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THE NOONER for March 8, 2013
Short night in DC, and even longer day ahead. No, I wasn't out partying . . . I think I wasn't really drinking decaf in my meetings yesterday and had to get up early this morning, with a flight back to SFO tonight.
Next week, policy committees start to hit their stride, hearing a few dozen bills.
ISN'T THAT SPECIAL?: The special election for Michael Rubio's senate seat will be May 21, with a July 23 runoff if no candidate receives more than 50% of the vote.
AURAL PLEASURE: John Myers and Anthony York make music in our ears. In time for my flight home!
AWESOME: Bill would allow iPad use from takeoff to landing [Burgess Everett @ Politico]
SHOCKING: White men still dominate O.C. judgeships [Keegan Kyle @ OCR]
COULD HAVE BEEN WORSE: Berkeley firefighters battle blaze at Chez Pannise
THE SOFA CALIFORNIA POLITICS AND POLICY DEGREE -- DRAFT:
Here are the most cited books for our reading list. Feel free to suggest additions or deletions for the final list!
YESTERDAY'S QUESTION: With the retirement of Jerry Lewis and Pete Stark's defeat last November, who are the deans (longest serving) of the California congressional delegation from each party?
YESTERDAY'S ANSWER: Democrats George Miller and Henry Waxman (1975) and Republican Dana Rohrabacher (1989)
TODAY'S QUESTION: Where in the Capitol can you go "up" by going "down," or "down" by going "up"? And, that is a "safe for work" question.
It's been a long week. You deserve a break...have a great weekend!
TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
Armed And Legislated - Capitol Lowdown - Opinions - March 7, 2013
Greg Lucas @ newsreview.com
Thereâs a package of eight bills in California moving through committees to the Senate floor. Backers of the bills say the measures regulate firearms in a smarter way than previous efforts. Two to three times as many gun-related bills have likely been introduced in the Assembly. Among them is legislation by Sacramentoâs Roger Dickinson to place a 5-cent tax on every bullet sold. The California State Board of Equalization estimates the tax would raise $49 million annually. The money would be used to expand mental-health screenings for kindergarteners through third grade. The board says 1.2 billion bullets are sold in California annually.
Two California Senate Elections Set For Tuesday
Patrick McGreevy @ latimes.com
Another round of political musical chairs is on tap Tuesday when voters in two Southern California Senate Districts go to the polls to fill vacancies created when Democratic Sens. Gloria Negrete McLeod of Chino and Juan Vargas of San Diego resigned to take seats in Congress .
Villaraigosa Plans 'real Close Look' At Mayoral Runoff Candidates
William Nottingham @ latimesblogs.latimes.com
L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said he still has not decided whether to endorse one of the two candidates in the May 21 mayoral election -- but plans to take a "real close look" at both contenders.
Parcel Taxes Go Front And Center
John Howard @ capitolweekly.net
Few issues spark more local controversy than the parcel tax, a levy on property that raises money for specific local programs, such as schools, roads and fire fighting.
Dianne Feinstein Says U.S. Cannot Drop Hellfire Missile On Jane Fonda
Carolyn Lochhead @ blog.sfgate.com
Sen. Dianne Feinstein doesnât think much of her colleague Rand Paulâs all-night filibuster of CIA nominee John Brennan, or at least some of Paulâs arguments. Lest we ascribe this to ideology, the California Democrat and the Kentucky libertarian Republican united last year in an unsuccessful battle to strip the indefinite detention provisions from the defense bill.
Union calls for Legislature to investigate UC hospital system
Jon Ortiz @ sacbee.com
A union deadlocked in contract talks with the University of California said Thursday that the system's medical facilities are understaffed, waste money and put patients' health in jeopardy.
Lawmakers move to expand health care for California's poor
Melody Gutierrez @ blogs.sacbee.com
The Legislature approved two bills Thursday to expand Medi-Cal coverage to more than 1 million low-income California residents under the federal health care overhaul.
Villaraigosa Says Improving Economy May Cut L.A.'s Budget Gap
David Zahniser @ latimes.com
Two days after L.A. voters defeated a sales tax hike officials called vital to ending budget crisis, mayor says projected $216-million deficit could be cut in half.
Medi-cal Expansion Bills Sail Through Ca Legislature
Melody Gutierrez @ blogs.sacbee.com
The Legislature approved two bills today to expand Medi-Cal coverage to more than 1 million low-income California residents under the federal Affordable Care Act.
Exit Poll Details Mayoral Candidates' Strengths, Weaknesses At Ballot Box
Alice Walton @ scpr.org
An exit poll from the Center for the Study of Los Angeles at Loyola Marymount University confirms what many observers expected in Tuesdayâs mayoral primary.
Los Angeles voting reflects dysfunction
Dan Walters @ sacbee.com
They held an election in California's largest city this week more or less. Just 16 percent of Los Angeles' registered voters cast ballots, and neither of the two leading candidates for mayor received even a third of that vote.
Bill Clinton: Supreme Court should nix anti-gay marriage law
WASHINGTON -- Former President Bill Clinton is calling on the Supreme Court to overturn a law he signed that bars federal recognition of same-sex marriages.
Departments Grinding Through Dual-state-jobs Investigation
Jon Ortiz @ blogs.sacbee.com
Officials from California's Department of Human Resources and the State Personnel Board told lawmakers today that they are analyzing how departments applied an obscure, controversial policy that allows salaried state employees to take a second part-time job in their same department and earn an hourly wage.
For Sacramento Region, Sequester's Budget Cuts Spell Uncertainty
Peter Hecht and Phillip Reese @ sacbee.com
In Washington, the across-the-board budget reduction triggered by the failure of Congress and the White House to reach a deal on federal spending is called the sequester.
S.F. Mayor Ed Lee Scores High In Poll - Sfgate
Some 65 percent of likely voters said they had a favorable opinion of Lee, the San Francisco-style moderate whose no-flash, consensus-building style has helped him score victories on pensions, business taxes and housing. Supervisor David Chiu - who may be squaring off against Supervisor David Campos to replace Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, who is termed out in 2014 - had a 54 percent favorable rating and 14 percent unfavorable. About 63 percent of respondents were age 50 or older, and 55 percent of those polled were homeowners in a city where about 64 percent of residents are renters, who tend to be more liberal. The vast majority - 420 - of the respondents were reached on landline phones, with only 80 reached on cell phones. Mirkarimi, who last year survived Lee's effort to remove him for official misconduct over a domestic altercation with his wife, had only a 29 percent favorable rating.
The Caucus: Clinton Urges Court to Overturn Marriage Law He Signed
PETER BAKER @ thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com
Former President Bill Clinton said he had come to believe the 1996 law is unconstitutional and contravenes the quintessential American values of âÂÂfreedom, equality and justice above all.âÂÂ
Free beer on Friday is popular perk at Florida health care company
Employees at a Florida health care company are allowed to drink on the company's tab, on company time, thanks to a perk known as 'Beer Cart Fridays.'
Dan Walters Daily
Jeremy B. White @ blogs.sacbee.com
The news that State Controller John Chiang has jettisoned a project to computerize the state's payroll system fits a familiar pattern, Dan Walters says.
Senate approves Brennan as CIA chief
Ken Dilanian and Michael A. Memoli @ latimes.com
WASHINGTON -- The Senate voted Thursday to confirm John Brennan as director of the Central Intelligence Agency, ending weeks of delay as lawmakers sought access to secret Obama administration documents about the targeted killing of militants overseas and the Sept. 11 attacks that killed four Americans in Benghazi, Libya.
California Senate Approves $24 Million For Gun Confiscation Program
Patrick McGreevy @ latimes.com
SACRAMENTO -- The California Senate approved a $24-million expenditure on Thursday to speed the confiscation of guns from people who have been disqualified from owning firearms because of criminal convictions or serious mental illness .
Editorial: A reckless promise again haunts CalPERS
The honchos at the California Public Employees' Retirement System are in hot water again. Higher-than-expected claims and lower-than-expected returns on investments have forced the CalPERS board to raise premiums for its long-term care insurance by a whopping 85 percent.
Senate debate over drones divides Republican Party
Paul West and Michael A. Memoli @ latimes.com
WASHINGTON -- A sudden debate over the potential use of unmanned drones against terrorist suspects in the United States touched off a power struggle within the Republican Party Thursday, even as the Senate confirmed President Obama’s CIA nominee after a highly publicized delay.