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THE NOONER for August 28, 2013
THE CAGOP'S CONUNDRUM: There's an internal debate within the California Republican Party about where to dedicate resources in 2014. Some believe that it's essential for the party to compete in the gubernatorial race, even though Jerry Brown's reelection is essentially signed, sealed and delivered. Others argue that it's hopeless and the party's limited resources should be spent in races that reduce the Democratic Party's dominance in the legislature, with the goal of eliminating the Dem's supermajority in both houses.
Last week, when Paul Mitchell and I presented at Hacks and PACs, Paul provided an outlook from Political Data (PDI) on likely 2014 primary voters. The projection is that 50% are DemPlus, 39% are RepPlus, and 11% are other. "Plus" is a categorization used by PDI that tries to identify voting behavior by identifying independent voters who behave like they are affiliated with a party. Thus, a "no party preference" voter who contributed to Mitt Romney is likely to consistently vote Republican, despite their independent registration.
Democrats increased their voter registration advantage over Republicans by 500,000 over the last year to 2.7 million. The overall voter file is currently 47% DemPlus, 31% Republican, and 22% other. Generally, despite our political upbringing that Democrats are less likely to vote in primary elections, the biggest chunk of voters who take a pass on round one are "other" voters, not partisan Democrats. For the general election, 49% are DemPlus, 36% are RepPlus, and 14% are other.
As we look toward the general and, if we assume turnout will largely mirror the voter file, we find that Republicans need to capture 100% of the "other" voters to win a statewide office. In other words, only when there is an extraordinarily good GOP candidate or an extraordinarily bad Democratic candidate, Dems will sweep statewide offices with a voter file like currently found in California.
Which brings us to the conundrum. The California Republican Party will only recover with strong statewide candidates that can win back not just independent voters, but a chunk of DemPlus voters. Essentially, the party needs a realignment, which only happens when there is a massive social movement or a candidate that rebrands the party. As of now, there is no such candidate on the bench or even talked about as a possibility. The best bet would be a libertarian-minded (ideally self-funded) Silicon Valley face who could connect with a lasting group of young voters. Only then will the Republican base grow, other than in name only, as we saw in the failed voter registration drive in Riverside County last year.
So, as Jim Brulte is making decisions of where to compete next year, it probably should be on five races that will determine whether Democrats have supermajorities--AD36, AD65, SD12, SD14, and SD34. Republicans need to win both State Assembly seats and the three State Senate seats to eliminate both supermajorities.
COUNTERPOINT: SB 594 Is An Easy Bill To Support – Keep "De Facto" Public Funds Out Of Campaigns [Jon Fleischman @ FlashReport]- "I can think of no better example of where Republican legislators have an opportunity to actually see a positive outcome in this legislative session than with the passage of SB 594 (Hill)."
POINT: I agree with the SacBee that SB 594 goes too far as a gut and amend this late in the session. Some gut and amends are necessary, such as whatever is done on prisons, but there is absolutely no reason this bill should be given a pass from the normal legislative process. My friend Mr. Fleischman attacked a similar gut and amend of SB 202 in 2011, writing "This legislation should be opposed both because of the egregious gut and amend job, but even more so because the idea of manipulating the election process to produce desired election outcomes, while Machiavellian, is immoral — it's just wrong."
Yeah, egregious gut and amends affecting participation in elections are just wrong.
DISCLOSURE: While the Community College League of California would not be directly affected by SB 594, I have co-signed a coalition letter against SB 594 because I think it will chill speech and make passing school bonds much more difficult.
TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
Steinberg's prison plan asks for 3 more years to reduce population
Laurel Rosenhall @ blogs.sacbee.com
California would get three more years to reduce its prison population to court-mandated levels while counties would get $200 million a year to expand drug treatment and mental health care for criminal offenders under a proposal Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg unveiled today that calls for settling a long-standing lawsuit against the state over its crowded prisons.
State Cut May Cost Sacramento County $9 Million For Indigent Health Care
Brad Branan @ sacbee.com
Sacramento County officials said Tuesday they could lose $9 million this fiscal year because of state budget cuts that Gov. Jerry Brown and lawmakers tied to the federal health care overhaul.
Cindy Sheehan Announces Run For California Governor
Anthony York @ latimes.com
SACRAMENTO -- Cindy Sheehan , the anti-war activist who rose to national prominence after her son was killed in the Iraq war in 2005, rode her bike to the steps of the state Capitol on Tuesday morning and declared her candidacy for governor.
Activists Urge Gov. Jerry Brown To Release Prisoners
Laurel Rosenhall @ blogs.sacbee.com
Anticipating that Gov. Jerry Brown will soon release a plan to expand California's prison capacity in response to a federal court order to reduce inmate crowding, activists who say the state should not spend any more money on its prisons protested at a rally outside the Capitol today.
Brown's $315 Million Prison Plan At Odds With Senate Democrats
David Siders and Laurel Rosenhall @ sacbee.com
Gov. Jerry Brown explains his $315 million proposal Tuesday for coping with prison overcrowding to Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez.
Senate, Calif. governor clash on prison spending
Don Thompson, Associated Press @ utsandiego.com
Gov. Jerry Brown's plan to deal with a federal court order to lower the state's prison population faces an uncertain future in the state Legislature because of opposition from key members of his own political party.
Jerry Brown has plan to ease prison crowding without early releases
Chris Megerian and Anthony York @ latimes.com
To comply with judges' order, Jerry Brown proposes to spend from state's reserve to house excess prisoners in alternate facilities.
Gov. Jerry Brown Signs Nearly 30 Bills Into Law
Melanie Mason and Patrick McGreevy @ latimes.com
One law allows permanent legal residents to serve as poll workers; another lets aspiring teachers pursue one more year of training.
State Worker Vehicle Accident Settlements Threaten To Overwhelm Fund
Jon Ortiz @ blogs.sacbee.com
Lawmakers are on the verge of sending a measure to Gov. Jerry Brown that will tap the state's general fund to pay nearly $21 million for legal settlements of two automobile accidents involving state workers.
Wall Street Firms Spend To Block Competing Casino
Dan Morain @ sacbee.com
Morain Column Sig
UC Berkeley's new Chancellor Nicholas Dirks prepares for his first semester at Cal
Katy Murphy @ mercurynews.com
New UC Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks touted the campus's graduation rate and generous financial aid for low-income and middle-class students, saying the university provides the kind of value that President Obama called for last week in speeches about college affordability.
Decline-to-state Voters Still Play Politics :: Fox&hounds
Take, for example, the results of this completely unscientific survey.
California Abortion Bill Shows Gulf With Other States - Bloomberg
On the California side, a bill heading soon to Democratic Governor Jerry Brown would make it easier for rural women to terminate pregnancies by allowing nurse practitioners and midwives to perform abortions in the first 12 weeks, now provided only by doctors.
Calif. governor proposes $315M prison fix
Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday responded to a federal court order to significantly reduce California's prison population by proposing a $315 million plan to send inmates to private prisons and to empty county jail cells.
Wal-Mart to extend health care to workers' partners, including same-sex
Tiffany Hsu @ mercurynews.com
Wal-Mart Stores, the largest private employer in the country, plans to start offering health coverage next year to domestic partners of full-time employees -- including those in same-sex relationships
Jerry Brown unveils plan to house prisoners, make 'longer term' changes
David Siders @ blogs.sacbee.com
Under court order to reduce California's prison population by nearly 10,000 inmates by the end of the year, Gov. Jerry Brown asked the Legislature this afternoon to authorize about $315 million to avoid a mass release.
Gov. Brown Signs Bill Allowing Noncitizens As Poll Workers
Patrick McGreevy @ latimes.com
Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday signed into law a measure allowing noncitizens who are permanent legal residents of the United States to serve as poll workers in California elections.
Read Gov. Jerry Brown's prison plan
Dan Smith @ blogs.sacbee.com
Here is a copy of Gov. Jerry Brown's plan for prisons.
Dissidents Defeated In L.A.-based Union Local's Election
James Rainey @ latimes.com
They had accused leaders of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 501 of fraud, racketeering and intimidation.
California governor proposes $315M prison fix
Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday responded to a federal court order to significantly reduce California's prison population by proposing a $315 million plan to send thousands of inmates to private prisons and vacant county jail cells, hoping to avoid what he said would be a mass release of dangerous felons.