Around The Capitol

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  • KQED's Political Breakdown (Scott Shafer and Marisa Lagos @ KQED): Ron Davis, former Director of the United States Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services under President Obama on reimagining public safety after the death of George Floyd. (2020-06-11)
  • Nooner Conversations (Scott Lay): GOP political consultant Mike Madrid on the 2020 general election and much more [YouTube | Apple Podcasts | Simplecast]
  • Inside Golden State Politics (Bill Boyarsky and Sherry Bebitch Jeffe): Protests: Angst and Hope (2020-06-11)
  • Then There's California (Senate Democratic Caucus): Senator Steven Bradford (D-Gardena) on the need to use the protests over George Floyd's death as a catalyst for change (2020-06-09)
  • Capitol Weekly Podcast (John Howard and Tim Foster): Lobbyist Paula Treat (2020-06-08)
  • Health Policy Podcast (School of Public Health at San Diego State University): Vince Hall, CEO of Feeding San Diego (2020-06-08)


  • CA50 (East San Diego County): moved from Likely Republican to Safe Republican

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The Nooner for Saturday, June 13, 2020, presented by SYASL Partners

  • COVID-19
  • Vote by mail
  • LA-LA Land: race for D.A.
  • Cakeday and classifieds

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Hello again. It's a day ending in "Y." I know that much. Actually, I know tomorrow is Sunday because my refrigerator is near empty, so it's about time for farmers market again. And Monday is haircut day!

The things we celebrate in 2020.

Bars opened up in Sacramento last night and social media reports are that midtown was bustling with unmasked, undistanced patrons. Sam Mahood tweeted:

A Brew Bike went by my house this evening and a drunk dude looks over at me (on the porch) and goes “Cheers we made it through COVID19 y’all!”
Insanity. 🤦🏻‍♂️

(And no masks/social distancing on the Brew Bike.)

Welcome to our petri dish. We'll see what grows over the next month either by first-level exposure or subsequent passing by asymptomatic individuals from the protests and reopenings. Remember this CapRadio headline from Tuesday: "COVID-19 Hospitalizations Spike In Sacramento, San Joaquin Counties."

An LAT team reports on the increasing cases and slowing of the hospitalization decline amidst reopening:

The state recorded its largest one-day increase in new cases Thursday, logging a total of 3,620 new infections and 79 additional deaths.

Los Angeles County accounted for nearly half of the increase. Public health officials reported nearly 1,850 new cases Thursday — the largest one-day increase since the pandemic began — and 50 related deaths. Of the new cases, 600 were from a backlog of test results, officials said.


The question now is whether COVID-19 will require the hospitalization of a moderate number of people, which the hospital system can handle, or grow into a surge of severely ill patients that will overwhelm intensive care units. It can take two to four weeks before hospitals start seeing a surge in patients after they’ve been infected.

The LAT tracker reports 4,987 deaths and 147,092 confirmed cases in California.

Meanwhile, in San Diego County, Paul Sisson reports for the SDUT that health officials say that following four new community outbreaks, the county is just three outbreaks away from having to pull back on reopenings.

VOTE BY MAIL: Yesterday, Sutter County superior court judge Perry Parker granted a temporary restraining order to plaintiffs Assembly members James Gallagher (R-Yuba City) and Kevin Kiley (R-Roseville) blocking Governor Gavin Newsom's executive order N-67-20 issued on June 3. The Assembly members argue that the governor exceeded his authority in the order relating to November's election. Parker is a 31-year veteran of the court, having been originally appointed by Governor George Deukmejian in 1989.

However, as Paul Mitchell tweeted, this is not the order that requires every voter to be mailed a ballot this November. This is other companion to N-64-20, and deals with other elements of how the election should be conducted. A specific allegation in the Gallagher/Kiley complaint is that the requirement in N-67-20 that county elections officials need only one vote center per 10,000 registered voters will disenfranchise voters, particularly the disabled and elderly. Ironically, N-67-20 is also the order that ensures that only active voters receive a ballot, something over which the GOP has criticized the Voters Choice Act and Newsom's order.

The Sutter County case will be heard for consideration of a preliminary injunction on June 26. Meanwhile, Assembly Elections and Redistricting will heard AB 860 on concurrence on Tuesday at 10 am and the bill could be approved by the Assembly by Thursday, June 18. In other words, the governor will sign a bill codifying the executive order, rendering the case filed by Gallagher and Kiley moot since their case was not about the substance of N-67-20 but rather that they were a legislative function.

This follows a familiar pattern of cases being filed challenging public health orders only to be rendered moot by the time they are heard as the reopenings occur. Nail salons and tattoo studios are being allowed to reopen this coming Friday subject to county orders. There is currently a lawsuit be a group of Vietnamese salon owners alleging discrimination since hair salons have been allowed to reopen. They are in particular mad that Newsom said at one press conference that the COVID-19 spread in California started in a nail salon, when there is no evidence of that. Administration recently acknowledged to nail salon advocates that the statement was made in error.

Meanwhile, the lawsuit against executive order N-64-20 by the Republican National Committee and California Republican Party in the Eastern District of California federal court in Sacramento. While the N-67-20 state case was a challenge to executive authority and separation of powers under the state constitution, the federal case against N-64-20 is on federal constitutional grounds.

R.N.C. v. Newsom alleges that N-64-20:

  1. violates the Elections Clause of the U.S. Constitution (Art. I, §4), which provides "The times, places and manner of holding elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each state by the legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by law make or alter such regulations, except as to the places of choosing Senators."

  2. violates the presidential Electors Clause of the U.S. Constitution (Art. II, §1), which provides "Each state shall appoint, in such manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a number of electors, equal to the whole number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or person holding an office of trust or profit under the United States, shall be appointed an elector."

  3. violates the Right to Vote (Fourteenth Amendment), alleging among other things that "California’s rampant invalid voter registration and ineffective safeguards—makes voter fraud and other ineligible voting inevitable" will dilute the ballots of legitimate voters. 

  4. violates the Equal Protection Clause  (Fourteenth Amendment), alleging that standards for in-person voting opportunities were vague and could lead to voter disenfranchisement.

The first two counts will be rendered moot with the Legislature's passage of and the governor's signature on AB 860. The fourth count was addressed in executive order N-67-20 and is also in AB 860, making it largely moot.

The third count, however, may still be argued. However, AB 860 provides that only voters on the active roll will be mailed ballots. However, the plaintiff GOP political parties may continue to try to prove fraud in other areas of the voter rolls, which has been a priority of the conservative Judicial Watch. Judicial Watch has filed a separate lawsuit in the Eastern District on behalf of former Rep. Darrell Issa, who is now running in CA50, next door to CA49, the district he previously held.

R.N.C. v. Newsom is scheduled to be heard before judge Morrison C. England, Jr. with motion hearings beginning July 9. England also heard the Trump tax returns case (SB 27).

Issa v. Newsom, the Judicial Watch case, is scheduled to be heard on July 16 to consider a preliminary injunction. The case makes the same Elections Clause argument as R.N.C. v. Newsom but does not contain the Right to Vote violation claim in count 3 of R.N.C. It throws in the state constitutional argument included in Gallagher v. Newsom. Assuming AB 860 is approved by the Assembly on concurrence and Governor Newsom signs it this week, Issa v. Newsom is moot.

Okay, if you're not lost by now, I would be surprised. This is a lot to write before 7am on a Saturday, let alone read midday on a Saturday.

In summary, there are three cases challenging the vote-by-mail and in-person opportunity voting opportunities for the November election -- one state case and two federal cases. I believe that the state case of Gallagher v. Newsom and federal case of Issa v. Newsom will be rendered moot by the passage and approval by Newsom of AB 860. However, if the plaintiffs believe they have sufficient evidence of fraud in mail-in voting, it is possible that Count III of R.N.C. v. Newsom is litigated.

Of course, the GOP needs to think long and hard about how far they want to go with this. While 58% of California Republican likely voters think that Governor Newsom's order for an all-mail with vote centers election this November because of COVID-19 is a bad idea, 63% of independent voters think it's a good idea. Forty-four percent of self-identified "conservative" voters think it's a good idea, while 52% think it's a bad idea. (PPIC, May 2020)

The lawsuit plays to the base but works against any expansion of the party, particularly among independent voters who consider themselves conservative.

...lots more after the jump.

LA-LA LAND: For Los Angeles Magazine, Jason McGahan writes that Mayor Eric Garcetti appears to be walking back his endorsement of the reelection of District Attorney Jackie Lacey. Lacey faces former San Francisco district attorney George Gascón in the November 3 general election. Gascón, a former Los Angeles Police Department beat cop, is running as a criminal justice reformer, a stance that has gained significant momentum since the Memorial Day death of George Floyd and ensuing weeks of protest.

McGahan writes:

In an interview with reformist criminal justice website the Appeal, Garcetti was asked if it was time for a change in the DA’s office, which has long been lambasted by Black Lives Matter activists for not being tough enough on errant cops. “It may be,” the Mayor replied. His statement was a surprise to the Lacey campaign. A spokesman for the DA said that she had not heard from Garcetti before he made his comments to the Appeal.

Garcetti went on to laud Lacey’s challenger, the reform-minded George Gascón, and suggested that his endorsement of Lacey may have been premature.

“I have a tremendous amount of respect for George Gascón, too. I’ve served alongside him,” Garcetti said. “And it was before he entered the race [that] my endorsement was with Ms. Lacey.”  It is highly unusual in the collegial culture of Los Angeles politics for a Mayor to admit any misgivings about an incumbent district attorney. Garcetti and Lacey took office the same year. And while Gascón had not officially announced his candidacy at the time of Garcetti’s endorsement, reports of his interest in the D.A. position had already surfaced in the New York Times.

In the March nonpartisan race, incumbent Lacey received 48.7% of the vote, while the remaining was split between Gascón at 28.2% and Rachel Rossi garnered 23.1%. Rossi is a former Los Angeles assistant public defender and worked on criminal justice reform on Capitol Hill in Washington. In short, the Gascón-Rossi voters are largely on the same side.

McGahan further writes:

Black Lives Matter Los Angeles has made removing Lacey a recurrent theme of the protest—leading massive demonstrations outside the DA’s office and Lacey’s Granada Hills home. The group’s members have long criticized her for not charging more police officers accused of misconduct. On Wednesday, Madonna shared a photo of herself at an anti-Lacey protest outside L.A. City Hall.

Lacey is the first woman and first black Los Angeles district attorney and rose through the ranks of the office before being elected to the top job in 2012.

Given the primary results, the likely consolidation of Rossi voters with Gascón's, and a shifting public sentiment for reform, George Gascón has to be seen as the favorite to be the next Los Angeles District Attorney come November.

cakeday and classifieds after the jump...

Probolsky Research

CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Melinda Amato, Adrienne Grey, and Seema Mehta!


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