3rd June 2023
This week, we have some suggestions for the Governor and for the Dodger’s research department. We ask about the significance of a group of resignations and wonder if the goat herding industry can survive in California. Also, Tap Water shares some thoughts, legislators are trying to make changes to animal telemedicine, some state legislation has survived the “house of origin” deadline, and California will have another contested race for Congress.
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Resumes Available Upon Request – U.S. Senate
You may have read that Governor Gavin Newsom floated the idea of asking Oprah Winfrey if she would like to be appointed to the U.S. Senate seat, if ailing Senator Dianne Feinstein resigns. Newsom had previously said he would appoint a black woman, if a vacancy needed to be filled. We hope the Governor can think of a few more black women other than Oprah. If not, here are just a few suggestions of black women who have served or currently serve in public office: former Congresswoman and L.A. County Supervisor Yvonne Burke, former Assemblywoman Cheryl Brown, Secretary of State Shirley Weber, San Luis Obispo Mayor Erica Stewart, Lemon Grove Mayor Racquel Vasquez, and former Compton Mayor Aja Brown. Congresswoman Barbara Lee would be a great appointment, but since she is already a declared candidate for Feinstein’s seat, she would probably have to withdraw from the race before she would be appointed. If Newsom wants to go the celebrity route, Calpeek would like to nominate actress and activist Sheryl Lee Ralph. Ralph, who has a long history of activism, currently stars on Abbott Elementary and is married to Pennsylvania State Senator Vincent Hughes. She also appeared in the Distinguished Gentleman with Eddie Murphy so she has Congressional experience.
What Do Staff Resignations Tell Us?
Those who use GovBuddy.com think it’s a useful tool for organizing legislative efforts. It can also provide other insights. For example, on May 23, users noticed that 6 members of U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein’s staff were listed as no longer being employed by the Senator’s office. GovBuddy shows the Senator’s office as having about 26 staff not including interns or committee staff. There have been other resignations although Calpeek has not been able to confirm exact numbers. Those standing around the water cooler are not sure what this tells us. Are staffers leaving the Senator’s office because they expect her to resign in the near future? Are staffers looking for new jobs because the Senator is not running for re-election? We would love to hear your thoughts, please ContactUs@Calpeek.com with any information.
Open Congressional Seat
Congresswoman Grace Napolatino has told friends and family that she will not seek reelection to the 31st district. Her seat now becomes open for 2024, setting up a contested ballot and possibly causing other dominos to fall. State Senator Bob Archuleta has already opened a federal campaign committee to run for the seat. State Senator Susan Rubio is also expected to run. Both Archuleta and Rubio have free rides since their senate seats are not up until 2026. Other candidates will get into the Congressional race, but we will have to wait and see if there are any viable candidates. Please ContactUs@Calpeek.com, if you know of any other candidates running.
Let Your Dog Call the Vet?
Most people don’t enjoy going to the doctor’s office and praise the option of telemedicine. Like people, animals would prefer to avoid going to the veterinarian’s office. Therefore, it makes sense that people who care for those animals would love the option of telemedicine for their pets. The California Veterinary Medical Association opposes Assembly Bill 1399 because, they argue, animals cannot communicate effectively to make telemedicine workable. The ASPCA, San Diego Humane Society, the California Animal Welfare Association, Social Compassion in Legislation, and Best Friends Animal Society support AB 1399 (Friedman). The supporters argue that it will help “…pet owners who face financial, geographic, or logistical obstacles to accessing veterinary care…including seniors, disabled individuals, and those without transportation or those with anxious, potentially aggressive, chronically ill, or large animals.” None of those standing around the water cooler are vets or telemedicine experts, but we like anything that provides better healthcare for our furry companions.
Catholic Church 0 / Sisters 2
As you may recall, Calpeek recently shared with you how the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence had been uninvited to attend the Dodgers’ Pride activities at Dodger Stadium and receive the Community Hero Award due to pressure placed on the Dodgers by the conservative organizations known as the Catholic League and CatholicVote.org. The Catholic organizations stated that the Sisters’ history of going against the traditions of the church amounted to bigotry. Perhaps they should have waited to cast those bitter stones of hate. This week, the Washington Post reported that there are over 3,000 lawsuits alleging abuse within the Catholic Church in California alone, amounting to at least one third of the 12 Roman Catholic dioceses in the state having either filed for bankruptcy or are contemplating doing so. The influx of lawsuits filed by survivors of childhood sexual abuse come after a California law opened a three-year window in which cases were exempted from age limits. As reported, advocates have been stunned by the number of cases that surfaced during the window which closed at the end of December. With the Dodgers re-inviting the Sisters so they can claim their rightful award, I guess you could say the score is Sisters 2, conservative Catholics 0.
OPINION: A Simple Google Search Would Have Saved the Dodgers a Lot of Grief
By Tap Water
The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence have been making headlines ever since the Dodgers attempted to rescind their invitation to honor the Sisters for their charitable work. As previously shared, this was in part brought on by pressure from the Catholic League whose stated mission is to “defend the right of Catholics – lay and clergy alike – to participate in American public life without defamation or discrimination” and is led by its president, Bill Donohue. If you’ve not had the opportunity to review the Catholic League’s website and the “news releases” authored by Donohue, I suggest you do so as it will give you a greater look at the how an organization using the tagline “For Religious and Civil Rights” is nothing but a platform for what some would consider hate speech. In his June 1 post, Donohue congratulates Vice President Mike Pence for denouncing the Dodgers after reinstating its award to the Sisters (which Donohue refers to as an “anti-Catholic hate group”). In another “news release” Donohue takes on Pride Month by sharing a report he created to say that “schools across the nation are deliberately sexualizing children”. This is in addition to his posting of yet another “report” he’s put together to show that “these homosexual men dressed as nuns are a sick group.” Now I know what you are probably thinking…add the Catholic League to the list of hypocritical haters out there. And that they don’t represent the views of most Catholics. And you may be right. But perhaps the biggest disappointment is that if the Dodgers had dug a little deeper into what Bill Donohue and his “religious” organization stands for, they may have avoided the hole they dug for themselves and saw the group for what it is. Score: Dodgers 0 / Sisters 3
Grazing Goats Threatened by Overtime Law
Our winter rains have brought sprawling fields of weeds and shrubs that could soon translate into fire danger. One way to tackle the growth without a carbon footprint is with goats – who eat a wide variety of vegetation and are able to graze on the steep hillsides that are difficult to clear. But, as reported by the Associated Press, new state labor regulations are making it more expensive to provide this fire-busting service and threatens to put these companies out of business. The baaaddd news comes into play on how goatherders and sheepherders are paid. Traditionally, herders were given a salary rather than a minimum wage due to their job requiring them to be on-call 24/7. However, a state agency has ruled that goatherders should be subject to the same labor laws as other farm workers. This would raise a goatherder’s salary from $3,730 a month to $14,000 a month. As the goat-grazing industry pushes back against the regulations to keep goats on the job, the California Labor Federation says they’ve “herd” enough – goatherders are among the “most vulnerable workers in America” and deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.
Bills Breathing a Sigh of Relief
As shared by Calpeek, there are a number of new bills whose fate lies in the hands of the legislature, and ultimately the pen of the Governor. According to CalMatters, bills that made it out of their first chamber as of Tuesday (before the June 15 deadline) would add more gun training requirements and update the list where Californians cannot carry a concealed weapon; give legislative staffers the right to a union; divest fossil fuel companies from the pension funds of state employees and teachers; attempt to tackle the fentanyl crisis; end the 2016 state-sponsored travel ban to states deemed anti-LGBTQ; strengthen protections for California abortion providers; increase jury pay from $15 to $100 day for low-income and moderate-income jurors; pay $300 per week in unemployment benefits to undocumented workers; protect those reporting labor violations from retaliation; and a Calpeek favorite: decriminalize certain hallucinogenic substances!