Around The Capitol

Having trouble viewing this email? Click here

Receive this as a forward? Get the Nooner in your e-mail box

THE NOONER for October 21, 2013

jump to headlines



  • CD33 (LA Coast: added author Marianne Williamson (N)

NOONER SUPPORTERS can download a spreadsheet of all candidates,
with district geography, analysis, and outlook.


Good morning from Palm Springs, where Democrats have one of the most difficult districts to defend next year. Here's what I previously wrote about CD36:

Physician Raul Ruiz defeated incumbent Mary Bono Mack in 2012 during a year in which stars aligned for California Democrats. Democrats won all contested seats except one (CD10), and CD36 was one of the most difficult.

This sprawling district stretches from Hemet to the Arizona border includes pockets of both significant (and seasonal) wealth and deep poverty.

However, the perception that Mary Bono Mack had become quite disconnected from the district found resonance with voters who had been deeply hurt by the sustained recession. Bono Mack, who was elected to the seat following the death of her then-husband Sonny Bono, was on the ballot at the same time as her husband Congressman Connie Mack, who unsuccessfully sought a U.S. Senate seat in Florida. Aside from the jet-setting part-time residents of the resort communities, the concept of a bi-coastal household just didn't play well.

In likely GOP candidate Brian Nestande, Raul Ruiz will have a much more difficult time holding this seat, particularly in a mid-term election.

Nestande, whose father was a state senator from Orange County, has sought to be a more moderate voice in the conservative Assembly Republican caucus. Nestande knows the district well, having managed campaigns and served in key staff roles for both Sonny Bono and Mary Bono Mack.

To keep the seat in the off-year, Ruiz needs to see strong voter turnout, hold all the Democrats who voted for him in 2012, and also to grab a slightly larger share of independent voters who previously voted for Bono Mack.

The seat will likely be the second highest pick-up priority in California for House Republicans, behind only Scott Peters's CD52.

Here are a few more nuggets to chew on. Barack Obama won the district both in 2008 and 2012, but barely at 50.1% and 50.7%. Jerry Brown underpolled Meg Whitman here by 6.3%. At 39.1%, Democrats have a razor-thin lead over the Republican share of 38.7%. Ruiz, however, has emerged as a strong fundraiser and has $875,933 on hand to Nestande's $150,585. (Nestande would note that he didn't formally announce until last week, although he has been the presumed candidate for months.) 

NOTED: Following the federal government debacle, Cook Political Report did a "Shutdown Shift" for 15 House races, and moved Mark Takano's CD41 to Solid Democrat (from Lean Democrat) and Gary Miller's CD31 to Lean Democrat (from Toss-up). I already have them as Likely Democrat and Leans Democrat respectively. 

And, no, MSNBC. Mark Takano is not one of the House GOP seats in most danger.

TIL: I'm staying at the Hard Rock Hotel in Palm Springs, which has great rates as it just rebranded from Hotel Zoso. Did you know that most of the Hard Rock brand is now owned by the Seminole Tribe of Florida?

AURAL PLEASURE: John Myers and Anthony York discuss the end of the bill season on the Capitol Connection podcast.

A few reads:

IRONY: Like the public policy or not, ObamaCare is a model long espoused by conservative thinktanks as an alternative to single payor. Now, the main line of attack is over a website that is not working for enrollees from states that refused to create their own marketplaces. The website was developed by private company CGI, although that's usually buried in any story. Oh, what some Silicon Valley wonderkinds could have done with it and we could have saved much of the $630 million.

And, boondoggles like this is why there is such unwillingness to update systems like Cal-Access.

#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Lisa Gasperoni.



SUBSCRIBE: For only $2.99/month or $29.99/year, you will immediately be promoted to the cool kids club with an ad-free version and get access to bonus downloadable data. 

ADVERTISE: Buy this spot and reach 7,214 subscribers of the free version of The Nooner. At $300/week, that's less than a penny per reader per day.

about the Nooner | take the Nooner survey



  • CapitolTrack is hiring a full-time employee to work in our West Sacramento office. This position will provide technical support to current subscribers, conduct product demonstrations to potential clients, and manage data accuracy. Candidates must have strong presentation skills, be highly adaptable to working with new technology, and be very comfortable working in databases. More information at
  • Senior Director of Communications for UC Davis transportation and energy research programs -- Lead communications programs for the UC Davis Institute of Transportation Studies and its partners. Great job in a green community. Requires extensive experience in public communications and good supervisory skills. Prefer university work experience. Salary: $53K-$95.5K
  • Assemblymember Jim Frazier is looking for a highly-motivated Legislative Director to coordinate the development of the Member's legislative package, staff bills of the highest complexity, significance and sensitivity, and staff committees, with minimum direction. Must be a good writer and have excellent interpersonal communication skills. Must be able to work extended hours as necessary and work efficiently and effectively under pressure. 5+ years of legislative experience is essential. Ideal candidates will have some supervisory experience and knowledge in transportation and energy policy. Email resume and references to
  • American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network. Federal Legislative Director. Sacramento. Manage relationships with CA congressional offices. Volunteer recruitment & training. Media work. Some fundraising. 5-7 years policy & political experience. Min. Salary: $83K. Info & application online:, Job ID: 14923.
  • Advocacy & Political Advertising with The LA Times: Veteran political advertising consultant with the LA Times specializes in running district-focused campaigns with flyers on top of the paper, stickers on top of the paper, and direct mail. According to voter files, 80% of LAT readers are "likely-to-vote" in local elections. Call or email Darius Derakshan at (213) 237-7499,
  • The Center for Responsible Lending-- Legislative Advocate/Counsel, Sacramento, CA. 20 hrs/week, flexible schedule. Develop legislative strategy, monitor policy, provide testimony, etc. Full description at Send resume, cover letter and writing sample to
  • Learn to lobby more effectively. Veteran lobbyist Ray LeBov presents his introductory "Legislative Process / Lobbying 101" and advanced "Lobbying 201" seminars October 31-November 1. $250 each. Valuable for principals / support staff at lobbying firms, organizations that employ lobbyists, public agencies. Info / registration: or 916 442 5009.
  • SEIU United Healthcare Workers-West Research Analyst-Workforce Development (San Francisco or Sacramento). 150,000 member California healthcare union seeks strategic, progressive, motivated Research Analyst, , 2-3 years research/union experience. Excellent benefits, career ladder. Salary $49k-$91k. Resume, letter, references:


Initiative Shows How Young Pay Pensions Of Old
Ed Mendel @
An initiative proposed by five mayors last week, aimed at allowing cuts in pensions and retiree health care earned in the future, could put a spotlight on another growing problem: debt passed to future generations.

Immigration, Same-Sex Marriage And A Tech Entrepreneur
James Temple @
Alfred Cheung is a tech entrepreneur, but until now you wouldn't have read his name in the industry blogs or financial press. It's not that he's operating in "stealth mode" - building up a business before making some splashy debut. He's operating in the shadows, forced out of the public eye by the uncertainty of his legal status.

Gay Rights Supporters Wage A Quiet Campaign To Push Republicans To The Middle
Few elected Republicans support giving gays the right to marry. The party’s influential social-conservative wing sees “traditional marriage” as a defining issue. And while most major Democrats are rushing to embrace same-sex marriage, none of the most prominent potential Republican presidential candidates have taken that step.

Obama: 'No excuse' for health care signup problems
Julie Pace @
President Barack Obama on Monday said there was 'no excuse' for the cascade of computer problems that have marred the rollout of key elements in his health care law, but declared he was confident the administration would be able to fix the issues.

Opponents Gear Up To Fight Transgender Law
George Skelton @
AB 1266 allows transgender students to play on sports teams and use bathrooms of the gender they identify with.

Sacramento County Pays $2 In Damages, $197,505 In Attorney Fees, For Civil Rights Case
Denny Walsh @
A federal judge has ordered Sacramento County to pay an attorney $197,505 in fees after a jury awarded the attorney’s two clients $1 each on their claims that they endured excessive force while inmates at the county’s downtown jail.

Obama on healthcare sign-up glitches: 'It's going to get fixed'
Christi Parsons and Noam Levey @
President Obama on Monday pitched his healthcare overhaul as a good “product” that is simply having problems at the check-out line. He urged Americans to call an 800 number or shop in person while his team works out kinks in the federal insurance marketplace's online sign-up.

Post-shutdown, Republicans Remain Divided On Tactics Over Healthcare
Neela Banerjee @
WASHINGTON — Republican members of Congress offered glimpses of rifts within their party in the wake of the government shutdown Sunday, suggesting that raw feelings might hobble progress on other pressing issues.

Obama Pushes Health Law but Concedes Web Site Problems
s health care Web site, but defended the law itself.

Hints BART, unions in touch about resuming talks
Michael Cabanatuan and Kurtis Alexander @
The Bay Area crept through the third day of a BART strike Sunday with no signs that trains would be running anytime soon.

Budget Battles Could Slow 2014 Business Travel Spending, Group Warns
Budget battles could slow what is expected to be a 7.2% jump in 2014 business travel spending, a trade group warns.

New Chapter Begins In California Prisons Legal Saga
Ben Adler @
The judges are expected to weigh in soon after hearing the facilitator’s report. They could give the state more time to implement recidivism programs; they could keep the January deadline and let California send prisoners out of state; or they could keep the January deadline but block out-of-state transfers, essentially forcing the state to release prisoners.

Insurer Health Net Overhauls Its Operations Preparing For Obamacare
Stuart Pfeifer @
Medical insurer Health Net has gone 'all in' on Obamacare, seeking to cover thousands of previously uninsured people.

Dan Walters Daily: Gavin Newsom goes to pot
Jeremy B. White @
Lt Gov. Gavin Newsom continues to position himself for his next move with a new push to legalize marijuana, Dan says.

Charity: Tax Check-off Program Keeps Growing

Bart Strike: Investigation Of Fatal Accident Could Take Months
Samantha Schaefer and Maura Dolan @
The investigation into the deaths of two maintenance workers who were struck and killed by a Bay Area Rapid Transit train during a routine track inspection could take a year or longer, a federal investigator told reporters Sunday.

Tools For Parents: What To Look For In A Preschool Program | Edsource Today
Louis Freedberg @
A growing body of research indicates that a high-quality preschool education can position children for academic success for years to come, but how does a parent know what to look for when it comes to selecting a school for their child?

Jerry Brown to give speech at Washington think tank
David Siders @
Gov. Jerry Brown, who visits Washington infrequently and typically keeps a low profile when he does, will deliver a rare speech in the nation's capital Thursday.

NTSB Takes Over Bart Tragedy Investigation
Rick Hurd and David DeBolt @
Officials with the National Transportation Safety Board walked the tracks near Jones Road, requested video and signal data from BART, and took measurements at the start of what promises to be a lengthy investigation.

California Residents Cautioned To Look Out For Yellow Fever Mosquito
Diana Marcum @
California residents are warned to look out for a mosquito that lays eggs in standing water and can carry dengue and yellow fever.

The politics of Christie's gay marriage move
Maggie Haberman @
His decision not to go down swinging against legalized gay marriage in his state could be problematic.

Fire Sprinklers Missing In Thousands Of Apartment Buildings
Joshua Melvin and Thomas Peele @
Like tens of thousands of Bay Area apartment buildings, the 73-unit Terrace Apartments complex, built in 1963, was not required to have sprinklers. A nearly identical fire at a 1960s-era building blocks away, also without sprinklers, killed a man in July and sent 18 people to hospitals.

As National Guard Reclaims Incentives, Soldiers Feel Pain
Charles Piller @
with his wife, Lori, on Oct. 10 at their family home in Galt as son, Alec, 16, gets home from baseball practice. Lori is deployed to Afghanistan. Both in the National Guard, the couple’s lives were affected when their incentive payments were taken back.

Christie drops gay marriage appeal
Katie Glueck @
The change comes as a court ruling allowing same-sex marriage in the Garden State took effect on Monday morning.