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THE NOONER for February 25, 2013

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GUNG HAY FAT CHOY: Today is the annual Chinese New Year celebration at Frank Fats, from 4:30-6:30 p.m., hosted by the API Legislative Caucus, Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, Speaker John Perez, and the Fat Family.

Speaking of Steinberg, I tweeted Friday that Kevin de Leon was the big winner in Michael Rubio's resignation, as there is now a clearer path to the Pro Temp spot. That said, things are still very up in the air. While not affected to the same degree by "freshmen" vs. "senior leaders" as in the Assembly, there are significant geographic and priorities divides within the caucus. 

The NorCal folks feel that one house needs to keep leadership, and with Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) likely as next speaker (or possibly Jimmy Gomez if the freshmen "win"), folks are passionate that Senate is the place to be led by someone from the Northern part of the state. And, of course, the issue of water is a major part of the geographic divide. There are also broader environmental issues (CEQA) and all three of the GLBT senators (Galgiani, Lara and Leno) have been mentioned as possibly the first openly gay leader of the upper house. (Art Torres came out after leaving the senate.)

I heard ten different names (of 26 in the caucus and 2 upcoming) floated for Pro Tem just in the last week. This will not be solved before the special elections for SD32 and SD40 on March 12, one of which (SD32) may not be decided until May 14.

CD07: Former congressional candidate and former U.S. Senate candidate Elizabeth Emken is pondering a run against Ami Bera. Bera defeated Dan Lungren by 9,191 votes. 

On that note, let's just ignore my "hot races" from last week. It was incomplete as my brain was focused on more important things (conference presentations and a board meeting). I'll be returning to it this week with a more complete list and updated district rankings.

MC Hammer slams officers after Dublin arrest but, there is another side of the story: Before his arrest, MC Hammer was driving a car with an expired registration, police say

California campaign-finance reporting ripe for abuse [Steven Harmon @ BANG]

Friday was the deadline to introduce regular session bills, and here's the tally to date:


Bills Introduced Through 2/22
AB 1376
ABX1 2
ACA 10
ACR 25
AJR 13
HR 10
SB 813
SBX1 3
SCA 13
SCR 14
SR 11

And, my friends, I think we have our animal bill of the year


FRIDAY'S TRIVIA: What was unique about the 1918 election for State Assembly?

FRIDAY'S ANSWER: There were two items I was going for--the first women (4) were elected, as was the first African-American.

TODAY'S QUESTION: Who was the first African-American, and what interesting familial connection may he have had?




  • 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]



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Obama To Decide On Filing Prop. 8 Brief
Bob Egelko @
A month before the U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments over California's ban on same-sex marriage, President Obama is due to render his own verdict with a decision to join the legal battle or stay out of it.

Jerry Brown Keeps A Low Profile On Trip With Governors To Washington, D.C.
David Siders @
Gov. Jerry Brown, center, joins in a panel discussion Sunday on preparing states to better handle extreme weather events. Unlike in past years, the governor gave only one speech and appeared on no national talk shows during his Washington visit.

As Economy Recovers, CalPERS May Lift Rate Lid
Ed Mendel @
CalPERS last week gave some 1,575 local governments a small increase in their annual pension costs, one of the last rates kept low by unusual actuarial policies adopted after a $100 billion investment loss five years ago.

Global Warming Worries California Voters, Poll Finds
Jon Ortiz @
A new survey shows most California voters don't like government's response to global warming and still support the state's greenhouse gas emissions law.

'Desi' Voices Strengthen In South Bay
Carla Marinucci @
Indian Americans are expanding their resumes beyond business - to being political and civic leaders - because they understand "that becoming a U.S. citizen is a huge responsibility - and they embrace it," he added.

Video: Jerry Brown warns nation is 'playing Russian Roulette' with climate
David Siders @
WASHINGTON - Gov. Jerry Brown urged the nation's governors today to take action to combat climate change, warning weak environmental policies could prove catastrophic.

Long-Term Care Rate Hike Stuns Retirees
Victoria Colliver @
The state pension fund's board decided in October to increase rates for the policies, which help pay for nursing-home care, home health care and other expenses not covered by Medicare. Board members said lower-than-expected investment earnings and loose underwriting forced them to take the drastic action or risk insolvency.

Dan Walters: School Finance Plan Creates Coalitions
Dan Walters @
Whenever the governor or the Legislature proposes a change in how California's public schools are financed, someone almost immediately creates a spreadsheet that shows which districts would gain money and which would lose.

San Jose Road Taxes On Table
John Woolfolk @
San Jose officials say after years of neglect because of budget shortfalls, the city must spend five times more on annual road maintenance and nearly $300 million on repairs, money they hope voters will approve in three possible tax measures.

Health Care Panel, Lacking Budget, Is Left Waiting
A commission created to investigate the shortage of health care professionals has never met in two and a half years because it has no money from Congress or the administration.

Bill Would Open The Door To Undergraduate Teaching Credentials
John Fensterwald @
For the first time in decades, aspiring teachers in California would be able to major in education as undergraduates and get both a preliminary teaching credential and a baccalaureate degree in four years if a bill in the Legislature becomes law.

Brown's School Funding Plan Draws Mixed Reactions
Teresa Watanabe @
The governor's proposal would funnel more money to low-income, English-learning or foster-care students. Not everyone thinks that's fair.

Q&A: Assemblywoman Mariko Yamada Looks At Long-term Care Insurance
Anita Creamer @
Assemblywoman Mariko Yamada, D-Davis, chairs the Assembly's Committee on Aging and Long-term Care and is the author of newly enacted legislation that gives the state's insurance commissioner the right to regulate long-term care rates, excluding existing CalPERS policies. The new law also protects consumers by converting lapsed long-term insurance premiums into a lifetime benefit.

Race, Ethnic Lines Less Visible As L.A. Picks Mayor | Hispanic, Mayor, City
Eight years later, with the historic barrier to the mayoralty erased, issues of race and ethnicity have been mostly muted in the contest to succeed him. The cries of "Si, se puede," Spanish for "Yes, we can," that followed Villaraigosa's 2005 campaign are long gone, and there is no Hispanic standard-bearer among the five candidates who want his job.

California GOP Faces Steep Road Back
George Skelton @
The party has no obvious contenders to challenge Gov. Brown, but the eventual standard-bearer should at least be credible.

Congress Facing Signs Of Immigration Roadblocks
Kate Nocera @
John McCain is taking a lead role in the Senate immigration bill this year. | AP Photo

Mitt Romney To Resurface With High-Profile Appearances
Paul West @
Almost four months after his presidential election defeat, Mitt Romney is planning a return to the national political stage.

Jerry Brown and Chris Christie say cheese, get sex advice
David Siders @
Any hope of a push-up contest between California Gov. Jerry Brown and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was put on hold for at least a few hours Sunday, with Christie and Brown posing together -- all smiles -- for a photograph at a dinner at the White House.

Obama: Congress could 'turn off' cuts with compromise
Kathleen Hennessey @
WASHINGTON – President Obama on Monday chastised Congress for “careening from manufactured crisis to manufactured crisis” and tried to blame lawmakers for the spending cuts due to take a bite out of agency budgets on Friday.

The Caucus: What if the Republicans Had Won the Senate?
What would the political landscape in Washington look like if Republicans had won the Senate last November?

Political Blotter: Former San Mateo supe, Bush White House aide to lead Latino GOP effort
Josh Richman @
Former Bush White House aide Ruben Barrales, also a former San Mateo County supervisor, will lead a group that recruits, trains and funds Latino GOP candidates; also, a Concord lawmaker offers two gun control bills.

The evolving views of Kevin James
Catherine Saillant and Dan Weikel @
The only Republican candidate has been voicing quite different opinions on some key issues from what he espoused as a conservative radio talk-show host.