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People are joining Team Atkins or Team Block before an actual race is declared, two laws get re-examined, the week in terrifying climate news and more in our weekly Sacramento Roundup.
State Sen. Joel Anderson might not be leaving Sacramento after all.
The East County legislator got a lot of publicity from his decision to run against fellow Republican Dianne Jacob for a San Diego County Board of Supervisors seat in 2016, especially after he reeled in $200,000 from the county Republican Party for his effort.
Campaign contribution disclosures show he’s been actively raising money for both races over the first six months of the year. For his Assembly race he raised nearly $84,000, in large part from Sacramento-based business groups.
Anderson now has almost $73,000 cash on hand for his Assembly run and another $271,000 (including that $200,000 from the local GOP) for the supervisor race. And he still has $248,000 laying around from his 2014 Senate re-election.
The 2018 Assembly campaign raises at least two possibilities: that Anderson is not entirely committed to running for supervisor, which some have suggested, or that he’s putting in place a backup plan if it proves unsuccessful.
Anderson couldn’t be reached for comment.
As John Hrabe noted earlier this year, if Anderson follows through with both the supervisors race and the Assembly bid, Anderson will have run for three different offices in six years.
There’s no rule against a politician having accounts open for two races at once, in fact, it’s relatively common, said Jay Wierenga, spokesman for the state’s Fair Political Practices Commission.
In this case, Anderson’s could use the already established 2018 account as a backup plan if his bid to unseat Jacob is unsuccessful.
But Anderson could also take advantage of campaign finance rules that allow candidates to eventually transfer funds between accounts, Wierenga said.
Transferring funds from his Assembly account to his supervisor account would let him tap into a Sacramento donor network that doesn’t care about local San Diego issues, broadening his ability to challenge Jacob financially.
Those transfers, however, would need to comply with local campaign finance restrictions.
– Andrew Keatts
Speaker Toni Atkins hasn’t yet announced what her next political move will be. But she’s indicated that a challenge to a fellow Dem, state Sen. Marty Block, is still on the table.
This week at our One Voice at a Time event with Assemblywoman Shirley Weber, Scott Lewis deviated from education a bit to ask Weber: Atkins or Block?
“Toni is my friend,” Weber said. So Atkins, then? “Toni is my friend,” Weber repeated. She said Atkins was the one who recruited her to run for the Assembly.
Block is letting it be known he has some friends of his own:
— Marty Block (@MartyBlock39) September 17, 2015
Block has at least one friend in the local delegation, as well. At our live podcast taping last month, Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez said she supports Block and doesn’t understand why Democrats would waste time and money on an interparty fight.
The fallout’s still coming from an Associated Press investigation last month that found “barely one-tenth of the promised jobs” from 2012’s Clean Energy Jobs Act have materialized.
Now San Diego-area Republicans Brian Jones and Marie Waldron are among a group of Assembly members asking for an audit of the measure. Though Democrats have countered that not enough time has passed to effectively evaluate the law, Jones writes in a letter to the chair of the Legislative Audit Committee: “It is never too early for the Legislature to conduct oversight and ensure transparency, especially when taxpayer money is involved.”
• KPBS pulled some of the numbers on Chelsea’s Law as the measure turns 5. The law, written by then-Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher, provides for harsher sentences for sex offenses and increased monitoring for paroled offenders:
From when the law was signed by former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Sept. 9, 2010 until August 2014, 99 people in San Diego County have been charged under Chelsea’s Law, according to annual impact reports prepared by the Chelsea’s Light Foundation.
Data from the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office shows in 2014, 9 percent of the county’s 328 sex-offender defendants were prosecuted under Chelsea’s Law.
Back when the law was 2 years old, Liam Dillon found: “The law’s signature reform doesn’t get used a lot. A one-strike life imprisonment for violent and traumatic sex crimes on children has only been wielded once in San Diego County, a reflection, a local prosecutor said, of the law’s focus on the worst offenders and defendants’ desire to plea bargain rather than face life terms. … Costs, too, are hard to calculate.”
Ultimately, Dillon wrote: “researchers will need years of data to examine its effects on reducing repeat offenses.”
It seems some folks on the East Coast are living vicariously through the Motor Voter law passed by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez – and it hasn’t even been signed by the governor yet.
The gist from Vox: “it’s a big deal that governments are now trying to make it easier and easier to vote, rather than more difficult.”
A Washington Post editorial called the law “an obvious step” that “other states should follow.”
You might believe that passing climate change legislation in a deep blue state that happens to have a drought and wildfires raging would be a no-brainer. But as we saw last week, one big law being pushed by Gov. Jerry Brown that would have drastically cut gasoline use ended up neutered.
This week, L.A. Times reporters Chris Megerian and Melanie Mason have a good rundown of what exactly happened: “In the end, it wasn’t doubts about the global dangers of climate change that scuttled the gasoline target, but questions of who would get to pull the strings in Sacramento.”
It’s unsurprising, then, that Brown said at a conference this week that “political pollution” was the reason leaders in Washington aren’t doing more to address global warming.
Still, CalMatters makes the case that even with the gasoline reduction setback, Brown and the Legislature will be able to brag about “almost unparalleled accomplishments” on climate change after this session.
• Our new normal: the “climate-driven megafire.” (Rolling Stone)
• A group of campaign finance and transparency advocates is pushing a ballot measure that would require more disclosures for political spending and cut the amount lobbyists can spend wooing politicians. (Sacramento Bee)
• Rep. Loretta Sanchez is gaining ground in the U.S. Senate race but Attorney General Kamala Harris still holds the lead. Assemblyman Rocky Chavez has 9 percent support, 1 point behind former state GOP Chairman Tom Del Beccaro. (L.A.Times)
• Here’s a good rundown of some of the biggest items still awaiting a decision from the governor. (Sacramento Bee)
• The Sacramento Bee goes behind the scenes to detail the Catholic Church’s efforts to lobby against the aid-in-dying bill, which is now sitting on Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk.
• The state budget is doing better than expected. (Capitol Public Radio)
“Californians are rightfully grumpy about how little attention presidential candidates seem to pay voters in their noncompetitive state. But the Schake sisters underscore how big California ideas and movements – on the right and the left – are guiding presidential politics.” – From a great Los Angeles Times profile of Kristina and Kori Schake, political-operative sisters on opposite ends of the aisle.