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THE NOONER for November 28, 2012

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TURN THAT FROWN UPSIDE DOWN: California Finds Economic Gloom Starting to Lift [Adam Nagourney @ NYT]

NOT SO DIFFERENT: As heavily Dem ballots provisional ballots trickle in, Barack Obama's lead now stands at 60.1% to Mitt Romney's 37.5%. In 2008, Obama received 61.1% to John McCain's 37.0%. Obama received 8,274,473 votes in 2008 and currently stands at 7,448,047 with perhaps around 300,000-400,000 votes to tally. On election night, Obama had 59.0% with 5,583,259 votes to Romney's 3,647,058 (38.6%). To date, 2,949,118 presidential votes have been reported after election day, giving an undervote of 171,706 of the 12,571,999 total reported ballots.

IT'S HAMMER TIME: Fewer police, more burglaries in Oakland [Matier & Ross @ SFChron] - "Although killings are tragic and make the news - and Oakland has already exceeded its total for all of last year - many more residents are falling victim to auto and home burglaries. Those are up a stunning 43 percent from last year. Police Department figures show that as of Sunday, 11,081 homes, cars or businesses had been reported broken into so far this year. That translates to about 33 burglaries a day, or about one every 43 minutes."

THE 34%: House Republicans Pick Only White Men To Be Committee Chairmen [Dashiell Bennett @ The Atlantic]

Last Congress, there were two women chairs, including one Latina. They are being forced to step down because of the caucus's two term limits for chairs, although Paul Ryan was given an exemption

The chairs from California are:

  • Darrell Issa, Oversight and Government Reform Committee
  • Howard "Buck" McKeon, Armed Services Committee
  • Ed Royce, Foreign Affairs Committee

Boehner's leadership team contains three women (excluding the class representative), and one Californian--Kevin McCarthy, House Majority Whip.

White men consisted of 34% of the electorate on November 6.

>30%: CA Republicans Must Fight for Latino Voters [David Salaverry @ Fox & Hounds] 

Uh, sentences like "The Chicano Movement, past its glory days of the 1960s-70s still successfully promotes a political culture of victimization with lasting subterranean appeal." don't really help. Did Romney write that?

THE RIVER: River of storms headed for Northern California [Matt Weiser & Tony Bizjak @ SacBee] - "By Sunday, weather experts say Sacramento could see 4 to 8 inches of rain, and the mountains of the Northern Sierra Nevada and Shasta regions could be deluged with 12 to 18 inches of rainfall. If this comes to pass, Sacramento could receive more rain in a few days than it gets in an average January, typically the wettest month of the year."

The bad news: no snow.

STILL SHOCKED:  With all votes tallied, Mark Takano, an openly gay Japanese-American beat moderate and popular county supervisor John Tavaglione 59-41%. Takano neither ran nor won because he was gay, but nobody would have predicted that California's first openly gay member of Congress would be from Riverside.

ON THE MOVE: San Diego Unified lobbyist Monica Henestroza moves to the California Federation of Teachers tomorrow as CFT's new legislative director.

I had a few errors, not surprisingly, on yesterday's list of "open" 2014 legislative districts. SD02 (North Coast) was wrongly included, AD56 (Imperial) was omitted, and I gave the wrong number for Michelle Park Steel's BOE seat.

  • 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)
  • AD56 (Imperial, V. M. Perez, Safe D)
  • 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 4 (Steel, Orange-San Diego-Imperial, Leans R)



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Brown Slams Regents Over Cal Head's Pay - Sfgate
Gov. Jerry Brown, facing a demand from the University of California to raise its revenue, showed up at the UC regents meeting Tuesday in Oakland to scold the university leaders for handing a $50,000 raise to the new Cal chancellor in a time of austerity. "When the growth in cost exceeds the annual GDP, where does that come from?" Brown said, using the moment to remind the regents and UC President Mark Yudof that they can't depend on the state to give them more money, and that unless they want to keep raising tuition, they need to reduce costs. Demanding millionsEarlier this month, UC leaders demanded that the state add $126.5 million to their annual funding of more than $2 billion and threatened to raise tuition if the governor and Legislature do not comply. Awkward timingThe salary debate comes at an awkward time for UC, which is trying to show lawmakers and the public that it uses its public funds wisely. Earlier this month, California voters approved Proposition 30, raising the sales tax and boosting the income tax on high earners. Legislative falloutThe dustup over Dirks' salary is already having an impact in Sacramento, where state Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, said he is reintroducing a bill to prevent UC and CSU from raising executive pay during years with a bad budget or rising tuition. Yee said using private funds to boost executive pay is not acceptable because the money raised by campus foundations "otherwise could go to student scholarships and other campus services."

Gov. Jerry Brown Returns To Chide UC Regents Over New Cal Chancellor's Pay
Local @
Brown's objection to the salary for Berkeley's new chancellor, Nicholas Dirks, failed to sway UC regents who approved the Columbia University dean's appointment with a $486,800 base salary and a nearly $9,000 annual car allowance.

Gorell's Call For A GOP Reversal
Timm Herdt @
Now there are signs that the election results have delivered a message to Republicans, both nationally and locally, that it is time to reassess their policy position on immigration. The realization appears to have hit home that it's not enough just to demonstrate an interest in Latino communities, but that to actually make political inroads will also require responding to their policy concerns.

Jerry Brown Criticizes UC For Raising New Chancellor's Pay
Laurel Rosenhall @
University of California regents drew criticism from Gov. Jerry Brown today as they hired Nicholas Dirks to be the next chancellor of UC Berkeley and agreed to pay him a salary $50,000 higher than outgoing chancellor Robert Birgeneau.

Gas Prices: Did Oil Firms Manipulate Market, Senators Ask
A group of lawmakers including California Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer is calling upon federal authorities to launch an investigation into possible market manipulation by oil companies, following a pair of gas price spikes that drove fuel costs above $4 per gallon across the West.

California Shows Signs Of Resurgence
Adam Nagourney @
After nearly five years of brutal economic decline, government retrenchment and a widespread loss of confidence in its future, California is showing the first signs of a rebound. There is evidence of job growth, economic stability, a resurgent housing market and rising spirits in a state that was among the worst hit by the recession.

Assembly District 50: California's New Primary System Helped Underdog Richard Bloom
Patrick Range McDonald @
Richard BloomA few weeks ago, we conducted an informal exit poll for the hotly contested Assembly District 50 race, wanting to know why people voted for Santa Monica Mayor Richard Bloom and Assemblywoman Betsy Butler. Then last week, we got an email from CalTech political science graduate student Andrew Sinclair.

Governor opposes pay raise for UC Berkeley leader
The Associated Press @
Gov. Jerry Brown and Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom have voted against giving the new chancellor of UC Berkeley a $50,000 pay raise over what his predecessor earns.

Attorney Says Bad Business Practices Led To Durkee's Troubles
Torey Van Oot @
A new court filing suggests that bad business practices and an inability to confront under-performing employees and non-paying clients sparked the most extensive campaign treasurer fraud in the history of California.

German lawmakers call Google campaign 'cheap propaganda'
Madeline Chambers @
Senior German politicians have denounced as propaganda a campaign by Google to mobilize public opinion against proposed legislation to let publishers charge search engines for displaying newspaper articles. To Build Third California Distribution Center
Marc Lifsher @
SACRAMENTO -- Internet retailer -- after years of avoiding having any physical presence in California -- is planning to open a third massive distribution center in the Golden State.

A string of victories, and now 'voice of God' backs gay marriage
James Rainey @
Gay marriage proponents have good reason to feel they have momentum, with multiple election victories Nov. 6 and polls showing an increasingly welcoming public attitudes toward same-sex unions.

State auditor rips public health contracts, oversight
David Siders @
The California Department of Public Health mismanaged public funds for child abuse and injury prevention programs, violating state contracting laws and improperly spending millions of dollars on administrative costs, the state auditor said today.

Senators Seek U.S. Probe Of Refineries' Actions In Gasoline Market
Ronald D. White @
The six West Coast senators are calling for a federal investigation into refineries serving the region.

"fiscal Cliff" Still Looming For California
Despite optimistic predictions, there's been little progress in Washington, D.C., as Democrats and Republicans negotiate over the federal budget and taxes. If they don't cut a deal by the end of the year, analysts say, a collection of tax hikes...

President Obama Asks Congress to Keep Tax Cuts for Middle Class
President Obama said that he hoped to resolve a fiscal impasse before Christmas, but that lawmakers should not wait to extend tax cuts for income under $250,000.

See what SEIU Local 1000 spent on politics this year
Jon Ortiz @
SEIU Local 1000's political action committee has reported some $4.3 million in expenses this year, with more than $1 of every $3 spent

Regents OK Raise For New UC Berkeley Chief
Larry Gordon @
Nicholas B. Dirks will receive $50,000 more than his predecessor in a move opposed by Gov. Jerry Brown even though the money comes from private funds.

Kinde Durkee Sees Eight-year Sentence As "Just And Appropriate,'' Filing Says
Patrick McGreevy @
Former campaign treasurer Kinde Durkee sees the proposed eight-year prison sentence recommended for her theft of $7 million in political funds as "just and appropriate," her attorney said in a court filing Tuesday.

High School Grad Rates Tell A Tale
Dan Walters @
Let's assume, for sake of argument or column-writing, that the fundamental task of any public school system is to maximize the number of students who graduate from high school and are ready to either enter the workforce or further their educations.

Reps. Maxine Waters, Ed Royce In Line For House Leadership Posts
Richard Simon @
Waters is set to become the top Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee and Ed Royce is to be the next chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Daniel Borenstein: Antioch Rushing To Increase Pension Benefits
In a bizarre twist on pension reform, city leaders are considering boosting retirement offerings for future employees hired from other cities. The misguided move would lock the city into higher pension payments for decades.

The Buzz: Jerry Brown says UC needs 'greater efficiency, greater elegance'
Brown criticizes regents for raising the pay of next UC Berkeley chancellor