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The Nooner for Wednesday, January 15, 2020, presented by SYASL Partners
ALERT: Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) will be the lead House Manager for the Impeachment trial and fellow Californian Zoe Lofgren (D-San José) will also be a Manager. Of course, Schiff is a former federal prosecutor who was elected to Congress in 2000 by defeating Jim Rogan, who was a Manager in the Clinton Impeachment.
Yes, the email problems persist and email@example.com is sporadic. It's a mix of IBM, Gmail, and the server. As always, a direct email to firstname.lastname@example.org is the best direct route and that's where everything goes anyway.
If it's any solace, the Secretary of State's email as well as halg the presidential candidate email is going to my Gmail spam as well. Seemingly, everybody is having problems these days. Anybody got a carrier pigeon?
NEW FRONT PAGE: Last night, I flipped the switch on the new AroundTheCapitol home page, with the latest Nooner front-and-center. It's a sad moment as I give up on having a socially headline aggregator that I wrote in 2007. That was when newspapers had RSS syndication feeds and the only daily behind a paywall was the Wall Street Journal. There was also far more diversity among outlets. I had a day job and I built it to quench my own thirst for news and decided to share it with others interested. It's a trip to look at a snapshot of that 1997 page with "My Headlines," "The Roundup" and "My Blogscan." My, how times have changed.
So, goodbye to the eureka! robot that I wrote back then to fetch the largely now unfetchable. What was "I found it" became "404 error. Page not found" amidst the radically changed media community.
We'll move forward with more original content, research into data, and election insight.
As always, I welcome your feedback and advice. There will be glitches and I appreciate your experience. The data and files behind the site is huge (500GB drive).
The last five days have been an average of fourteen hours and my to do list remains long. After The Nooner goes out today, I'm going to step away from my desk and see "Just Mercy." Like the great "Queen and Slim" and "The Farewell," I hear that it's Oscar-worthy yet snubbed.
That makes it a movie I prioritize for my dollar.
Let's get to it after the jump!
PREZ, CALI-STYLE: While we were watching six people promise the farm on the farm in Des Moines last night, Paul Mitchell wrote a great article for Capitol Weekly about what the delegate allocation may look like in California's presidential primary based on the three months of polling that he has done in partnership with CW.
Before you look at the numbers, read the article because he acknowledges the great uncertainty. While perhaps 70% of California's voters will receive their ballots the day after the Iowa primary, it is likely that only a third will vote in the first week. Those are the folks who are solidly in one camp.
Of course, as he notes, voters can essentially do same-day voter registration and cast ballots in California. When you see the inevitable stories about why it takes a long time to count ballots in California, it's to increase voter participation while ensuring that nobody votes who is not legally able to do so and that nobody votes twice. Yes, we'll be dusting off the Noonerific chart from 2018 to show exactly how the early absentee -> in-person day of -> "late absentee" (received day of or postmarked day of and received w/in three days of election -> provisional -> conditional counting works as folks try to claim fraud.
The biggest factor is voter fluidity at this point in California. I have never gotten a CA120/CW email poll on the presidential, but if I did and as I said yesterday, I am still undecided. That's the same candid answer I get from a lot of people around this town. We're talking about some of the most knowledgeable people in politics. Of course, most of the people I talk to downtown (Dem, Rep, NPP) are in the "whoever can beat Trump" camp, but don't have a clue who that is. I don't know if what that means for Democrats.
As Paul notes, California will send 495 delegates to Milwaukee July 13-16, 416 of which will be elected in the March 3 primary. The remainder are "superdelegates," elected officials and other party leaders. Under the 2020 rules in a change after criticism in 2016 and the influence they had in the Clinton/Sanders tangle, the superdelegates won't vote on the first ballot. However, the way things are looking as of January 15, they could come into play six months hence.
The elected delegates from California double those up for grabs in the first four states of IA, NH, NV, and SC.
For those looking to hear from candidates who weren't on the stage last night, Michael Bloomberg was on Colbert last night for the live post-debate show and the segments are online. Tonight, Andrew Yang will be joining Stephen.
more after the jump...
GOVERN FOR CALIFORNIA: The elaborate and legal scheme to funnel big money from wealthy individuals to mostly Democrats around the state continued yesterday when Lorena Gonzalez for Secretary of State 2022 reported $7,800 from the GFC Courage Campaign San Fernando Valley Chapter. Now, on Sunday, we looked at the individuals who maxed out to the GFC San Fernando Valley Chapter. Instead of making you jump back, I'll just include them again. Note that they all gave on the same day, likely through law firm Nielsen Merksamer that then portioned out the checks.
As I wrote Sunday, many of these donors are distributing money through fourteen "chapters" that are then providing overlapping contributions to exceed the limits if the contributions were given directly. Let's look at others that have found their way to Lorena's accounts so far. I'm not picking on Lorena, who I had a blast with when we did a podcast last year and appreciate her smarts, passion, and tenacity. But, I'm a storyteller, and this is a story.
Here are the contributions Lorena has received in her two committees that have been reported thus far, and additional ones may be reported on January 31 if they are cumulatively under $5000 from each committee between July 1 and December 3.
Lorena gets the focus today and she's one tough person and can handle it. I don't allege anything illegal under the state's Proposition 34 voter-approved campaign finance law. This is taking place across the state through these GFC committees. These top-end donors are not doing it because they are aiming for a Legislature composed completely of Democrats. There is something else going on.
PG&E, fuel dump and Cakeday after the jump...
PG&E: The Bloomberg team (not that Bloomberg, the reporter ones) write that Pacific Gas & Electric appears near a deal with the two largest holders of the bankrupt utility's debt.
PG&E Corp. is nearing a deal with a group of noteholders led by bond giant Pacific Investment Management Co. and activist investor Elliott Management Corp., who’ve repeatedly sought to derail the company’s $46 billion restructuring plan. The agreement would entitle them to a mix of equity and new debt in the California power giant if they scrap a rival proposal, people familiar with the matter said, asking not to be identified because the information isn’t public.
A deal would turn some of PG&E’s most formidable adversaries into backers of its plan to emerge from bankruptcy and bring it one major step closer to getting a proposal approved by a state-imposed deadline of June 30. The San Francisco-based utility has spent months in court battling the creditors who’ve been offering to inject as much as $20 billion in cash into the company in exchange for virtually all its equity.
That would leave California Governor Gavin Newsom as the last major obstacle for PG&E, which was forced into Chapter 11 last year after its equipment was blamed for a series of catastrophic wildfires that saddled the company with $30 billion in liabilities. Newsom rejected PG&E’s latest plan and has been pushing the utility to include a provision that would allow the state to take it over should it fail to meet future safety standards.
FUEL DUMP: Yesterday, a Delta Airlines jet bound for Shanghai turned back after takeoff from LAX after reported engine troubles and, well, dumped fuel on the low-income neighborhoods in the approach path, including school kids. The LAT team reports:
"Shortly after takeoff, Flight 89 from LAX to Shanghai experienced an engine issue requiring the aircraft to return quickly to LAX,” Delta said in a statement released Tuesday night. “The aircraft landed safely after a release of fuel, which was required as part of normal procedure to reach a safe landing weight. Delta is in touch with Los Angeles World Airports and the L.A. County Fire Department as well as community leaders, and shares concerns regarding reports of minor injuries to adults and children at schools in the area."
Uh, they better be in touch with their lawyers and insurance carriers too.
A total of 60 patients were treated, at least 20 of them children. The Los Angeles County Fire Department said more than 70 firefighters and paramedics headed to Park School Elementary, where 20 children and 11 adults were treated for minor injuries. No one was taken to the hospital. Additionally, six people at Tweedy Elementary School and six at San Gabriel Elementary in South Gate were affected, as was one adult at Graham Elementary School. L.A. City Fire treated 16 patients at Jordan High School in Los Angeles and 93rd Street Elementary in Green Meadows.
When pilots dump fuel, they typically try to do it at above 10,000 feet and over water, but ideally it should be done at higher elevation because then the fuel turns into mist and it’s away from populated areas.
Aimer said that without knowing what Flight 89’s emergency was, the pilot may have been in the final stage of dumping fuel as the plane was heading toward LAX. He said there is also a good chance the pilot made an error.
“I don’t remember anyone dumping fuel over population,” he said.
Elected officials were quick to express dismay. Supervisor Hilda Solis posted on Facebook:
I urge a thorough investigation to determine what caused this incident. My priority right now is making sure that we are attending to the health and safety of impacted students and community residents. Individuals with health-related questions should call the Department of Public Health’s multilingual call center at 211.
CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Assemblymember Steven Choi, Miguel Lopez, and Randy Pollack!