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The Nooner for Tuesday, November 10, 2020, presented by SYASL Partners

  • Election 2020
  • COVID-19
  • Voting
  • Higher ed
  • ABCs of lobbying
  • Bay tolls
  • Sac locals
  • LA-LA Land
  • Cakeday and classifieds

Good morning! This morning, the Supreme Court of the United States heard oral arguments in California v. Texas, the case that could determine the future of the Affordable Care Act. There is an issue of whether the attorneys general have standing and after that is settled, the fundamental question is severability. After Congress repealed the tax penalty for non-participation, does that invalidate the entire law or is it severable allowing the rest to stand?

Listening to the two-hour oral arguments (California v. Texas was consolidated with Texas v. California leading to a two-hour session), it sounded like a majority of the Court was poised to uphold the Act, with CJ Roberts and AJ Kavanaugh joining AJs Breyer, Kagan, and Sotomayor in a finding that the now-removed tax provision (non-participation fee or penalty) is severable from the other parts of the Act.

For CalMatters, Ana B. Ibarra looks at what's at stake for Californians if SCOTUS throws out the ACA and PPIC has a post on the subject following the arguments.

Today is a big day for state COVID-19 tier updates. During yesterday's NewsomAtNoon, California HHS Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly stated that we would see no states advance to a less-restrictive tier today but several return to a more restrictive one. Sacramento and surrounding counties may be part of the group that return to the most-restrictive tier, Purple.

A return to purple for any county would mean the closure of indoor dining, religious services, gyms, movie theaters, and museums as well as delay schools school that have not fully reopened for in-person instruction from doing so.

The Bee's Jayson Chesler looks at what happens when a county "falls back."

-Tallied turnout: 70%

-Possible turnout: Around 81%, depending on validity of provisionals and conditional voter registration provisionals and any ballots postmarked by Election Day and received after the last report.

-What's left? From the unprocessed ballots report, updated at 5:00pm yesterday, estimates:

  • Vote-by-mail: 2,326,430
  • Provisional: 65,014
  • Conditional Voter Registration Provisional: 271,773
  • Other (damaged, write-ins, etc): 77,629
  • Total: 2,740,846

-Ballot count: Yesterday, 24 counties provided updates for a total of 878,546 ballots. Thus far, 15,500,782 ballots have been counted. While not on its counting schedule, Los Angeles provided an update yesterday.

Topline notes:

  • CA25 (Santa Clarita-Antelope Valley): Assembly member Christy Smith (D) took a 1,287 (0.4%) lead over Rep. Mike Garcia (R), who defeated Smith in a March special election to fill the seat left vacant by Katie Hill's (D) resignation.
  • CA48 (Orange County beach cities): First-term Rep. Harley Rouda (D) conceded to OC supe Michelle Steel (R).
  • AD35 (San Luis Obispo): Challenger Dawn Addis (D) conceded to Assembly member Jordan Cunningham (R)
  • San Diego: Councilmember Barbara Bry conceded to Assembly member Todd Gloria in the mayoral race.
  • San Diego BOS: Former state senator Joel Anderson (R-Alpine) is currently trailing Poway mayor Steve Vaus by 111 out out 284,451 votes for the open second district on the San Diego Board of Supervisors. Previously, I wrote that results showed that State Senator Ben Hueso (D-Logan Heights) losing to Southwestern CCD trustee and Planned Parenthood local government and community relations VP Nora Vargas. Vargas currently leads Hueso by 12.8%.
  • Former congresswoman Loretta Sanchez (D-Orange) lost her bid for a seat on the Rancho Santiago Community College District Board of Trustees. Currently, while Sanchez was supported by the district's faculty, local labor, and local elected officials, she is losing to North Orange CCD project director Tina Arias Miller 54.7-45.3%.

Closely watched races:

  • CA21 (Coalinga-Lemoore-South Bakersfield): David Valadao (R): 66,641; *TJ Cox (D): 62,083 (Diff: 3.5% ⬇️ 0.1%)
  • LEAD CHANGE: CA25 (Santa Clarita-Antelope Valley): Christy Smith (D): 160,756, *Mike Garcia (R): 159,469
  • CA39 (Diamond Bar-Fullerton-Yorba Linda): Young Kim (R): 164,971, *Gil Cisneros (D): 161,421 (Diff: 1.0%)
  • CA48 (Orange County beach cities): Michelle Steel (R): 197,256, *Harley Rouda (D): 189,910 (Diff: 1.8%)
  • SD21 (Santa Clarita-Antelope Valley): *Scott Wilk (R): 178,206, Kipp Mueller (D): 174,568 (Diff: 1.0%)
  • SD23 (Rancho Cucamonga-Redlands-Hemet): Rosalicie Ochoa Bogh (R): 154,429, Abigail Medina (D): 144,436 (Diff: 3.3% ⬆️  1.7%)
  • SD29 (Diamond Bar-Fullerton): Josh Newman (D): 205,049, *Ling Ling Chang (R): 194,195 (Diff: 2.7% ⬇️  0.2%)
  • SD37 (Anaheim Hills-Irvine-OC beach cities): Dave Min (D): 265.058, *John M.W. Moorlach (R): 252,525 (Diff: 2.4%)
  • AD13 (Stockton): Kathy Miller (D): 52,698, Carlos Villapudua (D): 49,743 (Diff: 2.8% ⬇️ 1.8%)
  • AD74 (OC Beach Cities-Costa Mesa-Irvine): *Cottie Petrie-Norris (D): 130,998, Diane Dixon (R): 127,895 (Diff: 1.2%) 

As it currently stands (this changes with lead changes):

  • California congressional delegation: 43 Democrats, 10 Republicans (R+3 from 2018 -- CA21CA39, and CA48, while filling the CA50 vacancy).
  • The State Senate: 31 Democrats, 9 Republicans (D+2 -- SD29, SD37).
  • The State Assembly: 60 Democrats, 19 Republicans (R+1 -- AD38), and one NPP (AD42).

Here are the current ballot measure results, which will likely reflect the final results:

Proposition 14 (stem cell bond) 51.1%
Proposition 15 (split roll property tax) 48.3%
Proposition 16 (affirmative action bond) 43.5%
Proposition 17 (voting: parole) 59.0%
Proposition 18 (voting: primary for 17yos) 44.6%
Proposition 19 (property tax base transfer) 51.2%
Proposition 20 (criminal justice) 37.8%
Proposition 21 (rent control) 40.4%
Proposition 22 (transportation network AB 5 exemption) 58.4%
Proposition 23 (dialysis) 36.4%
Proposition 24 (consumer privacy) 56.1%
Proposition 25 (bail referendum - yes upholds SB 10) 44.1%

COVID-19: Yesterday, 29 deaths were added in California for a total of 18,004 since the beginning of the pandemic. In its daily release, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health states "he number of new cases and deaths reflects a reporting lag over the weekend."

-NewsomAtNoon: During yesterday's presser, Governor Newsom expressed concern with rising cases as the weather cools and people spend more time indoors. He also echoed concerns from local public health officials about Halloween gatherings. He specifically referred to the rising positivity rate, which is now 3.7%, an increase of 0.9% from 14 days ago. Since testing is going up, ideally positivity would be going down. Here are the visuals (click for larger or visit the California Department of Public Health state dashboard):

COVID tests by day COVID cases by day
Source: California Department of Public Health

He also tempered expectations of a quick vaccine based on the Pfizer announcement. After breaking down the 50 million doses available by the end of the year to what California might get, it might cover health care workers and first responders, but would not be sufficient to reach all high-risk individuals.

-Cases: For CalMatters, Ana B. Ibarra reports on California's increase in cases and what officials say it should mean for the holidays.

The state’s positivity rate, Newsom said, “may sound great compared to most other states right now…but we’re starting to see people again take down their guard, take off their masks, begin to mix outside their household,” Newsom said.

By comparison, Nevada is reporting a 14-day positivity rate of 13.6%. Michigan has a positivity rate of 11.7% and, in Arizona, 10.1% of tests are coming back positive.

Private household gatherings continue to be a major source of transmission, according to Dr. Mark Ghaly, the state’s health and human services secretary.

...

California has yet to release guidelines for the holidays, but as the weather cools and people celebrate indoors, counties have moved to release their own recommendations.

In joint guidance, public health officials from 10 Bay Area counties are advising the public to keep gatherings small, short and outdoors — that means up to three households and no more than two hours. They also discourage any non-essential travel.

-Bay Area: For the Chron, Aidin Vaziri writes about the Bay Area guidance which, if the pattern this year is followed, will be adopted by many counties, including Sacramento and possibly the state:

California allows people from up to three households to meet up for less than two hours. Gatherings must be held outside, hosts must collect contact information for contact tracing in case of an outbreak, and everyone is required to wear face coverings and maintain social distance.

“Any activity outside of your household increases chances of exposure to the virus,” the health officials said in a statement. “Be selective and space out which public activities you choose. If gathering with your small, stable group is most important, consider forgoing or delaying other activities such as a haircut or indoor dining to reduce your overall exposures.”

The guidance adds that nonessential travel, including holiday travel, is not recommended.

The officials note that air travel outside the Bay Area is likely to increase the chances of residents getting infected and spreading the virus to others after returning to the region.

-Los Angeles: From the LA County release:

L.A. County is experiencing a surge in COVID-19 transmission. From mid-September to late-October, new reported cases went from a little over 750 cases per day to almost 1,400 cases per day. Over the weekend, Public Health reported for Saturday and Sunday, a total of 4,656 cases; 2,418 new cases for Saturday and 2,238 new cases for Sunday. These numbers are demonstrating real and alarming increases.

-Disneyland: In the Register, Brady MacDonald reports on additional furloughs at Disneyland.

Disneyland president Ken Potrock announced the furloughs of executive, salaried and hourly workers on Monday, Nov. 9 in a letter to cast members, Disney parlance for employees.

“Since Disneyland resort closed its gates in March, nothing has been more important than fully reopening and getting our cast members back to work,” Potrock wrote. “That’s why it is with heavy hearts we find ourselves in the untenable situation of having to institute additional furloughs for our executive, salaried and hourly cast.”

COVID-19 health and safety reopening guidelines issued by the state could leave Disneyland, Disney California Adventure and other large California theme parks unable to return until early 2021 or next summer. The Downtown Disney outdoor shopping mall reopened in July. Disney California Adventure plans to reopen Buena Vista Street without rides or attractions on Nov. 19 for shopping and dining.

Disney furloughed non-essential employees at its U.S. theme parks in April.

Disney laid off 28,000 employees in September at Disneyland and Walt Disney World. An exact count of the layoffs at the Disneyland resort is not yet available, but an early estimate puts the number at approximately 10,000 employees.

Meanwhile, the Disneyland Resort hotels is no longer taking and canceling reservations through December 31, reports MacDonald, although the Disney Vacation Club villas at the Grand Californian plans to be open beginning December 6.

VOTING: In response to a question by a reporter, Governor Newsom stated that he was interested in looking at legislation to continue with all-mail with vote centers elections like we saw last week. Shortly after the governor's comments, Assembly member Marc Berman (D-Palo Alto) announced he would introduce such legislation in the 2021-22 Legislative Session. Berman is chair of Assembly Elections, Redistricting, and Constitutional Amendments.

HIGHER ED: The LAT's Nina Agrawal reports that during the pandemic, enrollments at the California State University have been pushed to record levels.

This fall, [Vincent] Aguayo enrolled at California State University, Sacramento, one of thousands of students who pushed the Cal State system to record high enrollment, despite predictions that the pandemic and shift to virtual learning would prompt students to leave in droves. The 23 campuses of the university collectively enrolled 485,549 students in fall 2020, about a 0.75% increase over last fall. 

“It’s the opposite of what I was expecting,” said Andrea Venezia, executive director of the Education Insights Center, an education policy research organization based at the Sacramento campus. Venezia, along with many higher education researchers and administrators nationwide, had braced for predicted dramatic drops.

A number of factors likely contributed to the Cal State system’s counterintuitive numbers, university officials and other experts said:

The state universities’ bold decision last spring to decide to keep students online in the fall provided certainty during the early tumultuous months of the pandemic. The university’s years-long initiative to increase graduation rates has built momentum that students did not want to stop. And the relative affordability of the university — and a push for more financial aid during the pandemic — also helped to keep students enrolled.

ABCs OF LOBBYING: Capitol Weekly has part one of a primer on lobbying the Legislature prepared by lobbyists Laura Curtis, Robert Moutrie and Chris Micheli.

BAY TOLLS: In the Chron, Mallory Moench writes that Bay Area tolls are likely to go up given the drop in traffic as people work from home and visitors don't come into the City.

The Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District, which oversees the bridge, buses and ferries, must cut a quarter of its positions, raise tolls on drivers coming from Marin to San Francisco or a combination of both to avoid spending capital reserves and keep the agency afloat, the agency told its board of directors in a letter Monday. But even those measures won’t entirely fill its looming $48 million shortfall this fiscal year, with toll lanes less busy and ferries and buses still mostly empty as North Bay commuters work from home.

“All transit agencies all across the country are struggling, but we’re hitting the fiscal cliff much sooner than others,” the district’s general manager Denis Mulligan said Monday. “For us, it’s quite brutal.”

Eight months after shelter-in-place orders shuttered the Bay Area, Golden Gate Bridge traffic is still down 30%, bus ridership dropped 75% and ferry ridership plummeted 96%. The transit district has experienced about a $2 million a week drop in tolls and fares, officials said. The district is unique in that tolls are its largest source of revenue to fund bridge, bus and ferry operations, the letter to the board of directors read.

In the article, Moench writes up three options under consideration to right the ships.

SAC LOCALS: Already, Sacramento City Unified School Board President Jessie Ryan and Campaign for College Opportunity executive vice president has lost her reelection bid. Now, Capitol folks are looking west to Yolo County to see if West Sacramento mayor Christopher Cabaldon survives. The elected mayor since 2004 is currently up by 122 votes out of 14,134 cast for the office. Yolo has an estimated 27,976 ballots remaining and West Sac accounts for 25% of the county's registered voters. As Graham Womack wrote in the Sac News & Review on October 9, labor jumped behind challenger Councilwoman Martha Guerrero. Guerrero is a lobbyist for the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. Womack writes:

Cabaldon told SN&R that a fight over the placement of a possible casino on the eventual IKEA site in 2004 and 2005 frayed relations with labor, as did his public disclosure of his sexual orientation.

“In the spring of 2006, I came out of the closet,” Cabaldon said. “Prior to that year, in 2004, 2002, 1998, 1996 and 1994, every single election before that, the police and fire unions and the labor council and the building trades, they were all strong backers of my election and then my reelection. And then in 2006, that all changed.”

The city of West Sacramento has agreements with four unions, according to its website.

Roberto Padilla, a spokesman for Sacramento Area Fire Fighters Local 522, said he had no comment on Cabaldon’s allegation, but confirmed his group had endorsed Guerrero “based on the fact that she has a proven record of working with us and our relationship with her has been ongoing.”

The West Sacramento Police Officers’ Association and West Sacramento Police Managers Association aren’t making endorsements this election. “I don’t think anybody is really seeking a law enforcement endorsement right now just because of the political climate in the mainstream media and all that,” said officers’ association President Nick Barreiro. “I think it was just a good time to sit this one out.”

Each union supported Cabaldon’s opponent in 2018, Joe DeAnda, and also supported Guerrero, who was running for city council.

A representative for the other city employee union, the Stationary Engineers Local 39, wasn’t available for comment.

[Central Labor Council executive director Fabrizio] Sasso strongly disputed Cabaldon’s accusation, saying he had “absolutely not” witnessed any homophobia from his group or any unions he works with. Sasso pointed out that the council has endorsed several LGBTQ candidates, including Sacramento City Councilman Steve Hansen, Roseville City Council candidate Neil Pople, state Assembly District 6 candidate Jackie Smith and Grass Valley Councilwoman Hilary Hodge.

Prior to learning of Cabaldon’s allegations, Sasso outlined several issues that labor has had with Cabaldon, including his support of the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal and of charter schools.

Sasso said he’s been unable to forge a working relationship with Cabaldon.

“In my time at the labor council, he’s not once accepted to meet with us or come in to an endorsement interview,” said Sasso, who joined the labor council in 2015. “So that just tells me he has no regard for working-class folks.”

I believe I first met Cabaldon in 1993 when he was chief consultant for Assembly Higher Education under Marguerite Archie-Hudson and I was a community college student advocating with a borrowed tie from my dad.

LA-LA LAND: Joel Fox looks south as Los Angeles begins to implement "defund the police."

Last week the Los Angeles Police Department laid out plans to deal with a smaller budget forced on the LAPD in part by a $150 million cut as a result of the police reform movement. The risks of changes in policing strategies will be measured against citizens’ safety. While it’s too early to judge the consequences, the concerns for safety are real.

LAPD Chief Michael Moore announced cuts in air support, robbery homicide and gang and narcotics divisions. Additionally, desk hours at police stations would be reduced, manned only during weekday hours. The police will stop investigating automobile accidents with minor injuries involved and will require accident reports to be filed online. Perhaps, most significantly, the LAPD sworn officer core will be reduced from 10,110 to 9,752. Having 10,000 officers was a goal for the police and many past mayoral administrations.

The obvious question is will people feel safe?

cakeday and classifieds after the jump...

Probolsky Research

CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Robbie Abelon!

Classifieds

Add your classified now both in The Nooner and online for $50/week or $150/month by emailing scottlay@gmail.com, with a headline, a summary of up to 200 words, and what you'd like the end date to be. You can attach a PDF or provide a link for a bigger job description/info to apply. [Other advertising options]


California School Boards Association - Legislative Director

CSBA is seeking a Legislative Director to lead our Governmental Relations team to shape legislative and political strategy for CSBA’s statewide agenda. You will act as a liaison between legislative, educational, and public communities. If you are interested in leading a team of legislative advocates to influence opinion in favor of public education, please apply through our website. Position is located in West Sacramento. Learn more and apply here: https://www.csba.org/About/Careers

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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