The Weekly Tally 10.10.19

WHO’S IN TOWN?

As Democratic leaders in Washington, D.C., go step-by-step toward impeachment and President Donald Trump melts down on live television and on Twitter, the rank-and-file workers of the party are focused on the ground game for the 2020 primary election. Leading the way for California Dems is Rusty Hicks, the newly elected chair of theCalifornia Democratic Party. Hicks was formerly the leader of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, where he successfully led grassroots campaigns for a $15-an-hour minimum wage and health care for immigrant children, among other efforts. Hicks is in town this week to address the Monterey County Democrats at their annual fundraiser. Also appearing is Assemblymember Mark Stone, D-Scotts Valley, whose talk is titled “The Green New Deal: Politics in Bloom.” California State Senate candidateJohn Laird presides as auctioneer in a fundraiser.

11am-1pm Sat, Oct. 19. Monterey Tides Hotel, 2600 Sand Dunes Drive, Monterey. $150. montereydems.org.

FREE SPEECH

Seaside City Manager Craig Malin took two weeks off to have his day in court, and he lost. Malin sued parent company Lee Enterprises and the Quad-City Times, which covers the city of Davenport, Iowa, where he worked prior, first alleging defamation. He lost on that claim, but his allegation that the newspaper’s inaccurate reporting and editorials led directly to termination of his contract there went to trial starting on Sept. 23. After about three hours of deliberation on Oct. 4, the jury found the newspaper was not guilty, and the judge ordered Malin to pay court costs. “Today was, of course, a victory for [columnist] Barb Ickes, [reporter] Brian Wellner and the Quad-City Times,” Ian Russell, an attorney representing the newspaper told the Times. “It is also a victory for the First Amendment and the freedom of the press.” Malin says he’s always been a supporter of a free press and offers this: “People’s lives are impacted by what gets reported. Please take care the facts are right. If you get something wrong, please correct it.”

GOOD WEEK / BAD WEEK

GOOD:

Got SNAACK? Soon enough, the youth of Seaside will, thanks to an unusual partnership between the city, county hospital Natividad, and Grocery Outlet. SNAACK stands for Seaside Nutrition, Academics and Athletics for Cops and Kids, and the idea started with Police Chief Abdul Pridgen and Deputy Chief Nick Borges as a way for police to develop stronger relationships with kids. The plan is to distribute school supplies, healthy treats and sports equipment throughout the city; Seaside purchased a van and is holding a vote through Oct. 18 to decide on a design to make it stand out. Once the voting ends, Monterey Signs will wrap the vehicle and the distributions will begin. Grocery Outlet plans on providing $100 a month in snacks, and the County Administratve Office’s Rosemary Soto helped bring Natividad into the fold. To vote, go to: bit.ly/PDvanvote.

BAD

In 2017, President Donald Trump issued Executive Order 13783: Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth, calling on federal agencies to revisit regulations and “suspend, revise, or rescind those that unduly burden the development of domestic energy resources beyond the degree necessary to protect the public interest or otherwise comply with the law.” On Oct. 4, that directive hit locally when the Bureau of Land Management office in Marina issued new guidelines regarding oil and gas development in Monterey, San Benito and Fresno counties. BLM is opening up 680,000 acres of federal mineral estate – referring to underground reserves – to be leased out to the highest bidder. The agency is also reopening 14 litigated leases in Monterey and San Benito counties. These actions come despite the increasingly urgent actions climate change demands.

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