[CalFiber] SB1130 2020 Post-Mortem

Denton Murphy denton.murphy at gmail.com
Wed Sep 2 18:52:15 PDT 2020


I know the subject line stings, but unless a special session is convened,
SB1130 won't be going forward this year.

Wanted to share what I heard unofficially for why Speaker Anthony Rendon
tabled the bill. Aside from my own cynicism that Rendon loves the telecom
monopolies' money to a point that it's corrupting our democratic process,
there were some specific reasons given. It might help us strategize how to
approach this going forward and build the fiber infrastructure CA glaringly
needs.

One reason given was that SB1130 existed as an unfunded mandate, according
to Rendon. Despite the fact that the CASF is already funded via fees
assessed on our monthly ISP bills, Rendon wanted an additional funding
mechanism attached to the bill. Are CASF taxes set to sunset in the next
few years? This might've been what he's referencing. Would be nice to have
a ready to go talking point to rebut this. It may already be out there, I'm
just unaware of it.

The other reason given was that the Moderate Democrat Caucus was getting
pressure from the telecom industry to come out against it. Rendon didn't
want to put them crosswise against one of their biggest donors, so he
tabled it. Does anyone have a list of who's actually part of the Assembly's
"Moderate Caucus"? Aside from the fact that they don't officially exist,
the most I can find on them is that they elected Adam Gray (D-Merced) their
leader in 2018. He replaced Rudy Salas (D-Bakersfield) and Jim Cooper
(D-Elk Grove). It's like they're the Illuminati of the Assembly, lol.

Right now I'm composing a letter to the editor / op-ed that could possibly
get published in the Cerritos News, a local paper in Rendon's district. It
would highlight his personal involvement to table the bill, and the
overwhelming need for SB1130's standards. Does anyone on this listserv
actually live / know someone in Rendon's district? Would be a lot better
coming from them.

I'm not sure how effective letters to the editor / op-eds will work. I
think Rendon might be uniquely vulnerable to this pressure because he faces
a challenger from the left, Maria Estrada, in the general election this
year. She almost beat him in 2018, losing 54-46, but is back at it this
year.

Unfortunately, she's also a bit of a wingnut who openly admires Louis
Farrakhan. She also gained notoriety leading bullhorn protests outside the
CA Dem Party leaders homes during the primary this year. However, if she
wants to use my letter to the editor / op-ed about SB1130 as ammunition, I
feel that's Rendon's fault.

Do we know if anyone else from the Assembly "Moderate Caucus" is facing a
challenge from the left this year in November? Or even a Republican willing
to take on telecom monopoly power? Concentrating efforts highlighting these
members' willingness to oppose SB1130 may help by giving their opponents
talking points. In the end, this kind of electoral pressure may be our most
effective method to change minds. Eager to hear suggestions or tips.

Keep Moving Forward,
Denton Murphy
Cell: 415-269-7110
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