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Latino turnout – POLITICO

By August 31, 2021COVID-19

LATINO TURNOUT: For years, California Republicans have worried about their failure to appeal to Latino voters after taking divisive positions on immigration.

Is it now California Democrats’ turn to fret?

Recall election polls have shown underwhelming Latino support for retaining Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom. After Republicans made incremental gains nationally in 2020, the California survey numbers are a reminder that Latino support for Democrats is not a given, report POLITICO’s David Siders, Sabrina Rodriguez and Carla Marinucci.

Some experts are looking at California as a barometer for the midterms. Christian Arana, vice president of policy at the Latino Community Foundation, wondered “if Democrats can’t find a way to mobilize Latino voters to save a [Democratic] governor, how on earth are we going to ask for them to save a Democratic Congress and, therefore, the Biden administration’s agenda?”

Latinos constitute about 40 percent of California’s population and about 30 percent of the electorate. Latino leaders have praised Newsom for providing coronavirus relief for undocumented immigrants and prioritizing vaccines in high-risk neighborhoods, among other policies. But some say he still struggles to connect with working-class Latinos, suffering from the same problem he has with the broader electorate — overcoming an enduring image as a San Francisco elite.

“The French Laundry stuff is really harmful in the Latino community,” said Amanda Renteria, who was national political director of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and who ran unsuccessfully for a congressional seat in California’s Central Valley in 2014.

HAPPY TUESDAY AFTERNOON! Welcome to California PM Playbook, a new POLITICO newsletter that serves as an afternoon temperature check of California politics. We’re back for the legislative homestretch and last month of the California recall campaign. Got tips or suggestions? Shoot an email to [email protected] and [email protected]. We’re also on Twitter: @kyamamura or @katymurphy.

Gov. Gavin Newsom was in Alameda this morning to announce that 80 percent of eligible Californians are at least partially vaccinated against Covid-19. POLITICO’s Victoria Colliver and Carla Marinucci have more below on his stop.

Republican Larry Elder sought to take advantage of a Los Angeles Times column titled “Larry Elder is the Black face of white supremacy,” tweeting that headline alongside photos of himself Tuesday with supporters of different races.

Republican Kevin Kiley continued his commentary (and news-breaking) on a scuttled vaccine mandate bill. “Our victory over AB 455 will be short-lived if we don’t keep up the pressure and elect a Governor who understands the Constitution is more than a piece of paper,” Kiley tweeted. He also lamented what he said was a doubling of the number of businesses leaving the state in the first half of this year: “Gavin Newsom has brought California’s decline to a total freefall.”

Republican Caitlyn Jenner tweeted an excerpt from a trailer for Netflix’s new “Untold” sports docuseries about her Olympic victory and transgender transition. “When I put my mind to something I am committed to win it,” she wrote. Jenner also commented on the Caldor Fire approaching South Lake Tahoe, relaying her visit to Greenville after the Dixie Fire: “I witnessed how much devastation fires can do to a town and its community. Let’s all pray for everyone’s safety and come together to find real solutions like investing in forest management & early detection.”

Republican Kevin Faulconer concluded his statewide bus tour in his home city of San Diego, where the former mayor said as governor, he would “clean up our streets, keep all neighborhoods safe and make our state more affordable for everyone.”

Republican John Cox spoke in Venice Beach on Tuesday to discuss his public safety plan. “@GavinNewsom has failed the most basic function of government. I won’t,” Cox tweeted. “My plan takes crime seriously, supports law enforcement, and stops the out of control wildfires.”

Democrat Kevin Paffrath spent Tuesday tweeting about Elon Musk, Afghanistan and Federal Reserve Chair Jay Powell.

SIRHAN SILENCE: Newsom wouldn’t say Tuesday whether he’d allow Robert F. Kennedy’s assassin, Sirhan Sirhan, go free if the parole decision reaches his desk, POLITICO’s Carla Marinucci reports.

A two-member panel of the state parole board last week voted to grant Sirhan parole after years of denials, a shift that came as Los Angeles prosecutors declined to weigh in per a new policy by progressive DA George Gascon.

If Newsom has made up his mind, he’s keeping it close to the vest. The governor said he wanted the let the process play out. But he was quick to point out that he’s long been an RFK admirer.

“The first photograph, the only photograph you will see in my office is a photo of my father and Bobby Kennedy just days before Bobby Kennedy was murdered,” Newsom said. “So, I hope that gives you a sense of my sentiments as it relates to Bobby Kennedy, in particular, my reverence, my respect and my adulation for his family and his memory.”

Whether that makes a difference, however, is another story. And Newsom still has to defeat the recall to have a say in the matter.

DOLLA DOLLA BILLS: A dozen California public employees raked in more than $1 million in wages last year — and almost all of them worked for two hospital systems in the Central Valley.

The Kern County Hospital Authority now has the most employees on the California State Controller’s Office’s annual list of top wage earners, paying out at least $1 million to five different individuals. Their top earners were a pair of physicians who earned $1.4 and $1.3 million each, primarily from base pay and onetime cashouts. The controller’s office today added data for 136,758 employees at California special districts, which includes the Kern County Hospital Authority.

The highest earner was Corey Grove, CEO of BETA Healthcare Group. He pulled in more than $1.7 million leading the joint powers authority, which provides liability insurance for more than 600 healthcare facilities on the West Coast and workers’ compensation coverage for about 70,000 healthcare workers in California.

Based on overall data, three physicians and managers in the San Joaquin County hospital system also topped $1 million, as did CalSTRS Chief Investment Officer Christopher Ailman and Pete Delgado, president and CEO of the Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System.

The State Controller’s list does not have the salaries of football and basketball coaches in the University of California system, which keeps its own public database. Like in other states — top college coaches are the highest-paid public employees. Among them: UCLA men’s basketball coach Mick Cronin, who received $3.6 million in gross pay last year. — Alexander Nieves


DATA DISCREPANCIES: Newsom held an event today near a noisy BART station in Oakland to announce a major milestone: 80 percent of eligible Californians are at least partially vaccinated against Covid-19. If that figure sounds high, that could be because other vaccine trackers maintained by news and health organizations, including the state’s public health department, cite lower numbers.

The Mayo Clinic, The New York Times and The Washington Post trackers show 68.8 percent of Californians have received at least one dose of the vaccine. The Los Angeles Times has 65.3 percent of the state’s residents receiving at least one dose, and the San Francisco Chronicle reports the one-dose figure at 70.5 percent. Even the state’s own data, updated today, has California at 76.8 percent.

So what gives? First off, the state data doesn’t include federally administered vaccinations, which leaves out all the shots given out by such providers as the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Defense and the Indian Health Service.

Second, some of the other trackers look at vaccinations relative to the entire state population, not just those currently eligible to get the vaccine (people 12 and over).

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has this nifty feature that allows you to search by state and narrow the number by age, doses, total number or percentage of population. Once California’s one-dose inoculated population aged 12 and up is tallied, the Golden State hits 80.6 percent. — Victoria Colliver

Links compiled by Camryn Dadey

“Will Gavin Newsom release Robert Kennedy’s killer?” (CalMatters)

“Rural California counties tighten mask rules as COVID patients flood hospitals.” (SacBee)

“Caldor fire reaches Lake Tahoe Basin, threatening thousands of homes as residents flee.” (LATimes)

“Rage against the vaccine: how a San Diego group is lashing out at COVID-19 rules.” (San Diego Union-Tribune)

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