Around The Capitol

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DISTRICT UPDATES

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The Nooner for Friday, January 8, 2021, presented by SYASL Partners

  • Capitol protests there and here
  • Budget
  • Housing
  • Biden Admin
  • Media matters
  • COVID-19
    -the numbers
    -regional stay-at-home
    --regional data
    -tiers for fears
  • Cakeday and classifieds  

¡Buenos días mis amigos y feliz viernes!

At 11:00 this morning, Governor Newsom introduced his proposed 2021-22 State Budget. That's what I will be reading this affternoon. 

COVIDpalooza 2021 starts today in the unincorporated Rancho Murieta in Sacramento County as "Re-open Cal Now" begins its three-day policy conference. The event is co-sponsored by Sacramento County supe Sue Frost, Riverside County supe Jeff Hewitt, and Orange County supe (and former Assembly member) Don Wagner.

Elected speakers include:

  • Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Elk Grove in Ami Bera's CD07)
  • Assembly member James Gallagher (R-Yuba City)
  • Assembly member Kevin Kiley (R-Roseville)
  • Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones
  • Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco
  • El Dorado County Sheriff John D'Agostini

The promotion for the conference claims "15 expert speakers," although only four are medical doctors, none of which are among the electeds that are included in the number of fifteen. Kiley and Gallagher are good lawyers, even though Kiley went to as law school in Cambridge while Gallagher went to a much better one in Davis. Nevertheless, neither are Dr. Birx or Dr. Fauci.

A protest is scheduled for 4pm tomorrow at the State Capitol.

The agenda notes that the "restaurant will be open" during today's check-in.

I haven't spent a lot of time reading stories about the riot on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, but I really enjoyed what National Geographic sent to my inbox. I was given a subscription for Christmas and am loving it. As you know, last month I lost my grandmother who turned 100 last March. NatGeo reminds me of every visit to her Portland house where I would spend time thumbing through the issues. Anyway, the NatGeo articles and photography are worth a visit (I believe non-subscribers get 4 free articles).

Meanwhile, my friend and UC Davis Law professor Carlton Larson had a great commentary in the WaPo yesterday about Wednesday.

The scenes are nearly unbelievable: An armed mob storming the U.S. Capitol to disrupt the counting of the electoral votes. The rioters claimed to be patriots, some of them even waving the Revolutionary War flag “Don’t Tread on Me.” So what would our nation’s founders have thought about this conduct?

The answer is pretty clear — they would have denounced it as treason. Article III of the Constitution limits the crime to “levying war against the United States” or “adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.” Adhering to enemies addresses aid to foreign nations or groups with whom the United States is in a state of open war. By contrast, “levying war” primarily addresses internal concerns. The Constitution’s drafters understood the term “levying war” to include any armed insurrection to obstruct a law of the United States. When tax protesters in western Pennsylvania attempted to resist the collection of federal excise taxes during the Whiskey Rebellion, President George Washington formed an army to fight them; his administration later indicted a number of the rebels for treason. A few years later, when men in eastern Pennsylvania used force to prevent the collection of a federal property tax, the John Adams administration prosecuted the leaders for treason. Supreme Court justices presiding over these trials all agreed treason had been committed. In 1842, Justice Joseph Story summarized the law, concluding it was treason “by force to prevent the execution of any one or more general and public laws of the government, or to resist the exercise of any legitimate authority of the government in its sovereign capacity.”

I was writing about Carlton's work on the topic before Wednesday. His book "The Trials of Allegiance: Treason, Juries, and the American Revolution," which we discussed on the live podcast in December 2019 was an expansion on his Harvard undergrad senior thesis. Admittedly, it's a heavy book with small font and a crapload of citations. Thus, in September, he offered a simplified version in bigger font with "On Treason: A Citizen's Guide to the Law."

Meanwhile, the Greater Sacramento Region's ICU capacity (available beds) fell to its lowest point yet yesterday of 9.2%. You can order more jigsaw puzzles as things won't be back to a semblance of normal for awhile.

CAPITOL PROTESTS THERE AND HERE: Overnight, a United States Capitol Police officer died from injuries during the riot. A team at the NYT reports:

A United States Capitol Police officer died on Thursday night from injuries sustained “while physically engaging” with pro-Trump rioters who descended on the U.S. Capitol the day before, the fifth fatality linked to the chaos that engulfed the nation’s capital on Wednesday, according to the authorities.

The officer, Brian D. Sicknick, was only the fourth member of the force to be killed in the line of duty since its founding two centuries ago. After the bedlam of Wednesday’s siege and the recriminations that filled the airwaves the next day, a silence descended over the Capitol grounds late Thursday as hundreds of law enforcement officers from scores of agencies lined the streets to pay tribute to their fallen comrade.

But the loss of life also underscored the failure of law enforcement agencies to prevent the siege of the Capitol. And with leaders of both political parties calling for investigations, it appeared likely to lead to calls for profound changes to the Capitol Police.

The circumstances surrounding Mr. Sicknick's death were not immediately clear, and the Capitol Police said only that he had “passed away due to injuries sustained while on duty.” At some point in the chaos — with the mob rampaging through the halls of Congress while lawmakers were forced to hide under their desks — he was struck with a fire extinguisher, according to two law enforcement officials.

A federal murder investigation has been opened.

As the California Legislature prepares to return for the first time in 2021 on Monday, these events are clearly on the mind of legislators, the sergeants charged with daily protection of members, and the California Highway Patrol that provides general security of the Capitol and constitutional officers. The 271 uniformed officers of the California State Police that used to provide that function merged with the much larger CHP in 1995.

For now, the Capitol will continue to be closed to the public because of the pandemic and only those with official business will be allowed admittance. Members and committees will have only limited staff on premises and most committee testimony will be telephonic like the 2019-20 session concluded. However, that will be over at some point yet the concerns about security will continue.

I haven't been fearful for my life in the Capitol and I've been around long enough when you could walk in without metal detectors and if it was after business hours, you would push an intercom button to tell to a CHP staff member where you were going and you would be buzzed in. Obviously, things are very different now. The U.S. Capitol has even more security, yet it was breached yesterday.

Our most famous recent security breach was Friday Bloody Friday on September 13, 2019 when an anti-vaccination activist threw menstrual blood from the gallery onto the Senate Floor on the final night of the year's legislative activity. However, what we saw Wednesday paired with the anger over public health restrictions does make me worried about the safety of legislators, constitutional officers, and others with work in the State Capitol and I am certain that I'm not the only one.

During the 2019 anti-vaxx protests, several laws were broken including vandalism and breaching secure areas such as the entrance to the Senate Floor through "the gate." Sergeants, some of whom carry firearms, were overwhelmed and, like the Capitol Police on Wednesday, had little choice but to back up. California Highway Patrol officers were told "from the top" to exercise lax policing according to one officer I spoke to. Throughout the many days of protest, only one arrest was made prior to Friday Bloody Friday and it was of a mom sitting in the middle of the driveway entrance to the garage under the Annex where members and CHP officers protecting the Gov and Lite Gov park. The lax policing was likely because the Governor and CHP leadership didn't want footage for the evening news of moms being dragged out in handcuffs and I get that. 

The angry anti-vaxx protests of mostly moms were very different with what we saw Wednesday. The California folks angry about the presidential election and COVID-19 restrictions that I have seen in person and online are far different than what I saw inside the Capitol in 2019. Indeed, the LAT's Paige St. John writes today that the San Diego native shot and killed by Capitol Police on Wednesday as she tried to climb through broken glass to enter the House chamber was in part motivated by anger over public health restrictions as evident from social media postings. St. John writes:

She wrote that Trump is “one of gods greatest warriors … leading the way for us patriots to rise without fear against all we are facing.”

The day before her death, facing the prospect of weather-canceled flights to the capital, [Ashli] Babbitt replied on Twitter, “Nothing will stop us….they can try and try and try but the storm is here and it is descending upon DC in less than 24 hours....dark to light!”

“Dark to light,” often mixed with Christian references, is an anthem for followers of QAnon, and by an Atlanta-based trial attorney of which Babbitt was a close follower, L. Lin Wood.

In early December, Babbitt retweeted Wood’s exhortation, “give me liberty or give me death,” alongside someone else’s post praising pro-Trump demonstrators kicking, punching and beating a masked anti-fascist demonstrator with the heavy wooden poles bearing their U.S. flags.

“Dark to light! Let freedom ring and god bless America! God knows, god sees and he is incoming! Nothing can stop what is happening,” Babbitt also Tweeted in December, in objection to Democrats who she said had sold their souls to Satan.

Her rhetoric mirrored that of many of the most extreme opponents of COVID-19 restrictions. I acknowledge that many others present very rational arguments about the costs and benefits thereof.

While this very large state voted 63.5%-34.3% for the Biden/Harris ticket, there were 6,006,429 voters who cast ballots for Trump/Pence. Very few of these would take to the violence that we saw on Wednesday, but very few is still a lot of people and they are amped up here over the public health restrictions.

I don't have a solution but I know that the current fencing around the State Capitol is exactly the same as what was present at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, which was enhanced yesterday with a 7-foot high nonscalable fence as is customarily used for inaugurations. A rush on the State Capitol would easily overwhelm the security screening staff and, while the CHP did a great job last year during protests of both Black Lives Matter supporters and opponents of pandemic public health restrictions, none of them attempted to rush the State Capitol.

I fear that Wednesday could set a new standard for angry protests and I worry for the safety of all those who work in the State Capitol, those who have business inside, the public, and me.

HOUSING: In The Bee, Hannah Wiley reports on an ambitious proposal from lawmakers to help renters avoid eviction.

Eighteen Assembly members and senators said in prepared statements that setting aside $5 billion in the state budget specifically for renters will help prevent evictions and homelessness during a public health emergency that’s already exacerbated income inequity in the Golden State.

...

“People are absolutely hurting,” said Assemblyman Miguel Santiago, D-Los Angeles. “And we’ve seen the devastating effects particularly on low-income communities across the state. And we have seen the impacts across the board on all Californians, not just those who used to be considered one paycheck away from being evicted or on the streets.”

Newsom’s office this week said his budget proposal would recommend lawmakers quickly distribute $2.6 billion in funds earmarked for rental assistance that the state received from the federal government.

But Santiago said that lawmakers wanted to “aim for something high” in their bid for additional state dollars.

“Fight for as much as you can,” Santiago said. “People are desperate and they are literally going to die on the streets if we don’t act. We have to go out and fight as hard as we can to keep people with a roof over their head food on their tables.”

BIDEN ADMIN: Yesterday, Joe Biden announced his pick for the administrator of the Small Business Administration as California's GO-Biz Director of the Small Business Advocate Isabel Guzman. In a statement, Governor Newsom said:

“For almost two years, she has worked tirelessly as part of my Administration to ensure California’s small businesses have a seat at the table. Her leadership has been fundamental in guiding this state through the ongoing economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. As an entrepreneur and Governor of California, which is home to 4.1 million of America’s small businesses, I thank and congratulate President-Elect Biden on Isabel’s nomination. She will lead our country’s small business recovery with the same grace, dignity and inclusive mindset that she did for California.”

He also released his nomination for Secretary of Labor, which is Boston Mayor Marty Walsh. The short list included Julie Su, Secretary of the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency. One has to imagine the disaster over the last year at the Employment Development Department within the agency of massive unemployment benefits fraud had to be a major negative to her.

MEDIA MATTERS: I wrote Tuesday about the departure of John Wildermuth from the SF Chronicle and the cessation of daily publication of Fox&Hounds. Now, Matt Levin is leaving CalMatters and wrote a message to future reporters about what he has learned covering California's housing crisis. Levin is leaving to join the outstanding Marketplace program produced by Minnesota Public Radio. Levin writes:

After three-plus years covering California’s housing crisis and the state’s mostly abortive attempts to fix it, I’m leaving my post here to pursue a job in public radio at public radio’s Marketplace. But before I left, in the tradition of other journalists with an inflated sense of self-importance, I wanted to share a few lessons I’ve learned that I think the average Californian should know about housing politics and policy. 

These observations are my own, and not everyone agrees with them. But they are the conclusions I’ve drawn about why this problem is so difficult to solve and the most realistic ways of solving it. Don’t worry, there’s gifs so it won’t be too boring. 

If you've listened to the Gimme Shelter podcasts Levin has offered with Liam Dillon, you know that he's fully prepared to talk into the mic.

COVID-19, cakeday and classifieds after the jump...

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COVID-19: California added 486 deaths yesterday for a total of 28,565 since the pandemic began. There have been 4,852 COVID-19 deaths in California since the day after Christmas. The 14-day positivity rate is 13.3%, again the highest since the pandemic began and testing became widespread. Hospitalizations, including in ICU-level care, reached the highest point yet again. [state dashboard]

-Regional stay-at-home: Three regions -- Greater Sacramento, San Joaquin Valley, and Southern California -- are now under the state stay-at-home order indefinitely. The Bay Area Region is expected to join them when its initial three weeks are up on Friday.

--documents and updates:

--Update on 12/03 with Governor Newsom and HHS Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly:

--Update on 12/07:

--Dr. Ghaly update on 12/08:

--Governor Newsom update on 12/18:

--Governor Newsom update on 12/28:

--Dr. Ghaly update on 12/29:

--Governor Newsom update on 12/30 (K-6 school reopening):

--Governor Newsom and Dr. Fauci on 12/30:

--Governor Newsom update on 01/04:

--the regions: Here are the regions with the latest ICU capacity (available physical beds and necessary staffing). The benchmark to avoid falling under the stay-at-home order is 15% capacity and to emerge from it, there must be a four-week outlook indicating that it will remain above 15%. The California Department of Public Health reports that it is monitoring the four-week outlook data from the regions for which the initial three weeks under the stay-at-home order has passed:

ICU capacity projections for regions that are eligible to exit the order are calculated daily based on four factors: current estimated regional ICU capacity available, measure of current community transmission, current regional case rates and the proportion of ICU cases being admitted. Decreasing community transmission and increasing the health system capacity can help a region's projected ICU capacity so they can exit the order.

If a region exits the stay-at-home order, each county within the region returns to the color-based tier system based on the county's current data.

  • Northern California: Del Norte, Glenn, Humboldt, Lake, Lassen, Mendocino, Modoc, Shasta, Siskiyou, Tehama, Trinity
    ICU capacity as of 1/7: 25.4% (+1.0% from prior day)
  • Bay Area: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Monterey, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, Sonoma
    ICU capacity as of 1/7: 3.5% (-2.4%)

  • Greater Sacramento: Alpine, Amador, Butte, Colusa, El Dorado, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, Sierra, Sutter, Yolo, Yuba
    ICU capacity as of 1/7: 9.2% (-1.9%)
  • San Joaquin Valley: Calaveras, Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, San Benito, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Tulare, Tuolumne
    ICU capacity as of 1/7: 0.0% (no change)

  • Southern California: Imperial, Inyo, Los Angeles, Mono, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura
    ICU capacity as of 1/7: 0.0% (no change)

-tiers for fears: There were no changes to county tier assignments yesterday.

  • Purple/Widespread=54 counties
  • Red/Substantial=3 (Alpine, Humboldt, Mariposa)
  • Orange/Moderate=1 (Sierra)

cakeday and classifieds after the jump...

Probolsky Research

CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Doug Bennett, Catherine Coddington, Bryan Sapp, and Paula Villescaz!

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]


Director of Government Affairs, California Psychological Association

The California Psychological Association (CPA) is seeking a Director of Government Affairs. The Director of Government Affairs will report to the Chief Executive Officer and will be responsible for planning and managing the government affairs and advocacy efforts of CPA. This will include providing the primary analysis of proposed legislation to assess its impact on psychology, psychologists, and patients; serving as the primary contact for CPA with the California legislature and relevant government agencies; working with state regulators on policy issues; serving as CPA’s primary contact for health care provider advocacy groups , coalitions and stakeholders, and community providers; providing advocacy expertise and recommendations to the CPA Board of Directors , Local Advocacy Network, and CPA members, and the CPA PAC.

Link to full job description and to apply: https://www.cpapsych.org/resource/resmgr/advocacy_and_lan/CPADirOfGovAffairsPosition.pdf

McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific

Built on the foundation of nationally ranked and world class programs, McGeorge School of Law offers an online master (MSL) degree for individuals seeking in depth knowledge of law and policy, but who do not require a traditional law degree. Our MSL’s two concentrations in Government Law & Policy and in Water & Environmental Law offer students the flexibility to work while they learn and still engage in a highly interactive master’s program. To learn more and to sign up for our monthly webinars, please visit our website, Online.McGeorge.edu, or contact us at graduatelaw@pacific.edu.

Statewide Coalition Manager – Preschool Development Grant

Are you a relationship builder? Do you love policy analysis? Do you have a background in public policy, public administration, child development, or a similar field? Do you want to work somewhere that makes a difference in the lives of children across the state? Then YOU’RE the person we’re looking for! Come join us at Child Care Resource Center as our new Statewide Coalition Manager!

You will work in partnership with regional Resource and Referral (R&R) hub agencies throughout the state of CA to nurture and build out the partnerships of Regional Hubs and their local R&R partners. This position will focus on expanding regional and local relationships and building regional strategies for the delivery of early childhood services, including Parent Café and Early Childhood Café programs, throughout California, and will also coordinate the development of other regional partners including California Quality Consortia, California County Offices of Education and Tribal partners appropriate to each region. Reporting to the Chief Strategy Officer, this position utilizes a high level of collaboration and relationship building to create effective internal and external relationships, communicate the CCRC Mission, Values and Vision to external stakeholders, and work in collaboration with other CCRC Departments and organizational partners.

Full announcement

Political Data Inc.
For 30 Years PDI has been California’s premier data vendor. Now, you can get live online trainings on the newest PDI software every week: