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THE NOONER for August 1, 2011

DISRUPT

Throw away those t-shirts, update that website and reprint those signs...  

You likely were on the e-mail I sent out an hour before writing this announcing the new features on aroundthecapitol, including the new district maps along with expected candidates and the building of the "bench."  It's only been a few minutes, and the e-mails are flying in.  

I've only been in the lobbying/political game for 19 years, but I have to say that this is these new districts may be the most disruptive development in California political history.  There is a statewide chess match going on, with the knights staring at each other and pawns looking for a chance to step into an overlooked race.

...and, make sure you know your number before printing those signs and filing.

Even veterans don't know what district number the district they are eyeing (or holding) is.  The conversations over the weekend were like this:

Me:  "Are you running for ADXX?"
Candidate: "No, I plan to run for ADXY"
Me: "So, you're going to move?"
Candidate: "No, I have always lived in ADXY"
Me: "You are now an XXer"

In the 2001 redistricting, the district numbers were largely the same as the 1991 redistricting.  However, this time they are completely different and the political world wasn't ready for it.  Expect LOTS of confusion over the next few weeks.  And, remember, candidates for Assembly and Senate only have until November 5 to get a new address and re-register.  In this housing market, that won't be easy, although several people appear to be moving, including some at the request of the Speaker.

One particularly interesting showdown will be in West LA, where Betsy Butler is moving to a "friendlier" district from her new district shared with Steve Bradford, reportedly at the request of Speaker John Perez.  Unfortunately, the gay and lesbian community, including beloved Sheila Kuehl, appears to be united behind Torie Osborn, and is not happy with the Butler's relocation.

Folks, we are talking weird politics here.  Aside from Sheila, Osborn is reportedly supported by Antonio Villaraigosa, Speaker Perez's cousin and the incumbent, Julie Brownley.  So, the openly gay speaker requested someone to move into a district to challenge a candidate with $300k in the bank who is supported by one of the most prominent gay politican of the last fifteen years, his cousin and the incumbent.  

Weird, indeed.

This shows, however, that Perez has learned the job well.  The job of the speaker (or Pro Tem) is to protect the caucus.  It ain't personal.

Lots of new folks on the Nooner list.  As a reminder, during the daytime, I head up the state association of community colleges.  I'm nonpartisan, and I also do this work at night.  So, if I don't respond to your message in a timely manner, that's because I'm working on my number one passion and commitment--community colleges.

Meanwhile, enjoy today's headlines:

Dan Walters: Local Mandates Are Lengthy, Convoluted State Saga - sacbee.com
In 1979, a year after California voters adopted Proposition 13 and tightly limited local property taxes, they decreed in another ballot measure that the state should reimburse schools and local governments for state-mandated costs they incur.

Pension Sticker Shock? Actuaries Say Maybe Not « Calpensions - Ed Mendel @ calpensions.com
New public pension accounting rules will not change how rates paid by state and local governments are set. But how the public and lawmakers will react to a new way of reporting pension costs is less clear.

Chalk One Up For Newsom - George Skelton @ latimes.com
Capitol Journal: The lieutenant governor's jobs plan may not be much, but at least it exists.

Pimco Ceo Mohamed El-erian: Budget Deal Will Only Bring Short-term Relief - ABC News @ abcnews.go.com
One of the most prominent global investors says that a potential budget deal in Washington will only bring short-term relief, and it won't remove the threat of a U.S. debt downgrade by credit rating agencies.

Budget Cuts Make Approaching School Year Unpredictable | Signonsandiego.com - signonsandiego.com
Little over a month before 130,000 San Diego students return to the classroom, the city school district is at a loss to say where many of its teachers and students will end up come September.

Attorney General Starts Push For Statewide Crime Database - californiawatch.org
California Attorney General Kamala Harris wants the state’s police departments to talk to each other.

Debt Ceiling Fix Could Mean Problems For States - SUSAN HAIGH and DINESH RAMDE @ sacbee.com
The cost of the compromise needed to raise the federal debt ceiling likely will inflict more fiscal pain on states still struggling to recover from the recession and the end of federal stimulus spending.

Loretta Sanchez's Seat Appears Safe Under New Map - Nicole Santa Cruz @ latimes.com
Orange County's only Democrat in Congress faced a tough challenge in her last election. But under new a new map, many Republican-leaning Vietnamese Americans would be placed in an adjacent district.

Budget Cuts Leave California With Fewer Hands To Fight Wildfires - sacbee.com
Just north of Highway 180 in Fresno County, a wildfire in mid-June ate through thick grass, burning into oak woodlands and roaring up steep hills.

Gap Weaves Fabric Of L.A. Into 1969 Jeans Campaign - Andrea Chang @ latimes.com
Gap, the clean-cut San Francisco clothing brand, is embracing its edgier side in Los Angeles for its 1969 Premium Jeans line.

Recession - JOHN MARKOFF @ topics.nytimes.com
There is no official definition of recession, and no official body to decree that one has begun or ended. Indeed, a clear picture of the state of the economy usually comes months or even years later. Recessions are commonly described as two or more quarters of a declining gross domestic product.

Oversight Problems Prompt Freeze Of School Reform Funds - californiawatch.org
This year's payout of a three-year $416 million federal grant to struggling schools has been delayed for several California schools after monitoring teams found the state Department of Education and local districts not implementing required reforms.

From Big Spending To Big Cuts, As Economy Stalls - nytimes.com
WASHINGTON — The nation’s political leaders agreed on Sunday to spend and invest less money in the American economy, a step that economists said risks the reversal of a faltering recovery, in the hope of improving the nation’s long-term prosperity.

L.A. County Refuses To Yield Youth Records - Garrett Therolf @ latimes.com
The state auditor is looking into deaths of children who were under the supervision of the troubled Department of Children and Family Services.

Oakland's New Manager Gets Big Pay Boost - Phillip Matier,Andrew Ross @ sfgate.com
While Oakland's rank-and-file city workers are taking pay cuts to keep their jobs, Mayor Jean Quan and the City Council handed the new city administrator a salary that's $9,000 over top scale - then tossed in what could...

Chinese Teachers Are On A U.S. Mission - Ricardo Lopez @ latimes.com
Dozens of teachers from China prepare in Los Angeles for the opportunity of a lifetime: a chance to teach Mandarin in American schools.

Did Obama Capitulate — Or Is This A Cagey Move? - washingtonpost.com
It was President Obama’s bottom line, a position he repeated in every recent public utterance on his debt-ceiling talks with Congress: Any deal must be “balanced” with spending cuts and tax increases.

Groups Hope To Take Over Local State Parks | Signonsandiego.com - signonsandiego.com
There is growing community interest in acquiring the keys to two parks in San Diego County that the governor plans to padlock next year.

Remap I: Enough With The Kvetching Already - calbuzz.com
For years, we’ve listened to whining from Republicans about California's unfair, gerrymandered Legislative and Congressional districts. "If only there were a fair reapportionment of voters," so goes the argument. “Republicans would stand a fighting chance to fully represent the electorate in the state Legislature and Congress."

U.S. Leaders Strike Debt Deal To Avoid Default - Lisa Mascaro and Kathleen Hennessey, Washington Bureau @ latimes.com
President Obama and congressional leaders announced a deal to resolve the months-long impasse over the federal debt ceiling, agreeing on a compromise that would aim to slice about $2.4 trillion from federal spending over the next 10 years.

Xpress Could Spell Trouble - sbsun.com
That's the assessment of a consultant's study that says the Desert Xpress would siphon off freeway travelers who otherwise would have spent time - and money - in Barstow.

The Appointment Of Goodwin Liu - Peter Schrag @ californiaprogressreport.com
Despite the complaints of conservatives, Gov. Jerry Brown couldn’t have chosen a better state Supreme Court nominee than Goodwin Liu. For California schoolchildren and their parents it may turn out to be particularly good news.

Audit Finds UCLA Wrongly Designated $23 Million In Student Fees For Campus Construction Projects - californiawatch.org
A state audit released last week says UCLA wrongfully designated $23 million in student fees to pay for two projects that were not included in the original fee referendum approved by student voters in 2000. 

Foon Rhee: State Faces A 'brain Drain' If Grads Lack Jobs - sacbee.com
Lynsie Salazar graduated in December with a communication degree, but can't find a marketing or pharmaceutical sales job. She's starting to look outside California.