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THE NOONER for March 6, 2013

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Good morning from a slushy, but mostly wet, and shut-down DC. Sorry about the snafu yesterday, as I misplaced my trust in airborne wifi. As temps keep the falling snow from sticking, the political debate today in DC is whether the forecasters conspired with government unions to get today's shutdown, or it's just another example of Washington's inability to deliver. The House, however, came in this morning and passed a GOP continuing resolution to avoid a government shutdown scheduled for March 27. 

Thank you to the Washington Post's The Fix for naming The Nooner a top state-based "blog" in California. There are several other great ones that weren't cited this year, but I'm glad WaPo gave them a previous nod. Thanks for everyone who lent a good word to The Fix's team, and thank you for giving me enough material to keep me busy in the pre-dawn hours.

BEST OFFENSE IS A GOOD DEFENSE: Yesterday, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee released its list of the 26 most vulnerable incumbents that it plans to defend in 2014 in the quest to net 17 additional seats and regain the Speaker's gavel. Being on the list is good and bad, as is not being on the list. Members on the list are assured significant DCCC resources and it's a strong suggestion that Dem-friendly groups target their resources to these members. On the other side, those left off--Jerry McNerney and Mark Takano--have to work that much harder to convince donors that they have a race and need money. And, the less money they can get from donors, the more vulnerable they appear.  

DCCC 2013-2014 Frontline Members from California (with most likely challenger)

  • Ami Bera (CD07) (Elizabeth Emken)
  • Lois Capps (CD24) (Abel Maldonado or Sam Blakeslee?)
  • Julia Brownley (CD26(Tony Strickland)
  • Raul Ruiz (CD36(Brian Nestande)
  • Scott Peters (CD52) (Carl DeMaio)

Politico's Alex Isenstadt looks into the DCCC's plan.

IN THE RED: Shane Goldmacher reports in National Journal that former congresswoman Laura Richardson hasn't just stiffed a series of campaign vendors, but also the U.S. Government. Richardson was fined $10,000 last year by the House Ethics Committee for requiring staffers to work on personal and campaign matters. Her attorney claims she has paid "part" of the fine, which was due last December.

preliminary, with unknown number of late absentees and provisionals left to count

LADN opinion staff write: "Garcetti got 32.9 percent of the vote, Greuel 29.2 percent. More people chose someone else than chose either of the front-runners. The runoff will be a fight for the 37.9 percent who went for Kevin James, Jan Perry and others -- and for the many potential voters who sat out Tuesday but may jump in for the decisive balloting May 21."

The results of my predictions appear in italics.

  • Mayor: Eric Garcetti, Wendy Greuel in runoff (correct)
  • City Attorney: Mike Feuer, Carmen Trutanich in runoff (wrong, predicted Feuer would win outright)
  • City Controller: Ron Galperin, Dennis Zine in runoff (wrong, predicted Zine would win outright)
  • Council District 1: Gil Cedillo has 49.4%, Jose Gardea has 43.3% - runoff too close to call
  • Council District 3: Bob Blumenfield wins outright (correct)
  • Council District 5: Paul Koretz wins outright (correct)
  • Council District 7: Felipe Fuentes wins outright (correct)
  • Council District 9: Curren Price and Ana Cubas in runoff (correct)
  • Council District 11: Mike Bonin wins outright (correct)
  • Council District 13: Mitch O'Farrell and John Choi in runoff (wrong-predicted de Ocampo in runoff)
  • Council District 15: Joe Buscaino wins outright (correct)

The Villaraigosa-backed $200 million sales tax proposal went down, 44.8%-55.2%.

Los Angeles Unified:

  • District 2: Monica Garcia
  • District 4: Steve Zimmer
  • District 6: Antonio Sanchez, Monica Ratliff in runoff

Los Angeles Community College District:

  • Seat 2: Mike Eng
  • Seat 4: Ernest Moreno
  • Seat 6: David Vela

With late absentees and provisionals left to count (put away the pen, Gloria Romero), City of Los Angeles turnout was a robust 16.11%. Contrast that with Los Angeles County turnout of 68.02% in last Novermber's general. Anyway that stands with this off-year March election crap believes in disenfranchising voters for their own political purposes. The argument that "more attention" is paid to the muni elections is bunk, as evidenced by the turnout. And, now we're going to have another election to decide the most contested offices on May 21, with the same or even lower turnout.

On topic, the LADN writes: "There is nothing good in this. The 93,978 ballots cast for top mayoral vote-getter Garcetti represent, about 2.5 percent of the city's population."

As I was typing Garcetti's name, I remembered this scene from The Wire (language warning). It's the best case for not running for office.

PYRAMID'S FATE? A Lunchroom Called Capitol Hill [Jennifer Steinhauer @ NYT]

COMMON MAN: Governor tweets a pic seatless and standing on BART.

THE SOFA CALIFORNIA POLITICS AND POLICY DEGREE:  "You wasted $150,000 on an education you coulda got for a buck fifty in late charges at the public library." – Will Hunting

You've likely heard of the meme (largely in the tech industry) of foregoing an MBA and just reading a series of the best books on the topic. Obviously, as a higher education advocate and someone who really enjoyed my college experience, I still think that bricks and mortar help shape a person. However, I think we need to have a list of the "must reads" for the "student" of California politics and policy. If your best friend was an investment banker that was down-sized but was super smart and wanted to come work in the Capitol, what would you tell him/her to read so they could amaze an interviewer?

Forward your picks to me at and I'll compile a list.

DEPT OF CORRECTIONS: Stan Statham was an Assemblymember, not State Senator.

YESTERDAY'S QUESTION: (honor of dead internet) Which recent lawmaking-turned clerk is also a licensed mortician?


TODAY'S QUESTION: Which former Bay Area Assemblymember and mayor grew up in a family that owns a Berkeley funeral home?



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  • Veteran lobbyist Ray LeBov has set his next introductory "Legislative Process / Lobbying 101" and advanced "Lobbying 201" seminars for March 21-22 respectively. $250 each. More info or registration: or 916-442-5009.

  • Join Capitol Network for its 30th Anniversary Celebration on Monday, March 11 from 5:30 – 7:30 pm at The Park Ultra Lounge! For more information go to: Sponsorship opportunities are available.

  • Future of California Elections: Deputy Director | Coordinator: Sacramento, elections policy experience preferred

  • Community College League of California: Legislative Advocate [Full-time, Sacramento, 3+ years experience] DEADLINE MARCH 13

  • $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.

  • ADD YOUR CLASSIFIED: e-mail Scott to add your 1-2 line classified ad for $25/week for and a link (or free hosted page) to reach the Nooner's awesome subscribers


Opposition Forms To Oppose New Taxes :: Fox&hounds
The fight over tax increases did not end with the passage of Propositions 30 and 39 in the November election. Especially with the Democratic majority securing a two-thirds vote in both legislative houses, the threat of more tax increases is apparent and the business community is organizing to oppose potential taxes.

Proposal To Increase L.A.'s Sales Tax By Half-percent Failing, Early Returns Show
Rick Orlov @
Even after years of layoffs, cuts and service reductions, Los Angeles city voters were rejecting Measure A, a proposal to increase the city sales tax by a half-percent to bring in $200 million a year to help balance the city's budget.

Union-backed Candidate Wins W. Sac School Board Race
Anne Gonzalez @
In a closely watched West Sacramento school board race, a union-backed teacher beat out a candidate endorsed by the mayor and bankrolled by groups challenging labor power.

Huff, Conway skipped ballot verification for legislative junkets
John Hrabe @
Assembly Republican Leader Connie Conway and Senate Republican Leader Bob Huff were enjoying special-interest junkets out of the state and country, according to state disclosure reports, while at the same time leaving staff members to handle on-site ballot verification programs in crucial legislative races.

Jerry Hill Chosen To Lead Environmental Committee
Jeremy B. White @
Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, has tapped Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, to fill former senator Michael Rubio's place atop a key environmental committee.

L.A. Election: Villaraigosa's Sales Tax Behind In Early Voting
Shelby Grad @
A measure to add a half-cent to the city’s sales tax lagged in early voting returns Tuesday.

Brown's Former Adviser: Aim For Balance Behind Shift To Local Control
John Fensterwald @
Sue Burr has seen and done a lot in 40-plus years of playing key roles in California education – advising legislators and governors, administering the finances of a large school district, running the state county superintendents’ organization and, for the past two years, serving as executive director of the State Board of Education.

California Bullet Train Faces New Challenges
Dan Walters @
Facing a looming federal deadline for moving dirt, managers of California's bullet train project are trying to clear away legal and political impediments that threaten to delay the project.

State Senate Takes Field Trip To Long Beach
Patrick McGreevy @
The state Senate is taking a rare field trip to Long Beach to learn how career technical education programs are working in some model schools.

Local CA Officials Say $82 Billion Needed For Road Repairs
Dan Walters @
California's network of local streets and roads "is in crisis" and needs $82 billion in repairs and reconstruction to be restored, a coalition of local government groups declared Tuesday.

Blacks And Latinos Dominate Oakland Marijuana Arrests
Ali Winston @
Until US Attorney Melinda Haag launched her much-criticized crackdown on Oakland's medical marijuana dispensaries last year, the city was held up as a beacon of level-headed tolerance toward cannabis in the pot-friendly Bay Area. And even when the statewide campaign to legalize pot for recreational use failed in 2010, city officials were still among the most outspoken in California for large-scale medical pot cultivation. Casual weed smokers have also found Oakland to be a welcoming place: The successful 2004 ballot initiative Measure Z made adult recreational use of marijuana the lowest law-enforcement priority for the Oakland Police Department.

LA voters reject proposed half-cent sales tax hike
Los Angeles voters have rejected a proposed sales tax hike to help close a looming budget deficit.

Garcetti Campaign Expects Union To Endorse Greuel
William Nottingham @
A spokesman for Los Angeles mayoral candidate Eric Garcetti said he believes one of the city’s most powerful public employee unions on Wednesday will be endorsing his rival, City Controller Wendy Greuel.

Two Feuds Give GOP An Opening
Dan Walters @
Feuds between rival factions of Latino Democrats could give Republicans an outside chance at picking up one or even two state Senate seats in special elections this year.

Cal Pacific Hospital Deal Puts Sf Ahead - Sfgate
A new deal with California Pacific Medical Center to build two seismically safe hospitals puts the city in a better position to implement federal health care reform and serve thousands of expected new residents in eastern and southern neighborhoods, officials said Tuesday. The proposal, which still needs various city approvals but already has broad political support, modifies a deal Mayor Ed Lee had brokered last year with California Pacific Medical Center on its $2.5 billion long-range development plan for five sites, including building two seismically safe hospitals ahead of a state-mandated deadline. After Lee introduced his proposal last spring, supervisors balked over concerns about traffic, the level of charity care commitments, provisions for local jobs, and the deal's potential to drive up health care costs for taxpayers and private employers by consolidating market share under Sutter Health. Another crucial point was the viability of St. Luke's in the Mission District, with Campos and others saying there were inadequate safeguards to ensure that the hospital, serving the southeastern part of the city and many low-income residents, would remain open. California Pacific Medical Center's planned footprint will shrink under the deal, as will the construction price tag to $2 billion, a spokesman for the Sutter Health affiliate said. A better dealThe reduced size of the project at Van Ness Avenue and Geary Boulevard, one of the city's busiest intersections, also means the medical group will contribute less to transit improvements and to care for new Medi-Cal patients than under the deal struck with Lee.

Sacramento Veterans Leading In Council Races
David Zahniser @
Current and former lawmakers are ahead in early returns in races that will bring the biggest shift to the council since 2001.

California Supreme Court: 'marsy's Law' Applies To All 'lifers'
Local @
SAN FRANCISCO -- The states high court ruled Monday that a 2008 ballot measure increasing the time period between parole hearings for inmates serving life sentences applies to all so-called "lifers," not just those sentenced after the law passed.

In Milestone, West Hollywood Approves Term Limits For City Council
Shelby Grad @
West Hollywood voters on Tuesday approved a ballot measure establishing term limits for City Council members.

San Jose Council Votes To Explore New Road Taxes
John Woolfolk @
The San Jose City Council voted unanimously to pursue three new measures to raise hundreds of millions of dollars for road repair and maintenance and other needs.

Calbuzz Again Cited As Tops In CA Political Blogs
Once again, Calbuzz has been named among the top three political news web sites in California by the The Fix, written and produced by Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post.

The Buzz: Steinberg names Jerry Hill to take the reins on environmental effort
Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, has tapped Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, to fill former Sen. Michael Rubio's place atop a key environmental committee.

Senate panel votes to approve John Brennan for CIA
Richard Lardner @
The Senate Intelligence Committee voted Tuesday to approve President Barack Obama's pick to lead the spy agency, setting the nomination up for consideration by the full Senate.

California Lawmaker Seeks Rights For Transgender Students
SAN FRANCISCO -- A California lawmaker has introduced legislation aimed at guaranteeing transgender students the right to use public school restrooms and participate on the sports teams that correspond with their expressed genders.