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THE NOONER for February 8, 2013

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Dan Walters writes that the appointment of John Perez as Secretary of Labor would provide him a landing zone now that Hilda Solis has returned to run for Los Angeles County Board of Supes. It would also be a three-fer for the base--former labor, Latino, and openly gay.

Rod Wright introduces a sports wagering bill, SB 190. Is this the year?

CD35: 'Blood Feud' Between Baca, Negrete McLeod [Kyle Trygstad @ Roll Call]

A rematch is good news for Redlands Mayor Pete Aguilar who then would get a clear shot at the top two in CD31 in a chance to take on Gary Miller, who the Washington Post has identified as the most vulnerable House incumbent in 2014.

A few notes on campaign finance reports that caught my eye:

CD30: Shane's great article is out from behind the paywall: The Waxman-Berman Machine Finally Shuts Down [Shane Goldmacher @ National Journal]

Brad Sherman spent $6,372,614 to win, while Howard Berman spent $5,772,180. Of course, there was also a fair amount of indie money sprear around.

CD33: Republican Bill Bloomfield spent $9,407,080 of his own money in trying to knock off Henry Waxman.

Former Congresswoman Laura Richardson ended 2012 with $68,907 cash on hand and $510,800 in outstanding bills (excluding candidate loads), including $212,500 to Shallman Communications.

IRVINE: Longtime political figure Larry Agran spent $468,000 in his unsuccessful bid for Irvine mayor. [OCRegister]

Have a great weekend, and be glad you don't live in the Northeast (even if we do need the snow). Brrr...




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

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L.A. Budget Official Warns Of Cuts If Voters Reject Sales Tax Hike
David Zahniser @
The top budget official at L.A. City Hall warned that a failure to win passage of a sales tax hike on the March 5 ballot could lead to a wide array of budget cuts.

Environmental Groups, Unions Team Up To Oppose Ceqa Push
Torey Van Oot @
The battle lines are being drawn in the upcoming legislative fight over California's environmental review laws.

Perez Job Would Cure A Headache
Dan Walters @
So the political telegraph tells us that Assembly Speaker John A. Perez is on the White House list of potential labor secretaries.

Beutner Hears No 'Answer' To Budget Deficit From Mayoral Candidates
William Nottingham @
At a forum in the San Fernando Valley, the top five candidates for L.A. mayor were repeatedly pressed for specifics on that point by Austin Beutner, who served as first deputy mayor until mid-2011.

Rick Perry Takes Jobs Fight To Jerry Brown's Home Turf
David Siders and Phillip Reese @
As the Rick Perry-Jerry Brown spitting match entered its fourth day, the Republican governor of Texas announced Thursday that he will travel to California to recruit businesses from the Golden State. Perry has visited several times before, but never with so much attention.

California Ballot Prop Would Force State Takeover Of Utilities
Chris Clarke @
Activist Ben Davis, Jr., who led the 1980s initiative campaign to close the Rancho Seco Nuclear Power Plant near Sacramento, now has an even more ambitious initiative project in the works. The measure, which was cleared for signature-gathering Monday by Secretary of State Debra Bowen, would abolish the state's investor-owned power companies -- including Southern California Edison (SCE), Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), and San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E), and replace them with the publicly owned "California Electrical Utility District."

Ca Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom Launches New Book “citizenville” With Getty Fete — And U.S. Tour
CA Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom launches new book “Citizenville” with Getty fete — and U.S. tour

California Mayors, Senate Democrats Push Gun Control Measures
Torey Van Oot @
Flanked by police chiefs, big-city mayors and gun control advocates, a group of California Democratic legislators announced a series of proposals that Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg said would "once again make California's gun laws the very toughest in the nation."

Los Angeles Mayoral Candidates Grilled On Budget Solutions
Dakota Smith @
Throughout the Los Angeles mayor's race, the city's $1 billion fiscal deficit has been talked about mostly in vague terms. But on Thursday, the leading candidates were grilled on the city's finances during a debate at California State University, Northridge.

L.A.'s top budget official warns of big cuts if tax measure fails
David Zahniser @
In a 48-page report, City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana describes cuts to public safety as 'unavoidable' if Proposition A, mandating a half-cent sales tax hike, is rejected.

San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed Suggests Tax Measure In 2014
Local @
Mayor Chuck Reed thanked San Jose voters in his annual state-of-the-city speech Thursday night for supporting his controversial pension overhaul last year but said that alone won't satisfy the city's financial needs and residents may see a new tax on the ballot next year.

Unions Should Join Effort To Update Ceqa Law :: Fox&hounds
For private craft unions, the ease of regulations on development would mean more jobs. For public unions, an economic stimulus means more revenue for state and local treasuries.

State Lawmakers Propose Tough Gun Laws - Sfgate
California would significantly restrict gun use and ownership, including major new bans on ammunition magazines, under dozens of new proposed regulations that would cement the state's status of having the strictest gun-control laws in the United States. The drive for tougher regulations in California also highlights the relative weakness of the gun lobby and gun manufacturers in the state. 'Exploiting the fine print'State lawmakers announced those proposals at a news conference Thursday, along with plans to impose stricter certification requirements for handgun ownership and a requirement that all guns in the state be registered, not just handguns as is required now. Audible evidenceRichmond Police Chief Chris Magnus played a recording of dozens and dozens of gunshots fired in rapid succession over just a few seconds at 11 p.m. at Stege Avenue and Cutting Boulevard that were picked up by the city's gunfire recording system soon after it was put in place. -- Requiring all handgun owners to obtain an annual safety certificate akin to that required for obtaining a concealed weapons permit, which requires holders to take hours-long courses in gun use and safety. -- A five-cent tax on each bullet purchased, with the money to be spent on either policing in high-crime areas or mental-illness screening and treatment for children.

Immigration Advocates Push Republicans To Support Path To Citizenship
David Nakamura and Rosalind S. Helderman @
Immigration advocates, backed by the White House, have begun a nationwide lobbying campaign, including rallies in more than a dozen cities and a planned demonstration on the Mall.

'Blood Feud' Between Baca, Negrete Mcleod
Kyle Trygstad @
The first congressional grudge match of the 2014 cycle has launched in California’s Inland Empire.

Edison Rejects Sen. Boxer's Claim About San Onofre Generators
Abby Sewell @
Southern California Edison denies an assertion by two federal lawmakers that it knew of problems with the San Onofre nuclear plant's steam generators before they were installed.

Former Presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton Visit Monterey Peninsula
Phillip Mollnar @
Former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton visited Monterey for a couple of hours Thursday for a private event.

Viewpoints: Jerry Brown's big success: Lower expectations
During his previous terms as governor – from 1975 to 1983 – Jerry Brown liked to ask his fellow Californians to lower expectations. Judging from the enthusiastic response to his State of the State speech last month, and from his spike in the polls, he's succeeded.

Portola Valley residents to vote on $581 parcel tax for schools; mail election set for May 7
Bonnie Eslinger @
Property owners in the Portola Valley School District will be asked to tax themselves $581 per parcel to maintain the quality of the district's two schools.

San Onofre: Edison Denies It Was Aware Of Plant Defects
Abby Sewell @
Southern California Edison, the operator of the troubled San Onofre nuclear power plant, pushed back against two lawmakers who said that the utility company was aware of defects in the plant's replacement steam generators before installing them. Sen. Barbara Boxer...

Caltrans Experts, Despite Testing Problems, Say Structures Are Safe
Charles Piller @
An analysis from a team of California Department of Transportation experts, released Thursday after more than a year of preparation, confirmed data problems involving radiation-based tests of reinforced concrete foundations for nine bridges or other freeway structures, including the Benicia-Martinez Bridge.