“Though both former political fixtures in San Francisco, (Gavin) Newsom and (Kamala) Harris haven’t always been allies.” — Politico’s Carla Marinucci, charting the evolving relationship between the Democratic frontrunner for governor and the junior U.S. senator.

Rent-control backers won’t be done Tuesday

Proposition 10, to open the way for rent control, is on Tuesday's ballot.

Proposition 10, which would expand rent control in California, is tanking in nonpartisan polling, and not just because opponents have spent $75 million to kill it, CALmatters’ Matt Levin reports.

Polls show voters like rent control. The measure’s backers use the slogan that rent is too high, but make no mention in their television ads that the proposal would open the way for rent control.

Why not? Rand Martin, consultant to the Yes on 10 campaign, said proponents found in polling and focus groups that a message about “local control” was more powerful than one focused on rent control.

Steve Maviglio, a consultant for the No on 10 campaign, noted that the anti-10 campaign features harm that the measure could do to housing.

Maviglio: “We’ve done everything we can to shift the conversation away” from rent control.

Levin and the L.A. Times’ Liam Dillon discuss Proposition 10 and other housing-related ballot measures in the latest episode of their Gimme Shelter podcast.

In it, the Proposition 10 campaign manager has some choice words about Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and says that if the measure fails, backers may return with another initiative in 2020.


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Vaccine fight plays out in an election campaign

State Sen. Richard Pan is almost certain to win a new four-year term in his heavily Democratic Sacramento-area district. But Pan, a pediatrician, has paid a price for carrying legislation requiring childhood vaccinations.

First, there was a recall attempt. That sputtered. Now he is being challenged by first-time candidate Eric Frame. Heading into the final three weeks of the election, Frame had a negative balance of $870 in his campaign account. In recent days, he raised $50,200. That’s not enough to win. But it did catch Pan’s attention.

In 2015, Pan’s legislation ended the personal-belief exemption, by which many parents who fear vaccinations could excuse their children from immunizations against such preventable diseases as measles, mumps and chickenpox. Anti-vax activists packed the Capitol in protest.

Capitol Public Radio reports that Frame, an independent, wants to see the exemptions restored, contending that children have adverse reactions to vaccines.

Pan isn’t giving up. He told me he is contemplating new legislation in 2019 to limit the ability of physicians to grant exemptions. But he also knows that legislators who lived through the 2015 battle don’t relish a replay.


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Insiders’ best guesses on Nov. 6 results

Insiders who get paid to know what’s ahead take their best guess at what will happen in tomorrow’s election. Check out findings in Target Book’s Insider Track, as detailed by CALmatters’ Elizabeth Castillo.

Campaign attacks get harsher

In 2012, the California Teachers Association fought legislation to make it somewhat easier to fire teachers accused of serious misconduct and crimes. Lawmakers who sided with the union still pay a price.

Mark Berndt is a disgraced Los Angeles elementary school teacher who is serving a 25-year prison term for committing lewd acts against nearly two dozen children. The Los Angeles Unified School District paid him $40,000 to drop an appeal of his firing.

  • Then-Sen. Alex Padilla, now secretary of state, introduced legislation in 2012 to make it easier to dismiss teachers who commit such horrific crimes.
  • As an assemblyman, Democrat Mike Eng of Monterey Park, declined to cast a vote for or against the bill in a committee. That non-vote helped kill it.

Now that he is running for a state Senate seat, Eng’s Democratic opponent, Susan Rubio, refers to that non-vote in an especially graphic mailer:

“A school teacher spoon-fed his semen to students and Mike failed them as your Assemblyman.”

Eng’s campaign consultant Steve Barkan said the mailer reflects our harsh political times:

“Voters were outraged and weren’t buying it.”

Rubio, a public-school teacher and Baldwin Park city councilwoman, cites Eng’s attacks on her, including attempts to tie her to President Donald Trump’s immigration policy.

Rubio: “If he is going to lie to voters, I decided to tell the truth about his record.”

Upshot: In 2014, Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation to make it easier to fire criminal teachers. L.A. Unified paid $139 million to settle claims by Berndt’s students.

Commentary at CALmatters

Alexandra Mallick, Re:store Justice: I am not a lawyer, but I know what’s just and what’s not. The more I came to learn about the felony murder rule, the more shocking it seemed that this law existed in California.

Dan Walters, CALmatters: California’s state government and its 58 counties have had a rocky relationship for decades, and a new flare-up may be coming.

What mattered 105 years ago

Photo courtesy of the California State Library.

You know some of the story from “Chinatown,” the classic 1974 film. Los Angeles agents posed as farmers and bought water rights, essentially stealing Owens Valley’s water to propel the city’s explosive growth, and turning the valley into a dust bowl.

On this date 105 years ago, water began flowing to Los Angeles, as the photo above, taken by B.D. Jackson in 1913, shows.

The L.A. Times wrote in 2017: “In the Owens Valley, it is still known as the original sin that sparked decades of hatred for Los Angeles as the valley dried up and ranchers and farmers struggled to make a living.”

Ramona Ripston, 1927-2018

Ramona Ripston led the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California for four decades, as it shaped law in Los Angeles, California and beyond. She died Saturday at 91, the L.A. Times reports. Her husband, U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Stephen Reinhardt, died in March.

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.

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