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THE NOONER for August 2, 2013
Good morning from Bass Lake, just south of Yosemite, where my family has come together for a few days of summer respite. For a family that is reachable primarily by Southwest Airlines routes, the lake is a nice central meeting point. Not knowing much about it (as opposed to the northern siblings Yosemite and Hetch Hetchy valleys), I have learned this morning that the current dam was built in 1910 and that the electricity is generated for PG&E and the water is used primarily for the Central Valley.
Water and electricity. The California story.
I still continue to get great feedback about my rant last Friday. While one of my closest friends argued that we are selecting political leaders and not bosses, most acknowledged that we have been negligent in our support of candidates who we would not want our sons and daughters working for.
And, let me make it clear that this rant is not about targeting slimy men--there have been plenty of horrible bosses of both genders.
I'm reminded of a story from a friend that worked on the election campaign of a statewide elected female awhile ago. This was an advanced campaign staffer, not some stop-in-the-office intern. The candidate instructed him to get her SUV cleaned at a local car wash, which he happily did. He returned the vehicle as requested.
The next morning, she walked into the campaign office and yelled "How could you have requested lemon air freshener? I want you to take my car, roll down the windows and drive around this city until the smell is gone."
So, while Filner is the news right now, this isn't just about sexual harassment or men. It's not just about who we want representing our political and policy passions, but as "insiders," also who we want as bosses for our sons and daughters.
This is a tough business. A Willie Brownism--whether true or folklore--was a late night with tired staffers looking at the clock. According to the story, he said "If you want to go home, that is fine, but remember that there is a line of people outside that door who would love to have your job." Now, while Willie had his shortcomings and also was allegedly complicit in the cover-up of a lot of harassment settlements, most people say he was a pretty good boss.
It's important to constantly remind ourselves that because there is so much supply of willing workers for political and policy jobs that young people who enter this profession are very vulnerable. It's up to us to protect them by ensuring that any candidate we work for, regardless of party, is someone we would want to work for ourselves and, more importantly, that we would be happy to see our sons and daughters toil for.
The vast majority of electeds I have encountered are great people and are good bosses. However, we should think about that part of candidates characters as much as their policy positions and oratorical abilities.
Time to hit the lake. Have a great weekend.
P.S. On CD26 (Ventura), several folks asked if I had inside knowledge leading to me changing the district from "Leans Democrat" to "Likely Democrat." The reason I did that is increasing speculation that Tony Strickland will bow out and run in CD25, with an assumption that Buck McKeon is hanging up his hat. But, the thinking goes, Strickland leaves too late to allow Jeff Gorell to ramp up a campaign against Julia Brownley. We'll see, and the race rating may change again.
TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
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.
Transgender Teen Delivers Petition Signatures To Jerry Brown's Office
Annalise Mantz @ sacbee.com
At first glance, 16-year-old Ashton Lee acts like any other high school junior. He frets about his hair, gets nervous in front of cameras and dreams of going to college. But unlike many of his peers, the Manteca High School student has testified in front of a California Senate committee and, on Wednesday, delivered a petition with more than 5,700 signatures to Gov. Jerry Brown's office in Sacramento.
Assembly Speaker Had Tom Calderon Removed From Tony Fundraiser
Anthony York @ latimes.com
SACRAMENTO -- As Democrats gathered at Pebble Beach for the annual Speaker’s Cup fundraiser over the Cinco de Mayo weekend, former Assemblyman Tom Calderon was among the dozens of lobbyists, consultants, corporate executives and elected officials on hand for the world-class golf, four-star cuisine and political schmoozing.
Abel Maldonado's Campaign Was Basically Broke At Midyear
Josh Richman @ mercurynews.com
When Maldonado's campaign previewed his midyear campaign finance report hours before he filed it late Wednesday night, it disclosed how much the former GOP lieutenant governor from Santa Maria had raised and how much cash he had on hand. Campaign officials said that Maldonado raised just over $314,000 and spent a little less than $318,000 in the first six months of the year, leaving him with about $44,600 cash on hand as of the end of June.
House Votes to Bar I.R.S. From Enforcing Health Law
The bill passed by the House, which has now voted about 40 times to repeal or roll back the 2010 health care law, has virtually no chance of approval in the Senate.
Ask Emily: Help! What Can Obamacare Do For Me Now? - Health And Medicine - The Sacramento Bee
Emily Bazar works for the California HealthCare Foundation Center for Health Reporting. She is based in Sacramento, where she covers health care policy in California, with a focus on Obamacare implementation, Medi-Cal budget cuts, childrens dental care and variation in the use of medical treatments.
Liberal groups to counter anti-Obama healthcare efforts in August
Maeve Reston @ latimes.com
healthcare law, several progressive groups are teaming up in a new effort to convince skeptical voters of the benefits of the new law.
Assault, Fear On The Dark Side Of Prison Hunger Strike
Paige St. John @ latimes.com
SACRAMENTO -- As the hunger strike of California prison inmates stretches into its 25th day, a few stories about a darker side of the protest have emerged.
Abel Maldonado's campaign was basically broke at mid-year
Josh Richman @ mercurynews.com
His campaign's preview of gubernatorial candidate Abel Maldonado's financial report didn't mention that his outstanding debts outweighed his cash on hand as of June 30.
Mayor Eric Garcetti Backs New Ride-share Apps, Taxi Modernization
Laura J. Nelson @ latimes.com
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has endorsed a move by state regulators to consider permitting new app-driven ride-sharing services, and also will work with city taxi companies to modernize their operations.
Sacramento Arena Backers Push For Info On Election Drive
A drawing of the proposed downtown Arena released by AECOM and city of Sacramento
Mayoral Race Leaves Greuel With More Than $680,000 In Campaign Debt
David Zahniser @ latimes.com
The race for L.A. mayor left former candidate Wendy Greuel with more than $680,000 in unpaid campaign bills, according to reports.
House passes another bill aimed at undermining Obamacare
Michael A. Memoli @ latimes.com
WASHINGTON – Republicans in the House of Representatives passed another symbolic rebuke of President Obama’s healthcare law, ahead of a possible showdown over funding for the measure that threatens to shut down the government this fall.
Capitol Lobbyists Make More This Year; Oil Group Tops In Spending
Laurel Rosenhall @ blogs.sacbee.com
Income for lobbying firms at California's Capitol was up slightly for the first half of this year compared with the same time period last year.
Health Insurance Rates For California's Small Businesses Unveiled
Marc Lifsher @ latimes.com
SACRAMENTO -- California's small businesses next year will have a range of competitively priced options offered by a state government health insurance exchange.
Race To Top Dollars Modernize Galt School Libraries, Extend Hours
Diana Lambert @ sacbee.com
Last school year Galt residents held bake sales, car washes and spaghetti feeds to raise money to keep school libraries open for limited hours, most of the school year.
BART unions give 72-hour courtesy strike notice
With the clock ticking on a Sunday night strike deadline for BART, transit system officials made a last-ditch plea Thursday for unions to delay any walkout plans. [...] union leaders issued a courtesy 72-hour notice Thursday night that they could walk off the job Monday when their 30 day contract extension ends if progress is not made at the negotiating table. BART already has reserved 96 private buses to provide very limited service from East Bay BART stations to and from San Francisco if some 2,400 union workers walk off the job. Hundreds of union members, many wearing T-shifts of their locals and carrying signs calling for a new BART contract, filled the lawn at Frank Ogawa Plaza outside City Hall. Speaker after speaker, many from unions outside of BART, pledged solidarity to the transit workers in their search for a new contract. The transit agency provided a raft of charts and handouts to show that most public employees in the Bay Area contribute far more for their medical insurance and pensions than do BART workers, who pay nothing toward their pensions and a flat $92 a month for medical care for workers and their families. In the past 12 years, BART's medical insurance costs have risen by 251 percent, from $24.6 million to an estimated $86.4 million next year, while workers' payments have increased from $25 to the current $92, BART officials said. [...] BART's plan to boost its workers' share of benefit costs would wipe out the proposed 2 percent annual pay hikes over the next year and leave many employees worse off than they are now, Castelli countered. Commute options Regional transit leaders are warning commuters to plan ahead for a strike, and 511.org provides drive-time data and transit links.
California Pension Funds Took In $33.8b, Paid Out $28.2b Last Year
Dan Walters @ blogs.sacbee.com
California's state-managed public employee pension funds took in $33.8 billion from employer and employee contributions in 2012 and paid out $28.2 billion in benefits to 874,734 retirees, according to a new Census Bureau report.
Sen. Ronald Calderon Continued Big Spending In Months Before FBI Raid
Patrick McGreevy @ latimes.com
Calderon has been in the spotlight for lavish spending from his campaign accounts ever since the FBI raided his Capitol office June 4 as part of a corruption investigation.