Progressive Tactics Must Work if Corporate America is Using Them

The progressive era in California started well over 100 years ago.  In 1911,the initiative, referendum, and recall processes were added to the State’s Constitution.  Today, we see the referendum process being used by corporations to stop progressive legislation.  Calpeek has previously discussed how the Fast Food industry has collected enough signatures to place a measure on the November 2024 ballot which, if approved by the voters, would overturn a state law supporting workers.  Last week, the oil industry qualified a measure that would also overturn a state law banning oil drilling near homes and schools, if approved by the voters.  Even if the voters reject both measures, corporate America will have succeeded in holding up implementation of the laws until November 2024  The L.A. Times sums up the details here.


18 Days To Go…

California announced that it is easing out of the “pandemic” and into an “endemic” phase of COVID-19.  As Calpeek shared not too long ago, California announced its plan to start closing select COVID-19 testing and vaccination sites as the state of emergency comes to an end in just 18 days (February 28th).  The state also announced that it plans to drop its required COVID-19 vaccination for K-12 students.  However, before you start burning your masks in liberation, officials do warn us that COVID-19 does still exist, and we should proceed with caution.


Axelrod Takes On Newsom and Harris

Famed political strategist, news commentator and podcaster, David Axelrod, stopped by to interview Governor Gavin Newsom for his “Axe Files” podcast.  In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Axelrod gave his impression of and advice for both Newsom and Vice President Kamala Harris.  While Axelrod provided his observations about the strengths and challenges Newsom faces, along with some criticism about his approach to throwing punches at the far right, Axelrod did not provide any added insight into the Governor’s plans to run for President.  To dig in deeper on the interview, click here.


Gavin Tackles Natural Gas

Fed up with all the bloating, on Monday, Governor Gavin Newsom took action to tackle the natural gas pains Californians have been feeling this winter.  In a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Newsom urged an investigation into the wholesale prices of natural gas for California as well as the Western states. Newsom asked the FERC to “focus its investigatory resources on assessing whether market manipulation, anticompetitive behavior or other anomalous activities are driving the ongoing elevated prices in the Western gas markets.” 


Voting From Prison

As reported by CalMatters, Assemblymember Isaac Bryan introduced a proposed amendment to the state constitution on Monday that would allow people to cast ballots while in state prison.  Bryan stated that “voting reduces recidivism and increases the community connectivity for people upon release…Democracy thrives when everybody has a chance to have their voice heard.”  In order for the amendment to pass, it would require approval from at least two thirds of both the Assembly and Senate, and then a majority of voters statewide.  If successful, California would join Vermont, Main and Washington D.C.   


Fiery Freson DA Calls Newsom “Jackass”

Fresno County District Attorney Lisa Smittcamp threw a jab at Governor Gavin Newsom recently, blaming the death of Selma Police Officer Gonzalo Carrasco Jr., who was shot and killed while on patrol, on the Governor and state legislature.  “Governor Gavin Newsom, and every legislator in the state of California who supports this overreaching phenomenon they try to disguise as legitimate criminal justice reform, has the blood of this officer on their hands,” said Smittcamp.  The fiery comment stemmed from the alleged shooter, Nathaniel Dixon, having been arrested with multiple felonies, but released from prison.  Newsom responded to Smittcamp by saying “I’m sick and tired of being lectured by her on public safety…She should be ashamed of herself and look in the mirror,” referring to her own responsibility as DA to keep Dixon behind bars. Smittcamp couldn’t let that go, calling the Governor a “jackass”.  


Legislators Ask If Homelessness Efforts Are Working

Homelessness still ranks as the number one concern among Californians.  Even as California increases its financial contributions to tackling the problem, numbers of those living on our streets continue to grow.  According to POLITICO, roughly 171,000 people are homeless in California (compared to 130,000 in 2018), with spending outlays going from $515 million in 2018-19 to roughly $4.6 billion today.  In a Senate budget hearing on homelessness Monday, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are asking the same question as voters: How do we know if all that spending is working?  While the Governor’s office points to projects like Homekey as moving the needle on the issue, Newsom also points to counties and cities as not doing enough to build housing.  


Is the State of Jefferson the Result of Bad Internet?

One of those standing around the water cooler left briefly to visit, what the locals call, the State of Jefferson.  We call it Tuolumne County.  For those who haven’t visited the northeastern counties in California, you might be surprised to learn that the secession effort is alive and well, at least on signs and billboards, throughout the area.  The question on the table: is the internet providing people with inaccurate information in these northern Counties?  What else could be causing a passionate secession effort?


Did Joe Biden Order One or Two Cakes for Eric and Hunter?

Those old enough to remember listening to music by putting a record on a turntable will remember how annoying it was when the needle got stuck and kept repeating the same groove in the record.  That reminds us of the process of nominating an Ambassador to India.  President Joe Biden seems to be stuck on former L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti.  It’s been forever and Garcetti still cannot get approved by the U.S. Senate, as Calpeek has frequently discussed.  Those standing around the water cooler wonder why Biden is

 so stuck on Garcetti.  We may have an answer: both Garcetti and Biden’s son Hunter have the same birth date: February 4.  Maybe Biden thinks Garcetti is actually his son?  (editor’s note: Garcetti was born in 1971; Biden in 1970 so this peek is just pure silliness).

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