Good morning, California.

“These people need help — this has got to stop. I didn’t make up this picture (and) being subtle is not helpful if we are going to solve this.” — San Francisco public relations consultant David Perry, quoted by the San Francisco Chronicle’s Phil Matier and Andy Ross.

Perry posted a photo on Facebook of a tattooed man passed out on a sidewalk near AT&T park with hypodermic needles strewn about.

Bay Area traffic.

The Trump administration appears poised to revoke California’s ability to set its own pollution limits for cars, an authority that dates to the time when Ronald Reagan was governor.

On Monday, Bloomberg and other news outlets reported that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency could act this week. That would set off months, if not years of litigation.

Remind me: California, the state with the worst smog in the nation, set off on its own in the 1960s and 1970s to set clean air standards for the state. The state standards have significantly reduced smog and ozone, though the air in places, particularly in the southern San Joaquin Valley, remains bad much of the time.

In May, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra promised to use “every legal tool at our disposal” if the Trump administration follows through on the threat, first raised in April.

Gov. Jerry Brown declared: “This is existential,” citing calamities such as storms and year-round fires brought about by the changing climate. The state standards are an important part of California’s plan to achieve ambitious goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

California has sued Trump 38 times, as detailed by CALmatters Ben Christopher. Our colleague Julie Cart has also been tracking the battles between California and Trump over the environment.


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Assemblyman became ‘irate.’ Worker hit a panic button

Assemblyman Ed Chau, Democrat from Monterey Park.

Democratic Assemblyman Ed Chau became so verbally abusive toward Secretary of State workers this spring that one of them pressed a “panic button,” drawing security officers who escorted the legislator out of the building.

Records released to CALmatters in response to a California Public Records Act request included a letter from Secretary of State Alex Padilla to Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon referring to the March 8 incident:

“Despite several attempts by staff to calm him, he lost his composure. Assemblymember Chau raised his voice and spoke to the staff in a highly aggressive and demeaning tone, at times leaning over the counter and raising his hands at staff while berating them.”

A safe seat: Chau is running for his fourth term in a safe Democratic district that includes his residence in Monterey Park. His Republican opponent, Burton Brink, reported having less than $16,000 in his bank account, compared with Chau’s $175,000.

Chau became frustrated with workers at the elections desk at the Secretary of State’s office in Sacramento as he questioned the propriety of Brink’s ballot designation, “retired sheriff’s sergeant,” his rank when he retired from the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department last October. Chau told me he thought candidates could not cite past employment in their designations.

Chau: “There was no intention to offend anyone.”

Charter school advocate falls

“I am sorry for the mistakes I have made. I wish all of my colleagues the best as they continue this critical work.” — Ref Rodriguez tweeted Monday after he pled guilty to a campaign money laundering charge and resigned from the Los Angeles Unified School District board.

Rodriguez crime: The LA County District Attorney charged that the one-time charter school executive enlisted a cousin to help raise money for his 2015 school board campaign by recruiting donors, such as custodians, who contributed as much as $1,100. He later reimbursed them. Rodriguez had hoped to convince larger funders that he had wide support. He was sentenced to three years probation.

Remind me: Rodriguez was part of the four-member majority of charter school advocates on the Los Angeles school board. He won his seat in 2015 after charter school advocates and organized labor clashed in a $1.8 million battle.

That race foreshadowed the $15 million campaign in 2017 in which charter school advocates took control of the LA board in the most costly school board race in U.S. history.

Why it matters: Rodriguez’ fall tarnishes the charter school cause at a time when wealthy charter school advocates are playing a pivotal role in the campaign for Superintendent of Public Instruction between Assemblyman Tony Thurmond and charter school advocate Marshall Tuck.

Walters: 3 Californias makes no sense

CALmatters commentator Dan Walters takes aim at Silicon Valley entrepreneur Timothy Draper’s notion of splitting California into the three state, which was recently pulled from the November ballot by the state Supreme Court.

Walters figures that Draper’s measure “will fail the constitutional test and be permanently junked – and that’s what should happen.”

Walters: “Splitting California into three new states would be a logistical nightmare and makes no sense except in Draper’s mind.”

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See you tomorrow.