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THE NOONER for February 4, 2013

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Happy Monday! It was a super weekend on the teevee--not because of that football game, but because of the awesomeness that it House of Cards. The show,  produced by David Fincher and Kevin Spacey (who also stars in it), was released as 13 episodes on Netflix on Friday. The first three episodes were great.

Since it's Monday, I'll join lots of you in asking why, from 1st and 7, was there 1 running play and 3 passing plays? Where was Frank Gore?

Anyway, there is always next year.

Odds to win 2014 Super Bowl []:

  • New England Patriots: 7 to 1
  • San Francisco 49ers: 8 to 1
  • Denver Broncos: 8 to 1
  • Green Bay Packers: 10 to 1
  • Houston Texans: 14 to 1
  • Baltimore Ravens: 14 to 1

The New York Times gives the treatment to Kevin James, the gay Republican running for mayor of Los Angeles, and it ties into the meme of searching for signs of hope for California Republicans. 

By any measure, Mr. James, 49, is a bit of a long shot. He is a Republican brassy former prosecutor running in a Democratic city at a time when California is marching steadily to the left, making his first bid for office in a field of establishment candidates.

Yet in the first major election since President Obama’s victory in November — voting that relegated the California Republican Party to the margins — Mr. James has become, at least for a few national Republicans, something of a lifeline. They see in his candidacy in the March 5 vote an outside chance to grab what could be a spirit-lifting victory, and perhaps even signal a way to get back in the game in California.

Meanwhile, Antonio Villaraigosa made it clear what we all knew--he will not be the next Secretary of Transportation in the Obama administration. 

SHARE THE LOVE: In the casual conversations about the Speaker's race, people sometimes wonder how Toni Atkins has risen as a top contender. You need not look further than the love that she spread in 2012 to races for future members, departing members, and the party. Atkins raised $478,612 and spent $532,804 to be reelected to her San Diego safe seat.

Here are the cash balances of some of the statewide players for 2014. Of course, these may not be the final offices, as the chess pieces likely will be moved around a bit. Some or all cash in accounts from prior elections may be transferrable, depending on individual contributors and limits. And, before my Republican readers ask why I only have Dems on this list, it's based on who has declared for which office and by trying to discern who is serious and who is just parking money.

  • Jerry Brown (Governor): $7,133,233 (plus $97,373 in 2010 account)
  • John Chiang (Treasurer): $449,424 (plus $137,190 in 2010 account)
  • Bob Foster (Treasurer): $41,300 (plus $17,527 in mayor account)
  • Kamala Harris (Attorney General): $1,388,486
  • Bill Lockyer (Controller): $2,245,128 (plus $219,545 in 2010 account)
  • Gavin Newsom (Lieutenant Governor): $1,038,821
  • Alex Padilla (Secretary of State): $176,323 (plus $767,904 in 2010 account and $46,534 in ballot measure account, plus $34,214 in officeholder account)
  • Tom Torlakson (Supt Public Instruction): $42,679 (plus $5,205 in 2010 account)
  • Betty Yee (Controller): $227,914
  • Leland Yee (Secretary of State): $14,047 (plus $29,513 in mayor account, $25,478 in ballot measure account, $13,815 in officeholder account)

STOP! San Diego mayor Bob Filner turns off America's Finest City's red light cameras. Hear that Gary Davis? My staff member who got a $470 "California stop" right turn ticket in Elk Grove using cameras encourages you to follow suit.

DO NOT MESS: Curt Hagman's car was broken into, and he and Ontario mayor and SD32 candidate Paul Leon helped the CHP track down the thief

CD17: There are a couple of fascinating articles in the subscriber-only India Abroad about the potential challenge by Ro Khanna against Mike Honda. The Merc News's Josh Richman has a write-up on the potential race.

CALIFORNIA'S GOLD: February 8 is Huell Howser day at Chapman University.




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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CalSTRS: $4.5 Billion Rate Hike For Full Funding
Ed Mendel @
A new report says CalSTRS needs $4.5 billion more a year to fully fund pensions over the next three decades, a 75 percent increase in the $6 billion total annual payments now being made by teachers, school districts and the state.

Bill Would Allow Charging Commercial Properties A Bigger Parcel Tax
John Fensterwald @
A newly elected assemblymember has introduced a bill that could make parcel taxes more attractive to school districts by allowing them to impose different tax rates on residential and commercial properties.

Jerry Brown Takes On School Decrees
Dan Walters @
Gov. Jerry Brown took note of the morass in his State of the State speech, comparing the Ed Code unfavorably to the 10 Commandments. He was pitching "subsidiarity" – freeing local authorities, including educators, to use their own judgment.

How A Discordant Senate Band Got Back Together On Immigration
Brian Bennett and Lisa Mascaro, Washington Bureau @
An election in which Latinos went for President Obama, plus careful behind-the-scenes maneuvering, brought old Senate rivals back together on a bipartisan immigration reform plan.

Wetlands Could Bog Down Development
Brad Branan @
As Sacramento County's real-estate market starts to pick up, some tiny animals could put the brakes on development plans, including the just-approved Cordova Hills project.

Greuel Is In Good Position In Mayor's Race
Michael Finnegan @
But Councilman Eric Garcetti is looking to slow her momentum, with more money than the controller and the backing of the teachers union.

New Schools CFO: SD Unified Has 'Hundreds Of Excess Employees'
Will Carless @
I've done a lot of interviews with officials at the San Diego Unified School District, including most of the school board members. I've sat down with the unions and the reformists the academics and the kids themselves. Nothing really prepared me for Stan "Data" Dobbs.

Obama To Keep Up The Pressure For Immigration Reform
Christi Parsons @
WASHINGTON --  President Obama ’s public focus will be on gun violence this week, but behind the scenes he and key administration officials plan to keep pushing for immigration reform.

Rep. Mike Honda Digs In Against Potential Challenger Ro Khanna
National @
As soon as rumors of Ro Khannas possible candidacy became public, Rep. Mike Honda rolled out endorsements from President Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and other Democratic leaders.

L.A. County Removing Metal Detectors From Some Hospital Facilities
Anna Gorman @
The intent is to make them more appealing to patients amid the healthcare overhaul. But victims of past violence at hospitals are among many who oppose the change.

Why Immigration Reform Fell Short
Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post - Immigration experts say lessons of past efforts could help lawmakers get it right this time.

Jerry Brown says 49ers 'screwed up' but showed 'intestinal fortitude'
David Siders @
Gov. Jerry Brown doesn't watch a lot of sports, but he caught the Super Bowl last night and offered an assessment of how the San Francisco 49ers played.

Political Blotter: Lawmaker seeks statewide earthquake early warning system
Josh Richman @
A new bill calls for an early warning system costing at least $80 million; also, Assembly Republicans move to arm secret 'school marshals.'

In The Schools, Creativity And Accountability Can Co-Exist
Daniel Weintraub @
Arguing that Sacramento is micro-managing the public schools, Gov. Jerry Brown is pushing hard to give local districts and individual schools more power over spending and classroom instruction.

Obama Says Loopholes Could Factor in Budget Deal
President Obama said the focus of a budget deal in Congress should now be on target spending cuts and changes to the tax code.

Obama to push for gun measures outside of Washington
Kathleen Hennessey @
St. Paul, Minn. – Even as key lawmakers remain cool to some of his proposals, President Obama will try to keep up a drumbeat for new gun control measures in a visit with law enforcement officials in Minneapolis on Monday.

Report Finds Lax Operators Ignored Requirements To Disperse Air Traffic
Dan Weikel @
A 2006 settlement required L.A. World Airports to regionalize air traffic, but an L.A. County report asserts the city's made only 'token efforts' to comply.

California Abandons Algebra Requirement For Eighth-graders
Local @
By falling in line with other states, California is abandoning its push for all eighth-graders to take algebra.Last month, the State Board of Education unanimously shifted away from a 15-year policy of expecting eighth-graders to take Algebra I. The state will allow them to take either Algebra I or an alternate course that includes some algebra.

Suspected Child Molester Left L.A. Archdiocese For L.A. Schools
Howard Blume @
The former priest, Joseph Pina, did not work with children in his district job, L.A. schools Supt. John Deasy said. L.A. Unified is looking into Pina's hiring.

Dan Walters Daily
Jeremy B. White @
Some Republicans are getting on board with immigration reform, which Dan says is a reflection of California's demographic destiny.

President Obama urges Boy Scouts to admit gays
Connie Stewart @
Days before the Boy Scouts of America prepared to consider lifting its blanket prohibition on gays, President Obama reiterated that he thinks the ban should end.

Virgin America Begins San Jose To L.A. Flights
Brandon Bailey @
Representatives of the city and Silicon Valleys tech industry, who have campaigned to bring more carriers to the underutilized airport, are hoping the new flights are a first step that will lead to the airline offering service to additional cities.

Vast Oil Reserve May Now Be Within Reach, And Battle Heats Up
Norimitsu Onishi @
Secure in this state’s history and mythology, the venerable Midway-Sunset oil field near here keeps producing crude more than a century after Southern California’s oil boom. Many of its bobbing pump jacks are relatively short, a telltale sign of the shallowness of the wells and the ease of extracting their prize.