Ready for the 2026 Election Season?  

Yes!  Calpeek never gets enough political campaigns.  So let’s look at the top of the 2026 ticket.  California Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis has announced her campaign for Governor in 2026.  Within hours of her announcement, former State Controller and current California Democratic Party Vice Chair Betty Yee told KTXL Fox 40 that she is planning on running for Governor, but has not yet made a formal announcement.  Kounalakis has opened a campaign committee to raise funds, but has not yet filed any reports.  Yee does not have a committee, yet.  Calpeek cannot find any other active campaign committees for Gubernatorial candidates, but we are confident there will be many that are opened in the next few years.


It’s Official, Joe’s In

Yep, it’s true.  Joe (Biden) is running for President.  Surprise!  Some of us around the watercooler recall him indicating he was only running for one term back in 2020.  But then again, it’s politics.  If you missed Joe’s big announcement, here it is.


Revenue for Newspapers

Assemblymember Buffy Wicks has an interesting idea to help the newspaper industry survive.  Newspapers, and their digital platforms, have struggled financially in recent years.  The news industry relies heavily on social media and search engines to drive readers to their sites.  Arguably, social media and search engine companies engage people by making it easy for them to find news stories and that engagement produces advertising revenue for those companies.  The news sites that provide the content don’t see any of the ad revenue.  Wicks’ bill, AB 886 – The California Journalism Preservation Act, would change that by requiring the companies to share some of their ad revenue.  It sounds like a simple idea, but there are lots of concerns about regulations, free speech, and clickbait…to learn about the details, Calpeek suggests reading the Politico story and we do not receive any ad revenue for suggesting this.  


Am I Crazy…Or Am I Seeing Crazy Things?

Those standing around the water cooler do not include any psychiatrists, but we think we can diagnose what you might be seeing – the aurora borealis aka the northern lights.  Calpeek is not aware of any statements the Governor or other elected leaders have made about the phenomena, which is usually only visible in northern latitudes, arriving in California.  The L.A. Times reports that the lights have been seen outside of Chico, the southern Sierra, and Topaz Lake near the Nevada border.  According to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration’s Space Weather Prediction Center, there are severe geomagnetic storms and we can expect to see more auroras over the next few years.  NOAA produces alerts and maps about the geomagnetic storms and you can follow them on Twitter (until Elon Musk makes Twitter unusable.)  So, check the map and when the auroras are nearby, head away from city lights to see a spectacular light show.  


The Race to Replace Kevin de Leon Is On     

On Thursday, Assemblymember Wendy Carrillo who represents District 52, announced her run to fill the seat currently held by Los Angeles City Councilmember Kevin de Leon.  In her press statement announcing her candidacy, Carrillo stated “our district needs new leadership who can bring people together and deliver for Council District 14.”  Carrillo is the sixth candidate to throw their hat into the ring.  Others include Assemblymember Miguel Santiago, Nick Pacheco, Eduardo Vargas, Nadine Diaz, and Ysabel Jurado.  De Leon has been called to resign by both community members and fellow council members due to his involvement in racist recordings that involved then Council President Nury Martinez and Councilmember Gil Cedillo.  De Leon has refused to step down and efforts to qualify a recall have failed.  While it’s not yet clear who all the contenders will be, those already involved are bound to make this race one to watch.


Newsom Says NO to Democrat’s Tax Hike

CalMatters reporter Alexei Koseff reported that it only took Governor Newsom two hours to reject Senate Democrats’ latest idea to get closer to a balanced state budget on the backs of businesses.  The idea came as Newsom prepares to unveil his May revised budget and negotiations among leaders begin.  The idea, which was part of a proposal set forth by Senate Dems, would have paused the net operating loss deduction as well as increasing the tax rate by more than 2% on taxable corporate income above $1.5 million, would have brought in an extra $11 billion.  Not quite the $22.5 billion deficit that is projected.  However, Senator Nancy Skinner who chairs the Senate budget committee, said the approach would avert many potential cuts per the Governors January budget proposal.   


“Fox Nips Tuck” – Commentary by Rusty Pipe

Headline credit goes to Monday’s Political Playbook PM Newsletter.  As Calpeek readers know by now, Tucker Carlson was fired by Fox.  Good news!  This move by the cable, so-called news, station may help stop some of the spread of misinformation.  Fox “News” is often the highest watched cable “news” station.  But, what would be even better news: if a significant portion of the American people realized that Fox was not delivering news.  They deliver entertainment that is all about anger and hate – two of the best ways to motivate people.  What are they trying to motivate people to do?  Obviously, they want even bigger ratings which lead to increased advertising revenue, but less obvious is that their leadership is pursuing a political agenda.  For over 25 years, Fox “News” has produced inaccurate and sometimes completely untrue information while claiming it is “news.”  The information that came out in the Dominion lawsuit repeatedly showed clear examples of Fox hosts lying about what they told the American public.  It is well past time that the professional journalists and journalism schools organize to let the public know what is fact-based news versus what is entertainment. In order for a democracy to survive, the people need to know the difference between a commentator and a reporter.  The Federal Communication Commission must also step up and regulate the use of the term “news”.  In a free society, we expect that a small portion of the population will believe nutty conspiracy ideas, but these days we are seeing up to one-third of the population going nutty.  It’s time to curb the nutty.

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