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THE NOONER for July 18, 2012

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73. CD41 Mark Takano v. John Tavaglione
72. CD47 Gary DeLong v. Alan Lowenthal
67. CD36 Mary Bono Mack v. Raul Ruiz
65. CD03 John Garamendi v. Kim Vann
63. CD24 Lois Capps v. Abel Maldonado
59. CD09 Ricky Gill v. Jerry McNerney
58. CD10 Jeff Denham v. Jose Hernandez
27. CD26 Julia Brownley v. Tony Strickland
26. CD52 Brian Bilbray v. Scott Peters
15. CD07 Ami Bera v. Dan Lungren

[full list]

From my list yesterday, which was of "interesting" rather than "important" races (ergo, -ermans placing #1), the differences are that NJ includes CD47, CD36 and CD03. Similarly, I included CD21 (Kings - Hernandez v. Valadao) that NJ does not have in the Top 25.

Here are my thoughts on our differences:

  • CD03: While Kim Vann is a great candidate for the GOP and has shown fundraising prowess, John Garamendi won 51.5% of the vote despite last month's awful turnout and four choices on the GOP side. The playing field for the GOP is going to be too broad, both on offense and defense, to make a serious play against Garamendi. Garamendi received 16,468 more votes than Barack Obama did in the district. [disclosure: I live in this district and gave him $250 last fall]
  • CD36: Similarly, Raul Ruiz is a great candidate for Democrats and a good fundraiser. If we make the assumption that turnout increases to 54-62% in November, he'll need to capture 59%-63% of the new votes, assuming June voters repeat their votes in November. It's certainly doable, particularly if Latino turnout appreciates significantly. I should have had this one on my list.
  • CD47: Anybody tabulating the June results would see that 40,711 votes for GOP candidates compared to 39,930 votes for Democratic candidates makes this a district worthy of watching. However, it's important to look at turnout. Only 22% of registered voters in CD47 cast a vote in the congressional primary, even though eight choices were provided. This district is one of many that I expect turnout to improve in November at a higher rate than the statewide average. While records won't be set for turnout here, it's easy to see that turnout doubles to at least 44%. This increase will be disproportionately black and Latino voters, which Alan Lowenthal will overwhelmingly capture, making him the favorite.
  • CD21: The DCCC would have liked to have seen Fresno councilman Blong Xiong in the top-two against David Valadao. Xiong had a shot at being the first Hmong-American and second person of Southeast Asian descent to be elected to Congress. That would have tapped a national fundraising base and delivered a lot of free media. Instead, they have a political novice chamber executive who had no cash on hand as of the pre-primary report and apparently hasn't filed his report for the period ending June 30. Only 24% of registered voters here cast a ballot for one of the three choices Congress last month, a percentage that will likely increase significantly in November. The biggest increase in voters would be anticipated to be Latino and they will overwhelmingly cast ballots for John Hernandez. Like CD47, this district won't set turnout records and will be significantly below the statewide average of 54-62%. However, if turnout increases only to 40% here and Hernandez captures 61% of the new ballots, he wins. Valadao is the favorite, but this is one to watch.

What are your thoughts?


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REPRESENT: PRI's "The World" yesterday featured Assembly candidates Rob Bonta [AD18] and Jennifer Ong [AD20], either of whom would be the first FilAm elected to the Legislature. Filipino Americans: Trying to Shed 'The Invisible Minority' Label

LAUNDROMAT: Proving that Democrats know how to play the game as well, the Democratic State Central Committee contributed $37,140 to the campaign of Cathleen Galgiani for SD05

NEXT!: Compton officials talking about possibly filing for bankruptcy [Abby Sewell @ LAT]

NO MEANS YES: Dan Walters looks at the "abandoned" redistricting referendum, which still has a decent chance of passage, given the confusion around the referenda voting process.

SHADES OF GRAY: Manipulation of California energy market gives consumers a jolt [Michael Hiltzik @ LAT]

. . . and, when being stopped by TSA ain't so bad.


Proposition 40 On Redistricting Sets Up Tricky Situation In California Senate
Dan Walters @
A referendum is a particularly tricky bit of political activity. And Proposition 40, which will appear on the November ballot, is even trickier than usual.

Crash Adds To Nadia Lockyer's Woes
Phillip Matier and Andrew Ross @
That was some car crash former Alameda County Supervisor Nadia Lockyer got into after her husband, state Treasurer Bill Lockyer, informed her he was filing for divorce.

Governor Brown Signs California High-speed Rail Bill, Launching Campaign To Win Back Public
Traffic @
SAN FRANCISCO -- With his most public cheerleading yet for Californias bullet train, Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday signed the $8 billion bill to kick off high-speed rail construction as he lobbied to win back voters who are increasingly skeptical of the rail line.

Where's Kamala Harris?
Robert Hammond @
California's attorney general has remained conspicuously silent as the feds target medical cannabis businesses that abide by state and local laws.

Bill Frist calls for GOP to get over opposition to healthcare law
Noam N. Levey @
WASHINGTON – As Republicans continue to fight implementation of President Obama’s healthcare law, one former party leader is urging them to get over it and embrace a central pillar of the new law.

UC board to endorse tax initiative, freeze tuition
The Associated Press @
University of California leaders are planning to freeze tuition and endorse Gov. Jerry Brown's tax initiative, but UC students could face a steep midyear tuition hike if voters reject the November ballot measure.

UC Regents Weigh Steep Fee Hikes For Professional Schools
Laurel Rosenhall @
After the University of California's governing board meets today, undergrads may breathe a sigh of relief, but many grad students will probably want to grab their wallets.

Sacramento House Seat Makes List Of Districts Likely To Change Hands
Torey Van Oot @
The National Journal has included 10 California districts in its new ranking of congressional seats most likely to change partisan control in the November election.

Berman Campaign Puts Brandon Hall In Charge
Kevin Roderick @
Brandon Hall, the Democratic strategist who joined the Howard Berman reelection campaign in March as a senior advisor, is taking full charge of everything, campaign sources say. That would be a big and serious shift in approach by Berman, who for decades kept his political campaign machinery tightly in the hands of his brother Michael.

Richmond Teachers Union At Odds With Teach For America
Responding to pressures from the local teachers union, Richmond City Council members on Tuesday voted to send a letter to West Contra Costa School District Superintendent Bruce Harter urging talks between the district and the union about Teach For America teachers in local classrooms.

Senate GOP blocks campaign disclosure bill again
Lisa Mascaro @
WASHINGTON -- After keeping the Senate in session past midnight to protest GOP opposition to a campaign disclosure bill, Democrats forced a do-over vote on the legislation – and it failed again.

Bid To Curb Union Spending Gets Big Democratic Backer
Michael J. Mishak @
Former state Sen. Gloria Romero, a Los Angeles Democrat, announced her support this week for the November ballot measure that would ban the practice of political contribution by payroll deduction, the primary method labor unions use to raise political cash.

Did Mitt Romney Pay Any Federal Taxes At All In 2009?
Ezra Klein @
But Daniel Shaviro, a tax professor at New York University, isn’t so sure. “I think there’s an excellent chance that [Romney] didn’t pay any taxes in 2008 or 2009,” he says. But to get from a small federal tax liability to no federal tax liability, Romney would have needed to engage in incredibly aggressive tax planning. Shaviro mentions picking loser investments to get some benefits from “loss harvesting,” unusual tax shelters, and a bevy of other stuff that, frankly, I don’t totally understand.

Jerry Brown signs California high-speed rail bill
David Siders @
Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation this morning authorizing initial construction of California's $68 billion high-speed rail line.

Cal State Students, Faculty Decry Pay Hikes For Campus Presidents
Carla Rivera @
CSU trustees OK increases for new campus presidents as they hear worst-case budget scenarios — including tuition hikes and pay cuts— that could hit midyear.

Ex-San Bernardino City Manager Denies Budget Irregularities
Steve Marble @
Huntington Beach City Manager Fred Wilson stood by his tenure at the city of San Bernardino following allegations that, for more than a decade, administrators there presented falsified records to hide budget problems.

Ron Paul To Mitt Romney: Release Tax Returns
MJ Lee @
Texas Rep. Ron Paul said Tuesday that Mitt Romney should release more of his tax returns, adding to the pressure on the GOP nominee to share personal financial information with the public.

Pension Costs Not The Core Of San Bernardino's Problem
Ed Mendel @
A sharp spike in pension costs is not the reason an alarmed San Bernardino city council voted last week to authorize filing for bankruptcy, fearing the city may not have enough money to make a full payment to employees next month.

DA Blocks Release Of Controversial Letter
Norberto Santana, Jr. @
District Attorney Tony Rackauckas Monday quashed the release of a politically explosive letter sent to the Orange County Board of Supervisors by an attorney representing Deputy CEO Alisa Drakodaidis, who abruptly went on a medical leave in the wake of sex crimes charges against former county Public Works executive Carlos Bustamante.

For Assemblyman Henry Perea, Two Plus Two Equals, Well ...
Jim Sanders @
But you wouldn't know it by looking at the Fresno Democrat's flier for an October campaign fundraising event, which promises to give donors one custom-made men's suit for chipping in $2,000 -- or two of what the flier called "suites" for $5,000.

Pennsylvania's strict voter ID law faces ACLU lawsuit
David G. Savage, Washington Bureau @
The law could stop hundreds of thousands of voters, many of them minorities, from casting ballots despite their efforts to obtain an ID. The outcome may affect the presidential election.

Drive Fails To Overturn Teaching The Accomplishments Of Gays
Patrick McGreevy @
A coalition of churches and conservative groups says it has failed to collect enough signatures for a ballot measure aimed at undercutting a state law requiring school textbooks and history lessons to include the contributions of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans.

Senate Democrats Propose Letting All Tax Cuts Expire
Jonathan Weisman @
Senate Democrats -- holding firm against extending tax cuts for the rich -- are proposing a novel way to circumvent the Republican pledge not to vote for any tax increase: Allow all the tax cuts to expire Jan. 1, then vote on a tax cut for the middle class shortly thereafter.

San Bernardino Officials Debate Role Of Union Money In Decision-Making
Ryan Hagen @
As the public battle rages over how the city developed a $45 million deficit, much of the attention has focused on union contracts - and the blame for those contracts has included some explicit claims.

CSU Trustees Approve Presidential Salary Raises, Discuss Possible Tuition Hike
Kelly Puente @
The Cal State University Board of Trustees on Tuesday approved pay increases for three new campus presidents in a day-long meeting in which they also considered massive budget cuts.