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THE NOONER for August 13, 2013
Lots of kibbles and bits following today's sponsor message...
SD02 (North Coast): In the first test of whether an Assemblymember had to choose between staying in the Assembly for 12 years as opposed to move to the senate for a shortened tenure but fewer elections, Marc Levine yesterday confirmed that he plans to stay in the Assembly rather running for the senate seat being vacated by Noreen Evans.
Although the senate provides fewer elections, the seats are bigger--particularly SD02--and can be more exhausting to service. Additionally, Levine wouldn't have a free ride and would likely find the sort of intense competition he did when pulled his upset over Michael Allen for AD10 last year.
The field for SD02 is likely to be broad, and with the large fields we saw for CD02 and AD10 last year, don't expect candidates to be deterred. A combined 19 candidates ran for those two seats.
I've listed the most frequently talked about candidates for SD02, as Noreen Evans's departure was not unexpected. She's widely expected to run for Sonoma County Supervisor, although the seat she currently resides (district 3) won't be open until 2016.
However, with Efren Carrillo's legal and personal difficulties, there is speculation he might step down before his term in district 5 expires in 2016. (He had been expected to be a leading candidate for Assembly in AD02, but that seems unlikely now. If he does step down from supe, the governor would appoint someone through the 2014 election. While there is not a residency requirement to be appointed by the governor, Evans would have to move 10 miles east to Sebastapol to run.
SANDY EGGO: Rumors were swirling yesterday that Mayor Bob Filner was going to resign immediately, but nothing came to fruition.
The politics are interesting, as there is a divide between those preferring a resignation and those desiring a recall. If the mayor resigns, a special election will be called that will require a candidate to get 50%, or face a runoff. If the mayor is recalled, the election will be decided by the recipient of the most number of votes on the same ballot as the recall. This is the same as the statewide recall election of Gray Davis, when Arnold Schwarzenegger won 48.6% of the vote.
A recall election would give Republicans the greatest chance at taking the office of mayor, particularly if Carl DeMaio ran, as it would be hard to keep Democrats focused around one candidate. There are plenty of hard feelings and I-told-you-sos from the 2012 race, and other Democrats would be particularly motivated to jump in the race if Nathan Fletcher runs as someone who has gone from Republican to Democrat--with a stop as an independent--over the last two years.
Democrats are much likelier to fare well in a special election that would only be brought about if Filner resigned or was convicted of a felony relating to the mayor's office and using public funds. The latter won't happen anytime soon, and the resignation option is only up to Filner himself. While the mayor digs his heels in against recall, many people still think he will resign if he can make a deal with law enforcement authorities to avoid jail time--if they have enough evidence of misappropriation or undue influence by developers.
That's a big if. Nevertheless, he could resign up until the signatures are turned in to trigger a special, rather than recall, election.
HONEST, I SWEAR! Yesterday's swearing-in of SD16's Andy Vidak featured a faux pas that any of us might say in we find ourself elected to the Legislature. Instead of saying "without mental reservation" in the oath of office, he almost said "without mental preparation" until corrected by Darrell Steinberg after "prep..." came out of his mouth. [Video at 13:10]
HYPERLOOP: All about the Hyperloop [Joe Mathews @ Fox & Hounds]
MEDIA MATTERS: California Voters and the Media: A Matter of Trust [Irvine Foundation]
WOOF! 12 Reasons Sutter Brown is a Force in California Politics [Buzzfeed]
TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
Billions In Federal Transportation Funds Riding On California's New Pension Law
Jon Ortiz @ sacbee.com
Less than a year after California lawmakers mandated sweeping changes for state and local government pensions, federal officials are poised to cut off billions of dollars in transportation funding because of the new laws.
Clinton Urges Lawyers To Fight For Voters' Rights
Carla Marinucci @ sfgate.com
Clinton urged her audience at the American Bar Association's convention in San Francisco to join the fight for protection of voting rights, arguing that in last year's election there was "a sweeping effort to construct new obstacles to voting," sparked by what she called "phantom" claims of widespread voter fraud. Clinton said a June U.S. Supreme Court ruling "struck at the heart" of the Voting Rights Act, which was enacted during the Civil Rights era to protect minority voters. Since the ruling, she added, "we have seen an unseemly rush to enact or enforce laws that will make it harder for millions of our fellow Americans to vote," especially African Americans, Latinos and youth.
California Lawmakers Seek Sanctions Against Russia For Laws On Gays
Patrick McGreevy @ latimes.com
California legislators are jumping into the fray over new Russian laws seen as an infringement of the rights of gays and lesbians.
Dan Walters Daily
Jeremy B. White @ blogs.sacbee.com
Two years after State Controller John Chiang deprived lawmakers of their salaries, the state Senate has gotten its revenge, Dan says.
Orange County In Tangled Money Web
Dan Walters @ sacbee.com
Fast forward to 2013. There's another dustup between Orange County and the state over taxes, this one involving more than $70 million a year. It is almost too obtuse to describe in anything shorter than a "War and Peace"- sized book, but the CliffsNotes version is that the Legislature pledged a share of Orange's state-collected vehicle license fees (VLFs) to guarantee loans the county incurred to emerge from its 1994 bankruptcy.
California's Cash Flow Disappoints In July
Christopher Arns @ bizjournals.com
The governmentâs revenue last month was 6 percent lower than forecast by the budget, which predicted July tax receipts would bring $5.1 billion into state coffers. Instead, revenue totaled $4.8 billion.
Obama To Embark On Two-day Bus Tour After Vineyard Vacation - The Hill - Covering Congress, Politics, Political Campaigns And Capitol Hill | Thehill.com
Dustin Weaver @ thehill.com
Workers Compensation Hike On California Employers Proposed
Dan Walters @ blogs.sacbee.com
Last year, the Legislature and Gov. Jerry Brown enacted a major overhaul of the state's multi-billion-dollar system of compensating workers for job-related injuries and illnesses, aimed at stabilizing its costs.
California Transgender Students Given Access To Opposite-sex Programs
Patrick McGreevy @ latimes.com
SACRAMENTO -- Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday signed legislation allowing students in California schools to compete on sports teams and use facilities, including restrooms, based on their gender identity, regardless of whether they are listed as male or female in official campus records.
California Controller John Chiang's response to critical report
Jon Ortiz @ blogs.sacbee.com
In a battle of dueling reports, State Controller John Chiang's office has released what it's calling "a preliminary internal review" of the twice-failed payroll overhaul program that shut down in February after 10 years and a quarter-million dollars spent.
Controller's Office Bears Some Blame For Payroll Flop, Report Says
Chris Megerian @ latimes.com
California officials failed to oversee a $373-million upgrade to the state's outdated payroll system, a Senate report said.
California Lawmakers Urge Pension Funds To Halt Russia Investments
Sharon Bernstein @ reuters.com
Top Democrats in the California Senate on Monday asked the state's multibillion-dollar public employee pension funds to refrain from making future investments in Russia, adding their voices to protests against restrictions on gay rights there.
Obama Will Exempt Military Personnel If Sequester Continues
President Obama plans to exempt military personnel from sequestration next year if Congress does not act to cancel the automatic spending cuts, according to the White House budget office.
Squaw Valley Incorporation Effort Would Name New City Olympic Valley
Ed Fletcher @ sacbee.com
Concerned by a major development proposal, a group of Squaw Valley activists say they have more than enough signatures needed to start the process of turning the tiny ski resort community into the new city of Olympic Valley.
S.F. renewable energy rates finally set for vote
Stop us if you've heard this one before, but a key Public Utilities Commission vote for San Francisco's renewable energy program is finally set for Tuesday. [...] PUC spokesman Tyrone Jue said it appears that a vote is "really happening" this week, now that PUC staff has done more outreach to labor groups as requested by commissioners in July. Originally intended to launch in October, CleanPowerSF was approved last fall by the Board of Supervisors when they agreed to a five-year, $19.5 million contract with Shell Energy North America, with plans to build a customer base for a future city-owned renewable power program. Last month commissioners told staff they wanted to see rates reduced to only an average of $5.29 more a month for most residential customers, low enough to match a proposed green option by PG&E that is waiting for state approval. Commission President Art Torres said at the meeting that he wanted staff to go "back to the drawing board" with labor groups that say CleanPowerSF won't create enough jobs.
Don't Turn Off Cell Phone Amber Alerts, California Officials Say
Laurel Rosenhall @ blogs.sacbee.com
California emergency officials and the leader of the state Assembly are urging Californians not to disable emergency alerts from their cell phones, saying the rescue over the weekend of 16-year-old Hannah Anderson proves how useful the text messages can be.
State Senators Urge Maker Of Oxycontin To Turn Over Names Of Physicians
Scott Glover and Lisa Girion @ latimes.com
Two state senators call on maker of OxyContin to provide names of California doctors it suspects recklessly prescribed its pills.
BART, unions scheduling new talks with mediators
Contract talks with BART and its two largest unions ended Sunday without a deal, but Gov. Jerry Brown's request for a 60-day cooling-off period was granted Sunday by San Francisco Superior Court Judge Curtis Karnow, keeping the threat of a strike at bay until midnight Oct. 10. On Sunday BART presented a new offer to the unions - a 10 percent pay raise over four years in exchange for employees contributing 1 percent of the base wage to their pensions the first year and 2, 3 and 4 percent in subsequent years. The unions are also insisting that BART take steps to improve safety by improving lighting in some of the subway tunnels where track workers have been struck and killed by trains, installing bulletproof glass in station agent booths and changing staffing so that agents in more dangerous areas do not have to open and close stations alone.
Hillary Clinton laments Supreme Court decision on voting rights
Mark Z. Barabak @ latimes.com
SAN FRANCISCO--Hillary Rodham Clinton continued her long, slow flirtation with the 2016 presidential campaign Monday, delivering the first in a promised series of speeches on restoring faith in government and other institutions corroded by cynicism.
Labor Targets GOP On Immigration Overhaul
Kate Linthicum @ latimes.com
Labor union members are preparing for a rally to urge GOP members of Congress to take up a Senate bill on a pathway to citizenship.
Berkeley post office's fate not quite sealed
The U.S. Postal Regulatory Commission on Friday said it would hear Mayor Tom Bates' appeal of the Postal Service's plan to sell the city's main post office, one of hundreds of postal headquarters across the country facing closure as the federal government looks for ways to cut costs. The Postal Service's plan was to sell the building and rent space nearby where they would offer equivalent mail service. In a rare moment of agreement, the City Council voted unanimously to condemn the sale, and dozens of residents have been writing impassioned pleas urging the federal government to reconsider. Postal Service officials said they have been forced by economic realities to shutter the more valuable properties in an effort to raise money. Exorbitant health care costs and the rise of e-mail have crippled the agency's finances, a spokesman said. Bates tried joining forces with other cities facing post office sales, including Palo Alto and San Rafael, in the hope of drawing attention to the issue.