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THE NOONER for September 3, 2012

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HAPPY LABOR DAY. Enjoy the couch. Enjoy last night's season finale of Breaking Bad. Enjoy an American icon talking to an empty chair. Tomorrow commences the sprint to the November 6 election. 

Oh, and if you're in Charlotte, watch the sauce. [Seema Mehta @ LAT]

On Friday, Doug LaMalfa informed the governor that he was resigning his SD04 State Senate seat, effective after the midnight end of the legislative session. LaMalfa, who is running for CD01, technically has a free-ride in his Senate district, although is the heavy favorite in the congressional race. 

By resigning the seat, LaMalfa's move allows the governor to declare a special election on November 6 to complete the last two years of LaMalfa's term. It also places the ball on the tee for Assemblymember Jim Nielsen, who is LaMalfa's preferred successor. Standing on the sidelines hoping to get in the game is Assemblymember Dan Logue

The special election for SD04 will be using the "old" SD04 lines, meaning voters, meaning voters in Del Norte, Shasta, Siskiyou, and Trinity counties will be casting ballots. Voters in Shasta and Siskiyou will be casting ballots in both the old SD04 and the new SD01 (Safe R - Ted Gaines).

Because it is a special election, Dan Logue can take a free run at it and concurrently run for re-election to AD03. However, it would be a difficult bid against the LaMalfa-Nielsen machine, as both Nielsen and Logue share the same base in the southern part of SD04, but LaMalfa's campaign operation will be working the northern part of the district.


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DILEMMA: Sign or veto? Gov. Brown faces a series of dilemmas [Michael J. Mishak @ LAT]

CD26: Every vote will count in politically polarized congressional district [Timm Herdy @ VCStar]

UNLIKELY: California key to Democrats' strategy to take back the House of Representatives [Josh Richman @ BANG]

WILLIE'S WISDOM for Labor Day:  "The world is changing. Years ago it was the likes of Southern Pacific and other big businesses calling the shots in Sacramento, and we were all highly critical of them. . . . These days it's labor. That's not the portrayal union leaders like to see in the media, but it's the truth.

REDZONE: Marisa Lagos has the story on how John Perez's effort for middle class scholarships paid for with a tax hike on out-of-state corporations fell apart.

VIDEO AWESOMENESS: The best ten minutes of Friday's marathon Assembly session. Jump to 3:42:00. Including Connie Conway saying "Kiss my grits!" and Tom Ammiano with "You had me at suction!"

PHOTO AWESOMENESS: Photographer Shawn Clover mashes photos following the 1906 San Francisco earthquake with current day photos of the same locations.

IN MEMORIAM: Former State Senator Ed Vincent (1934-2012)

DEPT OF CORRECTIONS: Mike Feuer and Alyson Huber are also leaving the lower house.


Retired Schools Chiefs Earn Big Pensions
Phillip Matier and Andrew Ross @
Here's some news to ponder on your Labor Day holiday - when it comes to big-bucks payouts, some of the biggest winners in the state retirement system are local school and community college chiefs.

California Legislature's New Era May Mean More Productive Capitol
George Skelton @
California's next Legislature will be working under a tweaked set of rules, such as a term-limit change, that could result in less stalemate in Sacramento.

California Unions Hold Power But Face Peril
Dan Walters @
Anyone who was paying attention to the California Legislature during the hectic final days of the 2012 session last week could see the political clout of the state's labor unions.

Dan Walters Daily: Can labor keep its clout at California Capitol?
Dan Smith @
Dan says organized labor has a huge hurdle -- Proposition 32 --to clear on Election Day to maintain its influence at the California Capitol next year.

Opinion: Villaraigosa's Ready For His Close Up
Sherry Bebitch Jeffe @
In his role as a major Obama campaign surrogate and chairman of the committee that will re-nominate the President, Villaraigosa has been getting -- and will continue to get -- a lot of national attention.

Pelosi Blasts Ryan Medicare Plan At Convention
Jake Sherman @
Nancy Pelosi teed off on Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan’s Medicare plan, saying Democrats “created” the senior health care program and “will not let them take it away."

Media Shocker: MSM Discovers The Death Of Truth
As James Fallows at the Atlantic noted, it is an "important step" when reporters – not just commentators -- in the MSM are willing to state unequivocally that something a candidate or campaign is saying is simply false. Without qualifications or attributions or detailing some bogus false equivalency.

Job Front: California Has A Long Way To Go In Hiring
Darrell Smith @
Double-digit unemployment remains a reality for much of California, but the state is continuing its slow climb toward recovery and is outperforming the nation in job growth.

On Labor Day, Trying Times For Organized Labor - La Daily News
It has been a trying time for unions in Los Angeles and across the nation as workers mark Labor Day in the face of demands for pension reform, salary cuts and furlough days off work.

Ironworkers Union Gives Skills To Members, Public Safety To All
Michael Hiltzik @
On Labor Day weekend, remember unions' value. The ironworkers' training elevates the next generation and upholds technique and safety standards that save lives.

Dan Walters: California unions hold power but face peril
Anyone who was paying attention to the California Legislature during the hectic final days of the 2012 session last week could see the political clout of the state's labor unions.

California Key To Democrats' Strategy To Take Back The House Of Representatives
Josh Richman @
The Golden State may be a sure win for President Barack Obama, but it's also a make-or-break battleground for Democrats' long-shot quest to retake the House of Representatives and perhaps reinstall San Francisco's Nancy Pelosi as Speaker.

Obama Plays To Win, In Politics And Everything Else
Jodi Kantor @
As Election Day approaches, President Obama is sharing a few important things about himself. He has mentioned more than once in recent weeks that he cooks “a really mean chili.” He has impressive musical pitch, he told an Iowa audience. He is “a surprisingly good pool player,” he informed an interviewer — not to mention (though he does) a doodler of unusual skill.

Rep. John Lewis urges California to take campaign outside state
Torey Van Oot @
Rep. John Lewis urged California delegates today to take their campaign message outside their home state to help send President Barack Obama back to the White House this November.

Sign or veto? Gov. Jerry Brown faces a stack of dilemmas
Michael J. Mishak @
With his decisions, the California governor risks alienating unions, business groups and other powerful interests whose support he wants for his November tax initiative.

Political Blotter: Senator questions California's high gas prices
Josh Richman @
Dianne Feinstein urges a federal probe of California's high gas prices; also, a bill to expand California's ban on 'open carry' of handguns to include long guns as well goes to Gov. Jerry Brown's desk.

Summer Program Gives Farmworkers' Children A Taste Of College
Stephen Ceasar @
The Migrant Education Institute at the University of La Verne provides counseling and English and math courses to migrant workers' teenage children.

Capitol alert VIDEO: John Burton says North Carolina makes no sense for DNC'
David Siders @
Labor leaders have been grumbling for months about the selection of North Carolina to host the Democratic National Convention, and California Democratic Party Chairman John Burton said this morning - on Labor Day

With Asian immigration rising, candidates seek national office
Anh Do @
Sukhee Kang, mayor of Irvine, is among 17 candidates of Asian heritage who are running for Congress. Their numbers indicate a growing political confidence.

California Democratic Delegation More Diverse Than GOP
David Siders @
One week after California Republicans gathered in Tampa, Fla., for the Republican National Convention, California Democrats arriving here over the weekend composed a strikingly more diverse group.

Berkeley-based Politify tells voters whether Mitt Romney's or Barack Obama's platform is better for their bankbook
Josh Richman @
Growing in popularity, Politify website combines the presidential candidates' plans, IRS and census data, and voters' own input to tell them whose plan is better for their bottom line.

One California Democrat Hospitalized, Another Causes Disturbance After Night Of Drinking
David Siders @
A California delegate to the Democratic National Convention was hospitalized early this morning, after apparently falling unconscious in a hotel lobby following a night of drinking, while another delegate became confrontational with hotel staff and has since left the delegation, a party official said.