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THE NOONER for August 12, 2013
The Senate is back and the home stretch of the 2013 legislative year is underway. Here are the deadlines:
Dan Walters writes that Darrell Steinberg has a lot of balls in the air that will be driving the major themes of the remainder of session.
SD02 (North Coast): With Noreen Evans bowing out of state senate reelection to return to her law practice, Marc Levine becomes the first freshman member to be faced with the Proposition 28 choice--should I stay or should I go? He could run for SD02 next year, and would be eligible for 8 more years (two senate terms), or he can stay put and run for up to five more terms in the Assembly (10 more years).
MYSTERY CONTINUES: If you were under a rock on Friday, the story broke that a Los Angles law firm provided the money for the Sacramento petition to require a vote for a public subsidy for the Kings arena. The law firm, Loeb and Loeb, represented the Maloofs in their attempts to move the team to Seattle, although the Maloofs deny any connection with the $80,000 reportedly received from the law firm. The campaign was thrown into disarray with consultants quitting as the FPPC dives more deeply into the money trail, although signature gatherers were at farmer's market over the weekend.
On, and Loeb and Loeb is the law firm where former governor Gray Davis works.
TURMOIL CONTINUES: The UT's Logan Jenkins provides the Friday update on Bob Filner:
"Boxer lands blow for vets! Dead-ender Councilwomen Emerald & Cole wise up, call for Filner resignation! Mayor back from rehab a week early, now off on vacation! Locks changed in mayor’s office! What?"
Bob Filners legal team (attorneys from two top law firms, no less) has requested a change of venue in the sexual harassment lawsuit filed by Irene McCormack Jackson, Filner’s former communications director.
Take the case to Imperial County, they're asking.
The legal argument is the sort of last-ditch tactic you might expect on behalf of rapist killers like John Gardner and David Westerfield.
But an elected mayor? In a civil suit?
SD16: Former Democratic Assemblymember Nicole Parra spoke at the swearing-in rally for Republican Andy Vidak. She is now registered to vote as no party preference.
COMING HOME: After breaking up with California, strong second thoughts [Candice Reed op-ed in LAT] - "California, I think the time we spent away from each other was important for both of us. I had to walk away to appreciate you again, and I hope you forgive me for giving up on you. I should have known better, and I am sorry."
$$$: Orange County steels to tackle $76.5 million budget hole [Mike Reicher @ OCR]
FOREIGN RELATIONS: California lawmakers seek sanctions against Russia for laws on gays [Patrick McGreevy @ LAT]
THE GOOD DOCTOR: Why I changed my mind on weed [Sanjay Gupta @ CNN]
#TRENDING! Twitter could compete with traditional polls in future elections [Ellis Hamburger @ The Verge]
40 maps that explain the world [Max Fisher @ WaPo]
TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
It's 'Let's Make A Deal' Time For Darrell Steinberg In California Senate
Dan Walters @ sacbee.com
Darrell Steinberg will be a busy man for the next month as the central figure in what happens â or doesn't happen â on the Legislature's remaining major issues.
California Legislature Faces Raft Of Bills On Volatile Issues
Melanie Mason and Patrick McGreevy @ latimes.com
State lawmakers, back from their summer break and starting their final month in session, have a lengthy to-do list that features such politically volatile issues as environmental rules, gun control and immigration.
Twitter Could Compete With Traditional Polls In Future Elections
Ellis Hamburger @ theverge.com
According to researchers at Indiana University, the link between tweets and votes in political elections could be stronger than once thought. In a study analyzing 537 million tweets from August 2010 âthe largest sample of tweets ever accessible to academic researchers â the percentage of votes for Democratic and Republican candidates in the House of Representatives race correlated with the percentage of tweets that mentioned them.
Public Pensions Become Issue In Labor Strikes
Ed Mendel @ calpensions.com
As retirement costs grow, traditional labor disputes over wages and health coverage have a newcomer. Pensions are one of the issues in recent strikes by UC hospital workers and San Francisco Bay Area transit workers.
Catholic Bishop Blesses Pilgrims Marching For Change In Immigration Laws
Stephen Magagnini @ sacbee.com
Chanting "sÃ se puede!" â "Yes we can!" â with their fists and hands raised high, 1,000 people packed Our Lady of Guadalupe Church on Sunday to cheer 11 pilgrims who will march 285 miles from Sacramento to Bakersfield calling for a change to immigration law. Bishop Jaime Soto blessed the 11 pilgrims who plan to walk 21 days in support of 11 million "aspiring Americans" without legal papers.
BART strikes blocked for now; no progress on talks
Bargainers for American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 3993 broke off talks with BART early Saturday evening, unable to reach an agreement over calls for classification and wage adjustments for the 210 professional workers it represents. Union officials have called the long-running dispute over pay grades "our strike issue" and vowed to get it settled in this contract. AFSCME, the smallest of the main BART unions, is not directly involved in the ongoing talks over wages, medical benefits and pension contributions. Despite objections from the unions, transit district officials convinced the governor that a temporary ban on both strikes and lockouts was the only way to ensure that the trains kept running to serve the system's 400,000 weekday riders. Attorneys for the three unions - the ATU, AFSCME, and Service Employees International Union Local 1021 - raised no objections to the cooling-off period Sunday, apparently resigned to the inevitable. In the brief 9 a.m. hearing, Judge Curtis Karnow stated the law said that he shall issue the order if it's determined that a strike would "significantly disrupt public transportation services and endanger the public's health, safety or welfare."
Herb Wesson Comes To Eric Garcetti's Aid
Rick Orlov, Staff Writer @ dailynews.com
It was Council President Herb Wesson to the rescue last week for Mayor Eric Garcetti, giving him some space to maneuver on a proposed contract with Department of Water and Power workers.
Snowden's Father Decries 'political Theater' Over Son's Leaks
Christi Parsons @ latimes.com
The father of Edward Snowden , the former National Security Agency contractor, complained Sunday about the "political theater" surrounding his son's disclosures of secret surveillance programs and dismissed President Obama's proposed reforms as "superficial."
Bill Would Pool Caltech, Berkeley Earthquake Research For Early Warning System
Adam Poulisse, Staff Writer @ dailynews.com
A bill that would pool the research abilities of Caltech and UC Berkeley as well as create a statewide early earthquake warning system moved a step closer to the governor's desk as seismologists continue testing equipment.
Schwarzenegger-era Real Estate Deal Is Focus Of Lawsuit
Marc Lifsher @ latimes.com
Gov. Schwarzenegger's Golden State Portfolio, a plan to sell and lease back state office buildings, was canceled by Gov. Brown, triggering investors' suit.
Fresno Bee Watchdog Report: Locked In Terror
The Fresno County Jail has been a place of terror and despair for mentally ill inmates who spiral deeper into madness because jail officials withhold their medication.
Robert J. Samuelson: The News Isn’t Free
We are being overwhelmed by technological changes that we cannot control. Newspapers are being eclipsed as major social, economic and political institutions. The latest evidence of this is the sudden sale of The Washington Post, controlled by the Graham family since 1933, to Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, for $250 million. There’s a transfer of status, prestige and power from the old to the new. Steel’s fate, its fall from industrial preeminence, is shared by newspapers.
Gun-control Bills Could Push California To Top Of Firearm-restriction List
Josh Richman @ mercurynews.com
And what happens in Sacramento might not stay in Sacramento. With their agenda stalled in Congress, gun-control advocates hope California can break the inertia and reignite the national debate that erupted after a gunman killed 20 children and six adults at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school in December.
Bay Area Employment Owes Much To Companies Based Elsewhere
Although often overlooked amid the legendary companies that were founded in and around Silicon Valley, many of these satellite operations boast thousands of employees and plan to keep growing. Their typically well-paid-workers-- often computer engineers and other tech specialists -- not only boost the local economy by buying homes, eating at restaurants and paying taxes here, they help infuse the region with a diversity of ideas.
Stockton Mayor Seeking Public Support For Sales Tax Increase
Rich Ibarra @ capradio.org
Stockton's mayor is mailing residents, asking for their support for a proposed sales tax increase. An election on the measure, which would raise an estimated $28 million for additional police, is set for November.
Stinkwort's Fast Growth Could Threaten California's Wine Growers - Agriculture - The Sacramento Bee
Stinkwort seedlings grow into a tumbleweed-like plant that has a turpentine-like odor, hence its name.
Travel And Tourism Hiring Grows, But Are They Good Jobs?
Hugo Martin @ latimes.com
Hiring for travel and tourism jobs has surged so much in the last few years that the industry has recovered 92% of the positions lost during the recession while the rest of the economy has only recovered 77%.
California payroll overhaul vexed by complexity, poor oversight
Jon Ortiz @ blogs.sacbee.com
Controller John Chiang's office spun an upbeat message about efforts to overhaul the state's aging payroll system for years, while behind the scenes the massive IT project was in disarray, according to a new state analysis released this morning.
After Breaking Up With California, Strong Second Thoughts
Candice Reed @ latimes.com
She broke up with California and found a new state up north. Now the Golden State is looking hot again. Time to rekindle the relationship.
Big Donor To Group Promoting Obamacare Launches His Own Campaign
Gabriel Debenedetti @ reuters.com
When cardiologist Asad Qamar gave $50,000 earlier this year to the non-profit group established to promote President Barack Obama's national agenda it was one of the group's biggest single donations from the state of Florida.