ELDER again at top of GOP field — NEWSOM vs. DEBATE — RECALL backers in court — BAY AREA mask mandate
THE BUZZ — POLL POSITION: Gavin Newsom needs to light a fire — and soon — to get his supporters engaged in the recall election. What was once dismissed as a longshot — a fantasy, an impossibility — may now be within reach of Republican backers. And this week, the GOP base will be the major target of an event aimed at juicing up their energy and passion even more.
As Jeremy reports, another poll has cemented two Newsom recall truisms: Republican enthusiasm has created a competitive race, and radio host Larry Elder leads a teeming GOP field. Core Decision Analytics’ late July survey of about 800 California voters found a 48-39 plurality is prepared to keep Newsom, but that narrows to 50-43 among “definite” voters — a cohort that’s also more likely to think Newsom has done a poor job as governor. Elder outpolled 45 other candidates with 9 percent support (that rises among likelier-to-turn-out voters), although the majority of voters were undecided or backed none of the contenders. You can check out the results here.
— ANOTHER INTERESTING DEVELOPMENT: California’s GOP recall backers appear to want to put former President Donald Trump at arm’s length. They’re in court challenging Team Newsom’s framing of the recall in the voter guide as “an attempt by national Republicans and Trump supporters to force an election and grab power in California.” As Jeremy reports, recall supporters say that Newsom’s language “misleadingly casts the recall as illegitimate and falsely implies only Republicans are in support. They want to strip out various references to Republicans.” The full story here.
— RAMPING IT UP: Republican this week will have first televised debate at the Nixon Presidential Library in Yorba Linda. The event features four candidates who want to take Newsom’s seat: former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, businessman John Cox, Assemblyman Kevin Kiley and former Rep. Doug Ose. (Elder is skipping the big show for a party fundraiser in Bakersfield.)
The August 4 debate could reach millions, airing live on Fox 11 Los Angeles and KTVU Fox 2 in the Bay Area from 6-7:30 p.m.commercial free, and also carried live on radio by the Salem Radio Networks. Conservative broadcaster Hugh Hewitt, president of the Richard Nixon Foundation, will moderate along with former U.S. national security adviser Ambassador Robert C. O’Brien. FOX 11’s Christine Devine and Elex Michaelson will also be asking questions. Expect widespread media coverage: some 30-plus news organizations have RSVP’d to be on site, including POLITICO.
NEWSOM’S COUNTER CHALLENGE: “People are suffering with COVID. And they want somebody to say, ‘I can fix all this,’“ one Sacramento insider told us. “And when you’re coming from the outside, it’s a lot easier to say that. The problem is, they want a miracle worker.”
So Newsom can’t promise “I alone can fix it.” But as SFChronicle’s Joe Garofoli reports, a new David Binder poll shows the governor has got real trouble with voters, even on some non-Covid issues like crime. Some insiders say he needs to seriously ramp it up, with less of the above-the-fray strategy (cue elected officials singing his praises) and more “get out and talk to real people” to make his case. Schwarzenegger, in the 2003 recall, used a bus tour to great effect — hitting coffee shops on the Grapevine, posing for photos with bikers and, yes, taking tough questions from the media in tow. (Something Newsom often clearly bridles at.)
BIG PICTURE: Even in solidly blue California — a state where Newsom won by a landslide in 2018 — what happens on Sept. 14 will be “all about turnout,’’ says one battle-scarred veteran of state politics. At this point, “he’s not going to change any minds. It’s all about getting out the people you need.’’ And firing them up to mark that ballot, which that TV debate may well do on the other side.
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I’m scared shitless. … It’s not just about voter suppression. What I’m really worried about is election subversion. Election officials are being put in place who will mess with the count.” UC Irvine election law guru Rick Hasen, on the array of new laws passed by Republican state legislatures since the 2020 election, via “The Big Money Behind the Big Lie,’’ by New Yorker’s Jane Mayer.
TWEET OF THE DAY: Doug Sovern @SovernNation: “Today’s CA #COVID19 data: Hospitalizations have surged to 4,357 (980 of them in the ICU), with another 415 suspected cases. Those are mostly unvaccinated people. The state’s 7-day + rate is up to 6.7%.”
WHERE’S GAVIN? Nothing official announced.
REALITY BITES — CASH-STRAPPED CAITLYN JENNER IN DEBT: The former reality star and Olympian has become nearly a footnote in the recall since she headed down under for weeks in the middle of a campaign. But now comes the financial reports showing her campaign is awash in debt as she struggles to make headway in California’s recall race.
From the launch of Jenner’s candidacy through the end of July, the campaign raised about $747,000 and spent some $910,000, leaving her campaign with about $156,000 in unpaid bills and roughly $21,000 on hand for the race’s critical final stretch. The campaign has sent about $67,000 to Parscale Strategy LLC, the firm run by former Trump campaign strategist Brad Parscale.
Parscale Strategy’s reported spending included an $1,800 “staff meeting” at Nobu, a fancy Malibu restaurant, and $1,300 for a limousine service that ferried Jenner to Los Angeles meetings.” The full story from Jeremy here.
Statement from Jenner campaign spokesman Steven Cheung: “The campaign built a small dollar house file from scratch and has invested heavily in prospecting potential donors and supporters. Now with a robust house file, the campaign will be fully funded to enter the final stretch of the election with the necessary resources to end Gavin Newsom’s time as governor.
“Caitlyn has widespread name recognition, to the tune of 99%, while other candidates need to spend large amounts of money to increase their name identification. She does not have that issue and will go into the election with broad support from Californians of all backgrounds.”
BIG EXPERIMENT — “How L.A. cleared most Venice Beach homeless camps and sheltered many unhoused people,” by LATimes’ Benjamin Oreskes and Genaro Molina: “The beach and the boardwalk, with its clothing stores, henna tattoo stalls and restaurants, among other attractions, had few tents left Friday after an intense six-week infusion of resources to help the unhoused sleeping there find new places to stay.”
TAX-EXEMPT AND CAMPAIGNING? — “California pastor delivers sermon urging Newsom’s recall — a test of IRS rules for churches,’’ by SacBee’s Hannah Wiley: “Under federal law, churches are free to participate in many political activities, such as get-out-the-vote efforts. Religious organizations can jeopardize their tax-exempt status, however, if they or their leaders demonstrate bias for or against a candidate in a political campaign.”
ALSO BACK… CLANG CLANG! — “S.F.’s iconic cable cars are back on the streets this week,’’ via SFChronicle’s Jessica Flores and Omar Shaikh Rashad. “Our cable cars are part of what makes San Francisco a world-class destination, and their return is just the latest sign that our city is bouncing back,” added Breed.
FIRST IN PLAYBOOK — UBER’S NEW PICK: Uber has tapped a high profile Latina and Democrat to serve as its head of public policy and communication for the West and California — a state where it has previously faced political opposition from labor unions and progressive Democrats. The San Francisco-based company on Tuesday announced its promotion of Ramona Prieto, the former policy director for Sen. Alex Padilla’s transition team, and former point person for PG&E’s government affairs and policy work. She’ll now be charged with “managing a multi-state team and playing an integral role in helping lead and shape Uber’s policy portfolio,” with a primary focus on state and local policy work, regulatory engagement and media relations, the firm said.
CAMPAIGN CASH REPORTS: Republican state Attorney General candidate Nathan Hochman, a former assistant U.S. attorney general, raised over $800,000 in his campaign to unseat Newsom appointee Rob Bonta in 2022. Hochman will report $811,945 in total contributions, with $680,004 cash on hand, his campaign said.
— And via California Target Book’s @RPyers: “Former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s 2022 gubernatorial cmte raised $2.19M in the first half of ’21, spent $1.16M on operating expenditures (chiefly digital ads, fundraising, strategy, and polling expenses), transferred $761.8K to his ’21 cmte, and ended June w/$236,479 left.”
ELDER NOD: California College Republicans board has announced its unanimous endorsement of Larry Elder in the CA recall.
THE T-WORD — “Will Trump be spoiler as California GOP seeks Newsom recall?” by AP’s Michael R. Blood: “In California, the leading GOP candidates have supported or have ties to Trump, who is widely unpopular in the state outside his conservative base. Trump lost California to Biden by over 5 million votes.”
HOW THE WSJ ED BOARD SEES IT — “Opinion – California’s Progressive Fall Guy,” by Wall Street Journal’s Editorial Board: “The recall is in part a referendum on the Governor’s excessive and destructive Covid lockdowns…Mr. Newsom has become the fall guy for Sacramento Democrats who have put progressive ideology over common sense. Even if the recall doesn’t succeed, it should cause Democrats to ask why so many voters want the end of one-party rule.”
NEW YORKER’S TAKE ON BOUDIN — “The Trial of Chesa Boudin,” by The New Yorker’s Benjamin Wallace-Wells: “Can a young progressive prosecutor survive a political backlash in San Francisco?”
MASK UP, BAY AREA — “Mask mandate reinstated in San Francisco Bay Area amid surge,” by the AP’s Jocelyn Gecker: “The new mandate — which applies to everyone, regardless of their vaccination status — will take effect on Tuesday in San Francisco, Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Sonoma counties and in the city of Berkeley.”
THE RUNDOWN — “Yes, it’s legal for restaurants and bars to require proof of vaccination for customers. Here’s why, via SFChronicle’s Janelle Bitker: “There are a few caveats. And no, they aren’t related to the false notion that businesses requiring customers to show proof of vaccination constitutes a Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act violation.”
— “Kaiser Permanente requiring all employees, physicians to get vaccinated by end of September,” by Fox40’s Katelyn Stark: “As of Saturday, a representative with Kaiser Permanente said 78% of its employees and 95% of its physicians had already been fully vaccinated. More than 216,000 employees and more than 23,000 physicians work for the hospital system.”
COVID COSTS — “California learns costly pandemic lesson about hospitals,” by AP’s Don Thompson: “California spent nearly $200 million to set up, operate and staff alternate care sites that ultimately provided little help when the state’s worst coronavirus surge spiraled out of control last winter, forcing exhausted hospital workers to treat patients in tents and cafeterias.’
— “At some California hospitals, nearly half of workers remain unvaccinated,” by OC Register’s Teri Sforza: “They work in hospitals. They have easy access to jabs. They know the risks. Yet after a frenetic rollout and urgent pleas from officials on nearly-bent knees, almost a quarter of California’s hospital workers remained unvaccinated for COVID-19, according to federal data.”
GLANTZ RECONSIDERED — “Here Comes Trouble: An Anti-Tobacco Hero’s Complicated Legacy,” by Undark’s Marc Gunther: “A lauded tobacco scientist’s crusade against vaping has some critics — and former allies — questioning his research.”
— “California’s complicated history with regulating assault weapons,” by SFChronicle’s Abhinanda Bhattacharyya: “The history of California’s assault weapons ban is also the story of a cat-and-mouse game between Sacramento and gun makers and owners. Legislators struggled to implement the ban in a meaningful way for years, modifying it repeatedly, long before a federal judge overturned it this summer.”
CA ON FIRE — “Northern California’s Dixie Fire grows by 3,600 acres, now 11th largest in state history,” by SFChronicle’s Emma Talley and Shwanika Narayan: “More than 5,400 personnel were fighting the blaze, which has been active for 18 days. The wildfire ignited July 13 and is still under investigation.”
‘’QUIET CRISIS” — “Tenants fall through the safety net into an eviction cluster in Long Beach,” by CalMatters’ Nigel Duara: “Undocumented families, aging homes, high unemployment: The root causes for a cluster of evictions in this Southern California blue-collar port city.”
PLASTIC PROBLEM — “That recycling symbol doesn’t always mean what you think it does,” by CalMatters’ Marissa Garcia: “At least 85% of single-use plastic items don’t get recycled, even if they carry the familiar triangular symbol. A California bill would restrict which plastics can bear the mark.”
CALL TO KEVIN — “Democrats call on McCarthy to apologize after he said ‘it will be hard not to hit’ Pelosi with gavel,” by WaPo’s Amy B. Wang: “Several Democrats demanded that McCarthy apologize, while others — including Reps. Eric Swalwell and Ted Lieu of California — said McCarthy should resign, linking such rhetoric to the political violence that was on display Jan. 6.”
— Pelosi turns tables on White House, urges eviction ban extension, by POLITICO’s Katy O’Donnell: Pelosi, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) and Assistant Speaker Katherine Clark (D-Mass.) issued a joint statement Sunday night putting the ball back in the Biden administration’s court, after the White House on Thursday said it could not extend the eviction ban and urged Congress to do it.
— “What does America think of Kamala Harris?” by LATimes’ Matt Stiles and Ryan Murphy: “As of July 27, 45% of registered voters had a favorable opinion of Harris and 48% had an unfavorable opinion — a net rating of -3 percentage points, according to a Times average.”
— “Uber, Lyft seen boosted by return of riders, but driver shortage, stubborn virus cloud outlook, by Reuters’ Tina Bellon and Akanksha Rana: “Now, concerns over an ongoing driver shortage and the spreading Delta variant are clouding the outlook for making good on achieving profitable operations this year.”
— “Tech Startup Financing Hits Records as Giant Funds Dwarf Venture Capitalists,” by WSJ’s Heather Somerville: “Big money-management firms expanded their dominance in Silicon Valley last quarter, crowding out venture capitalists in a once-niche business and putting 2021 on pace to nearly double last year’s record in startup financing.”
— “Facebook requires employees to wear masks in office, regardless of vaccination status,” by SFChronicle’s Chase DiFeliciantonio.
MODESTO MARYJANE — “This California City Rejected Marijuana. Now Cannabis Is An Official Tourism Draw,” by Forbes’ Chris Roberts: “Though California voted to legalize recreational cannabis in 2016, the first legal commercial cannabis dispensaries in Modesto did not open until 2019…But now marijuana makes more money for Modesto than hotels and tourism, city officials have reconsidered—and are now doing more to promote their city’s weed business to visitors than Amsterdam.”
— “The Hollywood & Highland elephants are coming down, a rejection of D.W. Griffith’s racist legacy,” by LATimes’ Roger Vincent: “Griffith, the son of a Confederate army colonel, directed the blockbuster 1915 film ‘The Birth of a Nation,’ which lionized the Ku Klux Klan and was condemned at the time as ‘three miles of filth’ by the NAACP. His follow-up film, ‘Intolerance’ is often considered to be Griffith’s response to criticism of ‘The Birth of a Nation.’”
— “Can reviving beach dunes help California with sea level rise?” by LATimes’ Rosanna Xia.
— “An estimated 126,869 eligible people in SF aren’t vaccinated. What do we know about them?” by SFGate’s Amy Graff.
— “Bacon may disappear in California as pig rules take effect,” by AP’s Scott McFetridge.
— “Stanford’s Valarie Allman becomes third U.S. woman to win Olympic discus gold,” by Mercury News’ Elliott Almond.
— “Disability lawsuits hit SF Chinatown and state. Are they helpful or a moneymaking scheme?” by SFChronicle’s Bob Egelko and Carolyn Said.
— “Huntington Beach man who texted selfie from the Capitol riot arrested after tip to FBI,” by OCRegister’s Eric Licas.
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