CalWatchdog Morning Read – November 17

  • CalWatchdogLogoAll eyes on SoCal state Senate race
  • More details of personal spending from SD congressman’s campaign account
  • Trouble for Pelosi?
  • State senator wants total ban of sex offenders in schools
  • Small Sierra town defaults on pension contributions

Good morning! TGIT. Just to piggy back on one thing we wrote yesterday, the only thing standing in the way of a Democratic supermajority in the Legislature is one Southern California Senate seat. 

Democrats are halfway there as the last barrier between them and a two-thirds majority in the Assembly officially crumbled on Tuesday, after the Associated Press determined Democrat Sabrina Cervantes had knocked off Republican incumbent Eric Linder in the Inland Empire.

But to completely enjoy the benefits of a supermajority, Democrats will have to win one more seat in the Senate as well, which means Democrat Josh Newman has to overcome a few thousand vote deficit against Republican Assemblywoman Ling Ling Chang.

Currently, Chang leads Newman by about 2,600 votes, a number that changes daily as ballots are still being counted. On Wednesday, Chang’s lead was around 5,000 votes.

The district is split between Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino counties, with Orange having the largest swath of voters. 

Orange County estimates that there are still 162,778 ballots left uncounted countywide out of 374,397 post-Election Day. 

CalWatchdog has more. 

In other news:

  • “Federal election officials on Wednesday released an accounting from GOP Rep. Duncan Hunter itemizing dozens of apparently personal outlays by the congressman’s campaign — expenses he has now reimbursed to the tune of $60,000. The list resembles a suburban family budget including utilities, a dentist, a nail salon, Albertsons, Costco, Walmart, Home Depot, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Trader Joe’s and Abercrombie & Fitch — and also 32 airline transactions, a hotel in Italy and the Arizona Grand Resort.” The San Diego Union-Tribune has more. 

  • “When Nancy Pelosi travels from her home in San Francisco to her job in Washington as House Democratic leader, she flies over millions of voters whom Democrats relied on for decades but who rejected the party this year. The Democrats’ shellacking in the election — below-expectations gains in the House plus the White House loss and minimal wins in the Senate — produced party grumbling that the 76-year-old California liberal may not be the best messenger to lead those once-core Democratic voters back into the fold.” The San Jose Mercury News/AP has more. 

  • “When the California State Senate convenes next month, Sen. Connie Leyva, D-Chino, says that she plans to introduce legislation to ban all registered sex offenders from school campuses without exception,” reports the Los Angeles Times

  • “CalPERS on Wednesday declared that the Sierra County town of Loyalton has defaulted on its debt to the giant pension fund, a move that means the state is poised to scale back retirees’ pension benefits,” reports The Sacramento Bee


  • Gone till December. 

Gov. Brown:

  • No public events announced. 

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