Tim Anaya – Senior Director of Communications and PRI’s Sacramento Office
Winner: Corporate America’s Political Donations – Corporate America was spared a campaign donation ban in California this week when legislation by freshman Asm. Alex Lee was defeated in the Assembly Elections Committee without even receiving a second. The chair of the committee, Asm. Marc Berman, reportedly scolded Lee during the hearing for “deceiving” people on his bill, while fellow Asm. Evan Low called corporations “the lifeblood of Silicon Valley.”
Loser: Academy Awards – Viewership was down 58 percent year over year for this year’s Academy Awards telecast. Who knows if the decline was due to Hollywood lecturing the American people as it did again this year, or if viewers were simply not interested in celebrating movies most never saw and during which the boring telecast offered few if any clips to show off Hollywood’s best of 2020.
Evan Harris – Media Relations and Outreach Manager
Winner: Spending-Industrial Complex – With President Joe Biden’s 100 days speech this week, Biden and his team are living by the phrase, “go big or go home.” Biden has said before he wants to be remembered with the likes of FDR and LBJ; he is certainly on his way when it comes to big government and spending.
Loser: Green Bay Packers – There was news/rumors/social media gossip this week the Packers QB Aaron Rodgers wants out of Wisconsin. There were also reports that the 49ers offered a high-draft pick, their current QB, and who knows what else for Rodgers. Whatever the next steps, it looks like the Rodgers-Packers partnership is coming to an end.
Rowena Itchon – Senior Vice President
Winner: Sen. Tim Scott – Sen. Scott gave the most impressive response speech after a Presidential Address to Congress that I have ever watched. I have always been down on response speeches after a State of the Union Address – no one can match (no matter how skilled the politician is it at giving speeches) the grandeur and fanfare of a State of the Union Address – better to let the President have his day. This time, however, Tim Scott knocked it out of the park.
Loser: Members Wearing Masks during Pres. Biden’s Speech – The CDC’s new guidelines say that if one is fully vaccinated, he or she is free to gather with other fully vaccinated people indoors without having to be 6 feet apart. By members wearing masks (all fully vaccinated), they send a signal to the American people that the vaccines are suspect. It’s the wrong message if they want to encourage more people to get vaccinated.
Kerry Jackson – Fellow, Center for California Reform
Winner: All Californians – Coronavirus cases continue to fall in the state as do death rates. The number of new daily cases is lower than it has been in a year. The sharp decreases in both numbers began in late January, at roughly the same time Gov. Gavin Newsom lifted his stay-at-home order.
Loser: Residents of Los Angeles – The number of shooting victims in the first four months of this year is 73% higher than the number over the first four months of 2020. In the defund police era, homicides increased from 83 from January to the end of April last year to 108 this year over the same period. Violent crime overall is up 4.7%.
McKenzie Richards – Development Associate
Winners: New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Corlett – It has been over a decade since the U.S. Supreme Court has taken up a significant case regarding the 2nd Amendment. However, on Monday the Supreme Court agreed to hear a case regarding a New York law that requires conceal carry permit applicants to show an “actual and articulable” need to conceal carry. Opponents say a shift would be too dangerous, while proponents argue the requirements are too restrictive and vague. The outcome of the case may affect California gun laws, as California applicants often “must show good cause” to obtain a conceal carry permit.
Loser: Indian Government – Over the past week, over 300,000 new covid cases have been diagnosed each day in India. Facing a severe shortage of necessary medical supplies and hospital space, many are dying. A lack of preparation on the part of the government has contributed significantly to the crisis.