,, Around The Capitol
Around The Capitol
Around The Capitol

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THE NOONER for October 17, 2011

[jump to the headlines]

LEGISLATORS OF THE YEAR: Voting closes tomorrow (Tuesday) at 4pm. If you haven't voted yet, there should be a link on top of this e-mail. 

ENDORSEMENTS: I have started including significant endorsements on the district pages. I'll try to be fair and list endorsements to give a fair representation of how a race shapes up. I will only take endorsements posted on a public website or sent in a press release to scott@scottlay.com. Be patient, it'll take me awhile to get the pages geared up and I'll try to tackle it race-by-race for fairness' sake.

MONEY: Year-to-date filings are included for most congressional candidates now on the district pages. The FEC is a bit backlogged in its data update over the weekend, so it may be another 24 hours before all candidates' third quarter filings are posted.


  • CD04 - updated analysis
  • CD31 - added nonprofit executive Renea Wickman (D)
  • CD33 - added accountant Steve Collette (L)
  • CD41 - updated analysis
  • CD47 - added Los Alamitos councilmember Troy Edgar (R)
  • SD01 - added Shasta supervisor Les Baugh (R)
  • AD12 - added Lathrop councilmember Christopher Mateo (D)
  • AD16 - added real estate agent Heather Gass (R)
  • AD79 - added nonprofice executive Sid Voorakkara (D)

MUST READ: Coming Clean On 'Dirty DUIs' In Contra Costa County: "A whistle-blower tells how a private detective arranged for men to be arrested for drunk driving at the behest of their ex-wives and their lawyers -- and that entrapment using decoys was only one of many alleged misdeeds." [Maura Dolan @ latimes.com]

Thiis is another part of The Incredible Case of the P.I. Moms heard on This American Life three weeks ago.

Okay, back to the bread and butter...

WHAT WE LEARNED THIS WEEKEND: Saturday night was the third quarter reporting deadline for federal candidates. The totals for most candidates are now posted on the district pages, although a handful probably won't be available until later today. Here are the leading stories from the reports:

  • The shocker: Lodi resident and UC Berkeley law student Ricky Gill raised $283,417 for his campaign against Jerry McNerney. The Berkeley law student tapped into the Indo-American community and farmers to outraise three-term incumbent McNerney and now has more cash on hand. Bonus: Gill gets love today from the San Francisco Chronicle.
  • The rising star: Wow. Michael Rubio raised $225,000 in two weeks with no real campaign operation. Only two of the contributions were from political action committees. This has to be one of the largest non-incumbent hauls in the country. Rubio's opponent David Valadao also had an impressive quarter, with $161,500.
  • Who? That's the question politicos are asking after seeing Stacey Lawson's report of $238,391 on expenses of only $4,092. [CD02] Also raising eyebrows was Los Alamitos councilmember Troy Edgar, who put $209,000 of his own money into a CD47 bid.
  • As promised, CD02 will be one of the most exciting Democratic primaries to watch, with the top tier including Susan AdamsJared Huffman, Norman Solomon and Stacey Lawson. Each raised respectable sums, with Lawson leading the pack. Solomon led the spending with $90,825, but spent all but $8,000 of the amount raised in the quarter, with lots of staff expenditures and $5,400 for "seed packets."
  • The -ermans: Having the DreamWorks trio headlining your fundraising efforts pays off. Howard Berman reported raising $818,769 compared to Brad Sherman's $151,207. Sherman still has $1.5 million more on hand than Berman's $2.2 million, which should be enough to pay for a website redesign. (CD30)
  • Crushing it: The money is moving toward Ed Royce in the showdown with fellow Republican Gary Miller for CD39. Royce raised $352,879 and now has $3 million on hand, compared to $54,789 raised by Miller with $1 million on hand.
  • Not a DeLong shot: You might think that with Alan Lowenthal and former congressman Steve Kuykendall in the same race that Long Beach councilman Gary DeLong might have a hard time marshalling resources. Instead, DeLong turned in a shocking $255,781 compared to a combined $62,000 from the other two contenders. (CD30)
  • The retirees?: Dennis Cardoza gave the strongest sign that he's retiring, reporting only $23,150 raised and $62,472 cash on hand. David Dreier raised only $37,300, but has $774,464 on hand that he can use if he finds a district, and Jerry Lewis raised $43,750 and has 755,830 on hand.
  • In it to win it? Slow quarters for several expected candidates signal they might not be in full pursuit: Ron CalderonNorma Macias, Gloria McLeod, Norma Torres. The four are considering bids in districts that incumbents are now running in (CD32, CD35 (2), and CD38 respectively). 

THE MISSING MOOLAH: While some chose to identify them as "embezzled funds" and others as "unauthorized withdrawals," several congressional candidates had to account for the missing money tied up in the courts in the Kinde Durkee scandal. Here are the ones I found:

  • Dianne Feinstein: $4.7 million
  • Linda Sanchez: $322,123
  • Susan Davis: $160,015
  • Loretta Sanchez: $125,000
  • Sukhee Kang: $118,523
  • Tony Cardenas: $17,078 

Of course, there is big money missing on the state side as well, such as Jose Solorio's $677,000, but we won't see that until January.

Laura Richardson didn't take an adjustment, although she noted the possibility of missing funds on her report. But, she doesn't really need to do anything to make her reports look more depressing. Richardson raised $71,793, has $116,706 on hand, and $460,011 in debt. While many candidates report debt, few have Richardson's who's who of stiffed prominent (and one not-so-prominent) political vendors.

HOW DURKEE WAS DISCOVERED: Auditor's instincts paved way for Kinde Durkee probe [Brian Joseph @ OC Register]

THE [OLD] BOYS ARE BACK IN TOWN: Jennifer Fearing continues her effort to draw attention to the lack of women at political conferences. The California Leadership Institute is holding its candidate forum on October 27, and of the ten announced speakers addressing 27 legislative candidates, there are, uh, well, no women listed. But, they will be hearing from Willie Brown, Jim Brulte, Bob Hertzberg and Curt Pringle.

BACK BURNER: Simitian opts for patience over force on mammogram bill [Mercury News]

SO LONG, FAREWELL: Dan Walters would like to see some Californians leave to speed the state's economic recovery.

CalPERS & CalSTRS: Delay New Accounting Rules
Ed Mendel @
CalPERS wants more time to reprogram 2,200 plans and is having difficulty hiring scarce actuaries at state pay rates. CalSTRS needs time to hire more staff and begin a relationship with 1,600 school districts at an estimated cost of $1.2 million a year.

Last-minute 'Gut and Amend' laws bypass scrutiny in California
Laurel Rosenhall @
It was after midnight on the last day of the legislative session last month when the state Senate took up a controversial bill concerning election laws for the very first time. Most bills go through a months-long process of hearings, negotiations, amendments and votes. Not this one.

$9 Billion Is Looking For A Job
George Skelton @
CAPITOL JOURNAL: There's plenty of work to do in California, and infrastructure bonds have been sold to cover it. But the money just sits there.

Threat to state workers' pension perk causes rush at CalPERS
California government employees, fearing that lawmakers may soon shut down a controversial program that boosts their retirement payouts, have flooded the state's largest pension system with inquiries and requests to purchase the benefit.

Leland Yee Vows To Bring Vitality Back To S.F.
John Wildermuth @
For Leland Yee , the road to the mayor's office runs through San Francisco's past, a past he shares with many other longtime residents. At virtually every campaign stop, the Democratic state senator brings up his...

Healthcare Reform Helps Bring Docs To Central Valley
Robin Urevich @
A severe physician shortage in rural California is just one reason that many farm workers don’t get health care. But in Stanislaus County, the Valley Consortium for Medical Education is taking on the shortfall with a boost from the federal health reform law.

Democrats Push To Get More Voters To Cast Ballots By Mail
Jean Merl @
Volunteers with Operation Game Changer are fanning out across L.A. County to sign up 50,000 voters to permanently vote by mail by

State Still Considering Whether To Seek Waiver For No Child Left Behind Law
A California Department of Education spokeswoman said Friday that that state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson remains undecided about whether to apply for a waiver.

California Diminished By Tax Revolt Of 1978 Shows How U.S. Invites Decline
Christopher Palmeri @
California voters approved Proposition 13 to rein in property taxes that had doubled in 10 years. More than three decades later, that rebellion has mortgaged the state’s future, saddling it with the nation’s highest debt and lowest credit rating.

A State Exodus Would Aid California Recovery
Dan Walters @
Whatever the reasons, the lack of movement to greener pastures – ironically, the reason so many people first came to California – will make recovery infinitely more difficult and prolonged than what happened in the 1990s.

California Medical Assn. Calls For Legalization Of Marijuana
Anthony York @
The state's largest doctor group questions the medical value of pot and acknowledges some health risk from its use but urges it be regulated like alcohol. A law enforcement official harshly criticizes the new stance.

Celebrating The Initiative???
Peter Schrag @
Most of the participants at last week’s "100th Anniversary Celebration of California’s Initiative & Referendum," among them some of the biggest players in the game, probably had reason to celebrate. Whether California had as much cause to celebrate is another question, and that question got only passing attention.

Spending debate resumes in Senate this week
Lisa Mascaro @
The House is on recess this week, but the Senate is in session and takes up a trio of spending bills focusing on the budget issues that have defined much of this year on Capitol Hill.

School bonds, parcel taxes and board races on ballot
Sharon Noguchi @
A host of school bond measures, parcel taxes and low-key school board races will face voters in several Peninsula and South Bay districts this fall.

A Year In The Life Of Minority Leader
Neil Nisperos @
The partisan divide in Sacramento has become ever harder to bridge over the past few years. Senate Minority Leader Bob Dutton, R-Rancho Cucamonga, has seen peaks and valleys in this discord.

Big cash edge powers Obama election drive
Nicholas Confessore and Griff Palmer @
President Barack Obama is exploiting his early lead in campaign fundraising to bankroll a vast grassroots organization and information technology apparatus in critical general election battlegrounds.

GOP's Ricky Gill Going After Rep. Jerry McNerney
Joe Garofoli @
San Joaquin County - Ricky Gill won't be old enough to serve in Congress until next year, but the 24-year-old Stockton resident already has raised $725,000, according to his campaign - more than nearly every other...

Murdoch board seat targeted by CalPERS
CalPERS took on Rupert Murdoch again, voting its shares of News Corp. stock against the media baron's re-election to his company's board of directors.

New California Law Bars E-verify Requirement For Employers
Paloma Esquivel @
Activists against illegal immigration are upset by a new California law that bars cities and counties from requiring businesses to use the federal E-Verify system to check their employees' work eligibility.

S.F. Contractor Donation Ban Proving Cumbersome
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee received five apparently illegal campaign contributions from parties with city contracts he approved, including four subcontractors on a $150 million contract to an engineering design firm...

Last-minute 'gut and amend' laws bypass scrutiny in California
The Legislature wrote 48 bills in the last three weeks of the regular session, long after the deadlines for most law-making procedures had passed. They did so by deleting the text of existing bills and replacing it with something new and often unrelated – a process known as "gut and amend."

$9 billion is looking for a job
George Skelton @
There's plenty of work to do in California, and infrastructure bonds have been sold to cover it. But the money just sits there.

More Funding To Remove Cancerous Agent From Glendale Water
Brittany Levine @
Glendale Water & Power plans to spend $550,000 on a research project for stripping cancer-causing chromium VI from local groundwater, a process that already has cost $7.8 million.

Anti-war Activist Sheehan, 18 Occupy Sacramento Protesters Arrested Early Today
Stephen Magagnini @
Anti-war mom Cindy Sheehan - one of the biggest names in the peace movement, was arrested along with 18 other demonstrators at Cesar Chavez Park early Sunday, police said.

The Caucus: Caucus Video: Another Presidential Bus Tour
President Obama begins another campaign-style swing to sell his jobs bill.