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What We're Reading

Thursday, March 07, 2019

Gov. Newsom raised $2.5 million to pay the bills for parties around inauguration: "The biggest donor to the inaugural and the two days of parties was organized labor, which ponied up $775,000 to help stage the events, with $150,000 coming from the state's prison guards union and $100,000 from the California Teachers Association Political Action Committee." Story.
 
Acosta's Unlikely Allies: The AFL-CIO executive council held off Tuesday on asking Labor Secretary Alexander to resign over his 2008 plea deal with billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein. On a conference call to discuss the controversy, the labor federation's executive council weighed the severity of a judge's ruling last week that the plea deal violated the Crime Victims' Rights Act, ultimately deciding not to act. According to press accounts, two union leaders on the call said they worried that Acosta's successor will end up being worse for workers, underscoring a counter-intuitive political dynamic: The same traits that make Acosta tolerable to unions - a propensity for deliberation, a preference for legal prudence, and a persistent fear of generating negative headlines - have eroded Acosta's support among pro-management lobbyists. Business groups are impatient to see more progress on deregulation at DOL by the end of 2020, lest the country elect a Democratic president. "The management community is becoming weary of the slow pace of rules," said one lobbyist. Meanwhile, Florida lawmakers are urging the House Oversight and Judiciary Committees to call the Labor Secretary to testify about the plea agreement, Glenn Thrush reported in the New York Times."House leaders are likely to approve some kind of a hearing, although it is unclear when," Thrush wrote.
 
San Diego Dem-On-Dem? Sunday Gover had more reason than most to be shocked when state Assemblyman Brian Maienschein switched his registration from Republican to Democrat: Gover, a Democrat, had just fallen short by a mere 607 votes in her bid to unseat Maienschein. While state Assembly Democrats exulted and Republicans branded their erstwhile caucus colleague a turncoat, Gover vowed vigilance, saying she'd be "watching closely to see whether Mr. Maienschein fully embraces our community's values" or was just engaging in some self-preservation. Democratic sources have seemed confident Gover wouldn't run in 2020, but we could still get a now-intraparty rematch. The ever-useful California Target Bot turned up a newly created Gover for Assembly 2020 committee. 2018 campaign consultant Dan Rottenstreich said the formation of the committee was just "procedural" and doesn't mean Gover is announcing another campaign - but she's also "not ruling it out," depending how Maienschein behaves.
 
Does Harris have a Lock on the Nomination? "Ever since Sen. Kamala Harris announced her presidential campaign, there's been a gush of speculation about the importance of her home state in the nomination process - especially since the California primary has been moved up to March. I'm neither for nor against Harris in the primary, and I will enthusiastically support her if she is the Democratic candidate. But much of the hype about the supposed primacy of the California primary for her candidacy ignores the recent history of the state's role in the Democratic nominating process." More (registration may be required)
 
2020 Election
 
Klobuchar's Paid Leave Problem: The New York Times joined other publications (HuffPost, Yahoo, and BuzzFeed) to run a mean-boss profile of Sen. Amy Klobuchar.All the stories have reported that Klobuchar's Senate office has an unusually high staff turnover, that Klobuchar has a terrible temper, and that she frequently requires staffers to run personal errands. The Times story included an odd anecdote about the Minnesota Democrat eating salad with a comb after an aide misplaced her fork, and then ordering the aide to clean the comb. The Times also said that Klobuchar required staff returning from paid parental leave to remain employed in her office at least three times as long as the leave - or pay the difference out of pocket. A Klobuchar spokeswoman told the Times that Klobuchar offers 12 weeks' paid leave and has "never made staff pay back any of their leave and will be changing that language in the handbook." More here.