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THE NOONER for August 20, 2012

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CD03: The Chron's Carla Marinucci writes: "If Democratic Rep. John Garamendi didn’t already know about the big GOP target on his back, he does after this weekend — now that House Speaker John Boehner himself came out to help challenger Kim Vann raise $200,000 over the weekend in Woodland."

Is CD03 really at risk for Democrats? Or, is Boehner giving a head fake to get the DCCC to spend money in what is a district that will likely stay in the Democrat column?

First, as I wrote on July 18, Kim Vann is a great candidate. A Colusa County supervisor, a fourth-generation district resident, and a statewide leader, she appears to be as perfect as a candidate as the GOP could field in this district. That said, the math is difficult. 

Here are some numbers:

  • Garamendi captured 51.5% of the vote in June; Vann captured 26.2%, with other Republicans garnering the rest
  • As of May, Dems have a 7.3% margin over Reps, with 21.2% NPP voters
  • In 2008, Obama prevailed with 55% over McCain's 42%
  • In 2010, Brown captured 50% to Whitman's 43%
  • Fiorina outpolled Boxer here by 1%; Cooley over Harris by 5%

As of June 30, Garamendi and Vann were essentially tied in fundraising with a net cash on hand of around $200,000. Vann's funder over the weekend will likely be matched by Garamendi's annual Basque BBQ on his ranch, which is being held late on Sept 22 this year. Let's call the cash even.

This is a light blue district in which, when the stars are perfectly aligned, a Republican can win. The question is whether the stars are in place for November.

One problem for Vann is the concentration of the voters in a district where a group of largely rural counties were placed on top of Solano and Yolo counties, which combined total 62.8% of the district. Only 32.7% of the district's voters are from the northern counties (Colusa, Glenn, Lake, Sutter, Yuba), with a small balance from the northern Sacramento County suburbs. 

Garamendi currently represents much of the Solano part of the new district, and once represented Yolo in the State Senate before the 2000 redistricting (and as Lt. Gov). In June, he won 57.8% of the vote in this part of district, with Republicans picking up 42.2% (and Vann taking 20.3%). If a Republican can hold the Dem below 55% in this part of the district, and have a showing like Republicans did in the northern counties, it can be won by the GOP. That is, however, a big if.

Turnout was 36.3%, and I would project that it will be between 55%-65% in this district in November, running 3-5% above the statewide turnout. The greater the turnout, the lower margin Vann needs of voters who did not vote in June but do turn out in November. Of course, typically Democrats provide a greater increase in voters between June and November.

If we assume that Vann captures every Republican who turned out in June--and there is no reason to believe that she won't--she will need to capture 52% and 53% of the "new" voters in November. This can be accomplished through either turning people out who found no reason to vote in June or registering new voters.

Vann can pull it off, but likely needs a stronger wind of change or a game changer that helps the math. It's hard to see how the GOP and SuperPAC allies will truly prioritize this race down the stretch. But, I certainly have been wrong before. 

[disclosure: I gave $250 to Garamendi, who would be my congressman in the new district, at a Davis fundraiser last fall]




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CD10: Jeff Denham was one of the members who went for a swim in the Sea of Galilee over the weekend. He apparently kept his clothes on, but whether he had been boozing isn't clear. [Jake Sherman and John Bresnahan @ Politico]

CD15: Swalwell Undertakes Dragon-Slaying Effort against Rep. Stark in California Race [Shane Goldmacher @ National Journal]

ME CAN COUNT (WORDS AND HOURS): Two-word error could cost Santa Clara Valley Water District half a billion dollars [Paul Rogers @ Merc News]

THE HAMMER: California Teachers Assn. a powerful force in Sacramento [Michael J. Mishak @ LAT]

THE INDEPENDENT?: Governor's Last Stand [Marc Cooper @ Pacific Standard] - GOP Consultant Wayne Johnson: "This is the most thoughtful, focused Jerry Brown we have ever seen. I can’t imagine anyone from either party walking into the job under these conditions and making better decisions—maybe different ones, but not better."

WILD STORY: Man who armed Black Panthers was FBI informant, records show [Seth Rosenfeld @ CIR]


  • Measure D: City of Alameda - Charter Amendment (Parks) (Majority Vote Required)
  • Measure F: City of Albany - Sales Tax (0.5%) (Majority Vote Required)
  • Measure I: Chabot-Las Positas Community College District - Parcel Tax - $28/parcel (Two-thirds Vote Required)
  • Measure J: Oakland Unified School District - Bond Measure ($475m) (55% Vote Required)
  • Measure K: Ohlone Community College District - Election of Governing Board Members (Method) (Majority Vote Required
  • Measure L: San Leandro Unified School District - Parcel Tax ($39/parcel) (Two-thirds Vote Required)
  • Measure M: City of Berkeley - Streets and Water - Bond ($30m) (Two-thirds Vote Required)
  • Measure N: City of Berkeley - Pools - Bond ($19.4m) (Two-thirds Vote Required)
  • Measure O: City of Berkeley - Pools - Parcel Tax ($0.00779/sf) (Two-thirds Vote Required)
  • Measure P: City of Berkeley - GANN (Spending limit increase) (Majority Vote Required)
  • Measure Q: City of Berkeley - Utility User Tax Expansion (Majority Vote Required)
  • Measure R: City of Berkeley - Redistricting (Charter Amendment) (Majority Vote Required)
  • Measure S: City of Berkeley - Civil Sidewalks (Majority Vote Required)
  • Measure T: City of Berkeley - West Berkeley (Development Rules) (Majority Vote Required)
  • Measure U: City of Berkeley - Sunshine (Public Disclosure) (Majority Vote Required)
  • Measure V: City of Berkeley - FACTS (Financial Disclosure) (Majority Vote Required)
  • Measure W: City of Livermore - City Council Election Dates (Majority Vote Required)
  • Measure X: City of Livermore - City Council Election Dates-Alternative (Majority Vote Required
  • Measure Y: City of Piedmont - Parcel Tax (Extension) (Two-thirds Vote Required)
  • Measure Z: Washington Township Health Care District - Bond Measure ($186m) (Two-thirds Vote Required)
  • Measure A1: Alameda County - Oakland Zoo - Parcel Tax ($16 $12/parcel) (Two-thirds Vote Required)
  • Measure B1: Alameda County - Transportation Commission - Expenditure Plan - Sales Tax (0.5%) (Two-thirds Vote Required)


Field Poll: Support grows in California for federal health care law
David Siders @
A majority of California voters support the national health care overhaul, with the proportion of voters strongly favoring the legislation growing over the previous year, according to a new Field Poll.

Californians Favor Health Law's Exchanges
Joe Garofoli @
As health care and the future of Medicare take center stage in the presidential campaign, many Californians are optimistic about one aspect of the new federal health care law - the online exchange where residents can shop for coverage, according to a Field Poll released Monday.

Steinberg Seeks To Change Report Cards For California Schools
Jim Sanders @
California schools spend all year grading student performance, but lawmakers are turning the tables with an issue that strikes at the heart of education: How should a school be graded?

Can CalPERS Investments Do Well By Doing Good?
Ed Mendel @
Responding to legislation, the CalPERS board last week approved a five-year plan for a program that has given $10 billion to 300 new “emerging” investment managers with limited experience, yielding mixed results during the last two decades.

LAX Operations Pump $40 Billion Into Southern California Economy
Dalina Castellanos @
Los Angeles International Airport supported more than 294,000 jobs in 2011 and added about $2.5 billion in taxes to the city, county and state, a report says.

Poll: Most Californians support health care reform
SACRAMENTO -- A new poll finds that Californians support the federal health care overhaul but many don't think it will affect them.

Jon Ortiz @
More than half of California voters favor Proposition 32, according to new poll by the California Business Roundtable and Pepperdine University, although the support for the measure has declined in the last two weeks.

Romney Campaign Keeping Debate Over Medicare On Center Stage
Mike Lillis and Carlo Munoz @
It's supposed to be the Democrats' signature issue, but Medicare has risen to the forefront of this year's presidential race largely because Mitt Romney’s campaign has put it there.

Inland Welfare, Food Stamp Usage Soars
A higher percentage of Inland residents were on welfare or food stamps at the start of this year than in other Southern California counties, a trend expected to continue as the region struggles with higher-than-average unemployment and home foreclosure rates.

Former Missouri senator won't say Akin should stay in Senate race
Paul West @
endorse Rep. Todd Akin's continued presence on the Missouri Senateballot.

Politico E-book: Obama Campaign Fraught With Tension
Glenn Thrush @
Obama campaign figures Axelrod and Cutter have been at odds at times. | AP Photo

State says it can't reduce inmate total
California officials, under U.S. Supreme Court orders to lower the population of its crowded prisons by 33,000 to bring a shoddy health care system up to constitutional standards, say they can't comply and shouldn't have to.

Proposition 32: A Fraud To End All Frauds
Michael Hiltzik @
California's Proposition 32 is nothing but an attack by Republicans and conservatives on unions and their members.

District Settles With Aclu Over Program For English Learners | Edsource Today
While insisting that it did nothing wrong, a Central Valley school district has quickly settled a lawsuit filed by several chapters of the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of a half-dozen parents and teachers who charged that the district had adopted a destructive program for English learners, which the state, in turn, failed to monitor.

Todd Akin apologizes for 'ill-conceived' remarks, won't step aside
James Rainey @
Republican U.S. Senatecandidate Todd Akin conceded that his controversial comments about “legitimate rape” were “ill conceived” and “wrong,” but insisted in a radio interview Monday that he would not give up his campaign to replace Claire McCaskill as U.S. senator from Missouri.

2-word ballot mistake could endanger $548m tax bid
The Associated Press @
A two-word mistake could threaten a half-billion dollar tax measure in the San Francisco Bay area.

UC, Others In State File Briefs In Supreme Court Affirmative Action Case
Erica Perez @
Although the upcoming Supreme Court case on the University of Texas’ race-conscious admissions policy will be largely irrelevant in the Golden State, the University of California and others have filed briefs to emphasize that if the nation goes the way of California, then diversity – and the educational benefits that come with it – will suffer.

Paul Ryan Supported Bush’s 2002 Stimulus. But That Doesn’t Make Him A Hypocrite.
Ezra Klein @
Bush’s 2002 stimulus bill cost $42 billion over 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office, and it was intended to help the economy recover in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Under pressure from Democrats, Bush and the Republicans agreed to include about $12 billion for an unemployment insurance extension, as well as $319 million in welfare benefits, the CBO’s report says.

Calif. Weighs Tougher Heat Rules For Farmworkers
Gosia Wozniacka @
With temperatures in the Central Valley recently surpassing 110 degrees and state regulators investigating two possible heat-related deaths in the fields, the California legislature is considering new laws that would strengthen rules for protecting farmworkers from heat.

The Caucus: Senator's Pickup Hits the Road Again
Senator Scott P. Brown has begun showing campaign ads of him driving around in the same green pickup truck that voters in Massachusetts will recognize from his 2010 race.

AM Alert
Micaela Massimino @
Both houses of the Legislature meet today -- the Senate at noon and the Assembly at 2:30 p.m. The Senate has about 360 Assembly bills on its plate between now and Aug. 31, and the Assembly will be considering about 270 Senate bills. Come back to Capitol Alert as we track the action.

E.J. Dionne: False piety on Medicare prevents a real conversation
Deficit hawks are worried that the Medicare debate in the presidential campaign will make it impossible to reach a post-election deal to balance the budget. At the same time, much of the punditry focuses on how mean and nasty this campaign is.

Romney Statement On Abortion Appears To Contradict Ryan's Earlier Position
President Obama, who has a commanding lead in polls with women, has already pressed the issue. The day after Mr. Ryan was announced as the vice-presidential pick, the Obama campaign’s Twitter account published a message: