CA120: Behold the real numbers of California’s 2018 election
Capitol Weekly's PAUL MITCHELL: "There are plenty of things to look at now that California counties have updated their voter files with the 2018 general election vote history. This is our first chance to see what really happened, as opposed to what people thought had happened based on the outcomes."
"There are several potential themes in the 2018 general election data, but the following are some of the toplines that can be helpful in understanding what happened — and what might be coming next, with the 2020 election cycle right around the corner."
"Turnout was high, but not presidential level high. At 65%, the electorate was about 10 points higher than we have seen in recent similar gubernatorial elections, but still about 12 points lower than what we expect to see in 2020."
How did California Dems win close House races? They outspent GOP, by a lot
The Chronicle's JOHN WILDERMUTH: "The blue wave that drowned California Republicans in the November election had a distinctly greenish tinge."
"Six of the seven Democrats who flipped GOP-held House seats out-raised their Republican opponents, some by an order of 3 to 1, newly released federal campaign finance reports show. Long-entrenched Republican incumbents and first-time office-seekers alike were confronted by Democratic challengers with unusually large cash advantages, fueled by a party base eager to knock President Trump’s allies out of Congress."
"And that doesn’t even count the tens of millions of dollars independent expenditure groups pumped into those Democratic races. According to figures assembled by Open Secrets, a nonpartisan campaign finance website, outside groups spent more than $41 million on Democratic campaigns for those seven seats — about $3 million more than comparable groups raised for Republicans."
California Voting Rights Act survives legal challenge, but it’s not over
BOB EGELKO, Chronicle: "A federal judge has rejected a challenge to the California Voting Rights Act, which has required numerous local governments to switch from at-large to district elections to empower their minority populations. But the conservative who won a U.S. Supreme Court ruling striking down a key section of the federal voting-rights law says the California case is headed for higher courts."
“We are disappointed with the ruling. We have every intention of seeking an appeal (in) the Ninth Circuit (Court of Appeals), and beyond if necessary,” Edward Blum, president of the nonprofit Project on Fair Representation, said Tuesday."
"The California law, passed in 2002, requires local governments and districts that hold at-large elections, drawing all candidates from the entire area, to change to district elections if a local minority group can show that voting in the community favors the majority because of racial polarization. That requires proof that a majority racial group has historically voted as a bloc to elect its own candidates or to pass race-related ballot measures opposed by minorities."
California will investigate whether DMV voter registration errors changed election results
LA Times's JOHN MYERS: "Faced with evidence that some voter registration forms weren't properly filed by California's Department of Motor Vehicles, state officials will now investigate whether any votes were wrongly rejected and whether the final results in any state or local races should be reconsidered."
"Secretary of State Alex Padilla and leaders of the agency that oversees the DMV agreed on Monday to settle a federal lawsuit brought by advocacy groups including the League of Women Voters of California and the American Civil Liberties Union. The settlement, in part, states that Padilla's office will "take steps to ensure that every vote is counted" if ballots were rejected and will provide "guidance to elections officials in the relevant jurisdiction(s) on how to count the affected ballots and, if appropriate, recertify election results."
"On Dec. 14, DMV officials revealed that staff members had not transmitted voter registration files for 589 people whose applications or updated applications were filled out before the close of registration for the Nov. 6 statewide election. At the time, state officials could not confirm whether any of those voters had been turned away on Election Day, or if any had cast last-minute provisional ballots that were rejected in the final tally."
California storms to get a rating from 1 to 5, like hurricanes
The Chronicle's KURTIS ALEXANDER: "Pacific storms that bear down on the West Coast are about to get the same deference as hurricanes in the Atlantic and tornadoes in the Midwest: a rating system to attest to their strength."
"A group of nationwide weather experts rolled out a scale Tuesday that will rank the giant wet fronts common in California, known as atmospheric rivers, in degrees of force from 1 to 5. The ratings are meant to give communities a more precise sense of what’s ahead."
Will Trump's California water plan send more to Republican farmers and short Democratic cities?
Sacramento Bee's RYAN SABALOW/DALE KASLER: "While campaigning for president in 2016, Donald Trump promised a cheering Fresno crowd he would be “opening up the water” for Central Valley farmers who’d been victimized by “insane” environmental rules to protect fish."
"Trump took one of the most aggressive steps to date to fulfill that promise Tuesday by proposing to relax environmental regulations governing how water is shared between fish and human uses throughout the Central Valley. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation released an 871-page “biological assessment” of conditions in the Delta that it said is designed to “maximize water supply and delivery” while maintaining protections for fish."
"But environmental groups said the move would put new strains on the Valley’s struggling salmon and smelt populations — and could also force the state to cough up some of its urban water supplies to keep the fish from declining further."
Sacramento taps the brakes on controversial ban on protest items
Sacramento Bee's THERESA CLIFT: "Sacramento City Council members tapped the brakes Tuesday on a controversial proposal to ban pepper spray and a list of other items from protests."
"After about 20 people spoke against the ordinance at the council’s Law and Legislation Committee, Councilman Jay Schenirer, who chairs the committee, directed the police to work with him to come up with a plan for community outreach before bringing the proposal back to the committee for reconsideration."
"Council members Jeff Harris, Eric Guerra and Steve Hansen said they were not yet convinced the ordinance was necessary."
SF Supe Ronen wants Harvey Milk's name bumped up at SFO Terminal 1
The Chronicle's TRISHA THADANI: "A proposed sign for San Francisco International Airport’s renamed Terminal 1 — now called the Harvey Milk Terminal — is neither big nor bold enough. That’s the view of Supervisor Hillary Ronen."
"So Ronen introduced legislation at the Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday that would require the airport to change its design and grace the renovated Terminal 1 with the words “Harvey Milk Terminal” in big, bold letters. The SFO Airport Commission’s proposal includes a large sign that says “Terminal 1,” with “Harvey Milk Terminal” written in much smaller font underneath."
"This is not acceptable,” Ronen said. “The exterior signage is important because it is one of the first things that visitors coming to the airport will see. The entire point of the terminal renaming is to elevate Harvey Milk’s legacy, not have it mentioned as a footnote."
This corner of California is suffering economic misery despite boom all around it
LA Times's SARAH PARVINI: "Parked outside a Calexico job center, Jonathan Lopez leaned against his worn SUV and took a drag from a cigarette. He was waiting, yet again, for word on his unemployment application."
"A well-paying, full-time job is impossible to find,” the 39-year-old lamented as his son played nearby. “I have a family with four children and we struggle. It is a daily battle to make ends meet.”
"As California has rebounded from the Great Recession, the Imperial Valley has largely defied attempts to expand its economy beyond seasonal farming and government work, and the county continues to suffer the highest unemployment rates in the state."
What President Trump said at his 2019 SOTU address
Sacramento Bee STAFF: "The White House on Tuesday released President Donald Trump’s prepared remarks for his 2019 State of the Union Address:"
"Madam Speaker, Mr. Vice President, Members of Congress, the First Lady of the United States, and my fellow Americans:"
"We meet tonight at a moment of unlimited potential. As we begin a new Congress, I stand here ready to work with you to achieve historic breakthroughs for all Americans."
READ MORE related to POTUS45: Abrams blasts Trump in Democratic SOTU response -- Sacramento Bee's WILLIAM DOUGLAS/JULIANNA RENNIE; Female lawmakers wear symbolic white to Trump's SOTU address -- LA Times's STUART EMMRICH
In State of the Union response, Becerra warns legal action if Trump seeks national emergency for border wall
From the LAT's JAZMINE ULLOA and PATRICK MCGREEVY: "California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra warned in a national televised address Tuesday that he is prepared to take President Trump to court if he declares a national emergency to fund a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border while cutting federal funds to fire-damaged communities in this state."
"Becerra delivered the remarks as part of the Democrats’ Spanish-language response to Trump’s State of the Union address. Speaking of his own upbringing as the son of Mexican immigrants, he denounced the president’s characterization of immigration, and the partial government shutdown over the construction of the wall."
"What we heard tonight was the same tired refrain of building walls,” Becerra said in a speech given at Sacramento’s C.K. McClatchy High School, the attorney general’s alma mater. “The idea of declaring a nonexistent state of emergency on the border, in order to justify robbing funds that belong to the victims of fires, floods, hurricanes, and droughts, to pay for the wall is not only immoral, it is illegal."