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Meet the largest group of mega donors trying to change California politics you’ve probably never heard of.

To date, 18 branches of Govern For California have donated more than $ 3 million to candidates across California in the 2022 election cycle. One of the biggest beneficiaries: Congregation member Robert Rivas, Salinas Democrat.

Rivas does not face a particularly difficult re-election campaign, but he has many ways to spend the $ 116,000 he has received from 16 Govern For California divisions in the last 14 months.

Since May, he has been fighting to become the next speaker of the Assembly, a powerful position that helps shape the political agenda of the legislature and influences which bills are likely to become law. But Rivas takes a step towards the objections of the current senior man, Anthony Rendon, a Lakewood Democrat, who said on Tuesday that he had no plans to step down.

The two are now courting current and future members as Rivas tries to take over the crown and Rendon tries to hold on to it.

As a new CalMatters analysis of spending on Govern For California campaigns shows, Rivas has friends in high places.

Govern For California is largely funded by a small group of technology leaders, financiers, and other wealthy Bay Area donors. Their goal: to resist the influence of particular interests, especially trade unions, in the Capitol.

The organization is the brainchild of Stanford lecturer David Crane. One of her longtime political advisers is Rick Rivas, Robert’s brother.

My colleagues Ben Christopher and Alexei Koseff spoke to eight campaign finance experts about the story. Some argue that the network of Govern For California branches – which are legally independent and each can raise $ 8,100 a year per donor, but which communicate, coordinate, and often donate to the same applicants on the same day – pushes the envelope of California’s Campaign Finance Law.

Ravel said the structure is similar to the way many unions spend money, but other experts say it represents something entirely new to California politics.

Although Crane declined to answer Ben and Alexei’s questions about the story, he objected to the assumption that what Govern For California was doing was anything but innovative, and said the idea came from – of all places – unions.

Crane, Rick Rivas, and Robert Rivas declined to answer questions as to whether they are using the Govern For California network to advance Robert Rivas’ leadership ambitions in the legislature. A spokesman for Rendon also declined to comment. Crane and several donors to Govern For California also financially support CalMatters, which retains full authority over editorial content and makes news ratings independent of donor support.

Coronavirus conclusion: California has 9,983,370 confirmed cases (+ 0.6% over the previous day) and 92,889 deaths (+ 0.1% over the previous day) as of Monday, according to state data that is currently only updated twice a week on Tuesdays and Fridays. CalMatters also tracks coronavirus-related hospitalizations by county.

California administered 78,762,612 doses of the vaccine and 71.7% of eligible Californians are fully vaccinated.

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1 Newsom turns campaign attention to California

Governor Gavin Newsom, after airing campaign ads in Florida and Texas, has now highlighted the state in which he is actually seeking re-election. An announcement was made in Variety on Wednesday in the governor’s election campaign, which appears to be a sort of ultimatum to the Hollywood film industry as it has started filming more productions in states like Georgia and Oklahoma to take advantage of their tax breaks. “In the past few years, legislatures in states such as Georgia and Oklahoma have waged a vicious attack on fundamental rights,” the announcement reads. Read also : United States Solicitor General obtains Prop 12 Infringement Interstate Commerce Clause. Now, in the wake of the disgusting Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v Wade, these same states are rapidly headed for reproductive deprivation. … Today, more than ever, you have a responsibility to judge your values ​​- and the values ​​of your employees – when doing business in these states.

Newsom added in a tweet: “We’re extending tax breaks for those returning home to the Golden State. Choose freedom. Choose CA ”. The governor simultaneously announced his support – for the first time Variety has been made available – for legislation that would invest $ 1.65 billion in California’s film and TV tax credit program, extending it for a further five years until 2030. generated $ 24 in business for every dollar invested, political analysts say there is conflicting evidence that the program is paying off on its own, CalMatters reports.

The governor was apparently advocating other legislative efforts ahead of next month’s session end: on Tuesday he met with the State Assembly and Democratic Senate clubs to fuel enthusiasm for more ambitious environmental goals, including rules on how close to oil wells sensitive areas can be such as schools and homes, according to Politico. The news comes just over a week after he instructed lawmakers and state agencies to make California’s climate plans even more aggressive. (Newsom has faced harsh criticism in recent months from environmental justice advocates for pushing an energy plan they said capitulated on fossil fuels, supported the possible expansion of California’s last nuclear power plant, and opposed a vote to raise taxes for millionaires for various climatic conditions programs.)

2 State, counties wrangle over clean energy

While Newsom is pushing lawmakers to support more ambitious climate action, the controversial energy plan it pressed for approval last month has been met with frustration and confusion from some rural counties and developers. The act aims to accelerate the construction of new clean energy facilities by allowing developers to bypass local permitting processes and instead obtain state approval. But, as Julie Cart of CalMatters reports, Kings County is one of those that bristled at the governor’s obvious assumption that small, rural counties are against clean energy. Kings County has been developing solar projects for several years, some of which power Disneyland. Another mega solar power project being built there supplies Stanford University and BART, the Bay Area’s public transportation network.

3 The gender politics of housing

Women, especially women of color, single mothers and the elderly, are the hardest hit of California’s affordability crisis, according to a report published this morning by the Gender Equity Policy Institute. To see also : Orange health commissioner leaves to run Nassau health department. The report was compiled at the request of Democratic Congregation Member Buffy Wicks of Oakland, chairman of the Assembly’s Committee on Housing and Community Development, and author of the controversial Affordable Housing Act that divided the workforce.

Here are some key findings:

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