,, Around The Capitol
Around The Capitol
Around The Capitol

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THE NOONER for October 21, 2011

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TWEET DU JOUR: @HaywardFault: "It's not your fault. It's my fault."

ANCHOR? President could drag down Senate Dems [John Bresnahan and Manu Raju @ Politico]

It's still amazing that there is no serious candidate to take on Dianne Feinstein.

REDISTRICTING REFER RECAP: There is quite a bit of confusion about how the redistricting referendum would work if FAIR collects enough valid signatures. I've written about this before, but continue to get lots of e-mails, so pardon the repetition.

If 504,760 valid signatures are turned in by November 18, the California Supreme Court would appoint special masters to draw a State Senate map scheme. They could start from scratch (unlikely) or listen to arguments and make modest adjustments to the Commission's maps. As John Myers wrote the other day, it's a Herculean task for the court to get the maps done in time.

Assuming the Supreme Court does not throw out the senate and/or congressional maps under one of the lawsuits, the Commission's maps will be used for elections next year. Then, on the next "statewide general election" ballot, the referendum would appear. A "Yes" vote would uphold the Commission's maps. A "No" vote would throw them out in favor of the Supreme Court's maps--effective after the 2012 elections. As with any referendum campaign, the proponents of the referendum will be arguing for a "No" vote.

Now, which election? Under current law (SB 202), the referendum would appear on the November 2012 ballot. However, there is now a referendum circulating to repeal SB 202. If that referendum qualifies, the effectiveness of SB 202 is stayed, and ballot measures including the referenda on both State Senate redistricting AND SB 202 would appear on the June 2012 ballot. Some folks are arguing that Secretary of State Debra Bowen could rely on the constitution's plain language requiring ballot measures to appear on "general election" ballots only, but I wouldn't count on the court's buying that argument, particularly after 30 years of Secretaries of State determining otherwise.

If the redistricting referendum makes it on the ballot in either June or November 2012, it won't change districts until 2014, unless there is a special election before then. In 2014 or before under a special, you'd have candidates running for even-numbered seats under the Supreme Court maps, while folks elected under the Commission's maps in 2012 would stay in those seats until 2016. Thus, the referendum doesn't rescue Sam Blakeslee, who is in an odd-numbered district that is likely unwinnable nor will it tilt SD05 in a direction for one party or the other. Only the lawsuit could block elections under the Commission's lines this year, and it appears the California Supreme Court is going to wait until after the referendum deadline to decide whether to hear the cases.

Confusing enough?

DEATH OF THE DOGS: The death of the Blue Dog Caucus accelerates [Markos Moulitsas @ Daily Kos]

"News that Rep. Dennis Cardoza is retiring is particularly good news for those of us who want to see the end of the pernicious influence of the biggest band of self-defeating Democrats in Congress—the Blue Dogs. . . 

"It doesn't take much effort to see a Blue Dog caucus well under 20 members, and that's including half-assed Blue-Dog-In-Name-Only members like Reps. Loretta Sanchez, Adam Schiff, David Scott, and Gabby Giffords who generally vote the right way, without the theatrics and rhetoric that undermine the party."

Hmmm...when you're 25 seats away from the Speaker's gavel, perhaps you shouldn't be so picky.

IRONIC, DONCHA THINK? Leroy F. Greene Middle School closed for disrepair [Diana Lambert @ Sac Bee]


On October 27, 2011 at the Citizen Hotel in Sacramento, the Leadership California Institute will hold Candidate Forum 2012, an all-day event which will feature candidates from all over the state running under the newly drawn legislative boundaries.

Confirmed speakers include:
Former Assembly Speaker Willie Brown . Former Senate Minority Leader Jim Brulte . Former Assembly Speaker Bob Hertzberg . Former Assembly Speaker Curt Pringle
Sunne Wright McPeak, Former Secretary of Business, Transportation and Housing

For more information: www.leadershipcaliforniainstitute.org

reserve this space

POLL POSITION: CD47: Alan "Lowenthal was the choice of 40 percent of likely voters in a three-way race with Republicans Gary DeLong and Steve Kuykendall, who received 14 percent and 18 percent, respectively, in the poll by Culver City-based Goodwin Simon Strategic Research." [Eric Bradley @ Long Beach Press-Telegram]

The poll left out Los Alamitos councilman Troy Edgar, who reported giving his campaign $209,000 in the third quarter. And, oh, there may be another . . .

ICYMI: Former OC Democratic Senator Joe Dunn May Jump In Congressional Race [LBPost.com]


It's been a long week. Bring on the kittens.


On to the headlines...

Judge Denies Bid To Make Proposition 8 Donor Identities Secret
David Siders @
A federal judge this afternoon denied a challenge to California's campaign disclosure law by proponents of Proposition 8, who sought to make donors' identities secret, claiming they were harassed.

Changes Seek To Save Key Aspect Of Healthcare Law
Noam N. Levey, Washington Bureau @
The Obama administration moved to salvage a much-touted initiative in the new healthcare law aimed at controlling costs, known as ACOs.

Former Lawmaker Hector De La Torre Named To State Air Board
Jim Sanders @
Former Assemblyman Hector De La Torre was appointed by Gov. Jerry Brown today to the state air resources board, a part-time job paying $40,699.

It's official: Obama on the ballot for reelection
Michael A. Memoli @
When Vice President Joe Biden handed a simple one-page form to New Hampshire's secretary of state Thursday, he guaranteed for the first time Barack Obama's name would appear on a ballot for reelection, doing so in a state where voters' opinion of the president have changed most drastically in the three years since they backed his initial candidacy.

Prop. 8 backers lose CA campaign disclosure case
LISA LEFF, Associated Press @
Supporters of the 2008 ballot measure that outlawed same-sex marriages in California lost their effort Thursday to block their past and future campaign finance records from public view because of alleged harassment of their donors.

Labor Groups Back Different Candidates In Race For New Congressional District Seat
Jean Merl @
In the early battle for the new 44th Congressional District seat, Rep. Laura Richardson (D-Long Beach) has picked up support from the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, her campaign announced this week. Until now, the lion’s share of labor endorsements have gone to Rep. Janice Hahn (D-San Pedro). Hahn announced three more this week — Unite HERE, United Steel Workers and the Transportation Communications Union. Assemblyman Isadore Hall (D-Compton) also is running for the seat in this district, which includes the Los Angeles Harbor Area, Carson, South Gate, Compton, Lynwood, parts of Long Beach and Walnut Park.

Changes seek to save key aspect of healthcare law
Noam N. Levey, Washington Bureau @
The Obama administration wins praise for easing restrictions it had proposed for partnerships among providers, called ACOs, that some say could save taxpayers billions of dollars.

Senate Blocks Two Parts Of Obama's Jobs Bill
Two elements of President Barack Obama’s jobs bill failed on procedural votes when Senators tried to move them as individual measures late Thursday. The chamber then plunged ahead on a long series of votes on amendments to a package of three appropriations bills before advancing the measure, setting up a vote on passage for the week of Oct. 31.

Prison Realignment Reduces Time Sacramento Man Will Be Behind Bars
In Sacramento, the face of realignment from prison to jail belongs to a 64-year-old heroin addict. He is a Vietnam War combat veteran, a disabled Oak Park diabetic with a bad liver and bad kidneys. He has a wife, two grown kids and a criminal record that goes back to the early Nixon administration.

L.A.-area Tunisians vote in first national elections since ruler's ouster
Raja Abdulrahim @
Tunisia's landmark election for a constituent assembly that will write a new constitution takes place Sunday, but balloting is being held at voting centers outside the country, including in L.A.

President Obama Could Be A Drag On Senate Democrats
John Bresnahan and Manu Raju @
In 2008, President Barack Obama swept into the White House, and Senate Democrats eventually picked up nine seats, giving the new commander in chief the biggest Senate majority in decades.

The Reality Behind California vs. Texas
Dan Walters @
Texas highways are wide, smoothly paved and well-maintained, in stark contrast with California's congested and deteriorating roadways, even though our fuel taxes are nearly twice as high. But when it comes to climate and physical beauty, Texas can't hold a candle to California. So there you have it.

Prop. 8 backers lose effort to block campaign finance records from view
AP Member Choice Complete @
A federal judge rules against ProtectMarriage.com and the National Organization for Marriage, saying the groups failed to prove they should be exempt from California's campaign disclosure laws. They alleged their donors had been harassed.

Support Fades For Tax To Pay For More Police
accessing this site, you accept our @
As Oakland voters are deciding whether to approve a parcel tax that would give the city millions of dollars to ...

Senate rejects bill to keep teachers, first responders on the job
Lisa Mascaro @
Republican-led opposition in the Senate blocked a key element of President Obama’s jobs plan – a proposal to send $35 billion to cash-strapped states to keep public school teachers, police and firefighters on the job.

Viewpoints: As minorities rise, state college funds drop
It's been 20 years since Patrick Callan, maybe our most thoughtful analyst of higher education policy, observed that just as waves of poor and minority students were nearing college age, the proportion of state budgets allocated to college and university support was going down. The decline has only gotten steeper in the years since.

New Senate Battle Over Obama’s Jobs Bill, Now Piecemeal
The bill would provide $35 billion to state and local governments to prevent layoffs of teachers, police officers and firefighters, via a surtax of one-half of 1 percent on income over $1 million.

Bachmann Knocks Occupy Movement, Praises Tea Partyers
Josh Richman @
GOP presidential candidate speaks at San Francisco event

Prison realignment reduces time Sacramento man will be behind bars
In Sacramento, the face of realignment from prison to jail belongs to a 64-year-old heroin addict. He is a Vietnam War combat veteran, a disabled Oak Park diabetic with a bad liver and bad kidneys. He has a wife, two grown kids and a criminal record that goes back to the early Nixon administration.

Political Memo: Campaign Finance Filings Present an Incomplete Picture
Third-quarter filings disclosed fund-raising by Republican candidates, but the heft of their Super PACs, which can play a huge role in the campaign, is still not known.

UC Online Instruction Pilot Sparks Excitement, Controversy
As a small cadre of University of California faculty prepares to deliver the first online classes in a systemwide experiment, the effort is stirring both excitement and controversy among instructors and administrators.

Pg&e Denies It Put 'junked' Gas Pipe In The Ground
Jaxon Van Derbeken @
Pacific Gas and Electric Co. bristled Thursday at state regulators' suggestion that the company installed "junked" pipe in its gas-transmission system in the 1940s and '50s, saying its use of properly reconditioned pipe...

Senate OKs Obama pick of former California utility exec to head Commerce Department
WASHINGTON -- The Senate voted Thursday to approve President Barack Obama's nomination of former utility executive John Bryson to head the Commerce Department, easily overcoming conservatives' objections that his pro-environmental views made him unsuited for the job.