Tim Anaya – Senior Director of Communications and PRI’s Sacramento Office
Winner: Vaccinated Americans – Americans who have received both jabs (or the single jab with the Johnson and Johnson vaccine) will no longer have to wear masks outdoors and in most indoor settings, the Centers for Disease Control announced on Thursday.
Loser: Advocates of Fiscal Responsibility – Fiscal conservatives across California who, while cheering Gov. Newsom’s announcement that the state had a $75.7 billion budget surplus this year, were chagrined to hear in his next breath that he was announcing a so-called “California Comeback” plan featuring $100 billion in new government spending.
Evan Harris – Media Relations and Outreach Manager
Winner: Hackers – All those warnings about America’s vulnerable energy and electricity infrastructure came to roost last weekend when hackers disabled Colonial Pipeline. The company was able to restart their computer system after paying a $5 million ransom: giving the east coast the nostalgia of long gas lines reminiscent of the 1980s this week.
Loser: Oakland A’s Fans – Oakland A’s fans are groaning this week as news came out that MLB has ok’d the Athletics to look at relocation sites. With the City of Oakland and the team at odds for a new stadium plan, Oakland may see a trifecta of losing three professional sports teams.
Rowena Itchon – Senior Vice President
Winner: Pork dollar recipients – Congressional earmarks are back – nearly $10 billion have been proposed by some 300+ congressional members. Here’s what some of the lucky winners could expect: $5,000 in “Santa gifts” for seniors in Beech Grove, Indiana; $250,000 for the Michelle Obama Library; and $300,000 for a new dog park in Montebello, California.
Loser: San Francisco high school students – So that the San Francisco school district can cash in on $12 million in state funds aimed to encourage schools to re-open, high school students will be asked to show up to school for one day (there are only three weeks left of the school year). There won’t be any formal instruction, just a social get-together.
Kerry Jackson – Fellow, Center for California Reform
Winner: Gov. Gavin Newsom – His approval ratings are no longer under water. A recent poll places him at 52%. The election is still a long way off, but it’s looking less and less like he’s going to be recalled.
Loser: Oakland As fans – The Athletics, who have been in Oakland since 1968, have “said they will start exploring the possibility of relocating with the blessing of Major League Baseball.” They might follow the Raiders to Las Vegas.
McKenzie Richards – Development Associate
Winners: Linda Owens – Recently recognized by her community, a 78-year-old woman from the San Francisco Bay Area has fostered 81 infants in her home for over 30 years. “Mama Linda’s” selfless service inspires and amazes me.
Loser: Gavin Newsom – Because of California’s high capital gains tax, California surprisingly has a surplus of $75B this year. As Governor Newsom’s recall draws near, he announced plans to use the surplus to send $600 checks to two-thirds of California residents. If argued that a stimulus is necessary, it is only because Newsom’s pandemic policies shuttered small businesses and threw millions into unemployment.