CalWatchdog Morning Read – December 5

  • CalWatchdogLogoVoter fraud in CA?
  • Public workers strike canceled, deal reached with state
  • Lawmakers urge new AG to step up CPUC probe
  • Democrats want funding for legal bills for undocumented immigrants
  • CA Democrats want ban on offshore drilling

Good morning! Legislators are back in Sacramento today for the swearing in of their new colleagues. But at the same time, top Republicans are questioning the integrity of some of the state’s election results, forcing the state’s top election official to dismiss the allegations.

Leaders in the state party are concerned about local elections, particularly in one important Orange County state Senate race.

But President-elect Donald Trump fanned the flames by tweeting California was one of three states with “serious” voter fraud. His Sunday tweet followed another sent hours earlier claiming that he’d “won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally.” 

So far, Trump has offered no proof to his claims, which were dismissed in great detail by PolitiFact California. Secretary of State Alex Padilla immediately sent a press release disavowing the claim: “It appears that Mr. Trump is troubled by the fact that a growing majority of Americans did not vote for him. His unsubstantiated allegations of voter fraud in California and elsewhere are absurd.”

California Republican Party Chairman Jim Brulte told party officials in an internal email obtained by CalWatchdog that the state has a history of “anomalies” that “deserve further scrutiny.” Brulte added that he believed “most of the government officials charged with ensuring voter and ballot integrity are good people who want to do the right thing.”

CalWatchdog has more. 

In other news:

  • “A day after halting plans for a strike, state government’s largest employee union announced that it had reached a tentative agreement for a new contract. Neither SEIU Local 1000 nor the state’s Human Resources Department would disclose the deal’s highlights Saturday morning.” The Sacramento Bee has more. 

  • “Bay Area elected officials are calling on Rep. Xavier Becerra, named by Gov. Jerry Brown to be the state’s attorney general, to prioritize a criminal investigation into the California Public Utilities Commission,” reports the San Francisco Chronicle

  • “With President-elect Donald Trump’s campaign rhetoric on illegal immigration still fresh on their minds, legislative Democrats have readied a pair of proposals they believe will offer some immigrants additional legal help. The bills, set to be introduced on the first day of the new legislative session Monday, primarily aim to bolster the legal representation of immigrants who are in the country illegally and threatened with deportation.” The Los Angeles Times has more. 

  • “Ahead of next month’s inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump, more than two dozen returning and new Democratic members of the California Senate on Friday asked President Obama to enact a ban on new oil drilling off the state’s coast.” The Los Angeles Times has more. 

Legislature:

  • New legislators will be sworn in today at the Capitol at noon. 

Gov. Brown:

  • Hosting the 85th Annual Capitol Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony today at 4:30 p.m. on the west steps of the Capitol.
  • Press conference with Rep. Xavier Becerra, D-Los Angeles, at 11:15 a.m. in the governor’s office in Sacramento. 

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