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THE NOONER for September 9, 2013
Good morning from back at the Nooner's home office. Are we ready for the last four days of session? The Legislature is scheduled to wrap up 24 hours early to allow members to observe Yom Kippur. Of course, in legislative speak, if they need to go into overtime, they'd have until around midday Friday for SoCal members to catch flights and be home by sundown.
One things for sure, the end of this week will be less of a cliffhanger than last night's Breaking Bad, but still, it's GAME ON: Lawmakers to weigh about 400 bills in session's last week [Patrick McGreevy & Melanie Mason @ LAT] - "[T]he thorniest issue may be Gov. Jerry Brown's $315-million plan for meeting a federal court order to relieve prison crowding, a proposal that has the support of the Assembly speaker but drew criticism from the Senate leader, who offered his own plan instead.
Also, as a fourth (confirmed this morning) porn star tests positive for HIV, the free speech v. latex conversation may be a passionate one in the final week, as the industry comes to a standstill.
SANDY EGGO: On Friday, Lori Saldana jumped into the mayoral race, hours before the San Diego-Imperial Labor Council endorsed Councilmember David Alvarez. Prior to the Council's endorsement, local AFT head Jim Mahler called out Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez, the former head of the council, for endorsing Republican-turned-Democrat Nathan Fletcher:
"You have been a friend to labor in the past, and I hope you will continue to support labor in the future, but your recent actions lead me to seriously question your commitment to this cause. I am not sure why you address me as “Brother” since you don’t appear to be a member of my labor family anymore."
On Twitter, Gonzalez dismissed the view of Mahler as only one viewpoint within, rather than of, labor. Meanwhile, Gonzalez says she's focused on her end-of-session gut-and-amend, AB 1024, which would address the Sergio Garcia issue and affirmatively allow admission to the bar for those otherwise qualified but not lawfully present in the United States.
SPEAKING OF: House Republicans in California Find a Struggle on Immigration [Jennifer Medina @ NYT]
CD21: As Congressman David Valadao (R) tries to persuade his caucus to tackle immigration reform, Democrats are trying to find a candidate to take him on next year. There are rumors of one or more waiting in the wings, but it's approaching get off the pot time. Democrats have a 30,000 (14.8%) voter registration advantage over Republicans in the Central Valley seat, but the longer Valadao cultivates roots, the harder it will be to remove him from office.
***A Message from United Steel Workers and Supporters - Please help us #STOPSB54 – the job-killing gut-and-amend bill currently being decided in the California State Legislature. SB 54 by Senator Loni Hancock puts 5,000 union jobs on the line. By forcing out workers with the highest level of safety training and the most experience in California’s refineries, SB 54 also weakens safety and puts communities at risk. Please vote NO on SB 54. To find out more, visit stopsb54.tumblr.com.
#CAGOP: Jim Brulte lays out his plan for Redlands Tea Party Patriots [Greg Cappis @ Redlands Daily Facts - "The state GOP chairman has a pointed message for Redlands area conservatives: Support Gary Miller and Mike Morrell . . . He will focus on maintaining a Republican majority in Congress, eliminating Democratic supermajorities in one or both state houses, and recruiting, training and providing technical support to local GOP candidates, he said to a standing room only crowd Thursday . . . On the federal level, Brulte said the state party needs to focus on tight races, which means defending Republican Reps. Gary Miller, 31st; David Valadao, 21st; and Jeff Denham, 10th; and attempting to defeat Democrats Lois Capps, 24th; Scott Peters, 52nd; Julia Brownley, 26th; [R]aul Ruiz, 36th; and Ami Bera, 7th."
Noticeably absent in the article is any mention by Brulte of statewide offices. Of course, he only has to defend Mike Morrell if Democrats can find a candidate, with Russ Warner--who fell 800 votes short in 2012--taking a pass this time around.
THE TRAIL: Yesterday's "Day in the Country" event for the Yolo Land Trust exposed the beginning of a frenetic campaign for AD03. Assemblymember Mariko Yamada accompanied her chosen successor, Napa planning commish Matt Pope, while Davis councilmembers Joe Krovoza and Dan Wolk also used the opportunity to press flesh. Krovoza, as mayor of Davis and part of the formal program, stayed for the program, while the others moved on to Napa for more campaigning.
DOES SYRIA MATTER? Also at the Yolo event yesterday, lots of people tried to grab Congressman John Garamendi's ear, as constitutents were with members across the country on the eve of a possible vote on whether to authorize a use of force in Syria. The subject dominated the Sunday talk shows and, if a vote takes place (big if now), may be the only vote that's remembered from the 113th Congress. Garamendi, along with most of the California delegation is leaning no or undecided. But, will this vote matter next year?
I doubt a vote to authorize force in Syria will be decisive in any competitive California races next year. While we could debate whether Obama should even be seeking authorization (I would say that was a stupid move), the fact is that the success or failure of such a mission won't be known until after the elections next year. That said, the easy vote is a "no" vote, and that's why you see virtually all members in the slightest bit of a competitive seat leaning against.
Obama is doing six national news interviews today and will speak to the nation tomorrow night (to avoid a conflict with the MNF double-header). It's unlikely, however, that he'll find the audience that will turn the tide on the House gone sour on military intervention.
#CAKEDAY: Senate Republican Leader Bob Huff, psych tech advocate Coby Pizotti and chief of staff Evan McLaughlin (yesterday).
TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
CalPERS Seeks Outside Review Of Computer System
Ed Mendel @ calpensions.com
After a lot more time and money than expected, and a rocky launch greeted with months of customer complaints, CalPERS has succeeded where two other state agencies recently failed. Its big new computer system is up and running.
Kathleen Brown Taking L.A. Job
Daily News @ dailynews.com
Former state Treasurer Kathleen Brown is coming home. The one-time candidate for governor and sister to Gov. Jerry Brown is going to work for the law firm of Manatt, Phelps and Phillips as a partner in the firmâs Los Angeles office, but also will work in San Francisco and New York on issues including health, financing, energy and the environment.
Legislature Stepping Away From Drug War
George Skelton @ latimes.com
A bill approved by the Assembly and heading to the Senate would give prosecutors flexibility in sentencing for low-level offenses.
The Public Eye: California Public Pension Payouts Doubled After Bump In Benefits
Jon Ortiz @ sacbee.com
The average retirement payout for new retirees in California's biggest public pension system doubled between 1999 and 2012, according to CalPERS data, and initial monthly payments for one group nearly tripled in that period. State and local cops and firefighters benefited the most.
Lawmakers To Weigh About 400 Bills In Session's Last Week
Patrick McGreevy and Melanie Mason @ latimes.com
The most controversial issue to be considered will be the governor's $315-million plan to relieve prison crowding.
In California Legislature, Some Games Alter The Rules Of Others
Dan Walters @ sacbee.com
Our perpetual fascination with sports reflects, consciously or otherwise, the simple fact that for most of us, life itself is a competitive game. Games, of course, have rules, either formal or imposed by circumstances, to frame the competitive parameters.
Fire standard for S.F. high-rises ignites debate
John Cote and Neal J. Riley @ sfgate.com
San Francisco, amid intense lobbying, is poised to drop a requirement that skyscrapers have refill stations so firefighters can recharge their air tanks during a blaze.
California public pension payouts doubled after bump in benefits
Jon Ortiz @ sacbee.com
The average retirement payout for new retirees in California's biggest public pension system doubled between 1999 and 2012, according to CalPERS data, and initial monthly payments for one group nearly tripled in that period.
McAuliffe-Cuccinelli tax plan angers
Rachael Bade @ politico.com
The Virginia gubernatorial candidates both want to eliminate several local-level taxes.
Immigrant Deportation Bill Among Headliners Of California Legislature's Final Week
Josh Richman @ contracostatimes.com
Of the hundreds of bills California lawmakers will act on this week, few combine as many incendiary issues -- illegal immigration, civil rights, crime and punishment -- as the so-called TRUST Act.
Q & A: Documentary Filmmakers Aim To Start A National Conversation About Early Education
Lillian Mongeau @ edsource.org
An argument in favor of universal preschool and publicly funded early care for infants and toddlers will hit the small screen early next year in the form of a new PBS documentary series, âThe Raising of America.â
Sen. Elizabeth Warren Addresses AFL-CIO Convention
Ricardo Lopez @ latimes.com
Warren made a speech at the quadrennial convention of the AFL-CIO, which kicked off Sunday in Los Angeles. The labor federation's convention has brought together traditional union groups with new, progressive allies such as the Sierra Club and the NAACP.
Define "Journalism" Not "Journalist" In New Shield Law
Morgan Weiland @ calbuzz.com
Today Calbuzz publishes the first of two pieces from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the most influential Internet civil liberties organization in the world, analyzing pending federal legislation that allegedly would provide new protections for journalists.
Long-term Inmates — And Prison Culture — Move Into County Jails
Paige St. John @ latimes.com
Gov. Brown's plan to ease overcrowding has brought more violence and hard-core offenders into local lockups.
Editorial: Three bad bills that Gov. Jerry Brown should veto
the Editorial Board @ sacbee.com
Some bills are so noxious and so costly, particularly to struggling local governments, that they deserve extra attention.
Dan Walters Daily
Jeremy B. White @ blogs.sacbee.com
With the California Legislature entering its last week of the 2013 session, Dan says lawmakers have their work cut out for them.
Health insurance tax faces challenge
Brett Norman @ politico.com
Groups have launched a digital advertising and social media campaign to stir up opposition.
The Buzz: Robo-calls target California lawmaker over porn-condom proposal
Melody Gutierrez @ sacbee.com
Assemblyman Isadore Hall has revived his attempt to require porn actors to use condoms during filming, and proponents don't want to see his proposal stall again.
Sergio Garcia Will Practice Law, And He Will Make A Killing
Robin Abcarian @ latimes.com
Sergio C. Garcia, the 36-year-old Chico man whose struggle to earn a license to practice law was the subject of a California Supreme Court hearing this week is not just an aspiring attorney. He is also a motivational speaker.
Kathleen Brown returning to California, says no plans for public office
David Siders @ blogs.sacbee.com
Kathleen Brown, the former state treasurer and Goldman Sachs executive who moved to Chicago after her brother, Jerry Brown, was elected governor in 2010, is coming back to California.
Battle shaping up over federal water rights
A battle is shaping up in Congress over federal efforts to claim western water, and a Colorado lawmaker wants to make it clear who owns it.