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THE NOONER for November 1, 2011
Happy November! While the eleventh month is usually only politically exciting in even-numbered years, this month will be significant for California politics and policy, and I'm not just talking about today's unveiling of a new business plan for California High Speed Rail. So, take some time off, eat your tofurkey, but keep The Nooner near.
First, next Tuesday is the special election for the vacant Los Angeles City Council seat created by Janice Hahn's election to Congress. Eleven candidates are seeking the office. If no candidate receives more than 50% of the vote, there will be a runoff on January 17. With the Democratic Party's endorsement and that of most of labor, Assemblymember Warren Furutani is considered the favorite, although it's unlikely he'll win it outright next week.
If he wins next week, there will be a March special election with a January primary for his current AD55. If there is a January runoff for the city council race, a special vacancy election will be held on June 5 with a March 6 primary.
The current AD55 touches on four new districts--AD63, AD64, AD66, and AD70. Unlike the Hayashi scenario I talked about yesterday, none of these districts has a current Assemblymember running. Thus, there is a whole group of folks that would love to win a special in the current AD55 to put on their signs for the race for a new district. AD66 and AD70 are really just slivers of the district, so it's unlikely that someone aiming for those new seats would run in the special, AD63 and AD64 are about evenly split in the old AD55.
Carson councilmember Mike Gipson has pretty much wrapped AD64, which has the largest black citizen voting age population (CVAP) among Assembly districts. He has picked up endorsements from Assemblymembers Isadore Hall and Furutani. AD63, however, is a little more complicated. The district has the second largest Latino CVAP population among Assembly districts. Three candidates are in thus far--bank manager Joy Janes, nonprofit exec Anthony Rendon, and Lakewood councilmember Maria Santillan-Beas. Rendon is considered the favorite right now, but it will be an interesting district to watch.
Gipson, who lost to Furutani for AD55 in 2007, is best positioned to take the special, as he likely won't have to worrry about fighting off competition in AD64.
In San Francisco, the suspense will end next Tuesday night, or at least sometime within the month of November as third place votes become first place votes and the like. The election really comes down to Ed Lee versus everyone else. Lee has the backing of most business interests, Gavin Newsom, Willie Brown, Dianne Feinstein, and, uh, MC Hammer. However, the ranked choice voting system in which voters express their top three preferences can result in unexpected outcomes.
If Leland Yee pulls off an unexpected victory, it would create a vacancy in the existing SD08. Voters in San Francisco would have the opportunity to fill the seat through 2014, at which time the City by the Bay drops from two senate districts to one. During the two years, the person selected by the voters of one of the most liberal parts of California would represent one of the most conservative parts of California in the new SD08. The convention wisdom is that termed-out Assemblymember Fiona Ma would run for the remaining term in SD08 before running for Betty Yee's Board of Equalization seat in 2014 (Yee is running for Controller).
Finally, the Legislative Analyst's Office is scheduled to present its annual Fiscal Outlook the week of November 14. This will be the first real projection of whether some or all of the $2.5 billion in trigger cuts will be made. In January, the Director of Finance will be required to pull the triggers based on the higher of two revenue projections, between the LAO and the Department of Finance.
If the numbers look bad mid-November and it looks like the $1.5 billion K-12 cut is coming (shortening this school year by 7 days), expect either a December special session or a January fight over taxes.
UNRAVELING DURKEE: Campaign Cash Do-Over OK In Some Cases [John Myers @ KQED]
YOU CAN'T MAKE THIS S* UP: "Robert Rizzo sues Bell, says city had no 'cause' to fire him" [Abby Sewell @ LA Times]
ENTITLED DAVIS KIDS: Following the distribution of candy, a not-so-young kid asked "Do you have a bottle of water? I'm thirsty."
and, we have the headlines...TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
Massive Turnover In The State Assembly In 2012
Allan Hoffenblum @ foxandhoundsdaily.com
Editors of the California Target Book, which I publish, has recently finished and placed online their analyses of the 80 Assembly districts and 53 Congressional district that will be up for reelection in 2012.
Campaign Cash Do-over OK In Some Cases
John Myers @ blogs.kqed.org
A legal analysis by the state's campaign finance watchdog agency says that donations never deposited into candidate accounts by accused treasurer Kinde Durkee can be solicited a second time.
California State And Local Governments Spent $350 Billion In 2009
California's state and local governments spent well over $300 billion in 2009, accounting for nearly a fifth of the state's economy, according to a very detailed new report from the U.S. Census Bureau.
Restaurants Near Capitol Cash In On Political Mingling
Torey Van Oot @ sacbee.com
More than 500 times in the last three years, Chops restaurant â just steps from the doors of the Capitol â played host to a political occasion.
Study Needed For Brown ‘hybrid’ Pension Plan « Calpensions
Ed Mendel @ calpensions.com
Details of a major federal-style overhaul of state and local public pension funds proposed by Gov. Brown last week are expected to emerge from a study, which could take about a year.
Two Longtime California Legislative Counsel Attorneys Retiring
Torey Van Oot @ blogs.sacbee.com
The Legislature is losing two of its longest serving attorneys to retirement.
Bay Area Voters Face Slew Of Tax, Bond Measures
Carolyn Jones @ sfgate.com
From Vallejo to Campbell, cash-strapped jurisdictions across the Bay Area will ask voters on Nov. 8 to rescue them from the financial abyss by passing bonds and tax measures. In all, 24 cities, towns and school and...
Sacramento Jury Tells UC Davis To Pay $7.6 Million To Paraplegic Woman
A Sacramento Superior Court jury awarded $7.6 million to an Elk Grove woman on a finding that UC Davis Medical Center personnel misread an MRI exam and that ensuing complications left her paraplegic.
Among Asian Americans, Educational Achievements Vary Widely
Asian Americans overall obtain high levels of formal education, but an analysis of recent census data reveals large disparities between Asian American ethnic groups.
Commission sets three 2012 presidential debates
Michael A. Memoli @ latimes.com
Well before the first votes of the 2012 campaign are to be cast, the Commission on Presidential Debates has determined the dates and locations for general election confrontations between the major candidates.
Legislative staff member Carlota Gutierrez dies
Torey Van Oot @ blogs.sacbee.com
Carlota Gutierrez, a former reporter and legislative staff member, died last week at age 54.
$20 Million Gift To California Courts A Big Mistake
Dan Walters @ sacbee.com
California's court system, which like all other state-supported activities is strapped for cash, is on the verge of making a big mistake. It's ready to accept a questionable $20 million donation for its very expensive and much-troubled computerized case management system.
Prime To Manage Hospital Over Harris' Objection
When Attorney General Kamala Harris’ office denied the sale of Victor Valley Community Hospital to Prime Healthcare Services’ nonprofit arm in September, it seemed like a closed case.
Some Local Medical Marijuana Proponents Unhappy With President Obama After Dispensary Crackdown
When Barack Obama won the presidency in 2008, many local medical marijuana proponents felt they finally had a friend in the White House.
Restaurants near Capitol cash in on political mingling
Political committees reported spending more than $2.4 million at Sacramento restaurants between 2008 and mid-2011, according to a Bee analysis of campaign filings.
Oakland Police Union: 'we Are Confused' By Quan
Henry K. Lee @ sfgate.com
The Oakland police union released a statement today saying its officers are confused about Mayor Jean Quan's stance on the Occupy Oakland encampment and what they are being asked to do for Wednesday's citywide general...
LAUSD Faces Suit Linking Teacher Ratings To Student Performance
Howard Blume @ latimes.com
A group of parents and education advocates is preparing to sue the Los Angeles school district, demanding that it follow an arcane 40-year-old law that requires all California school systems to link teacher and principal evaluations to student performance.
White House Targets Prescription Drug Shortages
Brett Norman @ politico.com
President Barack Obama signed an executive order today directing the FDA to step up efforts to combat record drug shortages which the White House said "pose a serious and growing threat to public health."
Smelt Supreme Court Ruling Goes Against Farmers
Bob Egelko @ sfgate.com
The U.S. Supreme Court denied an appeal today by Central California farmers who claimed the federal government lacks constitutional authority to protect the imperiled delta smelt by limiting north-to-south water...
National Briefing | South: South Carolina: U.S. Challenges Immigration Law
The federal government filed suit against South Carolina on Monday to block a recently passed state law that would require the police to check the immigration status of every person they detain.
Poll: What will happen to Jerry Brown's pension plan?
Jon Ortiz @ blogs.sacbee.com
Brown wants to put the plan on the November 2012 ballot . That means he needs support from two-thirds of the members in the Assembly and the Senate. It's possible lawmakers will marshal that many votes for some of the proposals and for not others. What do you think will happen?
Transportation groups want gas tax hike
Adam Snider @ politico.com
The groups want a hike in the gas tax to support an increase in transportation infrastructure funding.
S.D. school board member calls for pay cuts, parcel tax
an Diego city schools board member Scott Barnett on Monday called for employee pay cuts, health care restructuring and another attempt at a parcel tax to help the district out of its financial morass.