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- Inside Golden State Politics (Bill Boyarsky and Sherry Bebitch Jeffe): The media's challenge: Reporting the pandemic election. (2020-08-06)
- The Axe Files (David Axelrod @ CNN/UChicago): Rep. Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles) on her background and the veepstakes (2020-08-06)
- Capitol Weekly Podcast (John Howard and Tim Foster): Dr. Barbara O’Connor, Professor Emeritus at CSU Sacramento (2020-08-02)
- KQED's Political Breakdown (Scott Shafer and Marisa Lagos): Joe Trippi on the Veepstakes, Pioneering Netroots and the Real Story of Doug Jones' Victory (2020-07-30)
- Cap•Impact Podcast (Chris Micheli): How Proxy Voting Could Work in the California Assembly (2020-07-30)
- Inside Golden State Politics (Bill Boyarsky and Sherry Bebitch Jeffe): Asian Americans join Latinos as targets of Tump (2020-07-30)
- 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)
The Nooner for Saturday, August 8, 2020, presented by SYASL Partners
- Money Matters
- The numbers
- The violators
- School daze
- Colleges and universities
- Police use of force
- UC's new chief
- LA-LA Land
- cakeday and new classifieds
GENERAL ELECTION DATA POINTS
MONEY MATTERS (highlights from daily campaign finance reports):
I am only including main committees. There are some, like agriculture against Prop 15, but I don't include it as it may be a feeder committee that ends up in the main committee, which would lead to duplication.
- Yes on 15 (split roll): Yesterday's total: $2,082,593, including $2 million from SEIU State Council.
- Yes on 16 (affirmative action): Yesterday's total: $25,000 from Public Advocates.
- Yes on 19 (tax basis transfer): Yesterday's total: $1,000,000 from the National Assoociation of Realtors.
- No on Prop 21 (rent control): Yesterday's total: $3,876,223, including $1.17 million from Arlington, VA-based AvalonBay Communities, a real estate investment trust.
ATCpro SUBSCRIBER UPDATES: [A full list of recent election analysis is on the subscribers home page. If you have forgotten or haven't set a password, use the forgot password tool]
- 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)
- SD29 (Diamond Bar-Fullerton): updated anaysis (Toss-up)
- SD37 (Anaheim Hills-Irvine): updated anaysis (Leans Dem)
- AD68 (Anaheim Hills-Orange-Tustin-Irvine): updated anaysis (Toss-up)
Happy Saturday, or what we now refer to as the sixth Monday of the week with another lengthy legislative hearing.
Senate Public Safety ran just over six hours yesterday and I was able to watch most of it, particularly how awful the Kings played. More on that hearing below.
Today is Senate Business, Professions and Economic Development with 28 bills, including the special order at 11am on AB 890 (Wood) regarding scope of practice for nurse practitioners with enhanced certification that I mentioned yesterday. The analysis was posted overnight with a large array of organizations in support, while physicians groups are still opposed.
There are many other interesting bills in B&P (I will always call it that) and the hearing is starting at 10. So, I was up early for the scramble before the committee starts. Another morning of multi-tasking!
Meanwhile, there is some fun to look forward to. This Tuesday at 7pm, the annual Capitol Weekly Top 100 Party recognizing non-elected movers and shakers is being held virtually, but that also means it's free this year. Register and find out how to get copies of this year's book at the above link.
- The numbers: Yesterday, California added 187 new deaths for a total of 10,213.
- Testing: In an update yesterday, California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said that the glitch in collection and reporting of testing data had been discovered and that it was being remediated. For Politico, Victoria Colliver reports:
Ghaly said the data problem started July 25 and was centered on a server outage that created delays in lab results coming into the California Reportable Disease Information Exchange, known as CalREDIE.
At the same time, he said, a certificate involving one the state’s largest commercial labs, Quest Diagnostics, wasn’t renewed at the end of the month, preventing lab results from flowing into the system for four to five days. He said the state has since renewed the certificate, which was required by an intermediary that Quest uses to route results to the state.
In the Times, John Myers writes:
California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said the state is developing a new coronavirus tracking system due to the recent deficiencies of the California Reportable Disease Information Exchange, a clearinghouse for state testing data known as CalREDIE.
“Simply put, the CalREDIE system was not built for this volume of data,” said Ghaly. “In order to create a lasting solution, we are accelerating the development of a new laboratory reporting system for COVID-19.”
Can we come up with an acronym for the system that doesn't end in DIE?
- Kids: The Chron's Peter Fimright reports on the rise in cases of kids infected with COVID-19 coming down with an inflammatory syndrome rather than the symptoms more commonly seen among adults.
The studies said that although most cases involving young people are mild, there is a significant and growing number of children who suffer from a serious ailment known as multi-system inflammatory syndrome, or MIS-C, which can cause severe abdominal pain, vomiting, rashes, fevers, heart trouble and diarrhea.
The mysterious ailment was found in 203 of 570 children diagnosed with COVID-19 who were studied between March 2 and July 18. Of the 364 young COVID-19 patients hospitalized, 10 died.
One in three of the hospitalized children ended up in the intensive care unit, according to the CDC studies. The children, whose median age was 8, stayed an average of six days in the ICU.
- The violators: After being ordered to cease offering indoor services, a defiant Ventura County pastor stated on YouTube last night that the he plans to welcome the flock indoors tomorrow, report Jeremy Childs and Kathleen Wilson in the VC Star:
"I wish it didn't have to come to this, I really do, but we will be violating the judge's order," McCoy said. "We will be open this Sunday."
The temporary restraining order issued by Judge Matthew P. Guasco prohibits Godspeak and McCoy from offering indoor services at the church in Newbury Park or any other indoor venue in the county until Aug. 31.
The order was issued after county government officials sued the church and McCoy for violating public health orders in place amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The Aug. 31 hearing is scheduled to determine whether to replace the temporary order with a preliminary injunction, which could last up to months, or simply let the order end.
In the Bee, Molly Burke reports that the City of Roseville in Placer County is poised to fine Golfland SunSplash if the water park remains open in violation of state and county health others. However, as of the afternoon yesterday, friends on Facebook reported that the parking lots were still full. Of course, with threatened fines of $500 per day, that's not a bad cost of doing business.
- Enforcement: In the Times, Hailey Branson-Potts looks at how the state is cracking down on cities and counties that are lax on enforcing state guidance.
Unless Atwater scraps its sanctuary city resolution [adopted before the virus moved in], the state will withhold up to $387,428 for which the city is eligible because it is violating state public health rules, the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services told city leaders late last month.
The state has already withheld the Atwater’s first allocation of $64,833, said Brian Ferguson, a spokesman for the state emergency services agency.
Atwater has more coronavirus cases per capita than Merced county’s two largest cities, Merced (population 83,000) and Los Banos (population 40,000), according to a Times analysis. Despite being home to 10.6% of the county’s population, the city has about 16.6% of known infections in the county.
While California’s second surge of coronavirus this summer is showing signs of stabilization, the increased spread in the Central Valley are a source of deep worry among physicians and public health officials.
The state says the cities are violating rules that govern the distribution of $1.8 billion allocated to California through the federal CARES Act. California’s largest communities received money directly from the federal government — a total of $5.8 billion to counties and cities with populations over 500,000 — while the state budget includes a detailed plan to help less-populated areas.
- School daze: In the Press Democrat, Phil Barber reports that a majority of Santa Rosa City Unified parents want some form of in-person instruction.
Parents and legal guardians had to finalize their choice of three options by 5 p.m. Friday. About 45 minutes before that deadline, Santa Rosa City Schools Superintendent Diann Kitamura reported that 9,145 of the district’s approximately 15,500 households had made a selection. Of those, 5,613, or about 61%, had opted for the distance learning/hybrid model, which would allow students to return to campus two days a week whenever county health officials deem that safe.
Kitamura said that 3,171 SRCS families had selected the distance option, a purely online form of instruction, while 361 had signed up for Learning House, a “virtual learning environment” that groups students from different schools in the district and focuses more on a project-based curriculum and lessons that weave together multiple subjects.
Sonoma County is currently on the state's monitoring list, meaning only elementary schools may offer in-person instruction and only with the permission of the county health officer.
In the Bakersfield Californian, Ema Sasic writes about the particular challenges of online instruction for first-year teachers, who have been primarily trained for in-person instruction.
- Colleges and universities: The state released the guidance for reopening of colleges and universities for in-person instruction yesterday. Andrew Sheeler reports for the Bee:
According to the document, a phased reopening of colleges and universities will depend on such things as epidemiological trends, the availability of community COVID-19 testing resources and public health’s capacity to respond to case and outbreak investigations.
For institutions that are in counties that have been on the state’s monitoring list for three or more consecutive days, indoor lectures are not allowed.
The guidance spells out in what circumstances college sports may resume.
In the Times, Teresa Watanabe and Nina Agrawal write:
Most colleges, including the vast UC and Cal State systems, have already announced they were planning to start the fall with mostly online classes. The state’s strict rules prohibit indoor lectures for campuses located within the 38 counties on the COVID-19 monitoring list.
Some institutions, including USC and Claremont McKenna College, had abruptly scaled down plans to bring back some students to campus and announced they would begin classes this month with fully remote instruction and greatly limited access to dorms.
The Big Sky Conference, which includes the Sac State Hornets and my beloved UC Davis Aggies (football only) announced that it was postponing the fall football season to Spring 2021, although the NCAA has not decided yet whether to postpone the I-AA FCS National Championship playoffs to spring. Obviously, that involves persuading a lot of states that are deeply committed to fall football, regardless of the risk.
Of course, postponing everything to the spring may also be wishful thinking after the winter...
POLICE USE OF FORCE: As we've talked about before, legislators were instructed to winnow their bill ambitions for the end of session as the Legislature works on a compressed schedule and has an August 31 deadline to address hundreds of bills. This has really amplified the themes of the disruptive legislative year.
Yesterday's Senate Public Safety Committee hearing had a major theme of police use of force and discrimination.
Below are the use of force bills. The description of key provisions below is my phrasing as the official bill titles wouldn't tell you much. As evident from the lengthy hearing today, I can't do justice to each of them in The Nooner. You can watch the hearing here (warning, as stated above, it is just over six hours, but you can skip around).
- AB 66 (Gonzalez): Restricting use of kinetic energy projectile (rubber/plastic bullets, beanbags) or chemical agents. Prohibits the use of CS/CN chemical tear gas. Vote: 5-1-1 (Morrell no, Moorlach not voting)
- AB 767 (Grayson): Access to the California Victim Compensation Fund for police use of excessive force. The issue comes down to the board overseeing the fund is prohibited from granting victim compensation if the victim is shown to have contributed to the excessive use of force. Vote: 6-1 (Morrell no)
- AB 1022 (Holden): Duty to intercede and report by a peace officer observing another officer using excessive force. Vote: 5-1-1 (Morrell no, Moorlach not voting)
- AB 1196 (Gipson): Prohibits the use of carotid restraint and choke holds. Vote: 6-1 (Morrell no)
The committee will hold one more hearing on Wednesday upon adjournment of Rules Committee to consider two bills:
- AB 1506 (McCarty): Creates divisions in the Department of Justice (DOJ) to, upon request, review local law enforcement agency use-of-force policies and to, upon request, conduct an independent investigation into any officer-involved shooting and, if deemed appropriate, prosecute the officer(s) involved. Reportedly, the author's office and DOJ are still in discussions on final bill language.
- AB 2699 (Santiago): Adds agencies not currently exempt from the sale or purchase if "unsafe" handguns to those exempt. In many cases, "unsafe" just means that the manufacturer hadn't paid the annual fee to keep the handguns on the DOJ roster. Conventional law enforcement is already largely exempt. This bill adds administrative agencies that have personnel authorized to carry firearms, like the California Horse Racing Board and California State Lottery.
The committee also approved bills yesterday that captured my interest on peremptory challenges in jury selection and charging and sentencing disparities based on race. I'll write more on these in upcoming days.
WILDFIRES: As wildfires start springing up around the state, the Chron's J.D. Morris looks at how the state is preparing for a major fire season amidst the COVID-19 crisis.
“Our fuel conditions are primed and ready for those larger, more destructive fires,” said Cal Fire spokesperson Robert Foxworthy. “We are set up to have above normal, significant fire potential in at least some portion of Northern California through October.”
The pandemic sharply limited the ranks of inmate crews the state has historically relied on to help battle blazes. So Gov. Gavin Newsom announced last month that the state would hire 858 seasonal firefighters, and that process is well under way, according to Foxworthy.
COVID-19 is affecting some of Cal Fire’s operations, too. Base camps where firefighters typically gather to eat, rest and plan for the day now require masks and have spread out more to allow for social distancing. Morning briefings have far fewer people in attendance and are broadcast over the radio. For sleeping accommodations, Cal Fire is trying to house more people in off-site hotels instead of cramming them into trailers. Crews are sticking together and operating “as a family unit,” Foxworthy said.
“They’ve done some good planning,” said Scott Stephens, a UC Berkeley fire science professor. “But one thing we know about firefighting for sure is it is a group activity, and the only way it works is if you actually work very, very strongly as a group.”
LET THERE BE LIGHT: For Capitol Weekly, Joaquin Romero looks at incoming University of California President Michael V. Drake, M.D., who took over the helm of the 10-campus system this week following the retirement of Janet Napolitano. Romero writes about that challenges Drake faces amidst the pandemic and racial tensions and protests on the campuses. Romero writes:
Drake is no stranger to UC.
For the past six years, Drake has been president of Ohio State University, but much of his career has been within the UC.
At the next Open California/Capitol Weekly board meeting, I'll demand to know who edited the article, as even I who knows little about college football know that it's THE Ohio State University. Just joking...who am I to talk about editing?!?
From 2000 to 2005, he was the system’s vice president for health affairs, and from 2005 to 2014 he served as the chancellor of UC Irvine.
UC’s internal politics are somewhat Byzantine and intriguing, at least to outside observers. But the campus chancellors and provosts wield enormous authority within the system.
DESAL: The proposed Poseidon desalination project in Huntington Beach was delayed again yesterday by the Regional Water Quality Board, reports Martin Wisckol in the Register.
The Regional Water Quality Control Board concluded three days of hearings on the project’s next permit by telling Poseidon it must return with a more robust, more detailed mitigation plan to offset the environmental damage the project will cause.
The board will reconvene Sept. 17 to assess Poseidon’s progress on an updated mitigation plan and to discuss any outstanding issues. It’s not known if the board will have adequate information to cast a final vote on the permit at that meeting.
While the board has granted two previous permits, environmental standards have subsequently increased and many local environmental groups are strongly opposed to the project.
LA-LA LAND: In the Times, Emily Alpert-Reyes and David Zahniser write that Los Angeles could revoke the permits for projects tied to the corruption scandal at City Hall that has led to the arrest of council member Jose Huizar.
In a letter to council members, [City Attorney Mike] Feuer said the city needs an effective tool to address development decisions “tainted by corruption and fraud” and to help restore public faith in City Hall. He urged the council to pass the ordinance swiftly and “put it to use” on projects implicated in the ongoing probe.
“The city must take decisive action to address the specter of corruption and fraud that looms over the city’s land-use decision-making process,” he wrote.
VEEPSTAKES: Willie Brown writes in the Chron that Kamala Harris should say no to the running mate position if asked by Joe Biden.
Harris is a tested and proven campaigner who will work her backside off to get Biden elected. That said, the vice presidency is not the job she should go for — asking to be considered as attorney general in a Biden administration would be more like it.
Being picked for the vice presidency is obviously a huge honor, and if Biden wins, Harris would make history by being the first woman to hold the job.
But the glory would be short-lived, and historically, the vice presidency has often ended up being a dead end. For every George H.W. Bush, who ascended from the job to the presidency, there’s an Al Gore, who never got there.
I think Willie has a sense that she's not going to be offered the spot...
cakeday and new classifieds after the jump...
CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Chris Lehman and Christopher Pickard!
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