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- Capitol Weekly Podcast (John Howard and Tim Foster): Esther Aquilera of the Latino Corporate Directors Association (2021-03-15)
- Then There's California (Senate Democratic Caucus): Senator Bill Dodd (D-Napa) on two statewide water/equity advocates, talking about 'water debt' (2021-03-15)
- Inside Golden State Politics (Bill Boyarsky and Sherry Jeffe): Gavin's State of the State, the recall effort, and more (2021-03-12)
- Capitol Weekly Podcast: The Future of Work (continuation of the four-part online conference series) (2021-03-12)
- SacTown Talks (Jarhett Blonien): Assemblymember James Ramos (D-Highland) (2021-03-12)
- California State of Mind (CapRadio) - Putting a Positive Spin on California’s Pandemic Response; Some Cities Explore Higher Density Solutions to Housing Crisis (2021-03-12)
- Capitol Seminars Zoom workshop - April 1
- McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific - MPA/MPP
- Executive Director of Government Relations: California State University, Fresno
- California School Boards Association - Public Affairs & Community Engagement Representative (San Diego)
- McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific - Masters of Science in Law
- GOV: added businessman (former congressman) Doug Ose (R) - if there is a recall
- AD79 (East San Diego): San Diegans for Economic Recovery & Job Creation to support Leticia Munguia for Assembly 2021, sponsored by Laborers' International Union of Northern America Local 89 reports $35,000 in-kind from Laborers' International Union of North America - Local 89 PAC Fund
- Frontline Healthcare and Essential Workers Supporting Dr. Akilah Weber for Assembly 2021, sponsored by healthcare, business and domestic worker organizations reports $25,000 from DaVita, Inc. and $50,000 from United Domestic Workers of America Action Fund Small Contributor Committee
- Caregivers and Californians United Against the Recall of Governor Newsom, sponsored by the National Union of Healthcare Workers reports $10,000 from Rendon Ballot Measure Committee to Keep California Competitive
- Rescue California-Recall Gavin Newsom reports:
- $15,000 from California Revival PAC (03/12)
- $15,000 from California Revival PAC (03/15)
- $5,000 from Patrick Dirk (Balboa Island; CEO, Troy Group)
The Nooner for Wednesday, March 17, 2021, presented by SYASL Partners
Top o' the morning to you. Or, well, midday. While 89.7% of California residents can eat indoors (red: 25%, orange: 50%), restaurants nationwide in Ireland are take-out and delivery only. Italy is going to have a hard closure again over Easter weekend, with churches (and everything else shuttered).
For those celebrating tonight, please be careful. We are very far from herd immunity and, with current vaccine hesitancy levels, won't reach the 70-80% needed. And, the more spread, the more variants likely develop, including those that may evade current vaccines.
Okay, enough playing Mom...
DO YOU RECALL?
- deadline day: Today's the deadline for proponents to turn signatures in to county elections offices. Here's what happens next:
- April 19: final report from counties of the number of verified submitted
- April 29: last day for counties to certify the number of valid signatures submitted
- within 10 days of the number of certified signatures reaches 1,495,709, Secretary of State notifies all counties that a recall has been initiated,
- which begins a 30 business day period to allow any voter who signed the recall position to withdraw the signature, and then
- counties have 10 business days to report to the Secretary of State an updated valid signature total, and then
- the Secretary of State, if there are still sufficient signatures, notifies the Department of Finance to request a fiscal estimate in consultation with county elections officials of the cost of the recall election. DOF then submits the estimate to the Chairperson of the Joint Legislative Budget Committee, Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and the Secretary of State
- the Joint Legislative Budget Committee has 30 days to review and comment on the fiscal estimate
- the Secretary of State then notifies the Governor and Lieutenant Governor that the petition to recall has significant valid signatures and an election shall be called
- the Lieutenant calls an election not less than 60 nor more than 80 days following the notification of qualification
Simple, right? If you play with the numbers above, a November 2 date seems quite likely. That fits well with a message by the anti-recall campaign that can argue that this is the effort is a waste of state money and Newsom will be up for reelection in just over a year (11/8/2022) anyway. That's different than Gray Davis, who in 2003 was recalled less than a year after being reelection and wouldn't face voters again.
- another candidate: During an interview on Sacramento talk station KFBK yesterday, former congressman Doug Ose (R) said that if the recall qualifies, he is in the running. Ose, a Sacramento real estate developer and businessman, was elected in 1998 following the retirement of Vic Fazio (D) and followed his three-term pledge and didn't run in 2004 for the district that is now represented by Ami Bera (D).
- making it national: In the Chron, Joe Garofoli writes that Governor Newsom's comment that he would fill a vacancy should Dianne Feinstein retire with a Black woman was really a message that if he goes, Joe Biden's agenda goes.
There’s zero possibility that a Republican governor would choose a Democrat — of any race, gender, ethnicity or shoe size — to replace a Democratic senator. Suddenly, that 50-50 split that gives Democrats the upper hand in the Senate with Vice President Kamala Harris casting the tie-breaking vote disappears.
- $$$: For Politico, Jeremy B. White looks at the possible spending in the likely recall.
“The fact that a recall has no contribution limits means that you can go to your wealthiest supporters, both individuals and organizations, and ask them to dig deeper than they ever have before,” said Democratic strategist Rose Kapolczynski, noting “one inspired individual could give a million dollars or more.”
“There’s nothing like a threat,” she added, “to rally your supporters behind you.”
California politicians are bracing for an enormous, all-consuming campaign for several reasons. Newsom’s supporters are highly motivated to defend him against what they see as an opportunistic partisan attack. Republicans see a national rallying point that can reinvigorate the base after a disappointing 2020. A scant 2021 elections calendar will focus everyone’s attention, as the only other statewide contests are in Virginia and New Jersey.
“It’s getting a lot of national interest, and it’s going to be the only political game in town in the country, so it’s going to attract a lot of money,” said Dave Gilliard, a Republican strategist who has been working for the recall campaign.
There have been questions about which fundraising limits apply. For dedicated committees only to question #1 of whether Newsom should be recalled on either the "yes" or "no" side that do not express a successor's name, there are no limits. On question #2, the $32,400 limit for the office of governor for this cycle applies for successor candidate committees. Of course, independent expenditure committees can get around that as well, and candidates can contribute unlimited amounts of personal money.
The recall is like a stimulus act for campaign consultants.
AGstakes: With Xavier Becerra's confirmation as Biden's HHS Secretary possibly coming this week, the vacancy awaiting an appointment by Governor Newsom is imminent. There's a political buzz around town that Governor Newsom's comment that he would appoint a black woman in the event Senator Dianne Feinstein retires early (she says she won't), that it was to provide cover for him to appoint Darrell Steinberg as Attorney General. Steinberg, who is white, is the former State Senate President Pro Tem and current mayor of Sacramento. I don't know for certain, but Steinberg, if appointed, might be the first Jewish AG.
Of course, it would also open the door for Adam Schiff (D-Burbank), who apparently has been given a hall pass by Speaker Pelosi.
TU ES BANNI! In The Bee, Sophia Bollag reports that the Governor Newsom has banned unpaid political advisors from lobbying the administration.
Newsom’s top two aides, executive secretary Jim DeBoo and cabinet secretary Ana Matosantos, announced the changes Friday in a memo to governor’s office staff and leaders of the administration’s agencies and departments.
Former Newsom chief of staff Ann O’Leary had asked the state’s Fair Political Practices Commission for advice on how to strengthen its ethics policies in a December 2020 letter, around the same time the governor created a new rule forbidding his paid political consultants from lobbying him and his team.
That policy came in the wake of criticism Newsom received for attending the birthday party of his lobbyist friend Jason Kinney at the French Laundry restaurant in California wine country. The December policy did not prohibit Kinney from lobbying Newsom because he is not paid by Newsom or the California Democratic Party, even though Kinney previously worked as a consultant for the party and has long served as an unpaid adviser to Newsom.
Under the new policy, Kinney will be prohibited from lobbying the governor and his administration, according to Newsom’s office.
“No consultant, whether paid or not, should be permitted to leverage their relationship with the Governor to unduly benefit a client in connection with legislative or administrative actions,” the Fair Political Practices Commission wrote in its recommendations to the administration.
COVID-19, The OC, cakeday and classifieds after the jump...
COVID-19: California reported an additional 156 deaths yesterday for a total of 56,097 since the pandemic began.
-data dive: California's 7-day positivity rate continues to tick down and is now 1.8%, far below the 7.1% peak amidst mass testing on December 30.
-vaccines: Remember that in many cases, vaccines are being reserved for second doses (of Moderna and Pfizer). The following data may be delayed by reporting.
- vaccine doses administered in California: 12,637,197
- vaccine doses delivered to administering entities in California: 16,686,580
- The Bee's Michael McGough reports that, while the supply of vaccines to California has increased, it still doesn't meet the capacity available by providers.
California’s mass vaccination campaign to fight COVID-19 is ramping up, resuming the booking of first-dose appointments in the valley area — its large clinics in Sacramento, Roseville, Modesto, Stockton and Tracy, but providers’ capacity to inject shots still far outweighs supply.
The California Department of Public Health on its online vaccine data tracker shows providers have administered 12,637,197 doses to date, an increase by 464,249 over Monday’s total.
In addition to shots injected Monday, some of the large one-day increase is due to better data reporting. The state says providers have administered an average of about 207,000 doses per day over the past week.
- Meanwhile, Solano County has a surplus of vaccines. The county between Sacramento/Yolo and the East Bay is now offering vaccinations to anyone 50 or older, Jessica Flores reports in the Chron.
Solano County began allowing individuals ages 50 and older to receive coronavirus vaccinations on Monday in an effort to fill appointment slots that were going unused, county officials said.
Solano County health officials made the decision over the weekend to expand vaccine eligibility to people as young as 50 to fill available appointment slots, said Ted Selby, an administrator with Solano County Emergency Medical Services Agency.
Individual counties have the freedom to advance the state’s vaccine rollout as long as they’re vaccinating groups included in the guidelines, said Dr. Bela Matyas, Solano County’s health officer. Vaccine availability is another factor.
In Sacramento County, people with underlying health conditions can't get a vaccine. Kaiser hasn't expanded availability with last Monday's state admission of that cohort, but it's screener still limits appointments to specific occupations.
-tiers for fears: Lots of changes over the weekend and yesterday. As a reminder, any county must remain at a tier for three weeks before progressing to a less-restrictive tier, even if the metrics continue to improve. After the changes yesterday, here's where the counties stand.
- 11 counties in the Purple (widespread) Tier (10.3% of population): Fresno, Glenn, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Madera, Merced, Nevada, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, and Yuba
- 42 counties in the Red (substantial) Tier (87.7% of population): Alameda, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, Contra Costa, Del Norte, El Dorado, Humboldt, Imperial, Lake, Lassen, Los Angeles, Mendocino, Modoc, Mono, Monterey, Napa, Orange, Placer, Riverside, Sacramento, San Benito, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Shasta, Siskiyou, Solano, Sonoma, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, Tulare, Tuolumne, Ventura, and Yolo
- 4 counties in Orange (moderate) Tier (2.0% of population): Mariposa, Plumas, San Mateo, Sierra
- 1 county in Yellow (minimal) Tier (0.0% of population): Alpine
- upcoming: Orange and San Francisco are headed toward the orange tier on March 24, although SF Mayor London Breed says that the city will probably stick with stricter restrictions, reports Roland Li in the Chron. Several Bay Area counties have taken a stricter approach, including a stay-at-home order that preceded the state.
- Sarah Ravini writes up for the Chron Governor Newsom's visit yesterday to Ruby Bridges Elementary School in Alameda:
More than 400,000 educators have been vaccinated in California — and that number is expected to rise as vaccine supply increases, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Tuesday.
The news comes after Newsom pledged to set aside 10% of vaccines for teachers and other education workers starting March 1. The move was meant to push the state’s 1.4 million education workers to the front of the line for shots with the hope of kick-starting the reopening of schools.
- For CalMatters, Ricardo Cano explains why most school districts aren't inviting all students back five days a week now and can't commit to in the fall.
California’s rules for reopening, updated in late January, allow schools to physically reopen if they follow strict safety measures, which includes spacing desks no less than four feet while making a “good-faith effort” to maintain six feet of spacing. Recent studies have suggested schools can safely operate with three feet of distancing versus six feet. The Centers for Disease Control recommended six feet of distance in its latest February guidance, but doesn’t set a minimum standard. The CDC said this week that it would reconsider easing its spacing guidance.
Now, health experts, parents and administrators want California to clarify its distancing requirements for reopening campuses.
“Six feet (of distancing) is not difficult for a hybrid model,” said John Malloy, superintendent of the San Ramon Valley Unified School District. “But we don’t think the hybrid model, where kids are only on campus half the time, is conducive for everyone. We want our kids in school full time, five days a week.”
Last month, parent advocates in San Diego County sued the state in an attempt to undo school-reopening rules they argued has arbitrarily kept schools from offering full-time in-person instruction. A judge issued a temporary restraining order Monday.
“(The judge) essentially indicted remote learning as a failed learning model and slammed the state for creating rules that arbitrarily forced some students into remote learning while allowing others to attend in-person,” said Scott Davison, co-director of the Parent Association of Carlsbad and a supporter of the suit.
STATE PARKS AND CLIMATE CHANGE: For CalMatters, Julie Cart looks at the impact that climate change is having on state parks.
The California Department of Parks and Recreation is coming to terms with this dilemma after a climate-reckoning moment last August, when more than 97% of Big Basin Redwoods, California’s oldest state park, was charred by a lightning-sparked wildfire.
The shock of it was almost greater than the devastation: Coastal redwoods, the so-called asbestos forests of iconic, giant trees, hadn’t been hit by such ferocious blaze in living memory. The fire incinerated buildings and roads along with many trees; it was the most unexpected, indiscriminate and comprehensive destruction of a California state park, ever. Established 119 years ago, Big Basin remains closed.
Although all state agencies face the threat of climate change, state parks — with the depth and breadth of their 2,300 square miles of land — are singularly jeopardized. Caretaker of the nation’s largest state park system, the department is responsible for all of its historic structures, roads, bridges, land, beaches, forests, water, plants and animals.
“Every bit of California is going to be impacted by climate change. It’s going to affect every person in the state and every acre of land in the state,” said Jay Chamberlin, chief of the state parks’ natural resources division. “State parks are not only vulnerable, but some are uniquely vulnerable.”
Managing California’s nearly 300 parks will now require a top-to-bottom rethink: How to make public land more resilient to wildfires, rising seas, drought and extreme weather. The price tag for arming state beaches, thinning forests, moving restrooms and visitors’ centers, and other climate-resilience projects has not been calculated. But experts say if the money isn’t spent now to protect parks from rising seas and intensified fires, the damage and costs will multiply.
“There’s needs to be a climate resilience plan for every park unit,” said Rachel Norton, executive director of the nonprofit California State Parks Foundation. “This is what’s coming: Drought, fire, sea level rise, loss of habitat for species. There’s a lot more work to be done to understand the scope of the potential threat.”
THE OC: In the Register, Tony Saavedra reports that a former federal prosecutor has announced that he will challenge District Attorney Todd Spitzer's reelection bid.
Peter Hardin is backed by some of Spitzer’s biggest critics — crime victims and former employees — and armed with such slogans as “leadership, not showmanship.” In an interview Monday, March 15, Hardin painted Spitzer as a politician who uses people and issues to get what he wants without really accomplishing anything.
“He’s stranded the office rudderless in a sea of scandals,” Hardin, 42, said the day before his official Tuesday campaign launch. No one else has announced an intention to challenge Spitzer in the June 7, 2022, primary election.
The size of Hardin’s war chest is still unclear, as well as his knowledge of the terrain he would represent. For instance, Hardin campaign adviser Maxwell Szabo also serves as a spokesman for Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon, a controversial progressive who is shaking things up in his new job. Gascon, who has brought some veteran prosecutors to tears — or early retirement — for what they consider criminal-friendly policies, is anathema to many in largely conservative Orange County.
Spitzer, a former member of the Orange County Board of Supervisors, seized on Hardin’s link to Gascon.
“This particular candidate is a criminal attorney who has already hired some of the same individuals who orchestrated Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon’s campaign. There is no doubt candidates like this will seek to usher in the same pro-criminal agenda that has become a complete and total disaster for Los Angeles residents,” he wrote. “Orange County has no interest in becoming Los Angeles or having a wannabe George Gascon as its district attorney.”
Spitzer served in the State Assembly from 2002-2008. This race will be an interesting to watch, particularly if Gascón faces a recall, which is bubbling in Los Angeles County.
CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Marta Evry, Owen Jones, Sarah Poss, and Tisha Rylander!
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