Biden in California: Why didn't Newsom meet with him? – CalMatters

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California, explained
President Joe Biden’s three-day trip to Southern California, which concluded Friday, featured events with a who’s who of California Democrats — but not Gov. Gavin Newsom.
Many of the state party’s biggest names — including U.S. Sen. Alex Padilla; Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti; U.S. Reps. Karen Bass, Katie Porter and Ted Lieu; and state senator and congressional candidate Sydney Kamlager — turned out alongside the president as he made stops in Los Angeles and Orange County to tout federal infrastructure investments and plans to lower health care costs. Biden also headlined a fundraiser with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in Los Angeles.
Newsom’s absence was “strange,” given that “it certainly is the tradition that the governor of the state — particularly when the governor’s from the same party — will see the president” when he’s in town, Jessica Levinson, a Loyola Law School professor and California political commentator, told me Sunday.
NBC News political director Chuck Todd described the situation to KCRA as a “head-scratcher.”
Levinson said she was skeptical of the governor’s claim: “‘Scheduling conflict’ is the equivalent of ‘I’m dropping out of this political race that I’ll never win to spend more time with my family.’ Nobody really believes it.”
Levinson ran through a few possibilities for why Newsom and Biden may have avoided meeting with each other:
Asked whether potential political animosity between Biden and Newsom may have foreclosed a meeting between the two men, Stack said: “No.”
Meanwhile, the governor’s office on Friday published a recap of events showing how “the Newsom administration was hard at work this week taking action for Californians across a variety of issues,” including breaking ground on a 10,000-mile broadband network to help expand high-speed internet access and cracking down on illegal cannabis operations.
At the end of the day, Newsom‘s reticence on high-profile Los Angeles issues may simply reflect his expected easy path to victory in California’s Nov. 8 election over gubernatorial candidate Republican state Sen. Brian Dahle of Bieber, Levinson said.
Join CalMatters on Wednesday from 5-6 p.m. for a free election event! Reporters will analyze the seven November ballot measures and answer your questions. Register to attend virtually.
Will California’s wage theft hearing officers and investigators please stand up?
Although California has long been considered a national leader in tackling labor violations such as wage theft — employers’ failure to pay workers what they’re owed — the state doesn’t have enough agents or other personnel to enforce its tougher-than-most laws, CalMatters’ Alejandro Lazo and Jeanne Kuang and CBS13’s Julie Watts report in the latest installment of the California Divide team‘s series “Unpaid Wages: A Waiting Game.” It’s a problem that has only been exacerbated by the pandemic and ongoing labor shortages.
“We need to put more urgency into it,” said Assemblymember Ash Kalra, a San Jose Democrat who chairs the Assembly labor committee, ”and that could include having hiring bonuses, whatever it takes to increase the staffing, because it’s unacceptable — the current state of affairs. If we really care about these workers, we need to show it.”
The Labor Commissioner’s budget this year is $166 million, enough funding for nearly 840 positions. But nearly a third of positions were vacant as of May, officials said.
Let’s take a closer look at how California is faring on three key public health fronts:
The next chancellor of California Community Colleges — the country’s largest system of higher education, with 1.8 million students enrolled — will face a myriad of challenges. Not only has the COVID pandemic led to a hemorrhaging of student enrollment, but the system also has virtually no chance of reaching its ambitious academic goal of narrowing by 40% the graduation rate gap among its Black, Latino and white students in five years, as CalMatters’ Mikhail Zinshteyn recently reported. So what qualities should the system’s next leader — who will replace former Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley, its first Latino chief executive — possess? Here’s what some community college students told Andrea Madison of CalMatters’ College Journalism Network:
CalMatters columnist Dan Walters: The managers of California’s vast water system are edging toward a historic reallocation of the state’s shrinking supply that could have a life-altering impact on the nation’s largest agricultural industry.
Note: Dan is on vacation this week. His column will resume Monday, Oct. 24.
‘We are sure we stopped another killing’: Stockton man arrested in connection with serial killings. // Stockton Record
Amid surge in violent crime, Oakland mayor calls for a federal health emergency. // KQED
Alleged serial San Francisco harasser arrested after numerous women come forward. // San Francisco Chronicle
Newsom blocks Charles Manson follower’s parole, marking 15th denial for Patricia Krenwinkel. // Associated Press
Investigating Prop. 57 prison credits: Are most felons really ‘earning’ early release? // CBS Sacramento
A year after alleged SDSU gang rape, prosecutors still mum about bringing charges. // San Diego Union-Tribune
Los Angeles just got new political maps. City council scandal could tear them up. // Politico
New details show sprawling web of corruption in Southern California cannabis licensing. // Los Angeles Times
How California fails to regulate gun ranges that leave toxic waste in their wake. // San Francisco Chronicle
State watchdog investigating 2019 China trip made by top Milpitas mayor candidate. // Mercury News
Is there such a thing as too much labor support — even in a union town like Oakland? // San Francisco Chronicle
New California racial profiling research adds to growing push to reduce cops’ role in traffic stops. // San Francisco Chronicle
As Supreme Court considers affirmative action case, University of California offers cautionary tale. // EdSource
This one fact could completely change how you think about California wildfires. // San Francisco Chronicle
Shasta Lake helped water California. Now its dryness is a threat to the state. // Wall Street Journal
A herd of wild horses just moved into this iconic California destination. No one knows what comes next. // San Francisco Chronicle
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