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The Nooner for Wednesday, January 29, 2020, presented by SYASL Partners
Well, hello there. Today, cars are banned on San Francisco's Market Street. Can we do it again on Kay Street in Sacramento? It's not like the attendees of the nightclubs or the Crest Theater "discover" local stores by driving down the street. The lights have little corrolation with light rail and lead to stupid waits which follow with people crossing against the law.
If you're a fan of The West Wing, yesterday the final episode of the great West Wing Weekly podcast recorded in Los Angeles with 30 members of the cast and crew, including series creator and writer for the first four seasons Aaron Sorkin, director Thomas Schlamme, Martin Sheen, and Jimmy Smits. Co-hosts Joshua Malina (Will Bailey) and Hrishikesh Hirway were outstanding as usual. I love this picture of Bradley Whitford sitting cross-legged on the stage, talking to fans, as well as this one with Sheen embracing Whitford. Here's the photo of everyone, a pretty remarkable feat for the pod.
The podcast has renewed the popularity of the 20-year-old series, which has generated tons of Netflix traffic, including yours truly. Joshua and Hrishi named the episode simply "Tomorrow," the same name given to the final episode of The West Wing in 2006.
POLL POSITION: The Berkeley IGS/LAT Poll continues today with President Trump approval ratings among registered voters comes in at a non-surprising 33% approve, 67% disapprove, with a 57% "strongly disapprove" number.
BALLOTS: For Politico, Carla Marinucci reports on why some California voters have already received their ballots.
A spokesperson for the California secretary of state's office says the early mailings are permitted under state law, which requires counties to send ballots no later than 29 days before an election. Counties have already transmitted ballots to military and overseas voters, the secretary of state's office said.
"We’re hearing a few other counties might be getting ballots out on Saturday," said Paul Mitchell, vice president of Political Data Inc., who tracks polling data in California. He explained that some registrars are thinking that “ballots don’t do anybody any good just sitting in the registrar’s office.”
Mitchell said the early mailings aren’t expected to deliver “any big surprises” to the registrars, and it appears most — such as Santa Cruz County — will stick to mailing the ballots on Feb. 3, one month before the March 3 Super Tuesday primary.
CA50 (East San Diego County): The LAT editorial board blasts former Rep. Darrell Issa (R) for his gay-baiting ad against former San Diego council member Carl DeMaio (R).
SB 50 (Wiener): For KQED, Erin Baldassari reports on the ticking clock facing the controversial housing density bill. Tomorrow is the do or die day, although Wiener could introduce an identical bill by February 21.
In a letter last week to Wiener, a statewide coalition of housing affordability advocates led by The Alliance for Community Transit-Los Angeles, San Francisco-based Council of Community Housing Organizations and others blasted the bill, saying it would encourage more market rate and luxury housing, displacing low-income renters.
Despite months of negotiating, the groups still worry the bill could harm the communities they represent because it wouldn't build enough affordable housing, said Anya Lawler, a policy advocate for the Western Center on Law and Poverty, one of the co-signers of the letter.
"Although we've had a lot of productive conversations on the bill, the version that remains in print is very concerning to us," Lawler said. "We fundamentally believe that in its current form, SB 50 would be damaging to low-income communities and communities of color."
IEs The independent expenditure committee Californians for Jobs and a Strong Economy reports spending $64,665 to support Sylvia Rubio (D) in the tight race in AD57 (Whittier) to succeed Ian Calderon (D) and $49,000 for canvassing costs on behalf of Steve Glazer's (D) re-election in SD07 (Tri-Valley). The committee is a who's who of large corporations in the state. Meanwhile, SEIU has joined the independent expenditure effort with $15,000 for Lisa Calderon (D) in AD57.
BAIL: The committee formed for the referendum of SB 10 (Hertzberg) that replaces money bail with pre-trial risk assessment reported a few contributions yesterday, again showing that it's less about mom and pop shops we see around courthouses but rather insurance companies.
THE RED ENVELOPE: Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has showered his election year affection on several Democrats:
AD73 (Coastal South Orange County): Brooke Staggs reports for the Register that Assembly member Bill Brough's (R) semi-annual campaign report contains interesting expenditures. Brough is in a tough race to hold on to his likely Republican seat against Laguna Niguel council member Laurie Davies (R). Staggs writes:
Brough’s recent expenses include $13,000 for a fundraiser that involved taking 19 people to Levi’s Stadium in the Bay Area, where a Rolling Stones concert was taking place. He also reported spending another $11,000 in lodging, food, transportation and other costs on a trip with his family to Ireland as part of a meeting for the California Irish Legislative Caucus. He reported $15,000 in airline expenses connected to that trip during the first six months of last year.
In addition, his campaign lists expenses of more than $5,000 on food and drinks during an appreciation dinner and dozens of strategy meetings. There’s also more than $3,000 to attend a political conference in Maui, $900 to stay at a Disney hotel some 30 miles from Brough’s Dana Point home, and more than $600 for “Elite Black Car” service to and from the airport.
Such hefty expenditures have left Brough with a fraction of the campaign cash that other state incumbents in Orange County have, even as the Republican heads into a competitive March 3 primary election for south Orange County’s 73rd Assembly District.
SANCTUARY STATE: As I was looking at yesterday's daily campaign filings, I noticed that the Fight Sanctuary State, Californians United to Support the Repeal of SB54 committee is still around. It has $110.35 on hand and $7,300 in debt, with a $3,000 loan.
ONLINE COLLEGE: For CalMatters, Felicia Mello reports on the challenges facing the state's online community college for working adults. Because of my professional history, I generally don't comment on community college issues (or even pay attention to them), although I know that lots of community college leaders aren't happy with the competition with existing distance learning programs and faculty aren't happy with the college's business-like operation.
LONGSHORE WORKERS: Richard Read reports for the Times that the International Longshore and Warehouse Union is facing bankruptcy after a Portland jury verdict of $92 million for harassing an employer.
Few of those workers could have imagined that an obscure feud over two dockside jobs in Portland, Ore., would jeopardize the whole union, whose members line up daily at hiring halls to operate cranes, trucks and machinery in ports from San Diego to Bellingham, Wash. But a $94-million federal jury award Nov. 4 to ICTSI Oregon Inc., a cargo terminal operator, has forced union leaders to warn that a filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection may be ahead.
ILWU attorneys will try, during a Feb. 14 hearing in Portland, to persuade U.S. District Judge Michael Simon to reduce the award, which dwarfs the San Francisco-based union’s $20 million in declared assets. But judges tend to be reluctant to overrule juries, doing so only when, in the words of an opinion quoted in a recent ICTSI filing, a decision appears “wrong with the force of a five-week-old, unrefrigerated dead fish.”
more news after the jump...
BAGHDAD BY THE BAY: The Chron's Evan Sernoffsky and Domonic Fracassa report on the federal fraud indictment of the City and County of San Francisco public works director Mohammed Nuru.
Federal authorities charged San Francisco Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru and high-profile restaurateur Nick Bovis with fraud Tuesday following a public corruption probe. The schemes involved an envelope of cash, fraudulent city contracts, improper gifts from a Chinese developer and a $2,000 bottle of wine, according to authorities.
FBI agents on Monday arrested Nuru, 57, and Bovis, 56, at their Bay Area homes before unsealing a federal complaint Tuesday for one charge of wire fraud. Nuru is separately charged with lying to the FBI after initially being arrested on Jan. 21 and being told to keep quiet about the investigation.
LET THERE BE LIGHT: In the Bee, Cathie Anderson reports that AFSCME Local 3299 has come to a tentative agreement with the University of California on behalf of service and patient care employees after three years of impasse.
UC Board of Regents Chair John A. Pérez said: “These tentative contracts, achieved through the hard work and good faith efforts of the AFSCME and UC negotiating teams, reflect how critically important UC employees are to meeting our mission. These agreements provide hardworking UC employees with the benefits and protections they deserve, and it moves UC closer to being the kind of employer we need to be.”
The four-year proposal for contract workers calls for a one-time across-the-board wage increase of 6 percent, plus one experience-based increase, upon contract ratification.
DIALYSIS: The the dialysis industry has formed their committee to fight the SEIU-UHW ballot measure in November, "Stop the Dangerous & Costly Dialysis Proposition, sponsored by dialysis providers and caregivers."
muni matters, cakeday and classifieds after the jump...
SACTOWN: In the Bee, Theresa Clift reports on the ballot measure supported by Mayor Darrell Steinberg for the November ballot as an alternative to Measure G, which voters will consider for the March 3 election. She writes:
Measure G, which will appear on the March 3 city ballot, would require the city set aside 2.5 percent of its general fund budget, about $12 million, toward youth services each year until 2031. The general fund supports most core city services, including police and fire protection.
Worried the measure would drain city coffers during financial downturns and with pension obligations on the rise, Steinberg is proposing a rival ballot measure for November that would require the city spend 20 percent of its year over year revenue growth on youth.
SANDY EGGO: In the SDUT, Teri Figueroa and Weisberg write up the policy considerations of a committee reviewing San Diego's "smart streetlight" program.
On Tuesday, City Attorney Mara Elliott held a news conference praising the data-gathering lights, noting their role in solving recent violent crimes, including the arrests of two men accused of gunning down an Alpha Project security guard last month. She also used the occasion to fight back against criticism that the program allows unfettered surveillance with little oversight.
CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Marj Dickinson, Senator Anthony Portantino, Assembly member James Ramos, and Mike Roth!