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THE NOONER for January 22, 2013

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Good morning, Sacramento. I hope you had a pleasant weekend whether you were partying it up in DC or planning the rebuilding of the California GOP. Oh, and there was that generally bipartisan win in California...go Niners. For those of you wondering about the live teevee via wifi on Southwest, it works pretty darn well. I watched three quarters of the game and it only stuttered twice.

Don't expect much to happen in the Capitol this week, with many Democratic members still in the (202). Steinberg is staying behind to lobby for mental health concerns, and some folks might just have brought along their resumes. Of course, there is an Assembly session at this hour to ensure per diem is accrued. Just no counting heads!

If you were out enjoying a beautiful January day across most of California yesterday, here are some video highlights of yesterday's festivities.

Notwithstanding the quiet nature of our Capitol this week, we've got stuff to talk about, below the jump. Also, an apology to advertiser Ray LeBov and Capitol Seminars for Friday's ad screw-up. I encourage you to visit to learn more about Ray's February 1 lobbying seminar.




Join your colleagues from around the state for a day of in-depth discussion on current and future issues facing public retirement in California at the 23rd Annual Southern California Public Retirement Seminar.

Thursday, February 28th, 2013 - 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM; Lakewood Civic Center, Lakewood, California (10 minutes from Long Beach Airport)

Registration Fee: $190

Register online or contact us directly


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The governor is at the California State University Board of Trustees today, after surprising everyone for attending two full days of the Regents last week. In completely unrelated news, UC President Mark Yudof resigned on Friday for health reasons, effective August 31. While technically spread out over more than twelve months, the retirement of three system heads within such close proximity is likely unprecedented.

In other words, Richard Blum, UC Regent and Mr. Feinstein, threw community colleges under the bus at the Regents meeting, arguing that if UC didn't keep its executive compensation high, the university would be turned into a "junior college."

Respectfully, Mr. Blum. I have an AA from a community college, bachelor's from UC Davis, and a juris doctor from UC Davis. In many cases, teaching quality appears to be inverse to executive compensation.

Senate Rules committee approved deferral assignments on Friday. I went all geek on the topic of accelerations and deferrals in the 12/12/12 Nooner, so I won't rehash it all now. But, here's a quick illustration. Darrell Steinberg was elected in 2010 for his second term to the Sacramento-based SD06, drawn in 2001. In redistricting, voters had to be added to SD06, as it grew relatively slower than other parts of the state, in order to get a close deviation from the ideal 931,349 voters per senate district.

Therefore, in redistricting, several communities--West Sacramento, Elk Grove, Laguna and two pockets of unincorporated Sacramento County were added. However, West Sacramento voters last cast a ballot for Lois Wolk to be their state senator in 2008. Wolk's district dropped West Sacramento and San Joaquin and shifted west, picking up Napa County, parts of Solano County, and parts of Contra Costa County. 

Thus, West Sacramento voters had their right to elect a state senator "deferred" until 2014. Wolk completed her four-year service to them, but they won't vote for a new SD06 senator until 2014. Therefore, Senate Rules steps in, and assigns a senator to represent them. And, sensically, they assigned Steinberg, as that office will be continuing constituent services after 2014.

You can browse all of the deferral assignments here. Of course, the people of San Francisco get two Senators--Mark Leno and Leland Yee. Yee's SD08 was moved to the foothills and assigned to Tom Berryhill. He continues to legally represent the voters who elected him in San Francisco, and those same voters also cast ballots for the reelection of Leno last November.

Meanwhile, Friday was also the deadline for candidates to submit nomination papers for the SD32 and SD40 vacancies. The following candidates submitted papers:


  • Larry Walker (D)
  • Paul Vincent Avila (D)
  • Norma J. Torres (D)
  • Paul S. Leon (R)
  • Kenny Coble (R)
  • Joanne T. Gilbert (D)


  • Rafael Estrada (D)
  • Hector Raul Gastelum (R)
  • Xanthi Gionis (N)
  • Ben Hueso (D)

The primary is March 12, 2013. If no candidate receives at least 50% of the vote, the top two will move on to a special general election on May 14. 

CD17Honda v. Khanna: Could Silicon Valley be ground zero for 2014 House Asian-American battle royale? [Carla Marinucci @ SFChron]

Advice to Ro Khanna: taking on Mike Honda is not like Eric Swalwell taking on Pete Stark. Tread very carefully.


California Senate Leader Pushes National Mental Health Plan
Anthony York @
Come for the party, stay for the lobbying. Or is that vice-versa? State Senate leader Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) is in Washington, D.C., this week to attend the inaugural festivities. But he’s mixing a little business with pleasure, looking to bend the ear of congressional leaders on mental health issues.

CalPERS Nears A Record $260 Billion In Assets
Bloomberg @
CalPERS, California's giant public employee pension system, is poised to top the market value it held before the global financial crisis.

Tobacco Tax Hike Eyed For 2014 State Ballot
John Myers @
Get ready for another round of tobacco tax wars, California initiative style. And count three big reasons for a do-over of the electoral skirmish in 2014: the relatively low level of the existing tax, the narrow margin of the vote in 2012, and the fact that it may now be a fight not over bureaucracy and research but rather college tuition.

Mendocino County Spars With Feds Over Conflicting Marijuana Laws
Joe Mozingo @
Mendocino County is resisting demands by federal prosecutors for records on medical marijuana growers who registered for permits to cultivate up to 99 plants.

Will Drivers Pay More For California Highways?
Dan Walters @
It's high time that real transportation needs – not just the fanciful bullet train – move to the front of the political agenda again. Nothing, really, is more important to the state's economic and social future.

Which California Politicians Got Inauguration Seats?
Jeremy B. White @
Plenty of California elected officials traveled to Washington, D.C. for President Barack Obama's inauguration -- Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg will use his time in the nation's capital to push for more mental health funding -- and a lavish ceremony hosted by the California State Society attracted a fair number of heavyweights.

In quirk, some voters have two state senators, others none
Patrick McGreevy @
As part of redistricting process, nearly 4 million Californians won't have an elected representative in the Senate for the next two years.

Home-Office Deduction Will Be Simplified
Claudia Buck @
Owners of home-based businesses should find it easier to take a federal tax deduction for working from their house, under a new option announced last week by the Internal Revenue Service.

Governor Brown attends funeral for fallen Northern California police officer
ROSEVILLE -- California Gov. Jerry Brown joined hundreds of law enforcement officers from around the state Monday in honoring a Sacramento-area police officer who was killed in the line of duty last week.

In Quirk, Some California Residents Have Two State Senators, Others None
Patrick McGreevy @
As part of redistricting process, nearly 4 million Californians won't have an elected representative in the Senate for the next two years,

20,000 March With Purpose In Mlk Procession
Stephen Magagnini @
On a frosty Monday morning that thawed out quickly, a joyous procession of more than 20,000 Sacramentans trekked downtown from Oak Park, Sacramento City College and Grant High School to honor the vision of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

California Engineers Question High-Speed Rail Oversight
Juliet Williams @
As California prepares to embark on its largest public works project in decades, a union that represents state engineers is questioning whether all the construction work will be thoroughly scrutinized.

Senate leader in DC pushing mental health programs
State Senate leader Darrell Steinberg is meeting this week with administration and congressional officials in Washington, D.C., to promote California's approach to dealing with mental illness as a model for the nation.

Dan Walters: Will drivers pay more for California highways?
During Jerry Brown's first governorship three-plus decades ago, no political issue burned more hotly than transportation, particularly a marked slowdown in highway construction.

Obama's inaugural speech gives hope to gay marriage supporters
Ken Dilanian and David G. Savage, Washington Bureau @
His call to give gay people equality 'under the law' intensifies supporters' optimism that the White House will argue for same-sex marriage before the Supreme Court.

Honda v. Khanna: Could Silicon Valley Be Ground Zero For 2014 House Asian-American Battle Royale?
Carla Marinucci @
Honda v. Khanna: Could Silicon Valley be ground zero for 2014 House Asian-American battle royale?

Heat's On Johnson To Assemble A Kings Bid To Rival Seattle's
Tony Bizjak, Dale Kasler, and Ryan Lillis @
The Maloofs have played their hand. Mayor Kevin Johnson is still assembling his cards.

Governor attends funeral for fallen police officer
California Gov. Jerry Brown joined hundreds of law enforcement officers from around the state Monday in honoring a Sacramento-area police officer who was killed in the line of duty last week.

Union Reverses Position on Calif. Guard Leadership
Uncategorized @
California Guard's largest union questions General's leadership following NBC Bay Area, KNBC-TV joint investigation

The Buzz: California Senate resolution gets shelved in unusually public fashion
A resolution urging Congress to reauthorize legislation aimed at curbing domestic violence was temporarily shelved in an unusually public fashion last week, as the California Senate's top Democrat stepped in to appease concerned female legislators.

Seattle Hopes For Boost In Pro-team Franchise
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Analysis: Obama's soaring vision re-defines equality in America -- but ignores economics
Richard Dunham @
A buoyant and confident Barack Obama took the oath of office Monday for a second term as U.S. president, predicting that a resilient nation which has endured a series of crises will emerge stronger if leaders can work together for progress, including g...