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THE NOONER for March 1, 2013

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OLD SD14/NEW SD16: Fran Florez opens a Twitter account and tweets "150Days to SD16 Special elex: I'm only candidate w/name rec & familiarity w/Fresno & Kern Co. Expect more news soon!"

Of course, begging the question, can I get a Parra?

Fran Florez is the mother of former State Senator Dean Florez, and lost narrowly to Republican Danny Gilmore in a 2008 Assembly election, after Nicole Parra endorsed Gilmore. Parra's move was seen as retribution from both a regional feud and to buck Democratic leadership for retaliation they took when she wouldn't vote for the 2008 budget. Parra went on to endorse now-congressman David Valadao in his Assembly campaign in Fran Florez's second attempt at the Assembly in 2010 after Florez defeated Nicole's dad, Pete Parra, in the primary.

I suggested the other day that Rubio's SD14 is a safe Dem seat. After all, Rubio won the seat by 24,617 votes (21% margin) in 2010. However, if there's a place Democrats could screw something up in a special election in an off-year, it's this district. We'll see how the field shapes up. 

AURAL PLEASURE: The Capitol Connection podcast with John Myers and Anthony York has been posted - "This week, we assess several interesting rumblings: the quick resignation of a state senator, the political battle that could come after California's current gay marriage fight in the courts, and the picking-up-the-pieces weekend in store for the state Republican Party."

CALIFORNIA LEADS: ...the nation in gas taxes with the latest excise tax increase approved by the Board of Equalization. [Jonathan Horn @ UTSanDiego]

PROP8: As expected the Obama Administration filed a brief late yesterday arguing that the Supreme Court should concur with the Northern District and Ninth Circuit that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional. As SCOTUSBlog explains, it's a narrow brief endorsing the narrow and carefully crafted decision by now-retired Judge Vaughn Walker.

DEADLINE: Today is the final filing deadline for the LA muni races before Tuesdays election, covering the period from 2/17-2/27.

TRENDS: As the GOP spring convention meets in Sacramento this weekend, the following stat should be on everyone's mind: the share of California eligible voters who are non-Hispanic white is estimated to drop from 52% in 2012 to 47% in 2016, according to the left-leaning Center for American Progress. [Micah Cohen @ NYT / Original report at CAP]

AD73: Dana Point Councilman to Run For Assembly Seat (Bill Brough)

$$$: Fort Independence gets a tribal casino.


YESTERDAY'S TRIVIA: Which historically significant (and why) census-designated place in Tulare County founded and named after an Army Lieutenant Colonel as a quasi-utopia could Connie Conway move to and be in the old SD14 and new SD16?

YESTERDAY'S ANSWER: Allensworth, which is now a California State Historic Park. Allensworth began in 1908 by a retired Army chaplain as a town founded, financed, and governed by African-Americans. Here's a great history on Colonel Allensworth and the town, and another from the official auxiliary to the state park.

TODAY'S TRIVIA: When I fly from Portland back to Sacramento today, I'll fly over what was proposed to be another state. What was that proposed state and why didn't it materialize when it seemed quite likely to?



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Assembly Speaker John Perez Files Brief Seeking To Overturn Prop. 8
Chris Megerian @
Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez joined the legal fight against California’s same-sex marriage ban on Thursday, partnering with several law professors on his own pitch for overturning Proposition 8 .

White House Wants Prop. 8 Overturned
Bob Egelko @
President Obama joined the legal battle for same-sex marriage Thursday, telling the U.S. Supreme Court that a California law limiting marriage to male-female couples serves no legitimate purpose and is based on "impermissible prejudice."

Who's Funding Who? Our New Databases Let You Explore L.A. Political Money
Zach Behrens @
Most all contributions to a political candidate or ballot initiative in California are supposed to be made public -- and, for the most part, they are. But that doesn't mean a citizen can easily access or understand such public documents.

California Republican Party Convention: GOP Attempts To Recover From Disaster
Steven Harmon @
The GOP looks to former legislative leader Jim Brulte for a way out of political morass. His prescription is to rebuild the party the old-fashioned way, through voter registration, candidate recruitment and fundraising. Political analysts say whats needed is an overhaul of the GOPs views on a variety of issues, especially immigration.

Senate Panel Again OKs Orrick For Judge - Sfgate
President Obama's nomination of Justice Department attorney William Orrick III to the federal court in San Francisco won Senate Judiciary Committee approval for the second time on a divided vote Thursday, with Republicans questioning his role in cases on immigration and same-sex marriage. In written questions before Thursday's hearing, Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, the committee's ranking Republican, criticized Orrick and the Obama administration for lawsuits challenging immigration laws in Arizona and other states that authorize police to detain suspected illegal immigrants. Grassley and Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., also criticized Orrick for taking part in the Obama administration's withdrawal of support for the Defense of Marriage Act, the 1996 law now before the Supreme Court that denies federal benefits to married same-sex couples.

Women, Minorities Each Make Up A Third Of Jerry Brown's Judicial Appointments
David Siders @
Women accounted for slightly more than one-third of Gov. Jerry Brown's judicial appointments since he took office in 2011, with minorities claiming a similar share, according to data released today by the governor's office.

Obama Administration Urges Supreme Court To Strike Down Prop. 8
Christi Parsons and David G. Savage @
President Obama is asking the Supreme Court to strike down California's gay marriage law, despite the president's past position that it should be a state matter.

Field Poll: Same-sex Marriage Support Climbs Sharply, Hits 61% - Proposition 8 - The Sacramento Bee
In this file photo from Tuesday, June 17, 2008, Curt Garman, left, and Richard Looke hold hands as they look for a quiet spot to hold their wedding at City Hall in San Francisco.

New School Funding Plan Wins Cautious Praise In Capitol Hearing
providing extra funds to districts with large numbers of poor and needy students, critics say the formula tends to benefit ur @
The first legislative public hearing on Gov. Jerry Brown's proposal for a new school funding formula drew scores of people Thursday who generally applauded the concept but criticized details.

Hole Found In 'Success' Of California's Prison Realignment
Dan Walters @
The official line from Gov. Jerry Brown's administration and legislative leaders – the party line, in fact – continues to be that a "historic realignment" of criminal justice responsibilities reducing the state prison population is a big success, end of story.

Ethics Officials Review Ex-senator's Financial Dealings
Patrick McGreevy @
Michael Rubio, who quit the California state Senate last week to work for Chevron, may have improperly benefited from real estate deals with a refinery executive.

'record Majority' In California Backs Same-sex Marriage, Poll Finds
Shelby Grad @
Southern California -- this just in

Fresh Controversy Follows Karl Rove To California GOP Convention
Kevin Yamamura @
GOP strategist Karl Rove may be an unpopular figure among Republican volunteers, especially after launching a drive this year that tea party activists considered an attack on their brand of grassroots conservatism.

President Obama calls for U.S. Supreme Court to strike down California's gay marriage ban
Howard Mintz @
In unprecedented move, administration argues that Proposition 8 violates the constitutional rights of same-sex couples, urges Supreme Court to strike it down

Obama urges high court to reject California's gay marriage ban
WASHINGTON – The Obama administration declared Thursday that gay marriage can be a right that deserves constitutional protection, supercharging a Supreme Court battle that started with California voters and moved the president to change his mind.

Pro-Greuel Group Hits Garcetti With TV Attack Ad
Jim Rainey @
This post has been corrected. See note below for details. A group funded mostly by unions and entertainment executives has produced a television attack ad backing city Controller Wendy Greuel's campaign to become Los Angeles' next mayor by accusing City...

California Trails Other States In Legalizing Internet Gambling
Laurel Rosenhall @
With New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's signature Tuesday, three states have now approved Internet gambling bills -- a concept the California Legislature has kicked around for a few years without taking any action.

California Senate takes field trip to south state
The state Senate is embarking next week on what may be an unprecedented field trip to Southern California to view career education programs that proponents say should be the model throughout California.

Clint Eastwood Backs Gay Marriage In Supreme Court Brief
Shelby Grad @
Clint Eastwood is among a group of Republicans urging the U.S. Supreme Court to back gay marriage. The American Foundation of Human Rights released a "friend of the court" brief to the Supreme Court signed by more than 80 Republicans,...

California Bill Would Extend Confidentiality Privilege To Unions
Jon Ortiz @
Should a union representative have the same privilege as a priest?

Wendy Greuel: No DWP Raises If L.A. Has A Deficit - La Daily News
Los Angeles mayoral candidate Wendy Greuel said Thursday she won't consider raises for Department of Water and Power employees next year if the city still has a budget deficit.

Caapitol Alert: Women, minorities each make up a third of Jerry Brown's judicial appointments
David Siders @
Women accounted for slightly more than one-third of Gov. Jerry Brown's judicial appointments since he took office in 2011, with minorities claiming a similar share, according to data released today by the governor's office.

Sierra Nevada Snow Survey Offers 'gloomy' Picture - Weather Report - The Sacramento Bee
Frank Gehrke, chief of snow surveys for the Department of Water Resources, checks the weight of the snowpack survey tube during the snow survey at Echo Summit Calif., Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013. The survey showed the snow pack to to be 29 inches deep with a water content of 13.4 inches, which is 57 percent of normal for this site at this time of year.

Pink Slip The Teacher Pink Slip :: Fox&hounds
Currently, the law demands that the preliminary teacher pink slips be issued March 15. The idea behind the notification is that teachers and school staff are prepared for a lay off should the schools not have the budget to retain all its employees.

White House asks justices to reject Prop. 8
David G. Savage and Christi Parsons, Washington Bureau @
In a Supreme Court brief backing same-sex marriage, the Obama administration makes an argument that would also affect laws in seven other states.