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THE NOONER for February 19, 2013

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Today I'm off to Long Beach to speak to California State University folks about changes in advocacy and social media, and then I'm heading to Monterey for a conference. Let's put that in Assembly terms.

I'll head out of Davis in AD04 (which I talked about last week), leave my home district as I drive south on I-5 past Garden Highway, and then depart from SMurF Intergalactic Airport, which is in AD07. The seat will be vacated by Roger Dickinson in 2014 as he seeks SD06, being vacated by termed-out Darrell Steinberg. The candidates being talked about most are Angelique Ashby, Steve Cohn, Kevin McCarty and Phil Serna. With West Sacramento now drawn into the district, two-time Assembly candidate Christopher Cabaldon's name comes up as well, although he may just be happy to be King of the 95691 and as probably the most prominent mayor of a sub-100,000 city in the country.

The short flight will drop me at the Orange County, ahem, John Wayne Airport, which is in AD74. Allan Mansoor will likely run for a third and final term rather than get wrapped up in the State Senate fight between Supervisor Pat Bates and former Assemblymember Martin Garrick.

As my car crosses the Santa Ana River on "the" 405 (SoCal street cred), I'll enter AD72, which Travis Allen won after spending $223,000 of his own money against Troy Edgar's $315,000. Continuing north just past the 605 interchange, I'll be in AD70, the Long Beach-centered district that Bonnie Lowenthal will be termed out of in 2014. There will certainly be more candidates, but right now city council member Patrick O'Donnell will be facing off against former councilmember Tonia Reyes Uranga.

I will then return to the Orange County airport and fly up to San Jose for the drive to Monterey. Since I'll be there for a few days, I'll cover those districts tomorrow.

UNDER THE DOME: The Assembly dives into policy today with a 1:30 hearing of the Assembly Health Committee on the Affordable Care Act and John Perez's bill to expand Medi-Cal to implement federal health care reform. The committee continues tomorrow with a meeting at 10am to discuss the individual market and committee chair Richard Pan's bill on the topic.

AURAL PLEASURE: John and Anthony talk it up on the Capitol Connections podcast. Warning, if you're listening to this in the car, that car honking at you is really honking at the dynamic duo.

THREE DAYS: To go before the bill deadline.

LA-LA LAND: The election in the City of Angels is now two weeks away, and the LAT gave Eric Garcetti the mayoral nod on Sunday. And, here's the inspiring lede:

Los Angeles is an underachieving city led in recent decades by a succession of underachieving mayors -- people who came in with big dreams or big talk but soon got bored with the day-to-day task of steering a municipality. Voters don't get to conduct a casting call or sift through hundreds of applicants until they identify the ideal candidate, but must instead choose from a field prescreened by the political and fundraising processes. This year that field fails to include a candidate who stands out as the obviously superior choice. The task for voters then becomes to scrutinize track records, eliminate the worst hazards and seek potential that can be forged, with the proper pressure and continued voter vigilance, into accomplishment.

Speaking of the LAT endorsements, I'm a bit perplexed they are trickling them out now when ballots have been in people's hands for two weeks. While they have tackled mayor, controller, city attorney, school board and community college board, it has only tackled 1 of 8 city council seats.

The United States redrawn as 50 states with equal population.

Maker's Mark reverses decision to water down the booze.

The Supreme Court will hear a challenge to federal campaign finance law that limits the cumulative amount individuals may give to federal campaigns. Contribution limits themselves are not challenged, and the case thus wouldn't affect California's campaign finance law unless the SupCt goes rogue.

TRIVIA: Friday's question: Which Central Coast Assemblymember talked during a 1997 debate about his cows that "would shy away from bulls and take up with other heifers"? 

Of course, it was Peter Frusetta (R-Tres Pinos), who was speaking against a bill by Sheila Kuehl to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in public schools.

TODAY'S TRIVIA: Which former legislator played professional basketball in Europe?



  • 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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Jerry Brown's Views On Deficits A Mixed Bag
Dan Walters @
Jerry Brown is forever cautioning California residents and politicians about the need to balance the state budget and pay down debt. But the other day, in talking about the costs of extending medical insurance coverage to millions of Californians, he thanked the federal government for going more deeply into debt to pay for it.

Geography To Play Larger Role In Health Premiums
Whether it's the densely populated Southern California coast or the mountains of rural Northern California, geography is going to play a larger role in the cost of health insurance under the federal health care overhaul set to take effect next year.

Indian Casinos: Case May Affect Previous Slot-Machine Deals
San Diego County’s Rincon Band of Luiseño Indians this month became the first California tribe to get a casino agreement through the federal courts. The deal came after the tribe recently won a years-long legal fight against the state over demands for revenue sharing in exchange for permission to expand. Whether other tribes try to take the same legal path is the big unknown. Several hundred million dollars in tribal revenue-sharing payments to the state general fund are in play.

Prop. 8 judge was a Republican lawyer, nominated to bench by Ronald Reagan
Howard Mintz @
Former federal Judge Vaughn Walker ruled that Proposition 8, California's voter-approved ban on same same-sex marriage, was unconstitutional, capping a long career.

Women Focus On Children In Gun Debate
Joe Garofoli @
Women think about the gun violence issue differently from men. To many women, say analysts and pollsters, the gun debate now roiling the country is less about preserving gun rights and more about preserving safety in their neighborhoods.

Eric Garcetti, Wendy Greuel Spar Over Union Spending In L.A. Mayor's Race
Dakota Smith @
Candidate Eric Garcetti stepped up his attacks over union spending in the Los Angeles mayor's race, challenging chief rival Wendy Greuel over her independence at a debate Monday. In turn, Greuel's campaign launched a new Web page to rebuff criticisms over her relationship with the Department of the Water and Power union.

California's Budget Windfall Could End Soon, Officials Say
Evan Halper @
The governor's budget office advises in a report that the surprise $5-billion bump in revenue in January may be an accounting anomaly.

'Flipping' Class Gaining Momentum Among Educators
Folsom Middle School teacher Tyler Johnstone, above, works with his Algebra 1 students last week. The class is taught in a "flipped" format where students complete homework at school and watch videos of lectures online at home.

Are Republicans Finally Learning To Count? :: Fox&hounds
Now the Republicans who can count are moving to take over the party with a mission to stop alienating the fastest growing parts of the American electorate, and also to stop running fringe candidates whose only goal seems to be to turn off moderate voters.

Complaint Alleges Racial Bias In Palmdale Elections
Ann M. Simmons @
Case scheduled to go to trial in May alleges that Palmdale's system of at-large council seats dilutes the influence of minority voters.

3 Top Oakland Schools At Risk Of Closure
Jill Tucker @
Three of the highest-performing schools in the state are on the verge of being shut down by the Oakland school board, a decision that will pit passionate students and parents against district officials trying to safeguard taxpayer cash.

Jerry Brown Vs. The Locals -- Again
Amy Wong @
It's Round 3 in Jerry Brown vs. the locals. The governor's efforts to reform California’s 29-year-old enterprise zone system, an ongoing tax-break program that encourages business investment and promotes new jobs in economically distressed areas of the state, is his latest attempt in a series of major moves targeting local businesses and governance.

California treasurer proposing CalPERS dump gun holdings
Jon Ortiz @
State Treasurer Bill Lockyer plans to ask the CalPERS' board today to purge the fund's investments in two companies that make firearms that are illegal in California.

California Inmates Renew Demands
Paige St. John @
California prison inmates housed in the state's highest-security prison have sent an open letter to Gov. Jerry Brown , threatening hunger strikes and work stoppages if the state does not limit the length of time prisoners can be held in isolation cells.

Tucson arrests unleash anger over Arizona immigration law
Cindy Carcamo @
Arrests of an activist and a father of six highlight tension over Arizona's illegal-immigration enforcement law.

UC Irvine Professor Stops Teaching Online Course In Dispute
Larry Gordon @
The UC Irvine professor stopped teaching a massive online course in microeconomics offered through Coursera over disagreements on how to conduct the free class.

Obama warns of dire sequester consequences
Christi Parsons and Kathleen Hennessey @
WASHINGTON -- President Obama accused Republicans of preferring the effects of automatic across-the-board spending cuts to small tax hikes for the wealthy on Tuesday as he tried to ratchet up pressure on GOP lawmakers to go along with Democratic budget plans.

FiveThirtyEight: Marco Rubio: The Electable Conservative?
The reason to watch Mr. Rubio carefully for 2016 is that, among the candidates who will be deemed reliably conservative by Republican voters and insiders, he may stand the best chance of maintaining a reasonably good image with general election voters.

Police Investigate Possible Rapes Linked To Christian Dating Site
Tony Perry @
Police in the San Diego suburb of La Mesa are investigating whether a 37-year-old man charged with raping a woman he met on the ChristianMingle website may have victimized other women he met on the dating website. Sean Banks of...

N.J. Gov. Christie In La Jolla, Romney Sons Join The Party
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie swooped into town last week for a fundraiser in La Jolla that drew about 50 people, including two of Mitt Romney’s sons, Matt and Craig.

Supreme Court to consider eliminating political contribution limit
David G. Savage @
WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court has agreed to go beyond its Citizens United decision and consider striking down the limit on the total amount that wealthy persons may give to candidates and political parties.

Program Guides Underrepresented Students To Health Professions
Heather @
By Callie Shanafelt California Health Report

Eugene Robinson: Obama's decoy plan could pave way for immigration reform
Republicans spent the weekend trumpeting shock and outrage over President Barack Obama's leaked "backup plan" on immigration.

Veteran lawmakers face unknowns in 2 Valley council races
Catherine Saillant @
Former Assemblyman Felipe Fuentes and Assemblyman Bob Blumenfield have large war chests and enjoy the support of public employee unions and their foot soldiers.