IN TODAY’S NOONER:
- AD57 (Whittier): Ian Calderon not running for re-election!
- Dammit Janus!
- Gimme air!
- More air please!
- Muni matters
- Cakeday and Classifieds
Happy Thanksgiving Eve! Hopefully you weathered the storm last night. I didn’t lose power although it did flicker a few times and I know from social media that many of you did go without for several hours.
As you can tell, we’re still on the temporary solution today and I continue to work on the server.
OPEN AD57 (Whittier)! Yesterday, Assembly Majority Leader Ian Calderon tweeted a letter announcing that he would not seek re-election next year, catching many of his legislative colleagues by surprise. Elected in 2012, Calderon could easily continue to serve through 2024.
In the letter, Calderon cited family reasons and not in the typical political sense. Rather, he cited the upcoming third child of Ian and his wife, which will bring them to three children under the age of three next year.
Calderon has been well-regarded in Sacramento and was seen as restoring the family name of his father after his two uncles got caught up in federal bribery charges. Without Ian after 2020, it will be the first time since 1982 that a Calderon is not in the Legislature, according to legislative history guru Alex Vassar at the California State Library.
As a seat without an eligible candidate not running, the filing deadline now is extended by five days to December 11. The very Latino working-class southeast Los Angeles County district includes Whittier. South El Monte, Santa Fe Springs, Norwalk, La Mirada, Hacienda Heights, and La Puente.
Several names are already being talked about for the safe Democratic district, including Hacienda La Puente USD board member Martin Medrano, who is the district director for Rep. Gil Cisneros. Another possible candidate is Louis Reyes, who is currently a candidate for Whittier mayor at the same March 3, 2020 election. Reyes, who works privately in political communications, has worked for both the State Senate and State Assembly and you know what that puts into one’s blood.
By tonight we likely will see some candidates who have responded to the news and pulled papers. As of this morning, only Green Fernando Landeros and Republican Jessica Martinez have pulled papers.
DAMMIT JANUS! In the Bee, Wes Venteicher reports that the Libertarian think tank Freedom Foundation filed a lawsuit against unions representing University of California employees alleging that the unions continue to collect “fair share” representational fees to non-members, which were declared unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in last year’s Janus v. AFSCME. Specifically, the complaint alleges that the unions have set up a difficult and lengthy process to leave the union. Here is the foundation’s press release announcing the suit.
The foundation has also filed suit against the California Teachers Association with the same allegations. That case was recently heard in the United States District Court for the Northern District in California.
GIMME AIR! For CalMatters, Rachel Becker writes that the California Air Resources Board is asking the federal government for clarification as to how to administer the withdrawal of the waiver that has allowed California to set higher tailpipe standards for cars and light trucks. The state has sued the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Board over the regulations published September 27 and in this latest requests, asks the agencies to reconsider the decision. As the regulations were published 60 days ago, they are to take effect now, while the court hears the case.
MORE AIR PLEASE! The initiative process in California doesn’t always use the same playbook. While most initiative backers submit the full language written by lawyers, any citizen can submit language and pay $2,000 to have the state’s attorneys write it (same fee either way).
Yesterday, a proponent submitted language for an initiative to ban the sale or registration of a car or light truck that is neither a hybrid nor all electric and manufactured after 2020.
Perfect timing as I-5 is basically shutdown over the Grapevine the day before Thanksgiving and people are sitting in their cars with the heater on. Same thing about I-80 over the last couple of days and everyone on the mountain roads around Tahoe and the Southern California resort towns around Arrowhead and Big Bear.
My last two cars were hybrid and all-electric, but this is just silly and why we have lawmakers and hearings to draft legislation, as imperfect as it may be.
PG&noE! Assemblymember James Gallagher (R-Yuba City) has an op-ed for F&H on the preferred solution of his and Senator Jim Nielsen (R-Gerber) to speed up the upgrades to Pacific Gas & Electric’s antiquated grid.
DEVIN! In a defense filing in the defamation case filed by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Tulare) responding to a subpoena for records of former Democratic National Committee employee Adam Parkhomenko, the defense argues that the @DevinCow Twitter account is obviously a parody because cows clearly can’t be behind the account as they do not have opposable thumbs. For the Bee, Hannah Wiley and Kate Irby report.
Proud to have the backs of @DevinCow, @NunesAlt and @LizMair. Devin Nunes won’t be scaring or intimidating anyone. The only thing he’s getting is more of the same.
The case is in Virginia State Court where Nunes resides while in DC. The defendants unsuccessfully tried to get it transferred to California.
ADAM! In the LAT, Jennifer Haberkorn looks at the impact of the impeachment hearings on House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Burbank):
The effort to impeach President Trump still has months to run, but already has produced at least one clear winner: Rep. Adam B. Schiff has emerged from two weeks of public hearings as a rising star among Democrats, one with enhanced power to aid his House colleagues even as he bedevils the president.
With no special counsel involved in investigating Trump’s actions toward Ukraine, Schiff, a federal prosecutor before he won his Burbank-based congressional seat, has taken the role of lead inquisitor and public face of the probe. He’s the Kenneth Starr of the Trump impeachment — or to use the comparison he would prefer, the Leon Jaworski, special prosecutor during Watergate.
Republicans from Trump on down accuse him of unfairness and bias. Schiff’s fellow Democrats, however, have heaped praise on the way he kept Republicans at bay and maintained control during the impeachment hearings while generating enough news to keep the inquiry — and his name — in headlines for weeks on end.
BARF! In the Examiner, Laura Watson and Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez report:
People of color have been disproportionately targeted by BART police officers for eating or drinking on trains and on BART platforms, the San Francisco Examiner has learned.
Data on citations for police code violations pertaining to eating and drinking on BART obtained by the Examiner after a public records request reveal that out of the 55 people cited since Oct. 1, 2014, more than 80 percent were people of color.
African Americans were cited most frequently for consuming food or drinks on BART, with a total of 33 citations given to black passengers. Latino and “other” ethnic groups comprised the second largest group cited since Oct. 1, 2014, with 13 citations.
White passengers comprised just nine of the citations, and the ethnicity of one person cited in the time period for which data was requested was marked as “unknown.”
The records request was filed after a man was detained earlier this month for eating a sandwich at the Pleasant Hill BART Station. A viral video of the interaction between passenger Steve Foster and BART police Officer D. McCormick showed the officer handcuffing Foster and walking him off the platform.
BAGHDAD BY THE BAY: For SF Curbed, Adam Brinklow writes that Supervisor Matt Haney is championing the cause of free public bathrooms available 24 hours a day. Brinklow writes:
San Francisco Supervisor Matt Haney’s biggest public legacy may be in the toilet—which is exactly where the District Six lawmaker wants it. Haney has asked for all of the city’s public Pit Stop public bathrooms to open 24 hours a day.
Earlier this year, Haney pushed a pilot program keeping three Pit Stop toilets open for use around the clock. On Monday, he touted the success of the program with a rally in front of a toilet in the Tenderloin—presumably a first in city history.
Haney argues that reliable access to restrooms is a basic necessity for more than just SF’s homeless residents, citing night uses by “children, seniors, tourists, taxi drivers, couriers, Uber drivers, people leaving bars, neighborhood residents, anyone and everyone because all people poop and pee.”
Haney was arrested yesterday along with hundreds of others at San Francisco International Airport in one of many demonstrations across the country to support unionization of airport contract catering workers employed by corporations such as LSG Sky Chefs and Gate Gourmet.
Also in fun airport news, Terminal 2 at Oakland International Airport lost power for awhile last night delaying many flights and requiring a re-processing through security, already overloaded with holiday travel.
OAKTOWN: For the East Bay Times, Ali Tadayon reports on the efforts of the City of Oakland to get a superior court’s ruling that its Measure AA parcel tax did not have sufficient votes to pass at the November 2018 election.
Oakland is fighting to overturn an Alameda County Superior Court judge’s October declaration that a $198 parcel tax ballot measure did not garner enough votes to pass, despite the City Council deciding that it had.
Not everyone at City Hall is in favor of continuing the fight, however. Mayor Libby Schaaf supports appealing the ruling, but council members Rebecca Kaplan and Lynette Gibson McElhaney say the city would be better off accepting defeat.
The issue is that the measure was ruled a special tax, which was reflected in the City Attorney official analysis. A special tax (dedicated to specified purposes) requires a two-thirds vote, while a general tax requires a simple majority. It’s one of the most nonsensical provisions in California election law.
The measure received 62.47% of the vote rather than the 66.7% needed.
LA-LA LAND: In the LAT, Steve Lopez writes about a citizen who cleans up the Los Angeles River as rains push “millions of pounds” of trash into the on-again, off-again waterway (best known from CHiPs police chases). Lopez writes:
Hideous, shameful, grotesque. These were the words that came to mind. And with a storm expected to batter Los Angeles this week, a lot more of the same will be heading downstream.
[Josey] Peters, who spends hours every week filling large trash bags on L.A.’s beaches and tributaries, retrieved a piece of furniture from the water’s edge.
“Gotta get that out of here,” he said. “No chairs in the ocean.”
SANDY EGGO: For Voice of San Diego, Andrew Keatts writes up the financial troubles of the San Diego regional governing agency:
The regional sales tax measure TransNet has been mired in scandal for three years, but the scale of its financial problems, which predate that scandal, are still settling in.
This month, the agency’s chief economist found a new way to convey the financial straits facing TransNet, the transportation program funded by 2004’s voter-approved sales tax measure.
When San Diego voters stop paying the half-cent sales tax in 2048, Ray Major said, they will have received about half of the regional transportation improvements promised to them at the ballot box.
And that’s the optimistic outlook. It could be much worse.
CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Reyna Del Haro, Christopher Guerrero, John Hanna, Luis Marquez, and Rich Ochoa!