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THE NOONER for December 4, 2012

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DEADLINE: Tomorrow is the deadline for nominating petitions in Los Angeles municipal races, which are up on March 5. I'll be taking a look at the candidates and races after the field is set.

NOTED: Tallied ballots crossed the 13 million threshold yesterday, and currently stand at 13,013,098, which is 71.3% turnout. Final turnout will be around 13,160,000 when counties submit their final data, or about 410,000 more than projected by Field Poll. That's a 72% turnout of registered voters and 55.3% of eligible voters. Here's how that stacks up in the last 8 presidential elections (% of registered/% of eligible):

  • 2008: 79.4% / 59.2%
  • 2004: 76.0% / 57.0%
  • 2000: 70.9% / 51.9%
  • 1996: 65.5% / 52.6%
  • 1992: 75.3% / 54.5%
  • 1988: 72.8% / 53.5%
  • 1984: 74.9% / 59.1%
  • 1980: 77.2% / 57.05%

AD36: The final indignity: How Republicans lost a safe seat [Tony Quinn @ Fox and Hounds] - "'There is a political group that has learned how to manipulate the election by playing with provisionals,' huffed [Ron] Smith. He's right; it is called the voters."

Here's a very interesting questionnaire with Steve Fox when he ran for the Assembly in 2008 as a Republican...

Some were asking how Fox was sworn in yesterday when Smith is requesting a recount. Remember, Fox was as much a member yesterday as Speaker John Perez was. The constitution requires members to be sworn in on the first Monday in December, but the final certification by the Secretary of State is always the 31st day after the election, which is this Friday.

FOR YOUR HOLIDAY READING: "Masters of Disaster" - Chris Lehane, Mark Fabiani and Bill Guttentag [to be released December 11]

STEINBERG ON SUPERMAJORITY: ". . . there is an equally compelling danger. It is the danger in being so cautious, so worried about creating controversy that we fail to take advantage of unprecedented opportunities. Power is, by definition, fleeting. Misuse it and you'll lose it. Fail to use it, and it withers away," he said." [Don Thompson @ AP]

SEEN IN THE CAPITOL: Democratic Party chair John Burton, with a "This is f'ing awesome" look on his face.

THE LEADERSHIP: The Assembly leaders announced yesterday are:

Speaker: John Perez
Speaker pro Tempore: Nora Campos
Asst. Speaker pro Tempore: Kevin Mullin
Majority Floor Leader: Toni Atkins
Asst. Majority Floor Leader: Anthony Rendon 
Democratic Whip: Jimmy Gomez
Democratic Whip: V. Manuel Perez
Democratic Caucus Chair: Phil Ting 

THE CHAIRS: Assembly Speaker John Perez appointed the following committee chairs yesterday:

Accountability and Adminsitrative Review: Jim Frazier
Aging and Long-Term Care: Mariko Yamada
Agriculture: Susan Talamantes Eggman
Appropriations: Mike Gatto
Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism and Internet Media: Ian Calderon
Banking and Finance: Roger Dickinson
Budget: Bob Blumenfield
- Budget Sub 1 (Health and Human Services): Holly Mitchell
- Budget Sub 2 (Education Finance): Susan Bonilla
- Budget Sub 3 (Resources and Transportation): Richard Bloom
- Budget Sub 4 (State Administration): Tom Daly
- Budget Sub 5 (Public Safety): Reggie Jones-Sawyer
- Budget Sub 6 (Budget Process, Oversight and Program Evaluation): Bob Blumenfield
Business, Professions and Consumer Protection: Richard Gordon
Education: Joan Buchanan
Elections and Redistricting: Paul Fong
Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials: Luis Alejo
Governmental Organization: Isadore Hall III
Health: Richard Pan
Higher Education: Das Williams
Housing and Community Development: Norma Torres 
Human Services: Mark Stone
Insurance: Henry Perea
Jobs, Economic Development, and the Economy: Jose Medina
Judiciary: Bob Wieckowski
Labor and Employment: Roger Hernandez
Local Government: Katcho Achadjian (Marc Levine, Vice Chair)
Natural Resources: Wes Chesbro
Public Employees, Retirement and Social Security: Rob Bonta
Public Safety: Tom Ammiano
Revenue and Taxation: Raul Bocanegra
Rules: Nancy Skinner (Scott Wilk, Vice Chair)
Transportation: Bonnie Lowenthal
Utilities and Commerce: Steven Bradford
Veterans Affairs: Al Muratsuchi
Water, Parks and Wildlife: Ben Hueso
Joint Legislative Audit: Adam Gray
Assembly Legislative Ethics: Cristina Garcia and Allan Mansoor (Co-Chairs)

** 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 over 6,500 Capitol, political, and policy insiders around the state. E-mail and you can be here tomorrow.

DEPT OF CORRECTIONS: There are of course two African-American members of the State Senate, Curren Price and Rod Wright.


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

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L.A. Voters Support Pension Changes Over Sales Tax Hike, Poll Finds
David Zahniser @
Los Angeles voters who cast ballots in last month's election were more supportive of a major overhaul of the city's pension system than in increasing the sales tax to boost city revenue, according to a survey conducted by Loyola Marymount University's Center for the Study of Los Angeles.

In Sacramento, Plenty Of New Faces -- And A Democratic Supermajority -- Get To Work On Health Care, State Budget
Rick Orlov and Andrew Edwards @
Fueled by a Democratic supermajority and a bumper crop of new faces, California lawmakers launched their new two-year session on Monday, planning to turn their immediate attention to health care and the state budget.

Law Banning Anti-gay Therapy For Minors Faces Court Tests - Capitol And California - The Sacramento Bee
Bee file. The new law, authored by state Sen. Ted Lieu, D-Torrance, was signed by Gov. Jerry Brown earlier this month.

A Reunion And A Mixer
Timm Herdt @
The scenes on the floors of the Assembly and Senate today when the 2013-14 session of the Legislature convened for the swearing in of new members and the election of officers were as different as a college reunion and a chamber of commerce social mixer.

How Jerry Brown's Tax Fight Sets An Example For DC
Shortly after winning approval of Proposition 30, his measure to raise taxes to protect schools from further cutbacks, Gov. Jerry Brown suggested to CNN’s Candy Crowley that the social contract underlying California’s vote was similar to the dynamic facing Congress as it considers President Obama’s call to raise taxes on income above $250,000.

New California Legislative Session Brings New Leadership Posts
Torey Van Oot @
Some of the California Legislature's newest members are adding more than an elected title to their resume as the 2013-2014 session begins.

Lawmakers Make Plans To Spend $2.5 Billion In New Energy Funds
On politics in the Golden State

Democrats Take The Reins In A Reshaped Legislature
Michael J. Mishak and Patrick McGreevy @
State lawmakers are sworn in Monday, with Democrats holding historic two-thirds supermajorities in both houses. The party's leaders call for investment in education and infrastructure after years of retrenchment.

Sf Election Loser Drops Recount Request - Sfgate
Political consultant Jim Stearns, who is representing the labor organizations behind the recount effort, said after reviewing the cost estimates provided by the Department of Elections late Friday, the group decided it was simply too expensive. In the letter, Sutton urged city officials to consider "adopting a rule whereby the city would pay for a recount should the results be within a certain margin, as is done in several states," or to explore a change in city law, which currently limits the amount a candidate can raise from their existing donor pool to $100 per person. Mayor Ed Lee is focusing on former Building Inspection Commissioner Mel Murphy as he looks to fill an open seat on the city's Port Commission, an influential panel that will consider major developments planned for the waterfront, including a proposed arena. Murphy, co-owner of Murphy & O'Brien Real Estate Investments, is also a director of the Coalition for Responsible Growth, a political advocacy group funded largely by developers and others with real estate interests.

Downtown L.A. Streetcar Measure Appears Headed For Victory
Monte Morin @
A special measure to bring back the downtown Los Angeles streetcar appeared to win approval Monday with more than 70% of votes in favor, city officials announced. Out of 2,065 ballots counted, 1,508 favored the proposal to create an assessment...

What Will CA Democrats Do With All Of Their New Power?
Dan Walters @
A new era – perhaps – dawned Monday when the Legislature briefly reconvened for its biennial session with two-thirds supermajorities of Democrats in both houses.

New S.D. council president pitches tax increase for public works
The new president of the San Diego City Council — rising Democratic star Todd Gloria — said he wants to put before city voters a proposed tax hike that would address a nearly $900 million backlog of infrastructure projects.

The Caucus: Romney Campaign Manager Says He Regrets Immigration Stance
Mitt Romney's campaign manager said that the forceful posture taken against immigration in the Republican primary inflicted lingering damage with Latino voters in the general election.

48,000 Tax Refunds Can't Be Delivered
Claudia Buck @
Missing your state tax refund? Nearly 48,000 California taxpayers, with refunds totaling $14 million, have checks that can't be delivered, the state Franchise Tax Board said Monday.

California Ethics Agency Slaps Fines On Lobbyists And Clients
The state Fair PolitiCal Practices Commission is cracking down on state lobbyists and their clients for failing to disclose their activity or otherwise crossing ethical lines, handing out $53,000 in fines to seven firms and organizations. The firm Sacramento Advocacy...

Harborside Health Center Eviction Denied - Sfgate
The landlord had been under pressure from the federal government to evict the tenant, Harborside Health Center - or face forfeiture of her $2 million property. The landlord, Ana Chretien, owner of ABC Security, one of the East Bay's most politically powerful security companies, tried to evict the center on grounds that it was violating federal drug law.

Hueso bids for Senate; secures Vargas endorsement
Michael Gardner @
It may not be local Assemblyman Ben Hueso for long as the political dominoes continue to fall in San Diego County.

Assemblyman Mike Feuer Hospitalized After Car Accident
Dalina Castellanos @
State Assemblyman Mike Feuer (D-Los Angeles) was hospitalized Monday after the car he was driving was hit by a truck.

Assemblyman Ben Hueso to run for open San Diego Senate seat
Torey Van Oot @
Assemblyman Ben Hueso, D-San Diego, is already readying a run for the Southern California Senate seat set to be vacated by state Sen. and Democratic Rep.-elect Juan Vargas in the coming weeks.

High court quiet on gay marriage cases
Michael Doyle @
The U.S. 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.

About 850,000 California Youths Are Neither In School Nor Working Report Shows
To get young people back on track, the report encourages businesses, government, nonprofit organizations and schools to collaborate on projects that provide the education and training youths will need to succeed in the changing economy.

Villaraigosa says ports, union to use federal mediator to try to end strike
Times Staff @
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said at a news conference today that the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports and a union representing 800 clerical workers will use a federal mediator to try to end an eight-day strike.

Jones Backs Insurers, Proposes Workers' Comp Premium Boost
Dan Walters @
Warning about potential insolvency among workers' compensation insurers, state Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones is supporting an increase in employer-paid premiums -- even though an overhaul of the compensation system for injured and ill workers, passed by the California Legislature this year, promised savings to employers.

New lawmakers have chance to break the mold
If cynicism were a form of currency, we'd all be rich here in Sacramento. That's why it would be easy to dismiss the new lawmakers sworn in Monday as more self-serving politicians who will perch here for a few years, feasting at fundraisers, before moving onto a lobbying job or another elective office.