Orange County, longtime GOP stronghold, now has more registered Democrats than Republicans
LA Times' SEEMA MEHTA/MELANIE MASON: "Orange County, long a Republican stronghold, has officially turned blue."
"The county that nurtured Ronald Reagan’s conservatism and is the resting place of Richard Nixon is now home to 547,458 registered Democrats, compared with 547,369 Republicans, according to statistics released early Wednesday morning by the county Registrar of Voters. And the number of voters not aligned with a political party has surged in recent years, and now tops 440,770, or 27.4% of the county’s voters."
"Democratic leaders attributed the shift to changing demographics, aggressive recruitment efforts and President Trump."
'Totally unconstitutional.' Trump sues California over new law targeting his tax returns
Sacramento Bee's BRYAN ANDERSON: "President Donald Trump, the California Republican Party, and the national GOP joined together Tuesday to sue California over a new tax-return law Gov. Gavin Newsom signed last week."
"The law requires Trump and other presidential candidates to release the last five years of their tax returns to get their names on the state’s 2020 primary ballot."
"Newsom’s Democratic predecessor, Gov. Jerry Brown, vetoed a similar proposal in 2017, warning it “may not be constitutional” and could establish a “slippery slope” precedent."
READ MORE related to Trump Tax Returns: Trump campaign, GOP sue California over 2020 election tax-return requirement -- The Chronicle's ALEXEI KOSEF
California auditor blasts Medi-Cal overseer for failing patients in 18 rural counties
Sacramento Bee's CATHIE ANDERSON: "zIn a report released Tuesday, California State Auditor Elaine Howle upbraided the state Department of Health Care Services for its failure to ensure Medi-Cal beneficiaries have adequate access and quality of care in 18 rural counties stretching from Inyo to the south to Tehama and Plumas in the north."
"Howle looked into the welfare of these Medi-Cal beneficiaries at the behest of the Joint Legislative Audit Committee, which wanted to know whether the patients were receiving care comparable to their peers around the state since being transitioned into managed care plans from fee-for-service plans during the Medi-Cal expansion in 2013."
"In 67 pages of chapters, charts and summaries, the auditor’s findings were plain and unwavering: No, they do not."
California charter, private schools report lower vaccination rates than public schools
EdSource's DIANA LAMBERT/DANIEL J WILLIS: "California’s charter and private schools dramatically lag public schools in the percentage of students vaccinated for contagious diseases."
"Last year, 78 percent of traditional public schools reported that its students had all required vaccinations necessary to protect the community, while only 68 percent of private schools and 57 percent of charter schools met that goal, an EdSource analysis of California Department of Public Health data reveals."
"Ninety-five percent of children at a school must be immunized to prevent transmission of disease in a community, according to the state Department of Public Health."
Redistricting battle in Michigan could threaten California citizens' commission
The Chronicle's JOHN WILDERMUTH: "A Republican-backed lawsuit aimed at killing Michigan’s new redistricting commission could threaten the future of California’s landmark citizens’ reapportionment panel."
"The Michigan suit, filed in federal court, charges that the rule barring politicians, partisan staffers, lobbyists, party leaders and their families from the commission is unconstitutional and should invalidate the redistricting system approved by the state’s voters in a 2018 initiative."
"In excluding certain categories of citizens from eligibility based on their exercise of core First Amendment rights, including freedom of speech, right of association and the right to petition the government, the State has unconstitutionally” blocked individuals from serving on a government body, the suit states."
Oops, wrong attachment: Tax department official mistakenly shares whistleblower complaint
Sacramento Bee's WES VENTEICHER: "A California Department of Tax and Fee Administration supervisor made a mistake many office workers dread last week, when she attached the wrong document to an email with multiple recipients."
"In this case, the document was a whistleblower complaint, mistakenly attached to an email seeking nominations for a workplace award."
"The department is taking nominations through September for “any team member or group of team members that you feel have performed exceptionally,” Chief Deputy Director Katie Hagen told managers and supervisors in an afternoon email sent Aug. 1."
California spending big on census after Trump's citizenship question fight
The Chronicle's ALEXEI KOSEFF: "Even before President Trump abandoned his quest to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census, two California governors and the Legislature set aside a record $187 million for the count — more than six times what the state spent in 2000 and 2010 combined."
"Over the next eight months, the state will ramp up an aggressive outreach campaign to repair the damage that officials say Trump has caused to confidence in the census among California’s most vulnerable residents. Encouraging full participation next spring in the decennial count of every person in the United States will be crucial for determining the distribution of congressional representation and federal funding."
"The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in June to block the citizenship question handed advocates a victory, but they said significant challenges remain to counteract the fear and mistrust that has built up among undocumented immigrants and their family members."
'Sue me,' says Nunes challenger. He'll help raise money for constituents in lawsuit
Sacramento Bee's BRIANNA CALIX: "A challenger to Devin Nunes will help raise money for a legal defense fund for the residents being sued by the Republican congressman’s campaign."
"A handful of lawyers already have reached out and offered to represent the defendants as well."
"Phil Arballo, a small business owner in Fresno, called Nunes “a D.C. hack” during a news conference Tuesday in front of Nunes’ office in Clovis."
Voter guide for CA Assembly District 1 special election primary: Who's running?
Sacramento Bee's ALEXANDRA YOON-HENDRICKS: "Just a couple of months after voters in much of California’s northeastern corner were asked to select a new state senator, new ballots and information guides are being sent out, this time for the Aug. 27 special primary election for state Assembly District 1."
"Five candidates are vying for the seat vacated by former Assemblyman Brian Dahle, who won the District 1 state Senate seat in June. Dahle, a Republican, had represented the district in the Assembly since 2012."
"Among the five candidates on the ballot: one Democrat, Elizabeth Betancourt; and four Republicans, Megan Dahle, Patrick Henry Jones, Lane Rickard and Joe Turner."
Congress, out on recess, grapples from afar with next steps on guns
The Chronicle's TAL KOPAN: "As America reels from multiple mass shootings, Congress is out of D.C. until mid-September."
"But plenty of lawmakers — including several from the Bay Area — are looking to build momentum for action on guns during the recess, hoping to find some way to finally break through decades of inaction on gun violence."
"House Democrats are hoping to spend the month increasing pressure on Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to allow votes on legislation the House already passed, including background check legislation authored by Rep. Mike Thompson."
READ MORE related to Gun Violence Pandemic: Gilroy Garlic Festival shooter's family: We are 'deeply shocked and horrified' -- The Chronicle; Owner of 8chan, site of multiple mass shooter manifestos, called before Congress --Sacramento Bee's ANDREW SHEELER; Migrants say El Paso shooting won't deter them from seeking new lives in the US -- LA Times's PATRICK J MCDONNELL; Bipartisan 'red flag' gun laws plan has support in Congress -- AP; Trump brings a message of healing to El Paso and Dayton -- but his past words may get in the way -- AP; Bay Area student activists want to jump-start push for stronger gun laws -- KQED's VANESSA RANCANO; Young people fighting for gun control want to know: What will it take? -- KQED's DEVIN KATAYAMA/VANESSA RANCANO; How hate-filled online groups incite violence in the extreme corners of the internet -- KQED's RACHAEL MYROW
Huge recycler's closure leaves Bay Area with few options
The Chronicle's SOPHIA KUNTHARA/ELENA SHAO: "Ophelia de la Cruz of South San Francisco found out Monday night that the recycling center in San Francisco she usually visits was closing. She tried another San Francisco center, but found herself at the end of a long line, as she lugged several trash bags of empty water bottles. She and other family members turn in their recycling every month."
"Every penny counts,” she said. “My mom is low-income, so whatever she can get, every penny — it counts."
"Three San Francisco recycling centers belonging to the Ontario (San Bernardino County) company RePlanet closed this week, leaving residents with fewer options to turn in recyclables for money and putting more pressure on the few operators that remain."
READ MORE related to Energy & Environment: (OP-ED) New wildfire safety bill hurts, rather than helps -- MICHAEL J AQUIRRE/MARIA C SEVERSON in Capitol Weekly
Black leaders in SF support saving controversial George Washington High School mural
The Chronicle's MICHAEL CABANATUAN: "Leaders from San Francisco’s black community stood up for the preservation of George Washington High School’s controversial mural on Tuesday, saying the “Life of Washington” artwork provides an important education about American history — for better or worse."
"The Rev. Arnold Townsend, of the Northern California NAACP, said that painting over the mural, which depicts the nation’s first president and high school’s namesake in various stages of his life, from a craftsman and soldier to a slave owner stepping over a dead American Indian, would be akin to “whitewashing history to make it reflect a history that never existed."
"Townsend spoke at a news conference beside the Rev. Amos Brown, head of the San Francisco NAACP, as well as former newspaper columnist Noah Griffin and Dewey Crumpler, an artist who created an alternative mural in the mid-1960s when opposition was first raised to the Washington mural."
Boy Scouts face new allegations of sex abuse by 'hidden predators'
LA Times's KIM CHRISTENSEN: "Lawyers who launched a national TV ad campaign this year have signed 800 new clients with sexual abuse claims against the Boy Scouts of America, including 350 previously unidentified “hidden predators” whose names are not on the youth organization’s blacklist of alleged offenders."
"A roster of the 350 suspected abusers was not publicly disclosed but was made available to reporters Tuesday at a news conference in Washington to announce a civil lawsuit against a former assistant scoutmaster accused of repeatedly molesting a Scout in Pennsylvania in the 1970s."
"The list also has been provided to Boy Scouts officials, who say they have reported 120 of the men to law enforcement and are investigating the others."
Barack Obama, Beyonce on the legacy of Toni Morrison
AP/KQED: "Nobel laureate Toni Morrison, who transformed modern literature with stories centered on black lives, died Monday evening. Her transcendental work Beloved received a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1988, two years after it published in 1987."
"In 2012, former President Barack Obama presented her with the Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, bestowed upon individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors."
"In her 88 years, Morrison lit the path for generations of future writers and activists with novels about love, loss, power and resistance."