Capitol Alert AM Newsletter

Newsom takes on the commander in chief + KDL’s next race

Here’s the inauguration speech of Gov. Gavin Newsom

On Jan. 7, 2019, Gavin Newsom was sworn in as California governor, succeeding fellow Democrat Jerry Brown.
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On Jan. 7, 2019, Gavin Newsom was sworn in as California governor, succeeding fellow Democrat Jerry Brown.

You can’t call Gov. Gavin Newsom the commander-in-chief, but he plans to take a shot in his State of the State address today at the one who sleeps at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Newsom used an overnight Sunday press release and a Monday stand-up press conference with a two-star general behind him to announce that he’d scale down a California National Guard deployment on the Mexico border that President Donald Trump requested and former Gov. Jerry Brown approved last year.

“The border ‘emergency’ is a manufactured crisis,” read excerpts from the speech Newsom’s plans to deliver. “California will not be part of this political theater.”

Trump’s border call-up isn’t the only Trump military directive that Newsom wants to challenge. He stressed at his press conference that he doesn’t want the California National Guard to reject troops who identify as transgender, contradicting Trump’s efforts over the past year to bar them from military service.

“To demean a group of folks for purely political purposes is disgraceful, it’s un-American,” Newsom said during Monday’s conference. “These are folks that put on a uniform every day to protect you to protect this country.

The governor’s comments follow a January Supreme Court decision that allowed Trump’s ban on transgender military service members to take effect. Last week, Maj. Gen. Matthew Beevers of the California National Guard cheered LGBT advocates when he told lawmakers that transgender troops would not be pushed out of military service.

Nobody’s going to kick you out,” Beevers said.

The National Guard is somewhat autonomous from the Defense Department. Newsom can call up troops to help in domestic disasters. He also selects top California National Guard leaders, such as Adjutant General Maj. Gen. David Baldwin. Baldwin joined Newsom at the border press conference.

But “in general, in a contest between a state government and the federal government over control of National Guard troops, the federal government will win,” Jake Herrera of Pacific Standard wrote last week after Beevers’ remarks. That’s because the president can “nationalize” a state National Guard, and the Pentagon determines qualifications for military service.

Monday’s executive order shifts troops away from an immigration crackdown initiative out of the White House, putting them to work tackling California-specific issues, like the statewide Counterdrug Task Force, conducting intelligence operations against drug cartels and supporting wildfire prevention efforts.

“I have given the National Guard a new mission. They will refocus on the real threats facing our state,” Newsom said in a press release.

The State of the State is scheduled for 11:00 a.m. at the Capitol. Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, D-Lakewood, and Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, will offer the Democratic response after the governor’s address. The outgoing Senate Republican Leader Patricia Bates, R-Laguna Niguel, will join her successor Shannon Grove, R-Bakersfield, and Assembly Republican Leader Marie Waldron, R-Escondido, for the Republican response.

Via Adam Ashton

Follow The Bee’s reporters covering the address: @SophiaBollag, @hannahcwiley, @maddyashmun

CATCH UP: California’s new governor made a lot of campaign promises. The Bee is tracking how he’s making good on his word.


More than 30 Silicon Valley Leadership Group representatives are joining new members of the Legislature for the group’s bi-annual “Fresh Ideas” trip to the Capitol that begins today. In a series of sessions, group members and legislators will discuss problems that the Silicon Valley faces and brainstorm solutions, and the leadership delegation will also meet with Newsom’s staff to talk about housing and transportation.

In attendance: Assemblywoman Rebecca Bauer-Kahan, D-Orinda; Assemblyman Tyler Diep, R-Westminster; Assemblyman Jesse Gabriel, D-Encino; Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris, D-Laguna Beach; Assemblywoman Christy Smith, D-Santa Clarita; Assemblyman Robert Rivas, D-Hollister; Assemblywoman Buffy Wicks, D-Oakland; Sen. Bob Archuleta, D-Pico Rivera; Sen. Maria Elena Durazo, D-Los Angeles; Sen. Susan Rubio, D-Baldwin Park.


No, not for president. But former state Sen. Kevin de León is running for a Los Angeles city council seat held by soon-to-be termed-out Councilman Jose Huizar. De León lost his senate bid to replace U.S. Sen. Diane Feinstein last year.

After representing Huizar’s district during his 12-year tenure in the Legislature, de León said “It would be an absolute honor to continue that work at the local level,” per the Los Angeles Times.


Assemblyman Evan Low, D-Campbell — @Evan_Low “I just introduced legislation to lower the voting age in California.“

MUST-READ: Nursing licenses delayed, public protection at risk without more money, state board says by Wes Venteicher

Hannah Wiley joined The Bee as a legislative reporter in 2019. She produces the morning newsletter for Capitol Alert and previously reported on immigration, education and criminal justice. She’s a Chicago-area native and a graduate of Saint Louis University and Northwestern.