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It’s bad news if you’re a frog– or an animal rights activist. Yesterday, under pressure from the California Teachers Association, the legislature killed proposed legislation to ban animal dissection, including the cutting up of frogs– favorite “subjects” in biology classrooms across the state. Per CAL Matters, “The California Teachers Association, which has significant clout in the Legislature, testified against [the bill], arguing that it would deny science teachers a valuable tool.” Animal rights campaigners, including People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), are pissed. And we tend to agree with them. While in general, animals dissected in classrooms are already dead (though in some places, vivisection does still occur), it still involves inherent cruelty for animals, campaigners say. Per the Sacramento Bee, “Cats used for dissection tend to be euthanized animals acquired from shelters; frogs and other amphibians are often gathered in the wild.” Congratulations: If your cat goes missing,…

It might not be a surprise that Sen. Kamala Harris would be bringing in a boatload of cash from Californians as she runs for President. But a quickie analysis shows that she is not merely besting the competition; she’s trouncing it. Moreover, that analysis shows surprisingly low enthusiasm for Sen. Bernie Sanders among Californians, at least as gauged by donations from Golden Staters. In the first quarter of the year, Harris raised an eye-popping $4.3 million from Californians. Sanders, the national frontrunner managed $780,000; Sen. Cory Booker, who national polling suggests is not even approaching “real contender” status also bested Sanders with $870,000 from California. The numbers underline that despite the perception of California as a hard-left “people’s republic,” progressive but not actually leftist candidates who are younger and, well, less white and male show stronger appeal here. This is little surprise to everyone who expected Hillary Clinton to win…

Sen. Kamala Harris is making a big play for union support in her run for President, focusing principally on education and childcare workers. Teachers’ unions have been financially hammered by the Supreme Court decision in Janus and are shopping for a vocal candidate they can get behind and support, ideally one who will not only push pro-labor policy but also use the bully pulpit to advocate for their members’ interests. With her proposal to massively bump teacher pay through federal funding, Harris could be it. As noted yesterday, in the first quarter of 2019, her presidential campaign took in at least 11,000 donations from educators. Now, it looks like she’s making a play for pro-union child care workers, too, backing a proposal to unionize them. This should further endear her to organized labor, which is a powerful ally in Democratic Party politics not just because of its organizing and door-knocking…

The numbers are in, and Sen. Kamala Harris raised an eye-popping $12 million in her first quarter as a presidential candidate. Harris’ campaign told the New York Times that “more than $6 million of her fund-raising — about half of her total — came from her digital program, including $1.1 million in the last week.” In addition, Harris took in “218,000 contributions in total and that 98 percent of her contributions were under $100. Her average donation was about $55.” A lot of the money may be coming from teachers. Harris has called for a massive, federally-funded pay rise for teachers. Her campaign says at least 11,000 donations came from “educators,” a term that may include school administrators and teachers not operating within the public school system or teaching K-12.

Los Angeles teachers began a strike Monday that could imperil LA Mayor Eric Garcetti’s possible run for president. Garcetti, looking happier than he probably is this morning. Photo via Wikipedia. The Los Angeles Unified School District is the second-largest school district in the country. It serves approximately half a million students. Parents want a short strike. Taxpayers want few to no concessions. And unions want higher pay and at least some concessions. If not resolved on its own and quickly, it’s a political conundrum for Garcetti. According to The Hill, “In internal debates about how to build a campaign, Garcetti’s aides have acknowledged he cannot possibly launch a bid while teachers in his own city are on the picket line, according to sources involved in the conversations.” However, Garcetti has little control over how this plays out. The Los Angeles Unified School District is an independent body. It is accountable to…

Remember this year’s narrow 5-4 Supreme Court decision barring public employee unions from charging non-members for their portion of collective bargaining costs? Well, based on that ruling, one William Brice, a Cal State  professor, is suing the California Faculty Association in a federal court, aiming to get back thousands of dollars he’s paid to the union over the years. Brice contends that the union has taken a bunch of stands that are “so far to the left” of his own opinions that he deems his contributions to amount to forced speech contrary to his First Amendment rights. But of course, Brice isn’t doing this alone. And perhaps he didn’t come up with the idea himself. Also involved is Virginia-based, anti-union National Right to Work (NRTW). It filed the suit. NRTW has previously been involved in similar efforts, including in Minnesota where a union was forced to return money to workers…