These five California House races could determine the future of Congress
Sacramento Bee's BRYAN ANDERSON: "At Cal State Fullerton, students seem more motivated than ever to go to the polls."
"With President Donald Trump in the back of many of their minds, Tuesday’s election is an opportunity to elect Democrats who can be a check on the president."
"Given the intense political climate, I think a lot of people just want to have more of a say,” said Jonathan Chacon, a Latino student who plans to vote in Los Angeles. “Historically, we’ve had small voter turnout, so I think it’s Latinos and Asians will have a much larger representation at least with these upcoming elections."
READ MORE related to elections: California lawmakers poised to weild power in a Democratic House -- The Chronicle's TAL KOPAN; Here's what's at stake for California in Tuesday's elections -- The Chronicle's JOE GAROFOLI/TAL KOPAN; Whether they vote or not, Latinos are poised to play a critical role in key midterm races -- LA Times's RUBEN VIVES; Campaign finance documents reveal contribuytions to City Council candidates from other candidates, city officials -- Daily Californian's ALYSSA BERNARDINO; Where Cox and Newsom stand on California's top issues -- LA Times STAFF; Gavin Newsom: Complex and connected -- Capitol Weekly's CHUCK MCFADDEN; John Cox: A tough slog toward the governorship -- Capitol Weekly's CHUCK MCFADDEN
Oil industry spends millions to boost California Dems
CALmatters' LAUREL ROSENHALL: "The California Democratic Party no longer accepts donations from the oil industry, viewing that as politically unsavory for a party pushing to curb climate change. But that hasn’t stopped oil companies from spending millions to help California Democrats win on Tuesday."
"Instead of giving money to the party, oil companies are donating directly to Democratic candidates and pouring huge sums into outside groups that campaign for a mix of Democrats and Republicans."
"The petroleum industry has put $19.2 million into California politics in the 2017-18 election cycle, according to a CALmatters analysis of campaign finance data. Much of it is helping Republicans, including $2 million to the California Republican Party and a portion of the roughly $14 million the industry has put into independent committees supporting some politicians from both parties."
Conservatives and counter-protesters keep it mostly peaceful at Capitol rally
Sacramento Bee's ALEXANDRA YOON-HENDRICKS/CLAIRE MORGAN/SAM STANTON: "A “Turn California Red” rally aimed at promoting conservative issues and candidates ahead of Tuesday’s election brought counter-protesters to the state Capitol Sunday afternoon."
"Speakers at the rally reiterated the benefits of conservative efforts for Californians — Proposition 6, which would repeal the gas tax, and cracking down on illegal immigration, for example — as attendees donning “Make America Great Again” hats and waving American flags watched from the Capitol steps."
"While the location of the event recalled the violent neo-Nazi demonstration that occurred in front of the Capitol in 2016 and left 10 injured, the rally remained largely peaceful. No injuries were reported and just one individual, a “Turn California Red” supporter, was arrested by the Sacramento Police Department."
To measure the real base of California's Republican support, look no further than Trump's approval numbers
LA Times's JOHN MYERS: "From all corners of the California political world — Democrats and Republicans, campaign consultants and researchers — a hearty thanks may be in order to President Trump. Just a day away from a decisive election, the polarizing chief executive has provided a simple shorthand for measuring GOP relevance in the Golden State."
"To calculate the size of the Republican base, just look at the president’s job-approval number. Find that loyal Trump supporter, goes the logic, and you’re looking at a voter who will stick with Republican candidates through hell or high water."
H-1B visa fraud : Feds indict Sunnyvale man for bringing in 600 workers illegally
Mercury News's JULIA PRODIS SULEK: "In a sign of the continuing crackdown on H-1B visa fraud, a Sunnyvale man has been indicted by a federal grand jury for an alleged scheme to illegally bring in 600 foreign workers to Silicon Valley over the past decade."
"Kishore Kumar Kavuru, 46, billed himself as a “staffing specialist” for technology firms looking for skilled foreign workers to fill temporary positions. Instead of employers properly filing applications for workers to fill real jobs, however, Kavuru is accused of using his four consulting companies to file fraudulent applications for non-existent jobs."
"Because many of the applications were ultimately approved, Kavuru had a pool of unemployed H-1B beneficiaries that were immediately available for legitimate work projects,” according to the U.S. Department of Justice, “giving him a competitive advantage over other law-abiding staffing companies that followed the sometimes lengthy visa application process for petitioning foreign workers.”
'OJ Strategy': Lawyers say prosecutors ask about guilt to cull black jurors
The Chronicle's BOB EGELKO/MEGAN CASSIDY: "It’s illegal to dismiss prospective jurors because of their race. But civil rights advocates say some California prosecutors have found a way to keep blacks off their juries without using overtly racial criteria."
"You might call it the “O.J. strategy."
"The first step is asking prospective jurors how they felt about the 1995 acquittal of former football star O.J. Simpson, who is African American, in the killing of his ex-wife and her friend, both of them white."
$1B lawsuit over CalPERS insurance rates moves forward with trial date
Sacramento Bee's ADAM ASHTON: "A class-action lawsuit that could cost CalPERS $1 billion is headed to trial in June, and many of the 122,000 retirees who bought an insurance plan at the center of the case are receiving small checks from an agreement that settled a portion of the claims."
"A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge on Friday set a date for the main trial, known as Sanchez. vs. CalPERS. The three- to four-week trial is scheduled to begin on June 10."
"Michael Bidart, the attorney representing CalPERS members who allege the pension fund carried out a contract-breaking rate hike on their long-term health care plans five years ago, anticipates that the trial will go forward as scheduled."
What Tuesday's election could mean for California education
EdSource's LOUIS FREEDBERG: "Tuesday’s statewide elections could have a major impact on California’s education system."
"That’s the case even though education remains a mostly local issue in the state. Locally elected school boards run the state’s nearly 1,000 school districts, and reforms championed by Gov. Jerry Brown have devolved even more power to local school districts. On top of that, the amount of money the state spends on its K-12 schools and community colleges is strictly prescribed by Proposition 98, approved by voters two decades ago,."
"But within those constraints, California’s governor has considerable power to shape state education policies, as Brown has shown over the past eight years through reforms like targeting funds billions of funds for low-income children and backing a brand new accountability system."
YIMBY: Housing, by any means necessary
The Chronicle's JK DINEEN: "Just hours after Mayor London Breed was sworn into office earlier this year, about 50 members of YIMBY Action crammed into a cafe at Ninth and Mission streets for their monthly membership happy hour."
"They drank complimentary beer and wine, provided by the building’s owner, developer Patrick Kennedy. The group’s executive director, Laura Foote Clark, asked the crowd how many had attended Breed’s inauguration. About a dozen hands shot up."
“It has been an incredibly amazing day,” Foote Clark said. “I want everyone to think about today — about this moment in time — as a major shift. We are finally seeing our government treating the housing shortage as an emergency. We are going to start seeing some real changes.”
READ MORE related to Housing & Homelessness: Another SoCal home-price boom is cooling. Is a crash looming? -- LA Times's ANDREW KHOURI; World's largest dorm-style 'co-living' apartment coming to San Jose -- Mercury News's MARISA KENDALL
Quick: What's the difference between Medicare-for-all and single payer?
CHL's SAMANTHA YOUNG: "Betsy Foster and Doug Dillon are devotees of Josh Harder. The Democratic upstart is attempting to topple Republican incumbent Jeff Denham in this conflicted, semi-rural district that is home to conservative agricultural interests, a growing Latino population and liberal San Francisco Bay Area refugees."
"To Foster’s and Dillon’s delight, Harder supports a “Medicare-for-all” health care system that would cover all Americans."
"Foster, a 54-year-old campaign volunteer from Berkeley, believes Medicare-for-all is similar to what’s offered in Canada, where the government provides health insurance to everybody."