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THE NOONER for July 24, 2012

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Happy Tuesday from Salinas...quickie Nooner today as I am on the road visiting colleges. 

This agricultural valley along Highway 101 will continue in Anthony Cannella's SD12, which may be the Democrats only hope for a pick-up in 2014. The district stretches on 101 from Salinas to King City, and then stretches over to the 99 corridor from Ceres to the western suburbs surrounding Fresno.

Latino CVAP here is 42.9% and the census Latino population is 64.5%. Obama beat McCain here in 2008 by 17 points and Jerry Brown beat Meg Whitman by 7.2%.

Cannella is a moderate Republican, the son of former Democratic Assemblymember Sal Canella. He won't be easy to beat, despite a voter registration edge that has Democrats at 47.7% to GOP registration of 32.1%.

Assemblymember Luis Alejo, who is running for his second term in AD30, represents the portion of the district that stretches down Highway 101. It would, however, require him to move from his hometown of Watsonville, where he served as mayor before election to the Assembly.

Similarly, former Fresno councilman and freshman Assemblymember Henry Parea (AD31) could move just west and run and would be seen as a strong candidate.

On the north (Merced) side of the district, former Assembly staffer Adam Gray faces a tough race against Jack Mobley in AD21, and would be unlikely to make the move to the Senate in 2014, assuming Alejo or another strong candidate runs.

If this district was on odd-numbered district, I would say it is a "Likely Democrat" district. However, in a mid-term year and with an incumbent moderate Republican (whose father was a moderate Democrat), it will likely be a "Toss-up." But, we'll get to that after we get through 2012.


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MORE HAYASHI: Merc News columnist Tammerlin Drummond goes after Mary Hayashi, bringing up whispered but largely unreported details of the shoplifting incident. 

$$$: The campaign for Proposition 36, which would change the state's three strikes law, received $500,000 from The Atlantic Advocacy Fund. The fund was established by Chuck Feeney, the co-founder of DFS Duty Free Shops found in many international terminals, which was purchased by Louis Vuitton in 1996.

SODA TAX: El Monte's city council will vote tonight on whether to ask voters to levy a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages. The tax, framed as a "business license fee," would be 1 cent per ounce, according to the agenda. The agenda doesn't define "sugar," so I'm guessing the corn refiners will celebrate the denial by the FDA to rename HFCS to "corn sugar," leaving Mexican Coke as the only beverage subject to the tax. [Sam Allen @ LAT]

ONE STEP FORWARD, ONE STEP BACKWARD: The Muppets drop Chick-fil-A over opposition to gay marriage, while 3-year-old Tripp Palin calls his mom a gay slur on the teevee.

IN MEMORIUM: David Roberts, political director, California Association of Realtors, died at 64.

Peet's Coffee & Tea Sold For Nearly $1 Billion, But Not To Starbucks
Tiffany Hsu @
Peet’s Coffee & Tea Inc., the Bay Area-based cafe chain, is going private for $977.6 million – but it’s not being sold to Starbucks , its giant Seattle rival.

Prop. 32 Will Be A Test For California Voters
Dan Walters @
Warring factions will spend untold millions of dollars on political propaganda to sway California voters on Proposition 32 this year, and while each denounces the other as a pack of scoundrels, neither likes the media's capsule description, "paycheck protection."

Union Political Donation Ballot Measure Questioned
Local @
Government reform groups lashed out Monday at a ballot initiative that claims its intent is to eliminate special interest money from Sacramento.

S.F. Business-Tax Shift Gets Key Backers
John Cote @
Mayor Ed Lee joined Monday with two of his rivals from last fall's election to announce a grand compromise for overhauling San Francisco's business tax that will result in a single measure going before voters in November.

Good-government Groups Call Proposition 32 Deceptive
Representatives of the League of Women Voters of California and Common Cause denounced Proposition 32, the November ballot measure that promises to eliminate special-interest money in politics.

Romney Tells California Business Roundtable He’s No Career Politician
ABC News @
COSTA MESA, Calif. — Sitting before a newly unveiled campaign sign bearing the slogan, “We did build it!” presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney told a group of 10 local business leaders that as a former business executive, he is more able than a career politician to understand their efforts to prosper amid federal regulations and policies.

California's Next North-vs.-South Battle Over Water Begins Wednesday
Paul Rogers @
Gov. Jerry Brown is scheduled to unveil plans for a $14 billion tunnel system under the Delta, drawing accolades from many cities and farms and opposition from environmental groups and fishermen.

Obama Campaign Pushes Back On “burn Rate” Criticism
Chris Cillizza @
In the wake of a report that the Obama campaign’s burn rate — the amount of money they are spending per month on the race — has raised concerns among some within the party, the president’s campaign manager insisted that every penny is being well spent.

New Law: Convicted Felons Can't Run For Office In California
Rick Orlov @
Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law Monday a measure that would ban elected officials - from Sacramento down to the smallest city or school district - from running for public office once they are convicted of a felony.

Handgun Ammo Law Stuck In Calif. Court
Bob Egelko @
A battle is looming in California courts over whether gun owners should be required to appear in person and be fingerprinted before being allowed to buy ammunition - like the thousands of rounds James Holmes reportedly purchased on the Internet in the weeks before he entered a Colorado movie theater for a deadly shooting rampage Friday morning.

Jerry Brown Gives Apple's New 'Spaceship' Campus A Boost
Anthony York @
Gov. Jerry Brown has fast-tracked a new Apple Computer campus in Cupertino, allowing the company to skip key pieces of the environmental review process for its planned new 175-acre headquarters.

Pot Advocates Rally In Advance Of Obama Visit - Sfgate
About 100 medical marijuana users and supporters gathered Monday afternoon outside Oakland City Hall, denouncing a U.S. Justice Department crackdown on the industry in advance of a scheduled campaign fundraising visit by President Obama. Organizers of the medical marijuana demonstration said they would disperse before Obama was scheduled to speak at the Fox Theater in downtown Oakland, a fundraiser that prompted authorities to block off several streets near the venue, close some businesses and urge people to use public transportation. Obama was also scheduled to appear at a technology-related event at the Scottish Rite Center in Oakland, and at the Piedmont home of real estate developer Wayne Jordan, one of his top fundraisers. In April, federal authorities shut down a dispensary, school and other properties connected to Richard Lee, the founder of Oaksterdam University, a training ground for people who want to work in the marijuana industry. Oakland is the political center of cannabis politics in the state, but has permitted just dispensaries in an effort to keep strict controls on the industry.

California GOP To Pursue A Voter Id Initiative
By Josh Richman Monday, July 23rd, 2012 at 10:55 am in ballot measures, Republican Party, Republican politics, voter registration.

Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne Sold To Sacramento-based Gencorp For $550 Million - La Daily News
United Technologies Corp. said Monday it is selling Canoga Park-based Rocketdyne, which helped propel the nation's exploration in space, to Sacramento-based GenCorp Inc. for $550 million.

Zillow Predicts Rise In Sacramento Housing Prices In Coming Year
Hudson Sangree @
Sacramento's housing market hit bottom in the first quarter of 2012, and home prices will rise here by more than twice the national average in the coming year, real estate tracking firm Zillow said in its quarterly market report, released today. Zillow's latest take on the local housing market is a 180-degree turnaround from April, when the Seattle-based firm forecast a continuing decline in the region's home values with "no sign of a bottom."

Why Governor Calls Shooter "Suspect A"
Debra J. Saunders @
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper had the right idea when he refused to utter the suspected gunman's name in the Aurora multiplex theatre shootings that left 12 dead and 58 wounded. Instead of naming the alleged killer, Hickenlooper referred to him only as "Suspect A." At a prayer vigil Sunday, Hickenlooper read the names of each of the 12 people killed in the incident. After each name, the crowd repeated the refrain, "We will remember."

Obama Touts Foreign Policy Record In Vfw Speech In Reno
David Siders @
In a sweeping defense of his foreign policy record, President Barack Obama said Monday that the United States is "safer and stronger and more respected in the world" than when he took office.

California Workers To Rally For Minimum Wage Increase
Bernice Yeung @
California workers in Inglewood and Sacramento will join labor advocates across the country at rallies today to support forthcoming legislation by U.S. Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., that would increase the federal minimum wage by $2.55 per hour. Announces Career Choice Tuition Reimbursement Program
Andrea Chang @
Want to work in one of Amazon's warehouses? What if the company paid for the cost of your higher education?

State Parks Fund Stash Eyed For Closures
Marisa Lagos @
Gov. Jerry Brown will work with lawmakers to determine how some of the $54 million stashed by the parks department can be used to help keep state parks open, a spokeswoman for the governor said Monday as supporters who helped raise millions for the beleaguered system urged that the money be used for that purpose.

More Calif. Colleges Contract With Debit Card Firm Criticized For Fees
Erica Perez @
Nearly half of the state's community colleges and a handful of other higher education institutions now disburse student financial aid on debit cards through contracts with Higher One, a financial firm that has garnered increasing scrutiny for charging multiple fees, aggressive marketing tactics and privacy concerns.