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THE NOONER for October 23, 2013
It's that quiet time in California politics and policy, as we wait for the Legislative Analyst's fiscal outlook on November 15 and hope for unexpected retirements or other political bombshells. And we wait . . .
BART is back to work (although the board may be balking at the details), and now AC transit in Alameda County is threatening to strike and the governor is seeking a cooling-off period today.
AD70: With the prospect of facing her ex-mother in law in the LBC mayoral race, Long Beach councilmember Suja Lowenthal made the move to the crowded AD70 race. Suja is the ex-wife of Los Angeles Superior Court judge Dan Lowenthal, who is the son of Congressman Alan Lowenthal and Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal, who divorced in 1998. Yes, you could have three Lowenthal's on the ballot next year--mayor, Assembly, and Congress--with none of them related anymore (Dan is not on the ballot next year).
FAMILY FIRST: Prop 8 mastermind helps lesbian sister in Sacto DA bid [Seth Hemmelgorn @ Bay Area Reporter] - "Frank Schubert, the mastermind behind California's Proposition 8 same-sex marriage ban, is holding a fundraiser next month for his lesbian sister, Anne Marie Schubert, who's running for district attorney in Sacramento."
WON'T APPLE DO IT FOR FREE? As many as 300,000 jobless affected by state software snags [Ricardo Lopez, Marc Lifsher and Shan Li @ LAT]
The agency initially said 80,000 unemployment claims were stalled when the software went online over Labor Day weekend. But internal emails obtained by The Times show the system was riddled with glitches that stopped payment to as many as 300,000 claimants.
Now lawmakers want answers. The Assembly is setting up a hearing to determine what went wrong with a system that cost taxpayers $110 million, almost double the original estimate.
Some blame the EDD's slow response to the problem that created the massive backlog of claims. Others are pointing fingers at a familiar name around the halls of Sacramento: Deloitte Consulting.
DO YOU KNOW THE WAY? Santa Clara Supervisor Dave Cortese announced he's running for mayor of San Jose, and brings with him endorsements from Congressman Mike Honda, Assemblymembers Paul Fong, Mark Stone, and Bob Wieckowski. He is the son of former Assemblymember Dom Cortese.
LESSON: Remember, kiddoes, there is no such thing as anonymous, particularly when you work in national security.
YESTERDAY'S TRIVIA QUESTION: What town will I pass through that shares a name with an element on the Periodic Table?
TODAY'S TRIVIA: Who was the last person sent to the Legislature by voters who at the time was neither a registered Democrat nor Republican?
#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Nathan Alonzo, working the district for Senator Vidak, and my good friend Assemblymember Mariko Yamada.
TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
A Prop. 187 Moment For The GOP
Timm Herdt @ vcstar.com
The polling firm Latino Decisions released a report last week on what it called âthe Proposition 187 effect.â It documents how the anti-immigrant ballot initiative in 1994 became the turning point at which California shifted from being politically competitive to becoming one of the most solidly Democratic states in America.
White House brings in help to fix healthcare website
Kathleen Hennessey @ latimes.com
WASHINGTON – A familiar troubleshooter has been enlisted to try to fix the government's health insurance website, administration officials said Tuesday, as political pressure piled up over the centerpiece of President Obama's healthcare law.
Jerry Brown Asks Court To Block Bay Area Bus Strike
Anthony York @ latimes.com
For the second time this year, Gov. Jerry Brown will ask a court to block a transit strike in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Longer cooling-off could block AC Transit strike
AC Transit drivers and mechanics might strike Thursday morning if a judge does not extend a cooling-off period that's due to expire at midnight Wednesday. To prevent both BART and AC Transit from striking simultaneously, which would have worsened an already bad commute in the East Bay, Gov. Jerry Brown ordered a seven-day cooling-off period and investigation into the broader issues at the bus service last week. Management is offering a 9.5 percent pay raise over three years but also increased contributions to health care costs. Drivers and mechanics earn $16 to $31 an hour, and would have to pay a maximum of $283 a month in health care costs, depending on their coverage. AC Transit, which replaced the old Key System in the 1950s, derives most of its funding from local sales and property taxes. Income plunged during the recent recession, at one point hitting the district with a deficit of $56 million, and union members agreed to pay cuts for several years to help offset revenue losses.
Health Plans Rip Covered California For Not Posting Quality Ratings
David Siders @ blogs.sacbee.com
Kaiser Permanente and two other health plans criticized administrators of California's public health exchange Monday for postponing posting quality ratings for health plans on the exchange's website, saying the delay is a disservice to customers.
L.A. Leaders Fight Ballot Measure To Create City Health Agency
Seema Mehta @ latimes.com
Los Angeles city and county leaders are fighting a ballot measure that would force the city to create its own health department.
Brown Eyes Soldier In Same-sex Marriage Fight For First District
Sebelius: Obama not told of Healthcare.gov problems before launch
Kathleen Hennessey @ latimes.com
WASHINGTON -- Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius says President Obama did not know about the problems with the health insurance law website before its launch, and she is dodging questions about whether she will resign over the troubled rollout of the federal health insurance marketplace.
Does Villaraigosa Have A Conflict Working For Edelman And Herbalife?
Stuart Pfeifer and David Zahniser @ latimes.com
Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa landed a new job Tuesday as an advisor to global public relations firm Edelman.
Next wave of Obamacare war: ads to hold lawmakers 'accountable'
Maeve Reston @ latimes.com
As it wages a state-by-state battle to limit the reach of the nation's healthcare law, the conservative group Americans for Prosperity is launching a $2-million ad buy to hold congressional lawmakers “accountable” for their votes on Obamacare.
IRS To Delay Tax-Filing Season Up To Two Weeks
Josh Hicks @ washingtonpost.com
The Internal Revenue Service plans to delay the tax-filing season by up to two weeks as a result of the 16-day government shutdown that ended last week, the agency announced Tuesday.
Hollywood To Host Fundraiser For Jerry Brown
Anthony York @ latimes.com
Gov. Jerry Brown hasn’t yet announced if he will seek an unprecedented fourth term as California governor next year, but his fundraising schedule suggests strongly that he will.
The Roundup: U.N. investigator wants CA prison inspection; pension and benefits news and views
Jon Ortiz @ sacbee.com
A sampling of reports and editorials of interest to California state workers.
As Many As 300,000 Jobless Affected By State Software Snags
Ricardo Lopez, Marc Lifsher and Shan Li @ latimes.com
California lawmakers want to know why Deloitte Consulting's unemployment benefits system arrived with major bugs and at almost double the cost estimate.
Sacto 9-1-1: California Prison Officials Defend Treatment Of Mentally Ill Inmates
Denny Walsh and Sam Stanton @ blogs.sacbee.com
By Denny Walsh and Sam Stanton
Two Key Parts Of Online Health Insurance Exchange Will Take Longer To Fix Than Expected
The Obama administration acknowledged Tuesday that two key parts of its online health insurance marketplace will take longer than expected to fix, even as it brought back a former senior White House official to help diagnose and correct the Web site’s flaws.
Sacramento Kings mirroring Golden State Warriors
Marcus Thompson II @ mercurynews.com
The Sacramento Kings' personnel is filled with Golden State Warriors connections, from owner Vivek Ranadivé to adviser Chris Mullin to coach Michael Malone. Now they're hoping to emulate the Warriors' quick rise to respectability
Antonio Villaraigosa says 'there's a lot I can learn' at Edelman
David Siders @ blogs.sacbee.com
Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was on the phone Tuesday from Harvard University, where he is a visiting fellow, to talk about his new job at Edelman, the public relations giant where he will work as a senior adviser.
Thousands Of Consumers Get Insurance Cancellation Notices Due To Health Law Changes
Anna Gorman and Julie Appleby @ blogs.kqed.org
The main reason insurers offer is that the policies fall short of what the Affordable Care Act requires starting Jan. 1. Most are ending policies sold after the law passed in March 2010. At least a few are cancelling plans sold to people with pre-existing medical conditions.
Bart Strike Deal: How It Happened And Who Gets What
Mike Rosenberg @ mercurynews.com
A day after BART management and its two big unions announced the tentative contract, those involved with the talks said the death of two workers on the tracks Saturday finally pushed both sides to put aside their differences. In the days since the tragedy, both made significant concessions.
Diversion Of California Felons Still A Work In Progress
Dan Walters @ sacbee.com
Facing pressure from federal judges to reduce severe overcrowding in Californiaâs prisons, Gov. Jerry Brown came up with ârealignmentâ that would divert presumably low-threat felons into local jails, mental health and drug treatment programs, and probation systems.
Democrats disturbed by Obamacare rollout -- and GOP criticism
Lisa Mascaro @ latimes.com
WASHINGTON -- President Obama’s Democratic allies in Congress said Wednesday they are “not happy” about the glitch-filled rollout of the healthcare law, but criticized Republicans for trying to kill Obamacare rather than fix it.