Around The Capitol

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THE NOONER for August 22, 2012

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CD10: With Congressman Jeff Denham in the news, now's probably a good time to look at the Stanislaus-based congressional district. The district extends from the Valley exurbs of Tracy and Patterson to Modesto and Turlock on the east. With 40.4% of the registration, Democrats have a 1.8% margin with a NPP registration of 16.4%.

Denham faces off against Democrat Jose Hernandez, a former astronaut who grew up just north of the district but has resided more recently in Houston where he worked for NASA until 2011. 

In June, Denham captured 45,779 of the votes, Hernandez 26,072, and others (including Chad Condit) 21,125. That means that Denham received 45,779 while the other four candidates received 47,197. However, it is unclear how many of the more independent-minded supporters of Condit and Troy McComak will vote for Hernandez as a second choice, will side with the incumbent, or won't vote. It's very unlikely that Hernandez can county on capturing more than 75% of these voters.

Turnout in the district was 31.4% of the 296,206 registered voters and I would predict that turnout will be between 50-60%. As with other hot races, Latino turnout will likely decide the race, even if the Democrat wasn't a Latino.

If we assume Denham captures 25% of the non-Denham, non-Hernandez voters:

  • if turnout increases to 50%, Hernandez needs to win over 58% of the voters who skipped June
  • if turnout increases to 60%, Hernandez needs to win over 55% of the voters who skipped June

This race is likely as much of a toss-up as one can define, and aside from turnout, will be determined by national themes of congressional effectiveness, Medicare and taxes. It will be very interesting to watch and the season will be one long Black Friday for area teevee stations.



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$$$: In proof that Democrats know how to do the laundry too, Senate candidate Richard Roth received $100,000 from the Democratic State Central Committee yesterday. You'll note that Democrats run their big money through the state party while the GOP does it through a few county central committees. This is mostly due to inconsistent and untrusted leadership in the state party, as opposed to the Democrats, who have had retired legislators running it for the last 16 years. 

Our Taiwanese friends take on the presidential race.

Sorry for the quickie today...busy morning. But, just think, only seven more work days of session!


California Voters Prefer Gov. Jerry Brown's Tax Measure Over Molly Munger's, But 'prospects Are Pretty Cloudy'
Steven Harmon @
Voters continue to prefer Gov. Jerry Browns tax initiative solidly over wealthy civil rights attorney Molly Mungers, but a new poll shows signs that the governors measure may be vulnerable to attack ads.

Effort Building To Change State's Landmark Environmental Law
Timm Herdt @
In what has become an annual late-summer ritual that coincides with the end of the California Legislature's lawmaking session, a push to make changes in the state's landmark environmental law appears to be picking up steam in the Capitol.

California Poised To Grant Driver's Licenses To Young Illegal Immigrants
Jim Sanders @
California is on the verge of allowing hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants to receive driver's licenses for the first time in nearly two decades.

Failure To Reach Budget Agreement Could Drive U.S. Into Recession, Cbo Says
National @
A new recession is likely if a stalemate over tax and spending cuts continues between Democrats and Republicans, according to dire projections by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office on one of this years defining campaign issues.

Ex-assembly Speaker Bob Hertzberg Backs Wendy Greuel For Mayor
David Zahniser @
Los Angeles City Controller Wendy Greuel said her mayoral campaign has picked up support from former State Assembly Speaker Bob Hertzberg, who ran against Antonio Villaraigosa in 2005 but narrowly failed to make the runoff.

State's Political Watchdog To Investigate Health District Conflicts
Jennifer Gollan @
The state's political watchdog agency has launched investigations into whether officials in two publicly funded health care districts in the Bay Area and Southern California were involved in decisions that benefited them financially.

Food Growers, Beverage Firms Bolster Effort Against Prop. 37
Marc Lifsher @
The campaign to defeat Proposition 37, the California ballot measure that would require labels on genetically modified food, has collected $25 million.

Anaheim Candidate Illegally Using The Name 'chavez,' Suit Claims
Steve Marble @
A retired policeman running for a City Council seat in Anaheim is trying to mislead voters by using the name "Chavez" on the November ballot, a lawsuit alleges.

Obama Hits Romney As Elitist, Out Of Touch On Education Policy
Jonathan Easley @
President Obama portrayed Mitt Romney on Tuesday as an out-of-touch elitist while pitching education reform in front of college students at a campaign event at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio.

Dozens Of Lawmakers Call For No Changes To Ceqa This Year
Wyatt Buchanan, Michael Collier, Richard Dunham, Bob Egelko, Joe Garofoli, Marisa Lagos, Carolyn Lochhead, Carla Marinucci, @
Dozens of lawmakers call for no changes to CEQA this year

Dan Morain: Brown Hopes Voters Tune Out Dems' Antics
Dan Morain @
Gov. Jerry Brown hopes that voters don't focus on the $68 billion for high-speed rail, or on the debacle in which the state Department of Parks and Recreation hid $54 million.

From The Ad Man Who Brought Us 'demon Sheep,' A Few Regrets
Mark Z. Barabak @
Political ad man Fred Davis, notorious for such wacky wit as the 'demon sheep' TV spot, was flying high – until he was accused of race-baiting in a proposed anti-Obama campaign.

Obama declares he's 'walked the walk' on education reform
Michael A. Memoli @
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Pressing a contrast with his rivals for the White House, President Obama expanded his critique of the Republican budget blueprint to focus on education policy, arguing Mitt Romney would reverse his administration’s policies to boost education despite the consequences to the economy.

Limit Costly Initiatives? Idea Falls Short In California Senate
A proposal to curb costly voter-approved initiatives failed to muster sufficient support in the California Legislature.

GOP: Add health taxes to fiscal cliff debate
Steven Sloan @
Some GOP lawmakers plan to fight new taxes meant to finance Obama's health care law.

Community College Districts' Bonds Inflate Taxpayers' Repayments
Several California community college districts have sold bonds that allow them to put off payments for up to 40 years, causing the total repayment to cost taxpayers from five to nine times the principal.

Bill raising fees for legislative license plates sent to Jerry Brown
Legislation to eliminate a perk of elective office by raising fees for legislative and congressional license plates was sent to the governor today.

Young Voters' Enthusiasm Hard To Find
Joe Garofoli @
But this year, major organizations who register young voters, from HeadCount to Rock the Vote, project no increase in youth voter registration over four years ago.

What You Don't Know About California
Timm Herdt @
An unexpected development seems to have happened on the way to the Great California Train Wreck. The locomotive has gotten itself back on the rails, and although it is not yet exactly speeding forward it has left a legion of naysayers standing along the tracks.

Democratic Lawmakers Urge Legislative Leaders To Lay Off Ceqa
David Siders @
In the middle of an end-of-session bid to overhaul the California Environmental Quality Act, 33 Democratic lawmakers urged legislative leaders in a letter released today to oppose any significant re-writing of the law.

What Would L.A. Mayoral Candidates Do About Pensions?
Steve Lopez @
Four serious candidates and two possible contenders offer widely differing responses to that question. And former Mayor Richard Riordan chimes in.

Villaraigosa Wants Name Taken Off Proposition 32 Ad
On politics in the Golden State

L.A. school board backs two rival tax hikes on fall ballot
Stephen Ceasar @
The Board of Education supports Brown's bid to raise the sales tax and, for high earners, the income tax. The trustees also endorse a measure to raise the income tax on most people.