Capitol Alert

AM Alert: Newsom to push for gun-control ballot measure

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom meets with the Sacramento Bee editorial board in Sacramento, Calif., on Monday, September 8, 2014. Newsom will announce a new gun-control effort today in San Francisco.
Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom meets with the Sacramento Bee editorial board in Sacramento, Calif., on Monday, September 8, 2014. Newsom will announce a new gun-control effort today in San Francisco. mcrisostomo@sacbee.com

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom today will kick off an effort to qualify a 2016 initiative that would impose new gun restrictions in California, already home to some of the nations’s toughest firearms rules.

Get more details on Newsom’s announcement here.

ARE YOU COORDINATED?: When is an independent campaign committee not so independent? It’s a nearly existential question question in this era of big-money politics, and a rather pressing one during the 2016 presidential race, where the campaigns of some candidates and allied Super PACs are virtually indistinguishable.

California hasn’t quite reached that level of activity, but outside spending groups are playing an increasingly important role in state politics, too: Independent expenditures by major businesses, labor unions and wealthy individuals totaled tens of millions of dollars in the last election cycle.

So the Fair Political Practices Commission, California’s political ethics watchdog, is considering new rules meant to “require the highest degree of separation that is constitutionally permissible between the outside spender and the candidate.”

The changes, which may be adopted during a 10 a.m. meeting at the commission headquarters on J Street, would add presumptions of coordination if an outside group has the same political consultant as a candidate, if a candidate participates in fundraising for an outside group, and if an outside group uses footage posted online by a candidate, among other rules.

EARLY BIRD: Gov. Jerry Brown still has three more years in office, but that doesn’t make it any less fun to speculate about who might replace him. If a new Field Poll on the 2018 gubernatorial race is any indication, it could come down to a north-south battle of the titans between former big-city mayors Antonio Villaraigosa of Los Angeles and Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom of San Francisco. Among a wide-open field of potential contenders, California voters are most inclined to support Villaraigosa, then Newsom, at this early stage. David Siders has more.

CHARGING AHEAD: He may not have gotten the 50 percent reduction in petroleum use he wanted this legislative session, but Brown is pursuing other avenues to cut down on the amount of gasoline California drivers consume. The final version of the major climate change bill he signed last week included a provision to create thousands of new charging stations for electric vehicles throughout the state, which follows an interstate initiative announced this summer to accelerate adoption of zero-emissions vehicles into public and private fleets up and down the West Coast. Brown will join corporate leaders to tout the push, 11:30 a.m. at the Creative Artists Agency in Los Angeles.

BREAST PRACTICES: Breastfeeding provides health benefits to mothers and their babies, yet significant racial disparities exist in its practice. It’s an important enough public health issue that California passed a law two years ago requiring hospitals to adopt policies encouraging breastfeeding. The UC Center Sacramento will host Eleanor B. Schwarz, a professor of medicine at UC Davis, to discuss implementation of the law and its potential impact on infant health and survival, noon in Room 4202 of the Capitol.

CELEBRATIONS: Happy birthday to Assemblyman Bill Brough, R-Dana Point, who turns 49 today, and to former Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, who is 56.

Alexei Koseff: 916-321-5236, @akoseff

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