CalWatchdog Morning Read – November 3

  • CalWatchdogLogoTrump supporters to “watch” polls next week
  • School construction bond in trouble?
  • Leaked emails show strange relationship between Bay Area billionaire and Clinton strategist
  • Environmentalists top list of lobbyist employers in CA
  • Is Rep. Janice Hahn in trouble in L.A. County supervisorial race after L.A. Times investigation?

Good morning! TGIT. Two more days until the weekend and six more days until the election. 

And don’t be surprised if when you go to vote next Tuesday (if you haven’t embraced mail-in voting yet) someone is there watching you. According to the Riverside Press Enterprise:

“Supporters of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump have announced plans to observe Election Day voting throughout California. … Poll watchers can’t legally interfere with voting, interact with voters within 100 feet of a polling place or challenge a voter’s eligibility. But the leader of a pro-Trump veterans group said his people are prepared to call for help if they see anything suspicious.” 

In other news:

  • One of the 17 measures voters will consider, Proposition 51, a $9-billion school bond, is struggling, according to polling from the last two months, despite the fact that school construction spending tends to be popular at the ballot box. The Los Angeles Times has more.

  • In non-ballot measure election news, “Bay Area billionaire philanthropist Herb Sandler, who was among those blamed for the 2008 mortgage meltdown that triggered the financial crisis, has edged back into the spotlight thanks to the WikiLeaks hacking of the email account of Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta.” The San Jose Mercury News has more. 

  • And speaking for the influence of the wealthy, “California lobbyist employers spent $84.4 million to advocate to officials and influence legislation from July 1 through September,” writes The Sacramento Bee. “NextGen Climate Action, a campaign committee led by billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer, topped the list of lobbyist employers, spending $7.3 million during the seventh quarter of the 2015-16 legislative session, according to state filings.”

  • LA Weekly wonders if a Los Angeles Times investigation about questionable political contributions from a local developer will upend an L.A. County supervisorial race where Democratic Congresswoman Janice Hahn has been the frontrunner.


  • Gone till December. 

Gov. Brown:

  • Out on the trail, per Politico: “California Gov. Edmund J. Brown Jr., joined by Los Angeles firefighters, nurses, business and labor leaders, will detail his opposition to Proposition 53, the ballot measure that undermines local control by forcing a statewide vote on water, highway, and other local infrastructure projects.” Details: Thursday, 10 a.m., United Firefighters Headquarters, 1571 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles CA 90026
  • Per Opposition to Prop 53 release: “California Gov. Edmund J. Brown Jr., joined by public safety and local government leaders, will detail his opposition to Proposition 53, the ballot measure that undermines local control by forcing a statewide vote on water, highway, and other local infrastructure projects.” Details: Thursday, November 3, 2016, 1 p.m. at IBEW 569 Union Hall, 4545 Viewridge Ave, Suite 100, San Diego.

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  1. Standing Fast
    Standing Fast 3 November, 2016, 11:18

    Regarding the report that Presidential candidate Donald Trump is encouraging his supporters to watch the polls on Election Day:

    By doing this he is not suggesting that they do anything wrong. Poll-watching is something voters in America should have been doing more of all along. There are a lot of problems in many counties with the election process, mine included.

    As a former volunteer poll-worker I can tell you it is a heavy responsibility to do everything right. As a voter, I’ve been given improper instructions for turning in an absentee ballot at a polling place. That is NOT NORMAL, but it happens.

    Whoever is charged with returning the ballots to the Election Department is supposed to be followed by other volunteers to make sure they get turned in to the right people. That is NORMAL.

    At election HQs, the people counting the ballots have particular procedures they are supposed to follow. The only guarantee that they follow them is for volunteers from every political party to be standing by and watching to see that they do. That is NORMAL.

    On Election Day there will be people who try to vote who are not registered and some who are not qualified to vote. The volunteer poll-workers have to respond to these problems effectively and if there is some kind of funny-business going on, having volunteer poll-watchers on hand is probably comforting. For there to be anything more than people being referred to the Election Department to get their status resolved is NOT NORMAL.

    In my county, boxes of absentee ballots were left at one or more post offices to be picked up by Election Department employees. I can’t remember if those ballots were ever counted or not. That is NOT NORMAL, but it isn’t something a poll-watcher would have any way of knowing about.

    It seems to me that Trump has been made into a scapegoat for all sorts of real and imagined issues that plague our society these days. Personally, I am more concerned about Clinton’s camp than I am trump’s. I think Americans need an Attitude Adjustment.

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