CalWatchdog Morning Read – November 23

  • CalWatchdogLogoDemocrats on verge of supermajority
  • Transportation deal dead for now
  • Largest public workers union to strike
  • Kamala Harris Backpage.com prosecution may be falling apart 
  • Initiative forcing voter approval of large bond measures dies

Good morning! Programming note: Morning Read will go dark Thursday and Friday in honor of Thanksgiving. Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving!

Democrat Josh Newman now has a lead of almost 1,400 votes in the Southern California state Senate seat upon which rests Democrats’ chance of a supermajority in the Legislature.

Newman, a political neophyte, had been running behind Republican Assemblywoman Ling Ling Chang since Election Day. But Chang’s lead began slipping away recently. 

On Tuesday, Chang clung to a lead of less than 200 votes. By Wednesday evening, Newman had overtaken Chang, stretching his lead to nearly 1,400 votes.

Chang’s camp is undeterred. A campaign spokesman told CalWatchdog they would wait until “the votes were counted.”

“We never declared victory (while Chang had the lead) and I’m not in the mood to declare defeat,” said Jim Nygren, a campaign consultant for Chang.

CalWatchdog has more. 

In other news: 

No transportation deal before new legislators are sworn in: “Speculation over a potential last-minute push on a transportation funding plan ended Tuesday, when Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders declared there would be no lame-duck negotiations this month,” reports the Los Angeles Times.

SEIU Local 1000 to strike on day of swear in: “California’s largest state-employee union announced Tuesday that it will go on strike Dec. 5 in response to what union leaders complain is ‘unlawful conduct and egregious unfair labor practices’ during negotiations for a new contract,” reports The Sacramento Bee

Harris’ big accomplishment may fall flat: “Incoming U.S. Senator Kamala Harris is facing an embarrassing end to one of her final high-profile prosecutions as California Attorney General, with a court poised to throw out a string of sex trafficking charges against the operators of adult classifieds site Backpage.com.” Buzzfeed has more. 

Initiative to bring many bond measures before voters fails: “California voters have rejected Proposition 53, a November measure to limit the state’s use of revenue bonds to pay for large public works projects that could have undermined Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed twin water tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.” The Sacramento Bee has more. 

Legislature:

  • Gone till December (officially).

Gov. Brown:

  • No public events announced. 

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