tv KQED Newsroom PBS May 19, 2018 1:00pm-1:31pm PDT
♪ tonight on kqed "newsroom," california officials that support sufficie-- support toug immigration policies went to talk to donald trump and governor brown looks to crack down on the blackmarket for marijuana. we begin with politics. on wednesday, president trump and members of his cabinet met with southern california officials to discuss a shared view on immigration policy, maimly opposition to -- mainly opposition to california policies. the president had tough words for dangerous individuals entering the country. >> you would not believe how bad these people are. these are not people.
these are animals and we are taking them out of the country at a level and at a rate that h has never happened before, and because of the weak laws they come in fast, we get them, we release them. we get them again. we bring them out. it's crazy. >> mayor troy edgar attended the white house meeting as did san diego supervisor. lo the law sb-54 prohibits state and local police from helping federal authorities with immigration cases in many cases. it was the first of several c y cities and counties to pass similar resolutions. santa clar areita will file a c saying that it's unconstitutional.
mayor edgar, nice to have you on the program. >> nice to be here, thank you. >> what is your biggest take away from the white house meeting you attended this week? >> my biggest take away that i felt tit was action oriented, w had the right people, and he had the senior members of his staff and those that could execute on anything that we were able to take on. >> during the meeting, president trump called some undocumented immigrants, "animals," what was your reaction when you hard the comment? >> you know what? being in the room, i heard him talking about that in the context of the m-13 gang members. you know, i think a little bit different perspective, is if you are the president of the united states and you have secret service around you, you could afford to be able to make a statement like that. as a city council member, i will say their bad ombres. >> do you have a lot of bad ombres, as you say, or dangerous
undocumented immigrants in los ala had amp alamitos? >> no, we don't, it's long been a constitutional law issue. it's about the checks and balances of the federal hastate and local government. we feel the state over stepped in a city, where a charter city in the state of california, as a charter city, we have the right to raise tacks and have our own -- raise taxes and have our own police departments and set priorities for the police locally. when sb-54 was passed, it said, look, as a matter of law, we will not have you guys do the something ordeal with the federal government when it comes to u.s. immigration issues. that's where we drew the line. it had to do with the oath of office, why would we choose between honoring a state or
federal constitution. what we are trying to do is maintaining control of our own police department. >> in the meeting, the president suggested that oakland mayor, libby schaff, be prosecuted for obstruction of justice, due to when she issued a public warning of a pending immigration aid in our community. we asked the mayor about this, and here's what she said. >> i do not see how it can be illegal to inform people of the law. if the you were to receive the same type of information again today, would you do the exact same thing again? >> under the exact same circumstances? yes. i do not regret what i did. >> so, mayor edgar, what is your reaction to what mayor schaff did and her continued defense of it? >> yeah, you know what i don't how she defends that. it's honestly, her statement like that, that motivated me if
first time that i heard her say she was on p ommoral ground. this was supposed to be an evaluation or raid by i.c.e. to get criminals off the street. i think we need to look out for the resident s of the city, and not illegal immigrants that are criminals and providing them a safe haven. it's bad policy on her side of this. and quickly, as a mayor yourself, you think the oakland mayor, libby schaff should be prosecuted for obstruction of justice? >> i do. i think absolutely. i think that she owes her city a duty and i think that if she is not prosecuted by the u.s. attorney. i think her city should she of if it's the right person to be elected to be their leer going forward -- their leader going forward. >> during the meeting this week at the white house that you had with the president. you mentioned the aclus lawsuit against los alamitos, and you asked him for funding. why do you need funding and what do you plan to use it for?
>> well, when we, went in to the lawsuit, with he went in to it with -- we went in to it with eyes wide open. it cost money, and we hhad to m sure that we could afford whatever the cost would be. we took action to harness this. like i told the president, sometimes being first can be pretty expensive and the aclu has ten, different lawyers focused on this. they are going to full-court press, and you know, we know this is a very unique land mark issue, really, around constitutional and the city's rights issues. they have potentially could end up in the supreme court, and really, for us to kind of good the distance, we need to be able to see if we can depepd on anier sort of federal assistance going through it, whether it's distridirect support of staffing or other support. they said, we need to help them
look after this. so, we got together, we laid out proposals on what potentially could work, and then, also, just trying to make sure that i knew the next day it would be lobbying on capitol hill and talking to a bunch of other congressman to see if there was anything i could do specifically around appropriations and judiciary committee. >> okay, thank you mayor edgar for joining us. >> thank you so much for having me on again. >> and staying with politics, ballots went out by mail to registered voters for the up coming statewide primary election on june 5th. the candidates for governor will be narrowed down and the winners going on to november's election. donald trump endorsed john cox, there's five statewide ballot measures. one of them requires money raised from a gas tax and vehicle registration fees to be spent only on transportation projects. another measure would allow
homeowners to get tax relief for investing in rain water capture system. joining me now to talk about it is our own kqed, california politics and government team. senior editor, scoff schafer. andreport thank you to all of y. we will get to the primary election in a moment. i'm curious of your reaction of the mayor's comments. let's begin with you, scott. >> you are the mayor of a town of 11,000 people. you are the sheriff of fresno county and suddenly you are at the white house with the president. it's live on television. it has to be a little heady thing to find yourself in the middle of that. first of all, you have to kind of accept that there aviews are sincere. people at the white house, generally speaking, believe that the sanctuary state law is a good thing. it hamperser their ability to keep the public safe. i was struck by the diskeb,
between the rhetoric coming out of the white house and the president in particular, saying, this mayor saying, we don't have a problem with crime, and you know documented immigrants. it's sort of the problem that is around this issue where you have the president really going hard saying that these are hardened criminals, bad ombres r whatever you want to say, and you have local officials saying, it's more of a principal thing. it's not the reality of the crime that we are concerned about. >> yeah, it's going to be an interesting one from a legal perspective, right, we heard that the aclu is going to sue them over the ordinance of fighting the sanctuary state law. i was at the republican state convention, they had a session on this. and talked about the issue of first of all, if you are not a charter city the way they are, cities cannot sue. it's a legal question and the resource issue, that is something that i heard from a lot of folks, you should not expect everyone to stick their neck on out. and i think that, you know, that question of funding and sort of
resources, will be interesting to watch politically too, because, you know, do their residents even if they oppose a sanctuary state law want to spend their tax dollars fighting it. i have a hard time believing that the department of justice will fund the defense of the city's lawsuit. >> and that really seemed to be mayor's edgar's priority in the meeting. getting money out of it. before he went to the white house, he had a go fund me page started to try to fight the aclu, looking for more of a sustainable source in the fight. >> that may be a better place to go. >> unlike daca, where there's solid support for the dreamers or the wall, it's fairly strong opposition. you know, this issue of sanctuary state and city is down the middle. when you are down to places like orange county, or fresno. it's very much split. so, it may be a short-term political issue for the republican party locally. it's not going help them
statewide, especially john doco or travis allen. >> those are the two republican candidates for governor. you brought up daca, scott, i want to ask you about that as well, because we have congressman jeff denim, he is leading the fortunate to force a immigration -- he is leading a movement to force a vote i'm gra -- a vote on immigration. >> we have talked to him, they have always had this ability. it speaks to concern, and frustration on both sides of the aisle, of how little, i mean, not just obviously under trump, but has been done around immigration. it's a top of mind issue again this year. so, i think that, that is sort of the, this is desire to in a way play both sides. they are going to come out hard against the sanctuary states and push a dreamer thing. to scott's point about the sort of political expediency of this,
if you are in denim's district, it will probably be a good bet. in orange county, it may be a good bet now, but two, four years the districts are turning blue. that will be an interesting thing to watch longer term. >> ifyou look at what is in the meeting. he wants to be the speaker, which he can only do if he holds on to the majority. it's only about the mid term election. >> and no question that denim is taking up the position. paul ryan a lame duck and a speaker of the house. it will be interesting to see if mccarthy falls on this. he wants to be the speaker. how far does he let the central valley colleagues take the push. >> and with the freedom caucus and immigration and safrpg wary policies are focused in the california's governor's race, and particularly in the republican candidates. what are he they saying and how is it resonating with voters. is it enough to get them to the polls? >> you are seeing cox and allen, the republicans in the race,
pitching to the right for trump's immigration policies and the others are going to the left, look at the especially didi -- looking at the democrats, none of them want to be seen ask moving to the center on an issue that is polarizing. >> and in the race, you have an electorate that is 40% republican. yeah, if you are fighting over that small sliver of the eelectr electorate, they are trying to motivate those voters. >> the two gop candidates are in a tight race for second place. what is fuelling that? >> what you have seen among the democrats since there's four, you could say serious candidates is really this, you know, shuffling where they are trying to get as much of the market share as they can ha. republicans have more wiggle
room. some is simple politics. if you are a republican and you are looking at the ballot, you are going for somebody with an r next to their name. within the two, it will be interesting. john cox has been embraced by the party establishment. he is being pushed by folks in the party and the typical donor class, you may see. and travis allen is a bootstraps type candidate. there's a sense that cox has it locked up more among some people. i don't think it's -- i think it's wide open for number two. and it could be a democrat still. we don't know. >> there's a big ad push for charter schools for villaregosa. >> there will be a poll out this coming week and we will see if it shifted. you have to take the polls with a grain of salt. it's not the science it was a few years ago, so many people have cell phones and there's
internet polling. so, i think there's less confidence actually in how accurate the polls are. you do see variation from poll to poll. >> to your point about the independent of course pen which you are -- independent expenditures, we are seeing more coming in from the labor constituents, so, we are seeing the reports come in, and the money come in, in the next few weeks that money will turn in to a huge blitz of ads. >> and john cox is spend ago on the -- is spending a lot of his own money. >> it's really a free for all. we have an open primary, where the top two candidate s regardless of party move on. in other states,focused on each republicans the same. newsome is putting out an ad attacking cox, but propping him up, because he would rather have the republican in the run-off. and you have the california medical association, attacking
chung to try to prop up newsome, for voters it's confusing. >> a lot going on in the governor's race, and on the ballot, five propositions. thankfully just five. which ones are attracting the most attention? >> i think what is interesting is prop 69 and 70, they were put on the ballot last year as part of huge deals. one to raise the gas tax, fix infrastructure in the state. and deal with emissions and reduce those and the two ballot measures were put on to get republican votes. it's to make surer that the vehicle fees are going to you infrastructure improvements and problem 70 is to make sure that the cap and trade issues are voted on, that gets republicans in the mix on where it's going. and here's the political fall-out. if the measures fail, it will especially bold enfolks with the gop saying, why did we sign on?
>> i have to say none of them is getting attention. there's no money being spent on it, for or against any of them. >> one thing that is getting attention, a local race, right, a san francisco mayor's race is getting national play as well. candidates, they are teaming up, and running ads, and urging voters to mark them as choice one and two. how effective is the strategy? >> it's effective because of our voting system. like the top two, san francisco has a unique strategy where you go and pick three candidates. it's an instant run-off. so, the idea being if brooed ee more of a share of the electorate, they need, 1 and 2, so they are not knocked off when they count the votes. it's a calculation that could work and backfire.
their all liberal democrats in san francisco, but they are fighting for a limited number of votes and i don't know if i it's going to work. >> it could help leno more than kim, he has been out of city politics for a long time. he has not been a local official since 2003, been in the assembly and the senate, and done a good job by all accounts. but he that nhas not been in thy politics. kim has. so, people know her, so, in a way giving saying vote for him, number two, it may help sort of introduce him a bit to her voters in a way that may be more helpful to him. >> no matter the results the ranked voting, the start to it is candidates will rb nibe nice each other, if they have to be a second or third place vote. >> scott, and marissa and guy, our kqed politics and government
team, thank you so much. >> thank you. turning to cannabis, last week, governor jerry brown released a revised state budget that included $14 million to crack down on illegal cannabis sales. retailers and other businesses have been required to get new permits. but the steep costs of the permits and taxing the sale of all cannabis products may be contributing to a still thriving blackmarket of marijuana. joining me now for a discussion of all this is david downs, and josh, the spokesman for the california cannabis industry association. welcome to you both. >> thank you. >> how big is the elicit california market? >> it's massive. we are the number one domestic producer of cannabis for the united states. 4 on ut of the 5 pounds of
marijuana grown is being sent to other states. we feel it may be $10 billion in revenue over all. >> a lot of money at stake. $14 million is what governor brown is using to investigate the elicit market. >> it's a bit of drug war theater. it sends a message, we have with entrenched generation old networks that are growing and exporting the cannabis out of the state, some are domestic, and we have a big black market to is mantel and this money can go after the biggest offenders. the people who are operating at scale, and are flagrantly violating the state and federal law. >> and so, josh, on average, then how much does it cost to be a legal operation? why is the elicit market thriving? >> the rough estimate is 150,000 to come in to compliance and get
your annual license. kru currently only 33% have anything on the books. 65% on the state is a desert of right now. which contributes to the market. >> why are the various cities and counties that have not enacted regulations, why are they doing that? why are they holding back? >> i wish i had, you know, an answer as to what was fully halting them, i think a lot have been watching the state, wanting to see where the state was going to move. we are still operating under emergency regulations. we are currently working on our permanent regulations, so, there's been a wait and see methodology. but krond thbeyond that, there' of education. >> and there's a disconnect between the voters. and their elected officials that are older and more conservative. look at marine county, where 70% of voters supported prop 64. not a single store is open.
part of it is because local control is out of control in california. this dove tails in to issues of why we don't have enough housing. why we cannot build high speed rail. the locals are in the driver's seat and wheith regard to kana base, they have parked -- regard to cannabis, they have parked the car in the garage. >> the barriers to entry, are they too big of a lust fift for operators? what if you are a small grower, and if you have to build an ada bathroom, is that feesable for them? >> there's many barriers to entry in to the industry. the first, i will agree with david, is completely the local control issues. but also, we need to acknowledge that this industry is not new in california. it existed since 1996 on the record and for many decades prior to this. so, the rush that we saw in other counties in northern california to the grow, they are
on the sides of mountains with no roads. that they kind of carved in. no plumbing, no ada complaint bathro bathrooms. those costs are real. and we have to acknowledge that, not a lot of these farmers planned on being a part of the regulated market. >> i would build on that by saying that imagine being a small business person and someone shows up with 300 pages of new regulations that you have to follow. often from four different federal agencies. the pot shop that just opened in berkley, high fidelity had to install titanium security doors at a cost of $50,000, to meet the police department requests and these types of red tape can stack at the city, county, state level. >> so the state released numbers. california got $34 million in tax revenue in the first quarter of this year. that is much weaker than expected. it off the 185 million dollars target that the state has for the entire year for the first year of cannabis year.
why is that amount so low? >> becauses of local authorization, or the lack thereof. the regulations, i don't want to say that they are erroneous, there's been a heavy lift in educating, regulators and officials on the reality of the industry. the language of the industry. and likewise, we have had an educational lift for them on how to create good policy. that takes time, learning the different language of the two different worlds and get them on the same page has taken our association, at this point, five years. and it will be a continual working process to educate on what flower is, in comparison to what trim is, which relates directly to how we tax flower versus trim. >> so, that educational lift, i think is huge. >> and i think we need to putcontext you historically around the tax revenue in the first 100 days or so. we have had prohibition for 80 years and we have had commercialization for 100 days. i apparently am an optimist all
of a sudden, i see the glass as 1/4 full instead of 3/4 empty. it will make a dent in the long standing market. it will come at the pace of the tax structure as well ask the licensing structure at the city and county level. we will be on track to make more money in recreation a aa aal ca taxes in year one. i applaud voters that want it to be a light switch. but the black market has traction, so, it may take time and maybe years. >> today, we saw an announcement from the brewer -- from the of
cannabis control. what is your reaction? >> our membership is thrilled. this is something that we have pushed for, through this entire process. so, the adult use and the medical use designation, really has had no affect on what the product is. the doubling of application fees, licensing fees, to be an adult and medical use provider, it has served no purpose. that was discussed yesterday in the cannabis advisory committee meetings. they have passed it as well. we are thrilled to see it. and we hope that it has positive effects on the finances for our members. >> all right, fwhowork in progr. thank you both. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> and that will do it for us, next week, please tune in for a kqed newsroom special, we will bring you the best interviews from our archives with dynamic authors.
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