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Rendon vs. Atkins on mandatory Capitol shots

Reliable Sacramento Dems not reliable enough for enviros

“To date, there have been no cases of covid-19 transmitted between Senate employees in the Capitol,” Toni Atkins was quoted as saying. How Senate workers have avoided getting covid while at least nine Assembly employees have caught the virus, including four who were already vaccinated, remains unexplained.
“To date, there have been no cases of covid-19 transmitted between Senate employees in the Capitol,” Toni Atkins was quoted as saying. How Senate workers have avoided getting covid while at least nine Assembly employees have caught the virus, including four who were already vaccinated, remains unexplained.

Depending on whose ox is vaxxed

It’s Democrat versus Democrat in Sacramento’s latest battle over whether to mandate vaccinations for employees, at least in the state capitol. After state Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon ordered lower house workers to get shots or be fired, state Senate leader Toni Atkins, who has been waffling on the issue for weeks, proclaimed the upper house would remain vax mandate-free.

Anthony Rendon wants his house vaxxed to the max.

A prior order by Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom that state workers either get vaccinated or submit to weekly covid-19 tests doesn’t cover the Legislature. So, Rendon of Los Angeles told his workers — a reported 80 percent of whom have already received the shots — to roll up their sleeves. “By ensuring Assembly staff is vaccinated, we are protecting everyone who enters the Capitol, including constituents, lobbyists and journalists,” Rendon said. Atkins demurred. “To date, there have been no cases of covid-19 transmitted between Senate employees in the Capitol,” she was quoted as saying. “We will continue to monitor the situation to determine whether a vaccination mandate of the Senate workforce at large is needed.” How Senate workers have avoided getting covid while at least nine Assembly employees have caught the virus, including four who were already vaccinated, remains unexplained.

Meanwhile, Atkins is fending off charges by the California League of Conservation Voters that the Senate that is under her control is stalling action against climate change in favor of its biggest campaign givers. “It’s a big deal to do a campaign like this,” League CEO Mary Creasman told the Sacramento Bee. A new ad pitch from the group reads, “California is getting hotter. Wildfires are getting worse. But California leaders are letting Big Oil put fuel on the fire, delaying action on crucial climate legislation, Tell Pro Tem Atkins, ‘Don’t let California go up in smoke. Support environmental protections now.’” Fellow San Diego Democratic Senator Ben Hueso has also been hit by the effort. He lost his bid for county supervisor to Nora Vargas last year, and is in the midst of raising big money to run against Board of Equalization incumbent Mike Schaefer. “Senator Hueso has voted against and abstained on bills, and he’s gutted other clean energy bills in his committee,” Creasman told CalStreetsBlog. “We need a chair who is laser-focused on creating a transition to clean energy and a clean economy.”

Big donations are almost enough to make Kevin Faulconer smile.

Kevin’s easy touches

Two individual million-dollar contributions are behind a raft of TV spots for San Diego Republican ex-mayor Kevin Faulconer’s bid to become governor if voters recall Democrat Gavin Newsom next month. Los Angeles apartment mogul Gerald Marcil of Palos Verdes Investments, Inc. and an outfit called Brawley El Centro Group LLC, run by developer Mehander Makhijani, came up with $1 million each for an independent expenditure committee. Called Fund for a Better California, the group spent $1,801,302 on a raft of TV buys, per an August 2 campaign disclosure filing. Meantime, some familiar faces have been getting checks from Faulconer’s controlled 2022 election committee for governor, which reported raising $2,178,559 during the first half of this year. Axiom Strategies of Kansas City, Missouri got a $497 travel reimbursement, along with cash for “a staff meal for 13 individuals, including candidate” that cost $186. Faulconer’s ex-mayoral chief of staff Stephen Puetz currently works for Axiom. He picked up notoriety when developer Morgan Dene Oliver, a major mayoral donor pitching hard for the failed Soccer City, provided his bayfront mansion for Puetz’s wedding. Duane Dichiara, another Faulconer insider who once lived in San Diego, is also employed by Axiom. The report reveals that fundraising for the Faulconer effort was done partly by L.A.’s Pluvious Group, which got $6464 for its trouble. Two years ago, then-Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey lost the Democratic endorsement for reelection to rival George Gascón in part because she used Pluvious, which also worked for Donald Trump, the L.A. Times reported. “Does it help weave a narrative against her as someone who’s not a progressive? Yeah,” Eric Hacopian, a political consultant with EDH & Associates told the paper. “Especially given that all of her challengers are coming from the left.” In May 2016, Pluvious helped run a $25,000-a-person Trump fundraiser at the home of Rachelle and Thomas Barrack, the University of San Diego law school alumnus currently under indictment for allegedly failing to register as a foreign agent and lying to the FBI.

— Matt Potter (@sdmattpotter)

The Reader offers $25 for news tips published in this column. Call our voice mail at 619-235-3000, ext. 440, or sandiegoreader.com/staff/matt-potter/contact/.

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“To date, there have been no cases of covid-19 transmitted between Senate employees in the Capitol,” Toni Atkins was quoted as saying. How Senate workers have avoided getting covid while at least nine Assembly employees have caught the virus, including four who were already vaccinated, remains unexplained.
“To date, there have been no cases of covid-19 transmitted between Senate employees in the Capitol,” Toni Atkins was quoted as saying. How Senate workers have avoided getting covid while at least nine Assembly employees have caught the virus, including four who were already vaccinated, remains unexplained.

Depending on whose ox is vaxxed

It’s Democrat versus Democrat in Sacramento’s latest battle over whether to mandate vaccinations for employees, at least in the state capitol. After state Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon ordered lower house workers to get shots or be fired, state Senate leader Toni Atkins, who has been waffling on the issue for weeks, proclaimed the upper house would remain vax mandate-free.

Anthony Rendon wants his house vaxxed to the max.

A prior order by Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom that state workers either get vaccinated or submit to weekly covid-19 tests doesn’t cover the Legislature. So, Rendon of Los Angeles told his workers — a reported 80 percent of whom have already received the shots — to roll up their sleeves. “By ensuring Assembly staff is vaccinated, we are protecting everyone who enters the Capitol, including constituents, lobbyists and journalists,” Rendon said. Atkins demurred. “To date, there have been no cases of covid-19 transmitted between Senate employees in the Capitol,” she was quoted as saying. “We will continue to monitor the situation to determine whether a vaccination mandate of the Senate workforce at large is needed.” How Senate workers have avoided getting covid while at least nine Assembly employees have caught the virus, including four who were already vaccinated, remains unexplained.

Meanwhile, Atkins is fending off charges by the California League of Conservation Voters that the Senate that is under her control is stalling action against climate change in favor of its biggest campaign givers. “It’s a big deal to do a campaign like this,” League CEO Mary Creasman told the Sacramento Bee. A new ad pitch from the group reads, “California is getting hotter. Wildfires are getting worse. But California leaders are letting Big Oil put fuel on the fire, delaying action on crucial climate legislation, Tell Pro Tem Atkins, ‘Don’t let California go up in smoke. Support environmental protections now.’” Fellow San Diego Democratic Senator Ben Hueso has also been hit by the effort. He lost his bid for county supervisor to Nora Vargas last year, and is in the midst of raising big money to run against Board of Equalization incumbent Mike Schaefer. “Senator Hueso has voted against and abstained on bills, and he’s gutted other clean energy bills in his committee,” Creasman told CalStreetsBlog. “We need a chair who is laser-focused on creating a transition to clean energy and a clean economy.”

Big donations are almost enough to make Kevin Faulconer smile.

Kevin’s easy touches

Two individual million-dollar contributions are behind a raft of TV spots for San Diego Republican ex-mayor Kevin Faulconer’s bid to become governor if voters recall Democrat Gavin Newsom next month. Los Angeles apartment mogul Gerald Marcil of Palos Verdes Investments, Inc. and an outfit called Brawley El Centro Group LLC, run by developer Mehander Makhijani, came up with $1 million each for an independent expenditure committee. Called Fund for a Better California, the group spent $1,801,302 on a raft of TV buys, per an August 2 campaign disclosure filing. Meantime, some familiar faces have been getting checks from Faulconer’s controlled 2022 election committee for governor, which reported raising $2,178,559 during the first half of this year. Axiom Strategies of Kansas City, Missouri got a $497 travel reimbursement, along with cash for “a staff meal for 13 individuals, including candidate” that cost $186. Faulconer’s ex-mayoral chief of staff Stephen Puetz currently works for Axiom. He picked up notoriety when developer Morgan Dene Oliver, a major mayoral donor pitching hard for the failed Soccer City, provided his bayfront mansion for Puetz’s wedding. Duane Dichiara, another Faulconer insider who once lived in San Diego, is also employed by Axiom. The report reveals that fundraising for the Faulconer effort was done partly by L.A.’s Pluvious Group, which got $6464 for its trouble. Two years ago, then-Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey lost the Democratic endorsement for reelection to rival George Gascón in part because she used Pluvious, which also worked for Donald Trump, the L.A. Times reported. “Does it help weave a narrative against her as someone who’s not a progressive? Yeah,” Eric Hacopian, a political consultant with EDH & Associates told the paper. “Especially given that all of her challengers are coming from the left.” In May 2016, Pluvious helped run a $25,000-a-person Trump fundraiser at the home of Rachelle and Thomas Barrack, the University of San Diego law school alumnus currently under indictment for allegedly failing to register as a foreign agent and lying to the FBI.

— Matt Potter (@sdmattpotter)

The Reader offers $25 for news tips published in this column. Call our voice mail at 619-235-3000, ext. 440, or sandiegoreader.com/staff/matt-potter/contact/.

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