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The Nooner for Sunday, November 15, 2020, presented by SYASL Partners

  • Election 2020
  • COVID-19
  • Taxing matters
  • Cakeday and classifieds

Happy Sunday. It looks like a beautiful fall day across California. Farmers market was chilly but great this morning and I can now restock my fridge after largely cleaning it out by eating exclusively from farmers market through the week as a post-election dietary reset.

Just a few items today before grabbing some street tacos at Our Lady of Guadalupe, which is my "cheat" meal from my farmers market eating, and then some cooking and food prep for the week this afternoon.

ELECTION 2020: Yesterday, Kern, Orange, Riverside, and San Diego reported new tallies with a combined additional 51,270 ballots bringing the statewide total to 17,142,805 voters.

-Tallied turnout: 77% of registered voters

-Possible turnout: Around 79% of registered voters, 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 Friday, estimates:

  • Vote-by-mail: 470,999
  • Provisional: 58,778
  • Conditional Voter Registration Provisional: 176,750
  • Other (damaged, write-ins, etc): 39,891
  • Total: 746,418

-Topline notes: 

  • There were no lead changes yesterday.
  • Sandy Eggo: Former state senator Joel Anderson currently has 144,414 (50.03%) votes to Poway mayor Steve Vaus's 144,258 (49.97%) for the 2nd District seat on the Board of Supervisors.

-Closely watched races:

  • CA21 (Coalinga-Lemoore-South Bakersfield): David Valadao (R): 81,157; *TJ Cox (D): 79,920 (Diff: 1.2% ⬇️ 0.2%)
  • CA25 (Santa Clarita-Antelope Valley): *Mike Garcia (R): 166,617, Christy Smith (D): 166,513 (Diff: 0.03%)
  • CA39 (Diamond Bar-Fullerton-Yorba Linda): Young Kim (R): 172,406, *Gil Cisneros (D): 168,245 (Diff: 1.2%)
  • CA48 (Orange County beach cities): Michelle Steel (R): 201,152, *Harley Rouda (D): 192,954 (Diff: 2.0%)
  • SD21 (Santa Clarita-Antelope Valley): *Scott Wilk (R): 193,741, Kipp Mueller (D): 187,655 (Diff: 1.6% ⬆️ 0.2%)
  • SD23 (Rancho Cucamonga-Redlands-Hemet): Rosalicie Ochoa Bogh (R): 207,561, Abigail Medina (D): 187,729 (Diff: 4.6%)
  • SD29 (Diamond Bar-Fullerton): Josh Newman (D): 212,910, *Ling Ling Chang (R): 202,240 (Diff: 2.6%)
  • SD37 (Anaheim Hills-Irvine-OC beach cities): Dave Min (D): 299,906, *John M.W. Moorlach (R): 257,711 (Diff: 2.4% ⬆️ 0.2%)
  • AD13 (Stockton): Carlos Villapudua (D): 63,975, Kathy Miller (D): 63,771 (Diff: 0.2%)
  • AD74 (OC Beach Cities-Costa Mesa-Irvine): *Cottie Petrie-Norris (D): 133,309, Diane Dixon (R): 130,657 (Diff: 1.0%) 

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

  • California congressional delegation: 42 Democrats, 11 Republicans (R+4 from 2018 -- CA21, CA25CA39, and CA48, while retaining 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. All ballot measures have been called by the Associated Press.

Proposition 14 (stem cell bond) 51.0%
Proposition 15 (split roll property tax) 48.0%
Proposition 16 (affirmative action ban repeal) 42.9%
Proposition 17 (voting: parole) 58.6%
Proposition 18 (voting: primary for 17yos) 44.0%
Proposition 19 (property tax base transfer) 51.1%
Proposition 20 (criminal justice) 38.2%
Proposition 21 (rent control) 40.2%
Proposition 22 (transportation network AB 5 exemption) 58.6%
Proposition 23 (dialysis) 36.4%
Proposition 24 (consumer privacy) 56.1%
Proposition 25 (bail referendum - yes upholds SB 10) 43.7%

-Sandy Eggo: In the SDUT, Charles T. Clark looks at the gains made by Republicans in California in the November 3 election and why the local GOP didn't fare so well.

While not quite the resurgence they may have hoped for, California Republicans made significant gains around the state in this election and are on pace to pick up three of the state’s 53 congressional seats, putting them at 11.

Unfortunately for local Republicans, San Diego County was not part of that trend.

Democrats flipped two San Diego City Council seats, comfortably staved off Republican challengers in two competitive assembly districts and a competitive congressional district, and claimed a majority on the San Diego County Board of Supervisors for possibly the first time ever.

In fact, the only real bright spots for local Republicans may be that they reclaimed a majority on the Escondido City Council and a Republican candidate held onto the 50th Congressional District seat — which was in play because its former occupant, Duncan D. Hunter, pled guilty to a felony related to misused campaign funds.

Several political scientists and some prominent local Republicans recently shared their perspective on how the party got to this point and what it can do to rebound.

COVID-19: Yesterday, 39 deaths were added in California for a total of 18,252 since the beginning of the pandemic and 7,996 cases were added for a total of 1,023,818. The usual weekend reporting caveat applies, with lower reported numbers that are pushed forward to the workweek.

Let's look at the trends.

COVID tests by day COVID positivity by day
COVID cases by day in Placer COVID hospitalizations by day
COVID ICU beds by day COVID deaths by day
Source: California Department of Public Health, COVID-19 State Dashboard

None of these charts are in the "right" direction except for daily deaths. Several factors contribute to that. First, health professionals have a much better handle on how to treat COVID-19 and more tools in the toolbox. Of the 18,218 deaths on the state dashboard (which lags the LAT one quoted at the top of this item by a couple of days), 7.2% were between the ages of 18 and 49. Some had an underlying health issue, but there were others "perfectly healthy" who died of strokes and heart attacks, including the first death in Santa Clara County on February 6.

While COVID-19 was initially thought to be a purely respiratory disease caused by the novel SARS-CoV-2 (the second "severe acute respiratory syndrome," caused by a coronavirus), part of the syndrome is unusual blood clotting, causing the non-respiratory symptoms. Now that health professionals know that, they can provide widely available preventative blood thinners like heparin to patients when clinically possible. Additionally, drugs like remdesivir and monoclonal antibodies can be used on some of the sickest patients, although hospitals are still having to triage the use.

Nevertheless, the medical community is increasingly concern about lasting impacts of COVID-19 among patients who have "recovered" from the syndrome, which I've written about before. Since most of us now know somebody who has recovered, you likely have heard their stories.

There is good news beyond the progress toward a vaccine and the increasing availability of other therapeutics. Flu activity in California and most states is minimal. Illinois is seeing the perfect storm of a spike in COVID-19 and widespread flu activity. Iowa has a very difficult situation, with widespread influenza-like illness and a 7-day average positivity rate of 50% for SARS-CoV-2-19. South Dakota, while not hit hard by the flu yet, has a novel coronavirus positivity rate north of 60%.

Here's the map of influenza-like illness in the United States, from the CDC.

Flu activity

-Higher ed: In the SDUT, Gary Robbins looks at how the region's universities are handling the spike in cases leading to a demotion to the most restrictive purple tier and the Thanksgiving holiday.

UC San Diego urged students to get tested before leaving to avoid unwittingly spreading the virus. After the holiday, UCSD and San Diego State University will begin testing many of its students weekly, rather than bi-weekly, for COVID-19 to help slow transmission. The schools were working out the details on Friday.

Meanwhile, the University of San Diego was saying goodbye to its undergraduates, who’ve been asked to finish the semester from home to reduce the possibility that they’d bring the virus back to campus.

The LAT's Alex Wigglesworth writes that USC is planning on a mostly online spring term.

School officials had hoped to bring 5,000 students back into campus housing for the spring semester, which begins Jan. 15, and had teams working to prepare classrooms, develop cleaning protocols and create a testing and contact tracing strategy.

But late last month, L.A. County public health officials began to report an uptick in new coronavirus cases and hospitalizations, indicating that transmission of the virus is on the rise. The county reported 2,481 new cases of the virus Friday, and there were 966 confirmed coronavirus patients in county hospitals as of Thursday.

 

“The current surge in COVID-19 transmission in L.A. County is alarming,” Barbara Ferrer, the county public health director, said Friday in a statement urging people to take precautions and to refrain from traveling for the holidays. “If we act now, we can prevent increasing rates of illness and death, stressing our healthcare system, and further stalling our recovery.”

 ...

Friday’s announcement marked the second time that USC’s reopening plans were dashed by a surge in coronavirus infections since the school transitioned to online learning in March.

The university had initially planned to bring all undergraduates back to campus during the fall semester, which began Aug. 17, for a mix of online and in-person classes. But it was forced to reverse the decision in July, when new cases and hospitalizations in L.A. County reached the highest levels seen during the pandemic.

Instead, school officials announced, only 10% to 20% of courses would be conducted in person and on campus, including certain labs, studios and performance classes, and research studies that require hands-on work. Students who needed to live on campus were permitted to do so, provided there was only one student per bedroom.

Meanwhile, Vincent Moleski reports on an exposure at the Theta Chi fraternity at my alma mater, UC Davis.

UC Davis officials are looking into a gathering that may have been held at an off-campus fraternity house Thursday, potentially exposing 20 students to the virus that causes COVID-19 after one fraternity member tested positive for the coronavirus.

In a news release Saturday, the university said it learned that a member of the Theta Chi fraternity tested positive for the coronavirus on Thursday, the same day that a large gathering was believed to have taken place at the fraternity’s off-campus residence.

The fraternity house is normally the home of 10 students, who have since been quarantined. The student who tested positive for COVID-19 is now quarantining at his parents’ house, according to the school.

Officials said the gathering took place Thursday evening and involved 10 to 20 people, violating campus guidelines as well as local health guidelines.

On Friday, Yolo County Public Health sent a quarantine order to the 10 fraternity members. Nine were moved into quarantine apartments on campus while one remained at the fraternity house to take care of pets.

TAXING MATTERS: For CalMatters, Dan Walters looks at what is next for advocates for the revenue that would have been generated by Proposition 15, the failed measure to remove most commercial and industrial property from Proposition 13 (1978) protections to benefit schools and local governments.

Proposition 15’s rejection creates a dilemma for public employee unions and other spending advocates who ardently believe that despite already having one of the nation’s highest taxation levels, somewhere over 12% of personal income, California governments need much more money.

Those advocates enjoy strong support in the overwhelmingly Democratic Legislature, which could simply raise sales, personal income or corporate tax rates without going to voters. Tax increases will no doubt be introduced when the Legislature reconvenes in December since putting a bill in the hopper is a cheap way for a legislator to show solidarity with unions and other pro-tax factions.

However, having enough Democratic legislators to pass new taxes and putting up enough votes for specific levies are not the same thing, particularly if they lack gubernatorial support.

When Gov. Gavin Newsom endorsed Proposition 15, he pointedly said he would not sanction more bites on his fellow high-income Californians or a “wealth tax,” both of which have been floated in the Capitol.

...

Does Proposition 15’s defeat cool the jets of tax increase advocates, or spur them to greater efforts?

cakeday and classifieds after the jump...

Probolsky Research

CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Joseph Cruz and Andrew Rivas!

Classifieds

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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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