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THE NOONER for November 2, 2011

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DISTRICT UPDATES

  • AD08 - added attorney Chris Parker (D)
  • AD72 - added Huntington Beach councilmember Joe Carchio (R)

Well, I tried to be cute by having The Nooner go out at 11:11am on 11/1/11.  After all, 11/11 is a holiday. Sorry about the duplicate that you received at noon.

OK 2 B GAY? Saying "It sickens me that young people would think about taking their lives because of who they are," Assemblywoman Cathleen Galgiani came out to the Stockton Record yesterday during an interview about high speed rail. The announcement follows months of personal and political soul-searching for the Assemblymember, and wasn't a complete surprise to insiders.

The story of an openly gay legislator is nothing new. However, Galgiani becomes the first serious openly gay candidate for a legislative seat in the Central Valley, whereas all other openly gay officials have been elected from the state's large metropolitan areas (and Santa Cruz). (Republican Roy Ashburn came out while in his final term in the State Senate.) Voters in SD05 cast 64% of their votes for Proposition 8, and her contest against Bill Berryhill will likely be seen as a test of acceptance of an openly gay legislator. That said, Jerry Brown won the district by 1.6% and Barack Obama by 8.6%, making it highly vulnerable for Democrats in 2012, regardless of the candidate.

Galgiani joins Democrats Susan Eggman and Mark Takano in running as openly gay in a traditionally "unfriendly district." Eggman, a Stockton councilmember who had a suprising victory and a city-wide runoff election in 2006, is running for the AD13, which covers much of the district currently held by Galgiani. Takano is running in CD41, which also cast 64% of its votes for Proposition 8. In contrast, all of the current 7 members of the Legislative LGBT caucus were elected from districts that said "no" to Proposition 8, in many cases overwhelmingly.

Whlie it is highly unlikely that a candidate being openly gay will be a top issue for voters even in conservative districts, although it provides an organizing motivation on both sides, and makes the races more interesting.

Side note...can we get someone to redesign the Legislative LGBT website?

STRIKE: Apparently jealous of Greece, all of the unemployed folks, as well as many public employees, aren't going to work today in Oakland.

And, Mayor Jean Quan has lots of advice for residents and businesses for what sounds to be a planned riot, such as "Leave the cash drawer empty and open after business hours."

MESSAGE FROM THE PO-PO:The Oakland Police Officers Association released a scathing letter to Oakland residents putting the blame squarely on Mayor Quan and challenging her version of events:

"We represent the 645 police officers who work hard every day to protect the citizens of Oakland. We, too, are the 99% fighting for better working conditions, fair treatment and the ability to provide a living for our children and families. We are severely understaffed with many City beats remaining unprotected by police during the day and evening hours.

"As your police officers, we are confused. . . .

"We love Oakland and just want to do our jobs to protect Oakland residents. We respectfully ask the citizens of Oakland to join us in demanding that our City officials, including Mayor Quan, make sound decisions and take responsibility for these decisions. Oakland is struggling – we need real leaders NOW who will step up and lead – not send mixed messages. Thank you for listening."

Senator Perata, call for you on line one...

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FORUM SHOPPING: As expected, former congressman George Radanovich and friends (hereafter referred to "Friends of David Dreier") filed a federal lawsuit yesterday arguing that the Citizens Redistricting Commission discriminated against Latino voters by protecting three black congressional members in Los Angeles.

Meanwhile, according to the Redlands Daily Facts, Congressman Working Joe Baca expressed support for the lawsuit:

"I felt in my district, (the Latino vote) was diluted and this violated the Voting Rights Act," Baca said. "The only bad thing about the lawsuit is its put us all in limbo. We don't know if the courts will rule in favor for it or throw it out."

If you're new to this discussion, I wrote about the packing plan and how it might make things easier for SoCal GOP incumbents on September 30.

DON'T WANT MINORITIES? "JUST BLEACH 'EM OUT": Pro Publica's Redistricting Song 

GOOD TO BE KING: Steinberg's "Committee for A New Economy" pulled in $25,000 from AFSCME. Now, how should we spend it?

NOTHING TO SEE HERE, MOVE ALONG: San Onofre nuclear plant declares emergency

FOR SALE: DODGERS AND SOLYNDRA STUFF

DEPT OF CORRECTIONS:

  • Regarding Assemblymember Hayashi. Government Code section 1770 does require forfeiture of office if a state elected official is convictiong of a felony. It's a confusing code section, but most people read it as such.
  • I mistakenly said that the "old AD18" special election would stretch down to Santa Clara. Clearly, I don't know how to read maps.

and, we have the headlines...

TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
California Group Moves To Put Pension Overhaul On 2012 Ballot
Jon Ortiz @
blogs.sacbee.com
California's current and future state and local employees would pay more for their pensions under two ballot initiative proposals submitted to the state attorney general today with the intent of putting one of them to a statewide vote next year.

New Pension Initiatives Target Current Workers
John Myers @
blogs.kqed.org
There's a temptation to dust off the quote attributed to an infamous bank robber when assessing two new and explosive initiative proposals to rework the pensions of public employees in California.

Stanford Law Professors Submit Proposed Initiative To Limit Three Strikes Law
Local @
mercurynews.com
An effort to limit California's tough Three Strikes Law is gaining momentum, with a proposed ballot initiative now under state legal review that would reserve the toughest penalty -- 25 years to life -- for the baddest of the bad, including murderers, rapists and child molesters.

Local Officials File Initiative To Protect Future Funding
Kevin Yamamura @
blogs.sacbee.com
Counties and local law enforcement groups filed an initiative today that would require the state to continue paying them billions of dollars each year for new duties such as housing inmates and overseeing parolees.

San Diego, Sacramento Left Out Of Rail System
Elliot Spagat @
sacbee.com
The $98 billion price tag of the first phase of California's high-speed rail system would not be enough to link two key cities - San Diego and Sacramento - to the line.

Two proposed ballot measures aim to scale back public pensions
Anthony York @
latimes.com
Less than a week after Gov. Jerry Brown unveiled his proposal to change the state's employee retirement system, critics of public pensions unveiled two new plans to scale back worker benefits, with hopes of putting one of them on the November 2012 ballot.

Filner urges Obama to back off medical marijuana
signonsandiego.com
Rep. Bob Filner and congressional colleagues are urging President Barack Obama to reschedule marijuana as a legitimate controlled substance for medicinal purposes, saying state and local governments must be allowed to develop and enforce their own public health laws with regard to medical cannabis.

High-speed California Choo-choo Slows Down
Dan Walters @
sacbee.com
From its inception, California's high-speed rail project had two troublesome aspects: It was a dreamy solution in search of a problem, and it could become a money pit draining taxpayers' money better spent on other, more cogent needs.

Chairwoman of Arizona Redistricting Commission Ousted
nytimes.com
Gov. Jan Brewer, a Republican, proposed the removal of the chairwoman of the Independent Redistricting Commission, and the Republican-controlled State Senate voted 21 to 6 to carry it out.

Don't like cuts? Controller John Chiang says offer alternatives
blogs.sacbee.com
Controller John Chiang said Wednesday that lawmakers who fear the prospect of automatic mid-year budget cuts should find alternatives soon.

Metropolitan Water District Unfunded Retiree Benefits Exceed $600m
nctimes.com
Metropolitan Water District, Southern California's biggest water wholesaler has accumulated more than $600 million in unfunded liability for retirees since 1999.

Democratic Assemblywoman Cathleen Galgiani Says She Is Gay
Torey Van Oot @
blogs.sacbee.com
Democratic Assemblywoman Cathleen Galgiani has publicly come out as a lesbian.

Stanford law professors submit proposed initiative to limit three strikes law
Tracey Kaplan @
mercurynews.com
An effort to limit California's tough Three Strikes Law is gaining momentum, with a proposed ballot initiative now under state legal review that would reserve the toughest penalty -- 25 years to life -- for the baddest of the bad, including murderers, rapists and child molesters.

Obama Rips Republicans For Vote On 'in God We Trust' Motto
Ian Swanson @
thehill.com
President Obama invoked God Wednesday as he criticized Congress for voting on commemorative coins and a resolution reaffirming "In God We Trust" as the national motto.

Oakland Police Union: 'We Are Confused' By Quan
Kevin Fagan,Demian Bulwa @
sfgate.com
One day before a protest that could be Oakland's largest in years, the city's police union questioned the leadership of Mayor Jean Quan and said officers were confused about how they should handle demonstrators.

High-speed Rail Officials Defend Project Cost, Urge Approval
David Siders @
blogs.sacbee.com
Releasing a business plan this morning that projected it could $98.5 billion over 20 years to build California's high-speed rail project, the California High-Speed Rail Authority sought to remake the project's beleaguered image while pressing the Legislature to let it move forward.

Amid harassment furor, Cain visits Capitol Hill
Laurie Kellman @
mercurynews.com
WASHINGTON -- Dogged by sexual harassment allegations from the 1990s, Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain is trying to project an image of campaign business as usual Wednesday even as the lawyer for one of his accusers seeks to free her from a confidentiality agreement so she can tell her

AM Alert: Here comes another California pension proposal
Amy Chance @
blogs.sacbee.com
A new proposal to rein in public pensions will surface today as California Pension Reform heads to the state Attorney General's Office to turn in language for a 2012 initiative.