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PRIMARY ELECTION DAY: 29 days
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The Nooner for Monday, February 3, 2020, presented by SYASL Partners
Well, we're here. Today, ballots for as many as 75% of the March 3 ballot voterss will be mailed out including to all voters in fourteen Voters Choice Act (VCA) counties and many in Los Angeles County, which is doing a modified VCA. (Solano actually sent theirs out ten days early.) For the Bee, Bryan Anderson asks whether California voters should return their ballots quickly or wait to see the results in New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina. Paul Mitchell tweeted last week:
“CA voters are gonna wait to see the results of the early primary states” is the worst take, and also the most heavily trafficked in my circles, where everyone is a political junkie, consultant or reporter.
Normal people don’t think this way and can’t even name the early states.
Of course, tonight in 1678 precincts will be the Iowa caucuses with 41 pledged delegates at stake--eventually with county convention delegates being elected tonight who then wean to state convention delegates. Of the 41, 14 are elected based on statewide results, while the remaining 27 are elected by results in the state's four congressional districts, ranging from 5 to 8. California has 418. For both statewide and congressional, candidates have a minimum viability threshold of 15%. Unlike previous Iowa caucuses, if you're a supporter of a candidate that meets viability, you can't realign with another candidate.
While one of the most reliable polls (Des Moines Register) was not released because of irregular survey results, it pretty much looks like a dead heat between Biden and Sanders. That doesn't mean they will walk away with the most delegates. For Politico, Elena Schneider reports on Mayor Pete's delegate strategy, which largely focus on the more rural areas of the Hawkeye State. Sanders is popular and has campaigned more in the cities, so he may run up the votes there, but not necessarily the delegates. The same thing is true in California as campaigns look to congressional district delegates, where they may find many who are still undecided.
John Myers writes in the Times "Few expect the Hawkeye State to produce a definitive answer as to which candidate will square off against the president in November. And though there are plenty of stories on the divergent opinions of Iowans on the path forward, there’s fascinating detail in how these same crosscurrents are playing out here at home among likely voters."
C-SPAN has a day full of events and live coverage of the fun-to-watch caucuses begins at 4:30 PST (5pm PST is the required time to be in a caucus room in order to participate. Weather in Des Moines tonight appears cold but dry.
Last night, my mom told me that she got a call from the Bloomberg campaign inquiring whether she wanted a lawn sign. Laughing after hearing Matt Rexroad's voice in my head (he hates lawn signs), mom told that she declined as it's still my 99-year-old grandmother's house (who now lives in assisted living), and Gram doesn't like to show her politics. The house would also be a horrible spot for a lawn sign, as it's on the end of a cul de sac with many trees. Oregon, which is way ahead of California on all-mail elections and holds its primary on May 19. We are both undecided on the presidential.
After picking up the endorsement of former LA mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Bloomberg was in Sacramento at 7am this morning at Old Soul Coffee where he picked up the endorsement of State Treasurer Fiona Ma. He then heads to Fresno and Compton.
CORONAVIRUS: There are now six confirmed cases in California of the virus tracked down to Wuhan, China. Yesterday, two were announced in Santa Clara County and two in San Benito County. The San Benito one is unique as the wife of man who traveled to Wuhan but has not traveled herself has come down with it. There is also single cases in both Los Angeles and Orange counties.
Meanwhile, Marlei Martinez reports for KCRA that the University of California is suspending its study abroad program in China for the winter and spring semesters or until the virus is under control.
PG&E: For the LAT, Taryn Luna writes that Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) plans to introduce legislation this week for a takeover of Pacific Gas & Electric by the state.
“PG&E is a failed utility with a track record of prioritizing profits over safety,” Wiener said in a statement. “It’s time for a new start: A utility focused not on Wall Street and shareholder profits, but rather on safety, reliability, affordability, and ratepayers.”
State officials have spent months mulling the possibility of taking over the troubled utility. But Wiener’s promised bill would probably be the first formal proposal to do so.
FROM THE DESK OF THE DEAN: In the Times, George Skelton writes on the death of the controversial housing density bill, SB 50 (Wiener).
It’s fitting that major legislation to fight urban sprawl by forcing denser housing was killed by lawmakers from Los Angeles County, the nation’s sprawl capital.
He’s Sen. Bob Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys), a native Angeleno who helped whack a bill pushed by a lawmaker from San Francisco, arguably the state’s most densely populated city.
OK, perhaps Senate Bill 50 was a bit heavy-handed, utopian and unrealistic, asking too much of Californians who love their ranch-house culture. There were credible arguments against the bill: loss of local control to the state and the prospect of cramming apartment buildings into single-family neighborhoods.
WALTERS: SB 50: For CalMatters, Dan Walters writes about the bill:
It’s difficult to say whether the much-changed bill would have had a material effect on the state’s housing crisis, at least in the short run. The Senate didn’t even publicly post a layman’s explanation of its new, highly technical provisions before the floor votes.
However, it’s evident from the opposition that the crisis will continue unless the tribal not-in-my-backyard attitudes that stall much-needed construction are overcome.
“We’re in a world of hurt in California,” Wiener said before Thursday’s vote.
Yes we are.
FOX ON SB 50: Joel Fox writes "With the defeat of SB 50, new paths must be found to get through the thicket of obstacles to reach a solution. Thus, the notion that it would take an “ugly” and difficult compromise to get any housing solution past the finish line."
Meanwhile, China is building two triage and isolation "hospitals" with 1,500 beds in under two weeks to cope with the coronavirus outbreak. We have tents on the tarmac of March Air Reserve Base in Riverside county.
DAM IT! In the Chron, Peter Fimright reports that even after the 2017 failure of the Oroville Dam spillway, many California dams are still a threat.
more news after the jump...
HEY, IT'S OMAR! The California Target Book's Rob Pyers has a series of weets about Omar Navarro (R)'s year-end financial report. "Instead of pocketing the money directly, Omar Navarro's campaign paid his mother, Dora, an average of $4,000 per month for her services as 'events coordinator'.
Candidates can pay themselves in general elections but not primaries. So, the jailed grifter perennial challenger of Maxine Waters (D) has to be a bit more creative. In the restraining order and stalking case, he had an appearance in court on January 29 and returns on February 10, according to the San Francisco Sheriff's Office inmate locater.
I wrote about his schemes on December 9, three days before he was booked on December 12 for violating a domestic violence restraining order and other alleged crimes. The victim? DeAnna Lorraine (R), who is a grifter on her own challenging Nancy Pelosi in CA12, although she lacks Omar's skills in the fundraising art of preying on primarily retired folks that answer the MAGA mail.
ORANGE COUNTY NONPROFIT FIRE: In the Register, Josh Cain and Richard K. De Atley report on the total fire loss of Working Wardrobes, an Irvine nonprofit that provides needy residents with clothing so they can find jobs.
For decades, Working Wardrobes has helped people overcome challenges — such as alcohol and drug abuse, domestic violence, incarceration and homelessness — so they can find jobs.
“Over the past 30 years, we have helped 105,000 men, women, young adults, and veterans overcome difficult challenges to enter the workforce!” Working Wardrobes says in its Twitter profile.
Cakeday and classifieds after the jump...
CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Jim Krovoza and former Assembly member Nicole Parra!