Around The Capitol

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THE NOONER for April 19, 2012

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TWEET DU JOUR @BorowitzReport - "The Secret Service thing makes me wonder if the uterus is the wrong organ politicians should be trying to regulate."

Good morning from Millbrae, which is home to one of the more boring races for an open Assembly seat in the state. South San Francisco councilmember Kevin Mullin will easily be elected in 200 days to AD22, assuming a seat that was largely held by his father from 2002-2008. 

Driving up from Monterey, I was in solid Democratic territory. Leaving AD29, which county supe Mark Stone will win, I crossed into Luis Alejos's eastern Monterey and San Benito County district. For the teenagers out there, this is where you find Hollister, not in an Ambercrombie and Fitch store in the mall. It's great to see my law school classmate Luis fighting for his communities.

Heading north, I drove through AD24AD25, and AD27 which Rich Gordon, Bob Wieckowski and Nora Campos will respectively win easily for second terms on the green carpet.

On the state senate side, we have a two hot Democratic races -- one between Assemblymember Jerry Hill and former Assemblymember Sally Lieber for SD13, an the other between Assemblymember Jim Beall and former Assemblymember Joe Coto for SD15.

Both Hill and Lieber are have plenty of cash on hand ($149k and $204k, respectively), although Lieber's January-March 17 haul of $113k included $100,000 of her own money. Meanwhile, Hill has several large contributions that can't be used until the general election. Hill has chosen the strategy of spending money to come in first in June, while Lieber seems to be content on saving money for the general. Hill is winning the endorsement war, both from electeds and interest groups, using the advantage that incumbency brings. 

With no Republicans (other candidates include Democrat teacher Christopher Chiang and Libertarian engineer John Webster), it's very likely that the contest between Hill and Lieber will be spring training for a November face off.

Similarly, in SD15, the June 5 election will simply be a warm-up for November. Both candidates have plenty of money to be competitive (Coto: $281k, Beall: $184k). Both spent enough money between January and March to demonstrate that they believe the places in the June beauty contest matters. Similar to Hill, Beall has the power of a current office and is winning the endorsement and fundraising war. Coto gets support from members of the Latino Legislative Caucus, but that's unlikely to bring in much cash in a year in which there are lots of competing priorities.

SD15 is the seat that both Latinos and the GOP hoped would stretch south from San Jose to eastern Monterey County to be a Latino majority seat (and thus giving a seat to Sam Blakeslee). Instead, the east-west orientation of the district leads to a Latino CVAP of 20%, which is actually lower than the black CVAP (25.5%).

As of now, the advantages that incumbency brings on both the financial and endorsement fronts make Jerry Hill and Jim Beall the favorites for a first-place showing in June and victories in November.


Raul Bocanegra for Assembly

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EUREKA!: Yesterday's personal income tax haul was $1.6 billion, bringing the three-day total to $2.8 billion.

Most of you got the answers to yesterday's question about the four living past pro tems correctly, or so we thought. Yes, it's not that difficult to identify John Burton, Bill Lockyer, Don Perata, and David Roberti, who are appearing at a fundraiser for Howard Berman next Monday. However, it appears there is one other living former pro tem -- Jim Mills (D - 1971-1981). Mills is best known for pushing the legislation that turned into the ballot measure to create California's full-time Legislature. Mills has joined the other four in hosting the event on Monday.

I should have noted that the SEIU money for the compromise tax measure was from Local 1000, which is the local for state employees.

PARKING WARS: Police: Woman arrested for biting during parking spot fight in San Francisco


Is Kicking The State's Neediest 'Manning Up'?
George Skelton @
The governor was off base in telling the Legislature to 'man up.' He's the one who's hiding behind the voters in trying to raise taxes.

Gavin Newsom To Host Cable Talk Show
David Siders @
Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, in addition to his limited duties at the Capitol, will become a cable talk show host next month.

California Fracking Bill Would Protect Industry ‘trade Secrets’
A California lawmaker working to pass the Golden State's first hydraulic fracturing rules has watered down his landmark legislation, hoping to overcome industry opposition to a measure that would force energy companies to disclose the mysterious mix of chemicals they...

Calderon Family Looks To Extend Legacy In California Legislature
Jim Sanders @
Ian Calderon is the latest family hopeful in California's longest-running legislative dynasty - and fundraising fliers hammer that point home.

State Challenges Local Redevelopment Budgets
Kendall Taggart @
In the flurry surrounding the end of redevelopment, 60 state Department of Finance officials are scouring local redevelopment budgets to determine whether their claims about existing debts and obligations are legal.

Obama campaign launches Spanish-language ads in Latino vote push
Michael A. Memoli @
President Obama's reelection campaign today ramps up its outreach to a key sector of its 2008 voting coalition, with the launch of Latinos for Obama and the first Spanish-language advertising.

California High-speed Rail Chief
Kevin Yamamura @
After the state's fiscal analyst criticized California high-speed rail for facing "highly speculative" financial prospects, California High-Speed Rail Authority Chairman Dan Richard defended the $68 billion program this morning by suggesting major transportation projects often lack funding certainty.

Gavin Newsom To Host Current Tv Show
Carla Marinucci @
Just a few weeks after its ugly breakup with progressive talk show host Keith Olbermann, San Francisco's Current TV has found another liberal spokesman - this one with a full-time political job - to fill its airwaves:...

Lawmakers scrutinize $68 billion high-speed rail plan
Juliet Williams @
SACRAMENTO -- The chairman of California's high-speed rail project defended the $68.4 billion plan before lawmakers on Wednesday, a day after the state Legislative Analyst's Office urged the state Legislature to reject it because it relies on highly speculative financing.

Newman Of 'seinfeld' Makes Cameo In California Bill Analysis
Torey Van Oot @
The television show about nothing has become something of an argument for an Assembly bill to change California's beverage container recycling program.

Unions already battling against November political money initiative
We're months from when the real fighting starts, but already the labor union and business interests on opposite sides of a November ballot measure are honing their messages.

Steve Glazer clears key committee vote for CSU trustee post
Torey Van Oot @
Steve Glazer, a top unpaid adviser to Gov. Jerry Brown, cleared a key hurdle today for winning confirmation to the California State University Board of Trustees.

Faster Firings In 'Egregious' Cases
three former teachers at Miramonte Elementary in Los Angeles Unified. In two of the cases, the district failed to document an @
The Senate Education Committee voted unanimously Wednesday to make it quicker and cheaper to suspend and fire teachers facing a narrow range of “egregious” misconduct charges that include sex, drugs, and violence. In doing so, they disregarded calls from the mayor of Los Angeles and superintendents of Fresno and Los Angeles Unified to go further, by also making it easier to dismiss incompetent teachers.

Salary cap measure clears California Senate committee
Jon Ortiz @
A bill that would cap California state employees' pay at no more than what the governor earns cleared the Senate Public Employee and Retirement Committee today on a 3-1 vote.

California Senate Moves To Regulate Buy Here Pay Here Car Dealers
Marc Lifsher @
Legislation aimed at regulating controversial Buy Here Pay Here used-car dealers, which charge steep interest rates and are quick to repossess vehicles, is approved by a California Senate committee.

Congressional Memo: For Senate Democrats, Election Revolves Around Women
The political weapon of choice for Senate Democrats appears to be the plight of women, and they have no intention of letting it go heading into the November election.

Senate Panel Backs Capping State Pay At The Governor's Salary
Under a measure approved Wednesday by a state Senate committee, no new state worker would be paid more than the $173,987 annual salary given to the governor.

UC Davis Police Chief Annette Spicuzza To Resign
Joe Garofoli @
The UC Davis police chief who led the department during its controversial pepper spraying of campus protesters will resign Thursday, university officials confirmed. Annette Spicuzza, who was criticized in an independent...

California Teachers Could Face Quicker Discipline
Chris Megerian @
Two bills intended to streamline teacher discipline got a mixed response in the California Legislature on Wednesday.

L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa Focuses On Transportation In State Of The City Speech - La Daily News
Linking the city's struggling economy and its lack of mass transit, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa used his State of the City speech Wednesday to portray Los Angeles as a metropolis awaiting a promise of better public transportation. | See photo gallery.

Bill Bars Cell Service Shutdown By Public Agencies
Wyatt Buchanan @
BART and other government agencies in California would be barred from shutting down cellular phone networks unless they first obtain a court order under a bill that is sailing through the Legislature. The bill, first of...

Survey shows holes in health insurance coverage
Noam N. Levey @
WASHINGTON -- With the future of the healthcare law emerging as a major campaign issue this fall, a new survey has found that more than a quarter of adults ages 19 to 64 in the United States lacked health insurance for at least some time in 2011.

Ross Mirkarimi Speaks About Fight With Wife
Heather Knight @
Suspended Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi on Wednesday launched a media campaign to tell his version of the events of Dec. 31, which differed dramatically from what prosecutors laid out in their case against him. In a telephone...