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THE NOONER for May 31, 2013
ATTN DC READERS:
THE GENTLEMAN FROM KENTUCKY: Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) is on a California tour and pens an op-ed in the FlashReport arguing how Republicans can win back California and, in doing so, undermines Abel Maldonado's campaign for governor:
A more libertarian Republican might be able to attract support from California voters by ending the horribly unjust practice of mandatory minimum sentencing, in which non-violent drug offenders are put in jail along with murderers and rapists—often for sentences longer than murderers and rapist. Many of these offenders have no prior record. It is wrong to ruin the lives of young people for making a mistake and I will always do everything I can to keep non-violent offenders out of prison. I’ve introduced bipartisan legislation to end mandatory minimum sentencing.
Frankly, it's a great piece and I agree with Paul's approach. The challenge is implementation, as large elements of the coalition that unites behind Republicans wouldn't buy Paul's strategy, particularly in California, where the party has shrunk so much to be controlled by the most ideological members. From my catbird seat, a very small share of California Republicans are libertarians. Many true libertarians have left to become "no party preference" voters, and vascillate between voting Republican, Democrat, or not at all.
Republicans can get these voters back--but only if they have candidates to attract the voters. And, those candidates have to get through primary elections at the bottom of the rung and successively climb the ladder toward statewide office, and then successfully make it through tough top-two primaries to be on the general election ballot. That's no small feat, and there's no indication that the Proposition 25 top-two primary will make a remarkable difference.
It can happen, but will take a long time. This has been the goal of Charles Munger, who has spent millions to elect GOP candidates who can attract majority support in swing districts. However, it's been largely unsuccessful, partially because other special interests--particularly regulated businesses and law enforcement--are beholden to the strong Democratic dominance of state politics. Becoming a strong funder of the GOP rebuilding effort is risky, as it'll likely take 20 years to make a meaningful impact at the statewide level. That's how challenged the GOP bench is. During that rebuilding time, the special interests will be pummeled in the Legislature unless they share their wealth with the Democrats.
Good luck, Mr. Brulte. Rand Paul is right, but it's no easy task.
RANT: I grew up in the OC and knew lots of folks who worked at Disneyland. The exploding dry ice prank is as old as Steamboat Willie. This prosecution is absolute crap, and wouldn't have happened if the kid was wealthy and white. Yup, I said it. Should he be fired? Absolutely. $500,000 bail and the possibility of 7 years in prison? Absolute crap, and the Orange County D.A.'s office should be ashamed.
Speaking of the OC, I'm giving the commencement address at Cypress College tonight. However, I really want to just show this YouTube video.
GOATFEST! Tomorrow is the third "GoatFest" hosted at the goat estate of Mike Madrid. Following the lead of Mayor Kevin Johnson, organizers have announced that Cake will be performing, although the band has no idea of that. Great event, wish I could be there tomorrow, but I'll be at Disneyland with my niece steering clear of pranksters with dry ice.
REBRAND: Rick Claussen, Josh Ginsberg, Aaron McClear and Ned Wigglesworth have combined forces under a new firm--Redwood Pacific Public Affairs.
DEPT OF CORRECTIONS: Phil Hawkins ran for SD27 against Betty Karnette in 1996, and Sally Havice received 2,000 more votes than Richard Lambros to be elected to AD56.
SD16: July 23 runoff...
TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
Advocates Fear Gov. Jerry Brown's School Funding Plan Could Hurt Small Programs
Jeremy B. White @ sacbee.com
Now advocates warn that the California School Age Families Education program, or CalSAFE, and others like it could become casualties of Gov. Jerry Brown's push to streamline California's school funding machinery.
Health Care Safety Net: County Leaders Protest Governor's Proposal To Remove $300 Million Statewide This Year
Local @ mercurynews.com
Brown argues that the counties will no longer need this money for indigent care because several million Californians will become newly insured as major provisions of the national health reform law take effect beginning Jan. 1. But county health leaders from around the Bay Area said Tuesday they expect thousands of their residents to remain uninsured, and in need of government-funded health care.
Calif. Assembly Passes Bill To Raise Minimum Wage
Laura Olson @ sfgate.com
Minimum-wage workers in California would see their first raises in six years under a bill that passed the state Assembly on Thursday.
Senate Dems Flex Their Supermajority Muscle. Will The Assembly?
Wyatt Buchanan, Michael Collier, Richard Dunham, Bob Egelko, Joe Garofoli, Marisa Lagos, Carolyn Lochhead, Carla Marinucci, @ blog.sfgate.com
Senate Dems flex their supermajority muscle. Will the Assembly?
California Senate Passes Modified State Tax Break For Investors
Dan Walters @ blogs.sacbee.com
Legislation that would partially reinstate a tax break for investors in small California companies cleared the state Senate on Thursday despite complaints from some senators that it doesn't go far enough and others that it goes too far.
California Senate Seeks To Shed More Light On Campaign Cash
Patrick McGreevy @ latimes.com
A package of three bills aimed at requiring greater disclosure of political campaign finances in California has been approved by the state Senate.
House Members Blast Brown's Delta Water Plan
Josh Richman @ ibabuzz.com
Five members of Congress held a news conference in Sacramento this morning to renew their staunch opposition to the Bay Delta Conservation Plan proposed by Gov. Jerry Brown and the U.S. Department of the Interior.
Assembly Debates Bill On Hospital Charity Care
Juliet Williams @ mercurynews.com
The state Assembly weighed legislation Thursday that would force nonprofit hospitals to prove they provide enough charitable care to justify their tax-exempt status and establish uniform reporting standards for hospitals.
Mentally Ill California Inmates Ask Judge To Change Policies
Paige St. John @ latimes.com
Lawyers representing 33,000 prison inmates want the changes to curb excessive use of force. Corrections officials say the state meets mental health care standards.
State Assembly Passes Bill Providing Small Step Toward New Warriors Arena | Abc7news.com
The legislation from Democratic Assemblyman Phil Ting of San Francisco authorizes the city's port commission to approve using waterfront land for the proposed arena. Significant public access to the site must be retained.
Bill Would Allow Child-care Workers To Unionize
Chris Megerian @ latimes.com
The California Assembly approved legislation that would allow thousands of child-care workers to join unions.
Bill Requires More Disclosure From Charter Schools
SACRAMENTO, Calif.—California charter schools would be subject to the same open meeting laws and disclosure requirements as school boards and local governments under a bill passed by the Assembly.
Fracking Bans Are Weakened In Legislative Proposals
Chris Megerian and Patrick McGreevy @ latimes.com
SACRAMENTO — Legislation that would limit fracking in California is being trimmed to remove proposed bans on the controversial practice until its environmental impact can be studied.
California Democrats' Hegemony In Jeopardy
Dan Walters @ sacbee.com
When Democrats â perhaps surprising even themselves â won two-thirds supermajorities in both legislative houses last year, party subfactions began buzzing over how their new hegemony would be employed.
Lawyers Claim Physical Abuse Of Mentally Ill Inmates
Paige St. John @ latimes.com
Prison lawyers have asked a federal judge to sanction California for excessive physical punishment, from overuse of pepper spray to isolation in barren cells, against mentally ill inmates.
Opponents Of Sacramento Arena Subsidy Aiming For Special Election - Kings/nba - The Sacramento Bee
The city released what it is calling a conceptual drawing showing a new Kings arena at the Downtown Plaza site.
Ban On Plastic Grocery Bags Rejected By State Senate
Patrick McGreevy @ latimes.com
A proposal to ban single-use plastic grocery bags in California is dead after it failed to win passage in the state Senate.
Final vote tally requires runoff election in 16th Senate District
Patrick McGreevy @ latimes.com
Republican Andy Vidak is to face the second-place candidate, Democrat Leticia Perez, in a July 23 runoff election.
Gov. Jerry Brown Signs Bill To Give Red Hawk Casino A Break On State Payments - Business - The Sacramento Bee
Red Hawk Casino's profits have grown.
California Senate trashes ban on plastic shopping bags
Laurel Rosenhall @ blogs.sacbee.com
A proposal to ban plastic grocery bags in California went the way of so many plastic bags - into the trash can - on Thursday when it failed to garner enough votes in the state Senate to move ahead in the lawmaking process.
Medicare outlook improves as healthcare costs grow more slowly
Noam N. Levey @ latimes.com
WASHINGTON – In another indication of the impact of slowing healthcare costs, the federal government Friday upgraded its assessment of the financial health of the Medicare insurance program for the elderly and disabled.
LAX Sued Over Its Latest Round Of Construction
Dan Weikel @ latimes.com
A labor union, 4 local governments and a neighborhood coalition filed suits challenging the work, including a plan to move the northernmost runway closer to homes.
Senate Democrat defends background check vote in first ad
Michael A. Memoli @ latimes.com
WASHINGTON -- As some Democrats argue the politics of the gun issue have changed, the first ad run by one of the party's Senate Democrats highlights his vote against expanded background checks for gun purchases.