numbers were pointed out, Republican National Committee member from California Harmeet Dhillon responded on twitter that candidate recruitment is the responsibility county Republican parties and the legislative caucuses. That's true and, in fairness, only in CA38 (Whittier) is there no GOP candidate, so the National Republican Congressional Committee deserves credit.
It's not my place to join the chorus calling for ideological changes in the California Republican Party, but if candidates can't be recruited, it's going to have a very hard time in efforts to rebound and the money it takes to field such candidates will not be forthcoming. And that will hurt kids like me.
California will not decide the presidential race and the above-identified seats may be safe for Democrats. However, when you get kids like me to work on fruitless Assembly campaigns particularly on college campuses, it can affect tight statewide ballot measures or even overlapping congressional campaigns. That could easily happen this November.
CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Will Arnold, Darcy Brown, Bernie Rhinerson, Alex Gallardo-Rooker, and Aisha Wahab!