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PRIMARY ELECTION DAY: 12 days
ATCpro UPDATES (formerly Nooner Premium):
The Nooner for Thursday, February 20, 2020, presented by SYASL Partners
BALLOT UPDATE (COURTESY PDI):
If you haven't played with PDI's tracker, you can dive down by districts and geography.
Well, hello there. We are eleven months from Inauguration Day. Half the country will be in a really crappy mood. As I'll explain when I finish my Mexico write-up, if you're on that side of the November battle, let me tell you that February is a fantastic time to visit Mexico City.
I'm back at The Nooner Global Headquarters in Southside Park. There are no churros, tamales, or atol de elote across the street, but at least I am drinking some great coffee sourced from Veracruz that I picked up on my Colonia Roma food tour. It was a long flight back last night through a rainy Dallas-Fort Worth. There was the strangest delay in boarding as we stood in the jetway for 20 minutes. Two service dogs, one a German Shepard and the other a Labrador, got into a flight on the plane and so the crew had to scramble to reseat the passengers on opposite ends of the plane. In baggage claim in Sacramento, the Shepard (accompanying a visually impaired passenger) was still loudly barking at the Lab, which was in training and seemingly had consumed plentiful CBD on the flight and was quite sedate. I thought I had seen everything during my many years of traveling while representing community colleges.
The timing of my flight was near-perfect. By near, I mean that I watched the first hour of the Democratic catfight, which made the last part of the flight quickly pass. I just wish I didn't have to wait for the second half until I got home. Anyway, I take back the bad things I've said about American Airlines. Great crew and television service. I'm guessing I was the only person watching the debate on the large Aerbus.
We're going to do a two-fer Nooner today to make up for my technology challenges at the end of last week before Adam Probolsky came to my rescue with the power cord delivery in Mexico City. That and frankly there are so many campaign reports to get through that I have far more than six hours worth of work to do to contextualize things for you.
The big item I'm working on and hope to have for you this afternoon or tonight is another surge of spending by the David Crane-organized "Govern for California" network that is walking a very narrow legal tightrope of spending for Democrats and a couple of Republicans. Tell me there is no coordination when the same donors give to separate committees that in turn contribute to the same candidates on the same day. I just need more whiteboards at HQ.
Following reader feedback, I changed how I display the ballot update above. No matter how I display it, it will be open to criticism -- all of which is fair. I tried to explain that yesterday in the opening paragraphs, but I should have put the partisan ballot numbers with the totals instead of listing them after I wrote the narrative. The important thing is that the partisan return statewide really isn't important given the 70% of non-Bernie Democrats that are moving around and are likely holding on to their ballots. Also, as I have written, because of the fourteen complete and one partial (Los Angeles) Voters Choice Act counties where ballots are being mailed to voters, the Democratic Party and NPP return rates will be lower than Republicans, and particularly lower than previous cycles. I do expect the gap to close mid-next week but frankly this is new to all of us.
Reader feedback also criticized my language about the five candidates who are likely competing for delegates in California because I stated that all five were within the "margin of error" of the 15% viability required to capture statewide and district-level delegates. Of course, Bernie is well above the margin of error, but I think most people understand what I was saying. If not, I offer sincere apologies. All I was trying to say is that Bernie is a sure bet on delegates from California and the question is whether or not he will be sharing them with the other four (Biden, Bloomberg, Buttigieg, and Warren).
And all that said, I wouldn't be surprised if Amy Klobuchar picks up delegates in California as well with her strong performance in the debates. While no poll suggests she will land statewide delegates, I could see her capturing district-level delegates. To my knowledge, though, she doesn't have a ground presence in California. You are my contributing editors. Let me know what you are seeing out there.
Let's get to it after the jump...
DEADLINE DAY: Today is the last reporting deadline for state candidates and committees spending in connection with the March 3 primary election, meaning that the already insufferable job of going through campaign reports will be that much worse tonight. The reports cover the period from 1/19-2/15, but more importantly will also show cash on hand and debt. Of course, any contributions of over $1,000 will still be required to be reported withing 24 hours through the election, as are any independent expenditures over that amount.
If you're not familiar to the geekdom that consumes my life these days, this is where you'll see the firehose of reports throughout the day. At least I don't have to drink bottled water at Nooner Global HQ.
AB 5 (Gonzalez): Lobbyist, professor, and friend of The Nooner Chris Micheli shares the latest list of bills introduced to follow-up on AB 5, relating to independent contractors. Tomorrow is the deadline to introduce bills.
Of the 21 bills Chris lists, 18 are by Republicans, and while important by providing examples of problems with AB 5 as approved last year for the discussion, are unlikely to go anywhere. I talked about Cathleen Galgiani's bill yesterday and, while I think that's the best approach, she's on the outs with labor and Democratic leadership. The main bill is Lorena Gonzalez's (D-San Diego) AB 1850. Gonzalez's AB 2465 may also move separately, but beyond that narrow exemption, it is totally unclear what will happen this year.
My law school classmate Ben Ebbink, an employer-side attorney/lobbyist, has an updated document on what's happening with AB 5. Ben is the former chief consultant of Assembly Labor and even Lorena Gonzalez says that he's one of the nicest guys in town. If you don't know him, you should.
more after the jump...
HEAVY LYFTing: App-based transportation network Lyft yesterday reported the first independent expenditure from the committee it opened last Thursday with $2,000,000. The new committee, "Californians for Independent Work, Sponsored by Lyft, Inc." is in addition to the the $30 million the company has put in the joint committee with Uber and DoorDash for a November initiative to exempt the companies from AB 5.
The committee's first target is Assembly member Tyler Diep (R) in AD72 (Garden Grove-Westminster). Yesterday, it reported $45,854 for polling, consulting, and a mailer against the Assembly member, who voted for AB 5 and is being challenged from the right by former state senator and fellow Vietnamese-American Janet Nguyen (R). Whichever Republican wins, they are almost certain to face Garden Grove council member Diedre Thu-Ha Nguyen (D). No, I won't play the name game and suggest that we're either in Diep or a Nguyen-Nguyen situation, but it's anybody's guess.
Now, of the $2 million from Lyft, $1 million is a "loan" to the committee. However as the sponsor and sole contributor, they can actually take all of the unused dough back. It's unclear whether the company is walking to the craps table with a huge buy-in for chips only to play the pass line before cashing out or if they are going all in. The next 12 days are going to be fascinating.
Whatever happens, the big winner is the Bank of Marin. That's where Politicom Law, the committee's treasurer and compliance firm, puts money. The treasurer is our friend Darrin Lim, a graduate of McGeorge School of Law (a frequent Nooner advertiser). While UCD's King Hall and UOP's McGeorge love to exchange barbs, it is all in good nature. Our affiliated Inns of Court judges-lawyers-law profs-students organizations had joint meetings and while we had very different cultures, it's all the same community.
Often, the law firm a committee hires (or a group of folks hire to form a committee) has a bank they work with regularly. They handle all the reporting, deposits, checks, etc. In this case, Bank of Marin is sitting on $2 million and paying piddling interest. The same bank was the recipient of the $100+ million for the initiative effort, although that money is going out the door fast for a signature-gathering effort that is reportedly paying $5-6 per signature.
more after the jump...
DE LEÓN IE WHOOPSIE: The LAT's Emily Alpert Reyes tweeted a picture of an IE mailer supporting former Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León (D) paid for by Angelenos for Safe Transportation PAC, which is sponsored by the taxi industry. Obviously, they are concerned with the growth of the app-based transportation industry such as Uber and Lyft, and last month held a strike after LAX moved them from curbside pick-up to a remote location that is shared with the app-based companies, requiring customers to take a shuttle. In the strike, they demanded to return to curbside pick-up.
The problem with the mailer? It said "Vote March 8" -- five days after the election. On another spot on the mailer, it lists the correct March 3 date.
A similar issue happened recently in AD01, where a mailer from Assembly member Megan Dahle (R-Bieber) listed her husband State Senator Brian Dahle (R) as the "paid for by." The campaign manager for both took the blame and said it was indeed paid for by Megan's campaign. This is the time of year when tons of mail is going out (which is why I voted early) and tons of mistakes are being made.
Speaking of that, I mailed in my ballot before I left and it was reported received by Sac County on February 12. (full disclosure: I voted for Pete) What's the over/under of the number of mail pieces are in my suspended mail package arriving this afternoon.
That's why smart campaigns rely on our friends at PDI.
cakeday and classifieds after the jump...
CAKEDAY: In unison "We have no cakedays today..."