THE BUZZ: Orange County has gone blue — or at the very least purple.
If the 2018 midterms didn’t prove it, the voter registration numbers do: Orange County is no longer Republican country, with Democrats now outnumbering GOP voters. This moment crystallizes the demographic trends that have helped cripple the CAGOP and shut them out of House seats in former Reagan country — and could offer a glimpse of what’s ahead in other states with fast-changing populations. POLITICO’s Jeremy B. White has the story:
Story Continued Below
“There are 179 more registered Democrats than Republicans, according to an update released by the Orange County Registrar of Voters Wednesday morning. On the eve of the 2018 election, Republicans retained a roughly 18,000-vote advantage. And now Democrats are feeling optimistic that the county could be a harbinger of similar changes in long-red states with booming populations of Latino and young voters.
That history meant that a disastrous 2018 election for California Republicans, in which Democrats flipped seven formerly GOP House seats, yielding a once-unimaginable outcome: There is not a single Republican representing Orange County, which lies between Los Angeles and San Diego, in Congress.
Those results came as a gut punch to the beleaguered state party, which has been relegated to superminority status in the Legislature and shut out of statewide office. But the transformation of Orange County has been a gradual process paralleling California as a whole shading evermore blue.“
Fred Smoller, a professor of politics at Chapman University in Orange County, argued that “Trump’s ascension has exacerbated the party’s woes
. And he said political trends there should offer a cautionary tale for national Republicans, as with the suburban, white Orange County women who followed counterparts in other states by electing Democrats in 2018.” >Read the story in POLITICO here.
— ANALYSIS: “What Orange County turning blue tells us about California politics...and politics nationally,” by WaPo’s Philip Bump.
BUENOS DIAS, good Thursday morning. We have a wildfire bombshell today: emerging legislation would let PG&E exit bankruptcy by paying victims directly, an idea that’s sure to draw some accusations of a bailout. POLITICO’s Colby Bermel has the scoop for Pro subscribers.
— QUOTE OF THE DAY: “It’s as predictable as wildfires in California.”
Gov. Gavin Newsom on GOP lawsuits over a new law to force Trump to disclose his taxes.
— TWEET OF THE DAY: Rep. @HarleyRouda on OC Dems: “In a groundswell ahead of 2020, grassroots groups banded together to register peers to vote. It’s one of the most patriotic actions one can take. Democrats across OC have work left to do, but we’ve made ourselves heard: we are here to stay.”
— WHERE’S GAVIN? Touting budget money for early childhood investments at LA’s Hope Street Family Center, along with Surgeon General Nadine Burke Harris, Sen. Holly Mitchell and Assemblyman Miguel Santiago.
— MORE VIOLENCE: "4 dead after series of stabbings in Garden Grove, Santa Ana," by the OC Register's Eric Licas: " It was one of the worst sprees of violence in recent Orange County history, though not the deadliest...Police arrested one man at a 7-Eleven at Harbor Boulevard and 1st Street, one of eight crime scenes in the two-hour spree that straddled the two cities."
— HARDER VS NUTRIA: “Swamp rats have invaded California. A Central Valley Democrat is declaring war,” by Christine Mai-Duc in the LA Times: "The invasive swamp rat has taken up residence in his Central Valley congressional district, threatening to damage levees, disrupt the state’s water supply and knock the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta ecosystem out of balance.”
— “A Watchdog Is Investigating Whether A Secret List Of Journalists, Attorneys, And Activists Created By The US Government Violated Laws,” by Adolfo Flores for BuzzFeed: “The database of 10 journalists, at least one US attorney, and 47 others who were listed as ‘organizers’ or ‘instigators’ contained passport pictures and notes on whether each individual had been arrested or interviewed. Many of them were US citizens.”
— MODESTO DRAMA: "Tensions run high at City Council meeting as Straight Pride organizers go on defense," by the Modesto Bee's Kevin Valine.>
NEW—POLITICO’s UNITED NATIONS PLAYBOOK: The 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly will jam some of the world’s most influential leaders into four blocks in Gotham. POLITICO’s man-about-town Ryan Heath will take you inside UNGA—revealing juicy details from the lighter-side of the gathering and insights into the most pressing global issues facing decision-makers today. Sign up for U.N. Playbook.
— “Visa denials to poor Mexicans skyrocket under Trump’s State Department,” by POLITICO’s Ted Hesson: “Applicants from various other countries — including India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Haiti and the Dominican Republic — also saw dramatic increases in denials attributed to the risk that they would consume government benefits.”
— FEDS IN SF: “‘Smothered By Lawlessness’; Feds Launch Drug Crackdown In San Francisco’s Tenderloin District,” by KPIX: “Seventeen federal law enforcement agencies announced Wednesday a yearlong crackdown on San Francisco’s crime-ridden Tenderloin neighborhood where open drug use has been tolerated for years.”
— TARIFF PAIN: “Why West Coast Warehouses Are Bursting at the Seams,” by Bloomberg’s Sarah McGregor: “The next barrage of U.S. tariffs on Chinese products may hurt more than the others because many American businesses are out of room to shield their supplies from the new import taxes. That’s the main lesson from a Bloomberg News look at the busiest cargo ports on the West Coast.”
— FIRST AD: "Kamala Harris hits the airwaves in Iowa," by POLITICO's Christopher Cadelago: "Kamala Harris on Thursday became the first major Democratic presidential candidate to hit the airwaves in Iowa, releasing a new commercial introducing herself to the early-voting state while weaving in a message framed around her kitchen-table agenda... A Harris campaign official said the ad buy will be in the high six figures, and that they expected it to run for several weeks." Watch here.
— NEIGHBORHOOD BREAKDOWN: “Which Democrat is your L.A. block backing?” by Anthony Pesce, Maloy Moore, Iris Lee and Ryan Murphy in the LA Times.
— “Newsom proposes $331M in settlement money for renter, foreclosure relief,” by POLITICO’s Jeremy B. White: “The move comes weeks after the California Supreme Court rebuffed Newsom and ordered his administration to return money taken from a special settlement account created in the wake of a lawsuit against Wells Fargo and other big banks that former Gov. Jerry Brown used to plug budget holes.” (Pro link)
— RENTAL RUMBLE: With the AIDS Healthcare Foundation seeking to again take rent control to the ballot, Newsom said he’s negotiating to “avoid another costly ballot fight” — and he essentially endorsed a >bill to cap rent increases, even saying “we can improve upon” AB 1482. He sidestepped a question about California adopting a right to shelter for the homeless, as the co-chair of his homelessness commission has suggested.
— “California, 42 other state attorneys general press video streaming industry to limit tobacco content,” by POLITICO’s Victoria Colliver: “California Attorney General Xavier Becerra joined a 43-state bipartisan coalition of attorneys general to deliver a letter today urging the top brass at several video streaming services like Amazon and Netflix to limit the use of — and youth exposure to — tobacco imagery in movies and other content.” (Pro link)
— RUBIO SISTERS ACT: “How domestic violence survivors could be given a moment to ‘exhale,’” by Adria Watson for CalMatters: “Susan Rubio, whose domestic violence allegations against her ex-husband made headlines and cost him a seat in the Assembly, is a senator now. And she has a bill.”
— “Secret Formulas Guide Who Gets Denied Home Insurance in Wildfire Risk Areas,” by Ry Rivard in the Voice of San Diego: “Companies use risk predictions to draw hard lines around certain homes, making some properties uninsurable by name brand companies like State Farm, Farmers Insurance and AAA.”
— CRUMBLING AWAY: “Deadly cliffside collapse underscores California's climate-fueled crisis,” by Susie Cagle in the Guardian: “Nearly three-quarters of California’s coastlines are actively eroding, putting lives, homes, roadways, railways, utilities and other infrastructure in danger. The cliffs have been crumbling since before the Arctic began melting, but natural geological collapse stands to worsen in the coming years.”
— “This California Agency Already Regulates PG&E, Uber, AT&T, Trains, Buses — And Now Wildfire Safety. Is That Too Much?” by Ben Adler for Capital Public Radio: “Now, [the California Public Utilities Commission is] being charged with inspecting an estimated 4 million electric poles and 200,000 miles of wire, certifying them as safe, and deciding whether billions of dollars in future wildfire damages can be shifted from utilities’ shareholders to ratepayers.”
— “California threatens to sue if Apple’s hometown lags on housing,” by Roland Li in the SF Chronicle: “The California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) said in a letter that Cupertino risks missing its goal of approving 1,064 new housing units by 2023.”>
CLIMATE CHANGE – THE BORDERLESS THREAT - Nowhere are the long-term costs of short-term thinking more detrimental than with the environment & global climate change. How can policymakers overcome the political roadblocks of the moment to take long-term action? In the third chapter of POLITICO's podcast "Global Translations", presented by Citi, host Luiza Savage will welcome special guests to explore both the science & politics of climate change, and the geopolitical implications that it presents.
— “White House to meet with internet companies after shootings,” by POLITICO’s Margaret Harding McGill: “The meeting will include ‘senior administration officials along with representatives of a range of companies,’ according to a White House spokesperson, who did not name who will take part.”
— MEANWHILE: “White House drafting executive order to tackle Silicon Valley’s alleged anti-conservative bias,” by POLITICO’s McGill and Daniel Lippman: The draft’s “existence, and the deliberations surrounding it, are evidence that the administration is taking a serious look at wielding the federal government’s power against Silicon Valley.”
— “Uber Wants to Sell You Train Tickets. And Be Your Bus Service, Too,” by Kate Conger in NYT: “As the company seeks new growth, it has teamed up with cities and transit agencies in the United States, Canada, Britain and Australia to provide tickets, to transport people with disabilities or sometimes to substitute for a town’s public transportation system entirely.”
— “EBay bans assault rifle parts. Here’s how sellers get around it,” by Jeff Bercovici in the LA Times: Ebay’s “marketplace rules prohibit only ‘products that mention capability with an assault weapon, even if the part or accessory fits non-assault weapons.’”
— PRIMER: “Trump says Google is biased against conservatives. Here’s how search actually works,” by Rani Molla for Recode.
— “Lyft Hit With $200,000 Penalty for Shortage of Shared Bikes,” by Dan Brekke for KQED: “Removing the bikes this spring meant the company was unable to deliver on its contractual obligation to provide a minimum number of bikes for riders in the five cities served by Bay Wheels, formerly called Ford GoBike: San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland, Berkeley and Emeryville.”
— ANATOMY OF HATE: “How Hate-Filled Groups Incite Violence From the Extreme Corners of the Internet,” by Rachael Myrow for KQED: “Despite hiring tens of thousands of contract workers to screen out hate speech, mainstream social media companies like Facebook and Twitter still struggle to keep offensive material off their platforms. But the more that mainstream platforms screen, the more people who want to read hate speech move to platforms that will allow it, like 8chan.”
— “Outside Lands gets green light for pot sales on festival grounds,” by SFChronicle’s Melia Russell: “For the first time, San Francisco’s largest summer music festival has won approval for cannabis sales and a designated smoking area at the three-day event, which starts Friday in Golden Gate Park."
— RIP, PACIFIC STAND? Pacific Standard editor-in-chief Nicholas Jackson tweeted yesterday that the storied magazine had lost its “primary funder” and would be shuttered “effective next Friday.” >Full thread on Twitter.
— BERNIE BACKS LAT: Sen.
Bernie Sanders weighed in on behalf of LATimes guild members fighting for a new contract yesterday, >urging his 9.5 million followers to show solidarity.
— “California’s only known wolf pack adds 3 pups,” by the AP.
— “Captured Newport Beach fugitive Peter Chadwick is denied bail,” by Julia Sclafani in the LA Times.
— “Sacramento County jail inmate dies weeks after transfer to hospital, authorities say,” by Michael McGough in the Sac Bee.
— ANGRY FACES: “Giant emoji painted on house roil California community,” via AP.
— “He went to jail as a fake doctor. Now he’s a real one: The saga of Adam Litwin, MD,” by Soumya Karlamangla in the LA Times.
— “SoCalGas didn’t show up for a Porter Ranch hearing on Aliso Canyon. Here’s why,” by Pierce Singgih in the LA Daily News.
— “SF to launch 24-hour toilet pilot in Tenderloin, SoMa, Castro,” by Joshua Sabatini in the SF Examiner.
CALIFORNIA POLICY IS ALWAYS CHANGING: Know your next move. POLITICO California Pro has officially arrived. From Sacramento to Silicon Valley, POLITICO California Pro provides policy professionals with the in-depth reporting and tools they need to get ahead of policy trends and political developments shaping the Golden State. To learn more about the exclusive insight and analysis this subscriber-only service offers, click here.
Want to make an impact? POLITICO California has a variety of solutions available for partners looking to reach and activate the most influential people in the Golden State. Have a petition you want signed? A cause you’re promoting? Seeking to increase brand awareness amongst this key audience? Share your message with our influential readers to foster engagement and drive action. Contact Jesse Shapiro to find out how: [email protected].