Aaron Read
Olson Hagel
Capitol Weekly
CA Leg Analyst

California Policy & Politics Saturday Morning  

Bay Area cities, restaurants boarding up — bracing for potential election-night unrest -- Bay Area governments and businesses are boarding up windows, drafting emergency plans and scrapping vacation days, bracing for what they fear could be a raucous night of protests after Tuesday’s presidential election — no matter the outcome. Megan Cassidy, Janelle Bitker and Shwanika Narayan in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 10/31/20

PG&E should be fined $166 million for botched power shut-offs, watchdog agency says -- The California Public Utilities Commission’s independent consumer watchdog arm is recommending that Pacific Gas & Electric be fined nearly $166 million for the company’s failure to properly warn customers of a series of intentional power outages last fall. Sammy Roth in the Los Angeles Times$ J.D. Morris in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 10/31/20

Newsom pledges more COVID-19 testing capacity with new lab -- Gov. Gavin Newsom met a self-imposed Nov. 1 deadline to expand California’s daily COVID-19 testing by opening a new laboratory in Santa Clarita on Friday. The governor said he expects the lab will soon begin to process 40,000 tests a day and eventually ramp up to 150,000 — doubling the state’s capacity. Ana B. Ibarra CalMatters Catherine Ho in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 10/31/20

California unemployment agency director to retire after months of delayed jobless benefits -- Under fire for delays in paying unemployment benefits to more than 1 million Californians during the COVID-19 pandemic, Sharon Hilliard said Friday that she is retiring as director of the state Employment Development Department. Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times$ Wes Venteicher in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 10/31/20

Policy & Politics 

Comcast, San Jose Sharks among members ditching Silicon Valley Organization in droves after racist ad --As of Friday, at least a fifth of its 80 board members confirmed to The Mercury News they have resigned and a broad coalition of many nonprofits and businesses reportedly have withdrawn their membership from the Silicon Valley Organization, a business advocacy group that represents more than 1,200 businesses across the region. Maggie Angst in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 10/31/20

City of Ventura moves forward with polystyrene regulation -- The city of Ventura is proceeding with plans to regulate the use of polystyrene, popularly known by the brand name Styrofoam, from local restaurants and businesses. Hayley Smith in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/31/20


Prop. 16 fight intensifies over Ward Connerly comments about white nationalists -- The final days of a ballot measure campaign to overturn California’s ban on affirmative action have been turbocharged by comments about white nationalism made by Ward Connerly, the driving force behind the 1990s law. Alexei Koseff in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 10/31/20

After year of civil unrest, Measure J asks voters to approve criminal justice reforms -- After months of civil unrest triggered by controversial police shootings, the momentum for criminal justice reforms has reached the ballot box, with voters in Los Angeles County for the first time being asked if more public funds should be diverted to social services instead of police and jails. Jaclyn Cosgrove in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/31/20

Former Gov. Jerry Brown Donates $1M To Defeat Prop. 20, Backed By Police -- Former California Gov. Jerry Brown is donating $1 million to defeat Proposition 20, a November ballot measure backed by police and prosecutors that aims to roll back some of the criminal justice reforms he championed over the past decade. Marisa Lagos / KQED via KPBS -- 10/31/20

Nov. 3: Voting on the right to vote -- A pair of Nov. 3 ballot measures seeks to confer voting rights on two wildly disparate groups of Californians — prisoners and teenagers. Chuck McFadden Capitol Weekly -- 10/31/20

Counties, cops making sure you’re safe at the polls -- Attorney General Xavier Becerra sent a bulletin to law enforcement officials Thursday reminding them that voter intimidation and election interference is against the law. He laid out rules about what poll watchers can and can’t do. Lewis Griswold CalMatters -- 10/31/20

In LA, smooth voting (so far) after primary stumbles -- This time will be different, the LA County Registrar has vowed. And so far, voting seems to be running smoothly. Ironically, it was the pandemic, which spurred mail-in voting, that helped pave the way. Elena Neale-Sacks CalMatters -- 10/31/20

Counting votes: “We’d rather get it right than get it fast” -- It’s the weekend before Election Day. Elections officials across California are already processing the 9 million-plus ballots returned thus far. But don’t expect the full picture to emerge until well after November 3. Dylan Svoboda CalMatters -- 10/31/20

Voters flood election offices with last-minute questions -- “Can I still register to vote?” “What if I never received my ballot?” “When will we know the results?” Those are among the most common questions fielded by the Ventura County registrar’s office, where the phone has been ringing nonstop. Freddy Brewster CalMatters -- 10/31/20

Voting at 17: Ballot measure would give Latino teens biggest share in new voting rights -- If Proposition 18 passes, California would allow 17-year-olds to vote in primaries or special elections if they will be 18 by the general election. Elizabeth Aguilera CalMatters -- 10/31/20

Ziplocked: Last look at California’s presidential money race, by zip code -- Vertiginous blue spires on the urban coast and crimson plateaus stretching from the Central Valley to suburban SoCal — this is the presidential race for California cash, in 3D. Ben Christopher CalMatters -- 10/31/20

They voted for Obama twice and now back Trump. Inside purple California -- Earlier in the election cycle, Georgette Belcourt weighed whether to post a Trump campaign sign in front of her Lancaster home. “I had to pray on it.” Marisa Gerber in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/31/20

In red California, election tests friendships, worsens divisions. ‘You can feel the tension’ -- Victor Castellanos says the presidential election feels a lot like this: a choice between a raw jalapeño and a snow-cone. Two radically disparate things he’s not really in the mood for. Hailey Branson-Potts in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/31/20

GOP fights to hold L.A.-area congressional seat that Katie Hill flipped blue in 2018 -- California’s Republican Party is fighting to hold onto a congressional seat in a large suburban swath north of Los Angeles — an election that could hinge on President Trump’s popularity in the area. Dakota Smith in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/31/20


COVID-19: Bay Area continues aggressive moves, state poised to double testing -- San Francisco slows re-opening and Santa Clara County goes after San Jose church in latest attempts to control virus spread. Robert Salonga, Fiona Kelliher, Evan Webeck in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 10/31/20

Solano County could move back to purple tier soon: Here's why -- Dr. Bela Matyas, the county's health officer, told KCBS Radio that county residents have recently held several large gatherings, including a funeral with more than 300 people, a wedding and an event at a private ranch attended by dozens. "In all these situations people were in close contact and not social distancing," Matyas said. Amy Graff in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 10/31/20

West Hollywood warns of curfew, fines if revelers show up for canceled Halloween Carnaval -- Citing “super-spreader” potential, the city is reminding residents that its annual Halloween festival was canceled and said it will not hesitate to issue a curfew or citations if crowds show up. Hayley Smith in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/31/20

To avoid surge, S.F. halts reopening as coronavirus cases, hospitalizations rise -- San Francisco is pausing its reopening plans due to increasing coronavirus cases and hospitalizations, early signs that the surge that has swept over most of the United States is starting to spill into the Bay Area. Erin Allday in the San Francisco Chronicle$ Maura Dolan in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/31/20

Health monitors raise safety concerns, say severely ill COVID-19 patients should not receive drug cocktail used on Trump -- Health monitors recommended Friday that a nationwide trial of the antibody cocktail President Trump claimed was a coronavirus cure be modified and that researchers stop treating severely ill patients with the drug. Peter Fimrite in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 10/31/20

Lawyers warn of COVID-19 outbreak at San Diego federal jail; at least 56 inmates reportedly test positive -- Federal Defenders of San Diego says 56 inmates at Western Region Detention Facility tested positive for COVID-19; hundreds more results pending. Alex Riggins in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 10/31/20

California’s local, federal prosecutors raise awareness of domestic violence during pandemic -- Federal prosecutors and district attorneys from across California joined forces this week to raise awareness of what they described as a worsening problem of domestic violence during the coronavirus pandemic. Alex Riggins in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 10/31/20

How Sacramento Day of the Dead celebration changed to honor lives lost in pandemic -- The line of cars stretched half a mile Thursday night outside Sacramento’s Latino Center of Art & Culture, where hundreds of people tried to safely gather for a Day of the Dead celebration made solemn by the coronavirus pandemic. Kim Bojórquez in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 10/31/20


Body camera video shows Fred Williams jumping a fence, holding a gun when he was shot by deputy -- The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department late Friday released footage of the fatal shooting of Fred Williams III, who was killed during a foot chase in Willowbrook this month in what marked the first deputy shooting captured on department-issued body cameras. Alene Tchekmedyian in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/31/20

An East Bay professor is teaching the theory that race influences intelligence. Students and faculty want him out -- An economics professor at one of California’s most diverse public universities has for years taught a fringe theory that race influences intelligence, claiming that certain Black and Hispanic ethnic groups are less intelligent on average than white Europeans and Northeast Asians. Jason Fagone in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 10/31/20

Swastika spray-painted on Lafayette garage prompts potential hate crime investigation -- Lafayette police are investigating a possible hate crime after a swastika with the word “Trump” written underneath was spray-painted on a Lafayette resident’s garage Monday night. Vanessa Arredondo in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 10/31/20

Also . . .   

Sacramento’s NBA franchise teams with county for free Kings-sized flu shot clinic on Nov. 7 -- The capital region’s major league basketball team is planning a free Kings-sized flu vaccine clinic for Sacramento County residents on Nov. 7. All you have to do is drive up to the Commerce Way entrance to Sleep Train Arena, 1 Sports Parkway, in North Natomas and follow the signs to the Truxel Road gate Cathie Anderson in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 10/31/20

POTUS 45  

Trump may just keep campaigning after Election Day -- Trump campaign surrogates have been told to keep their Novembers clear for potential campaign events, even if the election results are still unknown. Meridith McGraw and Gabby Orr Politico -- 10/31/20

The State Department wouldn’t reveal its payments to Mar-a-Lago. Here’s how we found them -- In April 2018, President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club charged taxpayers $3 so that Trump could drink water. That charge was one of many bills that Mar-a-Lago sent to the State Department after Trump used his own club to host a summit with then-Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. David A. Fahrenthold in the Washington Post$ -- 10/31/20


Biden blasts Trump for saying doctors are using Covid to boost payments -- Democratic nominee Joe Biden on Friday decried President Donald Trump for alleging medical providers are juicing Covid-19 statistics to generate additional revenue. Nick Niedzwiadek Politico -- 10/31/20

Trump will barnstorm Pennsylvania as both campaigns focus on the crucial state -- President Trump will hold four rallies across Pennsylvania on Saturday and his wife, Melania, will host a fifth event in the swing state, as both the president and his Democratic challenger, Joseph R. Biden Jr., zero in on what could be a linchpin in the race for the White House. Shane Goldmacher in the New York Times$ -- 10/31/20


-- Friday Updates   

Stuck between allies in tech and labor, Newsom won’t weigh in on Uber-backed Prop. 22 -- Statewide polls suggest California voters are having a difficult time picking sides on Proposition 22. And so is their governor. Taryn Luna in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/30/20

Why President Trump’s attacks on voting by mail could backfire for California GOP -- Republican political operatives aren’t accustomed to chasing down last-minute voters this close to Election Day. But, in yet another reflection of what a strange year 2020 has been, they are. And they aren’t happy about it. Ben Christopher CalMatters -- 10/30/20

Bay Area braces for protests on Election Day and beyond -- In the Bay Area, where protests over the May death of George Floyd devolved into looting and police fired tear gas and injured demonstrators with rubber bullets, tensions are still running high. Now, as the election approaches, residents and law enforcement officials are prepared for people to take to the streets no matter who wins. Marisa Kendall, Robert Salonga, Martha Ross in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 10/30/20

In red California, election tests friendships, worsens divisions. ‘You can feel the tension’ -- Victor Castellanos says the presidential election feels a lot like this: a choice between a raw jalapeño and a snow-cone. Two radically disparate things he’s not really in the mood for. Hailey Branson-Potts in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/30/20

San Diego health pros use trust, relationships to build voter turnout -- The “My Vote. My Health.” campaign, spearheaded by the health clinic AltaMed in Los Angeles, leverages the trust that nurses, health care staff and doctors enjoy in communities, to provide non-partisan voting information and assistance through clinic visits, door-to-door canvassing and phone banks. Andrea Lopez-Villafaña in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 10/30/20

Open anyway 

Santa Clara County sues San Jose church to stop holding indoor services -- Santa Clara County is suing a San Jose church to stop hosting indoor services and violating social distancing protocols, alleging that the church has flagrantly flouted basic requirements aimed at curbing the spread of coronavirus for months. Fiona Kelliher in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 10/30/20


To avoid a surge, San Francisco halts reopening as coronavirus cases and hospitalizations rise -- San Francisco is pausing its reopening plans due to increasing coronavirus case and hospitalization reports, early signs that the surge that has swept over most of the United States is starting to seep into the Bay Area. Erin Allday in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 10/30/20

What Cal/OSHA has — and hasn’t — been doing for workers? -- During the pandemic, the short-staffed California Occupational Safety and Health Agency has raced to triage a mounting tsunami of about 7,300 workplace complaints and investigations into hundreds of illnesses and deaths related to the virus. Jackie Botts and Manuela Tobias CalMatters -- 10/30/20

From weddings to dinner out, how wholesome gatherings could bring next COVID-19 wave -- Officials have been desperately trying to keep infection rates down as the fall and winter holiday season approaches. On Thursday, the county announced its highest one-day increase in cases not connected to a reporting backlog since August. Rong-Gong Lin II in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/30/20

Disneyland is more than a job for some workers. A wave of layoffs will hit Sunday -- On top of that, she is wrestling with dark feelings of loss of a workplace that to her felt more like a home. And then there is the anxiety about when she might return to the job she once hoped would carry her until retirement. Hugo Martín in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/30/20

COVID-19 forced women to leave their jobs. Can California help them get back to work? --The pandemic and stay-at-home orders decimated industries such as hospitality that had employed a large number of women. Thousands more working mothers quit their job or reduced their working hours to care for their children as schools went online. Jeong Park, Hannah Wiley, and Kim Bojorquez in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 10/30/20

Just Wash It 

People, not candy, seen as the biggest risk for trick-or-treaters this year -- Household dishwashing detergent used to clean the candy for one minute or less reduced the risk significantly, with only one sample coming back positive from any group. The findings make it clear that candy is a manageable risk even on Halloween even when handled by people who have active coronavirus infections. Paul Sisson in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 10/30/20

Also . . .   

Lori Loughlin surrenders to prison, but COVID-19 will keep daughters away -- Lori Loughlin is finally facing the hard consequences of her role in the college admissions scandal by reporting to the Federal Correctional Institution in Dublin Friday to begin her two-month sentence. Martha Ross in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 10/30/20