THE BUZZ: Forget California. Sen. Kamala Harris is betting Iowa can resuscitate her campaign.
Lagging in fundraising and flagging in the polls, Team Harris announced a major restructuring that amounts to going “all-in on Iowa,” per an internal memo obtained by POLITICO’s Chris Cadelago. That means diverting staff from New Hampshire, Nevada and — yes — California to the Hawkeye State, in addition to cutting pay for consultants and downsizing the campaign’s Baltimore headquarters.
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Harris’s robust South Carolina operation won’t be affected — her campaign has long looked to the state, with its large African American electorate, as key to her potential route to the nomination. But her California pullback is the latest evidence that, with California’s March primary a few months away, hope that an earlier vote would tilt the contest toward California has largely failed to materialize.
— WARREN’S WAY: Meanwhile, Sen. Elizabeth Warren is beefing up her California operation in the coming weeks, the campaign tells us, launching offices in Oakland and Los Angeles after conducting some in-state volunteer training this month. And Warren weighed in again yesterday on a prominent California issue where her assertive stance has already won her some in-state plaudits.
And Sen. Bernie Sanders’s camp continues to stress that he intends to win here, noting that the Vermont socialist has been here five times since launching and deployed a couple dozen paid staffers here. Sanders and Harris plan to appear at the California Democratic Party’s forum in Long Beach next weekend; no confirmation yet from Warren.
BUENOS DIAS, good Thursday morning. Things may be a little slower than usual in DC today after the Washington Nationals won their first World Series last night.
— QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I expect this is going to be a very tough year.” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on a coming political maelstrom, speaking during an earnings call that followed a social media rival dropping political ads.
— TWEET OF THE DAY: Some rare presidential praise from @GavinNewsom for federal fire help: “Thank you, @RealDonaldTrump”
— BONUS TOTD: And a former governor’s response, from @JerryBrownGov, to the president praising automakers sticking with rollbacks: “Thank you @realDonaldTrump for making crystal clear how little you know about the global car market. Your horse and buggy strategy will not work. The fossil fuel car is going the way of the dodo bird. Please inform the other members of the Flat Earth Society.”
— WHERE’S GAVIN? Nothing official announced.
— “Twitter drops all political ads in shot at Zuckerberg,” by POLITICO’s Nancy Scola and Steven Overly: “Twitter is removing itself from the contentious tangle embroiling Facebook as U.S. political campaigns prepare to spend vast sums of money on online advertising around the 2020 elections. The new policy applies worldwide, not just in the U.S., and to issue ads as well as ads run by specific political campaigns.”
— “Turkey summons US ambassador over Armenian genocide resolution,” by POLITICO Europe’s Zia Weise: “On Tuesday, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a resolution recognizing the genocide — which Ankara denies — and passed a bill aiming to impose fresh sanctions on Turkey over its military operation against Syrian Kurdish forces.”
— “Pitched battle to save Reagan Library as Easy fire reached its doorstep,” by the LA Times’ Hannah Fry and Richard Winton: “Perched on a hill overlooking Simi Valley and Moorpark, the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library offers sweeping views. But that location has long made it vulnerable to wildfires.”
— “PG&E grid still vulnerable despite wildfire-focused checks, new data shows,” by POLITICO’s Colby Bermel: “The disclosure today to the federal judge overseeing PG&E’s criminal probation demonstrated that despite the company’s best efforts to get ahead of wildfire threats via inspections and shut-offs, its grid is still vulnerable to conditions that spark devastating disasters.”
— “California’s blackouts could make fighting climate change even harder,” by the LA Times’ Sammy Roth: “[T]he state’s plans for slashing climate emissions depend on a stable electric grid delivering clean electricity to the cars, homes and businesses of the world’s fifth-largest economy.”
— “Stone leaving California Senate for Trump administration,” by POLITICO’s Jeremy B. White: “State Sen. Jeff Stone is heading to the Trump administration, announcing on Wednesday that he had accepted an appointment as the U.S. Department of Labor’s western director.” (Pro link)
— “Nunes acolyte misrepresented himself to Trump as Ukraine expert,” by POLITICO’s Natasha Bertrand: “The decorated Army officer who testified to House investigators on Tuesday told lawmakers that a close associate of Republican Rep. Devin Nunes “misrepresented” himself to President Donald Trump in an effort to involve himself further in Ukraine policy, according to two people familiar with his closed-door deposition.”
— “FAANG employees give most often to Sanders and Warren, snub Biden,” by Yahoo’s Kristin Myers: “According to Yahoo Finance analysis of donations made in 2019, Sanders is the most popular candidate among employees of the FAANG companies – Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and Google – and Microsoft.”
— PADILLA PASSING: Secretary of State Alex Padilla will not run for the CA-25 seat opened up by Rep. Katie Hill’s departure, a decision that strengthens the position of fellow Democrat and Assemblywoman Christy Smith. Padilla has long been rumored to be looking to another statewide office, with his stint as elections chief up in 2022. We’re told Democrat and 2018 candidate Bryan Caforio is still weighing whether to get in. Smith continued to solidify her standing with a trio of big endorsements from Reps. Brad Sherman and Julia Brownley, and Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis.
Meanwhile, Newsom told POLITICO that “lawyers are assessing’’ the date of the primary election to fill the seat. “I think we have a date, but they’re just checking to make sure,’’ he said. Republicans are holding their breath: A special election could offer a boost as GOPers, who traditionally turn out more reliably at the polls on such events.
As for Hill, she announced that she’ll make her final speech in Congress in the 9:30 a.m. hour PT, to be broadcast on C-SPAN.
OBAMA, AHOY — via DC Playbook: FORMER PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA will raise money for the DNC on Nov. 21 in Los Altos Hills — a moneyed Silicon Valley town. DNC Chairman Tom Perez will be there. It will cost $355,000 to be a “chair” of the fundraiser, $100,000 to “host,” $50,000 raised or given to “co-host,” $35,000 raised to be a “champion” and $10,000 to get in the door. The invite.
… More from Recode: “Barack Obama is coming back to Silicon Valley to raise millions for the Democratic Party“
— “Trump rips Nancy Pelosi and endorses Kevin McCarthy for speaker at House GOP fundraiser,” by CNBC’s Brian Schwartz.
— “The photos of Katie Hill had nothing to do with her conduct,” Mary Anne Franks opines for WaPo: “Katie Hill — young, female, bisexual, liberal, polyamorous, powerful — made abusive men fear that their dominance was coming to an end.”
— CEASE FIRE: “Trump antagonist Newsom lavishes praise on president for fire response,” by POLITICO’s Carla Marinucci: “AMERICAN CANYON — Gov. Gavin Newsom, who rarely misses an opportunity to criticize President Donald Trump, offered rare praise Wednesday for the president during a tour of areas affected by catastrophic fires and widespread power outages in Northern California.
“Newsom said Trump has been ‘a partner‘ and that his administration has been ‘extraordinary‘ in its response to a state in crisis. His office announced earlier Wednesday that California had been awarded a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which will enable local, state and tribal agencies to apply for 75 percent reimbursement of their costs in responding to the Easy Fire in Ventura County.
“‘His team is performing above and beyond expectation,’‘ Newsom said of Trump, following a visit to meet with the senior residents of Las Casitas Mobile Home Park in American Canyon, which has been without power since Saturday. ‘Every single request we’ve had to the Administration has been met.’“
— “How state-funded charter schools are avoiding vaccine requirements,” by POLITICO’s Mackenzie Mays: “[T]here remain ways to get around the law and still receive a taxpayer-funded education, even in California. Though many home-based charters bring students together for regular classroom instruction or activities, the state doesn’t uniformly enforce vaccination laws for such programs.”
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— “Doc groups press White House for full ban of vape flavors,” by POLITICO’s Susannah Luthi.
— “Challenges Implementing Sanctuary State Law Keep Immigrant Fears At a High,” by Capital Public Radio’s Sammy Caiola: “Nearly two years after California’s sanctuary state rule took effect, immigrant advocates say law enforcement agencies are still helping federal immigration agents with deportations.”
— “Facebook takes down disinformation network linked to indicted Russian financier,” by POLITICO’s Cristiano Lima.
— “Facebook’s political ads policy is predictably turning out to be a disaster,” by Recode’s Emily Stewart: “Facebook’s hard-and-fast rule on political speech doesn’t seem so hard-and-fast, considering it’s already making exceptions to it.”
— “Silicon Valley should take Josh Hawley’s big war on big tech seriously,” by Recode’s Emily Stewart: “At a time when Big Tech is becoming an increasingly salient and urgent part of the political and cultural conversation, Hawley’s stance on tech could portend the future of the Republican Party’s approach to Silicon Valley.”
— “Lyft is taking the human judgment out of critical safety decisions,” by WaPo’s Faiz Siddiqui: “The company has imposed a new standardized protocol for determining whether to ban drivers who may pose a safety threat to passengers. Lyft is also reducing the roles of the trained specialists hired to make the judgment calls on whether to boot them.”
— “‘This jail runs on slave labor’: Inmates stage hunger strike, work stoppage over bad conditions,” by the Merc’s Angela Ruggiero.
— “Four commanding officers of California Navy base die in unusual string of cancers,” by McClatchy’s Tara Copp, Shirsho Dasgupta and Ben Wieder.
— “‘There was blood everywhere’: Shooting at Halloween party leaves 3 dead, 9 injured in Rose Park,” by the Long Beach Post’s Valerie Osier and Jeremiah Dobruck.
— “Embattled WeWork opens San Francisco co-working space for food startups,” by the SF Chronicle’s Janelle Bitker.
— “Former Juul exec alleges company shipped tainted products,” by The AP’s Matthew Perrone.
Piper Perabo … Lauren Vrazilek
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