Biden to Visit Devastated Areas of California on Thursday

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden will travel to California’s central coast Thursday to visit areas that have been devastated by extreme weather.

The White House said in a statement Monday that the president would visit with first responders and state and local officials, survey recovery efforts and assess what additional federal support is needed.

The president’s trip was announced as the ninth atmospheric river in a three-week series of major winter storms was churning through California.

The storms have dumped rain and snow on California since late December, cutting power to thousands, swamping roads, toppling trees, unleashing debris flows and triggering landslides.

Click here to read the full article in AP News

Court Rejects Challenge to California’s Disclosure of Certain Gun Owner Records to Researchers

From Judge Larry Alan Burns’ decision today in Doe v. Bonta (S.D. Cal.):

Five California registered gun owners have filed suit to prevent Rob Bonta, Attorney General of the State of California, from enforcing a California law that permits the State to disclose their personal identifying information to bona fide research institutions for the ostensible purposes of preventing gun violence, shooting accidents, and suicide….

The gun owners, all of whom are law abiding citizens who passed background checks, raise four claims. First, they argue that AB 173 violates—or at minimum, chills—their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. Second, they maintain that disclosing their personal identifying information to non-government researchers violates privacy protections guaranteed to them by the Fourteenth Amendment. Next, they assert that AB 173 violates their right to due process under the Fourteenth Amendment by retroactively expanding access to their restricted personal information. Their final claim, applicable only to applicants for concealed weapon permits (“CCW”) and holders of such permits, is that federal law preempts AB 173 insofar as AB 173 authorizes disclosure of their social security numbers to third parties in derogation of the federal Privacy Act of 1974….

The court rejected the Second Amendment challenge:

Bruen didn’t undo all preexisting gun regulations. Licensing requirements, fingerprinting, background checks, and mandatory gun safety training courses exist in many states and operate as prerequisites to exercising the right to possess and carry firearms. The legitimacy of these longstanding and common regulations was recognized in District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) and in McDonald v. Chicago (2010)—a point acknowledged by Bruen….

What one gleans from these qualifications is that there is a difference between prohibiting a right and regulating the right; so long as the regulation of the right to keep and bear arms doesn’t amount to a prohibition of the right, the regulation is permissible. Read together, HellerMcDonald, and Bruen establish that “the Second Amendment is neither a regulatory straightjacket nor a regulatory blank check.” Rather, the cases collectively confirm that the Second Amendment permits laws and regulations that precondition the right to keep and bear arms on the obligation to comply with such ministerial tasks as providing personal identifying information and submitting to a background check—provided that the overall regulatory regime is neither overly discretionary nor overly burdensome. Laws requiring gun owners to comply with such ministerial tasks are presumptively valid and don’t violate the plain text of the Second Amendment….

While Plaintiffs acknowledge the legitimacy of these regulatory prerequisites to gun ownership and possession, and expressly disclaim any purpose “to contest the statutory and regulatory scheme governing the collection of personal information in connection with firearms and ammunition transactions,” they maintain that disclosure of such information to third party researchers denies ordinary citizens the right to keep and bear arms. Central to Plaintiffs’ Second Amendment claims is the premise that sharing their personal information with outside gun research organizations jeopardizes their personal privacy and physical security. Plaintiffs hypothesize that if their identities are publicly revealed, they will be harassed, subjected to reprisals, and exposed to heightened risks of their homes being burglarized or becoming victims of violence. Notwithstanding that DOJ protocols and the California Penal Code forbid any approved research organization from publicly disseminating the personal information of gun owners, Plaintiffs argue that their information may still be hacked. They also surmise that renegade researchers—hostile to their Second Amendment rights—could surreptitiously release their information to the public. Either possibility, according to Plaintiffs, presents a threat of infringement to their Second Amendment rights.

The trouble with both arguments is that they are entirely speculative and predictive of harm that is completely attenuated from the plain text and core protections of the Second Amendment. Starting with the possibility of hacking, to date, there has been no claim—not to mention any evidence—that personal information supplied by the DOJ to either the UC Davis or Stanford research organizations has been hacked. And the probability of hacking, though it can never be completely foreclosed, has been greatly reduced by the requirement that all bona fide research organizations follow strict data security protection protocols set by the FBI and DOJ.

Even without such protocols in place, the Court is dubious that the threat of hacking alone is sufficient to state a Second Amendment infringement claim. The only personal information to which the research organizations have access is information previously collected by the DOJ. No doubt recognizing the State’s incontrovertible right to collect personal information from gun owners, Plaintiffs haven’t argued—nor could they—that the mere collection of such information violates their Second Amendment rights by improperly subjecting them to the threat of hacking. Nor have they presented evidence that there is any greater threat that data will be hacked from the research organizations than from the DOJ itself. Indeed, the only known unauthorized disclosure of gun owner data was the June 27 mishap for which the DOJ was entirely at fault.

Plaintiffs’ other fear—that dissident researchers might intentionally breach DOJ protocols by publicly leaking their personal information—is equally unsubstantiated. Again, to state the obvious, the possibility of a recusant, ideologically motivated employee gaining access to Plaintiffs’ personal information isn’t a risk that is peculiar to the UC Davis and Stanford gun research organizations. No doubt there are state employees, perhaps even some within the DOJ, with ideological axes to grind. But the mere possibility of misbehavior by a rogue activist isn’t sufficient to prove that Plaintiffs will be deterred from exercising their Second Amendment rights. This tenuous possibility existed when Plaintiffs first supplied their personal information to the State so they could lawfully acquire firearms, purchase ammunition, or obtain a CCW permit. Unfortunately, rogue actors are a problem every society must grapple with in this technological age.

Additionally, the speculative possibility of hacking or insider malfeasance existed prior to the adoption of AB 173 and didn’t prevent Plaintiffs from acquiring firearms and ammunition or obtaining or renewing CCW permits. Before AB 173’s adoption, all five Plaintiffs in this case were registered California gun owners and one was granted a CCW permit. The limited disclosure of private information for research purposes permitted by AB 173 doesn’t expose Plaintiffs to any novel risks or impose new burdens on them. Nor do these disclosures amount to an “abusive” practice that prevents Plaintiffs from acquiring additional firearms or ammunition or applying for or renewing a CCW permit in the future.

Plaintiffs’ alternative argument is that even if AB 173 doesn’t directly violate the Second Amendment, disclosure of their personal information to the research organizations chills their exercise of the right. A “chilling effect” on the exercise of a constitutional right occurs when a person seeking to engage in constitutionally protected activity is deterred from doing so by government regulations not specifically prohibiting the protected activity. The test is an objective one that asks whether a person of ordinary firmness would be deterred from exercising the protected right….

But considering the categorical prohibition on publicly disseminating any personal identifying information that the DOJ has imposed on the research organizations, the enhanced risks Plaintiffs fear are no more likely than the risks posed by many other California laws that compel citizens to furnish publicly available personal information. These include property title and land ownership registries, electoral rolls, and court documents. Applications for CCW permits and records of issuance of such permits are likewise considered public documents open to inspection in California unless the public interest clearly weighs against their disclosure. The pervasiveness of such publicly available personal information weighs strongly against the objective reasonableness of Plaintiffs’ “chilling effect” claim.

For these reasons, the Plaintiffs’ Second Amendment facial challenge to AB 173 fails. Permitting gun owners’ information to be shared under strict privacy protection protocols for legitimate research purposes is merely a limited extension of the “presumptively lawful regulatory measures” that permit states to collect information from gun and ammunition purchasers and CCW permit applicants in the first place. Ancillary regulations like these don’t restrict conduct covered by the plain text of the Second Amendment and are permissible….

Click here to read the full article in Reason.com

The California Legislature is Back: Five Key Questions

A soaring homeless population. A bitter battle with the oil industry over gasoline prices. A spending plan for a state with the world’s fifth-largest economy as threats of a recession hover.

There’s a lot for the California Legislature to deal with this year — and it made little headway Wednesday, its first day back at the Capitol since swearing-in a new class of members last month. The brief floor sessions in the state Senate and Assembly focused more on the dearly departed than the challenges ahead.

The slow start to the legislative session is nothing new, but it does leave plenty of time for reflection. Here are some key questions for the year to come:

What will be the Legislature’s priorities? 

By the afternoon, Senate and Assembly staff reported that just two new measures had been introduced in each house. (More than 140 were already submitted last month.) With a bill introduction deadline of Feb. 17, committee hearings and votes for most proposals are still months away.

So until then, floor sessions are mostly an opportunity for lawmakers to check in — and receive their per diem, the supplemental $214 paid daily to legislators for housing and living expenses, as long as they don’t leave Sacramento more than three days at a time.

The first floor sessions on Wednesday, for example, lasted about a half hour each in the Senate and Assembly, largely taken up by speeches memorializing friends and family who had died. Assemblymember Greg Wallis, a Bermuda Dunes Republican who won his seat by 85 votes, made his inaugural appearance on the floor; his race had not yet been called in time for the ceremonial swearing-in on Dec. 5.

In an interview, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon said housing issues would remain a central focus for the Legislature this session, including accountability for the billions of the dollars that California has spent on homelessness and development programs in recent years.

“Housing is the 10,000-pound gorilla that won’t go away,” the Lakewood Democrat said.

Rendon said he would also like to build on the momentum of a sweeping package of legislation passed last year to address climate change by tackling how transportation, the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in California, contributes to the problem.

“Climate change is something we’ve been a leader on as a state,” he said. “We have to make sure we don’t fall behind again.”

How much impact will the budget deficit have?

Looming over the Legislature’s plans this year is the possibility of an economic downturn. Its fiscal and policy advisory office estimates a $24 billion budget deficit, and Gov. Gavin Newsom, who is set to unveil his preliminary spending plan next week, has also been urging caution for months.

Legislative leaders are projecting optimism about California’s ability to weather any revenue shortfalls, pointing to the tens of billions of dollars that now sit in state reserves. Sen. Nancy Skinner, a Berkeley Democrat who leads the Senate budget committee, said that while it may not be the time to create any more new programs, California’s finances are sound.

“With the type of surplus we had last year,” nearly $50 billion that was mostly directed to one-time expenditures over the next several years, Skinner said, “we have the space right now to make some adjustments to those if necessary.”

But if the economic picture grows gloomier in the months ahead, lawmakers may be forced to downsize their boldest policy ideas.

Sen. Susan Eggman, a Stockton Democrat, said this session was the right time to step back and examine whether new programs that the state has launched in recent years are working as intended.

“This session should be about a lot of oversight,” she said. “We still have ambitious packages, but we’re all very conscious of the price tags.”

What about the oil special session?

While Newsom continues to go after the oil industry — his office published a press release last week highlighting “Big Oil’s top lies” — there have been no significant developments on his “price gouging penalty” proposal since it was formally introduced a month ago.

The details of the penalty that Newsom wants to impose on oil companies for excessive profits, not to mention the special session in which the measure is being considered, remain elusive. But Rendon said the Legislature still plans to take up the issue, even as gas prices fall, likely earlier in the year when there is more time to focus on it.

“Regardless of what happens with gas prices, it’s a good opportunity to ask the questions that we’ve been wanting to ask for a while of oil companies,” he said. “Their profits are staggering.”

How will diverse Legislature affect policy?  

Having the most diverse Legislature in history doesn’t mean much without that representation translating into policy.

Some new lawmakers are already making attempts to do that. 

Assemblymember Jasmeet Bains, a doctor and Democrat from Bakersfield, has introduced a bill that she says represents the concerns of her district: a task force to address fentanyl addiction in the Central Valley. That involves ensuring access to healthcare, addiction and rehabilitation services — and getting fentanyl off the streets, she said. 

“I think the biggest reality that we see up in here in Sacramento is a failure of the Legislature to actively control our drug problem, our drug crisis,” she said. “In California, I don’t think very many people understand how bad the problem is, with exposure to things like fentanyl on the streets.”

Assemblymember Corey Jackson, the first openly gay Black legislator, said his top priorities include addressing mental health and continuing to learn lessons from the pandemic, such as the importance of childcare. The Democrat from the Riverside area introduced a bill to create an Affordable California Commission, tasked with tackling the state’s high cost of living. 

“I come from a working class community. The 60th Assembly District are people who are just trying to survive every day,” he said. “And I wanted to send the message: ‘It is not okay just to survive. You deserve to thrive.’”   

Jackson also plans to tackle what he expects will be a rise in racism and xenophobia ahead of the 2024 election. 

“I intend to take an active role in rooting out racism, even in the very structures and even in the chambers of the state legislature itself,” he said. “Stay tuned, because there’s going to be a whole legislative package on anti-racism and systemic racism.”

Like Jackson, new state Sen. Caroline Menjivar also plans to address mental health. She has introduced a bill to prioritize more full-time counselors to Cal State campuses who can help the diverse student populations

Public transportation and infrastructure are other key areas for her. She notes that in her San Fernando area district, it floods frequently — and typically in the areas where people of color live. 

“A lot of what I speak to comes from lived experiences,” Menjivar said. “You know, when we talk about the lack of affordable housing, it’s my mom who has been on a waiting list for over five years, right. So these are issues that are personal to me.”

What’s happening with the recount?

While the November elections are largely a wrap, one seat remains contested: Democratic Sen. Melissa Hurtado’s Central Valley seat in District 16.

It was a close vote — the second closest legislative contest (based on percentages) in California history, said Alex Vassar, communications manager for the California State Library. 

Hurtado, the incumbent, was sworn into office on Dec. 10 after eking out a 20-vote victory. Republican David Shepard formally requested a recount on Dec. 13. 

That involves recounting ballots from Fresno, Kern, Kings and Tulare counties. Initial results from Fresno, Kern and Tulare counties showed Hurtado holding on to her seat: Shepard gained just two votes in Fresno County, two in Kings and three in Tulare.

After Shepard’s campaign requested a recount in about 20% of Kern County, Hurtado has now asked for a recount of some remaining portions. While a recount can be requested for just part of a county, a second recount can’t be requested for the same portions. 

If Shepard were to pull off a win, though, it wouldn’t change anything Hurtado has done since being sworn in, Vassar said.

“She is a fully active seated member. All of her votes are being cast as a member,” he said. “Just like if someone were to resign — everything they’ve done still stands.” 

Click here to read the full article in CalMatters

2022, The Year of Diversions: Gov. Newsom Clings to Covid Powers, Climate Lies, and More

CA Globe headlines tell what really happened in 2022

Instead of an overview of the year that was 2022, I thought I’d re-post important California Globe headlines and the links to the articles.

These story headlines tell us all what really happened in 2022 in California – politics, spending, the mandates and regulations, and constitutional abuses. Notably, Governor Gavin Newsom even vetoed a bill to limit his Covid emergency powers which he first declared in March 2020; Newsom maintains emergency powers more than 1,000 days, and nearly 3 years later.

Sir Winston Churchill warned us, “evils can be created much quicker than they can be cured.” He must have been anticipating the California Governor and elected members of the Legislature in 2022 when he said, “To build may have to be the slow and laborious task of years. To destroy can be the thoughtless act of a single day.”

We strive every day to bring you the truth as we obsessively chronicle everything political throughout the state of California. Click on any headline for the article. And please, share your thoughts in the comments section.

Let’s move on to the Globe headlines of 2022:

Newsom’s Latest Criminal Pardons of 10 More Makes 140 Total Since 2019

Alameda County Board of Supervisors Vote 4-0 To Ban Criminal Background Checks For Housing

Ceaseless CA Dept. of Public Health Commercials Push Covid Boosters, Testing, Masking Up

Homeless Advocates Attempt To Halt San Francisco Encampment Removals By Emergency Order

Oakland City Council Reinstates Indoor Public Masking Mandate

California Reparations Plan is Rooted in Stupidity and Historical Lies

LA Motel Owners Fight Back Against Mayor Bass’ Homeless Housing Plans

Biden Isn’t Fighting to Preserve Title 42, He’s Fighting to Preserve the Power of the CDC

Doctors Without Ethical Borders

Senator Weiner Reintroduces Psychedelic Drug Decriminalization bill

Politics and Public Health Agencies Behind Latest Round of Covid Hysteria

Judge Blocks Major Part of California Gun Control Bill

New Report: University Policies Fail to Protect Jewish Students from Antisemitism

Lancaster City Council Declares State Of Emergency Over LA Mayor Karen Bass Homeless Plans

Lawsuit Filed to Halt Removal of Northern CA Klamath River Hydroelectric Dams

Los Angeles City Council Meeting Falls Into Chaos Following Brief Entrance of Kevin De Leon

Gov. Newsom Blames GOP, Biden Administration For Current Migrant Crisis During Visit To Border

California’s Homeless Hustle is a House of Cards

Assemblyman Fong Brings Back Bill to Suspend Gas Taxes for One Year

California High Speed Rail: Low Speed Fail

Control vs. Science: California Govt. Medical Tyrants Agitating for Mask Mandates

California Was Just Named One Of The Worst Judicial Hellholes In The Nation – Again

Details Of The Legislative Staff Unionization Legislation

Businesses Across California Brace For Minimum Wage Increase January 1

Will Gov. Newsom’s ‘Sweeping’ Climate Change Legislation Save the Planet?

While California Burns, Politicians Fiddle: One Rancher’s Story

New LA Ordinance Requires Retail Workers Get Work Schedules Two Weeks In Advance

CA GOP Candidate Josh Hoover Defeats Assemblyman Ken Cooley in Assembly 7th District Election

Newsom Vows No White House Run in 2024… Sort Of

California’s EDD Continues to Borrow Hundreds of Millions – about $13 million PER DAY – To Meet its Obligations

Politicians and Media are Trying to Foist Another Covid Winter on America

California Appellate Court Panel Strikes Down SDUSD Appeal Of Vaccine Mandate Ban

Kevin Kiley Wins CA 3rd District House Race Against Kermit Jones

Totality of California’s Proposed COVID Laws Would be Most Aggressive In the Nation

Tehama County Sheriff’s Department To Cut All Daytime Patrols

Gov. Newsom Relying on Politics and Deceit over CA’s High Gas Prices

57.7 % – That’s How Many Californians Officially Don’t Care

Californians Vote for Inflation, More Crime, Water Shortages, High Gas Prices, and Abortion

National Democratic Leadership Denounces Gov. Newsom Over ‘Getting Crushed On Narrative’ Remark

California’s Blue City Crime Wave is On the Ballot

California Lost Double The Number Of Companies In 2021 Than Previous Year New Report Finds

Californians Inundated with Mask and Vax ads by CA Dept. of Public Health

California, 4th Largest Economy in the World, Ranks Among 10 Worst in US for High Taxes

Gov. Newsom’s Blatant Dishonesty on California Public School Test Scores

Snap Becomes Latest Company to Leave San Francisco Amid Office Pullout in City

California Hogs and Chickens Enjoy More Protections Than Unborn Babies

Sen. Scott Wiener Invites Us to Pumpkin Carving Drag Queen Event

Lawsuit Filed to Halt ‘Cancel-Culturalists’ Name Change of UC Hastings College of the Law

Nury Martinez Resigns As LA City Council President Following Audio of Racist Comments

California Pastor Chastises Gov. Newsom for Bible Verse on Abortion Billboards

CA Sen. Shannon Grove Schools Gov. Newsom on Democrats’ High Gas/Oil Costs

Unemployment Fraud Climbs to $32 Billion with No Accountability in Sight

San Francisco Office Occupancy Still Under 40% Despite Ending Mask Mandate

Gov. Newsom Signs AB 2693: Employer Mandatory COVID Reporting

Gov. Newsom Allocates $200M for Abortion Travel & Care, Legalizes Infanticide

Newsom Vetoes Bill To Prohibit Foreign Governments From Buying CA Agricultural Land

Gov. Newsom Vetoes Bill to Limit his Emergency Powers

California Physician Issues Warning About Bill to Punish Physicians for ‘Unprofessional Conduct

Gap Announces Mass Layoffs in SF, NY Corporate Offices

Will Gov. Newsom’s ‘Sweeping’ Climate Change Legislation Save the Planet?

CPUC Passes New Policy Ending All New Gasline Subsidies In Favor of All-Electric Homes

Gov. Newsom Calls on DOJ to Charge Florida and Texas Govs with ‘Kidnapping’ for Shipping Immigrants Out of State

Newsom Places Ads For New California Abortion Website in Seven Red States

CA Teachers Union Did Oppo Research on Parents Who Wanted Schools to Reopen During COVID

Entire SLO County DAs Office Recused from 2020 Black Lives Matter Protest Arrest Case

Sacramento Drug-Addicted Transients Taking Over Neighborhoods While City Fiddles

4 Million Residents in LA County Facing Outdoor Watering Ban until September 20th

Gov. Newsom Signs Legislation to Unionize CA’s 556,000 Fast Food Workers

‘Extreme’ Weather Hysteria is Latest Crisis

Latest Attack on Proposed Sites Reservoir – Not Enough Water

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s In-Laws Fled California for Florida During Covid

Lawmakers Just Passed Two Bills to Punish Physicians and Curtail Free Speech

Two Gun Control Bills Fail on Final Day of 2022 California Legislative Session

Sacramento Starbucks Closes Over Crime and Safety Issues

Through the Green Looking Glass at California’s Electrical Grid

Sen. Hertzberg Warned He Would Bring the Zero-Bail Bill Back – And He Just Did

California to Ban the Sale of Gas Powered Vehicles in just 13 Years

Amendment to Hold Drug Dealers Accountable for Fentanyl Deaths Rejected by Senate Democrats

Gov. Newsom Signs Bill to Re-define State’s Open Meeting Act

Senate Votes Down Amendment to Bill To Make Human Trafficking a Serious, Violent Felony

Three Courts Rule Against Gov. Newsom, State Govt. in Covid Business Lockdown Orders

Why is Gov. Newsom Pushing Stricter Climate and Energy Goals?

Sacramento ‘Antifa’ Teacher Indoctrinating Students in Marxism/Communism Receives 3 years’ Pay to Resign

Union Sponsored AB 5 Hits Independent Truckers

Sen. Scott Wiener Chosen as Chairman of Senate Select Committee on Monkeypox

After Killing Delta Tunnels in 2019, Gov. Newsom Resurrects the Behemoth Jobs Project

Disney Pays the Price for Woke Activism

California’s Oil and Gas Workers Send Warning to States About Newsom’s Devastating Energy Policies

The Possible 2024 Presidential Run of Governor Gavin Newsom

AG Bonta Restricts Four More States for State-Funded Travel Over Anti-LGBTQ Policies

The California Nanny State Invades Household Kitchens

Calif. Attorney General Leaks Names and Addresses of State’s Legal Gun Owners Following SCOTUS Gun Ruling

AB 2098: CA Doctors Who Spread COVID ‘Misinformation’ Risk Losing License to Practice

Calif. Assembly Passes Abortion Rights Constitutional Amendment Bill for Nov. Ballot

Gov. Newsom and Democrats Fast-Track New Gun Control Bills

California Tops Nation’s Highest Gas Prices at $6.43 Per Gallon

Tulare County DA Warns of Fallout with Reduced Sentences for Gang Crimes

Why Did Gov. Newsom Sign Climate Deal With New Zealand?

EXCLUSIVE: California Globe Interview With 45th President Donald Trump

Bill to let 12-Year Olds Get Vaccine Without Parental Consent Passes State Senate

California Refuses to Give Up ‘Woke Math’

California’s Under-21 Firearms Sale Ban Overturned in 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals

California Legislature Continues to Restrict Lobbyist and Public Access to Capitol Hearings

AB 2777: ‘The Sexual Abuse Cover Up Accountability Act’

COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate Pulled For K-12 Students Until July 2023

California Public School Enrollment Drops by Another 110,000 Students – Fifth Decline in a Row

Judge Tosses Out California Law Mandating Diversity Quotas on Boards

Mayor and Governor Blame Gun Violence When 6 are Killed, 10 Injured in Downtown Sacramento Shooting

California’s Water Crisis Lingers as Gov. Newsom Vacations in Costa Rica

Sen. Portantino Authors Bill to Force Parents to Disclose Guns in the Home

Political Vendetta or ‘Public Nuisance’: Santa Barbara Chick-fil-A Under Fire

The Expanding Housing Crisis: Affordable, Attainable, or Impossible?

Calif. Senate Clings to Mask Mandate Even as Gov. Announces He’s Dropping It

Gavin Newsom’s Lithium Valley – Spinning Yet Another Field of Dreams

New Wealth Tax Proposal in California in Assembly Bill 2289

San Francisco Voters Recall Three School Board Members With Over 70% of the Vote Each

LA Mayor Eric Garcetti, Celebrities Shown Attending Super Bowl Sans Required Masks

‘MaskGate’ and the Unserious Politicians Mocking the People of California

BLM Shuts Down Online Fundraising in California, Washington Following State AG Warnings

Oakland Votes to Require Proof of Vaccination at Restaurants, Businesses Starting February 1st

Bill To Convert Municipal Golf Courses to Affordable Housing Killed In Assembly Committee

Gov. Newsom Shocked California Looks Like ‘a Third World Country’

Click here to read the full article in the California Globe

2 Dead, ‘Widespread Damages’ After 6.4 Earthquake in Humboldt Co; at Least 12 Hurt

A magnitude 6.4 earthquake shook parts of Northern California early Tuesday, jolting people awake, the U.S. Geological Survey said, causing widespread damage and leaving thousands without power.

The earthquake occurred at about 2:34 a.m. near Ferndale, a small community in Humboldt County. It was followed by at least 80 aftershocks.

At least 12 individuals have been injured, with none critically, officials said. Two individuals, ages 72 and 83, have died as a result of medical emergencies occurring during and/or just following the earthquake, according to Humboldt County Sheriff William Honsal.

Those injuries include at least one broken hip and a head injury.

“We aren’t tracking all of the injuries that are coming in now because they are coming in quite quickly now… but as far as we know there is nothing critical,” said Sheriff Honsal.

Approximately 71,000 customers are currently without power in Humboldt County, according to poweroutage.us, which tracks outages across the country. That’s 71% of the customers in the county. PG&E said that it has a goal to restore power to those customers by 10 p.m.

In a 2 p.m. update, officials said the water system is still not working in Rio Dell. They don’t expect it to be back on Tuesday night. The town could be 24-48 hours without running water, according to ABC7’s Liz Kreutz. A boil water advisory has been issued for Rio Dell and Fortuna.

Officials say Rio Dell is “ground zero” for damage from the earthquake.

So far, 15 homes in Rio Dell have been red-tagged which means they are not safe for occupancy. At least 18 homes have been yellow-tagged. Officials say they have checked roughly 50% of the homes.

Humboldt County Sheriff PIO Samantha Karges confirms there were rescues Tuesday morning, saying, “Yes, two structure collapses with entrapment.”

She says she can’t say at this time if those are the same as the two people injured or if the two people rescued were injured.

Emergency officials say “widespread damages” have been reported to roads and homes throughout Humboldt County. PG&E says it has initiated its emergency response plan and crews are responding to gas and electric hazards.

Humboldt County District 2 supervisor Michelle Bushnell tells ABC7 News it’s a “total mess” in the city, with houses off their foundation and no power or water into the city after a major water main break.

Residents in the area have been posting video showing the damage to their homes. There are reports of gas leaks in the area and at least one bridge has a large crack through it.

Out of an abundance of caution, Fernbridge — connecting Ferndale — will be closed for further inspection, according to Sen. Mike McGuire. CalTrans will remain on scene to assess the structure.

The quake triggered a massive response by the MyShake App that detects the start of a quake and sends alerts to cellphones in the affected region that can give people notice to take safety precautions in the seconds before strong shaking reaches them.

The system pushed out alerts to some 3 million people in Northern California early Tuesday, Ghilarducci said. “The system did operate as we had hoped,” he said.

This earthquake did not trigger a tsunami warning.

Governor Gavin Newsom issued a statement on Tuesday writing:

“Jennifer and I send our heartfelt condolences to the families grieving the loss of loved ones and offer our best wishes for the recovery of those who were injured in this earthquake,” said Governor Newsom. “California stands with the people of Humboldt County and the state has moved quickly to support the emergency response underway with local and tribal partners. I thank all of the women and men who have mobilized to protect public safety and support the community at this challenging time.”

Gov. Newsom’s office activated the State Operations Center to coordinate the ongoing emergency response with local and tribal governments and provide any needed resources, including shelter, food and water, and aid in damage assessments of buildings and roadways.

The Red Cross said in a tweet it opened an emergency shelter located at:

Fortuna Fireman’s Pavilion
9 Park Way, Fortuna, CA 95540

Click here to read the full article at FoxNews

Court Rules School Districts in California Can’t Mandate Vaccines

A California appeals court ruled on Tuesday that only the state, and not individual school districts, can issue vaccine mandates for students. [Napa Valley Register]

The ruling comes following a legal challenge to the San Diego Unified School District’s attempt to mandate COVID-19 vaccines for students ages 16 and older. It marks the first ruling by a state appeals court and will be binding on lower courts statewide unless overturned by the California Supreme Court or contradicted by another appeals court.

In Sept. 2021, the San Diego district, which is California’s second largest school district, proposed requiring its older students to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to attend classes and participate in sports and other in-person events. The proposed mandate would allow for medical exemptions but not religious or personal ones. Later, the district announced it would postpone any mandate until at least July 2023.

“The Legislature has mandated that public health officials — not school authorities — determine the disease(s) for which vaccinations are required,” the California 4th District Court of Appeal in San Diego stated on Tuesday.

California requires schoolchildren to be vaccinated against 10 communicable diseases, including measles, mumps, chicken pox, polio and rubella. The appeals court noted state law allows the California Department of Public Health to add diseases to that list, but it does not expressly authorize local agencies to do so.

Click here to read the full article in Cal Coast

Is There a Conservative Re-Alignment Taking Place in the Golden State?

Ric Grenell and Fix California are succeeding at an improbable task

Ric Grenell’s Fix California started a statewide inspection of the 58 counties’ voter rolls in July 2021 pushing voter integrity, as well as an effort to register Conservative voters.

An alarming report by the Election Integrity Project California following California’s November 3, 2020 election showed the election was marred by significant voting and registration irregularities. The non-partisan organization analyzed the state’s official voter list of February 9, 2021 and reported its findings to California’s Secretary of State Shirley Weber June 17, 2021 – to no avail.

Grenell and his team at Fix California launched their statewide legal survey analyzing the current status of voter rolls throughout the state.

Specifically, Fix California has been looking for and cross-checking inactive registrations, voter registrations cancelled, registrants not satisfying the citizenship requirements for registration, deceased registrants, individuals who moved out of state, the number of voter applicants providing applications to vote with either a blank affirmation of U.S. Citizenship or an affirmation of non-citizenship for 2016 to date, out-of-state change of address requests.

Public records requests have allowed Fix CA to cross check voter data with the California Secretary of State, Department of Motor Vehicles, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Postal Service’s National Change of Address database, California Attorney General, any California Superior Court, the County Health Systems, county and city district attorneys’ offices, and county and city election departments.

This is cross checking which should have been going on all along by counties. And that’s been Grenell’s concern: “through our work on the data front, we are identifying key areas where there appears to be high concentrations of inaccurate or poorly maintained voter rolls.”

Results are starting to pour in for both voter integrity and voter registrations.

Upon founding Fix California only last year, Ric Grenell said he wanted to re-align California, the bastion of liberalism, to a place where conservative ideas and policies have a fighting chance. After this year’s pilot program, where the organization invested high-six figures into a statewide voter registration effort, he may be onto something. Fix California is currently registering over 10,000 conservatives a month at a fraction of the cost of many other national organizations.

Fix California spent 2021 investing in an extensive data analysis to:

(1) Identify California voter roles that were out of data. The organization put every county on notice through a broad legal effort to clean up their voter roles.

(2) Identify a target list of unregistered conservatives. All-in-all Fix California identified 1.4M unregistered conservatives.

In 2022, Fix California ran a two-phase pilot program in the months preceding the June Primary and November General Election working to begin registering these targets.

In total, over 50,000 of Fix California targeted residents have been registered, averaging more than 10,000 registrations per month – ahead of the 2022 Midterm Elections.

According to Grenell, these conservative registration efforts consisted of digital peer to peer engagement via SMS text messaging, emails, and digital advertising.

Fix California also ran engagement via phone banking, with callers making over 136,000 total phone calls to get conservatives registered to vote before the election.Volunteers were recruited at “Take Action” rallies held by Fix California in both Southern and Northern California, where hundreds of attendees came to hear speeches from local conservative leaders, headlined by Ambassador Ric Grenell.

Since the rallies, over 400 people have signed up to volunteer, and Fix CA has trained over 100 of them to use the phone banking system to call conservatives and get them registered to vote.

While the RNC typically spends over $45 per registration during voter registration efforts, Fix California spent under $15 per registration during 2022.

Fix CA’s 2022 engagement was targeted to Contra Costa, Imperial, Kern, Los Angeles, Nevada, Orange, Placer, Riverside, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Joaquin, and Stanislaus counties, determined to be most important for this year.

While Fix California is a non-partisan, non-profit organization, an independent review of the data shows the counties targeted by Fix California may have had major impacts in competitive state and federal elections. (The most recent data is from Friday 11/18/22. Vote/registration data is not finalized).

  • In Assembly District 7, Fix CA registered at least 1,037 new voters. Republican challenger Josh Hoover appears to be down only 906 votes to the incumbent Democrat Assemblyman Ken Cooley (D-Sacramento).  It’s a surprisingly close result.
  • In Assembly District 47, Fix CA registered at least 1,847 voters. The Republican Greg Wallis is only down by 1,138 votes, with Democrat Christy Holstege at 83,352 votes, and Wallis with 83,284 votes. The current result is so close, the Secretary of State reports candidates are tied at 50% each.
  • In Assembly District 40, Fix California registered 3,431 voters and Republican Assemblywoman Suzette Martinez Valladares appears to have defeated Democrat Pilar Shiavo by approximately 1,850 votes.

Click here to read the full article in California Globe

This Is How Much Money You’ll Get From the California Gas Rebate

California is sending money directly to millions of residents to help with rising costs and high gas prices. 

The payments, which started going out Oct. 7, range from $200 to $1,050, depending on income and other factors. About 18 million payments will be distributed over the next few months, benefiting up to 23 million Californians. The cash payouts are part of a June budget deal

CalMatters talked to the state’s Franchise Tax Board to parse what all this means for you. Check out our tool at the bottom of this article to find out how much you’ll get.

Are you eligible?

To be eligible, you need to have filed a 2020 California tax return by Oct. 15, 2021. There’s an exception for people who did not file by the October deadline because they were waiting on an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (so long as they filed by Feb. 15, 2022). 

People who didn’t file taxes for 2020, including some seniors and disabled people, will be left out. 

People who can be claimed as dependents for tax purposes won’t get their own payments. 

The payments also won’t go to married or domestic partners who have an adjusted gross income over $500,000. Same goes for many individuals who have adjusted gross incomes over $250,000.

You also had to be a California resident for at least six months of 2020, and be a resident when your payment is issued. 

Undocumented Californians with a valid taxpayer number or Social Security number, who filed complete 2020 tax returns and meet all of the eligibility requirements, can receive the payments.

You don’t need to send any additional forms, or fill out any application to get the payment.

How will you get the payment?

People who are eligible for the payment will get it either via a direct deposit to their bank account or by mailed debit card, according to the tax board. Generally, people who filed their 2020 tax return online and received their state tax refund via direct deposit will get a direct deposit. Most other people who are eligible will get debit cards in the mail. The envelope will be clearly marked with the phrase “Middle Class Tax Refund.”

When will you get the payment?

The first round of payments will go to people who received one of the two Golden State Stimulus payments from 2021 and are eligible for a direct deposit. The first round of payments are expected to go out between Oct. 7 and Oct. 25. 

The rest of the direct deposits are expected to go out between Oct. 28 and Nov. 14. The tax board expects 90% of direct deposits to be sent out in October, according to its website. 

Debit cards for people who got one of the Golden State Stimulus payments are expected to be mailed out between Oct. 25 and Dec. 10. All of the remaining debit cards are expected to be mailed by Jan. 15

Why can’t they all be sent out at once? “There are constraints on the number of direct deposits and mailed debit cards that can be issued weekly,” Franchise Tax Board spokesperson Andrew LePage told CalMatters. “Logistically it takes time to deliver approximately 18 million payments to Californians effectively and accurately, protecting both taxpayers and California.”

Click here to read the full article at CalMatters

President Biden Arrives in Southern California

LOS ANGELES – President Joe Biden arrived in Los Angeles Wednesday evening for a two-day stay in Southern California. 

Air Force One landed just before 5 p.m. at LAX. The president was greeted on the tarmac by Sen. Alex Padilla, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, and mayoral candidate Rep. Karen Bass.

Prior to visiting LA, the president was in Vail, Colorado, where he gave a speech on protecting and conserving America’s iconic outdoor spaces. 

On Thursday, Biden will visit a construction site on the extension of Metro’s D line and deliver remarks on infrastructure investments in Brentwood

From there, he will then attend a fundraiser for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. 

Once done in LABiden will then travel to Orange County on Friday, where he will talk about “lowering costs for American families.”

His journey then continues to Portland, Oregon where he will participate in a grassroots volunteer event with Democrats, the White House said.

Biden was last in Los Angeles in June where he attended Summit of the Americas as well as two Democratic National Committee Fundraisers.

Click here to read the full article on Fox News

California Elections Attorney/Official Says Be Patient – May Be Millions of Votes Left to Count

The 2020 General Election was the first all-mail-in-ballot election under California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s then-executive order, now a law. Since then, many voters still are not sure about the process. And after Tuesday’s California Primary Election, many voters have reservations.

The Globe spoke with Audrey Martin, an Elections attorney and Elections official for the Republican National Lawyers Association who works on election integrity, as well as with many county registrars.

Martin says California does mail-in voting well.

I told her that right before the 2020 General election I visited the Sacramento County’s Voter Registraton and Election office to learn what happens after a mail-in ballot is dropped off.

What I witnessed was a sophisticated production process replete with checks and double checks.

Martin agreed. She said she doesn’t necessarily agree with all of California’s voting laws, but most county registrars “are very well run.”

Martin said not all county voter registrars have the same computerized capabilities as Sacramento, so when some counties were sharing early totals on Election night, others still had bags of ballots stacked throughout their offices which had not yet been processed and counted.

“Theoretically there could be a lot of ballots to process – it’s usually a big number,” Martin said. Maybe millions? She said with so many people waiting to drop off their ballot, or mailing it on Tuesday, “it takes much more time by registrars on the back end.”

And this happens “because it is so easy to vote in California,” Martin said. There are many options, which also means people don’t always know the way to vote, particularly those who always voted on Election Day in person. The voting-by-mail for them just isn’t clear. For many, they are worried that their mailed ballot doesn’t get to the registrar, so they show up in person on Election Day to cast their vote. Martin said this takes county registrars so much extra time because they have to check the voter logs against the mailed ballots.

In the  Sacramento County’s Voter Registraton and Election office, ballots collected from the more than 170 official collection boxes around the county are sorted by precinct. Those ballots go next to employees operating the machines that slice open the return envelope, and a poof of air allows the operator to lift the ballot out, while a second operator separates but saves the envelope, which are used later for audits.

The ballots are scanned into the computer system, and voter signatures on the envelope are matched to the voter’s signature in the county elections system. If the operator feels the signatures don’t match, the voter is mailed a new signature page, which they fill out and send back.

Deep inside of the elections offices is a production center which resembles the production process in a printing plant bindery. Operators feed ballot return envelopes in stacks into a large machine which scans them, and separates by batches and precincts. Other operators act as auditors along the way. And there are phone banks of employees taking calls about the process.

There are employees in teams of two who analyze the actual ballot for any votes “X’d” out as a mistake, looking for voter intent. If they cannot make out the voter intent, it is left blank.

All of these operations are monitored by “Big Brother” – cameras in every room, from several angles.

With so many outstanding ballots, and 36 days to count them, expect some of the races to tighten up, or other candidates to pull away with bigger leads.