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THE NOONER for December 3, 2012
Below the jump, I look more into the surprising apparent win for Steve Fox in the Antelope Valley's AD36.
As the 2013-14 Legislature is sworn in at this hour, here is the composition:
The Capitol Morning Report has a great list of chiefs of staff, available to subscribers.
SD32/SD20 (Negrete McLeod): "At least three candidates have declared their intentions to run: Democrats Norma Torres and Larry Walker and Republican Kenny Coble." [Andrew Edwards @ IVDB]
NO WORD: The U.S. SupCt said nothing on the ten gay marriage cases today, and is expected to revisit them in this Friday's conference.
MOST IMPORTANT BUT LARGELY IGNORED ECONOMIC ISSUE FOR CALIFORNIA: Talks to end L.A., Long Beach port strike heat up [Ronald D. White @ LAT]
AD10: As the final ballots were counted in Sonoma, Marc Levine increased his lead to 4,448 and won both Marin and Sonoma counties over fellow Democrat Michael Allen.
AD36: As I sent out yesteday, Democrat Steve Fox edged Republican Ron Smith in final counting in Los Angeles late yesterday. While several of us have watched it for weeks, there didn't appear to be enough ballots to allow the pro-Fox trend in absentee and provisionals close the 1,952 election night Smith lead.
Republicans I talked to yesterday were distraught and outraged. Some question why there was so little campaign effort in a district where Democrats were mobilizing a significant effort, albeit grassroots and not funded by the state party. While Speaker Perez paid Fox's filing fee and did robocalls, AD36 did not share in the Assembly Democrats largesse and affiliated money.
Some Republicans question the actual ballot counting in Los Angeles and the quantity of provisional ballots. Fox actually only won 53% of the late ballots, which is not that surprising since Obama is overperforming election night by 4.4% statewide, and the 25.6% of ballots being tallied after election day is just about the state average.
The loss is painful for Smith, a perceived up-and-comer who spent $195,000 to beat fellow Republican Tom Lackey in the top-two primary. Through October 20, Smith only reported spending $42,500 in the general election, although it will likely be higher in the final report, as he had nearly $55,000 in the bank at the final report. Meanwhile, through October 20, Fox raised and spent $20,000--all year.
Last night, some Republican leaders were speculating whether this insult-to-injury loss would cause the Assembly Republican Caucus to rethink the leadership of Connie Conway and accelerate her replacement. Conway is termed-out in 2014, meaning the caucus will be looking for a replacement before too long. Some suggest Don Wagner may be a candidate, although his past support of Tim Donnelly may be a problem in a caucus not crazy about the "exploratory" gubernatorial run by the Twin Peaks sophomore. Yes, Virginia, there are factions within the Republican caucus.
It may be more likely that the caucus waits until later this year to evaluate the incoming 10-member frosh class, which has some members who strategists have their eyes on for leadership, such as Eric Linder and Scott Wilk. However, most new members had to piss someone off to get here, and thus has enemies. Further, giving someone the leadership reins with a possibility they will be there for 12 years may be more difficult than the 3-4 year convention we had under the old term limits law.
Below is the vote count for AD36. Please note that I was off yesterday by a net 2 votes, as 3 were added to Smith's total and 1 to Fox's from San Bernardino.
TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
California Legislature Welcomes Largest Freshman Class Since 1966
Jim Sanders @ sacbee.com
Jay Sevilla, an assistant clerk at the Assembly, rearranges lawmakers' portraits in a Capitol display Friday before today's swearing-in of the new Legislature. The 80-member Assembly will include 38 new faces. District numbers also changed with redistricting, forcing a big reshuffling of portraits, which are arranged by district number.
Rick Orlov's Tipoff: With Pension Initiative Dead, Unions Focus On Spring Elections
Rick Orlov @ dailynews.com
The decision by former Mayor Richard Riordan last week to suspend his pension reform campaign continued to resonate at City Hall as a city union took one last blast at the former mayor.
Vote Recounts Costly, A Roll Of The Dice - Sfgate
Election recounts are an expensive, lengthy proposition in any race, but the close finish last month in a San Francisco supervisor's contest has raised the question of whether they would ever be affordable - or feasible - under the city's ranked-choice voting system. The Department of Elections estimated Friday that a manual recount of the 35,140 ballots cast in the District Seven race would cost nearly $80,000, or more than $2 a vote. In a normal race with just two candidates, those asking for the recount usually test the waters by first having elections officials pull and tally the ballots from a handful of precincts, to see if the results change. Ranked choice allows voters to name their first, second and third choices; when the votes are tallied, the candidates with the fewest first-place votes are eliminated, and their supporters second and third choices are reassigned to the remaining candidates until one candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote. Steven Hill, a consultant who helped draft the ranked-choice voting systems in San Francisco and Oakland, said he does not believe a recount is that much more complicated under the ranked-choice system. Initially, Sutton had believed that the best way for Crowley's backers to proceed was to have elections officials run all of the ballots through the voting machines a second time, before embarking on a much more expensive manual recount.
No Supreme Court Decision On Prop. 8
The Supreme Court on Monday kept the political world in suspense, as justices once again made no announcement concerning California's Proposition 8 and challenges to the federal Defense of Marriage Act.
Supreme Court Quiet On Gay Marriage
Bob Egelko @ sfgate.com
The U.S. Supreme Court remained silent Monday on the fate of same-sex marriage cases in California and nationwide. The next time the court could take up the issue is Friday, when the justices hold their next conference to consider pending appeals.
SEIU Critic Plans To Press For More Local 1000 Financial Records
Jon Ortiz @ blogs.sacbee.com
Mariam Noujaim, an SEIU Local 1000 member who contends her union lacks transparency, plans to continue her efforts to see more of its financial records.
An Overhaul Of CEQA Looms Large
Dan Walters @ sacbee.com
It's been 42 years since then-Gov. Ronald Reagan signed the landmark California Environmental Quality Act, an early victory for the nascent environmental protection movement that has since become a very powerful force in state and national politics.
Keys To A California GOP Comeback: Camaraderie And Good Ideas
George Skelton @ latimes.com
With Democratic supermajorities in the new California Legislature, some advice from past Republican lawmakers on how GOP members can be relevant.
Sacramento Will Be Less Late In Paying Schools, Colleges And Counties
Local @ mercurynews.com
The state will pay about $1.9 billion that it owes schools and local governments a month earlier than promised. Even better news is that in March, the state will pay them on time nearly $1 billion that it was going to defer for a month.
Bob Huff Reelected As California Senate Republican Leader
Bob Huff re-elected California Senate Republican leader
Healthcare law will have new California Legislature scrambling
Michael J. Mishak @ latimes.com
Lawmakers will need to move quickly to clear the way for Californians' enrollment in a new state-run insurance market next fall in the run-up to the Affordable Care Act.
Republicans Will Be Scarcer In Sacramento
Timm Herdt @ vcstar.com
When the Legislature convenes Monday, for the first time in memory there will be no Republican in the state Senate representing any portion of Ventura County â a distinction once held by such notables as U.S. Rep. Tom McClintock, the late Los Angeles Police Chief Ed Davis and former U.S. Rep. Bob Lagomarsino.
Dan Walters Daily
Dan Smith @ blogs.sacbee.com
Dan Walters says the move to make it easier for voters to approve parcel taxes for schools signals a move on Proposition 13.
'Fiscal Cliff' Cuts Would Hit State Hard
Pamela Nonga Ngue and Michelle Murphy @ sfgate.com
California stands to lose as much as $4.5 billion in federal funding and more than 200,000 jobs next year if Congress fails to reach a deficit reduction agreement by Dec. 31.
Education Cuts Pushes UC "Onward"
Carla Robinson @ neontommy.com
Did you know more than 600 startups have formed around University of California inventions? Or that the UC Health system delivered 11,000 babies last year? Or that nearly 40 percent of UC undergrads are the first in their family to earn a college degree?
Talks To End L.A., Long Beach Port Strike Heat Up
Ronald D. White @ latimes.com
With no agreement, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa urges the clerical workers' union and port employers to negotiate around the clock.
Special Election On The Way For Inland Valley Voters
Andrew Edwards @ dailybulletin.com
The state Legislature's members are scheduled to be sworn in on Monday but some Inland Valley voters can expect to see a new round of electioneering in the near future.
California Democrats' Supermajority Powers Will Be Short-Lived
Steven Harmon @ mercurynews.com
California Democrats two-thirds majority in both chambers of the Legislature will be wiped out for much of 2013 after a spate of vacancies and special elections whittle their ranks. Liberal Democrats and advocacy groups are planning to use next year to lay the groundwork for new revenue bids in 2014.
Bills To Target Disclosure By Nonprofits Giving To Ca Campaigns
Torey Van Oot @ blogs.sacbee.com
A pair of Democratic state senators announced today plans to introduce legislation aimed at requiring more disclosure of campaign contributions made by nonprofits.
Accrediting Agency Under Federal Pressure To Be Tougher On Community Colleges
Louis Freedberg @ edsource.org
The commission that accredits Californiaâs community colleges, and has ordered City College of San Francisco to prepare for possible closure, has come under pressure from the federal government to make sure that the colleges under its jurisdiction comply in a timely way with the deficiencies it identifies.
Reform Ends Market Pressure To Boost Pensions « Calpensions
The Antioch city council is scrambling to reverse previous pension cuts before a statewide reform takes effect Jan. 1, an attempt to aid the recruitment of experienced police officers from other cities.
California Has Much At Stake If Tax Cuts Not Extended
Pamela Nonga Ngue and Michelle Murphy @ mercurynews.com
WASHINGTON -- California stands to lose as much as $4.5 billion in federal funds and more than 200,000 jobs next year if Congress fails to reach a deficit reduction agreement by Dec. 31.
L.A. County ballot count upsets results, gives Assembly seat to Democrat
The final vote update from Los Angeles County on Sunday gave Democrat Steve Fox a slight lead over the presumed Republican victor in the 36th Assembly District, putting the seat in the Democrats' column by a margin of just 145 votes.
Norquist Still Calling Cadence In GOP Ranks
At times, it has seemed that Republican lawmakers eyeing a fiscal compromise with President Obama were moving closer to a public split with Grover Norquist, author of the famous no-new-taxes pledge that has defined conservative politics for decades.