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Will California’s gubernatorial candidates disagree on anything today?

California candidates for governor differ on universal health care

Four leading Democratic candidates for California governor debated health care at a forum hosted by the National Union of Healthcare Workers in Anaheim on Oct. 22, 2017.
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Four leading Democratic candidates for California governor debated health care at a forum hosted by the National Union of Healthcare Workers in Anaheim on Oct. 22, 2017.

Another day, another candidate forum.

Democrats campaigning for California governor will meet for the second time in three days at a lunchtime forum in San Francisco called “State’s Big Issues: Do Democrats Have the Ideas and the Resolve to Meet Them?”

Treasurer John Chiang, former state Superintendent of Public Instruction Delaine Eastin, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will be questioned on everything from education and health care to housing and immigration at the noon event sponsored by the San Francisco Chronicle.

The four were on stage together Sunday in Anaheim at a forum put on by the National Union of Healthcare Workers. While they largely agreed on union and immigration issues, the four divided over how to achieve universal health care, with Newsom defending his support for a government-run, single-payer system and Villaraigosa dismissing it as “pie in the sky” plans that don’t include viable financing methods.

Eastin’s positions reflected Newsom’s, while Chiang said the state should take an incremental approach when moving toward single-payer, though he was less vociferous in his answers than Villaraigosa.

While each has their own debate style – from Chiang’s laid-back approach to Eastin’s energetic calls to be “on fire” about education – it will be interesting to see if the moderator pushes them to be specific about their prescriptions. For Californians, the back-to-back forums are a refreshing change. In 2014, front-runner Jerry Brown debated his Republican opponent just once, providing different visions of post-recession California.

In last year’s U.S. Senate race, Democrats and Republicans convened for a couple of televised debates, before Democrats Kamala Harris and Loretta Sanchez clashed in a general election debate in Los Angeles. Perhaps the biggest news out of that meeting came when Sanchez dabbed, which we later learned was a nod to her hairdresser’s kid.

Newsom comes into today’s question-and-answer session with some momentum, including recent endorsements from three labor unions: The California Teachers Association, Laborers International Union of North America, known as LiUNA, and the National Union of Healthcare Workers, that one following Sunday’s debate.

The Chronicle says it plans to host a similar event for the Republican candidates running for governor next year, including Assemblyman Travis Allen of Orange County and businessman John Cox.

HOUSING CRISIS: California lawmakers are eying ways to help low and middle-income renters who risk losing housing amid a statewide housing shortage.

The state Legislature this year passed housing bills to fund new construction, assist homeless people and fast-track construction. An Assembly committee hearing today will explore the affects of tenant displacement.

Assemblyman David Chiu, D-San Francisco, chairs the hearing of the Assembly’s Housing and Community Development committee. It will feature testimony from renters, state housing officials and outside experts.

It begins at 10 a.m. in Room 447 of the Capitol.

WORTH REPEATING: “Why not Paris?” – Andrew Acosta, Sacramento-based political consultant, on news that the Stockton Metropolitan Airport wants to add San Francisco to its name

MUST READ: Public employee unions brace for hit to their pocktbook.

DATA BREACH: State lawmakers convene a joint Assembly-Senate oversight hearing in Calabasas today following the massive data breach from the credit reporting agency Equifax.

It compromised private credit information for more than 145 million people, according to state lawmakers. The hearing is aimed at exploring how the breach happened, and how to prevent one in the future.

Organizers include Assemblymen Matt Dababneh, D-Los Angeles, Ed Chau, D-Arcadia and Assemblywoman Jacqui Irwin, D-Thousand Oaks. Online security experts will be on hand, as well as officials with the state Department of Justice.

HEALTH HEARINGS: It’s Day 2 of the Assembly’s universal health care hearings. Lawmakers will hear about how universal health care systems function in other countries, as they weigh a possible plan to “get to yes on health care for all,” as Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon likes to put it. It begins at 2 p.m. in Room 4202 of the Capitol.

CELEBRATE: Happy birthday to Assemblywoman Sabrina Cervantes, D-Riverside, who turns 30 today, as well as Assemblyman Vince Fong, R-Bakersfield, who turns 38, and Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Northridge, who turns 63.

Christopher Cadelago: @ccadelago

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