Keep your eyes on these California races tonight
Sacramento Bee's BRYAN ANDERSON: "Since President Donald Trump took office, California has placed itself at the center of the “resistance.” With vulnerable Republicans seeking re-election, hotly debated ballot measures up in the air and contested local, statewide and national races, today is kind of a big deal."
"For all the discussion leading up to the midterm elections, there is still so much we don’t know. Will there be a blue wave? Will young people show up to vote? Will polling be right this time?"
"Despite the uncertainties that lie ahead, one thing is clear: Election Day has finally arrived! Grab your coffee, keep your eyes glued on election results, and prepare yourself for what could be a long night."
READ MORE related to Election Day: Blue wave or red wall? These are the early races to watch -- The Chronicle's JOHM WILDERMUTH; Democrats take the House? Republicans hold the Senate? A look at the most likely outcomes of the next Congress -- LA Times's SARAH D WIRE; How to register and vote on Election Day in Sacramento -- Sacramento Bee's DAN SMITH; Stuck in a long line trying to vote? This group will send you free pizza while you wait -- The Tribune's KAYTLYN LESLIE; If you haven't voted yet, here's your last-minute guide to casting your ballot through Tuesday -- Sacramento Bee's MICHAEL MCGOUGH; Federal officials to monitor Sacramento voting centers on Election Day -- Sacramento Bee's BRYAN ANDERSON; Bay Briefing: Election Day by the numbers, from zero to $375 million -- The Chronicle's JOHN KING;
Early balloting for state candidates, props
Capitol Weekly's JOHN HOWARD: "A survey of California’s early vote-by-mail balloting shows Democrats Gavin Newsom and Dianne Feinstein ahead by double-digit margins in their races for governor and U.S. Senate, respectively."
"In response to more than 20,000 questionnaires emailed to absentee voters who had already cast their ballots, Newsom, the lieutenant governor, was favored by 54% to 41% over Republican John Cox. Feinstein, an incumbent U.S. senator, had an 11-point edge, 45% to 34%, over rival Democrat Kevin de León, the former state Senate leader."
"Regarding three of California’s most controversial ballot propositions, the most closely divided was Proposition 6, which would repeal the state’s newly imposed fuel tax: 42 percent opposed the repeal, 38 percent favored it."
Kavanaugh makes no difference on attempt to upend Calif. concealed handgun law
The Chronicle's BOB EGELKO: "Opponents of California’s restrictions on carrying concealed handguns in public lost a U.S. Supreme Court challenge last year but were hoping for different results with the recent arrival on the court of Justice Brett Kavanaugh, whose past decisions took a broad view of the right to own firearms."
"But after the first go-round, the state law remains intact."
"The court on Monday, without comment, left intact lower-court rulings against two Sacramento County residents who were denied concealed-gun permits more than a decade ago. They challenged the California law that lets county sheriffs decide whether to issue the permits and claimed that in Sacramento County, the sheriff reserves handgun licenses for political supporters."
Newsom promises to build on Jerry Brown's 'extraordinary legacy'
The Chronicle's JOE GAROFOLI: "Gavin Newsom promised to “build on Gov. Jerry Brown’s extraordinary legacy” Monday night in San Francisco during the final campaign stop of his nearly decade-long quest to be California governor."
"Introduced by Brown — who made a rare campaign appearance — and Sen. Kamala Harris, Newsom promised 200 supporters at The Chapel, a Mission District music club, that he would emulate the governor’s fiscal responsibility if elected Tuesday. Polls show Newsom holding a commanding lead over Republican businessman John Cox."
"This is my commitment to you: To build on Gov. Brown’s extraordinary legacy,” Newsom said. “To build on the extraordinary work that he has done with our Legislature. To take risks without being reckless. Not to advance profligate ways but to continue to invest in our future and invest in our rainy day reserve. Governor Brown, trust me, that will be a priority."
READ MORE related to Gubernatorial: Gavin Newsom seeks a dynasty, John Cox mere survival, in final days of governor's race -- LA Times's PHIL WILLON/DAKOTA SMITH
Judge wants investigator to probe whistleblower claims on prison psychiatric reports
Sacramento Bee's SAM STANTON: "A federal judge in Sacramento said Monday that she intends to appoint an independent investigator to look into whether state corrections officials committed “fraud on the court” in reports they have submitted regarding the level of psychiatric care inside California’s prisons."
"The extraordinary move by U.S. District Judge Kimberly Mueller would give an investigator or law firm access to corrections records and witnesses to determine whether allegations leveled by the state’s chief prison psychiatrist have merit."
"I’ve identified areas where I think there’s a need to investigate whether there was fraud on the court,” Mueller told attorneys for the state and lawyers for inmates in a hearing Monday afternoon."
A man with an arsenal of weapons outside an LA middle school. Parents want to know why it was kept secret
LA Times's HOWARD BLUME: "By any measure, what happened outside Reed Middle School one day last month was scary: A man with an arsenal of weapons was found hanging out on the edge of campus — the same man who just the week before had tried to lure schoolgirls to his truck."
"School police thwarted any possible bad outcome, and the man is now headed to prison. But for some parents at the Studio City campus, relief mixed with anger — because the Los Angeles Unified School District waited more than two weeks to acknowledge what had happened."
“We receive robocalls from LAUSD and Reed when someone even sneezes but aren’t made aware of this until weeks after his arrest,” said Michelle Vick, whose daughter is in eighth grade. “Beyond maddening!”
Trump asks SCOTUS to bypass lower courts and rule on DACA
The Chronicle's BOB EGELKO: "The Trump administration took the rare step Monday of asking the U.S. Supreme Court to bypass lower courts — particularly the federal appeals court in San Francisco — and directly review lawsuits challenging the president’s repeal of a program shielding 700,000 young, undocumented immigrants from deportation."
"Allowing the program known as DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, to remain in effect during lower-court reviews is requiring the government to allow “an ongoing violation of federal law by more than half a million individuals,” the Justice Department’s solicitor general, Noel Francisco, said in a letter to the court."
"Federal judges in San Francisco and New York have barred President Trump from eliminating DACA, and appeals of those rulings are pending in appellate courts in both cities, along with another case in Washington, D.C. Francisco asked the Supreme Court to remove all three cases from the appeals courts in early January, hear them in April and rule by the end of the court’s current term in June."
READ MORE related to Immigration: NBC, Fox News and Facebook stop running Trump's anti-immigrant campaign commercial - LA Times's MEG JAMES; ICE moves to silence detention center volunteer visitors -- LA Times's KATE MORRISSEY
SF fines Airbnb landlords $2.25 million for illegal rentals
The Chronicle's CAROLYN SAID: "Airbnb crime doesn’t pay."
"That’s the message San Francisco wants to send after a well-heeled couple who turned 14 city apartments into illegal hotels through the vacation-rental service agreed to a $2.25 million settlement."
"Darren and Valerie Lee agreed to pay that amount for penalties and investigation costs. In addition, they are barred for at least seven years from offering short-term rentals in any of the 17 San Francisco buildings they own or manage. The couple had to pledge their real estate as collateral to make sure they pay the fine and comply with the injunction, which was approved Monday in San Francisco Superior Court."
READ MORE related to Homelessness & Housing: Tech billionaires battle over SF homeless tax -- LA Times's ANDREA CASTILLO
Anti-gas tax campaign draws threat of legal action with fuel-card giveaway
The Chronicle's RACHEL SWAN: "A last-minute promotional event by proponents of Proposition 6 — the measure to repeal California’s gas-tax hike — prompted calls for the state attorney general to investigate Monday, the latest jolt in a campaign that’s seemed to erupt in its final days."
"In a letter to Attorney General Xavier Becerra, opponents of Prop. 6 accused the measure’s backers of flouting state election law when they offered voters the opportunity to win a $50 gas card “in exchange for their pledge to vote for proposition 6."
"Under California law, it is illegal to offer valuable consideration to induce or reward a voter for voting for a particular measure,” said the letter from Oakland attorney James C. Harrison, citing California Election Code 18522."