Around The Capitol

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RECENT PODS:

  • California Nation (SacBee): Governor Gavin Newsom and COVID-19 with Elizabeth Ashford, former advisor to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Gov. Jerry Brown, Steven Maviglio, former press secretary to Gov. Gray Davis and Joe Rodota, former cabinet secretary to Gov. Pete Wilson (2020-07-25)
  • Cap Impact Podcast (McGeorge School of Law): From the business perspective, Chris Micheli talks about how California's Admistrative Procedure Act can be used to challenge regulations. (2020-07-24)
  • Inside Golden State Politics (Bill Boyarsky and Sherry Bebitch Jeffe): Newsom and COVID-19 (2020-07-23)
  • KQED's Political Breakdown (Scott Shafer and Marisa Lagos): Jay Jordan, executive director of Californians for Safety and Justice, on Prop. 20 (repeal of criminal justice reforms) on the November ballot (2020-07-16)
  • Capitol Weekly Podcast (John Howard and Tim Foster): California Teachers Association president E. Toby Boyd (2020-07-16)

The Nooner for Monday, July 27, 2020, presented by SYASL Partners

  • COVID-19
    • The numbers
    • The California situation
    • Federal relief
    • Testing
    • Workers and businesses
    • The OC
  • Veepstakes
  • Ballot money matters
  • Protests
  • LA-LA Land
  • cakeday and classifieds

GENERAL ELECTION DATA POINTS

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  • CA39 (Diamond Bar-Fullerton-Yorba Linda): updated analysis (Leans Dem)
  • CA53 (SD Balboa Park-La Mesa-El Cajon): updated analysis (Safe Dem - Dem-Dem general)

¡Feliz lunes! I think many of us are watching the Rep. John Lewis services. I first learned about him when I was in law school, fittingly in the Martin Luther King, Jr. Hall at UC Davis. I guess it's not a surprise that I learned more about the civil rights movement than I did in K-12 or even undergrad, and I don't think I missed much after dropping out my junior year. 

WELCOME BACK: The Legislature returns today. The Assembly has a check-in session while the Senate convenes at 2pm. The Senate is allowing remote voting for committees if permitted, although a quorum and committee chair must be present in the Capitol.

The winnowed down agendas of committees demonstrate that the 2019-20 Legislative Session will end like no other. It is fitting as the 2019 year ended with the bloodletting on the Senate Floor.

At 2:30 today, Assembly Elections and Redistricting will consider SB 970 (Umberg), which would move the California primary in non-presidential years back to the first Tuesday after the first Monday in June. Also on the docket for this afternoon in E&R is SB 423 (Umberg), which makes several changes to law for the November 3, 2020 general election.

COVID-19:

  • The numbers: Yesterday, there were 26 more deaths and 4,400 new confirmed cases in California. Of course, Sundays are low reporting days but we can hope for the best. 
  • A team at the Times reports on California's reversal as a leader on COVID-19 among states in the spring to a very different situation in July.

    Coronavirus cases surging. Hospitals filling up. Reopening of schools postponed. Battles over wearing masks in public intensifying.

    July has brought a month of grim COVID-19 headlines for California, with a state once seen as a model of prevention enduring a new surge in cases as the economy rapidly reopened.

    But will July end with more bad news or some tentative signs that the efforts to slow infections by closing down some businesses and institutions might be paying off?

  • Federal relief: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is expected to introduce his federal COVID-19 economic relief bill today, which will include a supplemental unemployment benefit somewhere between $200-$600 per week. The Trump Administration and several congressional Republicans want to limit it to encourage people to go back to work, while Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats want to extend the $600 supplement until January. The package reportedly would include another $1,200 stimulus payment check which seems to be universally supported. 

    The supplemental unemployment benefit expires Friday and with the Senate and House on entirely different pages, it'll likely be a few weeks before the issue is settled. Meanwhile, rent is due Saturday. 

    As of this morning, the Senate GOP is proposing $200 as a stopgap while states figure out how to provide 70% of the previous salary of unemployed folks. If you thought California unemployment has been screwed up, wait until EDD employees try to calculate 70% of restaurant workers' "salaries." 

    San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer was on CNN this morning and didn't answer whether he supports an extension turning instead about getting America's Finest City back to work but recognizing that there is a lot of economic pain right now. 
  • Testing: In the Chron, Cynthia Dizikes and Joaquin Palomino write that COVID testing was widely available in white, wealthy areas in the Bay Area although not so much in poorer areas.

    Richmond and San Pablo — predominantly Latino, Asian American and Black working-class cities — have some of the highest infection rates in Contra Costa County. Yet they still have about the same number of community testing sites as Walnut Creek, an affluent, mostly white city with half the population. Walnut Creek had 4 cases per 1,000 people compared with 13 in Richmond and 19 in San Pablo, as of Friday.

    East Oakland, the epicenter of Alameda County cases, had no community testing site until early May, nearly two months after the pandemic hit. In Solano County, the first testing sites were in higher income areas that were less impacted by the virus.

    And in San Mateo County, about half of the community testing sites remain in wealthier ZIP codes. Meanwhile, there are still no permanent sites in working-class East Palo Alto — which has the county’s highest case rate — or in coastal towns with large farmworker communities. Only roving clinics that set up a few days a week service those areas.

  • Workers and businesses: In response to Governor Newsom's additional COVID worker protections announced Friday, Joel Fox writes that the Legislature needs to think about business when considering the impacts of the pandemic.
  • The OC: Huntington Beach filed an unsuccessful lawsuit against the state. Now they have an outbreak among police officers and employees, reports Scott Schwebke in the Register.

    Eleven Huntington Beach Police Department officers and one civilian employee have tested positive for COVID-19 while 25 more workers have been quarantined for exposure to the virus since late June, straining the agency’s operations, Police Chief Robert Handy said.

    “It’s been hard,” he said Saturday. “We have had to do a lot of backfilling by paying overtime and ordering people into work on their days off.”

    Of those employees infected or quarantined, all but two have returned to work.

You can't always get what you want, but you get what you need. The state budget provided $2.5 billion to cities and counties.

Today's The Daily podcast from the New York Times discusses how New York City COVID patients were treated, and not suprisingly, socioeconomic status had a lot to do with it. The Daily is one of my favorite podcasts and I usually listen during my morning walks.

VEEPSTAKES: A team at Politico reports that while Senator Kamala Harris is the frontrunner to be tapped by Joe Biden to be his running mate, it's far from a done deal.

When former Sen. Chris Dodd, a member of Joe Biden’s vice presidential search committee, recently asked Kamala Harris about her ambush on Biden in the first Democratic debate, Dodd was stunned by her response.

“She laughed and said, ‘that’s politics.’ She had no remorse,” Dodd told a longtime Biden supporter and donor, who relayed the exchange to POLITICO on condition of anonymity.

“Dodd felt it was a gimmick, that it was cheap,” the donor said. The person added that Dodd’s concerns about Harris were so deep that he's helped elevate California Rep. Karen Bass during the vetting process, urging Biden to pick her because “she’s a loyal No. 2. And that’s what Biden really wants.” Through an aide, Dodd declined to comment. Advisers to Harris also declined to comment.

Harris, a California senator who has built a national following as a leading combatant against the Trump administration, has been seen as a likely Biden VP even before he started running. More than a year later, despite a campaign that didn’t even make it to the first nominating contests, Harris still appears to be in the pole position for the post: Interviews with more than four dozen elected officials, strategists, former Biden advisers and plugged-in donors said they think Harris is the closest Biden has to a “do no harm” option.

Ryan Lizza writes for Politico that none of those in consideration are perfect candidates.

As Biden conducts a series of interviews with a final list of potential running mates ahead of his August decision, his biggest concern is that there is nobody on his list with whom he has any previous deep relationship.

According to conversations with a dozen Democrats — a mix of elected officials, formal campaign advisers, and outside strategists, most of whom were granted anonymity to share their candid assessments — Biden pines for a partner who could be to him what he was to Obama: a friend and confidante who subsumed his political interests to those of his boss.

PROTESTS: In the Chron, Tatiana Sanchez reports on the clean up efforts in Oakland after a peaceful protest turned violent Saturday night.

Cleanup crews in Oakland swept up shattered glass, boarded up broken windows and removed graffiti at police headquarters and several other locations Sunday after a peaceful protest against racism and police misconduct ended in chaos and arrests Saturday night.

The damage drew criticism from Mayor Libby Schaaf, who said Sunday that vandalism “gives Donald Trump the images he wants and the justification he seeks to send federal troops into American cities.”

There was also a protest that led to vandalism around downtown Sacramento, reports Scott Rodd for CapRadio, as well as in Los Angeles, report Melissa Etahad and Laura King for the LAT.

LA-LA LAND: In the Times, Emily Alpert Reyes follows up on the corruption case of former LA council member Jose Huizar by looking at what has happened to the proposed development.

It is unclear, however, what might happen to the as-yet unbuilt skyscrapers planned by the executives who allegedly provided those bribes. Several council members have called for the city to reassess approvals for real estate projects mentioned in the criminal case, arguing that the building plans have been tainted by the scandal.

“I would be disgusted if we had to drive through downtown Los Angeles for generations and see buildings marking the city skyline that were achieved through bribery and corruption,” said Councilman Paul Krekorian, who has also proposed barring developers implicated in criminal conduct from getting any future approvals.

But the question of what the city should — or can — do to thwart such projects could hinge on a long list of factors, including how far along developers are in the building process, what kind of approvals they have obtained, and what can be proved about the alleged bribery in the federal case, according to land use attorneys interviewed by The Times.

cakeday and classifieds after the jump...

Probolsky Research

CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Sarah Baker and Alex Zucco!

Classifieds

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OFFICES AVAILABLE TO SUBLEASE
Between 1-3 unfurnished offices are available for sublease in the Wells Fargo office building, 400 Capital Mall Sacramento, CA 95814. The offices are approximately 12’X10’ each. Internet, gym. 24/7/365 key card access; professional offices. One year lease preferred. $1,500 per office. Contact Tricia Horan at Tricia.Horan@CALawyers.org or 415-919-7990 with questions.
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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