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THE NOONER for February 15, 2013

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We'll keep it short today, as I know I'm not the only one taking off for the long weekend. By now, I'm half way to Mendocino.

With one week remaining before the bill deadline, 55 bills were introduced yesterday.

$$$: The Democratic Party's early-cycle fundraising continues with $130,000 from the California Real Estate PAC.

UNDELIVERABLES: Half-finished $208-million DMV technology overhaul canceled [Chris Megerian @ LAT]

WHEW: Sacramento home prices growing at "housing boom" pace [Phillip Reese @ SacBee] - Half full: "The median home price in Sacramento County grew 22.4 percent from January 2011 to January 2012, tracking firm DataQuick reported Thursday." Half empty: "Despite the fast growth in prices, most Sacramento County homes still sell for 50 percent cheaper than they did during the height of the last housing boom."

TRIVIA ANSWER: Secretary of State March Fong Eu and Treasurer Matt Fong (adopted son). Bonus points go to those that cited that they served contemporaneously while Eu was Secretary of State and Fong was on the Board of Equalization.

Some of you have asked about the trivia question that nobody answered "What did Assemblymember John Thurman bring to the Assembly floor as a prop when Willie Brown presented the bill to allow oral sex between consenting adults?"

The answer was a sheep from his ranch as part of his speech in opposition, when he claimed he was voting against the bill to protect his constituents.

TRIVIA: Since we're in the corral, which Central Coast Assemblymember talked during a 1997 debate about his cows that "would shy away from bulls and take up with other heifers"?

If you're jockeying your desk through 5pm, can keep you busy and informed as we enter the Presidents' Day weekend.



  • Community College League of California: Legislative Advocate [Full-time, Sacramento, 3+ years experience] 

  • $125,000 Irvine Leadership Awards: Do you know an innovative, effective leader who is improving California's future? Nominate him or her for a 2014 James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award at Deadline: April 5, 2013.

  • The UC Sacramento Center and Capitol Weekly are presenting a Cap and Trade Conference on Thursday, February 28 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. [more information]




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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Warehouse Worker Finds Sacramento County Uncounted Ballots - Our Region - The Sacramento Bee
The Sacramento County Elections office reported today that a member of its warehouse crew found 407 uncounted ballots cast in the Nov. 6 election sitting unopened in a sealed bag on a shelf.

Jerry Brown Warns Of Federal Budget Cuts' Impact On State
Anthony York @
President Obama and congressional leaders are engaged in high-stakes negotiations over billions in federal budget cuts that could have a dramatic impact on California's economy. But Gov. Jerry Brown refused to say whether or not he supports the reductions, urging lawmakers instead to be wary of the effect decisions in Washington can have on the state’s economy.  

Community Colleges To Release Scorecard Rivaling The President's
Kathryn Baron @
Students planning to attend one of the nation’s 4,500 colleges and universities have a new interactive College Scorecard touted by President Obama in his State of the Union address as a tool “to compare schools based on a simple criteria – where you can get the most bang for your educational buck.”

Carry-a-condom Law Proposed By San Francisco Assemblyman
Jim Sanders @
Arrested for carrying condoms?

Mercury News Editorial: San Jose's Proposition 8 Stance On Gay Marriage Reflects Community
Opinion @
The San Jose City Councils 9-1 vote to back San Franciscos challenge to the anti-gay-marriage proposition is the right thing to do; even Pete Constant says so.

L.A. Mayoral Candidates Asked For Solutions To Police Overtime 'Banking'
Dakota Smith @
The size of the police force isn't the only law enforcement controversy facing L.A. mayoral candidates. Police officers' banking of overtime, a far less headline-grabbing issue, also awaits Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's successor.

UC Berkeley Math Club President Comes Out As Undocumented In Growing Campaign
Local @
UC Berkeley math and biostatistics major Terrence Park made a big splash Thursday when he came out as an undocumented student in an online advocacy campaign backed by Silicon Valley billionaire Laurene Powell Jobs.

California State Parks Had Hidden Surplus For 20 Years, Auditor's Probe Finds
Matt Weiser and Kevin Yamamura @
A new probe of financial scandals at the California Department of Parks and Recreation found that officials maintained a hidden cash surplus for as long as 20 years – far longer than previously known.

City Beat: Nba's Stern: Expansion Unlikely, 'idea Of Leaving Sacramento Is Not A Good One'
Ryan Lillis @
NBA Commissioner David Stern dealt a blow to the dreams of basketball fans in both Seattle and Sacramento that the ongoing Kings saga will result in teams in both cities.

Judge Rejects Oakland In Harborside Case - Sfgate
Oakland's challenge to the federal government's attempt to shut down the nation's largest medical marijuana dispensary was rejected Thursday by a federal magistrate, who said the city - despite its claims of harm to its residents and tax revenues - has no rights at stake in the proposed forfeiture. Under federal law, only those with legal interests in the property - the operators of the Harborside Health Center, and the owner of the building that houses it - have the right to contest the government's move to seize the property, said U.S. Magistrate Maria-Elena James. The dispensary's operators are also challenging the seizure on largely the same grounds as the city: that the government violated the five-year statute of limitations by allowing Harborside to operate publicly for six years before suing, and that they believed they had legal protection because of the Obama administration's public commitment to leave medical marijuana suppliers alone if they complied with state laws.

Hagel nomination vote in Senate likely delayed until after recess
Michael A. Memoli @
WASHINGTON – Senate Republicans vowed Thursday to block a final vote to confirm Chuck Hagel as Defense secretary until after next week’s Presidents Day recess, arguing Democrats were unnecessarily rushing a vote on a controversial choice.

California Opens $24m Prison Mental Health Center
Don Thompson @
California opened a $24 million treatment center for mentally ill inmates on Thursday as state corrections officials used the occasion to push for ending federal oversight of that aspect of prison operations.

Senate Democrats Make Their Move on Budget Deal
Even though Senate Democrats reached agreement on a $110 billion mix of tax increases and spending cuts, the chances of a deal to head off automatic spending cuts have still receded.

In San Francisco, There's Little Life For His Party
Mark Z. Barabak @
Howard Epstein is a rarity: a longtime Republican activist in a famously liberal city that hasn't had a GOP mayor in nearly half a century. But he soldiers on.

Voters Support Soda Tax If Money Goes To Fight Obesity
Dan @
California voters oppose the idea of taxing sugary sodas unless proceeds of the tax are used to improve school nutrition and physical activity programs, a new polls has found.

New Independent Fundraising Group Backing Garcetti
Rich Connell @
This post has been corrected. See below for details. Supporters of Los Angeles mayoral candidate Eric Garcetti are launching an independent campaign to raise and spend money on his behalf in an effort to even the playing field with his...

Illinois Senate Approves Same-Sex Marriage Bill
The vote was seen not just as a hard-fought victory for gay-rights advocates, but as part of a broader shift in public opinion.

Half-finished $208-million Dmv Technology Overhaul Canceled
Chris Megerian @
The part of the project that was intended to revamp the process for registering vehicles was halted because little progress was being made, officials said.

Sacramento Co. officials find uncounted ballots
Sacramento County elections officials say they have found 407 uncounted ballots cast in the Nov. 6 election.

Garcetti backers launch campaign to counter spending on Greuel
Michael Finnegan @
Mary Jane Stevenson, who was the California director of President Obama's reelection campaign, and Rick Jacobs, a Democratic fundraiser, hope the effort will level the playing field.

Licensing threats removed from community colleges
Two fewer California community colleges are at immediate risk of losing their accreditation, the seal of approval education institutions receive so consumers and government officials know they are meeting certain performance standards.