Around The Capitol

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RECENT PODS:

  • Inside Golden State Politics (Biill Boyarski and Sherry Bebitch Jeffe): Are Latinos being ignored in the debate over police brutality? (2020-06-18)
  • Look West Podcast (Assembly Democratic Caucus): Assemblymembers Patrick O'Donnell (Chair of the Education Committee), Rebecca Bauer-Kahan, Cristina Garcia and local school officials about the day the schools were shut down, how to reopen the schools safely and addressing the inequities in the school systems that have been magnified by the coronavirus crisis. (2020-06-16)
  • Capitol Weekly Podcast (John Howard and Tim Foster): Maeley Tom, a longtime legislative staffer and Democratic Party stalwart who played a pioneering role as one of the first Asian women in California’s capitol about her new memoir I'm Not Who You Think I Am. (2020-06-16)
  • Cap•Impact Podcast (McGeorge School of Law): Lobbyist and adjunct professor Chris Micheli talks about how advocates are conducting business in the Legislature during the COVID-19 pandemic (2020-06-15)
  • 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) 

ATCpro UPDATES (subscriber feature):

  •  CA21 (Coalinga-Lemoore-South Bakersfield): updated analysis - leans Dem
  • A full list of recent updated analyses is available at the subscribers home page along with my top races to watch rankings. If you have forgotten your password or never set one, click "Forgot Password" on that login page.

The Nooner for Friday, June 19, 2020, presented by SYASL Partners

  • Masks
  • Senate Approps
  • Hotels and tax revenue
  • School dayz
  • Veepstakes
  • Statues and names
  • The OC
  • Cakeday and classifieds

GENERAL ELECTION DATA POINTS

There's a lot out there today, so consider today's Nooner an amuse bouche of the news feast. If I run across other compelling news throughout the day I'll throw it in This Week in Nooner tonight.

Juneteenth

It took awhile, but on this day 155 years ago, the Emancipation Proclamation reached Texas via the arrival of sufficient Union troops to enforce it, officially liberating slaves from the final state (there was certainly slavery after that date in many other states). Subsequently 165 days later on December 6, 1865, the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified.

Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

It took until 1954 for the Supreme Court to find segregated public schools in Brown v. Board of Education, nearly 100 years for the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and anti-miscegenation statutes were ruled unconstitutional in Loving v. Virginia in 1967.

Of course, removal of legal barriers does not bring economic and social justice, as we have seen evident from our streets to local government meetings to the California State Legislature to Congress over the last month.

One of my favorite law school classes was a seminar in Law and Race Relations taught by Tom Joo. I wish I still had the reader for that class as it was fascinating to learn what I certainly didn't learn in Orange County public schools.

MASKS: I'm sure you have heard that the California Department of Public Health yesterday issued an order for statewide mask use for most indoor public places. It further requires tha that a mask be worn in outdoor public spaces where 6-foot distancing from non-household other persons is not possible. 

My immediate question following the order was whether this Ventura County lady's head was still intact.

Meanwhile, Shake Shack opened up yesterday in Sacramento's popular "Ice Blocks" on R Street between 17th and 18th streets. There were as many flames on social media as the trendy chain's new kitchen with posts about the crowds, largely unmasked and not socially distanced, waiting to get a bite.

The statewide order follows the harassment of county health officers over their mask orders. At least seven have resigned since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, after some had protests at their homes and were berated by the county boards of supervisors they answer to. Many were frustrated that, while the federal health experts and state health officials were strongly recommending wearing masks in situations identified in the new state order, they were evading political liability by pushing it off on the county health officials.

While there were criticisms of the state order among some Republicans former governor Arnold Schwarzenegger tweeted in response to the order:

Arnold Schwarzenegger on masks

"Absolute moron" for making it a political issue. Hmmm...wondering who he might be talking about?

SENATE APPROPS: Yesterday, Senate Appropriations Committee acted on the 88 bills on its Suspense File. Here are a couple noteworthy ones and I'll spend more time over the weekend going through the other actions. Way too much to weed through amid everything else.

  • Flavored tobacco: SB 793 (Hill) was approved by Senate Appropriations yesterday on a 5-1-1 vote, moving the strongest ban on flavored tobacco to the Senate Floor, where it is expected to pass.  Sen. Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo) took authors amendments to exempt flavored tobacco for hookahs, but all the flavor bans for combustible tobacco, vaping, and chewing tobacco are in the bill including menthol.

    Now, all eyes are on Assembly member Adam Gray (D-Merced), who chairs Governmental Organization in the Assembly and has jurisdiction over tobacco. In the Senate, the jurisdiction is under the Health committee. Last year, as I wrote about frequently, Gray refused to hear a flavor ban bill authored by Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento) and then did a gut-and-amend on AB 1639 with a watered-down flavor ban (exempted the most popular flavors of cigarettes and vaping cartridges). That bill got a unanimous vote in the Assembly before author Gray parked it in Senate Rules. Hill had introduced SB 38 last year, which made it to the Senate Floor. He moved it to the inactive file after learning that Gray would insist on exempting mint, menthol, and tobacco flavorings -- the most popular among JUUL customers. The bill was amended for another purpose in January after the introduction of SB 739.
  • Commercial evictions: Among those killed by Senate Approps was SB 939 by senators Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) and Lena Gonzalez (D-Long Beach) to ban commercial evictions and allow some leases to be broken by small business restaurants, places of entertainment, and performance venues to renegotiate their leases if they can demonstrate economic impact consequence of COVID-19 orders restricting operations. The bill was supported by many such eligible business, the ACLU, and the California Association of Nonprofits, but was opposed by a whose who of business organizations and property owners.

HOTELS: The American Hotel & Lodging Association is out with a report by Oxford Economics on the impact on state and local government tax revenue from the loss of operations and occupancy associated with COVID-19. Of the 16.8 billion projected to be lost in 2020, the report estimates $1.9 billion in California. The breakdown of the losses (in millions) are Transient Occupancy Tax $1,457, Sales $197, Gaming $30, Personal income $176, Corporate $68.35, and Unemployment insurance and other social: $27.

Of course, a big share of this hits convention cities such as Anaheim, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, and San José particularly hard. Although the biggest numbers are found there, small counties such as Mendocino with a significant tourism draw will feel a sharp bite as well. In the 2018-2019 fiscal year, the county brought in $5.8 million in transient occupancy tax revenue. The inns in the town of Mendocino (one of my most favorite places in The Golden State) have reopened after the nearly three-month shutdown but it is reportedly very slow. This is playing out in lots of counties, including the Sierra Foothills east of Sacramento.

VEEPSTAKES: The team at Larry Sabato's Crystal Ball at the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia has updated their Dem veepstakes rankings after a crazy couple of weeks in politics.

Kamala remains on top, Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH) drops off, and Atlanta Mayor and former National Security Adviser Susan Rice are added to the list. In summary:

Staying the same as last time: Harris, Demings, Duckworth

  • New to list: Bottoms, Rice
  • Moving up from last time: Lujan Grisham
  • Moving down from last time: Warren, Baldwin, Raimondo, Whitmer, Abrams
  • Off list: Hassan

Klobuchar wasn't on the previous list or isn't on this one. She was previously County Attorney (DA) for Hennepin County, which includes Minneapolis, and there was skepticism about her record there between 1999-2007 with a police department long accused of racism. Following George Floyd's May 25 death at the knee of of an officer over a allegedly counterfeit $20 bill, she is too toxic for consideration.

Kamala also obviously has blemishes on her record as a progressive from her time as San Francisco DA and California Attorney General. It may not be just, but Kamala's apologies and calls for reform will be more readily accepted than those by Klobuchar by Democratic activists clamoring for a non-white woman on the ticket.

Atlanta mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms is definitely an interesting possibility, although she's only been in the executive role as mayor for 2.5 years. After the questioning of Pete Buttigieg's readiness for to sit at the Readiness Desk after being a mayor for eight years, Lance Bottoms would face similar accusations in a face-off with Mike Pence, who served as governor of Indiana. Additionally, Lance Bottoms hasn't been vetted by the Biden team near as much as Kamala was during the nasty days of the primary.

Watch Susan Rice. While she has not held elective office, she was US Ambassador to the UN and National Security Advisor under Obama. While Biden doesn't need to do much to beef up foreign affairs cred, you're already seeing China, China, China in the teevee ads on the air by the Trump campaign.

SCHOOL DAYZ: For the Bee, Mackenzie Hawkins reports on the concerns of school district officials that a bevy of lawsuits are forthcoming over the manner in which they reopen in the fall and new public health requirements being implemented for students, teachers, and staff. They are asking for indemnification of lawsuits in what is already likely to be a tough year of financing public education.

Without executive or legislative action for the state to assume litigation costs, said committee chair Assemblyman Patrick O’Donnell, D-Long Beach, lawsuits could devastate districts already running on razor-thin margins.

“Schools aren’t supposed to be a cash cow for a lawyer,” O’Donnell said. “They’re supposed to be places for students to learn. If we’re not careful, schools are going to become someone’s cash cow. And ultimately, it’s gonna fall on the taxpayer.

“Unless we indemnify them, I don’t know how they move forward.”

...

Under its current reopening plan, the [state] education department encourages face coverings and says that districts need to be “well-resourced” with masks “at a minimum.” The public health department is telling schools to “teach and reinforce use” of masks and other shields.

STATUES AND NAMES: Following the removal of the statue of John Sutter that looked toward his fort in midtown Sacramento from a rock perch in front of Sutter Memorial Hospital and the announcement of the forthcoming removal of "The Last Appeal" statue of Christopher Columbus asking Queen Isabella I from the Capitol Rotunda, Joel Fox asks where the line will be drawn. Yesterday, protestors in Portland toppled a vandalized statue of George Washington. I haven't seen in the news whether or not they also burned their $1 bills and their $20 bills with Andrew Jackson's portrait on it. Fox writes:

Should we review the history of all the people who were honored with a street name in early San Francisco to see if they meet present day standards and are in need of change? Some statues in jeopardy due to today’s passions have a history that is not totally up or down according to today’s thinking but that seems to matter little to those who want to reassess history.

George Washington was instrumental in establishing the United States and the constitutional framework we still live under, but he also owned slaves. Shall we wipe him off the dollar bill and change the name of that northwestern state?

Where do we draw the line?

...

Times change and attitudes change. History is re-interpreted, but it doesn’t change, and it should not be forgotten.

Many decisions to remove statutes are made by orders of politicians. At least in Fort Bragg, the city council is considering giving the voters a chance to decide the fate of the city’s name, christened prior to the Civil War after a man who would become a Confederate general.

It seems in a democracy a vote is a good way to take a temperature of the times and to make decisions on who stays and who goes.

I've learned more about the Civil War and early days of settlement in the last couple of weeks than I ever did in school. (I foolishly studied Chinese history in undergrad). I asked in jest on Twitter whether Sutter Brown, the popular corgi who lived in the Governor's Capitol suite during the Brown administration, needs to be posthumously renamed.

Sutter's brother Colusa was named after the county that the Browns now reside, which in turn was named after a Patwin Native American village. Colusa's sister Cali was obviously named after California. California comes the Spanish-named Las Californias, which of course included Baja California in Mexico. That name likely came from a 16th Century Spanish novel.

I am fine with the statues being removed but hope it doesn't result in ignoring mixed legacies. But, should the Legislature force Sutter County to rename?

Fox asks some good questions.

Former California first lady Anne Gust Brown responded to my tweet:

Anne Gust on Sutter Brown

THE OC: In the Register, Brooke Staggs looks at the chances for Republicans to flip back congressional seats lost to Democrats in 2018.

“These districts might possibly be in play if anyone besides Trump was on the ticket,” said Matthew Jarvis, a political science professor at Cal State Fullerton. But he said suburban, college-educated Republicans — a type of voter that once defined much of Orange County — are largely rejecting Trumpism. “With him there, (the House seats) should remain blue.”

What happens to the Republican party after Trump leaves office, this term or next, will determine what disaffected OC Republicans do next, Jarvis said.

“They might come back after Trump,” Jarvis said. “Or, if Trumpism remains a dominant force in the GOP, they could eventually leave the party.”

The Cook Political Report, Sabato's Crystal Ball @ UVA, and I all have the four Orange County seats flipped in 2018 favoring the Democrats, ranging from leans Dem to Safe Dem.

cakeday and classifieds after the jump...

Probolsky Research

CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Rep. Pete Aguilar and Jen Roe!

Classifieds

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Offices available for sublease: Meridian Plaza

Between 1-3 offices are available for sublease in the Meridian Plaza office building, 1415 L Street, two blocks from the Capitol. The offices are approximately 150 SF each. Internet, gym, partially furnished (desk, chair, bookcases) are included. 24/7/365 key card access; floor-ceiling windows facing Sierras; professional offices. One year lease preferred. $1,500 per office. Contact Jane at admin@stoneadvocacy.com or (415) 577-9734 with questions.

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The McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific

In addition to a well-respected JD, the McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific, offers the Master of Public Administration (MPA) and the Master of Public Policy (MPP) degrees. Both full-time students and those earning a professional degree while working succeed in the program. Our focus on the interconnections of law, policy, management, and leadership provides unique competencies for your success. Students gain a foundation in statutory interpretation and regulatory processes critical to governance. Learn at a beautiful campus three miles from the State Capitol:
go.mcgeorge.edu/publicpolicy or publicpolicy@pacific.edu.

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