,, Around The Capitol
Around The Capitol
Around The Capitol

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THE NOONER for November 17, 2011

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  • CD32 - added Assemblymember Anthony Portantino (D)
  • SD25 - added Assemblymember Anthony Portantino (D)


  • 2011-12 revenues $3.7 billion below budget projections
  • $2 billion in triggered cuts will be made in January
  • Even after trigger cuts, $13 billion budget gap for 2012-13


It now seems very likely that Assemblymember Anthony Portantino has switched his sights from a faceoff with Grace Napolitano in CD32 to a bid for the new SD25. That puts him in the same seat as Senator Carol Liu, who is widely believed to be running for the seat. This would be the second seat where an assemblymember is taking on a sitting senator of the same party (other is Sandre Swanson taking on Loni Hancock in SD09).

Portantlno brings as much as $900,000 to the race, spread out in three committees. He has a state senate committee with $46,000 that was originally designated as a 2016 bid. He also has $556,000 in his 2010 account and a over $300,000 in his federal account. Subject to the $7,800 per donor limit, those committees can be consolidated into the new account.

Liu, of course, brings significant personal wealth to the race, much of which came from the sale of NewEnergy, of which her husband Michael Peevey was president. And, she's willing to spend it, having spent over $300,000 of her own funds on her first Assembly bid. With that wealth and connections, however, also come liabilities, and some see them giving Portantino an edge up in the current political environment.

Of course, Anthony Portantino brings negatives as well, and may have a hard time rounding up endorsements. His very public fight with Speaker John Perez is a liability, as is the run against a sitting senator. While not particularly close to Liu, Perez would probably like to block Portantino's ambitions, whether he's running for Senate or dogcatcher.

The new SD25 stretches further east than Liu's current SD21, dropping the San Fernando Valley in favor of San Dimas, Glendora, and Upland. Portantino's Assembly district overlaps much of the same territory that Liu's SD21 does with the new SD25, so neither candidate comes with a significant existing voter advantage.

The challenge raises the prospect of another entrant into the race--former Assemblymember Dario Frommer. Frommer lives in La Canada now, and we've heard that he's gotten calls from supporters seeking an alternative in the race.


Has anybody thought to call the FBI—or Kevin Spacey, at least? Speaking of films, E. G.'s now bending my ear about his screenplays. Says he's done four of them, two feature-length and two shorts; three of them are adaptations of his stories. Links are available on the "Other Stuff" tab on his Facebook page. Could somebody arrange face-time with Arnold, so he can pitch someone besides me?

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BREAKING NEWS: Voters are unhappy with higher education cuts. Oppose student fees, taxes, or program reductions to deal with them. As John Myers writes "Say what you will about Californians, but when it comes to their desires and demands about government services, they are consistently inconsistent."

JUST ASKIN': With San Francisco ready to close the Occupy SF camp at Justin Herman Plaza, how about we have a consolidated Occupy California at Arco Arena?

CANCELED: The Capitol Morning Report tells us that the drinkin', drivin', shootin' fundraiser for Tim Donnelly has been canceled. You're not going soft on us, are you Tim?

And, we have the headlines:

Pension Reform Group Files Tweaks To California Initiative Proposals
Jon Ortiz @
California Pension Reform, the group pushing to put a public pension rollback measure on the November 2012 ballot, on Tuesday filed amendments with the attorney general intended to clarify their provisions.

Prime Healthcare accuses union, Kaiser of antitrust conspiracy
Prime Healthcare Services, a 14-hospital chain based in Southern California, filed a federal lawsuit yesterday claiming an antitrust conspiracy between the Service Employees International Union's health care unit and Kaiser Permanente and the Kaiser health plan.

Phantom $4-billion Haunts The Budget :: Fox&hounds
The largest portion of that $2-billlion would come out of education, with K-12 being reduced $1.1 billion.

Group Challenging New Senate Maps Gets Warning On Disclosure
Patrick McGreevy @
A group pushing a ballot measure to overturn new voting districts for the state Senate failed to properly report major backers, including the California Republican Party, in its initial filings, according to a warning letter issued by the state’s ethics watchdog agency.

Senate Staff Raises Small Compared With Budget, But Timing Questioned
Torey Van Oot @
California's chronic budget problems haven't stopped the state Senate from giving some of its own staff members a bump in pay, handing out raises averaging 7 percent to dozens of workers in recent months.

Don't Cut Higher Ed. And Don't Ask Me To Pay More!
John Myers @
Say what you will about Californians, but when it comes to their desires and demands about government services, they are consistently inconsistent.

Prop. 8 Sponsors Are Legally Entitled To Defend Measure, Court Rules
Carlos Lozano @
Proposition 8 ruling and California Supreme Court. The California Supreme Court decided Thursday that the sponsors of Proposition 8 and other ballot measures are entitled to defend them in court, a ruling likely to spur federal courts to decide the constitutionality of same-sex marriage bans.

New California Budget Report Triggers Old Partisan Arguments
Kevin Yamamura @
It didn't take long Wednesday for the state's partisan budget battle to reignite.

Calif. Occupy protests focus on cuts to education
Students and anti-Wall Street activists on Wednesday stormed a bank in San Francisco, settled into a new encampment at the University of California, Berkeley, and visited the state Capitol to demand the restoration of funding for higher education.

CSU Trustees OK Tuition Hike As Students Protest
Nanette Asimov @
California State University trustees raised tuition by 9 percent today, even as CSU police used pepper spray and clashed violently with protesters who had been escorted from the university's Long Beach headquarters. A...

Court says backers can defend gay marriage measure
LISA LEFF, Associated Press @
California's highest court says ballot proposition sponsors can step in to defend their initiatives from legal challenges if the state's governor and attorney general refuse to do so.

California Supreme Court To Decide Proposition 8 Issue Thursday
Justices set to rule on whether Prop. 8 backers have right to defend the same-sex marriage ban in the courts

California Attorney General's Office Subpoenas Fannie, Freddie
Alejandro Lazo and Jim Puzzanghera @
Investigators with the California attorney general's office have subpoenaed information from mortgage titans Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as part of a wide-ranging inquiry into lending and foreclosure practices in the state.

Lawmakers gather in Maui for education
Freshman Assemblyman Brian Jones, R-Santee, has joined a bipartisan group of legislators this week for a conference in Maui.

Calif. ruling setback to gay marriage
Mackenzie Weinger @
Proposition 8 supporters can appeal a ruling that the ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional.

California Supreme Court deals blow to gay-marriage advocates
David Siders @
In a major lift for proponents of California's same-sex marriage ban, the California Supreme Court ruled this morning that they have legal standing under state law to defend the measure in court.

Supreme Court rules Prop 8 supporters can defend the law
Howard Mintz @
The California Supreme Court on Thursday handed supporters of Proposition 8 the legal right to defend the state's ban on same-sex marriage, sending the case back to a federal appeals court to resolve the broader questions at the heart of the constitutional showdown.

California Finance Director Says Mid-year Budget Cuts Likely
Kevin Yamamura @
Gov. Jerry Brown's finance director said Wednesday that some mid-year cuts are "likely," increasing the possibility the state will slash education and social services in the coming months.

Insider Trading, Politics A Familiar Combination For Californians
Politicos have been abuzz about insider trading this week, after a "60 Minutes" piece released Sunday detailed questionable stock-trading rules that do not prohibit members of Congress from trading on information they hear during the course of their lawmaking.

New Round Of Education Cuts Look Likely
Donna Jones @
A five-day furlough in June has been cancelled for some Pajaro Valley school employees even as the likelihood of a new round of state cuts to public education increased.

Backers of California auto rate initiatives submit signatures
Torey Van Oot @
Backers of a proposed initiative on auto insurance rates say they have collected more than 800,000 signatures in hopes of placing their measure on next year's ballot.

Sacramento Drops 31 Occupy Sacramento Cases
Prosecutors on Wednesday dumped 31 cases involving protesters arrested for violating city curfew law in the Occupy Sacramento demonstrations, but left nine on the books to handle people such as Cathy Grahnert, who was taken into custody on multiple occasions.

Hundreds Of Students Protest In Financial District
Demian Bulwa,Kevin Fagan @
Student protesters from around Northern California marched through San Francisco's Financial District this afternoon and noisily picketed corporations with connections to University of California regents, saying the...

House Bill Would Subject California High-speed Rail Bidder To Holocaust Lawsuits
WASHINGTON – A French firm that may want a piece of California's high-speed rail project would face costly and embarrassing lawsuits from Holocaust survivors under a bill now trying to gain steam on Capitol Hill.

California finance director says mid-year budget cuts likely
Kevin Yamamura @
increasing the possibility the state will slash education and social services in the coming months