Around The Capitol

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THE NOONER for November 18, 2013

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AURAL PLEASURE: John Myers and Anthony York talk up the Calderon affair and California's implementation of the health care exchange on the Capitol Connection podcast.

SANDY EGGO: Remember Bob Filner? Well, tomorrow is the day to choose his successor, or more likely, to choose two people to runoff in an election to be his successor on a date yet to be established.

And we have a SurveyUSA poll, which shows the split between Democrats ensures a runoff election and could lead to the return of the technically nonpartisan mayor's seat to a Republican.

  • Kevin Faulconer - 40%
  • Nathan Fletcher - 24%
  • David Alvarez - 22%
  • Mike Aguirre - 7%
  • Other - 4%
  • Undecided - 3%

Runoff matchup: Faulconer v. Fletcher

  • Kevin Faulconer - 47%
  • Nathan Fletcher - 38%

Runoff matchup: Faulconer v. Alvarez

  • Kevin Faulconer - 51%
  • David Alvarez - 38%

[n=510 Likely and Actual voters; 11/11-11/14/13; automated land-line and cell] 

AD45 (W. San Fernando Valley): Also tomorrow is the special runoff for the Assembly seat vacated by now-councilmember Bob Blumenfield. Matt Dababneh (D), district director for Congressman Brad Sherman, faces off against author Susan Shelley (R). With a nearly 2-to-1 voter registration advantage, Dababneh will be sworn in soon.

SD23 (E. San Bernardino): With Lonni Granlund (R) joining the race against Assemblymember Mike Morrell (R) to succeed Senator Bill Emmerson in a likely March special election, the field seems largely set in the safe Republican seat. Morrell is the natural favorite, although it will be interesting to see if the California Associaiton of Realtors make a big independent play for Granlund, who is a realtor herself. 

THE LBC: Election 2014: More Endorsements [Harry Saltzgaver @ LB Gazette]

Calderon seems determined to drag Steinberg and others down with him [Dan Morain @ SacBee] - "Calderon has not had his day in court. But he surely knows his political career is over. He hopes to drag a few others down with him. It is pathetic and predictable, given the pen where he has wallowed."

Joseph Gatto shooting: Police probe earlier Silver Lake assault [Kate Mather and Richard Winton @ LAT]

#SPOILER: My eureka! robot that selects stories for the Around The Capitol home page thought the LAT's recap of last night's The Walking Dead was a legit California political story. I've taken the headline out, which in itself is a spoiler. If you are caught up, what'd you think of the episode?

#CAKEDAY: Light the candles for Bryan Ha, Martin Radosevich, and Ace Smith.

#GHOSTSOFCAKEDAYSPAST: Karen Zamarippa (Sunday)



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Top Democratic Lawmakers Stand By Obama On Healthcare Rollout
Jim Puzzanghera @
Top congressional Democrats on Sunday stood by President Obama and the flawed rollout of the government's healthcare website, expressing confidence the problems would be fixed and the issue would not drag down the party in next year’s mid-term elections.

Legislative Caucuses Wield Influence In California -
Katie Orr @
California voters may think the major political parties hold all the power at the Capitol. But there are other groups of lawmakers who wield influence as well.

Yes, California Cities Do Have A Serious Pension Problem
Dan Walters @
Public employee union propaganda notwithstanding, California has a serious public pension problem. Or, more precisely, cities and some fire districts have a pension problem because they spend so much of their budgets on highly paid, high-pension police and firefighters.

CalPERS Investment Change Unlikely To Raise Rates | Calpensions
Ed Mendel @
An increase in CalPERS employer rates from switching to a less risky but lower-yielding investment portfolio seemed unlikely after a two-day board workshop last week. A final decision may not be made until February.

Health Measures To Dominate 2014 Voter Ballot
Marc Lifsher @
A ballot teeming with health measures next November may prompt hundreds of millions of dollars in campaign spending.

The Buzz: GOP gubernatorial candidate Tim Donnelly saves choking woman
David Siders and Jeremy B. White @
Tim Donnelly dislodged a piece of bread from a choking woman’s throat recently. It was fortunate for her that he did – “He saved my life,” the woman said. For Donnelly, perhaps, it was fortunate that his videographer was nearby.

Liz Cheney's latest gay-marriage comments stoke family feud
Mark Z. Barabak @
A sibling spat over the issue of same-sex marriage flared anew as Senate candidate Liz Cheney restated her opposition to gay and lesbian matrimony and her sister—and sister’s spouse—angrily fired back on social media.

Bells Shatter A November Morning
George Skelton @
After shots were fired in Dallas, news reports of the president's assassination were flashed around the world via wire-service Teletypes.

Californa’s state comp-carrier CEO quits; thoughts on Chuck Reed’s pension proposal; Pennsylvania’s tech trouble
Jon Ortiz @
Want more? Check out the State Worker's News & Views feed (now updated with pension politics coverage) by clicking here. Follow @TheStateWorker on Twitter and check out our community page on Facebook for links, comments and insights into our reports, blog posts and columns.

San Francisco Seeks Changes To State Law On 'no-fault' Evictions
Lee Romney @
Soaring property values prompt mayor to take aim at 1986 Ellis Act, which is being used by owners to displace longtime tenants.

New California web tool allows sales tax rate searches
Dan Walters @
California levies a statewide 7.5 percent tax on retail sales but local governments and other agencies can add surtaxes for various purposes. The overall rate reaches as high as 10 percent in some localities.

Sesame Street character Elmo appears at San Quentin State Prison
Popular Sesame Street character Elmo made an appearance at San Quentin State Prison Thursday to help support children whose parents are serving time.

Sacramento group wins $1.5 million in lawyer fees
A south Sacramento neighborhood association has been awarded nearly $1.5 million in attorney fees after the group defeated a proposal to store natural gas beneath their working-class neighborhood.

Federal Preschool Bill Highlights Need To Improve State Program, Advocates Say
Lillian Mongeau @
Legislation introduced in Congress last week that would expand public preschool could serve as a wake-up call in California to beef up early education programs, advocates here say.

Michelle Bachelet Far Ahead In Chile's First-round Presidential Vote
Fabiola Gutierrez and Chris Kraul @
With nearly all ballots counted, the ex-president wins 47%, not enough to avoid a runoff. She'll face economist Evelyn Matthei.

Everyone Benefits When Charter Schools And Districts Partner On Special Education | Edsource Today
In January 2011, the Los Angeles Unified School District made a bold move to try a new approach, which was unanimously approved by the LAUSD School Board.

A Decade After Firestorm, Blue-ribbon Panel’s Recommendations Have Mixed Record
Jim Miller @
The panel’s report included more than 40 recommendations. Among them:

Op Ed: Pensions Need Real Reform, Not Rhetoric
Chuck Reed @
One of the main reasons our politics are so dysfunctional is that each side spends a ton of money on focus groups and polling to figure out how they can make their opponents look bad. Then, regardless of the facts, these same groups spend millions repeating those poll-tested charges, turning their opponent into some kind of villain. Solutions to fix the problem are rarely discussed, much less acted upon.

Dan Walters Daily
Jeremy B. White @
It's hard not to smile a bit at politicians running for cover in Washington, D.C. and Sacramento, Dan says.

Broader lessons in Obama immigration reform
The first year of the Obama administration's temporary reprieve for youth living in the country illegally has shown that any broader immigration reform effort would require the government to better prepare by streamlining application procedures and by providing more information about what documents are needed to apply to stay in America, experts say.

Losing JFK: 50 Years Ago, A President Died And The Nation Was Thrown Into Tumult
Bruce Newman @
He was the first president to whom many Americans felt a deep, direct personal connection, as if the television cameras that initially alighted on John F. Kennedy during the debates with Richard Nixon beamed all that glamour and charm right into people's living rooms, and their lives. The thousand days of his presidency had felt like the beginning of everything: the space race, Vietnam and the anti-war movement, the threat of nuclear annihilation, the civil rights movement.

Political Blotter: Boxer offers air-cargo safety bill
Josh Richman @
Cargo pilots must be given the same work-limits and rest requirements as passenger pilots, Sen. Barbara Boxer says; also, Bay Area Democrats mourn the passing of a key staffer.

New 49ers Stadium: Is It Really Environmentally Friendly, Or Just Eco-hype?
Levi's Stadium will have 1,162 solar panels, high-efficiency toilets and sinks that use 40 percent less water than California building codes require, and a 27,000-square-foot "living roof" featuring native plants. The 49ers say their new home will be a model of ecological efficiency that will make fans in environmentally conscious Northern California embrace the project the way that Sierra Clubbers hug old-growth redwoods.