Calpeek 2/3/2023

Arambula Speaks Up for Speakership

Just when we thought the Sacramento democrats reached an agreement on when Assemblyman Robert Rivas (D-Hollister) would take over the reins of Speaker from current Speaker Anthony Rendon, Assemblyman Joaquin Arambula (D-Fresno) is saying not so fast.  Arambula, who is a Rendon ally, is throwing his name in for the coveted position.  Although his first attempt to oust Rivas was not successful, his bid may be a sign of unrest among the ranks.  A spokesperson for Rendon said he had nothing to do with Arambula’s action.  Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Rivas was quoted in the LA Times story as saying that the vote taken in December will stick and that “This is done.  Game over.”   


More Gas Pains But This Time It’s “Natural”

Get out the Beano (again) because the new year brought with it new gas pains for Californians.  But unlike gas pains of the past, which occurred at the pump, the new gas pains are felt with the heating of your home, hot water, and appliance use.  Such pains are said to be caused by high demand brought on by cold temperatures and low supply.  However, according to LAist, some relief could be coming as February bills arrive just as wholesale prices drop.  According to CalMatters, the California Public Utilities Commission is also expected to vote on a credit that could give customers some relief to the tune of roughly $50 each.  While every dollar helps, it’s hard to make up for those shocking bills from December and January and the discomfort they cause.


California’s DA Showdown

It may not be the O.K. Corral, but a recent panel discussion of California District Attorneys raised a few eyebrows.  As reported by the SF Standard, San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins and her former boss (Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon) exchanged a few words over their differing views on crime and punishment at a recent panel discussion.  The exchange heated up as progressive DA Gascon condemned the idea of incarceration as a one-size-fits-all approach to solving social issues and DA Jenkins counter punched by speaking to her commitment to the victims and experience in the courtroom.  The clash of the titans definitely shows the difference between the two DAs and leaves you wondering if any of it is posturing for a future run for California Attorney General.


Reading the Cash On Hand Leaves

Although Senator Dianne Feinstein has not formally announced whether or not she is running for re-election, no one expects her to run.  If there was any question about the Senator’s plans, her just released campaign finance report for 2022 provides a big clue.  Feinstein’s 2024 Senate Campaign Committee has $9,968 in the bank.  She only raised $8,812 in all of last year.  That explains why formidable candidates such as Congressmembers Katie Porter and Adam Schiff have formally announced.  


What Do We Get From an Independent Redistricting Process?

The redistricting process for the California Legislature and Congressional seats is managed by an independent group of people.  No longer do the people who benefit from redistricting (elected officials) run the process.  California redistricted in 2021, then had an election in the newly drawn districts in 2022, and Public Policy Institute of California has analyzed the results. The latest from PPIC states: “The share of Latino and Asian American representatives is now nearing each community’s adult citizen population, and exceeds it in the case of African Americans. In terms of gender, the 2022 elections brought almost as many new women to office (21) as men (22), leading to a net gain of 9 across State Assembly, State Senate, and US Congressional districts.” Sounds like something in California is working.


Another Proposition Coming to a Ballot Near You

Nothing makes folks standing around the water cooler more excited than another state ballot proposition becoming eligible.  Yesterday, the Secretary of State announced that the proposition “Related to Taxes” is eligible for the November 2024 ballot.  The proposition essentially makes it more challenging to raise taxes. You can read the proponents’ details here.  There are three other propositions eligible for next November’s ballot and one that has qualified, per the Secretary of State’s Initiative and Referendum Qualification Status page.

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