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THE NOONER for November 27, 2012

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Since I have hit another increment of 500 new readers, it's time to remind you that you can read and search past Nooners, learn who I am, fill out a survey to tell me what you'd like to be reading, learn how to advertise here and on my sites, and how to become part of the super special subscribers club that pay for my server, coffee, and newspaper paywall costs.

Even if you have taken it before, the survey is important, particularly as we move into 2013. We'll have at least three state races, contests for Los Angeles mayor and council, races for Speaker and Pro Tem, positioning for 2014, and of course, budget and legislative fights. It's your opportunity to determine the fate of my bleary-eyed mornings.

PROP30: Jerry Brown's tax measure hits 55.0% with the updated Los Angeles ballot count. Only 4.6% of the 498 Nooner contest readers predicted that. The contest scores have been re-tallied, and we'll finally have winners when AD50 is called.

AD50: Richard Bloom hits a lucky 888-vote lead over Betsy Butler. There should be around 82,670, but it's probably safe to say that Bloom can jump on a Southwest flight Sunday night to be sworn in Monday at noon.

In the other race we've been watching in the Antelope Valley, AD36, Steve Fox (D) is 1,892 votes behind Ron Smith (R).

NO BREAK: It's never too early to talk about 2014. Roll Call's Kyle Trygstad writes about the party targetting for congressional seats that's already being talked about:

"The top targets for Republicans start with Reps.-elect Scott Peters, Ami Bera and Raul Ruiz, who all knocked off GOP incumbents. Former GOP Rep. Doug Ose, among others, is already being talked about as a potential challenger to Bera."

"Other top GOP targets include Democratic Reps. John Garamendi and Jim Costa, who Republicans believed showed signs of weakness in 2012 and were greatly assisted by the presidential turnout. There is also still hope in Ventura against Rep.-elect Julia Brownley."

"A Democratic source said the party’s GOP targets begin with Rep.-elect David Valadao, who won the Central Valley-based 21st District against an underfunded opponent, and Rep. Gary G. Miller, who moved into a Democratic-leaning district."

Meanwhile, we'll have a group of open State Senate and Assembly seats due to term limits, and you know that'll be the topic of conversation at next week's swearing-in activities in Sacramento. The outgoing incumbent listed refers to who represents the majority of the new district number and would otherwise be the candidate. For example, SD08 was moved from San Francisco to the Foothills. So, while Leland Yee is termed out, his district is not shown below because Tom Berryhill is expected to run for it, so I don't consider it "open." 

  • SD02 (North Coast, Evans, Safe D)
  • SD06 (Sacramento, Steinberg, Safe D)
  • SD10 (Hayward-Fremont-Santa Clara, Corbett, Safe D)
  • SD18 (East San Fernando Valley, Padilla, Safe D)
  • SD20 (Ontario, Negrete McLeod, Safe D -- to be filled in 2013)
  • SD28 (Temecula-Coachella, Open, Safe R) (Split of Emmerson/Anderson seat)
  • SD32 (Whittier, Ron Calderon, Safe D)
  • SD34 (West Orange County, Correa, Toss-up)
  • SD36 (South Orange-North San Diego, Wyland, Safe R)
  • SD40 (South San Diego-Imperial, Vargas, Safe D -- to be filled in 2013)
  • AD02 (North Coast, Chesbro, Safe D)
  • AD03 (Butte-Tehama-Yuba, Logue, Safe R)
  • AD04 (Dixon-Napa-Yolo, Yamada, Safe D)
  • AD15 (Berkeley, Skinner, Safe D)
  • AD16 (Tri-Valley, Buchanan, Leans D)
  • AD17 (East San Francisco, Ammiano, Safe D)
  • AD26 (Bakersfield, Conway, Safe R)
  • AD28 (Cambell-Saratoga, Fong, Safe D) 
  • AD42 (Palm Desert-Yucaipa, Nestande, Safe R)
  • AD45 (West San Fernando, Blumenfield, Safe D)
  • AD52 (Ontario-Pomona, Torres, Safe D -- may be vacant in 2013)
  • AD53 (Downtown Los Angeles, J. Perez, Safe D)
  • AD55 (Yorba Linda, Hagman, Safe R)
  • AD64 (Carson, Hall, Safe D)
  • AD70 (Long Beach, B. Lowenthal, Safe D)
  • AD73 (South Orange County, Harkey, Safe R)

Additionally, the following constitutionals will be open due to term limits:

  • Secretary of State (Bowen)
  • Controller (Chiang)
  • Treasurer (Lockyer)
  • Board of Equalization District 2 (Yee, Northwest, Safe D)
  • Board of Equalization District 3 (Steel, Orange-San Diego-Imperial, Leans R)

Okay, it's time to start populating "The Bench" of these districts. If you know of potential candidates contemplating a run, let me know. Also, I've enhanced the large maps on the web site so you can check to see if a particular address is in a district.

** CLASSIFIEDS AVAILABLE ** I've turned down job posting requests in the past, but I'm getting so many requests from both good people seeking jobs and those seeking good people for those jobs, that I figured I'd open this space up. The rate is $25/week, and I'll take only up to ten. Each ad will be a one-line teaser here, with a link to either a page on Around the Capitol or your page. Quickly reach the inboxes of 6,500 Capitol, political, and policy insiders around the state.



There are 30+ new members this session – will you recognize them in the hall or around town?

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DEFICIT FOR INCOMING CLASSES -- Best time to arrive in 12 years: 

LAO forecasted deficit for first budget of each incoming class since 2000.

MOVING TIME: Game of musical chairs, er, offices [Cassie Macduff @ PE]

THE OC: Party affiliations for all city council members behind the Orange Curtain. [OC Political]

IT AIN'T ALL ABOUT THE BENJAMINS: Westminster Councilmember Tyler Diep, who raised $135,000 for a bid for AD72, then dropped out and put the remaining $119,890 in his city council account, lost his bid for re-election. He dropped out when Troy Edgar switched from CD47 to AD72, as Edgar seemed to have an insurmountable financial edge. Edgar spent $425,000 of his own money, but lost to Travis Allen, who spent $324,600 of his bankroll. Wow, spending that kind of money, you'd think they both just read The Secret Boss of California, that Artie Samish still threw parties in the Hotel Senator, and that being in Sacramento is "all that." 

While Diep lost, councilmember Tri Ta ran to successfully become the first Vietnamese-American elected mayor. With Diep's loss, the council now has 2 Vietnamese, 1 Latino, and 1 Caucasian. One of the first orders of business will be deciding how to fill the vacancy--by appointment of by election. In a hyper-charged political city with major budget problems, it should be interesting to watch. Ta also now appears to leapfrog Diep in the up-and-comers behind Supervisor Janet Nguyen, who is termed out in 2016 and will likely be a candidate for state office in 2014.

By the way, Orange County may have the best election results system in the state.

DEPT OF CORRECTIONS: Baca can only serve one term in Senate. "1/2 term rule" doesn't apply if you leave the district, only if you are elected to fill vacancy. [h/t Ethan Jones, Assembly Elections & Redistricting Committee]




Under Fire From Labor, Riordan Abandons Pension Overhaul Plan
David Zahniser and Kate Linthicum @
Public employee unions scored a major victory Monday as former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan abandoned his campaign to take a pension overhaul plan to voters next year.

Feinstein's Record: 7.3 Million Votes
Charles Mahtesian @
Dianne Feinstein is the most popular senator in U.S. history.

Prosecutors seek 8 years for Dianne Feinstein's former campaign treasurer
JUDY LIN, Associated Press @
SACRAMENTO -- Federal prosecutors on Monday recommended an eight-year sentence for a California campaign treasurer who pleaded guilty to defrauding at least $7 million from Democratic politicians.

San Bernardino Slashes Budget, Including Police And Fire
Phil Willon @
The City Council of San Bernardino, which is in bankruptcy and facing a $45.8-million budget shortfall, on Monday voted to slash more than $26 million in spending and freeze debt payments as the financially troubled city struggles to stay afloat.

California Canards Rise Again In Media
Dan Walters @
It's utterly amazing at times how brain-dead the East Coast political media, both partisan and independent, can be about California's politics.

Obama returns to campaign trail to promote middle-class tax cuts
Christi Parsons @
WASHINGTON -- President Obama is heading back out on the campaign trail this week -- this time to pressure Congress to extend the expiring middle-class tax cuts.

Prosecutors Recommend Eight Years In Prison For Convicted Campaign Treasurer Durkee - Oc Watchdog : The Orange County Register
Federal prosecutors are recommending that disgraced Democratic campaign treasurer Kinde Durkee receive about eight years in prison after pleading guilty to embezzling more than $7 million from her clients, who included U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Orange County politicians Loretta Sanchez, Lou Correa and Jose Solorio.

Democrats gain 1 more seat in state Senate
JUDY LIN, Associated Press @
Democratic Assemblywoman Cathleen Galgiani has won an open seat in the state Senate while election officials say a special election runoff will be needed for another Senate seat.

California Republicans Optimistic About '14 Chances
Kyle Trygstad @
Despite a dismal overall performance in California this year, top Republican strategists in the state say they believe the ailing party’s congressional race prospects should improve two years from now.

Campaign Treasurer Kinde Durkee Could Get 8 Years In Fraud
Patrick McGreevy @
The political aide will be sentenced Wednesday for stealing more than $7 million from clients. Representatives for some victims say the penalty isn't enough.

UC Berkeley's new chancellor under consideration by regents
Katy Murphy @
Formal appointment and compensation for Nicholas Dirks, a Columbia University dean, topic of morning meeting of UC Board of Regents

Richard Bloom Doubles Lead Over Betsy Butler -- Race Nears End
Jim Sanders @
Santa Monica Mayor Richard Bloom more than doubled his lead over Assemblywoman Betsy Butler today in a race between two Democrats for a Los Angeles County Assembly seat.

Obama's share of younger voters smaller than in 2008
Morgan Little @
WASHINGTON – Though the share of younger voters who opted for President Obama shrank from four years ago, his still-wide lead among those under 30, and their consistent turnout, proved key in his reelection.

After House Fire, Natomas Homeowner Finds Flood Law A Catch-22
Matt Weiser @
The fire that gutted Jennifer Taylor's home last August destroyed nearly everything her family owned. And it got harder from there. Three months later, the stucco house still stands in Sacramento's Natomas neighborhood, its roof mostly intact but everything beneath it a charred shell. The Taylors are living a few blocks away in a home rented by their insurance company. They have no idea how long this will continue, or if the burned-out house will eventually ruin their finances.

Republican senators present Dream Act alternative
Brian Bennett @
WASHINGTON – Under political pressure to take action on immigration reform, three Republican senators introduced an alternative version of the Dream Act Tuesday that would give legal status for young immigrants brought to the U.S. unlawfully as children.

District 7 Up For Recount If Cost Allows - Sfgate
A District Seven resident, backed by the labor groups that supported F.X. Crowley in his run for District Seven supervisor, officially asked for a recount of the close race Monday - but there may not actually be a new tallying of votes at all. The cost is unclear because there's never been a recount under San Francisco's ranked- choice voting system, which asks voters to choose not one but three candidates, then distributes the second- and third-choice votes from the other candidates to the top two vote-getters. According to John Goodwin, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, which oversees Clipper, 14,745 Clipper customers made a total of 37,525 affected transactions, and the value of those overpayments added up to $16,612. According to a letter to the customers, the value would be placed on their Clipper cards the first time they used them after Nov. 21. The annual event has grown out of a spontaneous demonstration that occurred Nov. 27, 1978, the day former Supervisor Dan White assassinated the gay rights leader and the mayor. The event will begin at 4:30 p.m. on the steps of City Hall and will include remarks from the slain supervisor's nephew, Stuart Milk, who founded the Harvey Milk Foundation with Anne Kronenberg, Milk's campaign manager and political aide who has worked for the city for decades.

Romney’s Final Share Of The Vote? You Guessed It: 47 Percent.
Chris Cillizza @
Call it irony or call it coincidence: Mitt Romney’s share of the popular vote in the 2012 presidential race is very likely to be 47 percent.

San Bernardino council votes to slash budget more than $26 million
Phil Willon @
Panel votes 5 to 2 for the austerity plan that freezes Police Department vacancies and cuts Fire Department overtime.

California Ranks In Bottom Half Of States In Graduation Rate
Stephen Ceasar @
California ranked in the bottom half of states in overall high school graduation rate in the 2010-2011 school year, according to the U.S. Department of Education.

'Fiscal Cliff' Brings Back That Campaign-season Feeling
Rosalind S. Helderman and David A. Fahrenthold @
Three weeks past Election Day, and already it’s starting to feel like campaign season all over again.

The Caucus: Senate Leaders Take to Floor Over Process Dispute
Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the majority leader, and his Republican counterpart, Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, had a legislative throwdown on the Senate floor over the future of the filibuster, a sore issue for both parties.

Using the All-American Canal for another nation's benefit
Tony Perry @
The U.S. government's proposal to use the canal to deliver water to Mexico doesn't sit well with farmers and officials in the Imperial Valley.

Prosecutors Want 8-year Sentence For Kinde Durkee In Campaign Case
Torey Van Oot @
Federal prosecutors plan to ask a judge this week to sentence Kinde Durkee to eight years in federal prison for what's been called the "most extensive campaign treasurer fraud in the history of California."