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As the first two coronavirus deaths were reported in the United States, California schools and universities were preparing for the potential that COVID-19 will disrupt learning and worry students and their parents.
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee declared a state of emergency. Two people died in Washington including a man in his 70s who lived in a nursing home in the Seattle suburb of Kirkland.
The Washington nursing home outbreak prompted calls for precautionary tactics at elder care facilities, because older people are at heightened risk for COVID-19, Kaiser Health News reports.
Earlier: The feds on Friday dropped efforts to house people with symptoms at Fairview Development Center in Costa Mesa. Costa Mesa’s city council had won a temporary court order blocking its use.
The California Department of Public Health said in a statement that Costa Mesa’s lawsuit blocking Fairview’s use came as hospital bed space “was critically needed.”
“Having people who are not sick occupying available hospital beds placed a burden on the health care system and limits critical access for patients in a time of great need.”
Presumably, the Fairview question could be revisited as the virus spreads.
A $50,000 loophole
Hope & Heritage is a warm, fuzzy and democratic-sounding name for a political action committee. It also reflects the reality that clever consultants readily find loopholes in campaign finance restrictions.
The catch: These committees are required to disclose top donors who give at least $50,000. If donors give, say, $49,000, their names need not be disclosed on the ads.
Hope & Heritage is spending heavily to promote Sylvia Rubio in her race for a Whittier-area Assembly seat. But some top donors are not disclosed on the mailers.
Why: One donor, Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers of America, gave $49,500, $500 below the disclosure threshold. Another, Fresenius Medical Care, which operates dialysis clinics, gave $45,000.
Trent Lange, of the California Clean Money Campaign, sponsored the 2017 transparency law:
“These examples of deceptively named campaign committees hiding their top funders by having them contribute $49,000 shows that we might have to revisit that threshold for local and legislative campaigns.”
As of Feb. 18, 600,057 Californians were registered as members of the American Independent Party, more than all other third parties combined. It grew by 18% since the November 2016 presidential election.
One was Tom McCown, a retired screenwriter in Los Angeles. No more.
Created to boost segregationist Alabama Gov. George Wallace’s 1968 presidential campaign, the American Independent Party is anti-abortion, pro-gun, and opposes same-sex marriage. It supported Donald Trump in 2016, and intends to do the same in 2020.
McCown and Istruck up an email exchange, and I asked him why he was an AIP member.
McCown told me he signed up for the Vacaville-based American Independent Party in 2016 when he could not bring himself to vote for either Trump or Hillary Clinton.
I took the liberty of sending him an L.A. Times story about the AIP, and he responded:
On Saturday, McCown went to his polling place in L.A. with a mission. Poll workers initially were confused about how to handle his situation. He finally managed to change his registration to no-party preference, get a crossover ballot, and cast his vote:
Gov. Gavin Newsom, an early endorser of U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris’ ill-fated run for president, won’t say whom he is voting for in Tuesday’s Democratic presidential primary.
Not so First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom:
“Please think about your wives, your mothers, your sisters and your daughters. Vote your conscience, not what the pundits and the billionaires are telling you to do. Because Sen. Elizabeth Warren is electable.”
Oh, and Schwarzenegger terminated CalMatters’ Jakob Lazzaro.
Photo of the Day
Then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger had a smoking tent where he would fire up his cigars in the courtyard outside the governor’s suite of Capitol offices.
Jerry Brown had a few tables and chairs, austere.
Gov. Gavin Newsom, father of four, is in the process of installing a playground. It’s donated by Too Small to Fail, an organization whose leadership includes Salesforce founder Marc Benioff, and Jim Steyer, along with his brother, Tom.
Vicky Waters, Newsom’s spokeswoman: “Many of the governor’s office staff members are working parents, and having a welcoming environment where children can both play and learn at the same time, is very important to the governor.”
Commentary at CalMatters
Robin Swanson, Democratic strategist: Unless the Democratic nominee and Democratic Party find a candidate who connects with voters on an emotional level and creates a brand that sticks, we’re looking at another four years of a president who has mastered the con like no other.
Dan Walters, CalMatters: California officials want Californians to buy more zero-emission cars and use mass transit more to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but so far Californians are not cooperating.