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THE NOONER for March 28, 2013

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Good morning, the field is a bit less crowded in the SD16 special election today, as Fran Florez dropped out yesterday following the overwhelming movement of Sacramento Democrats in support of Kern supe Leticia Perez. Friday is the filing deadline for the May 21 election, which will move to a runoff if a candidate doesn't receive 50%. 

John Estrada, former congressional candidate who has bounced around parties may run as an NPP, and farmer Andy Vidak may be the only Republican in the race.

The Twitterverse was inquiring how Leticia Perez can move by Friday's filing deadline and not run afoul of the 1-year residency requirement provided for in Article IV, Section 2(c) of the California Constitution, which provides:

(c) A person is ineligible to be a member of the Legislature unless the person is an elector and has been a resident of the legislative district for one year, and a citizen of the United States and a resident of California for 3 years, immediately preceding the election, and service of the full term of office to which the person is seeking to be elected would not exceed the maximum years of service permitted by subdivision (a) of this section.

Over the years, courts have divided whether durational residency requirements for candidates run afoul of the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. In particular, courts have differed over the level of scrutiny (rational basis or strict scrutiny) applicable in the cases, and the United States Supreme Court has never addressed it. Notably, in the 1970s, the California Supreme Court generally invalidated local durational residency requirements using strict scrutiny. The U.S. Supreme Court accepted durational residency requirements in Sununu v. Stark in 1975.

To my knowledge, the issue last came to California's Third District Court of Appeal in Fuller v. Bowen (203 Cal. App. 4th 1476), in which Heidi Fuller challenged Tom Berryhill's placement on the ballot and subsequent election when he switched from SD12 to SD14 for the 2010 election. The superior court used strict scrutiny to find the one-year residency requirement unconstitutional. On appeal, however, the Third DCA opined that the court did not have jurisdiction, as the state constitution provides the Legislature the authority to determine qualifications of its members. (Art. IV, Sec. 5)

In June 2012, the California Supreme Court denied Fuller's appeal of the Third DCA's ruling.

Thus, for now, as long as the Legislature continues to allow members to be sworn in, the one-year durational residency requirement does not apply.

Please note that the one-year issue is different from the domicile issue being pursued in Los Angeles County in re: Richard Alarcon and Rod Wright. That is not a durational question, but a domicile question when a candidate or officeholder has multiple residences/places they receive newspapers. And, since completing a voter registration form is an affadavit, this is an issue for local district attorneys, rather than the "qualification of members" rationale used in the Fuller v. Bowen case. Obviously, in Los Angeles, the district attorney is using a higher standard than in Orange and Sacramento, where similar allegations have been made about Democrat and Republican members.

As always, consult with an election law attorney before relying on statements made in a political newsletter. You get what you pay for. 

Jerry Brown yesterday named Evan Westrup as his new press secretary. 

LA MAYOR: While Wendy Greuel suggests she is the outsider,  Eric Garcetti scores the endorsement of primary challenger Jan Perry. Meanwhile, Magic Johnson is expected to endorse Greuel today.

UNLIKELY: Bill Whalen suggests nuking the offices of lieutenant governor, superintendent of public instruction and either treasurer or controller.

$$$: 12 top-paid county bosses in California [Matt Clark @ UTSD]

$$$: California’s New Taxes Are Paying for Pensions [David Crane @ Bloomberg]

STUDENTSFIRST: Michelle Rhee's school reform group hires former Speaker Fabian Nunez to coordinate her legislative and political strategy. [Laurel Rosenhall @ SacBee]


Google Street View goes to areas of Japan vacated following the tsunami-triggered nuclear disaster.






Michelle Rhee Hires Former Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez
Michael J. Mishak @
Michelle Rhee has tapped one of Sacramento's most influential power brokers, Fabian Nunez, to guide her education reform strategy.

Special Election Set For Assembly District 80
Jeremy B. White @
Gov. Jerry Brown has announced special election dates for the 80th Assembly District seat Sen. Ben Hueso, D-San Diego, vacated earlier this month.

Tom Steyer's Political Blackmail :: Fox&hounds
In an act that gives political thuggery a bad name, hedge fund billionaire Tom Steyer, whose 2012 ballot measure raised California business taxes by a billion dollars, has decided his next cause is to blackmail a candidate for the US Senate in Massachusetts.

Lawsuit Challenging Amador County Casino Moved To Sacramento
A lawsuit challenging a proposed tribal casino in Amador County has been shifted to federal court in Sacramento, and away from a Washington, D.C.-based court.

Source: Zuckerberg Forming Political Group
Barbara Ortotay @
A person familiar with Facebook says CEO Mark Zuckerberg is forming a political group to address issues such as education reform, immigration and scientific research.

California Ag Seeks To Merge Four Pension Reform Challenges Into Contra Costa County
California Attorney Generals Office pursues consolidation of four pension lawsuits filed by public employee unions in Contra Costa, Alameda, Marin and Merced counties

S.O.G. Crew's Robert Ornelas running for Lt. Governor of California -
Robert Newman will be a candidate for Californiaʼs governor in 2014. His running mate, Robert Ornelas, is running for Lt. Governor. This election, however, is shaping up to be far from politics as usual. In fact, “politics as usual” is shaping up to be a major theme of the race.

California AG Kamala Harris reaping Prop. 8 PR bonanza
California Attorney General Kamala Harris has been hitting for the cycle before, during and after the Supreme Court arguments on the Proposition 8 gay marriage case.

Federal Courts Face Furlough Days
Bob Egelko @
Funding cuts caused by the budget sequestration have hit the Bay Area's federal courts, which will close their doors and furlough staff without pay for one day a month from May through September.

Congressman Brings Common Sense To Gun Control Debate
George Skelton @
Rep. Mike Thompson (D-St. Helena), a gun owner and hunter, believes reasonable laws are needed to prevent gun violence and keep communities safe.

Ballot Proponents Should Have Standing In Court :: Fox&hounds
One way the United States Supreme Court can decide the Proposition 8 case is to determine that the proponents of the measure defending the law should not have standing to appear in the court. That would be wrong.

Two Bay Area Law Professors Predict Supreme Court Will Invalidate Both Prop 8 And Doma, But On Narrow Grounds
Two Bay Area constitutional law professors predicted today the U.S. Supreme Court, after two days of hearings on same-sex marriage, will end up invalidating both Californias Proposition 8 and a key section of the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

California GOP Chair Jim Brulte Speaks In Rancho Cucamonga
Andrew Edwards @
The California Republican Party's new chairman, former Inland Valley legislator Jim Brulte, restated his call for the state's Republicans to leave their comfort zones and reach out to voters in communities that tend to vote Democratic.

California Issues Annual Ratings For Health Plans, Physician Groups
Chad Terhune @
Kaiser Permanente was the only HMO to earn a top four-star rating for providing recommended care on California's annual report card, while Cigna and UnitedHealthcare led the way with three-star ratings among PPO plans.

Fury at hearing on California prison mental health case
Denny Walsh and Sam Stanton @
The Brown administration's high-stakes motion to wrest control of California's prisoner mental health care away from federal court oversight ran into a buzz saw Wednesday.

In New Attack, Wendy Greuel Includes Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa In L.A.'s 'Failed' Leadership
Dakota Smith @
In her boldest attack yet, mayoral candidate Wendy Greuel Wednesday criticized the city's leaders, including Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, for failing to bring economic growth to Los Angeles.

Why Waiting On The States Could Create A Messy Future For Same-sex Marriage -
Ronald Brownstein @
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California Lawmakers Spending Spring Break In Poland, Taiwan
Patrick McGreevy @
If it’s spring break for the California Legislature, that means lawmakers are putting their passports to use.

Judge To Rule Monday On Whether To Block Stockton City Bankruptcy
Peter Hecht @
A bankruptcy judge said he will rule Monday on whether to block the Stockton bankruptcy on behalf of Wall Street creditors who claim they were stiffed on municipal bond payments as the beleaguered city protected employee pension obligations.

More Than 2,600 Civilians Face Possible Furloughs At Area Military Bases
More than 2,600 military civilian employees at Camp Pendleton, Los Alamitos, Seal Beach and other Southern California bases could face work furloughs in the next few weeks — the largest and most visible impact to the Orange County area from the latest round of federal deficit-reduction efforts.

GOP primary voters not opposed to immigration reform
Paul West @
WASHINGTON -- Conservative Republicans are open to an overhaul of the nation’s immigration system, including creating a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, according to a new report on voter attitudes in two states with early presidential contests.

Capitol Alert video: Jerry Brown meets fourth graders, talks mule meat
David Siders @
Gov. Jerry Brown's interest in history is expansive, but there are two things he appears to enjoy more than most.

House GOP Silent On Marriage Law They're Paying To Defend -
Ronald Brownstein @
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California Seeks End To Federal Oversight In Its Prisons
Norimitsu Onishi @
Eighteen years after losing control over mental health care in its prisons, California argued in a federal court here on Wednesday that it had made enough improvements to regain oversight.

Outdoor Recreation's Jobs, Revenue Tallied - Business - The Sacramento Bee
The Boulder, Colo.-based Outdoor Industry Association says $85.4 billion is spent in California annually on outdoor recreation, supporting 732,100 California jobs, generating $27 billion in wages and producing $6.7 billion in state and local tax revenue.