Aaron Read
Olson Hagel
Capitol Weekly
CA Leg Analyst

Updating . .   

California bans insurers from pulling policies in fire-ravaged areas -- State regulators on Thursday pulled the emergency brake on insurers fleeing California’s fire zones. Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara announced a one-year moratorium banning insurers from not renewing policies for homeowners in wildfire-ravaged areas of the state. Joseph Serna in the Los Angeles Times$ Emily DeRuy in the San Jose Mercury$ Kathleen Pender in the San Francisco Chronicle$ Dale Kasler and Ryan Sabalow in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 12/5/19

Warren and Biden lose ground, Sanders moves ahead in California’s shifting 2020 Democratic race -- The Democratic presidential contest in California remains extremely fluid — but not enough, at least so far, to provide an opening for Michael Bloomberg, who entered the race two weeks ago and was banking on winning big in the delegate-rich state, a new poll for the Los Angeles Times has found. Janet Hook in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/5/19

Kamala Harris leaves a void in California and rivals rush in -- Before California Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon even knew that Kamala Harris, his preferred candidate, had backed out of the presidential race, his phone was buzzing with a surrogate from one of her rivals to gauge his interest in endorsing. By day’s end, he’d heard from three other campaigns. Melanie Mason, Michael Finnegan in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/5/19

San Jose mayor announces growing support for customer takeover of PG&E -- The legion of elected officials supporting a plan to turn beleaguered PG&E into a customer-owned cooperative has grown five-fold with representatives from 58 cities and 10 counties now pledging support, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo announced Thursday. Maggie Angst, John Woolfolk in the San Jose Mercury$ J.D. Morris in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 12/5/19

Bay Area home prices fall, hint toward market correction -- Fewer houses for sale, less buying and another monthly dip in prices could be bringing a modest correction to the sky-high Bay Area housing market. Louis Hansen in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 12/5/19

California’s economy will grow faster than the nation’s, UCLA forecast predicts -- California’s economic growth will slow next year, but it is likely to outshine that of the nation overall, as Golden State employers boost payrolls, according to a new UCLA Anderson School forecast. Margot Roosevelt in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/5/19

Transbay transit center needs sexier name to finish Phase 2, experts say -- The spiffy new Transbay transit center will have to add Caltrain and high-speed-rail service to become more than a $2.2 billion bus terminal, but transportation officials believe new leadership is needed — along with a sexy new name and image — to win funding and complete construction of the San Francisco transit hub’s second phase. Michael Cabanatuan in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 12/5/19

Broad Center to move from L.A. to Yale along with $100-million endowment -- The Broad Center, which has attracted praise and suspicion for its training of school district leaders, will move from Los Angeles to Yale University, along with a $100-million endowment provided by founder Eli Broad, the center announced Thursday. Howard Blume in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/5/19

Oakland proposes crackdown on homeless campers in parks and on sidewalks -- Oakland officials want to stop homeless people from camping overnight in parks and plazas and on sidewalks, proposing a pilot program that would bring the city in line with its neighbors but is drawing rebukes from homeless advocates. Sarah Ravani in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 12/5/19

Former legislator Terry Goggin pleads guilty to money laundering -- Former state Assemblyman Terry Goggin has pleaded guilty to laundering money that he told investors he would use to expand a chain of coffee shops at BART stations. Goggin, a Democrat who represented San Bernardino, was a legislator from 1974 until 1984, when he was defeated for re-election. Bob Egelko in the San Francisco Chronicle$ Andrew Sheeler in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 12/5/19

Fox: Garcetti Blinks at Worker Benefit Reform -- It appears Los Angeles taxpayers will continue paying for their health care and someone else’s—that of city workers. Joel Fox Fox & Hounds -- 12/5/19


California Policy & Politics This Morning  

Attorneys say this photo shows the PG&E hook that started the Camp Fire -- A photograph included in a recent letter to a federal judge purports to show the broken hook on a Pacific Gas and Electric Co. power tower that led to the ignition of the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California history last year. J.D. Morris in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 12/5/19

Newsom Slams PG&E Insurance Deal as Wildfire Settlement Takes Shape -- PG&E Corp. is nearing a settlement with victims of the wildfires that pushed the utility into bankruptcy, while clashing with California Gov. Gavin Newsom about the best path out of chapter 11. Nancy Mitchell, the lawyer representing the governor, said Gov. Newsom wants assurances that PG&E will come out of bankruptcy financially stable, with cash to invest in new technology and improved safety practices. Peg Brickley in the Wall Street Journal$ -- 12/5/19

PG&E urges judge to approve key settlement, faces resistance -- Pacific Gas & Electric on Wednesday urged a federal bankruptcy judge to approve a key insurance settlement as it struggles to regain its financial footing and cover at least $20 billion in losses stemming from catastrophic wildfires in California tied to its equipment. Michael Liedtke Associated Press -- 12/5/19

Kamala Harris’ backers are up for grabs. They could swing California -- Kamala Harris may be gone from the presidential race, but her California backers are about to become some of the most popular people in politics. John Wildermuth in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 12/5/19

Campaigns swarm Harris donors after she exits the 2020 race -- Kamala Harris’ exit from the Democratic presidential primary has set off a stampede among her former rivals, who are moving fast to improve their campaigns’ fortunes by winning over donors who supported the California senator. Brian Slodysko and Kathleen Ronayne Associated Press -- 12/5/19

Home-state skepticism of Kamala Harris foretold trouble -- When Sen. Kamala Harris entered the presidential race in January, her California roots were supposed to give her special access to the cash and delegates required to win the Democratic nomination. Instead, she faced headwinds in her home state that would become a microcosm for the trouble that ultimately forced her sudden departure from the contest. Steve Peoples, Kathleen Ronayne and Errin Haines Associated Press -- 12/5/19

Kamala Harris' Presidential Bid Is Over, But California Political Observers Still See National Potential -- Kamala Harris officially ended her Democratic presidential campaign Tuesday, but California political observers said the U.S. Senator could still have a long and formidable career ahead. Chris Nichols Capital Public Radio -- 12/5/19

Biden says he’ll consider Harris as his running mate -- A day after Kamala Harris dropped out of the presidential race, Joe Biden said on Wednesday he would consider the California senator as a running mate and said he had no “hard feelings” against his now-former opponent. Marc Caputo Politico -- 12/5/19

Duncan Hunter shows no signs of quitting House, despite felony guilty plea -- So far, neither Republican nor Democratic leaders have pressured Hunter to leave office, although there is precedent for expelling members who don’t step down following a criminal conviction. Hunter is not scheduled to be sentenced until March 17. Story Continued Below “Our patience is not unlimited,” a top Democratic leadership aide warned. John Bresnahan and Melanie Zanona Politico -- 12/5/19

Federal court says California OK in forcing shifts to district elections -- A federal appeals court rejected a conservative organization’s challenge Wednesday to the California Voting Rights Act, a law that seeks to further minority representation by requiring a substantial number of local governments and public agencies to switch from at-large to district elections. Bob Egelko in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 12/5/19

California campaign watchdog suspends donation rules after a member gives to Sanders -- California’s campaign watchdog agency has suspended a longstanding policy banning its members from contributing to federal candidates after one commissioner donated to Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential bid. Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/5/19

New Trump rule could eliminate food stamps for almost 200,000 Californians -- The Trump administration finalized a rule Wednesday that will cut off food stamps to roughly 688,000 American adults by requiring states to enforce work requirements. Manuela Tobias Calmatters -- 12/5/19

Walters: Another showdown over crime looms -- No California ballot would be complete without at least one measure about crime and punishment and 2020 will be no exception. Dan Walters Calmatters -- 12/5/19

Video shows Central Valley officer firing more than a dozen shots, killing fleeing 15-year-old boy -- A police officer in the Stanislaus County city of Ceres jumped out of his patrol car following a high-speed chase last year and, without saying a word, fired more than a dozen shots at a 15-year-old boy as he ran away into an orchard, newly released police body-camera footage shows. Matthias Gafni in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 12/5/19

Wrongful death lawsuit filed against Alameda County Sheriff’s Office in body-wrap suffocation of jail inmate -- The family of Dujuan Armstrong, who suffocated to death in jail last year, is suing the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office and deputies who put the jailed man in a restraint device, the family’s attorney announced. Anna Bauman in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 12/5/19

California recovers $23M from auto parts makers’ bid rigging -- California has recovered more than $23 million from settlements with 52 automobile parts manufacturers for illegal bid rigging that jacked up consumer costs, state Attorney General Xavier Becerra said Wednesday. Don Thompson Associated Press Andrew Sheeler in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 12/5/19

L.A. to pay $4 million to end lawsuit by woman whose car plunged into sinkhole -- Stephanie Scott suffered “significant injuries, damages and losses” as a result of the incident on Feb. 17, 2017, when a gaping hole abruptly opened up under her car near the intersection of Woodbridge Street and Laurel Canyon Boulevard, according to her lawsuit. She sued the city, arguing that her injuries were a result of government negligence. Emily Alpert Reyes in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/5/19

U.S. government sues the LADWP, saying utility’s equipment caused the Creek fire -- Los Angeles Department of Water and Power equipment was responsible for one of several fires that broke out in Southern California in late 2017 and destroyed dozens of homes, according to a federal lawsuit. Joseph Serna in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/5/19

Judge tosses out lawsuit against San Onofre operator, regulator and contractor -- A federal judged turned back a lawsuit filed by a public advocacy group looking to stop the operators of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station from continuing to transfer used-up nuclear fuel at the plant. Rob Nikolewski in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 12/5/19

Flesh-eating bacteria linked to black tar heroin kills 7 in San Diego County -- A flesh-eating bacteria linked to the use of black tar heroin has killed at least seven San Diego County residents who injected the drug since early October, county health officials announced Wednesday. Alex Riggins in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 12/5/19

13 Marines charged during mass arrest at Camp Pendleton will leave military immediately, with no criminal record -- Thirteen Marines arrested at Camp Pendleton in July — some charged with human trafficking, some with drug distribution and some with weapons offenses — will leave the Marine Corps immediately, with no criminal record, rather than continue with the legal process. Erika I. Ritchie in the Orange County Register -- 12/5/19

Economy, Employers, Jobs, Unions, Pensions  

Angels agree to stay in Anaheim through 2050, stadium to be sold for $325 million -- Anaheim’s hometown baseball team would continue playing in Angel Stadium for another 30 years, and the city would sell the stadium and 133 acres around it to a business partnership including team owner Arte Moreno for about $325 million, under the proposed outline of a deal that Anaheim officials made public Wednesday, Dec. 4. Alicia Robinson in the Orange County Register -- 12/5/19

As Long Beach loses the Angels, officials consider what will fill 13-acre waterfront lot -- Don’t cry because it’s over; smile because it happened. That’s the glass-half-full response Long Beach officials gave to the announcement the Los Angeles Angels made on Wednesday, Dec. 4, that the team has struck a deal to stay in Anaheim. Hayley Munguia in the Long Beach Press Telegram$ -- 12/5/19

Behavioral health workers announce new strike dates at Kaiser facilities in California -- The union representing roughly 4,000 Kaiser Permanente mental health clinicians announced Wednesday that they have rescheduled their five-day strike for the week of December 16, after postponing it in November after the death of the company’s chief executive officer, Bernard Tyson. Cathie Anderson in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 12/5/19

Tahoe ski resorts open more lifts, terrain before next snow dump -- Early-season snow is prompting 18 of the 21 major ski areas around Tahoe and the high Sierra to open by this weekend. Tom Stienstra in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 12/5/19

Sacramento Moves Closer To Making Panic Buttons Required At City Hotels -- An ordinance to require panic buttons for hotel staff has passed through a Sacramento City Council committee and will likely go to the full council after the new year. Steve Milne Capital Public Radio -- 12/5/19

Romaine lettuce tainted by fecal bacteria sickens more than 100 people -- Tainted romaine lettuce from California’s Salinas Valley has been linked to 102 illnesses in 23 states, health authorities reported Wednesday. The tally, including a case reported as recently as Nov. 18, more than doubles the magnitude of an ongoing outbreak linked to E. coli bacteria generally found in animals. Geoffrey Mohan in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/5/19

Developers join call for GitHub to cancel its ICE contract -- Since at least September, employees of GitHub have been pressuring the Microsoft-owned code repository to terminate its contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, without success. Now they’re getting reinforcements from a constituency that could have more clout. Johana Bhuiyan in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/5/19


Gavin Newsom hires adviser forced out by Donald Trump in latest dustup over homelessness -- Amid an escalating fight between California and the federal government over homelessness, Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday announced he’s hiring a former Trump administration official as a homelessness adviser and expediting funding to build shelters. Sophia Bollag in the Sacramento Bee$ Jose A. Del Real in the New York Times$ -- 12/5/19

As more rain looms, Bay Area homeless face toughest season -- Typically, Oakland-based nonprofit St. Mary’s Center opens its emergency winter shelter for homeless seniors in early December. But this year — as impending storms threatened to hit Northern California over Thanksgiving weekend — the center ushered in clients at its facility on San Pablo Avenue and 32nd Street two weeks early, on Nov. 18. Within just a few days, all 30 shelter beds had filled, said St. Mary’s executive director Sharon Cornu. Fiona Kelliher in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 12/5/19

California governor blames Trump for delayed homeless aid -- California’s governor on Wednesday blamed the Trump administration for withholding data needed to release $650 million in state aid to combat homelessness. California’s cities and counties have been waiting since June for the money approved by the Legislature. But state law says the money can only be distributed based on federally approved homelessness counts for 2019. Adam Beam Associated Press -- 12/5/19

Oakland proposes crackdown on homeless campers in parks and on sidewalks -- Oakland officials want to stop homeless people from camping overnight in parks and plazas and on sidewalks, proposing a pilot program that would bring the city in line with its neighbors but is drawing rebukes from homeless advocates. Sarah Ravani in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 12/5/19

‘We don’t want to be outside’: Homeless say few beds offered during Tenderloin sweep -- San Francisco cleared a Civic Center alley of tents Wednesday, one of its largest homeless sweeps of the year, causing dozens of people to fold up their makeshift homes, throw out their belongings and scatter elsewhere. Trisha Thadani in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 12/5/19


San Jose landlords will face hefty new fines for violating tenant protections -- The fines, which will take effect Jan. 1, range from $500 for violations like failing to register a rental unit with the city to $10,000 for failing to provide qualifying tenants with relocation assistance funds when a landlord decides to take a unit off of the market. Maggie Angst in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 12/5/19


California lawmakers fear wildfires will be left out of FCC emergency guidelines -- The federal government is working on guidelines to help people keep wireless carrier coverage during emergencies, but California lawmakers worry the agency is prioritizing hurricanes over wildfires. Kate Irby McClatchy DC -- 12/5/19


In a converted bus in Tijuana, a school emerges for asylum seekers -- It’s a Friday morning and, as at any other school, children are cutting paper, drawing, reading aloud and playing with friends. There’s some shouting and pushing too, and their teacher patiently arranges the desks and gives instructions. What’s unusual is the setting: the inside of a passenger bus that has been converted into a classroom. Alejandro Maciel in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/5/19

Immigration / Border 

Sacramento man in ICE custody after serving sentence for DUI. Activists allege sheriff broke state law -- Enrique Nambo, a 15-year resident of the Sacramento area, was about to be released from a four-day sentence for DUI when he was transferred to ICE custody, said Emi MacLean, Nambo’s public defender from San Francisco. Molly Sullivan in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 12/5/19

Mother of Army officer to be deported after request for protection is denied -- The undocumented mother of an Army Officer was ordered Wednesday to self-deport to Mexico in 30 days, after the federal government refused to grant her discretionary protections specifically for relatives of military service members. Rocio Rebollar Gomez, 50, has lived in San Diego for 31 years. She owns a small business, drives for Uber, has three children, three grandchildren and bought a house two years ago. Gustavo Solis in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 12/5/19

Three California governors revive cooperation agreement -- As the federal government continues building a wall with Mexico, the governors of Baja California, Baja Califorina Sur and California revive state commission aimed at cooperation. Wendy Fry in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 12/5/19


Atmospheric rivers cause $1 billion in damage a year, study shows, and are getting worse -- As back-to-back atmospheric rivers have made umbrellas a necessity across the state — and with more rain on the way in California this weekend — a new study reveals the connection between the weather phenomenon and the economic effects of localized flooding. Colleen Shalby in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/5/19

California must act now to prepare for sea level rise, state lawmakers say -- The camera zooms in on the majestic sandy bluffs that make this stretch of the San Diego County coast so iconic: a close-up, everyone realizes, of that cliff crumbling in real time — ancient sand and soft, somewhat cemented rocks tumbling onto the beach below. Moments later, a popular commuter rail rumbles by. Some in the room gasped. Lawmakers watched in sober silence. Rosanna Xia in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/5/19

Former VP Al Gore Warns Salk Audience Of Rapidly Warming Climate -- Storms are pounding our coastlines and communities and these extreme weather events are all symptoms of a planet trying to endure a rapidly warming climate, he said. Fossil fuels are putting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere faster than at any time in the last 66 million years. Erik Anderson KPBS -- 12/5/19

Also . . . 

LAPD union will not defend officer accused of fondling dead woman’s breasts -- Leaders of the Los Angeles Police Protective League, the union that represents rank-and-file cops, said it would not criminally defend an officer who allegedly fondled a dead woman’s breasts. The officer’s body-worn camera recorded the incident. Mark Puente, Richard Winton in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/5/19

DHS proposal to require U.S. citizens undergo airport facial scans draws fire -- A plan by the Trump administration to require U.S. citizens to have their faces scanned when they enter or leave the United States is drawing criticism from privacy advocates and at least one lawmaker, who said he intends to introduce legislation to prohibit the practice. Lori Aratani in the Washington Post$ -- 12/5/19

Placer County To Inspect Carbon Monoxide Alarms In Short-Term Rentals After Close Call In Tahoe -- Fire crews in North Tahoe say a vacationing family avoided a major tragedy over Thanksgiving weekend as their short-term rental filled with poisonous carbon monoxide gas. All 13 people survived the incident, including actress Anna Faris, despite the absence of a single carbon monoxide detector. Randol White Capital Public Radio -- 12/5/19

Swastikas spray-painted on cars, homes in San Gabriel mountains -- At least five spray-painted swastikas were found Tuesday in a residential area in Wrightwood, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department said. Deputies with the Victor Valley substation spotted the Nazi symbols spray-painted on three vehicles, a garage door and a stop sign in the mountainous area of Snowbird and Evergreen roads. Colleen Shalby in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/5/19

Los Angeles TV news helicopter struck by drone, lands safely -- The incident occurred around 7:15 p.m., but did not affect the helicopter’s ability to fly, according to ABC7. “After some tense moments over Downtown LA…, Air7HD has landed safely following a midair collision with a drone which has damaged our tail,” pilot Chris Cristi tweeted. “Thankfully our crew is fine!” The item is in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 12/5/19

Stockton man claims he was brutally beaten in racist attack by County Jail guards; sheriff investigating -- A Stockton man claims he was brutally beaten by San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office correctional officers on the basis of his race while being booked into the County Jail early Monday morning. The Sheriff’s Office is investigating the incident while initially alleging the man was combative. Joe Goldeen in the Stockton Record -- 12/5/19

POTUS 45  

Trump: I was asking Zelensky to help America, not me -- As the impeachment inquiries against President Donald Trump rocket forward, Trump tried Wednesday night to reframe the context of the phone call that sparked House Democrats' impeachment investigation. Rather than asking Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to dig up dirt on his domestic political rivals, Trump claimed that he had asked Zelensky to somehow help the nation as a whole. Matthew Choi Politico -- 12/5/19


Tom McClintock asks impeachment witnesses whether they voted for Trump -- Rep. Tom McClintock triggered a quick, tense firestorm Wednesday when he asked witnesses at the House Judiciary Committee’s impeachment hearing if they had voted for President Donald Trump in 2016. They wouldn’t say. “I don’t think we’re obligated to say anything about how we cast our ballots,” said Pamela Karlan, a Stanford University law professor. David Lightman McClatchy DC -- 12/5/19


-- Wednesday Updates 

California cuts electric-car rebates, drops luxury models -- California’s rebate program to coax more drivers to buy electric vehicles just got less generous, especially for those looking to spend on a luxury model. Dustin Gardiner in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 12/4/19

At $28.50 a flush, San Francisco leaders say public toilets worth it -- San Francisco officials have declared the recent test run of keeping the city’s Pit Stop public toilets open all night a success — and at about $28.50 per flush, it ought to be. Phil Matier in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 12/4/19

U.S. allies, tired of flattering Trump, now mock him -- President Trump, who views norms like a teenager does curfews, shattered another tradition Wednesday when he became the first U.S. president to be laughed at by some of America’s closest allies at a NATO summit, a sign of his increasing isolation on the world stage. Noah Bierman in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/4/19

California to send millions of dollars to cities to combat homelessness -- Cities across California will soon have access to millions of dollars in emergency aid to fight homelessness despite what Gov. Gavin Newsom called “bureaucratic roadblocks” by the Trump administration. Emily DeRuy in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 12/4/19

He wanted to ban feeding homeless people. Now he’s about to lead a federal homeless agency -- A consultant known for urging cities to stop “enabling” homeless people, in part by blocking charities from handing out food, has been tapped to lead the agency that coordinates the federal government’s response to homelessness. Benjamin Oreskes in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/4/19

668,000 will lose food stamp benefits under new work rules -- Hundreds of thousands of Americans who rely on the federal food stamp program will lose their benefits under a new Trump administration rule that will tighten work requirements for recipients. The move by the administration is the latest in its attempt to scale back the social safety net for low-income Americans. Juliet Linderman Associated Press -- 12/4/19

Residents increasingly unhappy with Bay Area life, new poll finds -- A growing percentage of Bay Area residents are worried about the future of the region, citing housing and traffic woes among their main concerns. Marisa Kendall in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 12/4/19

Lopez: We should be ashamed, but when it comes to Amazon, we just can’t help ourselves -- Amazon hasn’t divulged exactly how much it hauled in on Cyber Monday, but the company did say it had its biggest sales day ever. Steve Lopez in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/4/19

Capitol Weekly Podcast: Kamala, what happened?.. and what now? -- Paul Mitchell, veteran political data expert and the founder of the CA120 column column in Capitol Weekly, joined John Howard and Tim Foster on our podcast to discuss what happened and what Harris’ exit means for a race that remains very much in flux. Link Here -- 12/4/19