Good morning, California. Wake up and smell the coffee.

“Do you think I would make myself a lame duck right here over this double-espresso?”—House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco talking to the Los Angeles Times’ Mark Z. Barabak about her post-Nov. 6 plans.

Healthcare union counts victory in dollars spent against it

The dialysis industry has spent $105 million-plus against Proposition 8.

Win or lose, the healthcare worker union leader who is pushing an initiative to regulate dialysis clinic profits, Dave Regan, is getting some satisfaction at the huge sums being spent by the dialysis industry, $105 million and counting.

Regan: “In a weird kind of way, we must be doing something right.”

Proposition 8 would limit profits to 15 percent at California’s 555 dialysis clinics and provide incentives for the operators to increase staffing.

  • Regan’s Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West would dearly love to organize the 9,000 workers at the clinics, DaVita Kidney Care and Fresenius Medical Care.

No-on-8 spokeswoman Kathy Fairbanks: “It’s unconscionable that UHW is willing to continuously put patient lives at risk to pursue its union organizing agenda.”

Not that he’s conceding, but Regan said he plans to press for new legislation in 2019 aimed at the dialysis industry, may return to the ballot in 2020 with a new initiative, and hopes to work with labor leaders in other states who might want to copy what he is doing.

Regan: “Honestly we did not just do this as a one-off. We are committed to patients and the workers over the long-term.”

Sounds familiar: Regan has used initiatives and threats of initiatives in the past in negotiations on behalf of his 100,000-member union. The high-dollar spending to defeat the initiative is sure to send a message to Regan’s future foes that ballot measures come at a steep cost.

To go deeper, click here.


Advertisement

It's time to make behavioral health solutions a top priority in California.


Harris heads to Iowa offering a middle class promise

U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris

When U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris touches down in Iowa Monday, she will offer a promise to the working middle class: A tax deal that would put up to $6,000 in the pockets of people earning $100,000 or less.

Harris’ team provided a spreadsheet comparing her tax plan with the one pushed by President Donald Trump and approved by Congress last year.

  • Under Harris’ plan, a worker who makes $53,000 income would get a federal income tax credit of $1,930, compared with an $800 under Trump’s tax plan.
  • In a two-worker family in which each person earns $53,000, both would get $1,930, or $3,860 total.
  • Harris proposes to pay for it by raising corporate taxes. Trump’s tax plan cut the corporate tax rate to 21 percent from 35 percent.

As Harris took the stage in a church Friday in the early primary state of South Carolina, The New York Times reported, the audience chanted: “Madam President!” Not to make too fine a point.

More houses: A solution, and a problem, too

Coffey Park in Santa Rosa, 2017

One year after wildfire ravaged his city and exacerbated its shortage of affordable housing, Santa Rosa’s mayor tells CALmatters’ Matt Levin and the LA Times’ Liam Dillon that the city can’t do much about property owners who insist on rebuilding in fire-prone areas.

But the city can make sure more housing units go up in safer parts of the city, such as the civic core, he says.

Mayor Chris Coursey: “We’ve done a lot with our policy and regulatory powers to create an atmosphere and ability to create denser, higher, more-transit oriented projects in our downtown Santa Rosa area…Building denser downtown is the future of this city.”

Check out their conversation on responsibly rebuilding California’s wine country on Gimme Shelter, the California Housing Crisis Podcast.

Related: Only 13 percent of California voters believe the analysis of academic researchers and state policymakers that the underlying cause of the state’s housing crisis is not enough homes for all the people who want to live here.

  • In a USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times survey published over the weekend, too little homebuilding ranked sixth among eight proffered factors. Nearly one in four respondents cited too little funding for low-income housing, and No. 1, named by 28 percent, was lack of rent control.

Trump stumps for California GOP—in Arizona

The Central Valley Water Project

Five Central Valley congressional Republicans traveled to Scottsdale to witness President Donald Trump sign an order intended to divert more Northern California water to San Joaquin Valley farms.

Why there and not here: In Arizona, 48.2 percent of voters disapprove of the president’s performance and 47.6 approve of him, a recent Suffolk University/Arizona Republic poll shows.

  • In California, two-thirds of voters disapprove of the president, though he is less unpopular in the Central Valley.
  • Trump was stumping in Arizona for Republicans, who risk losing the seat held by retiring U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake.

The president’s action Friday was intended to boost reelection prospects of Congressman Jeff Denham, a Turlock Republican who has made water delivery to his district’s farms a core issue, while GOP television ads blast his Democratic opponent, Josh Harder, as a San Francisco liberal.

  • Denham traveled to meet the president with House Leader Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield, Congressmen Devin Nunes of Tulare, Tom McClintock of Elk Grove and David Valadao of Hanford.

Denham: “This order will reduce regulatory burdens and promote more efficient environmental reviews of California water storage projects, ensuring that Valley farmers and residents have a supply of water for generations to come.”

The Los Angeles Times’ Bettina Boxall: “The directive will have little immediate practical effect. … California’s massive federal irrigation system, the Central Valley Project, must also adhere to state environmental regulations and water rights permits.”

Mary Creasman, chief executive of the California League of Conservation Voters, to the Wall Street Journal: “This is clearly a political stunt, and Californians are going to pay the price.”

Reality:  If California’s water wars could have been solved by a stroke of a pen, they would have been over long ago. Nothing water-related in California happens without a court fight. Water certainly is vital to agriculture. So are trade and immigration. There was no public discussion of Trump’s stands on those policies.

Commentary at CALmatters

Pro/Con on Proposition 11, which would affect paramedic services:

Carol Meyer, registered nurse and ambulance provider consultant — Yes. For patients suffering from a cardiac arrest, every minute that passes without CPR or a defibrillator can decrease the chances of survival by 7-10 percent.

Jeff Misner, American Federal of State, County & Municipal Employees — No. We’re the last people you want to see in your day. But when we do show up, you want us to be our best. Life hangs in the balance.

Dan Walters, CALmatters: Tying political contributions to legislation is illegal bribery that could land dealmakers in prison, but such pay-to-play tactics are perfectly legal when it comes to ballot measures.

Please email or call me with tips, suggestions and insights, [email protected], 916.201.6281. Thanks for reading, please tell a friend and sign up here.

See you tomorrow.