Aaron Read
Capitol Web Works
Olson Hagel
Capitol Weekly
CA Leg Analyst

California Policy & Politics This Morning  

Uber, Lyft warn they’ll take the fight over drivers’ status to California voters -- In the face of a looming deadline, Uber Technologies Inc. and Lyft Inc. are throwing new weight and tens of millions of dollars behind their fight to keep treating drivers as independent contractors in California. Johana Bhuiyan, Liam Dillon, Margot Roosevelt in the Los Angeles Times$ Judy Lin Calmatters Kathleen Ronayne Associated Press Sophia Bollag and Hannah Wiley in the Sacramento Bee$ Katie Orr KQED Kate Conger in the New York Times$ Alejandro Lazo and Eliot Brown in the Wall Street Journal$ Jeremy B. White Politico -- 8/30/19

Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Joins Workers Calling For Passage Of Labor Bill -- Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, joined with a group of local workers Thursday to call for the passage of a bill she authored that would limit when businesses and companies could classify employees as independent contractors. KPBS -- 8/30/19

State is investigating Assemblyman Bill Brough’s use of campaign funds -- Assemblyman Bill Brough is under investigation by the state agency charged with regulating government ethics in California after a complaint alleged he’s spent roughly $200,000 in campaign funds on personal expenses over the past four years. Brough, R-Dana Point, in an emailed response, suggested he hasn’t done anything wrong. Brooke Staggs in the Orange County Register Don Thompson Associated Press Bryan Anderson in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 8/30/19

Bluer than blue: Are California Democrats ready to exploit a possible lopsided primary turnout? -- Half a year out from California’s presidential primary, you can already envision the enthusiasm gap creating a turnout gap. Democrats of every ideology have plenty of incentive to vote in the March 3 election: It’s their chance to pick the winner in one of the most crowded, competitive presidential primary contests in a generation. Ben Christopher Calmatters -- 8/30/19

Can Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders skip fundraisers and still win California? -- Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who is just now ramping up her presidential campaign in California, shares something in common with Sen. Bernie Sanders besides their conviction that the system is rigged in favor of the wealthy and powerful. Neither is holding private, high-dollar, no-press-allowed fundraisers that cater to the wealthy and powerful. Joe Garofoli in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/30/19

Hate Crime? Sikh Community Asks FBI to Investigate Stabbing Death in Tracy -- Members of the Sikh community are asking the FBI to investigate the death of a 64-year-old man killed during a nighttime walk in Gretchen Talley Park in Tracy. Parmjit Singh was wearing his turban when he was fatally stabbed on Sunday night. Lakshmi Sarah, Kate Wolffe KQED -- 8/30/19

Faced with lawsuit, SF reverses order to rebuild home designed by famed architect -- The famed Twin Peaks home designed by celebrated modernist architect Richard Neutra will not be resurrected from the ashes after all. J.K. Dineen in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/30/19

Families of children infected by rare bacteria at Anaheim dental clinic want to pursue punitive damages in malpractice lawsuit -- Many of the children treated at the now-defunct Children’s Dental Group on East Lincoln Avenue suffered rare bacterial infections and underwent months of intravenous antibiotic treatment. Some lost permanent teeth and will need implants. Others suffered partial removal of their jaw bones. Theresa Walker in the Orange County Register -- 8/30/19

KQED Political Breakdown -- Jordan Cunningham on Coastal Republicanism, Charter Schools and Nuclear Energy. Scott Shafer, Marisa Lagos KQED -- 8/30/19

Economy, Employers, Jobs, Unions, Pensions  

Health care perk nets California state workers an extra $3,100 a year through SEIU contract -- The state’s largest union has reached a tentative contract agreement with Gov. Gavin Newsom’s bargaining team that provides a 7 percent raise over three years and boosts take-home compensation with perks that include new or increased stipends for health care, commuting and bilingual speakers. Wes Venteicher in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 8/30/19

Bay Area restaurant owners reckon with the industry’s mental health issues -- Patrick Mulvaney picked up the phone to learn one of his longtime friends, a 41-year-old chef named Noah Zonca, was dead. It was May 2018 and Mulvaney, the chef-owner of Sacramento restaurant Mulvaney’s B&L, was devastated. Janelle Bitker in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/30/19

Rules changes could come to NCAA if California bill passes -- The NCAA wants a level playing field for all athletes, even if state law proposals threaten its longtime model for amateur sports. With the California assembly considering a potentially landmark measure that would allow athletes at state colleges and universities to profit from the use of their names, likenesses and images, an NCAA working group is trying to figure out how to respond. Michael Marot Associated Press -- 8/30/19

Cupertino’s Vallco mall housing vote ‘violates state law,’ state legislator says -- The ongoing battle over redeveloping Cupertino’s massive Vallco mall site escalated Thursday when a state legislator blasted the City Council, alleging it illegally moved to cut the number of homes allowed on the site. Roland Li in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/30/19

San Diego investment firm frozen by SEC, accused in $300 million fraud -- The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announced charges Thursday against ANI Development, an investment company founded by well known San Diego businesswoman Gina Champion-Cain. Federal agents called the company a “multi-year $300 million scheme” that defrauded approximately 50 retail investors in recent years. Jeff McDonald in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 8/30/19

Le Tote online retailer buys venerable Lord & Taylor for $100 million -- It’s online meets offline: Le Tote, a 7-year-old internet clothing rental company, plans to buy what is considered the oldest department store in the country, New York’s Lord & Taylor, for $100 million, the companies announced Wednesday. Shwanika Narayan in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/30/19

Disney lays off nearly 60 employees in media distribution following Fox purchase -- Another round of layoffs has hit Walt Disney Co. after the Burbank entertainment company’s purchase of 21st Century Fox. Ryan Faughnder in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/30/19


No ‘magic pill,’ but parking lot for SF homeless living in vehicles one step closer to reality -- The San Francisco Planning Commission unanimously approved a plan Thursday to turn a parking lot near the Balboa Park BART Station into a “triage lot,” where homeless people living out of their vehicles can access showers, bathrooms and social workers. Trisha Thadani in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/30/19

A Reseda parking lot is open for people living in their cars. So far, no complaints, councilman says -- Tacked between three buildings occupied by L.A. City Councilman Bob Blumenfield’s office, the West Valley Regional Branch Library and an LAPD station, the parking lot offers a safe space for those who live in their cars. The site has access to a bathroom and wash station. Under the program, for the past four weeks about five cars have been parking there every night. Olga Grigoryants in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 8/30/19

LAPD would remove homeless residents from high-risk fire zones under new rules -- With the threat of wildfires looming ahead of Santa Ana wind season, city leaders are drafting new rules that would send police officers to encampments in hillside areas to “remove” homeless residents. Officials say the rules are aimed at preventing wildfires and protecting the lives of homeless residents. Jenna Chandler Curbed LA -- 8/30/19


Bay Area homes got slightly more affordable in July as prices and mortgage rates fall -- Bay Area homes are getting slightly more affordable thanks to falling prices and lower mortgage rates. The median price paid for all new and existing homes and condos in the nine-county region fell to $815,000 in July, down 4.7% from June and down 4.1% from last July, according to a report released Thursday by CoreLogic. Kathleen Pender in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 8/30/19


What to know as California’s peak fire months loom -- California fire officials have learned through hard experience to temper their optimism. Having just endured more than a decade of rampaging fires — 14 of the 20 most destructive fires in state history have occurred since 2007 — fire bosses say this year the glass is half-full. Julie Cart Calmatters -- 8/30/19


UC Berkeley eyes changes to buildings found to be at higher risk of quake damage -- UC Berkeley officials are considering whether to limit the use of dozens of buildings on campus — including some that are architecturally significant and often packed with students — after a study determined they are far more likely to sustain major damage in a large earthquake than previously believed. Nanette Asimov in the San Francisco Chronicle$ Rong-Gong Lin Ii, Alejandra Reyes-Velarde in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/30/19

Elk Grove, Sac City districts failed to train staff on sex-abuse ‘red flags,’ lawsuits say -- After two recent high-profile child molestation arrests and convictions, lawsuits filed Wednesday against the Sacramento City Unified and Elk Grove Unified school districts accuse them of failing to train their employees to recognize signs of child abuse. Sawsan Morrar and Darrell Smith in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 8/30/19

The San Diego Schools Where Students Feel Least Safe -- San Diego Unified School District conducts surveys each year to find out just how safe its students are feeling in their schools. At some elementary schools, as many as 100 percent of students feel safe. At others, the percentage dips to 50 percent and below. Will Huntsberry Voiceofsandiego.org -- 8/30/19

Second tax measure to fund California schools proposed for 2020 ballot -- The California School Boards Association is exploring whether to place a $15 billion tax for K-12 schools, early education and community colleges before voters, creating the possibility of dueling tax initiatives on the statewide ballot in November 2020. John Fensterwald EdSource -- 8/30/19


Man fatally shot in unlicensed South L.A. marijuana dispensary after officials vow crackdown in area -- Witnesses told police that one or both of the men opened fire inside the business, striking the victim several times. The man, who was in his 20s, was pronounced dead at the scene, police said. Hannah Fry in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/30/19

Immigration / Border 

Deported veteran finally returns home after nearly 20 years -- Joaquin Aviles, a deported veteran who was allowed to return to the U.S. after 19 years Thursday, is the first veteran to have his deportation overturned thanks to the Deported Veterans Legal Services Project. Gustavo Solis in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 8/30/19


Mosquito that transmits Zika virus found for first time in Sacramento County, officials say -- The Aedes aegypti mosquitoes can carry not only the Zika virus but also the debilitating chikungunya virus and the deadly dengue fever. Cathie Anderson in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 8/30/19


Sewage spill at Huntington Harbour could be smaller than the feared 60,000 gallons -- Preliminary information shows the spill was caused when a main sewer line in nearby Stanton got blocked, causing sewage to seep out of the nearest manhole, he said. It was not known what caused the blockage, but tree branches or roots are often at fault, he said. Colleen Shalby, Jaclyn Cosgrove in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/30/19

POTUS 45  

Trump’s Personal Assistant, Madeleine Westerhout, Steps Down -- Ms. Westerhout’s abrupt and unexpected departure came after Mr. Trump learned on Thursday that she had indiscreetly shared details about his family and the Oval Office operations she was part of at a recent off-the-record dinner with reporters staying at hotels near Bedminster, N.J., during the president’s working vacation, according to one of the people, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss White House personnel issues. Annie Karni and Maggie Haberman in the New York Times$ -- 8/30/19


Billionaire presidential candidate Tom Steyer releases tax returns with key omissions -- Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer made nearly $1.2 billion in gross income over the course of nine years, according to personal tax returns he released Thursday. The billionaire former hedge fund manager and climate change activist, however, did not include key portions of the returns that detail his investments. Seema Mehta, Melanie Mason, Michael Finnegan in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/30/19

Politifact CA: Bernie Sanders’ Half True claim on number of people in jail who can’t afford bail -- Democratic presidential candidate and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders recently claimed "some 200,000 people are in jail for the crime of being poor and not being able to afford bail." He made that claim during a campaign speech in Sacramento last week, just blocks from the California State Capitol, where former Gov. Jerry Brown signed a law last year to abolish cash bail and adopt a risk-assessment system. Chris Nichols Politifact CA -- 8/30/19

As he campaigns for president, Joe Biden tells a moving but false war story -- Joe Biden painted a vivid scene for the 400 people packed into a college meeting hall. A four-star general had asked the then-vice president to travel to Konar province in Afghanistan, a dangerous foray into “godforsaken country” to recognize the remarkable heroism of a Navy captain. Matt Viser and Greg Jaffe in the Washington Post$ -- 8/30/19


-- Friday Updates 

Former Rep. Darrell Issa launching an exploratory committee for Rep. Duncan Hunter’s seat -- Former California Rep. Darrell Issa is likely to launch an exploratory committee Thursday in a challenge to embattled Rep. Duncan Hunter, according to a not-yet-unveiled website. Emily Kopp Roll Call Jeremy B. White Politico John Wagner in the Washington Post$ -- 8/29/19

Judge wants real name of fake cow before acting on Devin Nunes’ Twitter lawsuit -- A Virginia judge has asked Twitter to provide more information about the authors of two anonymous parody accounts that heckle California Republican Rep. Devin Nunes before deciding whether to dismiss the congressman’s lawsuit against the social media company. Kate Irby in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 8/29/19

Juul’s Marketing Practices Under Investigation by FTC -- The Federal Trade Commission is investigating the marketing practices of e-cigarette startup Juul Labs Inc., according to people familiar with the matter, ratcheting up pressure on a company whose products are blamed for a rise in vaping among teens. Jennifer Maloney in the Wall Street Journal$ -- 8/29/19

California’s attorney general calls EPA emissions rollback ‘a monumentally stupid decision’ -- The Environmental Protection Agency proposed abandoning federal rules that require the oil and gas industry to install technology that monitors and curbs methane leaks in wells, pipelines and other operational facilities. EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said the rule is part of President Trump’s direction to do away with “unnecessary and duplicative regulatory burdens from the oil and gas industry.” Alexa Díaz in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/29/19

Seniors facing eviction fear homelessness and isolation as California’s housing crisis rolls on -- The threat of displacement and loss of community and routine can take a mental and physical toll. Experts say that’s especially true for seniors, who are perhaps the most vulnerable to California’s rising rents and evictions of any age group, and the fastest growing in the state. Andrew Khouri and Colleen Shalby in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/29/19

Late lobbying is fast and furious as California lawmakers decide who’s an employee -- Days before California lawmakers act on legislation to force employers to treat independent contractors as employees, questions remain over which industries will secure an exemption in what’s considered the most consequential labor bill of the year. Hannah Wiley and Sophia Bollag in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 8/29/19

Illegal cannabis farms still scarring public lands, two years after Prop. 64 -- Nearly all of these farms are the work of Mexican drug trafficking organizations, posing dangers not just for the environment, but to hikers and others who might encounter them. Piper McDaniel in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/29/19

Gavin Newsom made deals with four state unions. One is getting ready to hold out for more -- California state attorneys are prepared to keep working without a contract because they’re unimpressed with an offer from Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration. Wes Venteicher in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 8/29/19

Kaiser Permanente workers to protest on Labor Day as strike nears -- Thousands of Kaiser Permanente workers in Oakland, Sacramento, L.A., Denver and Portland, Oregon, along with patients, clergy, elected leaders and community allies, are preparing to protest Monday, Sept. 2 over staffing shortages, wages they say are too low, and the high pay company executives are earning. Kevin Smith in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 8/29/19

Hiltzik: California’s fire insurance market reaches a crisis -- Steve Nielsen would not normally have considered himself a resident of California’s wildfire zone. But that ended in October 2017, when a fire swept through Coffey Park, his suburban Santa Rosa neighborhood, destroying his home and those of about 1,200 neighbors. Michael Hiltzik in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/29/19

Skelton: Require ethnic studies for California students. But first, rewrite the curriculum -- There’s a legislative move to require all high school students to take an ethnic studies course or they can’t graduate. And that raises three serious questions: George Skelton in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/29/19

Bay Area home sales retreat with trade, stock market volatility -- Bay Area home sales slowed slightly in July, with last year’s record prices giving way to buyer caution amidst a volatile stock market and trade wars. Louis Hansen in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 8/29/19

As anti-Semitic crimes rise and Holocaust awareness fades, a survivor is always ready to speak -- Joseph Alexander lifted his left forearm to show the number. Nazi guards had tattooed it on him just after he and scores of other Jewish prisoners arrived by cattle car to Auschwitz concentration camp along with the bodies of those who didn’t survive the train ride. Hailey Branson-Potts in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 8/29/19

Biba dies at 82. Her restaurant introduced a dining renaissance with a welcoming soul -- Biba Caggiano, a seminal figure in the Sacramento food scene whose midtown Italian restaurant bearing her first name put the state capital on the culinary map, died Thursday morning at her Fabulous 40s home surrounded by her children, her husband Vincent and other loved ones. Marcos Bretón in the Sacramento Bee$ Bob Moffitt Capital Public Radio -- 8/29/19