Winners and Losers – March 5

Tim Anaya, Senior Director of Communications and PRI’s Sacramento Office 

Winner: Amazon – As if the online retail giant hasn’t had enough good fortune with the massive increase in online buying during the Covid-19 pandemic, the Wall Street Journal reports that Amazon Prime is on the verge of landing an NFL TV package.  Winning an NFL TV contract is huge for broadcasters.  As Amazon will pay roughly $1 billion for the package (and the other broadcasters renewing their rights deals will reportedly be paying roughly double what they are currently paying), maybe I should have listed the NFL as the winner instead. 

Losers: Sutter Health Patients Awaiting Second Vaccine Shot – This week, Sutter Health cancelled upcoming second shot appointments for 90,000 patients, blaming the snafu on not receiving enough vaccine supply from the state.  Tens of thousands of patients are now in limbo.  Sutter now says they expect to receive 60,000 doses over the next two weeks, but many patients – including my mom – are worrying that they won’t get their second shot within the acceptable time limits between shots as outlined in CDC guidelines.

Rowena Itchon, Senior Vice President 

Winners – Seven California counties have moved from the most restrictive purple tier to the red tier, including San Francisco and Napa.  PRI is looking forward to bringing back its annual gala dinner this fall.  Stay tuned for details.

Loser: Mr. Potato Head – Alas, Mr. Potato Head has been canceled.  According to Wikipedia, he was officially born May 1, 1952. I never had one as a kid, but it looked like fun.  Amazon has it for $17.24 – I think I’ll buy a few for gifts this Christmas.

Kerry Jackson, Fellow, Center for California Reform

Winners – The residents of Mississippi and Texas, who are being freed from pandemic prison.

Loser: President Joe Biden Fox News says “post-inauguration honeymoon appears to be over.” Based on recent polling, Fox isn’t wrong. According to a Monmouth University poll, his job-approval rating has fallen from 54% at the end of January to 51%, while is disapproval rating shot from 30% to 42%. Rasmussen Reports’ poll found he had a 50% approval rating and a 47% disapproval rating at the end of his first month. The numbers for Donald Trump, the target of a damaging media campaign, were 51% and 49% over the same period of his presidency. 

McKenzie Richards – Development Associate

Winner: California Youth Athletes – Youth in California will once again be able to participate in indoor and outdoor sports, largely due to the advocacy efforts of a group called “Let Them Play CA”. The young athletes will be subject to the necessary safety protocols  to the guidelines that collegiate athletes adhere to.

Loser: Randi Weingarten, president of American Federation of Teachers – During a CNN interview with Chris Cuomo Weingarten laughably claimed, “my union has been trying to reopen schools since last April”. But the facts remain: although the CDC and Dr. Fauci confirmed that schools can operate in person, and although schools received billions of dollars in additional funding, teachers unions still keep fighting to keep schools closed until their extensive demands are met.

Evan Harris – Media Relations and Outreach Manager

Winner: Biden’s OMB shortlist – Whomever is on the Biden administration’s shortlist for OMB director is the big winner this week after Neera Tanden withdrew her nomination for the coveted position. That shortlist is rumored to include California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s last chief-of-staff, Ann O’Leary.

Loser: “Pelosi’s Subway” – The U.S. Senate Parliamentarian ruled that a $141 million BART (that’s Bay Area Rapid Transit for all you non-Californians) included by Rep. Nancy Pelosi in the next federal stimulus bill had to be removed.

Nothing contained in this blog is to be construed as necessarily reflecting the views of the Pacific Research Institute or as an attempt to thwart or aid the passage of any legislation.

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