THE BUZZ: WHERE’S JOE? The first time former VP Joe Biden sidestepped the California Democrats this year — at their convention in San Francisco in June — the response was: OK, understandable. Those party activists skew way to the left and they’re not really Uncle Joe’s crowd. A dozen 2020 hopefuls paraded across the stage, but Biden wasn’t one of them.
Then Biden was a no-show in August at the big Democratic National Committee summer shindig, also in San Francisco. Grumbling for sure — especially since the major candidates all made a play for the party insiders at events, fundraisers and on stage.
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Now, Democrats in the nation’s most populous state — and who comprise the nation’s largest party operation — will get snubbed by Biden for a third time. The vice president won’t be attending the California Democratic Endorsing Convention in Long Beach kicking off Nov. 15 — even though he’s campaigning in the state the day before the gathering starts.
We haven’t heard a response yet from the Biden campaign, which is celebrating the news that his recent polls have bumped up dramatically. But remember: Biden hasn’t done any public events in California yet — and his chief rivals like Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris and Pete Buttigieg have been out and about pushing aggressively for a share of that Mother Lode of California delegates.
BUT THERE’S THIS … Strategist Rose Kapolczynski to POLITICO: “Biden is so well known that he might not have that much room to grow with Democratic activists. It won’t hurt him with voters, because they don’t care who shows up to a political convention. Our story via POLITICO’s Carla Marinucci: “Biden to snub California Democratic convention — again.”
BUENOS DIAS, good Thursday morning. Be prepared for more power shutoffs, California.
— QUOTE OF THE DAY: “On political speech, last week, you announced that Facebook would not be doing fact-checking on political ads, giving anyone Facebook labels a politician a platform to lie, mislead and misinform the American people, which will also allow Facebook to sell more ads. The impact of this will be a massive voter suppression effort that will move at the speed of a click. Your claim to promote freedom of speech does not ring true.” — Rep. Maxine Waters, chair of the House Financial Services Committee, to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg as he was testifying before her committee Wednesday.
— TWEET OF THE DAY: @MaryNicholsCA: “While the @realDonaldTrump lawyers were filing their 6 AM bogus lawsuit in Fresno attacking CARB for cooperating with Quebec to fight climate pollution, why not sue @RudyGiuliani for undermining US policy in Ukraine?“
— BONUS TOTD: @GavinNewsom: “Our cap and trade system is over 5 years old. So why is @realDonaldTrump attacking it now? Political. Retribution. Weaponizing our government to attack his political opponents seems to be a common theme of this admin. Spoiler alert: it won’t end well.“
— WHERE’S GAVIN? In Los Angeles hosting a press briefing on ongoing power shutoffs with state fire, emergency response and health and human services leaders in the morning. In the afternoon, he’ll participate in an event highlighting the signing of AB 378 by Assemblymember Monique Limόn (D-Santa Barbara), which gives child care providers the right to join a union and collectively bargain with the state. Details: Power Shutoff Briefing: 10:00 a.m. Ronald Reagan State Building, Governor’s Office. Child Care Providers Event: 2:15 p.m. Watts Labor Community Action Center. Public Counsel Awards Ceremony: 6:25 p.m. The Beverly Hilton.
DAILY SPECIAL — ZUCKERBERG ON THE GRILL:
— “Democrats torch Zuckerberg for 5 hours,“ via POLITICO: The top five revelations from Wednesday’s hearing.
— “Zuckerberg Gets Thrown a Long List of Grievances by Congress,” by Bloomberg’s Kurt Wagner and Sarah Frier: Facebook CEO confronts House Financial Services Committee; Libra, sex trafficking, workplace diversity are fair game
— “Maxine Waters slams Zuckerberg, raises specter of breaking up Facebook,” by POLITICO’s Zachary Warmbrodt and Cristiano Lima: “The California Democrat kicked off a hearing with Zuckerberg by launching into a fiery recitation of problems dogging Facebook beyond the Libra digital currency and even suggested that the company was too big and powerful for the country’s good.”
— WATCH THIS: Rep. Katie Porter grills Mark Zuckerberg on Facebook’s treatment of contract content moderators charged with watching violent, disturbing and in some cases gruesome content.
— SHE #METOO? — “House Ethics launches investigation into sexual allegations involving Rep Katie Hill,’’ by POLITICO’s John Bresnahan: “The California Democrat denied the allegations in a statement to POLITICO on Tuesday, and blamed the controversy on an ‘abusive husband’ whom she is in the midst of divorcing.”
… HOW THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER PLAYED IT: “Katie Hill becomes first female lawmaker to face House ethics inquiry over sexual relationship after naked photograph leaked.”
SHUTOFFS — “PG&E Imposes New Power Shutoffs In Parts Of Northern California To Avert Wildfires,” via NPR: “The Wednesday afternoon blackouts involved parts of Alpine, Amado, Butte, Calaveras, El Dorado, Nevada, Placer, Sierra, Tehama, Yuba, Lake, Mendocino, Napa and Sonoma counties. Portions of San Mateo county, just south of San Francisco, will have power outages early Thursday morning, as will Kern county in the Central Valley. The power outages could last longer than 48 hours.“
… AND MORE… “PG&E Shut Off 2: Here’s where the red-flag alerts are,” by The Mercury News’ Patrick May.
— DEVIN DILEMMA: “Nunes protégé fed Ukraine info to Trump,” by POLITICO’s Natasha Bertrand: “Kashyap Patel, a longtime Nunes staffer who joined the White House in February, was so involved in the issue that at one point Trump thought he was in charge of Ukraine policy for the National Security Council, according to congressional testimony by Fiona Hill, the former senior director for European and Russian Affairs whose portfolio included Ukraine.”
— AT IT AGAIN: “Justice Department sues California over Quebec cap and trade program,” by POLITICO’s Zack Colman and Alex Guillén: “The lawsuit alleges that the carbon dioxide reduction program, which California and Quebec first agreed to in 2014, is illegal because it puts the state in the position of conducting foreign policy, a power reserved for the federal government.” (Pro link)
— MONEY SCRIPT: “How Trump’s tax reform is costing some actors thousands of dollars,” by LATimes’ Wendy Lee: The 2017 law ended Kuroda’s ability to deduct from her taxes thousands of dollars in travel, costumes and other work expenses. Instead of receiving her typical refund, she and her husband had to pay the government $7,000 earlier this year.
— YOSEMITE SHIFT: “Trump administration reassigns longtime Yosemite National Park superintendent,” by LATimes’ Louis Sahagun: “Reynolds’ departure comes amid controversial proposals for increasing recreation and tourism in the park, reportedly put forward by Interior Secretary David Bernhardt. They include a proposal that would for the first time allow boats on the park’s Hetch Hetchy Reservoir.”
— ‘THEY GET THE JOB DONE‘: “As Trump seeks reelection, a growing army of immigrant voters stands in his path,” by the LA Times’ Matt Pearce: “Some experts said the national climate reminded them of California in the mid-1990s, when heightened rhetoric against immigrants and the Proposition 187 ballot measure to prohibit services for some immigrants inspired a wave of eligible Latino immigrants to naturalize and register to vote.”
— KAMALA’S MOVE ON UKRAINE: “Harris, colleagues seek Ukraine info via public records law,” by The AP’s Kathleen Ronayne: “Harris, of California, will join Richard Blumenthal, of Connecticut, and Sheldon Whitehouse, of Rhode Island, in filing a request Wednesday with the Department of Justice seeking documents related to Ukraine, China and various investigations into companies associated with Hunter Biden, the son of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.”
— “Why Zuckerberg’s Embrace of Mayor Pete Should Worry You,” by Wired’s Noam Cohen: “In place of supposed Silicon Valley virtues like idealism, flexibility, and merit we now detect opportunism, self-dealing, individualism, overblown promises, and, as always, a great man to lead us.”
— AND SO IT BEGINS: That big statewide signature drive aimed at overturning Prop. 13 — expected to be the most high profile and expensive item on the 2020 ballot — officially kicks off Sunday in Los Angeles. That’s when 800 educators are expected to join Schools and Communities First, and labor leaders including CTA president (and kindergarten teacher) E. Toby Boyd, National Education Association president Lily Eskelsen García, and SEIU California President Bob Schoonover to push for the measure.
The Schools and Communities First initiative aims to “close commercial property tax loopholes benefiting a fraction of corporations and wealthy investors,” and to raise $12 billion annually to fund schools and local communities. Organizers will need 1.6 million signatures to get it on the 2020 ballot and the powerhouse CTA has committed to gathering 150,000 signatures. The event starting 11:30 a.m. at the Westin Bonaventure is what backers say will be “the first of many” starting this month to reach those goals.
— OUCH: “Poll Shows Anger at PG&E, Gavin Newsom Over Blackouts,” by KQED’s Marisa Lagos: “But reflecting the tough choices in front of both PG&E and public officials, a majority of respondents — 55% — said they would rather lose power for several days than risk a wildfire, and just one-third of those polled said the decision to shut off power should be handed over to government officials.”
— VIA POLITICO Pro Health’s Victoria Colliver … TENSIONS CONTINUE OVER JUUL’S SAN FRANCISCO BALLOT MEASURE: Juul may have stopped funding the measure it initiated to overturn San Francisco’s e-cigarette ban, but the campaign is far from over. San Francisco Supervisor Shamann Walton on Wednesday urged the San Francisco company, the country’s dominant e-cigarette manufacturer, to actively campaign against Proposition C, which remains on the Nov. 5 ballot and would overturn the ordinance to halt the sale of all vaping products until they undergo the FDA review.
“Juul will tell you that they’ve backed out of this campaign for Prop. C. But we still see mailers in mailboxes. We still see commercials supporting Prop. C,” Walton, who authored the ordinance, said a press conference in front of Juul’s corporate headquarters. Saying that “pulling the plug is not enough,” Walton sent a letter to Juul’s new CEO, K.C. Crosthwaite, urging the company “share responsibility” for defeating the measure. Juul has spent nearly $12 million to support the proposition, but has contributed more than $18 million to the campaign fund.
Juul officials said in an email to POLITICO that they “had not yet had the opportunity to review this letter in full.” They referred to Crosthwaite’s Sept. 30 statement in which he announced the company would stop funding the measure “as part of a broad review of the company’s policies in order to responsibly lead the industry.” That decision came as reports of vaping-related illnesses and deaths, primarily linked to adulterated products or those containing THC, were sweeping the country.
— KAISER MENTAL HEALTH WORKERS TO STRIKE … also via VICTORIA COLLIVER: About 4,000 California Kaiser Permanente mental health workers — psychologists, social workers and therapists — voted to strike at about 100 clinics and hospitals across the state the week of Nov. 11. The mental health clinicians, represented by the National Union of Healthcare Workers, have been working without a contract for a year, and want Kaiser, among other demands including better pay and benefits, to hire more mental health workers and restructure their workloads.
The news of the potential strike comes about a month after Kaiser and a coalition of 11 unions — led by SEIU-UHW — reached an agreement that averted a massive strike this month that could have involved about 80,000 employees, which would have made it the largest walkout nationwide in more than 20 years. Kaiser officials, in a statement issued last week, called NUHW’s tactics “divisive” and vowed not to “be pressured by negative campaigns or threats of strikes into an agreement that does not align with our key principles.”
— WSJ EDITORIAL: “California’s Tax-the-Rich Boomerang” — “Democrats in California have raised taxes on the rich again and again, and liberals claim it has no effect on taxpayer migration and does no harm to state tax revenue. A new study finds the opposite.”
— OAKLAND DRAMA: “How fossil fuel execs lobbied black leaders to overturn a California city’s coal ban,” by The Guardian’s Darwin BondGraham: “Finding allies in Oakland’s black community, which has suffered from disproportionate exposure to pollution from the city’s port for decades, has been a key goal of the coal lobbyists.”
— BIG CATCH: “Pepperdine Law Lands $50 Million Donation And A New Name,” by The Recorder’s Karen Sloan.
— “Rising California Gasoline Prices Highlight Growing Divide in U.S.,” by WSJ’s Amrith Ramkumar.
— OUT OF THE PARK: “A’s offer deal to Oakland to shake loose movement on Coliseum site, new ballpark,’’ by the SF Chronicle’s Phil Matier: “In an effort to break the legal logjam that’s threatening their new ballpark, the Oakland A’s are offering to either buy out the city’s half share in the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum site for $85 million or enter into a long-term lease, sources close to the negotiations say.
— COLLEGE ADMISSIONS SCANDAL: “Beverly Hills Mom Heads to Jail for Three Weeks in College Scam,” by Bloomberg’s Janelle Lawrence and Patricia Hurtado: “Jane Buckingham is the 11th parent sentenced for rigging the college admissions process through payoffs and deceit.”
— “Who was Deputy Brian Ishmael, killed in line of duty in El Dorado County?” by the Sac Bee’s Molly Sulivan.
— “How Facebook Bought a Police Force,” by Vice’s Sarah Emerson: “The Bay Area has long been a sandbox for technology giants who are no longer merely occupying communities, but building and reshaping them. … And now, there’s a police unit that is funded by Facebook to patrol the area surrounding its campus. The bill comes in at over $2 million annually—big money in a small city.”
— “Facebook to debut ‘News Tab’ product on Friday, company says,” by POLITICO’s Cristiano Lima: “Facebook has for months teased the product, which will reportedly be curated in part by veteran journalists hired by the company. Facebook has separately courted publishers to strike up content-sharing agreements to populate the tab.”
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— Q&A: “Google ex-chief Eric Schmidt on why we can trust the market to fix what ails the internet,” via the LA Times.
— SMOKEOUT: “Tainted vape pens selling 2-for-1 in illegal California stores,” by Leafly’s Joe Kukura, Marissa Wenzke and David Downs: “Because they’re not following the rules, the products they sell are not subject to stringent potency and purity testing requirements.”
— NO LAUGHING MATTER: “Kathy Griffin made $75 million making people laugh. But the phone’s not ringing,” by the LA Times’ Jeffrey Fleishman: “Griffin has made a career out of speaking her mind. Her stand-up acts burst and flash like mortar rounds. But it’s quiet these days in her big house in the Bel-Air hills. There is no work. … It’s been two years since she raised a Halloween mask smeared with ketchup that depicted the severed head of President Trump.”
— “Bones may be remains of lost Japanese internee,” by The AP’s Brian Melley.
— “Person with measles traveled to Disneyland while infectious, officials say,” by the LA Times’ Jaclyn Cosgrove.
— “Sheriff rehires corruption investigator accused of posing as deputy in bizarre jail incident,” by the LA Times’ Alene Tchekmedyian.
Former Gov. Jerry Brown with Miriam Pawel, author of “The Browns of California,’’ in conversation with criminal justice professor Laura Bazelon at City Arts and Lectures, SF, Friday, 7:30 p.m. Details.
Political strategist/ad guru George Ross with San Francisco-based SCRB Strategies, the team running Kamala Harris’ presidential campaign. h/t Emily Matthews.
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