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THE NOONER for August 1, 2013
POLL POSITION: PPIC is out with a new statewide survey, with a focus on environmental issues.
CAJONES GRANDE: Filner's lawyer shifts blame to city [Mark Walker @ UTSD] - "Mayor Bob Filner’s legal strategy appears to be to shift blame on the city for his alleged inappropriate behavior toward women because he didn't receive sexual harassment training as required under the municipal code. In a Monday letter to the City Attorney’s Office, Filner's attorney Harvey Berger said the city has a legal obligation to provide such training to all management-level employees within six months of being hired. Berger said Filner was scheduled to receive the training, but it was canceled by the coordinator and never rescheduled."
Bob Filner may turn out to be Republicans' best friend [Robin Abcarian @ LAT] - "Long starved of power, many San Diego liberals were willing to overlook Filner's reputation. That may turn out to be a colossal miscalculation."
SECRETS: PAC pushes Sacramento arena vote but won't say where its getting its money  - "A conservative Orange County political action committee that's pushing a public vote on Sacramento's proposed NBA arena has refused to disclose its donors or say why it's involved in the effort. . .
Filings reveal finances for Long Beach area politicians campaigning for California legislature [Andrew Edwards @ LB Press-Telegram]
Ron Calderon & Nancy Skinner Participated in Cuba Junket [John Hrabe] - "Calderon and Skinner were among eight state legislators who secretly traveled to Havana with Sacramento's "best connected" lobbyist, Darius Anderson."
BLAST FROM THE PAST: Former State Assemblyman Robert Pacheco Picked For Walnut City Council [Melanie C. Johnson @ Patch]
TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
Cupid's Work Gets Complicated As California Lawmaker Dates Lobbyist - Capitol And California - The Sacramento Bee
Lobbyist Carolyn Ginno, left, and freshman Assemblyman Brian Maienschein, R-San Diego, appear together back in his district.
Jerry Brown Has $10 Million Banked For Reelection Campaign
Anthony York @ latimes.com
Gov. Jerry Brown has more than $10 million in the bank to aid his 2014 reelection bid, and an additional $3 million left over from the effort to pass Proposition 30 last fall.
Barbara Boxer Pushes Ahead On Chemical Safety Law - Sfgate
Sen. Barbara Boxer seized control of a major overhaul of chemical safety law Wednesday, putting Republicans and moderate Democrats on the defensive and demanding tougher regulation of thousands of industrial chemicals blamed for rising rates of cancer, asthma, early puberty and other maladies. The liberal Boxer, who wrote a novel whose heroine tangled with chemical companies, must find a way to draw support from Republicans and the chemical industry or risk repeating almost a decade of fruitless efforts to muscle through legislation the industry opposed. Lautenberg and Boxer led failed efforts to reform the law until spring, when Lautenberg, seeking a breakthrough at age 89, brokered a deal with Vitter that alarmed California officials and many public health and environmental activists. The industry, facing a tide of new rules by states, big retailers and foreign governments banning various chemicals in consumer products, has abandoned the old regime and now wants federal regulation.
Hollywood Liberals, Oil Firms Unite For Jerry Brown Reelection Effort
Anthony York @ latimes.com
SACRAMENTO -- What do Wal-Mart, oil companies and some of Hollywood’s most famous liberal donors have in common? They all are backing Gov. Jerry Brown ’s reelection bid.
Abel Maldonado in debt while Jerry Brown tops $10 M in gov's race
David Siders @ blogs.sacbee.com
Abel Maldonado, who is preparing to challenge Gov. Jerry Brown in next year's gubernatorial race, finished the first half of the year about $3,348 in debt, while the Democratic governor further padded his multi-million fundraising advantage, according to financial statements filed Wednesday.
Obama Returns To Golden State Next Week: Leno, Troops
Wyatt Buchanan, Michael Collier, Richard Dunham, Bob Egelko, Joe Garofoli, Marisa Lagos, Carolyn Lochhead, Carla Marinucci, @ blog.sfgate.com
Obama returns to Golden State next week: Leno, troops
Prison Hunger Strike Supporters Mingle With Trayvon Martin Protesters
Paige St. John @ latimes.com
SACRAMENTO -- California's prison hunger strike continued in its 24th day Wednesday with 498 inmates refusing meals, state prison officials said.
Pac Pushes Sacramento Arena Vote But Won't Say Where Its Getting Its Money - Kings/nba - The Sacramento Bee
Sacramento Kings officials on Tuesday announced the hiring of Turner Construction to build an arena, seen in an artist's drawing.
Donors To California's Rising Democrats Include Geffen, Soros, Trump
Melanie Mason and Patrick McGreevy @ latimes.com
SACRAMENTO -- Atty. Gen. Kamala D. Harris , one of the state's rising Democratic stars, raked in more than $1.7 million during the first half of 2013 and has $2.7 million in the bank, according to campaign finance reports filed today.
Ron Calderon & Nancy Skinner Participated in Cuba Junket
John Hrabe @ johnhrabe.com
State Senator Ron Calderon, D-Montebello, and Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, joined a lobbyist-organized trip to Cuba during the legislatureÂs spring break, state campaign finance disclosure reports have confirmed.
University Of California 2012 Payroll Up 6 Percent
Phillip Reese @ blogs.sacbee.com
The University of California paid its employees across the state $11.25 billion last year, up 6 percent from 2011, according to figures released today.
Unions May Issue 72-hour Notice To Strike If No Progress Is Made In Bart Negotiations
Meanwhile, Josie Mooney, chief negotiator for the local Service Employees International Union, said unions submitted their last financial proposal on July 17 and are awaiting a counter-offer from BART.
Crowded Field For State Assembly Vacancy; Only Two Vie For Senate Seat
Patrick McGreevy @ latimes.com
The fields of candidates are set for two special legislative elections to be held on Sept. 17, and it looks like only one of them is likely to require a runoff election.
BART, facing strike, hasn't budged from financial offer in a month -- have unions?
Mike Rosenberg @ mercurynews.com
The latest proposals revealed by either side show unions and management several percentage points apart on the three significant issues that remain: pay and contributions to health care and pensions.
Immigration Reform Predictions Are Mathematical And Personal
Cindy Chang @ latimes.com
Tom Wong, who grew up without legal status, is using statistical models to guess the outcome of immigration reform in Congress — and change it.
GOP senator's changed vote puts ATF nominee on verge of confirmation
Michael A. Memoli @ latimes.com
WASHINGTON – B. Todd Jones is on the cusp of becoming the first Senate-confirmed director of the ATF Thursday, after a fierce lobbying effort successfully swayed a single Republican lawmaker to change her vote.
BART strike ban would need state legislation
The 4 1/2-day BART strike in July gave the Bay Area a taste of the torture that may await Monday if the transit agency fails to reach agreement with its two largest unions. Courts in California have upheld the right of public employees to strike with two major exceptions - when a strike "would create a substantial and imminent threat to public safety" or when a law specifically prohibits certain workers from striking. In California, the only state law banning public employees from walking off the job in a labor dispute applies to firefighters. Hard to find backerBut banning public transportation strikes or, specifically, a BART strike, would require state legislation that would certainly be opposed by labor unions and would probably not find a backer among the Bay Area delegation. Despite earlier BART strikes - the most recent before the July walkout was in 1997 and lasted six days - and the every-four-year threat of a strike, the idea of banning BART strikes has apparently never been broached at the transit agency or in the Legislature. San Francisco's City Charter has two sections banning strikes by public employees - one regarding police officers and firefighters, and another governing other workers. -- BART expects to spend $15 billion over 20 to 25 years making system improvements that include replacing 40-year-old rail cars, upgrading a train control system and adding a new maintenance facility.
Dan Walters @ blogs.sacbee.com
Middle-age, low-income workers living in California's rural counties were the most likely to lose their jobs and their health insurance during the severe recession that struck the state six years ago.
Exclusive: Russian Billionaire Seeks U.S. Government Financing For Luxury Jets | Reuters
Joshua Schneyer and Brian Grow @ reuters.com
Our top photos from the past 24 hours. Slideshow
Gov. Jerry Brown Has 223 Times As Much Money As His Closest 2014 Challenger
Josh Richman @ mercurynews.com
Brown, who has not yet formally announced that he will run next year, raised $2.8 million in the first six months of 2013 and had more than $10 million cash on hand as of June 30.
Poll: California likes Brown, want more on climate
Gov. Jerry Brown enjoys a record high 54 percent approval rating among California voters as he heads into a likely re-election campaign next year after a relatively smooth state budget process, according to a new poll the Public Policy Institute of California released Wednesday.