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- Capitol Weekly Podcast (John Howard and Tim Foster): GOP political consultant Matt Rexroad on redistricting and the recall. (2021-01-18)
- If I Could Change One Thing (SDSU School of Public Health): Dr. Monica Gandhi, Professor of Medicine and Associate Chief of the Division of HIV, Infectious Diseases, and Global Medicine at San Francisco General Hospital / UCSF on when/if mask mandates will go away. (2021-04-07)
- California State of Mind (CapRadio): California Prepares for Wildfire; Disparity in Covid Deaths Highlight Need for Vaccine Equity (2021-04-16)
- Inside Golden State Politics (Bill Boyarsky and Sherry Jeffe): Police Shootings: A Dilemma Forever? (2021-04-16)
- SacTown Talks (Jarheet Blonien): Monica Davalos and Adriana Ramos-Yamamoto of the California Budget and Policy Center (2021-04-16)
- KQED's Political Breakdown (Scott Shafer and Marisa Lagos): Law Enforcement Action Partnership executive director Diane Goldstein on the Role of State Legislatures in Police Violence (2021-04-15)
- New Sacramento-based thriller
- Golden State Opportunity: Director of Operations, Director of Development and a Northern CA Coordinator
- Exclusive Downtown Penthouse Near Capitol Building
- Associate Position at CleanSweep Campaigns, San Francisco
- McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific - MPA/MPP
- McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific - Masters of Science in Law
- GOV: added businessman Joseph Luciano (R)
- CA21 (Coalinga-Lemoore-South Bakersfield): removed former congressman TJ Cox (D)
- SD36 (South OC-North SD coastal): added small business owner Mara Fortin (R) - open seat (Bates termed out)
- AD54 (West San Gabriel Valley): added Frank Torres (D) - if Chau does not run for reelect
RECALL WATCH: The final signature reports from counties are due TODAY. As of March 11, 1,188,073 signatures had been validated. Proponents need 1,495,709 to qualify the recall, a total that they are fully expected to meet.
The Nooner for Monday, April 19, 2021, presented by SYASL Partners
¡Buenos dias y feliz lunes! As noted above, today is the deadline for counties to report to the Secretary of State the number of valid signatures on petitions to call a recall election of Governor Gavin Newsom. Assuming there are sufficient valid signatures, the Secretary of State will have 10 calendar days to notify county elections officials and triggering the withdrawal period. From the date of the notification by the SOS to county elections officials, voters have 30 business days to withdraw their signature by written request to the county elections official. (Elections Code §11108(c),(d))
WEEKENDS AT THE NOONER: It was a beautiful weekend and I hope you got outside. I certainly don't blame you if you took a pass on The Nooner. Here is what was covered:
Saturday, April 17
- Money matters
- Recall watch
- Do you recall?
- Vaccine passport ban?
-tiers for fears
Sunday, April 18
- Do you recall?
- Policing protests
- Supply and demand
- Nursing homes
-tiers for fears
DO YOU RECALL?
- Rebuild: For Politico, Jeremy B. White writes that California GOP the sees the effort to recall Governor Newsom as "their path out of the wilderness."
A once-mighty party in the state that produced Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan has struggled for years to reverse a spiral into irrelevancy. Republicans hold no statewide offices, have been relegated to a super-minority in the state Legislature, are consistently outspent by a well-funded California Democratic Party machine and lag registered Democrats by nearly five million voters. They hold just 11 House seats in a 53-member delegation — and that's only after clawing back four last year.
But a likely fall election to oust Newsom has reinvigorated California conservatives who see an opportunity to topple a Democrat that, in their eyes, epitomizes liberal overreach. In the roughly two million voters who signed petitions to recall Newsom, Republicans see a constituency that is disillusioned with one-party rule and ready to entertain conservative alternatives up and down the ballot.
They believe the recall election lends a platform to make their case both to would-be voters and prospective donors who had written off California as a lost cause. The intense national attention on the race gives Republicans a high-visibility pulpit to present their vision in what will be the most prominent election in the U.S. this year.
“I’ve never gone into a race with 2.1 million votes. That’s exciting for us,” said California Republican Party chair Jessica Millan Patterson. “Now our job is to make sure we have individuals in each one of these races in each one of these districts to bring the message of what California Republicans will do differently, because clearly one-party rule has not worked over the last decade in California.”
- Counter: The Bee's Sophia Bollag reports on Governor Newsom's use of a "petition" in his email appeals
“The term petition, we think of it as meaning something that will have some impact on the government,” said Kim Nalder, a political science professor at Sacramento State. “Calling it a petition is somewhat misleading to voters. It seems like you’re making some sort of official difference when it’s actually about collecting information.”
[Anti-recall spokesperson Nathan] Click defended the practice, saying petitions are a common campaign tactic.
“Online petitions are a basic tool used by non-profits, advocacy groups and campaigns on both side of the aisle to organize supporters online and help people get engaged in causes,” he wrote in a statement. “Anyone who has visited an online petition site like Change.org will understand how common-place these efforts are.”
The petition push is one of dozens of emails Newsom’s campaign has sent to supporters in the month since he launched his anti-recall campaign.
- Jenner: LAT columnist Nicholas Goldberg is not hot on the idea of a Caitlyn Jenner candidacy.
[W]hat does Caitlyn Jenner bring to the job beyond her javelin skills? Her 10.8 million Instagram followers and her 3.5 million followers on Twitter. Her political base.
I want to emphasize that I have nothing against her. She may be a lovely, thoughtful, well-intentioned and competent person. I just don’t think that a person ought to be elected governor of 40 million Californians without so much as having run for the local school board or sat on a neighborhood council.
WEALTH TAX: CapRadio's Scott Rodd looks at the divide between progressive and moderate Democrats over a proposal to establish a wealth tax.
Assembly Bill 310, dubbed The California Tax on Extreme Wealth, would impose an annual 1% tax on net worth over $50 million, and a 1.5% tax on net worth over $1 billion. It would also require a constitutional amendment to increase the state’s current wealth tax cap.
A UC Berkeley study found the proposal would generate an estimated $22.3 billion a year.
Moderate lawmakers warn California’s wealthiest already pay a significant share of the state’s income tax, and additional tax burdens could drive them out. Progressives, meanwhile, say a wealth tax is the best way to close California’s yawning economic equality gap.
“We have seen that the rich get hideously richer, and that has not bated even during a global pandemic,” said Assemblymember Alex Lee of San Jose, the bill’s lead author.
“So, we’re really asking, who can pay their fair share?”
Governor Gavin Newsom has previously indicated he would not support a wealth tax.
Income and wealth taxes are different. The former is a tax on an individual’s annual earnings; the latter is applied to the money and assets an individual owns.
The bill would not apply to real estate, since California already has a property tax. But the state would calculate a person’s wealth based on “worldwide net worth.” That means residents could not simply avoid the tax by parking money overseas.
A more modest wealth tax proposal died in the Legislature last year.
The bill is in Assembly Rev & Tax. The committee meets today and next Monday, but the bill is on neither agenda. The bill is keyed as fiscal and thus needs to be passed out of policy committee by April 30. Clearly, this is a bill Governor Newsom does not want on his desk this year, whether for a signature or for a veto.
PORTER POWERHOUSE: For The Register, Brooke Staggs reports that Rep. Katie Porter (D-Irvine) raised more in the first quarter than all other Orange County members of Congress combined.
Democratic Rep. Katie Porter of Irvine continues to be one of the top fundraisers in the U.S. House of Representatives, bringing in nearly $2.2 million in donations over the first three months of this year, according to financial reports posted this week with the Federal Election Commission.
That’s half a million dollars more than Orange County’s six other House representatives raised last quarter combined.
Nearly tying for second place when it came to fundraising among local House candidates were GOP freshman Reps. Young Kim, of La Habra, and Michelle Steel, of Seal Beach. During the three months that ended on March 31, they raised $545,102 and $544,827 respectively.
Their 2022 Democratic competitors also finished nearly even, latest FEC data shows. Kim’s CA-39 competitor, Jay Chen, D-Hacienda Heights, took in $363,099 in donations so far this year. Steel’s repeat CA-48 challenger, Democrat Harley Rouda, who held the seat when she defeated him in November, raised $374,803.
Meanwhile, Porter’s $2.2 million haul this quarter, raised primarily from individual donors, puts her behind only House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and GOP Rep. Kevin McCarty of Bakersfield in terms of fundraising by California House members.
COVID-19, cakeday, and classifieds after the jump...
COVID-19: California reported an additional 21 deaths yesterday for a total of 60,661 since the pandemic began. The usual weekend reporting lag applies.
-data dive: California's 7-day positivity rate is currently 1.5% (-0.1%), far below the 7.1% peak amidst mass testing on December 30.
- vaccine doses administered in California: 25,533,215 (not the number of people vaccinated because of the two-dose Moderna and Pfizer vaccines)
- vaccine doses delivered to California: 31,625,990
-vaccine "passports": In the Times, Maura Dolan writes that the state is encouraging the use of proof of vaccination for indoor live events, but stops short of calling such proof the politically sensitive "passport."
California health officials have repeatedly said they have no plans to institute COVID-19 vaccine “passports” — digital or paper passes that allow vaccinated residents or those who’ve tested negative into concerts, baseball games and other sports arenas.
But this month, the state announced reopening rules for indoor live events that give businesses an incentive to demand such proof from ticket holders. Businesses can hold larger events when they verify either of the safeguards.
“Of course, it is a form of a vaccine passport,” said Dr. John Swartzberg, a UC Berkeley infectious-disease expert.
That California has not embraced the label is unsurprising, he said.
“What is happening to vaccine passports is the same thing that happened with masks,” Swartzberg said. “It has become politicized, and that is really just unfortunate.”
I said it over the weekend and I'll say it again. We need an digital solution because the paper cards won't last long. After all, before I last renewed my passport, it was pretty trashed, I don't do much international travel, and that was laminated. Meanwhile, Staples Center is not allowing any bags -- everything must be in your pockets.
-variants: From the California Department of Public Health:
- "UK strain": B.1.1.7 variants are associated with approximately 50% increased transmission, and likely with increased disease severity and risk of death. Appears to have minimal impact on the effectiveness of treatments with antibodies.
- "South Africa strain" B.1.351 variants are associated with approximately 50% increased transmission. May have moderately decreased response to antibody treatments.
- "Brazil strain": P.1 variants may have moderately decreased response to some antibody treatments.
- "West Coast strain"": B.1.427 and B.1.429 are associated with approximately 20% increased transmission. There is significantly reduced efficacy of some antibody treatments.
Here are the variants of concern in California. Remember that this is just from 36,639 samples of the 3.6+ million cases in California.
Known Variants of Concern in California
As of April 14, 2021
||Number of Cases Caused by Variant
You can view a US map by strain prevalence on the CDC site. Note that, like the numbers above, this map is case numbers of a sample, and note a case rate. Obviously, California will have higher counts, but that doesn't translate into a higher case rate of the variant.
-tiers for fears: 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.
Here's where the counties stand after today's changes bolded and italicized.
- No county in the Purple (widespread) Tier.
- 21 counties in the Red (substantial) Tier (17.0% of state population): Amador, Calaveras, Del Norte, Fresno, Glenn, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Lake, Madera, Merced, Mono, Nevada, Placer, Sacramento, San Joaquin, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Shasta, Solano, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, and Yuba.
- 33 counties in Orange (moderate) Tier (82.9% of state population): Alameda, Butte, Colusa, Contra Costa, El Dorado, Humboldt, Imperial, Kern, Lake, Los Angeles, Marin, Napa, Mariposa, Mendocino, Modoc, Monterey, Orange, Plumas, Riverside, San Benito, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Siskiyou, Sonoma, Trinity, Tulare, Tuolumne, Ventura, and Yolo.
- 3 counties in Yellow (minimal) Tier (0.1% of state population): Alpine, Lassen, and Sierra.
-religious services: The SDUT's Lyndsay Winkley reports on the return to indoor services of The Rock, a megachurch with five campuses in San Diego County after the state lifted restrictions on churches following a serious of rulings by the Supreme Court of the United States.
Unlike some other large churches, The Rock hasn’t held indoor services since the state first announced restrictions for places of worship that aimed to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. Following the state’s decision to lift mandatory restrictions for churches last week, The Rock welcomed people inside. More than 5,000 attended indoor services across four campuses on Sunday.
Leaders at The Rock did not choose to limit capacity, but they did institute several safety precautions. Auditoriums are cleaned between services, and high-touch areas like bathrooms, handrails and door handles are cleaned every 20 minutes. Congregants were required to wear a mask while entering and exiting the building, but could remove the mask during the service if they so desired. At the Point Loma campus on Sunday morning, many attendees removed their masks once seated.
Social distancing was not required, but ushers were available to help people find seats in less crowded areas should they want more space to themselves. People who weren’t comfortable with the idea of sitting indoors could watch the sermons on monitors outside, or stream the service digitally.
-rehiring: In The Bee, Jeong Park looks at the rehiring rights provided for in SB 93 signed by Governor Newsom on Friday.
Some California employers when rehiring will have to offer jobs first to the former workers they laid off during the coronavirus pandemic under a law signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom Friday.
Those employers include hotels, large event centers and airports, as well as janitorial, security and maintenance workers at commercial buildings. Companies would have to offer jobs only for a position that’s the same or similar to what their workers had before their layoff, according to the bill.
“As we progress toward fully reopening our economy, it is important we maintain our focus on equity,” Newsom said in a statement. “(Senate Bill) 93 keeps us moving in the right direction by assuring hospitality and other workers displaced by the pandemic are prioritized to return to their workplace.”
[After a similar bill was vetoed by Newsom last year, l]egislators this year made several tweaks to address Newsom’s concerns, such as letting the bill expire in 2024, covering only workers who lost their jobs because of the COVID pandemic and specifying workers can’t sue their employers in court over the provision.
To be rehired, workers would have to have been employed by their employer for at least six months in 2019. If multiple workers qualify for one position, the bill would require companies to rehire based on seniority.
Companies would have to offer jobs within five business days of establishing a position. Once offered, workers would then have five business days to decide whether they want to accept it.
More issues, cakedays, and classifieds after the jump...
PRISONS: For CalMatters, Dan Walters looks at the shift of California as a prison-builder to a prison-closer.
Over the last half-decade, thanks to more lenient sentencing laws (some sponsored by Brown 2.0), diversion of felons into local jails and early releases due to COVID-19, inmate numbers have declined sharply to 94,000, scarcely half of the 173,000 peak and very close to the system’s original design capacity.
It’s now time, Gov. Gavin Newsom says, to start shutting down some of the state’s three dozen prisons, citing the inmate decline and billions of dollars in looming costs to rehabilitate older facilities.
The first to go will be the 68-year-old Deuel Vocational Institution near Tracy. This month, it was announced that the second will be the California Correctional Center in Lassen County.
The Legislature’s budget office projects that three more could be shuttered by 2025 and the local economic impacts could be heavy, particularly in rural areas. However, just as with the closure of unneeded military installations in the 1990s, that must be a secondary consideration. It’s unfair to taxpayers to keep obsolete facilities open just because of their jobs.
That said, rural communities accepted prisons that politicians from urban areas refused and the state should foster the redevelopment of its prison sites for positive purposes, rather than leaving them as decaying eyesores of a previous era.
CHILD CARE: Elizabeth Aguilera writes for CalMatters that child care providers are pushing back on planned resumption of in-person inspections as pandemic restrictions are lifted.
The state notified providers providers recently that inspections will begin again in the spring. About 2,200 child care providers across California have signed a petition asking the Department of Social Services to hold off on in person inspections and continue doing them virtually but so far the plan remains unchanged.
Providers are concerned that allowing inspectors — who are not required to be vaccinated — into their facilities will expose the providers and children to coronavirus, which could potentially lead to closures and going out of business.
“The government agencies need to think and rethink how to slow the spread of COVID. It’s not gone from our homes and our lives,” said Shruti Agarwal, who runs Shruti Family Day Care in Livermore, in Alameda County, and is president of the Valley Family Child Care Association. “The numbers may have gone down but it’s still there and taking lives.”
Agarwal started the petition asking the state to wait until later in the year to re-start in-person regular compliance inspections. Throughout the last year these inspections have been done virtually. Other types of inspections related to complaints have continued in-person throughout the pandemic.
The Department of Social Services, which oversees the Community Care Licensing Division, said the inspections will begin soon and that there is guidance being developed for the process.
CARBON VACUUMS: For the LAT, Evan Halper looks at another step to reduce the amount of carbon in the air -- sucking it out.
The art of industrial-scale carbon removal — sucking emissions from the atmosphere and storing them underground — has long been an afterthought in climate-action circles: too expensive, too controversial, too unproven.
But as the deadline to avert climate catastrophe barrels nearer, the Biden administration is making the technologies prominent in its plans, and California is scrambling to figure out how to put them to use.
It is no small undertaking. Installing sci-fi-type machinery to pull carbon from the air — or divert it from refineries, power plants and industrial operations — and bottle it up deep underground is a monumentally expensive and logistically daunting challenge. It is one climate leaders now have no choice but to try to meet as they race to keep global temperatures from rising more than 1.5 degrees Celsius, the central commitment of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, which aims to avert cataclysmic effects.
“To have any chance of holding warming below that level, you can’t do it simply by limiting emissions,” said Ken Alex, a senior policy advisor to former California Gov. Jerry Brown who now directs Project Climate at the UC Berkeley School of Law. “You have to sequester significant amounts of carbon.”
The recognition has pushed state regulators to start drafting blueprints for what could be one of the larger infrastructure undertakings in California history. Millions of tons of carbon dioxide would need to be captured and compressed into liquid form, at which point it would be either buried throughout the state or converted into materials for industrial uses such as manufacturing plastic and cement.
DROUGHT: The Chron's Kellie Hwang writes that a "super typhoon" in the Pacific may bring much-needed rain to Northern California by the end of the month, but it's unlikely to be significant by the time it reaches here.
A weather event known as a super typhoon just set the record as the strongest tropical cyclone during the month of April in the Western Hemisphere — and may help bring some much needed rain to bone-dry California at the end of the month.
Super Typhoon Surigae reached a Category 5 level on Saturday with winds reaching 190 mph as it barreled past the Philippines.
LA HOMELESS: In the Times, Benjamin Oreskes and David Zahniser report on Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti's ambitious plans for spending to address the city's major challenge of residents experiencing homelessness.
Mayor Eric Garcetti is planning to spend nearly $1 billion to combat homelessness in the coming budget year, tapping huge new sources of state and federal aid and finally ramping up construction of homes for the unhoused.
Garcetti’s spending proposal, which will be discussed during his State of the City address on Monday, reflects the growing pressure he and others at City Hall are under to make significant headway on a crisis that has left tens of thousands of people living in squalor in streets, parks and beaches. Cities across the U.S. are relying on a similar playbook, using COVID-19 recovery funds to attack a problem that has confounded politicians for decades.
The mayor intends to propose $791 million in the upcoming budget year for initiatives to help homeless residents, increase cleanups around shelters and expand programs aimed at keeping housed Angelenos from slipping into homelessness themselves, mayoral aides said. On top of that, he expects to roll over more than $160 million that had been allocated for homelessness programs in the current year but has not yet been spent.
The spending plan represents a nearly sevenfold increase from the mayor’s budget five years ago, when he and other city leaders began acknowledging that much more money would be needed to address the crisis. If approved by the City Council, it would be the most that any Los Angeles mayor has allocated for homeless initiatives in a single year, said Matt Szabo, a deputy chief of staff in Garcetti’s office.
CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Raul Alvarez, Amanda Meere, Courtney Ramos, and Anthony Rocha!
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