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THE NOONER for January 3, 2013

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Assembly Speaker John Perez announced committee assignments this morning.

Gloria Negrete McLeod and Juan Vargas resigned yesterday before today's swearing in of the 113th Congress. The governor now has 14 days to call special elections for SD32 and SD40. He will likely wait until January 15 to call the election, which would provide for April 2 primaries and June 4 runoffs, if necessary. Unlike regular elections, a candidate who wins 50% in the primary wins outright and there is no runoff. On that note, on Tuesday, the runoff in SD04 takes place, with Jim Nielsen the overwhelming favorite.

SD32's race is shaping up to be a battle between Assemblymember Norma Torres and San Bernardino County Auditor-Controller-Treasurer-Tax Collector Larry Walker. Walker has spent the holidays looking for a house in the district, as he resides in Chino, which is part of the new SD20, but not the old SD32 for which the special election is being held.

In SD40, Assemblymember Ben Hueso is the favorite, and the campaign to fill his Assembly seat has already begun with San Diego labor fed secretary-treasurer Lorena Gonzalez locking up the major endorsements.

OC GOP's Apocalypse Now: (R Scott Moxley @ OCWeekly)

  • Since 2004, the GOP has lost 31,000 registrations countywide, while Democrats picked up 80,000 new voters.
  • In the June open-primary election, Dianne Feinstein, a San Francisco Democrat, grabbed 53,000 more votes in OC than the second-place finisher, Republican Elizabeth Emken.
  • range County's congressional delegation was entirely Republican in 1996, but following the recent election, it will include three Democratic representatives—Loretta Sanchez, Linda Sanchez and Alan Lowenthal.
  • In the new 72nd Assembly District, voters soundly rejected the GOP-backed candidate, unscrupulous Los Alamitos City Councilman Troy Edgar, by handing a 16,000-vote win to a more independent Republican, Travis Allen.
  • In Irvine, Republican contributors or operatives such as Adam Probolsky, Patrick Strader, Jimmy Camp and Dave Gilliard betrayed local GOP candidates by aiding the campaign of liberal Democrat Larry Agran, who has a history of giving allies lucrative, no-bid city contracts.
  • In 1984, Ronald Reagan defeated Democrat Walter Mondale in Orange County by a margin of 429,000 votes; in 2004, George W. Bush beat Democrat John Kerry by 223,000 votes; and in 2012, Mitt Romney captured just 70,000 more votes than Barack Obama.

DEPT OF CORRECTIONS: Dennis Cardoza resigned from the House in October and thus didn't vote on the fiscal cliff bill, while David Dreier's name wasn't flagged as a retiring member.

Was a bit sad to watch Dreier delivering the rule on H.R. 8 to the floor. He's a classy, hardworking member who will be missed from the California delegation.



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Edwatch 2013: The Next Budget Bill
Kathryn Baron @
California may finally get the "Year of Education" that former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger promised for 2008, which, ironically, is now remembered as the year school funding began its descent to the lower depths.

Did California Legislators Vote Their Pocket Book On Raising Taxes For The Wealthy? Check Their Net Worths
Carla Marinucci @
CA Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Vista, a multi-millionaire who has repeatedly been ranked as one of the wealthiest lawmakers on Capitol Hill, is under attack for slamming the fiscal cliff tax bill -- and failing to note his own personal tax stake in the measure.

OC GOP's Apocalypse Now
For Orange County and California Republicans, it was difficult to imagine a more dire political situation going into the 2012 November elections: If state Assemblyman Chris Norby (R-Fullerton) lost his seat to relative newcomer Sharon Quirk-Silva, he would hand Democrats supermajority powers in Sacramento and, during a period with monumental governmental decisions pending, officially make Republicans irrelevant in state politics for the first time in 80 years.

The High Road To Marijuana Legalization In California
David Downs @
When news broke on election night that Colorado was the first state to legalize marijuana, patrons at the trendy Casselman’s Bar & Venue in Denver erupted in cheers, then hugged each other and cried. Organizers and friends of the state’s Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol thanked everyone—elderly black ladies, young hipsters, business execs—and there were far more people in suits than in tie-dye that night. And nary a hint of ganja smoke inside the hip establishment.

Brown's Pension Bill: The Biggest 'Rollback'?
Ed Mendel @
Gov. Brown pushed through legislation that cuts and caps public pensions for new employees, making a fix-it-to-save-it argument while bypassing the bargaining usually demanded by his labor allies for benefit changes.

California receives approval for health exchange
JUDY LIN, Associated Press @
The federal government has approved California's plan to run its own health insurance market, a milestone in the state's effort to meet the national health care reform law.

California gains conditional approval of health care marketplace
Kevin Yamamura @
The Obama administration gave California's subsidized health care marketplace conditional approval today as the state prepares to sign up subscribers in October.

Gov. Jerry Brown To Revisit Sweeping Plan To Alter School Funding
Theresa Harrington and Steve Harmon @
In what promises to be one of his most significant policy moves this year, Gov. Jerry Brown will pursue a sweeping overhaul of the way California schools are funded, changing the way money has been allocated for four decades.

Billion-dollar Doobie?
Nick Miller @
Enough with the doctors' prescriptions and medicated gummy worms—how much money can California and Sacramento rake in if marijuana is legalized?

SEIU Local 1000 member demands more access to union records
Jon Ortiz @
Mariam Noujaim, the SEIU Local 1000 gadfly on a quest to publicize the union's staff expense records, says that her recent inspection of documents was so restricted that she is demanding another, longer look.

Make Between $200,000 And $500,000? Congrats, You Got The Best ‘fiscal Cliff’ Deal!
Ezra Klein @
In fact, most of those in the $200,000-$500,000 range dodged a major bullet when legislators agreed upon on a $450,000 threshold rather than the lower $250,000 level that President Obama was pushing for. By comparison, those with income between $500,000 and $1 million will see their taxes go up 2.2 percentage points and those above $1 million will see a 5.2 percentage point hike. So those upper-income Americans whom Congress has deemed to be “middle class” arguably got the best deal under the entire bill.

Al Jazeera Buys S.F.'s Current TV
Benny Evangelista @
Al Jazeera Media Network, the growing, sometimes controversial Arab-owned news powerhouse, gained a key entryway into American living rooms Wednesday with a deal to buy sparsely viewed cable network Current TV of San Francisco.

County Seeks Parcel Fee To Pay For Projects To Combat Urban Runoff
Abby Sewell @
A ballot measure would raise $290 million a year for clean water programs. The fee would be levied on all 2.2 million parcels in the L.A. County flood control district.

Defeated Democratic assemblyman gets six-figure appointment
Torey Van Oot @
Defeated Democratic Assemblyman Michael Allen has landed a six-figure job on a state board, courtesy of his former leader in the state Legislature.

Ccsf Trustee's Re-election Certified - Sfgate
Chris Jackson, whose re-election to City College of San Francisco's Board of Trustees in November was nearly invalidated because he failed to file his required campaign finance reports, is back in the game. Jackson, 29, almost became the city's first public official to forfeit his seat for failing to file required campaign finance reports, according to the San Francisco Ethics Commission. OverwhelmedLast month, when the Ethics Commission was still after Jackson to file - with a formal letter, phone calls and, eventually, an embarrassing press release with a bold headline announcing his bungling of the deadlines - Jackson said he had been overwhelmed with the obligations of serving as his own treasurer. The papers show that he raised $4,020, including $500 from the California Federation of Teachers, $250 from Building and Construction Trades union's political action committee, and various other contributions, mostly from current and retired college employees. Tallying up late feesThe final campaign finance report covering the rest of 2012 is due at the end of January, after which the Ethics Commission will tally up all outstanding late fees, said John St. Croix, executive director of the commission, which handles the documentation.

Cmfthirdpartyheader - Sfgate
Wyatt Buchanan, Michael Collier, Richard Dunham, Bob Egelko, Joe Garofoli, Marisa Lagos, Carolyn Lochhead, Carla Marinucci, @

AM Alert
Micaela Massimino @
Occupy Sacramento and other advocates for the homeless and others are gathering today on the Capitol's north steps to support a legislative proposal to expand civil rights and anti-discrimination laws to include homeless and low-income people as well as those with mental illness or physical disability.

From Nascar To Rum, The 10 Weirdest Parts Of The ‘fiscal Cliff’ Bill
Ezra Klein @
As Dan Eggen has reported, this provision, first created in 1997, allows manufacturers and banks to defer taxes when they engage in a special type of financial transactions known as “active financing.” The break now costs $9 billion per year, and critics claim it encourages firms to create jobs overseas. But it’s a top lobbying priority for companies like GE and JP Morgan, who say that it helps them compete abroad, and it will get extended another year.

Mixed Bag Of Rates For PG&E Customers To Start 2013
Mark Glover @
Pacific Gas and Electric Co. said today that residential customers will see a "significant decline" in natural gas rates and a "modest increase" in electric rates to kick off 2013.

Gov. Jerry Brown Wants To "Calibrate" Environmental Rules
Michael J. Mishak @
An early environmental leader as California's governor nearly four decades ago, Jerry Brown is now easing restrictions for oil companies and talking about overhauling the state's landmark environmental law to boost the economy. As detailed in The Times, that strain...

Assembly Speaker Pérez announces committee lineups
Torey Van Oot @
rez released today the lower house's committee assignments for the 2013-2014 legislative session.

How The Tea Party Raised Taxes -
Ronald Brownstein @
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