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THE NOONER for October 12, 2011

[jump to the headlines]

DISTRICT UPDATES

  • CD08 - Added Jackie Conaway (D)
  • CD21 - Removed former State Senator Dean Florez (D)
  • AD33 - Added Big Bear councilman Bill Jahn (R)

THE STORY WE DON'T WANT TO READ: California Is Becoming "Post-industrial Hell," Economist Says [Lance Williams @ California Watch]

FLACK NIGHTMARE: BlackBerry outage spreads to US and Canada, continues in Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia, South America [engadget.com]

TO INFINITY AND BEYOND? Yesterday, former NASA astronaut Jose Hernandez formally announced his candidacy for CD10. The Central Valley district, which includes Modesto and the newfound Central Valley "Bay Area suburbs" that have been hard hit in the housing bust, is the district of choice for Congressman Jeff Denham. Denham lives in CD16 along with Dennis Cardoza and Jim Costa, but took the most conservative of the possible districts. So, does Hernandez have a shot?

It's a tough district for Democrats. While claiming a 4.9% registration edge, the independents (16%) in this district tend to lean to the right. Barack Obama won the district by 2.6% in 2008, but Meg Whitman beat Brown in it by 5.2%. The district is not knee-jerk Republican, however. John Chiang won it by 20% and Bill Lockyer won it by 16%.

With 25% Latino CVAP, Hernandez can work a solid base and, if successful in fundraising, can share an inspiring story from farmworker to astronaut that provides a legitimate launching pad. He jumped in just after the close of one of the most important quarters, so we won't get a signal of his fundraising ability until January. But, if he can use his story to tap into a national fundraising base in the way Ami Bera has, this district moves to a Toss-Up.

DONNELLY'S CHALLENGE: People either love or hate firebrand Assemblymember Tim Donnelly, including people within the Republican Party. Many thought that redistricting would leave Donnelly, who lives in Twin Peaks, without a district to call home. The redistricting gods were kind to Donnelly and drew him a very nice district in AD33. Thus, local opponents had to go to Plan B, which is Big Bear councilmember Bill Jahn, the owner of a construction firm and former Chino city councilmember.

The district stretches from the resort communities that Donnelly and Jahn call home through the Mojave desert to the Arizona and Nevada borders. This will not be a race decided on politics--both are anti-illegal immigration conservatives. It will be personal, and watching endorsements will be fascinating.

DRINK, DRIVE, DISCHARGE: The Bee covers Donnelly's eyebrow-raising fundraiser.

NOT GONNA DO IT: Assemblymember V. Manuel Perez is running for reelection in AD56, and not challenging Mary Bono Mack in CD36. [desertsun.com] As a total aside, how the hell did the district that borders Arizona and Mexico get number "56"?

BRAGGING RIGHTS: Ami Bera raised $325,000 in the third quarter and claims cash on hand of $708,000 for his repeat bid against Dan Lungren in CD07. Lungren had $328k on hand June 30, but hasn't released his number for the third quarter yet. The filing deadline is Saturday.

SPIRITUAL ASSISTANCE: Today is the deadline for opponents of SB 48 (Leno) to submit signatures to qualify a referendum on the bill, which requires the role of gays and lesbians to be included in public school instruction. The Bee's Torey Van Oot reports that the campaign e-mailed supporters saying that they would "need a miracle to qualify this referendum."

THE BEE: I was a bit unfair to the Bee's editorial team yesterday, accusing them of hypocrisy in calling for several bills to be signed and then criticizing the governor for not vetoing enough. Apparently, I missed this editorial calling for several vetoes while I was in Mexico. And, since my newspaper has begun to find my driveway after several months of wandering around the neighborhood, let bygones be bygones.

ICYMI: Is Brad Sherman A Scientologist? Wikipedia Says Yes [Gene Maddaus @ LA Weekly]

GAME OVER: Does anyone still have those billboards put up by Glass Agency around town to save the Kings? It appears we may need them again

Eureka, I'm on a flight to Dallas. It's your turn to work...

TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
New California Healthcare Laws Expand Consumer Protections
latimesblogs.latimes.com
Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a bevy of new healthcare laws designed to expand consumer protections for Californians in need of health insurance or medical care. One measure, SB 51, requires health insurers in the state to comply with mandates...

California Is Becoming "Post-industrial Hell," Economist Says
Lance Williams @
californiawatch.org
Since the recession began, times have been tough in California – everybody knows it. The economy is in a protracted stall. But it took economists at California Lutheran University’s Center for Economic Research and Forecasting to describe, in hyperbolic language, the depth of the problems that have beset the Golden State since the stock market started to tank in the summer of ’08.

Campuses Taking Cover In Case Of Shortfall
Will Bigham @
dailybulletin.com
Education would be among the hardest-hit sectors if automatic cuts built into the state's budget are triggered. And that hit was on the minds of local education leaders Tuesday, a day after state Controller John Chiang reported that state tax revenue in September was $300 million less than expected.

Gov. Jerry Brown is giving unions most of what they seek
Michael J. Mishak and Anthony York @
latimes.com
In Jerry Brown's first legislative session in nearly three decades, no group won more than organized labor.

Unemployed Californians Face Benefit Losses
latimesblogs.latimes.com
Nearly 1.8 million jobless Americans could lose their unemployment insurance benefits at year's end unless Congress approves the president's proposal to reauthorize the federal program through 2012, said the National Employment Law Project, an advocacy group known as NELP. California...

Jerry Brown: Predictably Unpredictable :: Fox&hounds
foxandhoundsdaily.com
Brown has frustrated and delighted activists and elected officials on both the left and the right with his signature for and against bills. You get the feeling he is tickled by the reactions.

Foes Of Gay Curriculum Say They 'Need A Miracle' To Qualify Referendum
Torey Van Oot @
blogs.sacbee.com
With just one day left to circulate petitions, organizers of an effort to repeal a new law requiring that California students learn about the historical contributions of gay and lesbian individuals have told supporters that they "would need a miracle to qualify this referendum."

Supervisors embrace independent redistricting panel
signonsandiego.com
County supervisors took the first step Tuesday toward precluding themselves from redrawing political districts, voicing tentative support for a court-appointed panel of retired judges to carry out redistricting duties.

Obama Campaign Steps Up Attacks On Mitt Romney
Michael A. Memoli @
latimes.com
With no candidate retaining status of the lead "anti-Romney" candidate, it is President Obama 's re-election campaign seeking to stifle any momentum building for the former Massachusetts governor, focusing Wednesday on what it sees as a pattern of "flip-flops."

Credit Check Law Has Fans, Foes
sacbee.com
A new state law barring most employers from using pre-employment credit checks in hiring could remove another hurdle to work for jobless Californians.

Romney defends healthcare plan, challenges Perry on uninsured
Michael A. Memoli @
latimes.com
Given the opportunity to pose a question to his chief rival, Rick Perry went for the obvious topic: healthcare reform.

The Caucus: Romney Prepared for Attacks on Health Care Record After Report Links Advisers to Obama
nytimes.com
An NBC report on the similarities between the national and Massachusetts health care plans is timed perfectly for Mitt Romney's opponents.

L.A. Ethics Commission slaps developer with maximum campaign fine
David Zahniser @
latimes.com
The Los Angeles City Ethics Commission on Tuesday fined a Koreatown developer $183,750 - the maximum penalty allowed -- for his role in an alleged money laundering scheme carried out in support of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's reelection campaign.

Brown's Veto Of Education Bill Consistent With Earlier Views | Edsource Extra!
Louis Freedberg @
edsource.org
A simple teaching exercise on a green leaf has had an enduring impact on Gov. Jerry Brown’s views on education.

Brown Vetoes Bill To Warn Women Of Breast Tissue
Anthony York @
latimes.com
Sen. Joe Simitian's SB 791 sought to require medical providers to notify women if they have dense breast tissue.

Former Farm Worker, Astronaut To Run For Congress In Tracy District
Joe Garofoli @
blog.sfgate.com
Jose Hernandez announced his run for Congress Tuesday in the new 10th District (Modesto, Tracy, Turlock) and it will be hard to top the Democrat's personal story. No current member of Congress can say they went from picking strawberries in the fields to becoming an astronaut.

Democrats Plan Next Step For Obama's Jobs Package
Lisa Mascaro and Christi Parsons, Washington Bureau @
latimes.com
The Senate blocked President Obama's jobs plan Tuesday night, prompting Democratic leaders to begin laying plans to divide the $447-billion package into pieces they hope will be too politically popular to oppose.

Topeka repeals domestic violence law
Mackenzie Weinger @
politico.com
Leaders vote to repeal a law against domestic violence in a move some blame on budget cuts.

Jobs measure is turned back in Senate test
Robert Pear @
mercurynews.com
WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama's jobs bill was blocked in the Senate on Tuesday in its first major legislative test, forcing the White House and congressional Democrats to develop plans to revive elements of what the administration had portrayed as the centerpiece of Obama's push to revive a

Chris Christie's ratings jump after decision on presidential race
Michael Muskal @
latimes.com
When Mitt Romney picked up the support of Chris Christie, the question was just how much a big political hug from the governor of New Jersey was worth. Two polls released Wednesday say that Christie’s approval rating is on the rise – at least in the Garden State, which in recent presidential races has gone to the Democrats.