Political People Converging on the City of Angels

Those standing around the water cooler love to hang out with other political folks.  Everyone will have an opportunity next week to listen to insights from our colleagues, schmooze, and trade business cards.  The American Association of Political Consultants’ 2023 California Regional Conference will be held in Los Angeles on Monday and Tuesday.  If you’re not in Los Angeles, well, you should be.  The AAPC has pulled together an impressive list of presenters and the agenda includes intriguing topics.  You can get all the details here


Is No Labels the New Generic? 

When we’re talking “No Labels”, we’re not discussing generic cans of vegetables or prescription drugs, nor are we talking designer brands incognito.  For 2024, we’re talking about the new political party that could offer a bipartisan presidential ticket.  On Monday, the national political movement announced that it has won access in 10 states, after North Carolina election officials formally granted official status to a No Labels affiliate, according to the Associated Press.  With its victory, No Labels joins four other parties (Democratic Party, Green Party, Libertarian Party and Republican Party) with which voters can now choose to be registered.  The national No Labels effort is mostly backed by centrists which include former North Carolina GOP Gov. Pat McCrory, U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin III, and former Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman.  In addition to North Carolina and its 16 electoral votes being up for grab, other states offering the new generic option include Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Nevada, Oregon, South Dakota, and Utah.  While there is no named ticket yet for No Labels, group leaders have stated it would stand down if there’s no clear path to victory next year. 


Proposed Amendment Could Make Raising Taxes Easier     

CalMatters is reporting that a handful of GOP legislators are speaking out against a proposed state constitutional amendment that could find itself on the 2024 ballot.  The amendment would lower the share of votes required to approve taxes and bonds from two-thirds to 55% of the voting population.  Anti-tax and many business groups are opposing the effort which could weaken Proposition 13.  The amendment still needs to work its way through the Legislature before being placed on the ballot.  


Hot Labor Summer Heats Up In Sacramento 

The summer of worker actions across the state heated up in Sacramento on Wednesday when at least eight people – including three prominent labor supporters – were detained by police.  According to the Sacramento Bee, members and supporters of SEIU Local 1000, which represents nine state worker collective bargaining units, blocked Capitol offices.  Those detained during the action included Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher who leads the California Labor Federation, along with Sacramento Councilwomen Katie Valenzuela and Caity Maple. “It’s no different than the ‘hot labor summer that we’re seeing in L.A.’  You don’t have a state government without its workers,” said Gonzalez Fletcher.  SEIU Local 1000 has been locked in contract negotiations with the state since April.  Those of us around the watercooler hope the CHP read our August 5, 2022 piece so when they arrested Ms. Gonzalez Fletcher they were clear on how to pronounce her name (“Lo-rain-a” – not “Lo-wren-a”).


The Newest Random Alphabet

Those standing around the water cooler admit that we are a little geeky about politics and campaigns and one of the things we love is a random alphabet.  Yesterday, the California Secretary of State’s office announced the random alphabet for the November elections, which are local races.  You can see the order of letters here.  For most scheduled elections, the Secretary of State’s office will conduct a drawing that randomizes the alphabet to determine what order voter names are placed on the ballot.  This is an example of how luck plays into a campaign.  This November, if your last name begins with L, you will be first on the ballot.  If your last name begins with O, you’ll be last.  If two candidates have the same first letter of their last name, the order will be determined by the second letter in the name and so on.  The Secretary of State also announced that for the November 7 elections, the watermark will be the California flag and the background tint color will be Brown PMS 465.  Details are here.  


Justice in the Happiest Place on Earth?

We all know that justice is slow, but maybe today we will celebrate its arrival in Anaheim.  Calpeek readers, and anyone paying attention to the news, know about the political scandal in Anaheim.  On Wednesday, former Mayor Harry Sidhu agreed to plead guilty to four federal charges including obstruction of justice and making false statements.  The FBI had been investigating since 2019, but details were not made public until last year.  For the latest details, the Orange County Register has the story hereCalpeek talked about the scandal when it was breaking news in May of last year.  Just two weeks ago, Calpeek discussed the 353-report, paid for by the city, that discussed the Anaheim cabal and concluded that there was a “potential criminal conspiracy”.  Today’s question, is there more justice to come?


They’re back!

The legislators returned to Sacramento on Monday and the capital city is abuzz amid sweltering heat and humidity.  It’s now less than a one month sprint to the end of session.  It’s going to be an interesting end to the 2023-2024 legislative session as we watch new Assembly Speaker Robert Rivas manage the process.  Politico and CalMatters have details and the Sacramento Bee looks at the “stack of high-profile bills”.  If that’s not enough excitement, there’s a hurricane heading north from Baja.  Not sure how that will impact the session, but we’ll keep you posted.   

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