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THE NOONER for June 10, 2013

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Join me for Politics and Pints - Monday, June 17 at 6:30pm (or whenever House session ends) at the community table on the first floor of Hawk n Dove, 329 Penn Ave SE.



  • SD07 2016 (San Ramon Valley): Added Assemblymember Susan Bonilla (D)

SUBSCRIBERS: downloadable spreadsheet of all candidates 

DEADLINE: The Legislature has five days to make some big decisions and approve the state budget before those paychecks stop. Chris Megerian and Anthony York report a deal may be near on county health care funding.


CD31: Ex-lawmakers can’t resist lure of Congress [Alex Isanstadt @ Politico] - "For others, it’s about winning a seat back they’re convinced they shouldn’t have lost in the first place. Former California Rep. Joe Baca — who was sunk in part by a barrage of ads by a super PAC financed by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg — called his loss a fluke. 'I don’t like the way I went out,' he said. 'I want to go out on my own terms.'"

...of course, Baca lost in a different district that he ran for thinking he was safer...

ENDORSEMENTS: I generally don't include endorsements in The Nooner, as tracking them would a full-time job. However, there were two big ones in upcoming specials over the weekend:

  • AD45: Andra Hoffman by Bob Blumenfield, who is leaving the seat for L.A. City Council.
  • AD52: Freddie Rodriquez by the California Democratic Party via endorsement caucus

CAN WE TALK? I am reluctant to write today's Nooner, as I have been debating all weekend whether to write about the tragedy at Santa Monica College. Few of you open The Nooner to read my personal opinion, and I love the political, demographic, and geographic diversity of our little community of 7,000 readers. That said, you are political leaders, and we've got to face an issue.

For the second time in seven months, my pleasant ride Friday on Virgin America's flight 1 from SFO to Reagan National (plug for great flight) was disrupted by the news of another shooting on a school campus. However, this time was at one of the colleges I represent--Santa Monica College. 

As the facts came out, the story became eerily similar to the Newtown shooting in December. A deranged young man began by killing family members and then--for whatever reason--took a purposeful suicide mission public. At the end, five people were dead, including three members from our campus community. This included a 68 year-old groundskeeper and his daughter, who just bought her summer school books as she was preparing to transfer from West Los Angeles College to CSU Dominguez Hills.

From the facts, city and college police, and college faculty and staff did everything right and it's amazing that 70 shots were fired in the library and nobody in the building was physically injured aside from the shooter. Of course, what's often ignored is that the students, faculty and staff barricaded in the room that was shot up will be emotionally injured for the rest of their lives.

What has shocked me most this weekend, however, has been the lack of media and political attention to this tragedy. Perhaps it's because little kids weren't killed, but that was just a collateral fact. I picked up the Saturday New York Times expecting to find the story on the front page, which it was not (A16). Meanwhile, page A1 featured stories on college sports recruiting and cicadas. I can't be suspicious that part of this is the fact that the carnage ended at a community college and not a K-12 school or elite university.

From what I can tell, neither Barack Obama nor Dianne Feinstein have said a word about this, as they instead talk about the national security interest in reviewing every phone call we make.

I am not writing to demand gun control, although some of you wish I did and others are already hitting the "reply" button to angrily criticize me for doing. I just want our media and political leaders to be willing to continue this conversation. 

[Jennifer Fearing, avert your eyes.] I enjoy hunting with my dad on my late grandfather's ranch in Live Oak County, Texas. And, I've enjoyed destroying beer cans on the ranch with an AR-15-style rifle. Of course, that's the only thing that it is good for other than war. You don't want to defend your house with it or hunt game with it.

Democrats are the ones who tabled the national discussion are are least willing to have it, fearing their U.S. Senate majority in next year's election. Nobody seems to be willing to talk about the fact that it's easier to buy 1,000 rounds AR-15 ammo than a 12-pack of Sudafed. Democrats in Sacramento seem more concerned with plastic bags killing wildlife. This isn't a partisan issue.

Are we really afraid to ask the question how someone who was institutionalized as a juvenile got his hands on an assault rifle, a handgun, tactical fear, and 1,300 rounds of ammunition?

That seems as least as worthy of a discussion than who I butt-dialed last night.

Fleischman, I extended your subscription another day so you don't have to pay for this column.



Five CA GOP state senators back $2 billion tax extension
John Hrabe @
The Senate Republican Caucus’ own analysis identified the bill as "the continuation of billions of dollars of vehicle registration fees and tire taxes for eight years."

L.A.'s Latino Senators Divided On Banning Plastic Bags
Marc Lifsher @
Other lawmakers, saying their priority is keeping jobs in their communities, vote it down on the Senate floor.

Tax-boost Plan Undermines Stockton's Bankruptcy Case
Dan Walters @
The case has nationwide ramifications because it potentially opens the door to stressed cities reducing pension benefits, and because the municipal bond industry is warning that if it takes a big loss, it will make state and local borrowing more difficult and more costly, especially in California.

Separating Fact From Fiction About Common Core Education Standards
Renee Schoof, McClatchy Washington Bureau @
A backlash against the Common Core educational standards for grade school has hit the radio talk shows and Internet blogs in recent weeks.

Proposition 8: Possible Outcomes For California's Gay Marriage Ban In U.S. Supreme Court
Local @
With its current term winding to a close this month, the U.S. Supreme Court has a varied menu of options for deciding the outcome of the now four-year legal battle over Proposition 8, Californias ban on same-sex marriage.

Treatments Of Physical And Mental Health Are Coming Together
Anna Gorman @
Physicians and therapists traditionally haven't collaborated much when treating the same patient, but the federal healthcare law is spurring a change.

Legislative leaders circulate 'compromise' on school funding
A deal apparently has been struck among legislative leaders, if not the governor, in the bitter battle over California school financing.

Republican Kelly Ayotte backs Senate immigration reform bill
Katherine Skiba @
WASHINGTON—Sen. Kelly Ayotte, a conservative Republican, announced her support Sunday for a bipartisan immigration overhaul plan, lending momentum to the comprehensive measure being debated in the Senate.

What to look for in Senate immigration debate
Memo to supporters of bipartisan legislation moving to the Senate floor: Make sure you stress that immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally would have to work, learn English, pass a background check and, especially, pay taxes before they could gain citizenship.

Feinstein "Open" To Public NSA Hearings
Connor Simpson @
Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein revealed she's open to holding public hearing about the National Security Agency's surveillance programs during an appearance on ABC's This Week. "I'm open to doing a hearing every month if that's necessary," she said. Feinstein said there was a classified session on the program attended by 27 senators on Thursday, but she also recognized there was increasing calls for public explanation and debate about the agency's activity. Still, it's difficult to talk about a classified program in public. "We can't actually go in there and - other than the two that have been released - give the public an actual idea of people that have been saved, attacks that have been prevented, that kind of thing," Feinstein said.

Immigration Bill Debate Nears in Senate
The Obama administration is hoping establish a legacy with the passage of an immigration overhaul, while Republicans are hoping to improve their relations with Latino voters.

Proposed tunnels could make delta water saltier
The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta could become saltier if the state builds the two massive diversion tunnels Gov. Jerry Brown has proposed to supply water to the Central Valley and Southern California.

Editorial: County still has to hold the line on spending
For the first time in five years, Sacramento County's proposed budget does not call for layoffs or furloughs or significant cuts.

Poll shows Californians favor legalizing same-sex marriage
Maura Dolan @
Change in voters' attitudes is 'across the board' -- region, ethnicity, age, religion. The biggest shift is among seniors.

Mayor-Elect Eric Garcetti Swamped With Ideas, Job Candidates
Rick Orlov @
In the first days since announcing his transition plans to seek ideas from the public and solicit new faces for city hall, Mayor-elect Eric Garcetti has been deluged with those who want to be part of the new administration, which takes the reins from outgoing Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on July 1.

Dan Walters Daily
Amy Gebert @
California lawmakers face a constitutional deadline Saturday for passing a state budget, which is bringing a long-running conflict to the fore, Dan says.

Gay marriage in California: U.S. Supreme Court's clock ticking to decide Proposition 8
Howard Mintz @
With a U.S. Supreme Court decision expected any time, the future of gay marriage in California hangs in the balance as justices weigh a wide spectrum of possible outcomes.

Disclosures On NSA Spying Alarm Lawmakers, Tech Companies
Joseph Menn and Jonathan Weber @
Recent revelations about the National Security Agency's expansive data-collection efforts have underscored the power of electronic surveillance in the Internet era and renewed an historic debate over how far the government should go in spying on its own people.

Zuckerberg, And Cynical Civic Psychobabble « Calbuzz
Back when dinosaurs roamed the Earth, a youthful Calbuzzer was on hand when Democratic Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton emerged from a meeting at the Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose to announce that John Young of Hewlett Packard, John Sculley of Apple, John Doerr of Kleiner Perkins and other Republican-leaning high-tech executives were supporting his bid for president.

Edward Snowden, NSA-surveillance Whistle-blower: 4 Things To Know
Zeke J. Miller @
Edward Snowden, the 29-year-old defense contractor who leaked classified documents on U.S. government surveillance programs, revealed himself Sunday afternoon in interviews with the Guardian and the Washington Post.

California Legislature faces midnight Saturday deadline to pass a budget
Mike Rosenberg and Sharon Noguchi @
With California lawmakers facing a midnight Saturday deadline to pass a spending plan, the annual number-crunching debate no longer centers on whether the state's books are balanced but how much of a possible surplus should be spent.

California Tops List Of States With Water Infrastructure Needs
Bettina Boxall @
California could use $44.5 billion to fix aging water systems over the next two decades, according to an EPA assessment. Texas and New York are next in line.