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THE NOONER for May 4, 2012

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Good morning from CD52, in which Brian Bilbray is facing nine competitors in his bid to return to Washington in January. The district tilts Republican, although Barack Obama won it by 12.2% in 2008. Meg Whitman beat Jerry Brown here by 8 points, while John Chiang and Bill Lockyer both won in the district. The district has the third highest registration of "no party preference" of California's congressional districts.

In drawing lines, the commission seated Bilbray's home of Imperial Beach just outside of the district to the south in the solidly Democratic CD51, making the decision an easy one to run for CD52 instead. However, several San Diego proper politicos were already eyeing the seat, leading to the crowded field.

From the right, Bilbray is challenged primarily by Tea Party activist and talk radio host John Stahl, who self-financed with $600,000. Meanwhile, leading Democrats include Port Commissioner Scott Peters and former Assemblymember Lori Saldana. Peters and Saldana are splitting labor endorsements, while Peters is winning more nods from electeds. Saldana is one of two women running.

With four well financed candidates and six others, the top-two will likely be in the 25% of the vote range. At this point, Bilbray and Peters have to be seen as the favorites to move past June 5, but it's a big enough field that something unexpected could happen.

Meanwhile, to the south and east, seven candidates are vying for the open CD51, which Bob Filner is vacating for his mayoral bid. The district is the fourth most Latino congressional district in the state at 51%, and is solidly Democratic.

The two leading candidates are former Senator Denise Ducheny and Senator Juan Vargas. One of the two will be going to Congress, but with three lesser known Republicans splitting 25-30%, the race will likely continue between the two until November. Vargas is outpacing Ducheny in endorsements and fundraising and is the favorite for a first-place finish on June 5 and election to Washington on November 6.

(Disclosure: I donated $100 to Ducheny, a former college trustee.)

Anyway, I'll look at the state races in the region next week. I'm pooped. Have a great weekend!

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$$$: As the signatures get turned in and the GOP promises an opposition campaign, big money is coming in to the compromise tax measure.

KUDOS: To FPPC Chair Ann Ravel, for dropping the concept of creating a new filing system for "bloggers." I encourage folks to voluntarily disclose all payments, as I do.

CUTE CAMPAIGN TRICKS: That "Dan Logue's Moving Service" truck parked across the street from the Capitol was brought to you by Tehama supe Bob Wiliams, who has the support of Assemblymembers Doug LaMalfa and Jim Nielsen in his bid to win the seat Logue has moved to.

Yesterday's Independent Expenditure Reports

Committee Candidate (Support/Oppose) Amount Received Date Report Date
Bigelow For Assembly 2012, Major Funding By Ca Dental Association Ie Pac, Ca Real Estate Ie Pac; Mother Lode Taxpayers Association Committee, Supporting Frank Frank Bigelow (Support) $24,900 05/07/2012 05/03/2012
California Senior Advocates League Pac Charlotte Svolos (Support) $12,730 05/03/2012 05/03/2012
Californians Allied For Patient Protection Independent Expenditure Account Candidate Raul Bocanegra (Support) $18,626 05/02/2012 05/03/2012
Californians Allied For Patient Protection Independent Expenditure Account Candidate Mark Stone (Support) $10,000 05/03/2012 05/03/2012
International Federation Of Professional And Technical Engineers- Local 21 Rose Herrera (Oppose) $10,448 05/03/2012 05/03/2012
Johnson For Assembly 2012, A Valley Alliance To Prepare Our Children For Tomorrow's Workforce. A Coalition Of Valley Parents, Educators & Business Leaders. Sponsored By Edvoice Ie Cmte.; Vote Brian Brian Johnson (Support) $12,626 05/02/2012 05/03/2012
Northstate Farm And Business Pac, Sponsored By The California Real Estate Independent Expenditure Committee Pam Giacomini (Support) $500 05/02/2012 05/03/2012
Orange County Employees Association Independent Expenditure Committee Julio Perez (Support) $11,200 05/03/2012 05/03/2012
San Jose Police Officers' Association PAC Rose Herrera (Oppose) $25,948 05/02/2012 05/03/2012
Vote Matters Joe Coto (Support) $28,828 05/01/2012 05/03/2012
Vote Matters Joe Coto (Support) $3,980 05/03/2012 05/03/2012
Vote Matters Joe Coto (Support) $4,058 05/02/2012 05/03/2012

Darrell Steinberg Says Pension Reform Legislation Still On Track
Jon Ortiz @
Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, said this week that public pension reform legislation is still on track for this year, although he wasn't sure about the timing.

GOP Vows To Fight Jerry Brown's Tax Measure
Kevin Yamamura and David Siders @
Gov. Jerry Brown, speaking Thursday at the Bay Area Council Outlook Conference in San Jose, said his drive had collected enough signatures to put his tax initiative on the November ballot.

Jerry Brown Says Tax Signatures In Hand
David Siders @
SAN JOSE - Gov. Jerry Brown said this afternoon that he has collected enough signatures to qualify his tax initiative for the November ballot.

GOP launches campaign against governor's tax hikes
JUDY LIN, Associated Press @
The California Republican Party and anti-tax groups kicked off a campaign Thursday against Gov. Jerry Brown's proposed tax hikes before the initiative has even qualified for the November ballot.

UC Davis' Academic Senate Votes To Censure Chancellor
Darrell Smith @
UC Davis' Academic Senate voted to censure university Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi for the events surrounding the pepper-spraying of students by campus police during tuition protests last November.

Union abandons California ballot measures in deal with hospitals
The SEIU will drop two healthcare-related initiatives after an accord with the California Hospital Assn. to facilitate union activity and find ways to lower costs, improve quality and expand access.

Wente Vineyards Clan — Once Linked By Marriage To Rep. Pete Stark — Now Fundraising For His Dem Opponent
Wyatt Buchanan, Michael Collier, Richard Dunham, Bob Egelko, Joe Garofoli, Marisa Lagos, Carolyn Lochhead, Carla Marinucci, @
Wente Vineyards clan — once linked by marriage to Rep. Pete Stark — now fundraising for his Dem opponent

Annual Budget Game Beginning Now In California
Dan Walters @
Darrell Steinberg is a baseball fanatic, but when he said this week that "the season is beginning," he wasn't talking about sports, or at least not games played on grass. Steinberg, the state Senate's leader, was talking about the state budget game, which will be particularly difficult this year.

Labor Groups Express Concern About California Budget Initiative
Labor groups are mounting a last-ditch effort to dissuade the group California Forward from placing on the November ballot a constitutional amendment to change the way California assembles its budget.

Bill would boost Indian reservation health care
The Associated Press @
Health care providers will be able to practice on Indian reservations without a California medical license if a bill passed by the Assembly becomes law.

As Primary Election Nears, Rep. Pete Stark Apologizes For Recent Gaffes
Local @
By many accounts, Rep. Pete Stark's re-election campaign should've been a cakewalk. But with less than five weeks to go before the primary election, his recent gaffes have left some wondering whether he's got a real race on his hands.

CalSTRS Sues Wal-Mart Executives Over Bribery Scandal
Dale Kasler @
CalSTRS today sued Wal-Mart executives and directors over the company's alleged bribery of officials in Mexico. The California State Teachers' Retirement System said the alleged corruption has exposed the company to investigations, regulatory actions and lawsuits.

Pelosi Blasts Crackdown On Medical Marijuana
Bob Egelko @
House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi has joined critics of the Obama administration's campaign against medical marijuana suppliers in California, saying the government is endangering patients and undermining its own...

Obama Campaign Tailors Message For Key States And Voters
Michael A. Memoli, Christi Parsons and Kathleen Hennessey @
President Obama's advisors are plotting a strategy that doesn't depend on a nationwide wave of support or on a single theme. Instead, the campaign will be tailored to swing states and key voters in those states.

Plan Would Make CA Parks More Like A Business
Brian Joseph @
Why can’t government be more like business? It’s a common question asked by Republicans, but a Democrat in the state Legislature has a chance to make it actually happen. Recently, Assemblyman Richard Gordon, D-Redwood City, pushed a proposal through the budget subcommittee he chairs that would encourage entrepreneurship in the state park system.

Fresno Couple Battles Over Special Education Son's Expulsion
Days before Pablo Lopez learned that his son, a 14-year-old special education student in the Fresno Unified School District, would be recommended for expulsion, Superintendent Michael Hanson asked for a “father-to-father” meeting.

CSUS official will leave to lead Stanislaus campus
Joseph Sheley, provost for California State University, Sacramento, will leave the university in June to take the job of interim president of California State University, Stanislaus, CSU officials announced Thursday.

Signatures submitted for billion-dollar business tax measure
Jim Sanders @
An environmental coalition led by hedge-fund manager Tom Steyer is submitting more than 900,000 signatures today to place before voters an initiative to raise more than a billion dollars from out-of-state companies for schools and green building projects.

The Texas Tribune: Texas Senate Race Is About Crunching the Numbers
Wendy Davis, a Fort Worth lawmaker looking to keep her seat in a State Senate election this year, is a key member of a Democratic dozen with the power to block Republican initiatives.

Paul touts individual liberty at UC Davis speech
Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul brought his small government, libertarian campaign to the UC Davis campus Thursday evening, telling the crowd that the "message of liberty brings people together."

Billionaire Eli Broad Signals Interest In Buying L.A. Times
Mike Boehm and James Rainey @
The issue arises with the pending release of Eli Broad's book, "The Art of Being Unreasonable." He says in an interview that he would like to "partner with others" to take control of the newspaper.