Good morning, California.
Here are some campaign numbers to start your day:
As of Wednesday, Republican John Cox, 63, had raised $9.37 million for his run for governor, counting the money he has given himself. Democrat Gavin Newsom, who turned 51 on Wednesday, had raised $28.34 million.
The cost of breaking away from utilities
The City of Davis is among those with its own program to deliver electricity.
The California Public Utilities Commission votes today on proposals that would establish the costs to electricity users if they break away from privately owned utilities and establish new entities known as community choice aggregators, the Mercury News reports.
- Nineteen communities statewide have established or are working to set up their own programs to procure and deliver electricity to their residents and businesses, the better to lower consumer costs or ensure greener energy. That draws customers from big utilities such as PG&E.
The issue: All consumers benefit from the grid that the investor-owned utilities’ have built.
The question: How much should breakaway consumers pay for past benefits and to maintain the system?
San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and San Francisco Mayor London Breed issued a statement critical of the proposal before the commission, The San Francisco Chronicle reports:
The mayors: “Significantly raising exit fees will create price volatility and uncertainty and could threaten the future of our clean power programs.”
Pacific Gas & Electric Co. spokeswoman Lynsey Paulo: “PG&E wants to ensure that all customers are treated equally and do not pay for other customers.”
For more on the issue, please read CALmatters’ commentaries, including a recent one from Commissioner Carla Peterman, and another in today’s commentary section by the board president of the Center for Climate Protection, Efren Carrillo.
The Kavanaugh effect
A section of the U.S.-Mexico border wall between San Diego and Tijuana.
New U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh defended the Trump administration’s view of immigration enforcement Wednesday, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The occasion was a class action brought by the ACLU on behalf of noncitizens such as Eduardo Padilla, a Sacramento area grandfather, who had been a lawful permanent resident for decades but whose record had two convictions in the 1990s for drug possession, and one in 2002 for having an unloaded gun in his shed.
- Federal authorities detained him for deportation in 2013, and the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ordered him released, saying he was not a danger or flight risk. The Trump administration appealed to the Supreme Court.
The administration is arguing for mandatory detention of immigrants with criminal records, even if the crimes were minor and occurred years ago.
The court’s liberal minority cited “a huge constitutional question” in holding people indefinitely without due process. The ACLU, representing Padilla and others in his situation, argued that such immigrants at least deserve bail hearings.
Kavanaugh sided with the administration: “The problem is Congress did not trust those hearings. … For a certain class of criminal or terrorist aliens, [Congress] said, ‘No more.’”
A decision is expected in 2019.
Whatever Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s impact on the bench, it isn’t clear his bruising confirmation battle will have much of an effect on turnout for California’s election.
In the latest California Target Book Insider Track Survey, a narrow majority of California campaign consultants, lobbyists and legislative operatives surveyed predict that Democratic and Republican outrage will be a wash or have no major effect by the time Californians go to the polls in November.
CALmatters’ Ben Christopher explores the details here.
What John Cox distrusts, yet wants to be
John Cox making a longshot run for president in 2007, at the Iowa State Fair.
And yet, as CALmatters Ben Christopher writes, Cox has spent decades trying to become one, running for Congress and U.S. Senate in his native Illinois, and the presidency in 2008. Another Illinois resident won that race.
Ironically, his biggest success has been in Democratic-dominated California, where, thanks to President Donald Trump’s endorsement and $5.65 million of his own money, he has made it into the general election campaign. Democrat Gavin Newsom has a wide lead in polls and in campaign funds.
Little known fact: In May 2010, Cox, then listing his residence as Naples, Fla., donated $1,000 to Steve Poizner, who was running for governor as a Republican. Poizner now is a no-party preference candidate for insurance commissioner.
Undecided on the propositions? Here’s help
CALmatters’ John Osborn D’Agostino set out to help people decide how they feel about the 11 measures on the Nov. 6 ballot by asking some pertinent questions. Are you against all taxes? Do you think roads are a mess? Is the rent too damned high? What do you think of ballot measures funded or opposed by a single entity? And so on.
By swiping left or swiping right, you can clarify your position on some fairly complicated questions. Click here to play our quick game.
Meanwhile, check out our Props-in-a-Minute, your fast, informative and wildly popular video primer on the ballot measures. Today’s installment, brought to you by CALmatters’ Byrhonda Lyons and Matt Levin, explores the portable real estate tax break in Proposition 5.
Commentary at CALmatters
Efren Carrillo: Communities across California have given ratepayers not-for-profit alternatives to corporate utility companies, allowing them to choose cleaner power that directly benefits their cities and towns. However, the California Public Utilities Commission could derail the expansion of local clean energy programs with a proposal that would limit choices and lead to higher prices for ratepayers.
Dan Walters: Two ballot propositions dealing with union-management conflicts in medical services indicate that it’s too easy to place measures before voters. Raising the signature threshold for initiatives could discourage misuse.
See you tomorrow.