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THE NOONER for June 4, 2013

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  • AD55 (San Gabriel/North Orange): Added small business owner Chris Brown (D)



With Bill Lockyer's annoucement yesterday that he will not seek public office next year for the first time in 40 years, it seemed to be great news for Betty Yee. But, the early announcement that Lockyer--who sports a $2.2 million war chest, second only to Jerry Brown--is now drawing the attention of other possible candidates that are looking to move next year.

You may think "Why does anyone care about state controller?" However, remember that the controller is the fifth member of the Board of Equalization, a member of the CalPERS board, a member of the Teachers Retirement Board overseeing CalSTRS, and 81 other state boards and commissions. Aside from governor, it is the busiest job in state government. And, it's a priority office for labor, because of those retirement board votes.

One possible candidate is Wendy Greuel, who lost a hotly contested race for Los Angeles mayor last month. She's leaving the job as controller of the state's largest city at the end of this month, and has the relationships and pedigree to instantly become a top candidate. This would be great news for Sheila Kuehl, as it would avoid a bitter race for Los Angeles county supervisor next year. And, if successful, controller would put Greuel on the bench for governor in 2018. However, Wendy has young kids, making both the race for, and job of, supervisor much more attractive.

Also being talked about is Assembly Speaker John Perez. Perez is termed out next year, and at 43, has a lot of career years ahead of him. Unfortunately, there aren't many destinations next year. Hilda Solis is running to succeed Gloria Molina in his county supe district. His state senate seat (SD30), is seen as a black district, although Latinos and Asians total 60% of the voting-age population. Perez has over $2.5 million in cash in three committees, most of which could be used for a statewide run. That said, the job of controller is much different from the very political job of Speaker and is truly a job in the weeds.

And, then there is Phil Angelides, who has been looking for a re-entry point following 7 years in the private sector and after chairing the national commission that looked at the financial crisis. While he lost the governor's race in a landslide against Schwarzenegger in 2006, he was an effective fundraiser and campaigner in his two runs for treasurer (against Curt Pringle in '98 and Greg Conlon in '02). The only thing that might keep him out is the upcoming development opportunities downtown with the Sacramento Kings deal, although neither Angelides nor his mentor Angelo Tsakapolous have been  part of the public discussions thus far.

Betty Yee is a hard working public servant and is loved within the Democratic Party and in the Capitol where she was a staffer. That said, she has a hard time raising money and doesn't have the relationships that will result in big organization endorsements if higher profile candidates jump in.

SD16: Did an organizing effort of sex offenders and other detainee patients at the 1,500-bed Coalinga State Hospital help Leticia Perez make it to a runoff against Andy Vidak

LA-LA: LA budget report: fiscal year was a tale of two halves [Alice Walton @ SCPR]

Also, Los Angeles County was just rated F1+ by Fitch, the highest rating possible on a tax and revenue anticipation note (TRAN).

SANDY EGGO: City Council To Take Up Controversial Campaign Contribution Cap [KPBS]

HUNGRY FOR DORITOS TACOS? This should cause those cravings to go away.



Exiting Politics, Bill Lockyer Ponders What Might Have Been
Dan Morain @
Bill Lockyer has been one of the most driven, flawed and incredibly talented politicians of our time.

Former Obama Political Director Running For East Bay Assembly Seat
Joe Garofoli @
Count another former member of Team Obama as a candidate for office. Peggy Moore, Obama’s political director in California for both his 2008 and 2012 campaigns, confirmed that she indeed is running for the 15th state Assembly District seat. That’s the one that Berkeley Democrat Nancy Skinner is termed out of.

California Lawmakers Vote To Exclude Public From Some Meetings
Patrick McGreevy @
Conversations between the governor and local government boards could be held behind closed doors under proposed legislation in California.

A Few Of Bill Lockyer's Notable Quotes
Josh Richman @
As I report today on California Treasurer Bill Lockyer’s decision not to run for controller in 2014, and so to retire from elected office after a 46-year career, I thought it might be nice to revisit some of his “straight talk.”

Dan Morain: Lockyer brought flaws, drive and talent to state politics
Bill Lockyer has been one of the most driven, flawed and incredibly talented politicians of our time.

Prop 13 Name Still Has Power :: Fox&hounds
When one sample group was asked if they would lower the vote requirement to pass a parcel tax increase from the current two-thirds requirement to 55%, voters rejected the idea by about 10-points. However, when the second sample group was asked if they would amend Proposition 13 to lower the vote requirement on parcel taxes from two-thirds to 55%, the idea went down by 20-points, twice as much.

Are California Enterprise Zones Just For Cronies?
Dan Walters @
Yes, it was a semi-cheesy, made-for-media event – two state legislators standing in front of a suburban Sacramento strip club to complain for TV cameras that it got corporate tax breaks meant to help the poor.

Block Party Funding For Antonio Villaraigosa, Eric Garcetti Questioned
Rick Orlov @
The annual Celebrate LA cultural heritage event set for Friday featuring former President Clinton and serving as a send-off for Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa as well as a welcome to Mayor-elect Eric Garcetti continues to draw controversy over its cost.

Governor Asked To Halt Pending Lease Of Coliseum To USC
Rong-Gong Lin II and Paul Pringle @
A trustee of the California Science Center's foundation Monday called on Gov. Jerry Brown to stop a pending lease that would give USC millions of dollars worth of parking owned by the state museum as part of a deal to grant the private school control of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

Lawmakers Debate Whether To Overhaul Or Abolish Enterprise Zones
Katie Orr @
The question facing California lawmakers is whether to overhaul or eliminate enterprise zones. The zones provide tax breaks to businesses located within their boundaries as a way to spur economic and job growth.

California Officials Launch Effort To Overhaul State Parks
Matt Weiser @
California officials on Monday launched a new program to analyze and overhaul the state parks system, to be led by a volunteer commission.

California DNA Law Is Broader Than Program Upheld By Supreme Court
Maura Dolan @
The U.S. Supreme Court's decision upholding the right of authorities to take DNA from people when they are arrested only partially assures that California's DNA collection program will survive court challenges, experts said Monday.

Keystone Opponent Tom Steyer Warns Obama To Reject Pipeline Or Face Backlash
Billionaire and climate activist Tom Steyer has written an open letter to President Obama, warning him to reject the Keystone XL pipeline or face an organized rebellion from some of his most loyal supporters later this month.

Governor Would Benefit From Exemption To Open Meeting Law
Patrick McGreevy @
Lawmakers on Monday moved to roll back state open-government rules, passing a measure that would allow the public to be excluded from certain gatherings including the governor and county officials.  

Dan Morain: Exiting politics, Bill Lockyer ponders what might have been
Bill Lockyer has been one of the most driven, flawed and incredibly talented politicians of our time.

Kaiser Making Big Push For Health Care Rally At Capitol
More than 100 buses will converge on Sacramento from all parts of the state, but a third of them are starting at Kaiser facilities.

Judge Says Witnesses, Evidence Disagree In Inmate Beating Case
Jon Ortiz @
The investigation concluded that five prison guards pinned down, kicked and stomped a handcuffed inmate so violently that one nearby onlooker wept, closed her eyes and began to pray.

Willful Defiance Suspensions Vary Widely Among San Diego County Districts
Kyla Calvert @
Students can be suspended in California for 24 types of offenses. They include causing physical harm, bullying and theft. But 48 percent of the state’s suspensions during the 2011-12 school year were willful defiance or disruption.

Sen. Frank Lautenberg, Five-term New Jersey Democrat, Dies At 89
Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg, a five-term New Jersey Democrat and reliably liberal voter who campaigned to toughen anti-smoking laws and environmental regulations, died June 3 at a hospital in New York City. He was 89.

California Prisoners Are Free To Read As Much Werewolf Erotica As They Want
Abby Ohlheiser @
Andres Martinez, serving time for attempted murder and robbery at the Secured Housing Unit at Pelican Bay State Prison in California, is free to read his werewolf-human erotica novel, according to a decision handed down by the First District Court of Appeal. And guess what? The ruling, which itself is an amazing piece of writing, actually breaks new ground on stepping back obscenity law.

Lockyer's Next Gig: Comedian?
Wyatt Buchanan @
With the announcement that California Treasurer Bill Lockyer will retire from public office after his term ends next year, we’d thought you might enjoy the lighter side of this career politician.

Bond Rating Agencies Give L.A. County Highest Marks -- Again
Jason Song @
Los Angeles County received the highest possible short-term bond rating from three major companies, officials said Monday, meaning the nation's largest county government will pay lower interest rates when borrowing money.

President Obama Calls On Teachers To Help Identify Mental Health Disorders In Students
Jane Meredith Adams @
President Barack Obama on Monday asked teachers to help identify and seek help for children who are suffering from mental health disorders, saying that it was time to bring “mental illness out of the shadows.”

2 Inmates Die In Separate Calif. Prison Incidents
DON THOMPSON, Associated Press @
One inmate died and two others were seriously injured in a fight Monday that involved about 40 inmates at a state prison in the San Joaquin Valley, corrections officials said.