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THE NOONER for July 3, 2013

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  • AD53 (Downtown LA): Added Los Angeles Unified School District trustee Monica Garcia (D)
  • AD54 (Culver City): Added former Culver City councilmember Christopher Armenta (D)

I received a lot of questions why I removed Congressman Buck McKeon under district changes yesterday. District changes reflect which changes I have made on, and are based on the best information I have gathered. Sometimes, I can't divulge where the information comes from, but it is far more likely than not that McKeon will retire this term. Indeed, this system is frought with challenges, and I will be occasionally wrong. Nevertheless, I'm trying to offer the best I can at any given moment.

SUBSCRIBERS can download a spreadsheet of all candidates, with district geography, analysis, and outlook.


STUDENTS FIRST! Michelle Rhee’s group tripled its budget [Byron Tau @ Politico] - I'm told that Rhee and husband Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson were doing the kissy-kissy at Cafeteria 15L on Monday.

SIGNATURE MOVE: Tab Berg's signature crew is working hard against the public subsidy of the new arena for the Sacramento Kings, and Safeway has now sued to keep them off the property of the 19th street store.

Also on the sports front, Anaheim "City-owned Angel Stadium needs upgrades costing up to $150 million over the next decade or so, an issue that might become part of lease negotiations with the baseball team, city officials said." [Sarah Tully @ OCR]

ISN'T THAT SPECIAL? Governor Jerry Brown yesterday set the election dates for AD45 and SD26. The primaries will be September 17 and, if no candidate receives 50%, the runoff will be November 19.

COW PUCKY: Former Assemblymember Chuck DeVore continues on his anti-California, pro-Texas campaign, now citing per capita GDP economic data from 2009-2011 to argue Texas is stronger then California. Of course, that's largely due to oil prices. I'd be willing to bet California beats Texas in 2012-2014.

CVRA: Anaheim to vote on district-based council set-up [Art Marroquin @ OCR] - "Voters will decide next year whether to expand the size of the Anaheim City Council by two members and whether to adopt a so-called residency-based district election system similar to those in Santa Ana, Newport Beach and the Orange Unified School District."

PENSIONS: From the amazing people at Ballotpedia, we now have "Pension Hotspots."

CHA-CHING: Union leader wins big at World Series of Poker [Craig Gustafson @ UTSD] - "The head of San Diego's largest employee union finished in fourth place and won nearly $144,000 Tuesday night in an event at the annual World Series of Poker in Las Vegas."

MISSING: Has anyone seen the San Francisco Giants? Last seen May 5.



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California Assembly, Senate Can't Agree On Summer Schedule
Jim Sanders @
The California Legislature fights over everything from taxes to red-light cameras, but routinely the two houses agree on details of a monthlong summer recess – until now.

Obama Administration Delays Key Part Of Healthcare Law
Noam N. Levey @
WASHINGTON – The Obama administration will delay a key requirement of the president’s 2010 healthcare law, bowing to pressure from businesses that have complained about a mandate that employers with more than 50 full-time employees provide health benefits or pay a fine.

Immigration Activists Stage Sit-in In Jerry Brown's Office
David Siders @
About a dozen protesters -- some of them said by activists to be undocumented immigrants -- are staging a sit-in this afternoon in Gov. Jerry Brown's office to lobby him on an immigration bill, prompting law enforcement officials to block the door to his reception area at the Capitol.

Dem Leaders Newsom, Chiang And Jones Spank Both Unions And Management In Bart Dispute
Wyatt Buchanan, Michael Collier, Richard Dunham, Bob Egelko, Joe Garofoli, Marisa Lagos, Carolyn Lochhead, Carla Marinucci, @
Dem leaders Newsom, Chiang and Jones spank both unions and management in BART dispute

Brown Sets Sept. 17 Election Date For Two L.A. Legislative Seats
Anthony York @
Gov. Jerry Brown has set the date for an election to fill two legislative seats left vacant when Bob Blumenfield and Curren Price took their seats this weekend on the Los Angeles City Council.

Special Session On Health Care Reform Ends With Progress
The California State Senate closed the special session on health care reform Monday following approval of legislation to reduce the number of uninsured in California and broaden Medi-Cal services available to low-income residents.

Anti-deportation Bill Advances As Immigrants Rally
Chris Megerian @
SACRAMENTO -- Undocumented immigrants rallied in the Capitol on Tuesday to support legislation aimed at reducing deportations, as California lawmakers continued tweaking the bill in hopes of winning Gov. Jerry Brown 's support.

Gov. Jerry Brown Appoints 26 As Part Of California Reorganization
Gov. Jerry Brown has made 26 appointments as part of his reorganization of state government, which takes full effect this week as the new fiscal year begins. The governor issued the announcement Monday evening for the midlevel bureaucrats, including deputy secretaries, deputy commissioners and deputy general counsels, who will be making between $45,000 and $150,120 a year. Of those, 19 will make salaries above $100,000.

2014 Water Bond Talks Begin With 'proposed Principles'
Dan Walters @
Public discussions of a revised state water bond for the 2014 ballot were launched Tuesday with release of "proposed principles" by the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee.

California's Hefty Fuel Taxes Buy Poor Roads
Dan Walters @
If you spend some time driving in other states, returning to California's roads and highways is a jarring experience - literally.

Empower Initiative Proponents :: Fox&hounds
Expect an effort to give more power to initiative proponents to protect measures passed by the voters. This effort will not split the political community along ideological lines as many issues often do. All sides appear concerned by the possibility of elected officials essentially vetoing an initiative they do not like by not defending it in court.

Brown Schedules Special Elections To Replace Blumenfield, Price
Annalise Mantz @
Gov. Jerry Brown issued proclamations on Tuesday to schedule special elections to fill two vacancies in the California Legislature.

Gov. Brown sets election date to fill two seats in Legislature
Anthony York @
Elections will be held Sept. 17 to fill the Assembly seat vacated by Bob Blumenfield and the Senate seat of Curren Price, who are now on the L.A. City Council.

Calif. Bill Banning Tax Breaks For Punitive Damages Heads Senate
Christopher Arns @
Los Angeles businesses are closer to losing the ability to claim a tax deduction for payouts made for punitive damages.

Senate considers public records amendment
The state Senate is set to consider a constitutional amendment that would guarantee the public's right to inspect local government records while shifting the cost away from the state budget.

City Unions: Wall Street Looted Oakland
Darwin BondGraham @
Oakland's employee unions and the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment released a report last week contending that banks have "looted" the city of nearly half a billion dollars over the past sixteen years. The report focuses on five "predatory practices" that, according to the group Reinvest in Oakland, have "gouged" taxpayers for approximately $468 million, a sum roughly equivalent to Oakland's general fund budget for an entire year.

Measure Seeks Special Protection For Bible Speech
By Josh Richman Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013 at 1:41 pm in ballot measures, Debra Bowen.

Sen. Ted Lieu Brings War College Skills To State Politics
Patrick McGreevy @
“Politics is war without bloodshed,” former Chinese Communist leader Mao Tse Tung once famously said.

Bart Strike Talks Resume As Attention Turns To Fourth Of July Travel
Mike Rosenberg and Matt O'Brien @
As train stations sat empty for a second day and commuters grew increasingly impatient, BART and its unions resumed negotiations Tuesday night with pressure mounting to halt a strike that now threatens Bay Area Fourth of July plans.

Bart Management, Unions To Go Back To The Negotiating Table
Maria L. La Ganga and Lee Romney @
This post has been updated. See below for details.

Chevron Refinery Blaze To Cost Richmond, School District Millions In Property Tax Revenues
Rick Radin and Robert Rogers @
Lost business income caused by the Chevron refinery fire has resulted in a big drop in the Richmond refinerys assessed value. A councilman says the void will destroy the budget we just adopted.

Gridlock, Anger During 3rd Day Of Strike - Sfgate
Commuters on Wednesday launched into a third day of coping with a strike by BART workers, after union leaders said they had made progress in negotiations that ended at 2:45 a.m. and were scheduled to resume in the afternoon. With BART service shut down again, the metering lights at the Bay Bridge went on early - at 5:25 a.m. - as drivers flooded the busy span, trying to beat the rush. At 7:30 a.m., traffic was gridlocked through the entire toll plaza, said CHP Officer Ron Simmons, who monitors the commute at the agency's traffic management center. Traffic was jammed along Interstate 80 and Interstate 580 as they approached the bridge, but Highway 24 was a relative breeze, Simmons said. BART and its unions met for nearly eight hours Tuesday night at Caltrans headquarters in downtown Oakland, and made headway in narrowing the wide gap between what the workers want and want the transit agency is willing to provide. Both sides are facing mounting pressure to resume talks, with politicians, business leaders and stranded BART riders calling for a quick resolution. Union leaders said they wouldn't be back until BART officials were willing to make "substantial changes" in their most recent offer, which called for a guaranteed 5 percent raise over the next four years, with an additional 3 percent based on ridership increases and other fiscal landmarks. The employees now pay nothing into their pension fund and pay $92 a month toward health care, regardless of how many dependants receive medical coverage.

Bart Strike: Labor Talks Set To Resume After 36-hour Break Since Shutdown
Mike Rosenberg @
BART management announced it would meet at a neutral office with mediators and union leaders in another attempt to hammer our a new contract.