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THE NOONER for November 19, 2012

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CH-CH-CH-CHANGES: Florida senator and likely 2016 candidate Marco Rubio cites NWA's Straight Outta Compton as one of his three favorite rap songs in his Men of the Year interview with GQ. When the album also including "F&*^ The Police" was released in 1988, who could have imagined we'd have a black president and a promising Republican Latino United States Senator who would cite a profanity-laden song criticizing anti-gang sweeps by Darryl Gates-led LAPD. [lyrics | video

Could you imagine if Barack Obama made the same statement that Straight Outta Compton was one of his favorite songs? Headline on Drudge with a picture of Ice Cube, gangsta style.

Meanwhile, the best performance (and closing act) of last night's American Music Awards was a Korean-language hip-hop song. Oh, and yes, it was a mash-up with MC Hammer, who very well could be the next mayor of Oakland.

And, make no doubt about it, this is all part of a larger political story. Remember, NWA's Ice Cube is the same rapper who penned "Black Korea" in 1991. After Koreans paid a huge price of the LA riots that were ostensibly in response to police brutality, there was immense tension and little political or social interaction. However, a majority of California Korean-Americans very likely voted for Barack Obama's reelection as part of 79% of Asians (greater than Latinos) who voted for Obama.. Here's an interesting article by the Register's Martin Wisckol last week that looks at why Asian-Americans voted heavily for Barack Obama.

SLOWLY BUT SURELY: California’s unemployment rate decreases to 10.1 percent [Nonfarm payrolls +45,800]

TRANSITION: Governing Magazine names Antonio Villaraigosa as a possible pick for Transportation Secretary. The Los Angeles mayor, who is termed out on June 30, 2013, has also been cited as a possible Democratic National Committee chair, should Debbie Wasserman-Schultz step down. Villaraigosa stopped by to keynote a lunch at my annual convention on Saturday in Los Angeles, sporting a UCLA polo and leather jacket, on his way to watch the Bruins beat the Trojans 38-28.

STUNG!: Ami "Bera's fundraising appeal was an in-your-face equivalent of spiking the ball, unbecoming a member of Congress." [SacBee editorial]

CD36: Raul Ruiz win tells story of Election 2012 [Kate Nocera @ Politico] - "The son of poor farmworkers, he lived in a trailer for a time as a boy and left home at 17 for UCLA. To help pay for college, he went store to store asking business owners to invest in their community by investing in his education. He raised $2,000 — enough to pay for books for two years — promising he would eventually return to the area to give back. . . Ruiz went on to earn three degrees from Harvard, including his M.D., before working as an ER doctor at a nonprofit hospital."

SD04: Jim Nielsen is avoiding a special election runoff to fill Doug LaMalfa's senate seat by 281 votes (50.082%).

SD31: Roth beat Dem registration almost everywhere [Jim Miller @ PE]

BACKTRACK: Ted Lieu drops his VLF hike proposal, which would have restored the car tax to 2% to fund transportation projects. 

CASH STRONG: With Election 2012 in the books, where does all that leftover campaign money go? [Josh Richman @ MercNews]

SKEWED: Gallup Blew its Presidential Poll, But Why? [Steven Shepard @ National Journal] - Money quote - Mark "Mellman said that pollsters and the media have 'overfetishized this whole notion of likely voters.'"

INTROSPECTION: The GOP's "Modern Family" Problem [Reed Galen @ RealClearPolitics]

SD05: Unfortunately, while we got significant vote tally updates late Friday, most counties didn't update their uncounted ballot numbers. So, we really don't know how many ballots are outstanding, however, in most counties, it's down to provisional ballots. With only provisionals left and if we assume 81.5% validity of the ballots, Cathleen Galgiani needs 53.1% to edge Bill Berryhill. As provisionals lean Democratic, that certainly is possible. 

Why is it important? If Dems pick up SD05, that's a 27-vote two-thirds supermajority beginning next month. Without it, they will be one vote short until SD32 and SD40 are filled in special elections in March (or May, if a candidate doesn't receive 50%).

SD05
Bill Berryhill    
  Sacramento 4,290
  San Joaquin 90,923
  Stanislaus 37,231
    132,444
Cathleen Galgiani    
  Sacramento 3,262
  San Joaquin 95,038
  Stanislaus 32,679
    130,979

 

With 340,684 ballots to be counted in Los Angeles County (countywide), Richard Bloom maintains 291-vote lead over Betsy Butler:

AD50
Richard Bloom 80,934
Betsy Butler 80,643

 

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TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
High Cost Of Leaving CalPERS May Get Higher
Ed Mendel @
calpensions.com
The CalPERS board may make it more costly for struggling local governments to close their pension plans.

Jerry Brown Hurdles Over Sophomore Traps
George Skelton @
latimes.com
The governor has won passage of Prop. 30 and has a supermajority in the Legislature.

Oakland Police Union Sides Against Brass
Justin Berton @
sfgate.com
Three weeks before a federal judge will hear arguments over whether Oakland should hand over its Police Department to federal authorities, attorneys for one of the parties filed a searing critique against the law enforcement agency.

Californians Feel A Bit More Upbeat About The State's Direction
Chris Megerian @
latimes.com
Gov. Jerry Brown's approval rating is up and more voters are feeling optimistic, but persistent economic difficulties still loom large.

Sacramento's Airport Has Lesson For Bullet-train Backers
Dan Walters @
sacbee.com
Ancient potentates erected pyramids and temples as monuments to themselves. Today's self-important officials build grandiose airport terminals and sports arenas with their subjects' money. And an unwanted, unnecessary bullet train perhaps?

California senator drops plan to ask voters for a car tax increase
Torey Van Oot @
blogs.sacbee.com
Democratic Sen. Ted Lieu is dropping a push to ask voters to triple the state's vehicle license fee rates.

Ride-Share Services Run Into Fines, Suit
Benny Evangelista @
sfgate.com
The latest battle pitting disruptive high-tech innovators against old-school industries and regulators has hit the streets of San Francisco, where local ride-sharing services find themselves facing hefty fines and a class-action lawsuit.

Former Romney Supporters Leading Immigration Reform 'super Pac'
Morgan Little @
latimes.com
Carlos Gutierrez, who led Mitt Romney¿s outreach to Latinos during the presidential campaign, will helm a super PAC geared toward immigration reform.

Beyond Proposition 30: California’s Education Future | Edsource Today
edsource.org
Here are eight principal challenges:

Former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan Hasn't Studied Cost Of Pension Reform Initiative
Rick Orlov @
dailynews.com
Former Mayor Richard Riordan's plan to dramatically revise the city's three pension systems was developed without an actuarial study that would determine the costs of any new system.

Health Care Law’s New Regulations Set Soon
washingtonpost.com
Daniel Acker/Bloomberg - A stethoscope is displayed for a photograph in New York, U.S., on Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2009.

Political Blotter: Legislative aide goes to bat for courts; Miller aims for shorter lines at polls
Josh Richman @
mercurynews.com
A longtime Bay Area legislative staffer becomes the state courts' government relations chief, and Rep. George Miller proposes solutions for long lines at polling places.

Calbuzz To GOP: How To Make Yourselves Relevant
calbuzz.com
Two years ago, after watching the California Republican Party implode in the 2010 election — spectacularly in the case of Meg Whitman’s campaign for governor — Calbuzz offered the GOP some unsolicited advice on how to become relevant again. Not only did the geniuses of the Grand Old Party ignore our sage suggestions in 2012, they doubled down in Mitch (ht David Letterman) Romney’s run for president on precisely the same bonehead strategy and tactics that eMeg used in California.

Is California Really A Purple State?
BRIAN JOSEPH @
ocregister.com
California enjoys a reputation as one of the most liberal states in the nation. And yet, on Election Night, when voters for the first time in American history approved gay marriage and recreational marijuana use, it was in Washington, Colorado and Maine – not California. In fact, over the last four years, California voters approved a measure to block same-sex marriage and rejected another one to decriminalize pot. This month, while other states were burnishing their progressive credentials, California voters defeated an effort to abolish the death penalty.

Health Is About More Than Health Care
Dan @
healthycal.org
By Daniel Weintraub

Feinstein Has 'Concern' About Rice's Benghazi Talking Points
Michael A. Memoli @
latimes.com
Sen. Dianne Feinstein has initiated a review of talking points used by U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice on the attack on the American diplomatic facility in Libya.

Rep. Gary Miller: Congress Can Solve 'Fiscal Cliff' Without Tax Hikes, Defense Cuts
Andrew Edwards @
dailybulletin.com
Rep. Gary Miller said he believes Congress can avert the "fiscal cliff" without new taxes or defense cuts.

Raul Ruiz Win Tells Story Of Election 2012
Kate Nocera @
politico.com
Raul Ruiz's victory was a dramatic sublot of the new Latino trend in American politics. | AP Photo

Dan Walters: Sacramento's airport has lesson for bullet-train backers
sacbee.com
When Sacramento International Airport opened its lavish new terminal a year ago, it did so with a maximum of hoopla and hyperbole about a bright new era of air travel for California's capital.

GOP Chairman Says Obama Might Have Known About Petraeus Probe Before Election
Chris Cillizza @
washingtonpost.com
Rogers suggested that Attorney General Eric Holder may have told Obama informally, while emphasizing that he has no evidence to support that claim.

Diane Sinor, 83, was education director at the Old Globe Theatre
utsandiego.com
As the education director at the Old Globe Theatre for 20 years, Diane Sinor shared her passion for the Bard and the stage with students from throughout the county, many of them at-risk youths.

Feinstein to Investigate Benghazi "Talking Points"
Brian Knowlton @
nytimes.com
Senator Dianne Feinstein, the chairwoman of the Intelligence Committee, said that she would investigate why the original determination of terrorism in the Benghazi attack had been changed.

Dating sites for political bedfellows
Patrick Gavin @
politico.com
With all this new hope after the election of Democrats and Republicans getting along and being all bipartisan lovey-dovey in Washington, Alexander Fondrier is out to squash the romance.