Tweets Are Not Reality, or Policy

“Tweeting is not policy.”  Nope, we’re not talking about the former President’s tweets.  We are quoting Anthony York, Spokesperson for Governor Gavin Newsom.  York gave that quote to California Healthline when asked about Newsom’s decision to stop doing business with drugstore chain Walgreens.  In March, Walgreens announced it would no longer carry abortion medication in certain states (not including California).  In response, Newsom tweeted “California won’t be doing business with @walgreens — or any company that cowers to the extremists and puts women’s lives at risk. We’re done.”  Well, Newsom may tweet quickly, but the reality is California will be doing a lot of business with Walgreens because of the store’s participation in the Medicaid program.  Last year, the state paid Walgreens $1.5 billion.  So it sounds like Californians should not take the Governor’s tweets seriously.  As CalMatters put it, “Newsom’s move ended up being another example of the governor’s tendency to make big pronouncements that lack important details, but garner a lot of attention.”


That Was Fast

Weekly Calpeek readers are up to date on the Fletcher scandal, but if you’ve missed our previous peeks, you can read them here.  Two weeks ago, San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher announced he would be taking medical leave and would resign from the Board on May 15.  In less than three weeks, and despite having a formal resignation date, the Board of Supervisors voted 4-0 on Tuesday to support a resolution calling for his immediate resignation.  According to CBS8, “…the no-confidence vote does not mean Fletcher must step down now.”  The Board cannot remove him and a recall election would take months, however it is pretty clear what Fletcher’s colleagues think he should do.


Questionable Acts in the Southernmost City

The resignation and allegations against San Diego Supervisor Nathan Fletcher may have overshadowed another resignation due to questionable acts.  As Calpeek has previously discussed, Jose Cardenas, who served as Chief of Staff to San Diego Councilmember Stephen Whitburn, has run into some ethical and legal challenges.  Last week, Cardenas announced he was resigning and would focus his time running his political consulting firm.  Although Cardenas has claimed he is not actively involved in his firm, questions arose especially after the San Diego Union Tribune ran a story about his firm being suspended by the Franchise Tax Board yet seeming to still be in operation.  It is not illegal to have a government job and run a private political consulting business as long as rules are followed.  The bigger issue may be reports that Cardenas collected $176,000 in Paycheck Protection Program loans.  Cardenas claimed he had 34 employees yet they all worked for a pot shop which was a client of Cardenas’ consulting firm.  Calpeek expects this is not the end of this story.  


Yes, there was an LA City Election…

Even if you live in Los Angeles City Council District 6 you may not have known about the primary election to fill the seat left vacant with the resignation of Council President Nury Martinez as a result of leaked recordings.  In total, 11% of the 118,000 registered voters in the District came out to vote.   A low turnout that was expected due to this being a special election.  When all was said and done Imelda Padilla garnered 25.6% of the vote and Marisa Alcaraz gained 21%, enough to put them in a runoff being held in June.  As with most city races, outside money played a big part in the race.  More than $200,000 was spent in total to support either Padilla or Alcaraz with the Police Protective League spending over $70,000 against Marco Santana who came in third by less than 300 votes.   


Ironic, Hypocritical, or Political? 

In another story involving the Los Angeles City Council, the City Council voted 11 to 1 to reappoint Heather Hutt as the interim replacement for former Councilmember Mark Ridley-Thomas, who was convicted on federal corruption charges.  However, the appointment did not come without question.  Councilmember Monica Rodriguez was the only one to vote no on the motion, stating that the city should have called a special election.  Rodriguez was not alone.  Others, including candidates running for the seat in 2024, stated that the appointment was undemocratic and that the residents of CD 10 deserve to have their vote and voices heard.  In response, Council President Paul Krekorian said that a special election would be expensive (yes, you read right in the previous story, there was a special election that just took place for CD 6 so that argument is a bit weak) and “If they don’t like the job Heather Hutt is doing, guess what?  They don’t have to reelect her.  If they like her, they can reelect her.  That’s what the democratic process is.”  There is also concern, as someone who has announced her candidacy for the seat in the upcoming election, that Hutt would have an unfair advantage by being appointed…which was the concern of some sitting councilmembers when then-Mayor Eric Garcetti was nominated to be ambassador to India possibly leaving the Mayor’s office vacant shortly before a new Mayor was to be elected.  The council wanted to make sure that.whichever councilmember was appointed to fulfill his term would clearly state that they had no intention of running for Mayor as it would….yes, you guessed it…create an unfair advantage.  So, does that make the recent council actions…ironic…or hypocritical?  Or, just political.   Let us know your thoughts.


City Sues Reporter for Using Photos City Provided 

As reported by the KTLA, the L.A. City Attorney Hydee Felstein Soto’s office is suing journalist Ben Camacho of Knock LA and watchdog group Stop LAPD Spying Coalition over the publication of LAPD officers’ names, photos, and other information in a searchable online database that the city itself provided Camacho through a public information request (yes, you read that right).  The lawsuit against Camacho and the watchdog group comes days after the city itself was sued by the police officers’ union claiming that the published information endangers officers.   


Terminal Auction

In case you missed it and enjoy reading sad, depressing stories, we have a doozie here for you.  According to the Redding Record Searchlight, last year, Jessica Long’s 9-year-old daughter participated in the Shasta District Fair’s 4-H program for children learning about animal care and livestock.  The daughter fed and walked her goat, Cedar, for three months.  When it came time for the goat to be slaughtered, the child was so distraught that Long asked the Fair officials to let her daughter out of the contract, but was denied.  Long decided to take the goat to a farm and offered to pay for the goat and any associated expenses.  The Fair again declined and asked the Shasta County Sheriff to get the goat back.  Detectives drove 500 miles in search of the goat, found it, and returned it to Shasta County where it was slaughtered.  Long has filed a lawsuit.  Those standing around the water cooler understand that animals are slaughtered daily in order for us to eat meat.  Despite that, it seems cruel to have young children participate in something that is literally called a “terminal auction,” if that child decides they no longer want to participate.  

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