Driverless Big Rigs…What Could Go Wrong

Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry’s legislation, AB 316, would require big rig trucks to have human drivers.  The bill has found little opposition in the Assembly and is backed by the California Labor Federation, but now a problem has arisen in the form of Governor Gavin Newsom, who supports having more driverless vehicles on the roads.  Note: Newsom is transported in large SUVs driven by highly trained and experienced California Highway Patrol officers.  But now back to the idea of multi-ton vehicles, traveling at high rates of speed, operated only by a computer.  Newsom’s efforts to derail the bill includes using his state agencies to lobby against it.  The Director of the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development stated, “Our state is on the cusp of a new era and cannot risk stifling innovation at this critical juncture.”  Calpeek wonders if the driverless big rigs will know how to stop at a juncture, critical or not.


Fox…Hen House?

What political candidate doesn’t like ethics reform?  Answer – one who has been elected.  The Los Angeles City Council continues to be a shining example of how to support corruption.  No, we’re not talking about former L.A. City Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas’ sentencing on federal corruption charges, which were postponed until this Monday thanks to a hurricane.  We are focused on the latest unanimous vote by the City Council to oppose the City Controller’s nominee to the City Ethics Commission.  The opposition appears to stem from the nominee’s support for requiring people who lobby city officials to actually register as lobbyists.  The L.A. Times Editorial Board ran a scathing editorial and it’s a must read.  The most amazing part is the Council has allowed the Commission to have vacancies for months so that the Commission is unable to conduct business…the business of insuring the Council, among others, are acting in accordance with the law.  


We Have a Contract!  We Have a Contract!

No, not for that union.  It can be hard to keep track of who’s on a picket line, who has a contract, and who’s heading out to strike.  But, for now, we are happy to report that California’s maintenance workers have a contract.  The International Union of Operating Engineers Unit 12 ratified a three year contract, according to the Sacramento Bee.  The 11,000 state employees include groundskeepers, painters, plumbers, and mechanics, among others. The union put out a statement on the results saying “The IUOE Unit 12 bargaining team counted the ballots today, August 21, and the Tentative Agreement was approved by the membership. Thank you all for your participation in this process and your continued support.”  Calpeek loves brevity.  


Bob Hertzberg’s New Gig

The POLITICO California Playbook has shared that former state Senator Bob Hertzberg has a new job: Problem Solver.  And according to the source, that’s what it says on his business card, promoting the Law Offices of Robert Hertzberg.  It seems the veteran politician will be advising larger law firms on complex policy issues, regulatory guidance and real estate deals, not just in the golden state but beyond.  


It’s The Final Countdown

Yes, it’s the final countdown.  No, we’re not talking about the song made famous by the band Europe in 1986 when big hair was the rage.  We’re talking about the final countdown for the legislative session as advocacy groups make their last play on bills in the suspense file.  According to CalMatters, bills that speak to paid sick leave, climate change, and housing and racial equity are the focus of groups making that final push.  The paid sick leave bill, authored by Senator Lena Gonzaelz of Long Beach, would increase paid sick leave from three days to seven.  On the climate side, Senate Bills 253 and 261 would place more pressure on multi-million dollar companies to disclose greenhouse gas emissions and prepare climate financial risk reports.  Under the equity umbrella, SB 567 would strengthen tenant protections, while SB 50 would work to reduce racial profiling and harassment of female drivers.  Will their efforts pay off, or, in the words of Paul Simon, will they find their dreams of success to be slip sliding away?


The Smackdown: Staring Governors Newsom and DeSantis 

In a time of limited programming due to the WGA and SAG/AFTRA strikes, there could be a reason to tune in to a new reality show which makes the Housewives of Orange County seem tame and drama free. Introducing: The Smackdown – featuring Governors Newsom and DeSantis.  Unlike highlights from other reality shows, we can guarantee that this one will not feature anyone’s hair being messed up or moisturizer being smeared.  As we shared prior, Newsom challenged the Florida Governor to a debate.  DeSantis accepted the challenge on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show.  And while no date has been set (with some doubting it will ever happen), such a face-off could help the floundering GOP candidate as DeSantis, who is banning everything from books to drag queens to show how “right”eous he is to voters, trails far behind criminally accused Donald Trump in the polls.  Could battling the Governor of the Golden State give him the boost he needs, or would Newsom further oust the GOP Presidential hopeful from the Republican ring?  Stay tuned to Calpeek for dates and times.


Needed: Campaign Staff

A few years back, our elected leaders decided to move local races, whose elections were mostly held in odd number years, to coincide with state and federal elections in even numbered years.  One unfortunate result of the change, among many, is there are not enough experienced campaign staff to work on all the races.  Calpeek is here to help.  If you’re looking for campaign staff, please send us your job postings.  If you’re looking for campaign work, please send us your resume and we will distribute it to those who are hiring.  

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