AP Decision Notes: What to expect in the California state and presidential primaries

WASHINGTON (AP) — With Super Tuesday fast approaching, presidential campaigns are eyeing the biggest prize of the day, the California primary.

Democratic President Joe Biden and Republican front-runner Donald Trump both hope that California –- contests in other states – can help them turn the corner toward the nomination and focus on their expected general election rematch in November.

In the Democratic primary, Biden faces challenges from Rep. Dean Phillips of Minnesota and self-help author Marianne Williamson, who reentered the nomination race Wednesday after dropping out three weeks earlier.

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The highest profile state race in California is the one to succeed the late Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein. The crowded field of candidates includes Democratic Reps. Barbara Lee, Katie Porter and Adam Schiff and Republican Steve Garvey, a former baseball star.

There are two primary elections on the ballot to replace Feinstein: one is to fill the remaining months of her current term and the other is for a full six-year term starting in January 2025.

California has a “top-two” primary system in which all candidates appear on the same ballot regardless of party, and the top two finishers advance to the general election.

In the presidential race, California is home to the largest haul of delegates in both parties. California’s 424 Democratic delegates make up almost one-third of the total at stake on Super Tuesday.

On the Republican side, the state’s 169 delegates amount to about one-fifth of those available that day. The party’s delegate rules, which award all delegates to the candidate who wins a statewide vote majority, greatly favor frontrunning candidates and gives Trump an opportunity to capture every delegate at stake.

Another notable race on the ballot is the primary to replace Porter in the 47th Congressional District, a seat she gave up to run for the Senate.

Vote-counting in California is famously slow. It’s not unusual for only about half of the vote to be counted by the morning after the election.

The Super Tuesday primaries are comprised of California and 15 other states holding presidential nominating contests. American Samoa is also holding Democratic caucuses that day. It is the single largest day of voting in the primary calendar.

A look at what to expect on election night:

ELECTION DAY

The California presidential and state primaries will be held Tuesday. Polls close at 11:00 p.m. EST.

WHAT’S ON THE BALLOT

The Democratic presidential candidates are Biden, Phillips, Williamson and five others. The Republican candidates include Trump, Haley, Florida businessman David Stuckenberg and former candidates Ryan Binkley, Chris Christie, Ron DeSantis, Asa Hutchinson and Vivek Ramaswamy. Other races on the ballot include primaries for U.S. Senate, U.S. House, state Senate and state House.

WHO CAN VOTE

Only registered Republicans may vote in the Republican presidential primary. Registered Democrats and unaffiliated voters may vote in the Democratic presidential primary. All registered voters may vote in the state primaries with a “top-two” ballot format.

DELEGATE ALLOCATION RULES

There are 424 pledged Democratic delegates at stake in California, and they’re awarded according to the national party’s standard rules. Ninety-two at-large delegates are allocated in proportion to the statewide vote, as are 55 PLEO delegates, or “party leaders and elected officials.” The state’s 52 congressional districts have a combined 277 delegates at stake, which are allocated in proportion to the vote results in each district. Candidates must receive at least 15% of the statewide vote to qualify for any statewide delegates, and 15% of the vote in a congressional district to qualify for delegates in that district.

For Republicans, all 169 delegates are awarded to the candidate who wins a majority of the statewide vote. If no candidate reaches a majority, the 169 delegates are allocated proportionally among the candidates.

DECISION NOTES

Trump became the dominant figure in the Republican politics since his election in 2016, and his hold on the party continues eight years later. He remains popular among conservative Republicans, and that has translated into success at the ballot box this year, having won every primary and caucus where his name appeared on the ballot.

In this year’s primaries and caucuses, Haley has done best in heavily Democratic areas, which California has plenty to offer. But Trump has mostly won in Democratic-leaning areas as well as in Republican strongholds, enabling him to win overall by large margins.

Trump won a nonbinding California primary in 2016 with 75% of the vote after he had already clinched the nomination.

Click here to read the full article in AP News

Gavin Newsom hits the road for Prop. 1 as support falls for his mental health measure

Two months ago polls suggested Gov. Gavin Newsom wouldn’t have to do much to persuade voters to pass his marquee mental health measure. His plan, a $6.4 billion bond that would pay for the construction of new treatment beds and housing, had support from about two-thirds of voters. 

But now, with voters casting ballots and a more recent poll showing declining enthusiasm for his proposal, Newsom is barnstorming the state to talk up Proposition 1. 

“Polling on this has been overwhelmingly positive, but polls don’t vote, people vote,” Newsom said Thursday during a get-out-the-vote rally in San Diego. “We’re here to get people to the polls.”

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The rally with the union United Domestic Workers, Attorney General Rob Bonta and other elected Democrats was the first of four planned campaign events by Newsom leading up to Election Day on March 5. Other stops include Palm Springs, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Statewide, about 10% of all ballots have been returned by mail just four days ahead of the election. Analysts say the trend indicates Tuesday will see the lowest voter turnout for a presidential primary election in recent state history.

Support for Prop. 1 dropped from 68% to 59% between December and February among likely voters, a nine-point difference, according to two polls published by the Public Policy Institute of California. Democrats and Independent voters were overwhelmingly supportive of the measure while most Republican voters indicated they would vote against it.

Anthony York, campaign manager for Yes on Prop. 1, asserted that the Public Policy Institute of California polls couldn’t be compared because ballot language was not available in December. The campaign’s internal polling numbers have remained steady, York said.

“Our numbers haven’t changed since we got the ballot language,” York said. “We knew this wouldn’t be a slam dunk measure. It’s a conservative electorate. That’s why the governor is out there raising awareness.”

new poll released Friday by UC Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies pegged support for the measure at 50% to 34%. “The fact that Yes side support stood at just 50% one week before the election adds a measure of uncertainty to its outcome as, historically, most undecided voters in the late stages of a bond campaign tend to vote No,” institute director Mark DiCamillo wrote in an analysis of the poll results.

The measure needs a simple majority of the vote to pass.

Prop. 1 is a two-part ballot initiative to restructure California’s mental health and substance abuse treatment system. It includes the bond to build treatment facilities and permanent supportive housing for people with mental health and addiction challenges. It also would change a special wealth tax known as the Mental Health Services Act by requiring counties to spend 30% of that revenue on housing instead of on other services.

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s mental health policies

Newsom has pitched Prop. 1 to voters as a way to address the state’s entrenched homelessness crisis and vastly increase capacity for acute mental health and drug treatment. His Yes on Prop. 1 campaign amassed a war chest of $14.4 million, gaining support from law enforcement unions, large health care organizations, big city mayors and the mental health advocacy organization NAMI California.

California has failed for decades to make good on its promise of expanding community-based mental health treatment after closing nearly all state psychiatric hospitals in the 1960s. Prop. 1 is an opportunity for voters to rectify that failure, Newsom said.

Newsom has signed several laws during his tenure meant to address the mental health crisis playing out on California streets, including one last year loosening restrictions on involuntary treatment.

“People get it, and they want to get something done,” Newsom said to a gathering of about 100 union workers and first responders. “They don’t want to talk about this problem anymore. They want to see progress.”

The Yes on Prop. 1 campaign estimates that 6,800 treatment slots and 4,350 housing units could be constructed with the money raised by the bond.

Click here to read the full article in CalMatters

Schiff, Garvey Lead in Senate Survey

Voters favor a contest between Democrat and former Dodger in November, poll finds.

Rep. Adam B. Schiff’s campaign strategy of spending millions to highlight Republican Senate candidate Steve Garvey’s conservative record appears to have paid off, making Garvey a strong favorite to emerge from Tuesday’s primary as Schiff’s general election opponent.

That’s the finding of the latest UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies poll co-sponsored by The Times. The survey finds Schiff, the veteran Democratic congressman from Burbank, and Garvey, the former Dodgers star first baseman, in effect tied for the lead in the primary just days before the election.

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Schiff’s strategy appears to be boxing out his chief rival, Rep. Katie Porter of Irvine, a fellow Democrat, who trails in third.

In the general election, Schiff would be an overwhelming favorite to beat Garvey in heavily Democratic California. The poll finds Schiff starting with a significant lead in a two-way matchup, 53% to 38%, with 9% undecided. By contrast, a general election between Schiff and Porter would start out tied, with 4 in 10 voters undecided, the poll found.

In the primary, Garvey is favored by 27% of likely voters, Schiff 25% and Porter 19%. Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Oakland) garners 8%, while 12% of likely voters pick a different candidate and 9% are undecided.

Political consultants following the returns of mailed ballots expect that Tuesday’s primary will be a low-turnout affair, with an electorate that is significantly older, whiter and more Republican than the state’s voter population as a whole.

“The composition of the turnout works to the advantage of Schiff and Garvey and to the detriment of Porter,” who is more popular with younger voters, said Mark DiCamillo, director of the Institute of Governmental Studies poll and a longtime California pollster.

A low turnout that is more conservative than the norm could also mean trouble for Proposition 1, Gov. Gavin Newsom’s latest effort to address homelessness and change the state’s 20-year-old Mental Health Services Act.

The ballot measure includes $6.4 billion in bonds to build facilities to provide 10,000 new treatment beds for people with severe mental illness.

Half of likely voters back the initiative, 34% oppose it and 16% remain undecided, according to the poll. Although that’s a significant lead, backers of ballot measures generally want to see support above 50% because undecided voters tend to vote no.

Several major Republican figures have endorsed the bond measure, but the poll shows a large majority of Republican voters oppose it, while Democrats support it.

“The dynamics of low-turnout California elections are pretty set in stone,” said political data expert Paul Mitchell.

“Those dynamics are old people over-perform, homeowners over-perform. Latinos under-perform and Republicans over-perform,” he said. That combination gives Garvey a significant boost at this stage of the election, he added.

Among the 20% of people who already had voted by the time the poll wrapped up Tuesday, Schiff led with 35%, with Garvey at 28%. Garvey does better with people who plan to vote on election day, while Schiff does better with people who plan to drop off their ballots before election day, the poll showed.

For much of last year, the Senate race was mostly defined by Lee, Porter and Schiff — a trio of Democrats with similar voting records — all looking for ways to stand out in a contest to succeed the late Sen. Dianne Feinstein.

Schiff led for much of last year with Porter nipping at his heels.

Both raised millions of dollars powered by their respective abilities to appeal to Democrats across the country.

Porter’s inquisitions of Wall Street executives during congressional hearings made her a favorite of liberal voters — particularly young ones — angry about inequality and corporate greed.

Schiff’s reputation as one of former President Trump’s leading opponents created a wellspring of loyalty among Democratic voters who were impressed by his work when he was chair of the House Intelligence Committee and a prominent impeachment manager.

Older voters also were drawn to Schiff, who garnered the endorsement of most the party’s established leadership, starting with former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco).

Those factors all had the makings for a generational clash among Democrats until Garvey joined the fray in October.

Garvey’s entry gave Schiff the opportunity to take advantage of the state’s top-two primary system, in which the two candidates who get the most votes in the primary advance to the general election, regardless of party.

Because Democrats outnumber Republicans by such a wide margin in California, a Democrat who ends up with a Republican opponent in a statewide general election starts out with a huge edge.

Schiff has spent upward of $25 million on television advertising, most of which has framed the contest as a two-candidate race between him and Garvey. An outside group of Schiff allies has spent roughly an additional $10 million on a similar effort.

Garvey’s campaign has spent just $1.4 million through mid-February.

Schiff’s ads, which make no mention of Porter, describe Garvey as “too conservative for California.” They appear to have had the intended effect of endearing Garvey, a first-time candidate, to Republicans who previously knew little about him other than his past as a baseball star. About two-thirds of likely Republican voters now support him, the poll found.

Porter has also been subjected to roughly $10 million in attack ads from an outside group funded by by Silicon Valley billionaires and cryptocurrency investors.

That appears to have hurt her standing among voters. In the current poll, 27% of likely voters had an unfavorable view of her — an 11-percentage-point jump from the last survey in early January. Her image remains favorable overall, however, with 45% of likely voters seeing her favorably, and 28% of likely voters having no opinion of her.

As Garvey, with Schiff’s help, consolidated the Republican vote, the congressman moved ahead among Democrats. The poll found him leading Porter among Democratic voters, 40% to 30%.

Garvey, Schiff and Porter are basically tied among No Party Preference voters.

Schiff has the edge in the state’s two largest population centers, Los Angeles County and the San Francisco Bay Area. In the Bay Area, he has the support of 28% of voters, with Porter in second at 24%. In Los Angeles County, his home turf, Schiff has 28%, with Garvey in second at 22%.

In the last Times poll in January, Porter led on her home turf, Orange County, by double digits. Now Garvey has leapfrogged her in the populous county, grabbing 34% support among likely voters. Porter has 30%.

Click here to read the full article in the LA Times

Corruption at the Capitol? Gov. Newsom Exempts Billionaire Buddy from Fast Food $20 Minimum Wage Law

Give a donation, Get an exemption: This is what corruption in plain sight looks like

Photo by Anne Wernikoff for CalMatters

California Governor Gavin Newsom exempted a billionaire buddy from California’s new $20 minimum wage law. Billionaire Greg Flynn owns more than two dozen Panera Bread locations in California, as well as Applebee’s, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, and Wendy’s.

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How did the billionaire boys club governor do this? He had it written right into AB 1228 by Assemblyman Chris Holden (D-Los Angeles):

Fast food restaurant” shall not include an establishment that on September 15, 2023, operates a bakery that produces for sale on the establishment’s premises bread, as defined under Part 136 of Subchapter B of Chapter I of Title 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations, so long as it continues to operate such a bakery. This exemption applies only where the establishment produces for sale bread as a stand-alone menu item, and does not apply if the bread is available for sale solely as part of another menu item. (emphasis the Globe)

Here is the actual section AB 1228:

Bloomberg Law reported Wednesday:

Billionaire Greg Flynn, who made his fortune running one of the world’s largest restaurant franchise operations, is getting a new boost from sourdough loaves and brioche buns.

That’s because a California law that’s about to raise the state minimum wage at fast-food spots to $20 an hour from $16 offers an unusual exemption for chains that bake bread and sell it as a standalone item.

Governor Gavin Newsom pushed for that break, according to people familiar with the matter. Among the main beneficiaries is Flynn, a longtime Newsom donor whose California holdings include two dozen Panera Bread locations.

Give a donation, get an exemption? This is what corruption in plain sight looks like.

Bloomberg News reported that Flynn attended the same high school as Newsom, and has been involved in various business dealings with Gov. Newsom.

Flynn has also contributed at least $164,800 to Newsom’s political campaigns, the New York Post reported.

Click here to read the full article in the California Globe

Undocumented immigrants in California could have a new path to homeownership

Undocumented immigrants could have a new pathway to the American dream of owning a home.

Photo courtesy Franco Folini, flickr

Assemblymember Joaquin Arambula (D-Fresno) introduced Assembly Bill 1840 last month to expand the eligibility requirement for a state loan program to clarify that loans for first-time buyers are available to undocumented immigrants.

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The California Dream for All Shared Appreciation Loans program that launched last March by the California Housing Finance Agency offered qualified first-time home buyers with a loan worth up to 20% of the purchase price of a house or condominium. The loans don’t accrue interest or require monthly payments. Instead, when the mortgage is refinanced or the house is sold again, the borrower pays back the original amount of the loan plus 20% of the increase in the home’s value.

The original program was established in an effort to help low- and middle-income individuals buy a home, but the program doesn’t address eligibility based on immigration status, Arambula said.

“It’s that ambiguity for undocumented individuals, despite the fact that they’ve qualified under existing criteria, such as having a qualified mortgage,” he said in an interview. “Underscores the pressing need for us to introduce legislation.”

If Assembly Bill 1840 is passed, it would broaden the definition of “first-time home buyer” to include undocumented immigrants.

Without the explicit status, undocumented individuals may be discouraged or left out of the opportunity to participate, Arambula said.

“Homeownership has historically been the primary means of accumulating generational wealth in the United States,” he said. “The social and economic benefits of homeownership should be available to everyone.”

The California Dream for All Shared Appreciation Loans program hit its applications limit of about 2,300 applicants in 11 days last year and the program was halted.

Click here to read the full article in the LA Times

California Democrats Setting Race Relations Back 70 Years with ACA 7

Does Assemblyman Dr. Corey Jackson support ‘separate but equal’ in practice”

Why are Democrats segregating blacks, and now agitating for free college as part of proposed reparations in California?

Black college students now have separate graduation, separate admission standards, separate dorms, separate curricula … and now are going to have separate tuition rates in California, if the proposed Assembly Constitutional Amendment 7 by Assemblyman Corey Jackson (D-Riverside) makes it to the ballot.

Notably, “Assemblyman Corey A. Jackson, DSW, MSW, was elected to the California State Assembly in November of 2022,” his official biography states. Note the degrees, and that he is an elected member of the California Legislature. He’s one of the elite. So why is a  highly educated black man insulting other blacks in California by telling them they need free college in order to succeed? Why is Assemblyman Dr. Corey Jackson insisting that blacks need preferential treatment on the basis of race in public employment, public education, and public contracting?

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Perhaps it has something to do with Assemblyman Dr. Corey Jackson’s advanced degrees – a Master of Social Work degree and a Doctor of Social Work degree. (He calls himself “Assemblyman Dr. Corey Jackson.)

Does Assemblyman Dr. Corey Jackson support “separate but equal” in practice, ignoring that Plessy v. Fergusson (1896) was overturned by Brown v. Board of Education in 1954 by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Why are California Democrats openly trying to set race relations back 70 years?

In January the Globe spoke with Gail Heriot, Chair woman of the No on ACA 7 campaign and Professor of Law at the University of San Diego. She said the latest attempt to overturn Prop. 209 “is trickier” than previous attempts because “instead of attempting an outright repeal, it creates a procedure under which the governor can make ‘exceptions.’”

“ACA-7 is all about asking voters to pre-approve whatever exceptions to Proposition 209 that Governor Newsom or some unknown future governor decides to make,” said Heriot. “I am confident that if it makes the ballot and voters understand it, they will reject it. The state Senate should stop it before it gets that far.”

At issue is Proposition 209, passed in 1996 by California voters, 54.55% to 45.45%, which banned racial preferences in education and hiring… but it’s not as if the state or higher education actually honored Prop. 209…

Assemblyman Dr. Jackson claims, “Since its passing in 1996, Proposition 209 has served as a barrier toward implementing potential programs to assist vulnerable communities who have intentionally been neglected and left behind for over 400 years. This unjust law has substantially limited the state’s ability to address disparities in business contracting, education, housing, wealth, employment, and healthcare, which are deeply embedded in laws, policies, and institutions that perpetuate racial inequalities.”

Ironically perhaps, Prop. 209 is based on the exact language of the 1964 U.S. Civil Right Act.

Proposition 209 added a section to the California Constitution’s Declaration of Rights which only said that the state cannot discriminate against or grant preferential treatment on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, and public contracting, and banned the use of affirmative action involving race-based or sex-based preferences in California.

And if Prop. 209 is so “substantially limiting” and “unjust,” how did Assemblyman Dr. Corey Jackson get two advanced degrees and become a member of the California State Assembly?

In the 6/2/23 bill analysis of Jackson’s ACA 7, there is this little disclaimer:

This constitutional amendment might allow California to implement more programs that have been demonstrated to increase the life expectancy of, improve educational outcomes for, or lift out of poverty, specific marginalized populations which would benefit all Californians [emphasis the Globe].

The 6/23/23 Judiciary Committee analysis of ACA 7 acknowledges:

A pending Supreme Court decision may impact the scope of this constitutional amendment. Given the controversial nature of affirmative action, unsurprisingly, the issue is pending before the United States Supreme Court in the combined cases of Students for Fair Admissions v. President and Fellows of Harvard (Docket No. 20-1199.) and Students for Fair Admissions v. University of North Carolina (Docket No. 21-707.). The critical legal issue on appeal in both cases is the status of race-conscious admissions in higher education under the United States Constitution.

And on June 29, 2023, the Supreme Court finally declared racial preferences in university admissions unconstitutional, in a 6-3 decision.

SCOTUS Blog reported:

Chief Justice John Roberts explained that college admissions programs can consider race merely to allow an applicant to explain how their race influenced their character in a way that would have a concrete effect on the university. But a student “must be treated based on his or her experiences as an individual — not on the basis of race,” Roberts wrote.

Justice Clarence Thomas filed a concurring opinion and took the relatively rare step of reading a summary of his opinion from the bench. He pushed back against the idea, advanced by Sotomayor in her (69-page) dissent, that the 14th Amendment “does not impose a blanket ban on race-conscious policies.”

Assemblyman Dr. Corey Jackson is also the author of AB 1078 targeting parents who object to DEI, CRT and graphic sex being taught to their kids, calling them “Christian White Nationalists.”

Jackson also personally attacked and smeared his colleague, Assemblyman Bill Essayli (R-Riverside), as a “white supremacist” for opposing ACA 7.

It appears that Assemblyman Dr. Corey Jackson is the one who has the problem with race, and not parents of school-aged children, not Republicans, not employers, and not most black residents of California.

Here is the background on No on ACA 7:

Click here to read the full article in the California Globe

DeMaio likes to attract attention. He has plenty of it from opponents. – Michael Smolens

Police and firefighter unions, Republican elected officials and others wage independent campaigns against radio talk-show host DeMaio in Assembly race

Carl DeMaio has crossed a lot of people in his various political endeavors. He’s being reminded of that daily in his campaign for the state Assembly.

The radio talk-show host is being opposed by a rare coalition that spans the political spectrum: labor unions, police and firefighter associations, Democrats, Republican elected officials, the state and local Republican parties, and even some real estate interests.

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The top financial supporters listed on one mailer attacking DeMaio include the California Professional Firefighters, California Correctional Peace Officers Association and the California Apartment Association.

At least five independent campaign efforts are aligned against him. DeMaio, a prolific fundraiser, has a substantial campaign war chest and is also benefiting from his statewide organization, Reform California.

DeMaio is running in the 75th Assembly District, a sprawling East County conservative district that almost certainly will elect a Republican, likely either DeMaio or Andrew Hayes, an aide to state Sen. Brian Jones, D-Santee, who has been endorsed by the Republican Party.

Incumbent Republican Marie Waldron is termed out this year.

A contested primary in a solid Republican district might not typically attract labor involvement but DeMaio changes that equation. Also contributing to the anti-DeMaio cause is the California Labor Federation, which is led by Lorena Gonzalez, who as a San Diego labor leader has clashed with DeMaio for years.

The Peace Officers Research Association of California is also spending money to defeat DeMaio. PORAC is headed up by Brian Marvel, the former president of the San Diego Police Officers Association who also has clashed with DeMaio.

DeMaio has been virulently anti-union and as a member of the San Diego City Council spearheaded a voter-approved ballot measure that did away with pensions for most municipal workers, except police officers, hired after July 20, 2012. The measure was overturned in court about a decade later and the city is now working to restore pensions to affected workers.

DeMaio envisioned that public employee pension bans would take hold across the state, but that never happened.

He also backed a related five-year pay freeze for city employees and restrictions on other benefits for employees, including police officers, that were not affected by the court rulings.

DeMaio maintained pensions were too generous and were bleeding money from government budgets.

He’s familiar with opposition from labor and said that doesn’t faze him. “I wear that with a badge of honor,” he said in an interview.

As for Hayes, DeMaio said, “This guy is backed by corrupt forces in Sacramento” — both Republican and Democrat.

Jones, who is the Senate Republican leader, is backing independent efforts for Hayes and against DeMaio. So are Waldron, county Supervisor Joel Anderson and Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Bonsall. Issa defeated DeMaio in a contentious 2020 race for an East County-centric congressional district.

DeMaio also lost races for mayor in 2012 and for Congress to Rep. Scott Peters, D-San Diego, in 2014 after serving one term on the City Council.

Clearly, DeMaio’s opponents don’t want him in the Legislature or, it seems, any other elected office. But their first order of business appears to be getting the lesser-known Hayes through the primary on March 5.

There are no guarantees in politics, but DeMaio seems poised to advance to November. He is being hit with negative mailers, contending he’s a “Never Trumper” and that he supported “defunding our first responders.”

In turn, DeMaio says he backs former President Donald Trump, and maintains Hayes is being propped up by Democrats and labor unions. Both have claimed they are the strongest on border enforcement and are the more conservative candidate. At times, they’ve mimicked Trump’s penchant for giving opponents derogatory names.

“‘Amnesty Andrew’ Hayes can’t be trusted on illegal immigration,” says one mailer backing DeMaio.

In a campaign release, Hayes accused “Crooked Carl DeMaio” of using donations to his Reform California committee for the Assembly race.

Beyond the attack pieces to dissuade Republican voters from supporting Hayes, DeMaio is making an appeal to Democratic voters, sort of. DeMaio’s campaign has been promoting the Democratic Party-endorsed candidate, Kevin Juza.

It’s an increasingly common campaign tactic to boost a perceived weaker opponent in hopes they will outdistance a stronger one in the primary.

The anti-DeMaio forces have responded in kind, though so far not in a big way. They made a small ad buy on Facebook to promote Democrat Christie Dougherty in an apparent effort to dilute the DeMaio-juiced Juza vote — which, in theory, could help Hayes.

This is becoming quite a tangled web.

Also running are Democrat Joy Frew and Republican Jack Fernandes.

Click here to read the full article in the SD Union Tribune

Coupal: A bold idea for California: Instead of passing so many new laws, how about some oversight over existing ones?

The reaction from politicians to California’s budget deficit – now estimated by the Legislative Analyst to be around $73 billion – breaks down into two camps: the state must either reduce spending or find more revenue. (Euphemism for raising taxes.)

In reality, even the most progressive legislators realize that their dream of unending growth in government is crashing headlong into reality. Days ago, Assembly Speaker Robert Rivas acknowledged that the ultimate goal of single-payer health care won’t be on the table anytime soon.

Of course, any reduction in spending will be accompanied by the obligatory gnashing of teeth and pulling of hair. It is easier to extract a sirloin steak from the jaws of a Doberman than to get politicians and government bureaucrats to reduce their record levels of spending. To the tax spenders, all government spending is “essential,” notwithstanding the fact that state spending has doubled in six years.

Ordinary Californians reject the premise that all state spending is “essential” and, in fact, think much of it is superfluous and wasteful. A Public Policy Institute of California survey earlier this month asked, “Do you think . . . state government[s] waste a lot of the money we pay in taxes, waste some of it, or don’t waste very much of it?” Overall, 45% of Californians perceived that “a lot” of their money was being wasted and 46% believed “some” of their money was wasted.

Specific examples abound. If the High-Speed Rail project were put before the voters after its 14-year history of broken promises, polling reveals it would be derailed. And volumes could be written about the $30 billion in EDD fraud.

An excellent exposé in CalMatters by Sameea Kamal and Jeremia Kimelman reveals the massive non-compliance with legislative mandates regarding the preparation of reports that are supposed to track the effectiveness of government programs. The title of the article is “Legislators wanted 1,100 reports on how California’s laws are working. Most haven’t arrived.”

When it creates a new program, the Legislature frequently requires the affected state or local agencies to prepare a report back to the Legislature about the performance of the new program. The purpose, according to the Legislature itself, is to “provide crucial oversight to ensure effective implementation of programs.”

But according to CalMatters, “more than 70% of the 1,118 reports due in the past year were not submitted to the Office of Legislative Counsel, the public repository for the reports . . . And about half of those that were filed were late. (About 230 were reports required from multiple agencies.)”

The absence of reports on the efficacy of past legislation makes future legislation like a journey into the unknown. CalMatters correctly contends that the “reports could be used to avoid introducing duplicative or unnecessary bills.” But a more fundamental purpose would be to determine which laws or programs should simply be repealed or abandoned entirely.

Compounding the problem of missing reports is that there is little data about which reports are simply late and that there is little notice when they are completed. The lack of a coherent process for tracking legislatively mandated reports is why, according to CalMatters, “some lawmakers and consultants . . . don’t often use the [Legislative Counsel] website,” relying instead on alternative sources of information.

In theory, California has multiple avenues for conducting oversight. The California State Auditor produces a number of useful reports, including a periodic report on “statewide issues and state agencies that represent a high risk to the State or its residents.”

Click here to read the full article in the OC Register

Oakland’s Crime Stats Only Tell Half the Story; 6,000 Businesses Stopped Paying Taxes | Chris Moore

Small businesses and residents in Oakland are struggling with rising crime and safety issues, according to Chris Moore, a board member of the Bay Rental Housing Association. In an interview, Moore cited statistics showing over 6000 small businesses stopped paying business taxes in 2023, and businesses like In-N-Out Burger and a popular restaurant called Snail Bar have closed or been damaged by theft.

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Moore criticized Oakland City Council policies around public safety, noting the council has proposed defunding the police by 50% while crime rates for offenses like armed robbery and car theft have increased sharply. A restaurant owner described being burglarized three times and receiving only duct tape from the city to board up the damaged windows.

Residents say the current city council downplays rising crime by only comparing murder rates to past decades, ignoring other crime trends. Communities of color in East and West Oakland face significant blight and violence that city leaders do not adequately address, according to Moore.

Click here to read the full article in California Insider

Some Bills that Caught my Eye from 2024 Introductions

‘Isn’t that kind of obvious? A state statute cannot contradict the state Constitution’

Being the “legislative geek” that I am, as I made my way through the introduced bills in the 2024 California Legislative Session from yesterday’s deadline there have been a few measures that have caught my attention.

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This bill has 227 individual sections, the most I’ve seen so far.

An act to amend Sections 7196.2, 12240, 13400, 13404, 13440, 13442, 13470, and 13531 of the Business and Professions Code, to amend Sections 798.41, 1785.11.9, 1798.98, and 2929.5 of the Civil Code, to amend Sections 349.05, 564, 726.5, and 736 of the Code of Civil Procedure, to amend Section 17213 of the Education Code, to amend Section 824 of the Evidence Code, to amend Sections 819, 7274, and 32202 of the Financial Code, to amend Section 6602 of the Fish and Game Code, to amend Sections 4216, 4216.3, 4217.11, 6546, 7267.9, 7513.7, 7922.700, 8585.01, 8670.3, 8670.56.5, 11342.610, 16428.1, 16428.15, 16428.2, 51010.5, 53313.5, 54957, 61105, 63010, 65912.113, 65912.123, 65913.16, 65950.5, 65963.2, and 70357 of the Government Code, to amend Section 294 of the Harbors and Navigation Code, to amend Sections 18029.1, 19881, 25144, 25299.97, 25421, 38501, 38562, 38594, 39607, 39731, 39733, 40448.5, 40516, 40603, 41062, 41081, 41704, 42301.15, 42710, 43867, 44229, and 78075 of the Health and Safety Code, to amend Sections 7655 and 7800 of the Labor Code, to amend Sections 2202, 2202.5, 10295.3, 10295.35, 10295.5, and 10299.1 of the Public Contract Code, to amend Sections 2005, 3008, 3015, 3180, 3181, 3186.3, 3205.8, 3227.6, 3300, 3316.2, 3500, 3501, 3503, 3635.3, 6245, 6827.5, 21080.25, 21080.40, 21151.8, 25000.1, 25000.5, 25121, 25122, 25125, 25126, 25134, 25140, 25228, 25300, 25301, 25303, 25303.5, 25310, 25320, 25354, 25355, 25401.2, 25401.5, 25402.10, 25412.5, 25540.6, 25550, 25555, 25620.1, 25620.8, 25704, 25722.5, 25722.8, 25722.9, 25794.6, 25943, 25990, 26401, 30001.2, 30107, 30715, and 42891 of the Public Resources Code, to amend Sections 216, 216.6, 328.1, 328.2, 353.1, 366.1, 368, 379.5, 379.6, 390, 391, 398.4, 399.12, 454.56, 454.7, 701.1, 739.4, 740.3, 740.8, 747, 783.5, 784.2, 785.2, 890, 891, 892, 892.2, 896, 950, 955, 958, 963, 972, 975, 1002.5, 1821, 2104.7, 2775.7, 2801, 2802, 2804, 2806, 2811, 2812, 2836.7, 2840.6, 2841, 2851, 3252, 3255, 3310, 3325, 3365, 3369, 4351, 4358, 6350, 6351, 6352, 7673, 7714.5, 8340, 8341, 8371, 8372, 8380, 9616, 9618, and 99500 of the Public Utilities Code, to amend Sections 6358.1, 7284.3, 7326, 7335, 8613, 8651.6, 8651.7, 9258, 9501, 17131.10, 18154, 25128, 60004, and 60022 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, to amend Section 2580 of the Streets and Highways Code, to amend Sections 2402.6, 27602, and 27909 of the Vehicle Code, and to amend Section 24252.1 of the Water Code, relating to methane, and making an appropriation therefor.

Other than the Budget Bill, that’s a lot of code sections affected!

Why is this provision necessary?

Nothing in this section restricts the right of the public to use navigable waters for hunting, fishing, or other public purpose as guaranteed under Section IV of Article X of the California Constitution.

Isn’t that kind of obvious? A state statute cannot contradict the state Constitution.

This bill has an interesting provision.

This act does not affect, and shall not be construed to affect, the validity of City of Woodland Measure S (2004), its applicability to any flood control project, including the subject of this act, or the outcome of the litigation in Yolo County Farm Bureau v. City of Woodland (Yolo County Superior Court Case No. CV 2021-0564; 3rd District Court of Appeal Case No. C097202).

This is unique because it addresses a local ballot measure. In addition, on occasion, the Legislature addresses an appellate court decision, usually to abrogate it. In this case, the intent is to not disrupt the appeals court decision.

SB 1076 is doing it the “right” way (in my opinion):

The Legislature finds and declares that this act furthers the purposes and intent of the California Privacy Rights Act of 2020 by ensuring consumers’ rights, including the constitutional right to privacy, are protected by enacting additional consumer protection provisions regarding consumers’ requests that data brokers delete their personal information, including additional safeguards related to consumers’ use of authorized agents to make those requests.

I really appreciate when bills amending a statutory initiative actually explain why the bill “furthers the purposes” of that ballot measure. In most bills, we find the following as the standard language, which I think is inadequate:

The Legislature finds and declares that this act furthers the purposes and intent of The California Privacy Rights Act of 2020.

I always chuckle when reading the maxims of jurisprudence, most of which were enacted in 1872 in the California Civil Code.

Existing law provides certain maxims of jurisprudence, including acquiescence in error takes away the right of objecting to it. This bill would add to the maxims of jurisprudence described above that the exceptions and qualifications to maxims are more important than the so-called maxims.

Click here to read the full article in California Globe