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THE NOONER for May 16, 2012

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Good morning from the SMurF airport, where I'm hopping on JetBlue to head to the roaring CD47, where Steve Kuykendall is relying on Clinton-era name ID against well-funded Long Beach councilmember Gary DeLong. Alan Lowenthal should easily take the top spot in this district stretching from Long Beach to the Orange County communities of Cypress, Garden Grove and Westminster.

FIRST! Molly Munger's initiative yesterday got clearance for a random sample of signatures.

ARGH: The California Pirate Party joins the We Like Women Party in trying to qualify as an official party.

GOLDEN GIRLS: A couple of days after making an independent expenditure on behalf of Leslie Daigle against Assemblymember Allan Mansoor, Charles Munger Jr.'s Spirit of Democracy California committee reported spending $83,000 for Beth Gaines, who is being challenged by Andy Pugno in AD06. The committee also reported investing $178,000 more on behalf of Daigle.

INLAND INTERVENTION: Meanwhile, our favorite non-organization of the cycle, the California Senior Advocates League, reports spending $35,000 in a mailer against Richard Roth. Roth is running in SD31 against former Assemblymember Steve Clute (D) and Assemblymember Jeff Miller (R). Roth is widely considered the favorite on the Democratic side to make top two against Miller and the best chance to pick up a seat needed for the Dems to get two-thirds in the State Senate.

Roth is supported by Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, although Clute received the Democratic Party endorsement in a local activists vs. Sacramento endorsement fight. The action by the California Senior Advocates League, mostly funded by business interests, could be seen as a play to increase Miller's chance of winning the seat (against Clute, rather than Roth) and keep Steinberg from having two-thirds. 


I have selected the 53 districts that will constitute the June 2012 Nooner Election Contest. Voting for the contest will open at 8am Friday and stay open until 8pm next Tuesday, exactly two weeks before the polls close. Only Nooner e-mail subscribers will get an invitation to the contest.

There will be at least two statewide questions worth 15 points each, including:

  • Does Proposition 28 (term limits) pass?  (Yes/No)
  • Does Proposition 29 (tobacco tax) pass? (Yes/No)

For each district race, you will select the top two candidates. For most races, 3 points will be awarded for a correct projection of the candidate placing in first and 1 point for a correct guess of the candidate placing in second. There may be some selected races (i.e. Berman/Sherman, Daigle/Mansoor) that are of particular interest that might be worth more. I'll decide on that before voting commences.

Each district will have a drop-down menu of candidates, so don't worry, you won't have to type out everyone's name.

If you want to start thinking about your picks, the districts are listed below. I have tried to have interesting races across the political spectrum and state so as not to give anyone a particular leg up. Here is a list of all candidates for all districts.


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State Independent Expenditure Reports

Committee Candidate (Support/Oppose) Amount Received Date Report Date
Alliance For California's Tomorrow, A California Business Coalition Rod Wright (Support) $38,395 05/14/2012 05/15/2012
Alliance For California's Tomorrow, A California Business Coalition Victoria Rusnak (Oppose) $18,244 05/15/2012 05/15/2012
Alliance For California's Tomorrow, A California Business Coalition Richard Alarcon (Oppose) $33,668 05/14/2012 05/15/2012
California Senior Advocates League Pac Joe Coto (Support) $9,500 05/15/2012 05/15/2012
California Senior Advocates League Pac Charlotte Svolos (Support) $21,956 05/15/2012 05/15/2012
Doctors Of Optometry For Better Health Care, Sponsored By The California Optometric Association Political Action Committee Dr. Jennifer Ong (Support) $19,627 05/15/2012 05/15/2012
Jobspac, A Bi-partisan Coalition Of California Employers Tom Daly (Support) $21,660 05/14/2012 05/15/2012
Jobspac, A Bi-partisan Coalition Of California Employers Adam Gray (Support) $15,468 05/14/2012 05/15/2012
Los Angeles County Democratic Party-issues And Advocacy Committee Raul Bocanegra (Support) $8,409 05/14/2012 05/15/2012
San Francisco Democratic County Central Committee Phil Ting (Support) $1,318 05/15/2012 05/15/2012
San Francisco Democratic County Central Committee Mark Leno (Support) $1,318 05/15/2012 05/15/2012
San Francisco Democratic County Central Committee Tom Ammiano (Support) $1,318 05/15/2012 05/15/2012
Spirit Of Democracy California Beth Gaines (Support) $83,171 05/14/2012 05/15/2012
Spirit Of Democracy California Leslie Daigle (Support) $178,473 05/14/2012 05/15/2012


Federal Independent Expenditures

Committee Candidate (Support/Oppose) Expenditure Amount Received Date Report Date
Committee for an Effective Valley Congressman Howard Berman (Support) Media Buy $96,219 05/14/2012 05/15/2012


Jerry Brown Defends Using Housing Money For Budget
David Siders @
Gov. Jerry Brown this morning defended his proposal to use $410 million in proceeds from the national mortgage settlement to help solve California's budget deficit, offsetting other costs.

Questions Swirl Around Jerry Brown's Plan To Cut State Workers' Hours
Jon Ortiz @
One day after Gov. Jerry Brown proposed sweeping changes to state government work schedules, many employees were still deciphering what it means for them.

Voter Distrust Will Be A Hurdle For Gov. Jerry Brown's Tax Plan
Judy Lin @
Gov. Jerry Brown is pleading with Californians to raise their taxes as part of his solution for solving the state's budget deficit, but it's uncertain whether voters will be in an accepting mood come November.

Brown, In 'management Mode,' Chides Those Who Oppose Tax Hikes On Wealthy
Steven Harmon @
SACRAMENTO -- A day after releasing a budget that relies heavily on revenues from his not-yet-passed tax initiative, Gov. Jerry Brown chided those who oppose boosting taxes on the wealthy.

Parts of Pa. education firm lawsuit to proceed
KEVIN BEGOS, Associated Press @
A federal judge has ruled that a lawsuit can proceed against a large for-profit education company accused of using improper sales tactics to lure unqualified students and the billions of dollars in financial aid they bring.

California Politicians Bet Big
Dan Walters @
But is it appropriate for California politicians to bet on the come by approving many billions of dollars in spending on very shaky assumptions that the money will be there when it's needed to pay the bills?

S&p Douses Democratic Idea To Forego Budget Reserve
Kevin Yamamura @
As Standard & Poors urged lawmakers Tuesday to pursue "credible" budget solutions to bridge the state's $16 billion deficit, the ratings agency did not approve of Senate leader Darrell Steinberg's idea to forego a reserve this year.

State Contribution To CalPERS Expected To Rise Next Fiscal Year
Marc Lifsher @
SACRAMENTO -- The state government's contribution to employee pensions is expected to jump to $3.7 billion from $3.5 billion in the fiscal year that starts July 1.

Fitch On New California Budget Problems: Don't Panic
The California budget plan released by Gov. Jerry Brown is no reason to panic, Fitch ratings says.

Fiscal Analyst Agrees With Brown Forecast, Increases Facebook Estimate
Kevin Yamamura @
Gov. Jerry Brown has weathered criticism for making an aggressive bet on revenues in last year's budget act, but the state's top fiscal analyst approves of his latest forecast, which is more conservative.

Assembly Candidate Daigle Gets $178k Boost
Martin Wisckol @
The wealthy benefactor of Newport Beach Councilwoman Leslie Daigle‘s Assembly campaign has removed any doubt about his commitment to her winning.

Gov. Jerry Brown Backtracks On Plan To Phase Out The State's Youth Prison System
California Gov. Jerry Brown has reversed his January position on phasing out the youth prison system. He now says the facilities must be available to handle the most serious and violent offenders.

Voter distrust will be a hurdle for Brown tax plan
JUDY LIN, Associated Press @
Gov. Jerry Brown is pleading with Californians to raise their taxes as part of his solution for solving the state's budget deficit, but it's uncertain whether voters will be in an accepting mood come November.

Ready To Blaze A Trail For Tax Hike
Steve Lopez @
Molly Munger says her plan to raise $10 billion a year through income taxes is a Band-Aid, but she's prepared to fight for children and schools.

Persuade, Not Threaten, Me To Vote For Your Initiative, Governor
Arun Ramanathan is executive director of The Education Trust-West, a statewide education advocacy organization. He has served as a district administrator, research director, teacher, paraprofessional, and VISTA volunteer in California, New England, and Appalachia. He has a doctorate in educational administration and policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. His wife is a teacher and reading specialist and they have a child in preschool and another in a Spanish immersion elementary school in Oakland Unified.

Occupy, Union Groups Rally For L.A. Banking Ordinance
Catherine Saillant @
More than a hundred demonstrators, including members of the Occupy movement and union groups, held signs and blew whistles on the steps of City Hall on Tuesday to support a proposal requiring banks doing business with the city of Los...

O.C. Legislator Blasts Title Ix, Soccer Hero Winces - Total Buzz - The Orange County Register : The Orange County Register
The state Assembly on Monday honored soccer hero Brandi Chastain as part of its recognition of Title IX – and in doing so, provided Assemblyman Chris Norby, R-Fullerton, an opportunity to criticize implementation of the 1972 federal law mandating gender equality in high school and college sports.

SD-31 Business-backed IE Spends Against Roth
An independent expenditure committee funded by insurance companies and other business interests reports spending $35,000 on mailers opposing Senate candidate Richard Roth, a Riverside Democrat.

8 Students File Suit Against Lausd, Governor Alleging State's Tenure Laws Deprive Them Of Quality Education - La Daily News

Suit Seeks To Overturn 'outdated' Teacher Job Protections
Howard Blume @
A nonprofit backed partly by organizations known for battling teachers unions has filed litigation challenging the constitutionality of California laws that make it more difficult to fire or lay off ineffective teachers. The suit, filed Monday in Los Angeles County...