Southern California Republicans are avoiding ‘the T-word’
JEFF HORSEMAN and KEVIN MODESTI in the OC Register: "His last name has five letters, but Republicans running for office in Southern California are as reluctant to mention “Donald Trump” as they are to drop one of the few still forbidden four-letter words in public."
"It’s a reality of the double political life many candidates on both sides of the political aisle are leading in 2018."
"In a state that Hillary Clinton carried by 30 points in the 2016 election, Trump remains very unpopular. Two thirds of the state’s voters disapprove of the job Trump is doing as president, according to an April poll by UC Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies."
READ MORE on the elections: Why Is It So Hard to Engage Latino Voters? They're Young - and Historically Neglected -- ALEXANDRA HALL, KQED; Trump’s choice falters in San Diego congressional race -- DAN MORAIN, CALmatters; As complaints mount about fire clean-up, disaster contractor gives big money to California Dems -- LAUREL ROSENHALL, CALmatters; In Ramona, she expected supporters of Duncan Hunter and President Trump. What she found was more nuanced -- ROBIN ABCARIAN, LAT; Donald Trump isn’t on the ballot. But he’s a wild card in California races this election year -- EMILY CADEI, Sacramento Bee
All eyes on Orange County’s congressional races, law-official battles and key council votes
From the OC Register's JORDAN GRAHAM: "Bucking the role they play in most elections, Orange County voters will have clout in the upcoming midterm."
"Control of the U.S. House of Representatives runs directly through California on Nov. 6. Four of the most competitive, closely-watched house races in the country happen to be in Orange County, where Democrats are fighting to take vulnerable GOP-held districts."
"If Orange County Democrats can flip some or all of those seats, it’s likely the party will be on its way to getting the 23 it needs nationally to take a majority share of the House and, with it, a legislative-check on President Donald Trump for the remainder of his first term. Conversely, if county Republicans hold those districts, the odds are strong that the GOP will maintain control of Washington D.C. for another two years."
'Community choice:' You may not have come across this term before as it relates to energy, but you might as well get used to it
From Capitol Weekly's JESSICA HICE: "The California Public Utilities Commission is poised to decide the formula that determines how much consumers are charged by the big investor-owned utility companies, or IOUs—such as Pacific Gas & Electric or Edison, for example—when the customers switch to local community energy programs."
"It’s a complex issue, but one with major implications for consumers’ pocketbooks."
"If an IOU customer decides to leave and switch to a local community-run program, an exit fee called a “power charge indifference adjustment,” or PCIA, is charged. This charge, posted on every investor-owned utility bill, compensates the utility company for energy contracts bought in the past that are still in effect."
California's only Republican vs Republican congressional race turns to culture war, personal attacks
SAMUEL METZ in the Palm Springs Desert Sun: "Since the primary election, the race to represent California's 8th District in the U.S. House of Representatives has strayed from the issues being debated in the rest of the state’s congressional districts, like healthcare or taxes, and turned instead to culture-war issues and personal attacks."
"The GOP holds only a six percentage point two-way registration advantage in the district. But since two Republicans advanced out of the June top-two primary election, shutting out the district’s Democrats, the race has veered away from debates of partisan nature and replaced them with a politically charged billboard and an anonymous website making claims that one of the candidates is a fraudster."
"The race pits Tim Donnelly, a former California Assemblymember, known for starting a citizen militia to patrol the U.S.-Mexico border, against three-term incumbent Col. Paul Cook, a Marine Corps veteran who sits on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and is a member of the Republican Mainstreet Partnership, a congressional caucus made up of Republicans willing to “work across the aisle to develop pragmatic solutions,” according to its mission statement."
Celebrity advocates use social media to influence which California bills become law
The LAT's MINI RACKER reports: "Barbra Streisand took to social media to endorse an ambitious clean energy proposal being heard in Sacramento. Alicia Silverstone tweeted her support for a bill to end the sale of animal-tested cosmetics in California. Maroon 5 guitarist James Valentine urged state lawmakers to resist a water project backed by President Trump."
"As California legislators cast votes in the final hours of this year’s session, celebrities leveraged their fan bases on Facebook and Twitter to encourage lawmakers to pass bills and Gov. Jerry Brown to sign them into law."
"Actors have been known to reach out to state Capitol offices to discuss legislation. In 2015, for example, Patricia Arquette called the state Senate to talk about fair pay for women."
California Election Official Can't Say if Non-Citizens Voted
From AP's SOPHIA BOLLAG: California's top elections official said Tuesday he doesn't yet know if any of the roughly 1,500 people mistakenly registered to vote by the Department of Motor Vehicles cast ballots in the June primary."
"Secretary of State Alex Padilla said his office is investigating and working with counties to ensure ineligible people don't vote in the November election."
"The roughly 1,500 people either told the DMV they were ineligible or didn't confirm their eligibility but were registered anyway, he said. The group included at least one non-citizen living legally in the state and perhaps many more. It could also include people under 18 or those ineligible to vote because of a criminal conviction, Padilla said. The DMV said none of the people mistakenly registered are people living in the country illegally."
READ MORE on DMV voter registration: California secretary of state rebukes DMV for voter registration errors while affirming election integrity -- MINI RACKER, LAT
Campaign to repeal gas-tax increase attacks spending by Caltrans, Los Angeles MTA
From the LAT's PATRICK McGREEVY: "The Proposition 6 campaign on Tuesday cited six-figure salaries given to thousands of government transportation workers as a reason why California voters should approve the initiative to repeal fuel-tax and vehicle-fee increases enacted last year."
"Less than a month before the Nov. 6 election, campaign chairman Carl DeMaio is set to host a news conference Wednesday in front of Caltrans headquarters in downtown Los Angeles, where he said he will argue that the state can fix roads and bridges without raising the gas tax and vehicle fees."
"DeMaio said Tuesday that public records requested by the campaign show thousands of government transportation agency employees are getting excessive paychecks."
Candidates for governor talk bail
The AP's DON THOMPSON: "Both candidates for California governor on Monday addressed the state's recently approved law that will make it the first to eliminate bail for suspects awaiting trial and replace it with a risk-assessment system."
"Starting in October 2019, most suspects charged with nonviolent felonies will be quickly released, while those charged with serious, violent felonies will stay in jail before trial. Judges will have wide discretion to decide what to do with other suspects based on an assessment of their likelihood of returning to court and the danger they pose to the public."
"Supporting lawmakers said it would end a system that discriminates against low-income people and racial minorities, while opponents predicted the law will make communities less safe. The measure passed mostly along party lines, with Democrats in favor and Republicans opposed."