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THE NOONER for April 3, 2013

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Good morning from LAX. Oughtta be a law: no cell phones in the bathroom. Seriously, dude, I don't need to hear about your four drinks by 7am and the woman on the other end really doesn't need to hear you describe the other guys answering the call of nature. 

Folks around the Capitol have been waiting to hear how Greg Campbell is doing following a pair of neurosurgeries to remove a tumor over the weekend. Campbell, chief of staff for Speaker John Perez, initially had a very poor diagnosis after the initial surgery last Friday. However, after a mobilization of some of the best and brightest neurosurgeons across California, a second surgery appears to have been quite successful. Speaker Perez and former Speaker Fabian Nunez spent a significant amount of time at the hospital over the weekend, and email and text messages have been constantly following the situation. 

He'll likely be doing rehabilitation for a couple of weeks, but Capitol staffers know that he will be calling the plays as he recovers. 

Nooner thoughts are with Greg and his family in support of a timely and complete recovery.

It's a busy day in the Capitol, although Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg will be in New York as part of the effort to keep the Sacramento Kings in the capital city.

Meanwhile, our fields are set for two upcoming special electons:

SD14 - Rubio seat - May 21

  • Paulina Miranda (Party Preference: Democratic) – Businesswoman
  • Leticia Perez (Party Preference: Democratic) – County Supervisor
  • Francisco "Frank" Ramirez (Party Preference: Democratic) – Business Consultant
  • Andy Vidak (Party Preference: Republican) – Farmer/Small Businessman
  • Mohammad "O" Arif (Party Preference: Peace and Freedom) – Businessman

Forecast: Leticia Perez, Andy Vidak in July runoff

AD80 - Hueso seat - May 21

  • Steve Castaneda (Party Preference: Democratic) – Small Businessman/Father
  • Lorena Gonzalez (Party Preference: Democratic) – Community Organizer/Mother

Forecast: Lorena Gonzalez wins outright (obviously, runoff is impossible)

POLS GONE WILD: How your CA legislators spent spring break [John Hrabe @ CalWatchdog] - "So, how did legislators spend their time off? Much like college students, state legislators’ travel plans varied greatly. One legislator traded his legislator’s pin for his reserve military uniform. A few legislators went wild on special interest junkets. But most legislators used the time away from Sacramento to serve their constituents."

ID REQ'D: Assembly panel approves bill to restrict ammunition sales in California [Melody Gutierrez @ SacBee] - "A bill to regulate the sale of ammunition in California cleared the Assembly Public Safety Committee on Tuesday. Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, said Assembly Bill 48 adds "reasonable safeguards" to the purchase of ammunition by requiring sellers to be licensed and purchasers to show identification. . . The Department of Justice would be required to notify local law enforcement of large-quantity purchases of more than 3,000 rounds that are made within a five-day period by someone who is not a police officer."

NERD: April Fools' Day Prank Tricks Sacramento Pols [Chris Megerian @ LAT]

 

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TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
Steinberg Joins Delegation In NY To Lobby NBA To Keep Kings In Sacramento
Dale Kasler @
sacbee.com
Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg is joining the delegation heading to New York to lobby the NBA to keep the Kings from moving to Seattle.

Brain Initiative Will Draw On Bay Area
Erin Allday @
sfgate.com
Bay Area scientists who already have led remarkable efforts to explore and describe the complex depths of the human brain will play a critical role in the $100 million brain-mapping project announced by President Obama on Tuesday.

California Safety Net Bills Will Test Jerry Brown
Dan Walters @
sacbee.com
The first two budgets that Jerry Brown proposed after returning to the governorship cleaved deeply into California's safety net of health and welfare services serving the aged, disabled and poor.

Despite Obama Backing, Democratic Congressman Has Primary Challenge
Anthony York @
latimes.com
The announcement from Ro Khanna, who worked in Obama’s Commerce Department, illustrates the continued impact of new California election rules approved by state voters in 2010. With voters free to vote for a candidate regardless of their party registration, and new political districts drawn by an independent commission, the power of party leaders to control elections has been diminished.

California Lawmakers Look To Regulate, Attract Drone Industry To State
Torey Van Oot @
sacbee.com
A technology long deployed on the battlefield could be coming to a farm, newspaper or police station near you.

San Jose, Other Cities, Find It Easier To Cut Retiree Health Perks Than Pensions
Local @
mercurynews.com
While battling unions in court to enact pension cuts city voters approved in June, San Jose is already seeing savings in retiree health benefits from simply adopting a cheaper plan.

Billionaire Dem hits Keystone hard -- in time for Obama's visit to SF home
Carla Marinucci @
blog.sfgate.com
Americans have seen rapid, dramatic shifts in political opinion on the issues of same sex marriage and immigration reform in recent months. But could climate change represent the next big political swing among Republicans and Democrats in the Beltway — and around the country? That’s what Democratic activist and billionaire Tom Steyer is betting — and that’s why, insiders say, he’s getting directly involved in some very big local races around the country in which environment could be the lynchpin issue.

Betty Yee's 2014 California Controller Campaign Staffs Up
Torey Van Oot @
blogs.sacbee.com
Board of Equalization Member Betty Yee's campaign to become California's top bookkeeper is getting underway.

April Fool's Day Prank Tricks Sacramento Pols
Chris Megerian @
latimes.com
An April Fool's Day prank piece in a political newsletter created a furor among Sacramento politicians.

Advocates Launch State Push For Obama’s Early Education Plan | Edsource Today
edsource.org
Atkin said the launch of the new campaign was scheduled for the week before the budget release and the day before the president is scheduled to visit California. There are plans afoot, she hinted, for someone to hand Obama a copy of the open letter during his travels in the state. The president is expected to attend fundraisers in San Francisco and Atherton on Wednesday and Thursday.

President Obama Taps San Diego Neuroscientists For Brain Mapping Initiative
David Wagner @
kpbs.org
What do GPS technology, the Internet and CT scans have in common? They all came about in part through government funding. Federal research money has helped scientists answer questions that would've seemed outlandish just decades ago — questions like: what's in the soil on Mars?

Greuel Vows To Be Independent From Unions Backing Her For Mayor
Maeve Reston @
latimes.com
Setting the stage for the final seven weeks of the campaign, Wendy Greuel vowed Tuesday that she would be independent from the labor interests backing her and framed herself as the “business-labor” candidate in the mayor’s race, while accusing her chief rival of demonizing “the working people” of Los Angeles.

Vote On California Historic Sites Splits On Partisan Lines
Jeremy B. White @
blogs.sacbee.com
Purely in terms of symbolic value, a bill honoring Cesar Chavez with a "California historical landmark" soon after the famous labor organizer's state holiday carries some significance.

Congress: Redlands Mayor Aguilar Will Run In 2014
JIM MILLER @
pe.com
Aguilar, though, was not on that ballot. Instead, in a nationally noted debacle for Democrats, Aguilar finished third to Miller and former state Sen. Bob Dutton, R-Rancho Cucamonga, in the top-two June 2012 primary.

San Jose, other cities, find easier cuts to retiree health perks than pensions
John Woolfolk @
mercurynews.com
While battling unions in court to enact pension cuts city voters approved in June, San Jose is already seeing savings in retiree health benefits from simply adopting a cheaper plan.

Pete Aguilar, Ro Khanna Announce Bids For Hot House Seats
Torey Van Oot @
blogs.sacbee.com
It's game on in two California congressional seats that are expected to home to be major fights in 2014.

California Legislature Takes First Steps Toward 'Ammo Control'
Steven Harmon @
mercurynews.com
Panel approves a bill to restrict ammunition sales; anybody seeking to obtain ammunition would have to buy from a licensed dealer and provide identification. Sales of ammunition would be reported to the Department of Justice, which would check against a registry of prohibited gun owners -- a tool to allow authorities to seize guns from those who are banned from possessing them.

Sacramento Arena Opponents Make Court Filing Saying It Will Sue To Block City's Plans
Dale Kasler and Ryan Lillis @
sacbee.com
An artist's rendering shows the arena – the oval-shaped building at center – proposed for the Downtown Plaza site by the investors hoping to buy the Sacramento Kings. The blue buildings at left are towers envisioned on J Street as part of a development plan to re-energize downtown.

Bills On Bullets, Hospital Tax Exempt Status Clear Early Hurdles | News10.net
news10.net


Sen. Mark Kirk announces support for same-sex marriage
Katherine Skiba, Chicago Tribune @
latimes.com
WASHINGTON — Sen. Mark Kirk on Tuesday announced that he supports gay marriage, joining a growing list of U.S. senators who offer such support.

How CA Legislators Spent Spring Break
John Hrabe @
calwatchdog.com
While Senator Ted Lieu was serving his country, both GOP legislative leaders were out-of-the-country ordering room service.

Dan Walters Daily
Jeremy B. White @
blogs.sacbee.com
A union-backed legislative proposal to make it easier to fire teachers would still give California's local school boards little say in the matter, Dan says.

Bill Would Ban Sale Of Live Animals At California Swap Meets
Marianne Russ @
kpbs.org
Live animals could no longer be sold at flea markets and swap meets in California under a bill making its way through the state legislature. As Marianne Russ reports from Sacramento, the bill cleared its first hurdle Tuesday.

N.Y. Lawmakers Charged in Plot to Buy Spot on Mayoral Ballot
nytimes.com
State Senator Malcolm A. Smith is accused of making payments to a city councilman as part of a bid to get on the mayoral ballot in New York, a criminal complaint said. Six people were arrested in the case.

State Hires Consumer Group To Help It Review Healthcare Rates
Chad Terhune @
latimes.com
The hiring of Consumer Watchdog prompts the health insurance industry to complain that the state has enlisted a longtime nemesis to scrutinize rate hikes.