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THE NOONER for August 5, 2011

Today's significant updates to ATC districts:

  • SD17: dropped John Laird as a candidate, leaving Bill Monning (D) as the favorite
  • SD31: added former Asm Steve Clute (D) and Asm Jeff Miller (R) as candidates
  • AD04: moved Asm Mike Allen (D) from AD02 (75%-25% likely to run in AD04, rather than AD10); Mariko Yamada to either stay in AD04 (more likely) or move to AD11, as she is being pressured

THE QUOTE: "Howard Berman has indicated his preference that I not run in Congressional District 30," Sherman said. "He has pointed out that there is an open seat in Seattle, one in Eureka and one in Ventura County. That's three seats where I could go to take up surfing, but I'm not interested in taking up surfing."
-- Brad "Comb" Sherman on whether he'd take the CD26 race instead of the showdown with Howard Berman in CD30

THE LOW-DOWN: Yesterday, I mentioned Evan Low's great fundraising numbers.  He raised $233k during the first six months of the year and has $218k cash on hand.  In the release announcing the figures, he stated that he was seeking to replace Jim Beall.  Unfortunately, Low is a councilmember in Campbell, which is drawn into Paul Fong's Assembly district.  Fong, who has one term left, hasn't signaled that he is stepping aside, and, well, is Evan's boss.  Fong has endorsed Evan, as have lots of other folks who have also endorsed Fong.  Perhaps nowhere else in the state, the Fong D.O. is hoping for a change in lines between now and August 15.  

THE BIG NUMBER: $1,586,386.72 - the amount the City of Vernon paid for lobbying in the first six months this year to defeat Speaker Perez's effort to disincorporate the city.  That doesn't include all those ads running during the women's World Cup. That's $14,164 per resident. In comparison, Los Angeles spent $813,326.94, or $0.21 per resident.

THE COUNTDOWN: Only five more working days of shorts and sandals before the Legislature returns for the four-week sprint.

THE FOG:  Seriously?  In August?

THE THANKS:  Lots of folks have helped this week getting information for ATC districts.  Let me give thanks today to Jon Fleischman, Paul Mitchell, Tony Quinn, Matt Rexroad, Lea-Ann Tratten, the Morning Report and the many "off the record" tips.  

Bills signed

  • AB 61 by Assemblymember Kevin Jeffries (R-Riverside) – Neighborhood electric vehicles.
  • AB 209 by Assemblymember Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco) – Environment: CEQA: lead agency: documents.
  • AB 349 by Assemblymember Wesley Chesbro (D-Eureka) – Vehicles: State Highway Route 101: licensed carriers of livestock.
  • AB 384 by Assemblymember Wesley Chesbro (D-Eureka) – State forest land: Jackson Demonstration State Forest.
  • AB 470 by Assemblymember Linda Halderman (R-Clovis) – Air pollution districts: fees: schoolbus retrofits.
  • AB 561 by Assemblymember Jeff Gorell (R-Camarillo) – Ventura County Watershed Protection District: indebtedness.
  • AB 686 by Assemblymember Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) – Local sales and use taxes: transaction and use taxes.
  • AB 1125 by Assemblymember Katcho Achadjian (R-San Luis Obispo) – Public health: County of San Luis Obispo and Los Osos Community Services District.
  • AB 1272 by Assemblymember Betsy Butler (D-Torrance) – State property: surplus.
  • AB 1390 by Committee on Utilities and Commerce – Energy crisis litigation.
  • AB 140 by Assemblymember Felipe Fuentes (D-Los Angeles) – Claims against the state: payment.
  • AB 141 by Assemblymember Felipe Fuentes (D-Los Angeles) – Jurors: electronic communications.
  • AB 364 by Assemblymember Susan Bonilla (D-Martinez) – Restitution: asset seizures: fraud and embezzlement.
  • AB 1026 by Assemblymember Stephen Knight (R-Lancaster) – Assault: force likely to produce great bodily injury.
  • AB 1133 by Assemblymember Jim Silva (R-Huntington Beach) – Grand jurors: conflict of interest.
  • AB 1349 by Assemblymember Jerry Hill (D-South San Francisco) – Paternity: conflicting presumptions.

Bills vetoed

  • AB 201 by Assemblymember Betsy Butler (D-Torrance) – Veterans courts. [veto message]
  • AB 312 by Assemblymember Bonnie Lowenthal (D-Long Beach) – Civil rights: homeless persons. [veto message]

To the headlines...


Ballot Initiative Would Tax Marijuana Like Wine - Joshua Emerson Smith @ californiawatch.org
Supporters are gathering signatures for an initiative that would decriminalize marijuana in California for those older than 21. The measure, dubbed the Regulate Marijuana Like Wine Act, would tax and regulate the cultivation, production and sale of cannabis using grape and wine industry standards.

Nunez, Schwarzenegger Commutation Case To Stay In Sacramento - Andy Furillo @ blogs.sacbee.com
A Sacramento judge today combined and retained the two lawsuits that challenged former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's commutation of the 16-year prison sentence of former Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez's son.

Jerry Brown Has A Way Out Of High-speed Rail Mess - Dan Walters @ sacbee.com
California's project is very dependent on many billions of federal dollars, so Brown could – and should – put the bullet train project on hold and block any construction until the financing picture clears up.

The Redistricting Commission: Now To The Courts - Tony Quinn @ foxandhoundsdaily.com
Act One is over: The Redistricting Commission has adopted its plans; all that remains is final certification August 15. Act Two now awaits: court action against the plans.

Press Clips: Charge Of The Lite Gov Brigade - calbuzz.com
Let’s be clear: Prince Gavin Newsom of Marin County is a perfectly fine Lieutenant Governor. He attends and votes on all the boards he’s supposed to. He is an excellent ceremonial speaker. He’s tried to make himself useful by crafting a thoughtful Economic Growth and Competitiveness Agenda for California. And most important, he’s young, healthy and standing by in case something should befall our 73-year-old Gov. Gandalf.

Immigration Status A Pre-existing Condition Under Healthcare Reform? - Chris Richard @ healthycal.org
One of the very first provisions of national health care reform to take effect was a rule barring insurance companies from limiting or denying coverage for a child due to a "pre-existing condition," a health problem that developed before the child applied for insurance.

Governor Signs Electric-vehicle Bill - blogs.pe.com
Gov. Jerry Brown has signed legislation by Assemblyman Kevin Jeffries that will let Riverside County or any of its cities decide to allow neighborhood electric vehicles.

California Dems' Progressive Caucus Floats Challenge To Obama - Torey Van Oot @ blogs.sacbee.com
President Barack Obama isn't getting much birthday love from one group of California Democrats. The California Democratic Party's Progressive Caucus marked the commander-in-chief's 50th birthday by releasing a resolution that supports exploring a potential primary challenge in 2012 to the first-term Democratic president.

Lawmaker Makes Quiet Visit To Napa State Hospital - Lee Romney @ latimes.com
Assemblyman Michael Allen, a former psychiatric nurse, spent a day at the facility, getting an unvarnished look at life where a technician was strangled last fall.

DNA: Law Requiring Arrestees' Samples Struck Down - Bob Egelko @ sfgate.com
A voter-approved California law requiring police to collect DNA samples from anyone arrested for a felony violates the constitutional privacy rights of people who have not been charged with or convicted of a crime, a...

Campaign Finance Reform Plan Unveiled - Lisa Vorderbrueggen @ ibabuzz.com
California should move away from fewer larger donors and into small contributions and public campaign financing, says the state’s foremost expert on campaign finance. Bob Stern, who wrote the 1974 California Political Reform Act, has released a new blueprint for reform through his nonpartisan think tank at the Center for Governmental Studies.

Obama Supporters Already On The Attack For 2012 Election - Paul West, Washington Bureau @ latimes.com
Surrogates for President Obama's campaign are pushing back early against criticism on the economy, and are developing lines of attack against his potential Republican opponents, especially Mitt Romney.

Unusual Coalition Raises $600k To Back California Moderates - Kevin Yamamura @ blogs.sacbee.com
Realtors, labor unions, doctors and dentists have contributed $600,000 toward an unusual coalition designed to elect more moderate legislators in 2012, campaign statements show. The group, Californians for Fiscal Accountability and Responsibility, received six contributions of $100,000 each from major Sacramento interest groups in June. Those include the California Dental Association, California Medical Association, California Association of Realtors, California School Employees Association, SEIU-UHW and State Building and Construction Trades Council.

Database: Search And Compare Spending By State Assembly Members - sgvtribune.com
In response to a Legislative Open Records Act request from Assemblyman Anthony Portantino's lawyer, the state Assembly produced office expenditure records of individual members for the year ending Nov. 2010, according to documents obtained by this newspaper.

$1 Million Donation To Pro-romney Pac Sparks Questions - Tom Hamburger @ latimes.com
Under the Supreme Court's controversial Citizens United decision, corporations can make contributions to independent political committees. But what if the corporation making the donation wasn't a functioning corporate entity?

Good Riddance To The Early Primary - John Wildermuth @ foxandhoundsdaily.com
California has finally ended its 16-year pursuit of the white whale of presidential primary relevance.

"Deplorable" Comments From Bullet Train Official Enrage Farmers - Lance Williams @ californiawatch.org
At a Sacramento hearing on high-speed rail, the director of a local farm bureau complained that the California bullet train was being routed through prime agricultural land in the Central Valley without any input from farmers.

California Doctors Lobby To Block Federal Payment Cuts - Michael Doyle @ blogs.sacbee.com
The Obama administration got an earful Thursday morning, as California Medical Association officials and nearly two dozen others made the case against California's proposed physician reimbursement cuts.

Tiny City Of Vernon Spends Big On Lobbying - Will Evans @ californiawatch.org
The tiny city of Vernon is putting big money on its fight for survival in the state Capitol. The scandal-tarred city, which is fighting a disincorporation bill, spent about $1.6 million on lobbying this year, according to new disclosure reports. That makes Vernon the state's sixth-biggest lobbying force this year, just slightly behind the California Chamber of Commerce and ahead of the League of California Cities.

State Pushes To Expand Recycling - Michael Gardner @ signonsandiego.com
Many Californians tend to associate car exhaust and factory emissions with greenhouse gasses blamed for climate change brought on by global warming. But how about paper, cardboard, old lumber and plastic? What role do those waste products play by being thrown away instead of being recycled?

Native American Tribes Shield Parents From Child Support - californiawatch.org
Mothers around the state are finding it almost impossible to collect child support from some Native American fathers because tribal governments and businesses are shielding them from court-ordered payments, records and interviews show.

Bank Of America Agrees To Write Down California Mortgage Principal - latimesblogs.latimes.com
Bank of America has begun writing down principal on the mortgages of some troubled borrowers in California through a state program intended to help people facing foreclosure. The bank has signed on to the principal reduction component of the Keep...