THE BUZZ: A new law that might block Donald Trump from California ballots could collide with a high-Democrat-turnout primary — a prospect that’s making some Republicans nervous. POLITICO’s Jeremy B. White reports:
“For Republicans who already face a steep climb to blunt Democratic dominance here, the possibility of Trump’s absence from 2020 primary ballots threatens to suppress turnout at a time when they need every vote they can get. That risk conjures another scenario that’s keeping conservative strategists up at night: Republicans getting locked out of general election races thanks to California’s top-two primary system ….
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“‘We all know that the top of the ticket generally dictates the turnout,’ California Republican Party Chair Jessica Patterson told POLITICO. ‘If the Democrats have a huge intensity — which they likely will, because our primary is so early — and Republicans don’t have their likely nominee to turn out to vote for, this could really affect our legislative and congressional races, where two Democrats could end up in the general.’ …
“Even if it clears the courts, the measure is unlikely to have much effect on the presidential contest given Trump’s radioactivity for much of the California electorate. But there are competitive state legislative and congressional races across the state. Patterson said the law appears to directly try to engineer outcomes favorable to Democrats by applying to primary elections in which Republicans can fall outside the top two if they suffer low turnout.
“‘It leads one to believe this was done on purpose,’ she said.” Read the full story on POLITICO.
BUENOS DIAS, good Wednesday morning. The debate over the pitfalls of facial recognition technology is intensifying in Sacramento — the latest instance of California looking to rein in the innovation its businesses are helping to create.
— QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I’ll say it: I kind of miss Richard Nixon.” Gov. Gavin Newsom on a president who signed the Endangered Species Act and released his tax returns.
— TWEET OF THE DAY: House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy @GOPLeader: “To the thousands of young people in Hong Kong who are speaking UP for human rights and speaking OUT against the Communist Party of China: we see you waving the American flag, and we hear you singing our national anthem. America stands for freedom. America stands with Hong Kong.”
— WHERE’S GAVIN? Nothing official announced.
— “Dozens of rounds fired in ‘horrific’ shootout that killed CHP officer, suspect,” by LA Times’ Jaclyn Cosgrove, Paloma Esquivel, Hannah Fry and Richard Winton: “Officer Andre Moye, 34, was killed, another CHP officer was critically injured and a third was wounded. Authorities said two civilians are thought to have suffered minor injuries. The suspect, who has not been identified, died at the scene.”
— SODA TAX FIGHT: “Is Big Soda winning the soft drink wars?” by Jeremy B. White in POLITICO Agenda: “Pennsylvania has found itself the latest battleground for a national strategy by soda producers aimed at stopping local taxes on their products — not by fighting the cities directly, but by pushing pliant state legislatures to ban any such tax increases statewide … Legislatures in Arizona and Michigan have already passed state laws forbidding local soda taxes. In Washington state, the industry backed a voter initiative barring local soda taxes; it passed in 2018.
“Perhaps the industry’s most remarkable success has been California, a progressive state in which multiple cities passed their own soda taxes in the wake of Berkeley’s first-in-the-nation law and additional cities were ramping up campaigns.”
— MURAL CONTROVERSY: “San Francisco school board reverses course, decides to save controversial mural,” by the SF Chronicle’s Jill Tucker: “Facing an international outcry, thousands of emails and celebrity opposition to the June decision to destroy a historic school mural, the San Francisco school board reversed course Tuesday, voting to obscure the art with panels or similar materials rather than painting over it.”
— COLLEGE RANKINGS: UC Irvine is No. 1 in the country, per Money’s ranking of the 25 top schools based on both cost and quality. “What makes it so good? A strong graduation rate and affordable tuition fees for Californians.” (Nine other California schools also made the list.)
— “States, cities sue Trump over power plant emissions reversal,” by POLITICO’s Debra Kahn: “Led by California and New York, 22 states and seven cities sued the Trump administration today over its reversal of a signature Obama program that attempted to reduce power plant emissions and move away from coal. The suit, filed in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, alleges that the U.S. EPA violated the Clean Air Act when it unveiled its Affordable Clean Energy rule in June, overriding Obama’s Clean Power Plan.” (Pro link)
— PUBLIC CHARGE: “Santa Clara, San Francisco sue over Trump move to deny green cards based on benefit use,” by POLITICO’s Ted Hesson: “The government entities argued in a related complaint that the Trump administration violated federal regulatory law when it greatly expanded the definition of a ‘public charge’ beyond a narrower understanding that had been in effect for two decades.” (Pro link)
— “What does President Trump’s latest immigration crackdown mean for California?” by Ben Christopher and Jackie Botts in CalMatters: “The expansion of the so-called ‘public charge’ rule was long-anticipated — as was the response in California, home to a disproportionate number of the nation’s immigrants and headquarters of the anti-Trump resistance.”
PELOSI on Twitter: “This hateful, bigoted rule is a direct assault on our nation’s proud heritage as a beacon of hope and opportunity for all and a clear attempt to demonize and terrorize the newcomers who make America more American. It will be swiftly challenged and defeated in the courts.”
— STEYER STRATEGY: Presidential latecomer Tom Steyer announced that he’s crossed the 130,000 individual donor threshold needed to make the debate stage (he still needs to register more polling support). The donor mandate has led the megadonor to channel some of his ample wealth, deployed into various political causes and campaigns in recent years, into asking for money — a task facilitated by the voter data reservoir he built up via his Need to Impeach campaign.
SUBTWEET: “We’re kidding ourselves if we’re calling a $10 million purchase of 130,000 donors a demonstration of grassroots support,” Montana Gov. Steve Bullock scoffed on Twitter.
THE PLAYBOOK: “How Tom Steyer Learned to Play by the DNC’s Debate Rules,” by the Atlantic’s Edward-Isaac Dovere: “In the span of five weeks, the San Francisco–based billionaire activist has channeled millions of dollars of his own money into trying to win a spot on the stage in September. If the effort works—and he’s getting close—Steyer could beat out many major candidates who have been running for president for months.”
— BERNIE HITS KAMALA: “Can The Revolution Wait? Democratic Voters Are Split,” by HuffPo’s Kevin Robillard: “In an interview, Sanders argued the type of ‘incrementalism’ pushed by Harris would cost the Democratic Party a chance to defeat Trump. ‘The American people do not want to see another complicated health care proposal that they don’t understand, that will take 10 years to implement,’ he continued, making it clear he was referring, at least in part, to Harris.”
— “Kamala Harris has missed plenty of votes while campaigning. She’s not alone,” by SF Chronicle’s Tal Kopan.
— CUTTING IT CLOSE: “Hunter’s criminal trial rescheduled for January,” by the SD-UT’s Jeff McDonald and Morgan Cook: “Instead of September 10 he will now face trail on January 14, based on a court decision today. Lawyers prosecuting and defending Rep. Duncan Hunter asked a federal judge to delay the political corruption trial so the Republican congressman from Alpine can argue before an appeals court that the criminal charges should be dismissed.”
— GRAY PLAY: “Central Valley lawmaker files initiative that would boost hydropower,” by POLITICO’s Debra Kahn: “A state assemblyman has submitted a ballot initiative that would allow large hydropower projects to qualify for state renewable electricity targets, continuing a push by Central Valley lawmakers to boost the resource.” (Pro link)
— FACING FACTS: “ACLU runs lawmaker images through facial recognition software to make point,” by POLITICO’s Katy Murphy: “A recent test of the Amazon program Rekognition falsely matched the images of 26 California state lawmakers — more than one in five — to mugshots in a large public database, the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California said.”
— “Newsom administration opposes wildfire insurance bill led by Lara, Ma,” by POLITICO’s Carla Marinucci and Kevin Yamamura: “That comes despite Lara assuring insurance executives last month at a closed-door meeting that he looked forward to Newsom signing the bill, which so far has sailed through the Legislature.” (Pro link)
— INVESTIGATION: “California oil regulators made ‘dummy’ approval files for risky drill permits, records show,” by Palm Springs Desert Sun’s Janet Wilson: “DOGGR employees with first-hand knowledge of the process said at least 12 ‘dummy’ project folders appear to have been used over the past several years to wrongly issue permits, including by high-ranking supervisors.”
— “Ethnic studies proposal for high schoolers called leftist, anti-Semitic,” by the OC Register’s Roxana Kopetman: “Inaccurate. Misleading. Anti-Jewish. That’s what the California Legislative Jewish Caucus thinks of a an ethnic studies curriculum plan that was drafted for high school students in California and is under consideration in Sacramento.”
— “ADACHI LEAK: Second SF judge had evidence subject of police raid was journalist,” by SF Chronicle’s Evan Sernoffsky.
— “Kaiser Permanente workers in California vote to approve strike,” by James B. Cutchin in the LA Times: “The vote does not mean a strike will take place; rather, it gives union leaders the ability to call one whenever they want, which provides extra leverage in negotiations. Leaders have floated early October as a possible time for a strike.” ]
— ANTITRUST TUSSLES: “Internal divides cloud tech industry’s antitrust defense,” by POLITICO’s Steven Overly: “The brushback highlights a byproduct of the tech backlash in Washington: Even as some of the industry’s biggest names confront mounting questions about their size and power, they can’t always rely on backup from the trade groups they’ve showered with money over the years.”
— “FTC Chief Says Willing to Break Up Companies Amid Big Tech Probe,” by Bloomberg’s David McLaughlin.
— “Google’s jobs search draws antitrust complaints from rivals,” by Reuters’ Foo Yun Chee and Paresh Dave: “Google’s fast-growing tool for searching job listings has been a boon for employers and job boards starving for candidates, but several rival job-finding services contend anti-competitive behavior has fueled its rise and cost them users and profits.”
— PRIVACY LATEST: “Facebook Paid Contractors to Transcribe Users’ Audio Chats,” by Bloomberg’s Sarah Frier.
— “How Online Gun Sales Can Exploit a Major Loophole in Background Checks,” by NYT’s Richard A. Oppel Jr. and Adeel Hassan: “[F]ederal gun laws contain a major loophole: Transactions between private sellers and buyers do not require a background check. That used to typically just mean sales at gun shows, or through listings found in classified ads. But that was before the internet made it as easy as a few mouse clicks to find a gun for sale from a private seller on an online marketplace or through social media.”
— “Report: When Lyft and Uber decrease pay, driver health suffers,” by SF Examiner’s Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez.
— “CBS and Viacom to merge, reuniting the storied network with Comedy Central, MTV and Paramount Pictures,” by LA Times’ Meg James.
— “SF Opera cancels Plácido Domingo concert after sexual harassment allegations,” by SF Chronicle’s Joshua Kosman: “The accusers, eight singers and a dancer, said that Domingo, 78, had pressured them into sexual relationships and retaliated against them professionally if they refused his advances.”
— “Removing Klamath dams estimated to cost more than $400 mil,” via AP.
— “After 3 women were sexually assaulted at a Ventura psychiatric hospital, a jury awards them $13.4 million,” by the LA Times’ Soumya Karlamangla.
— “Shake Shack coming to Oakland’s Uptown Station, where Square plans an office,” by SF Chronicle’s Roland Li.
— “Nipsey Hussle died in the Marathon Clothing lot. Will his legacy die there too?,” by the LA Times’ Cindy Chang and Angel Jennings.
— “Much-needed Tenderloin housing makes architectural splash — after an 11-year wait,” by SF Chronicle’s John King.
Colby Bermel, POLITICO California’s superlative energy reporter … Ian Rayder … Spike Whitney … former Rep. Tom Campbell is 67 … Erik Sperling, senior policy adviser/counsel for Rep. Ro Khanna
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