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THE NOONER for December 20, 2013

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

 

IS IT APRIL 1? Techcrunch reports that investor Tim Draper plans to submit a proposed initiative for title and summary today that would divide the Golden State into six states. From the language floating around:

The boundaries of the six (6) new states shall be as follows:

(1) A new state, named Jefferson, including the territory represented by the boundaries of the following counties: Butte, Colusa, Del Norte, Glenn, Humboldt, Lake, Lassen, Mendocino, Modoc, Plumas, Siskiyou, Shasta, Tehama, and Trinity.

(2) A new state, named North California, including the territory represented by the following counties:, Amador, El Dorado, Marin, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Sacramento, Sierra, Solano, Sonoma, Sutter, Yolo, and Yuba.

(3) A new state, named Central California, including the territory represented by the boundaries of the following counties: Alpine, Calaveras, Fresno, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, Mono, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Tulare, and Tuolumne.

(4) A new state, named Silicon Valley, including the territory represented by the following counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, San Benito, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, and Monterey.

(5) A new state, named West California, including the territory represented by the following counties: Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Los Angeles, and Ventura.

(6) A new state, named South California, including the territory of Imperial, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and San Diego.


One of the arguments is that the size of the current California disadvantages the state, its people, and its economic interests in the United States Senate and, by dividing up and gaining recognition through an act of Congress, an additional 10 senators could be added. 

Given the below current voter registration breakdown, the effort would likely lead to 3 Democratic (North, Silicon, and West) and 3 Republican (Jefferson, Central, and South) governors, and the U.S. Senators would similarly be split 6 each from the two major parties.

 VotersDemocraticRepublicanOther
Jefferson 511,532 34.7% 36.5% 28.9%
North California 1,971,553 43.1% 31.1% 25.8%
Silicon Valley 3,376,244 51.7% 18.1% 30.2%
Central California 1,707,988 38.8% 39.3% 21.9%
West California 5,650,748 49.3% 23.5% 27.2%
South California 4,837,718 35.4% 37.6% 27.1%


The proposal reminds me of the episode of Scandal I was watching last night--episode #7 ("Everything's Coming Up Mellie") for you home-gamers. (Minor spoiler if you're not there yet--skip next paragraph.)

Anyway, in a 15-year flashback in the episode, now-White House Chief of Staff Cyrus Beene explains to now-President Fitzgerald Grant how he can win the governership of California. "To win California, you need the whole Khachigian hook. Thanks to Senator Grant's generous and continuous farm subsidies, you'll inherit the hicks [pointing to Central Valley] pretty easily. Add [pointing to Central Coast and Eastern Sierra] these UFO-spotting desert trash districts and the defense industry dependent Inland Empire and you lock up everything from Bakersfield to Riverside . . . Link together all these districts around San Diego full of retired military . . . And, then we swing up to the OC that big fat grouper of GOP voters at the end of the hook!"

Draper's proposal would package up the "hook" GOP counties into three nice little packages of red and leaves the others in three packages of blue. 

PICK 'EM: Steinberg wants legislative openings filled by appointment [Melody Gutierrez @ SacBee] - "Following a year of legislative musical chairs, state Sen. President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg said he plans to introduce a constitutional amendment to reduce the financial burden on taxpayers when lawmakers leave office before their term expires."

WHALEN'S WORLD: Putting California's GOP back together [Bill Whalen @ SacBee] - "In the English nursery rhyme, "all the king's horses and all the king's men” couldn't put Humpty Dumpty together again (another version puts the body count at "four-score men and four-score more"). As for California Republicans – a faction, its critics would have you believe, that lacks rhyme or reason – a select few repairmen stand out." 

AB 1266 REFERENDUM UPDATE: 

  • Number of counties reporting random sample: 48
  • Percent of sampled reported valid: 79.05% (244,302)
  • Percent of signatures collected needed to be valid to qualify and avoid full count: 90.39%
  • Percent of signatures collected needed to be valid to to avoid failure without full count: 78.06%
  • Random sample deadline: January 8, 2014  

#CAKEDAY: Light some candles for Sacto City Councilmember Jay Schenirer.

 

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TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
Steinberg Says Governors Should Fill Ca Legislative Vacancies
Jim Miller @
blogs.sacbee.com
Saying he was fed up with "innumerable special elections" that have kept the Legislature below capacity throughout the current session, Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg said he will propose a constitutional amendment giving the governor the power to fill legislative vacancies.

Lawmaker Would Require District Elections In Many More Cities
Patrick McGreevy @
latimes.com
The measure would require such elections, instead of at-large elections, for all non-charter cities with populations of more than 100,000 persons.

Brown For President? Been There, Said That! :: Fox&hounds
foxandhoundsdaily.com
Barabak also conjectured that such a run against presumptive frontrunner Hillary Rodham Clinton would not be a problem since Brown is not on the friendliest terms with the Clintons having challenged Bill all the way to the Democratic Convention in 1992.

Arena Backers Claim $11.5 Billion In Economic Impact
Dale Kasler @
sacbee.com
Gearing up for a possible political fight over the proposed new NBA arena in downtown Sacramento, project backers released a study today saying the facility would generate $11.5 billion in economic impact over the 35-year life of the arena.

Should Legislature Expand To Shrink Special Interest Power?
Michael Gardner @
utsandiego.com
A proposed ballot measure sponsored by Rancho Santa Fe venture capitalist John Cox would create a so-called “Neighborhood Legislature” with 12,000 citizen-legislators in an effort to weaken the grip of special interests in the state Capitol.

The Buzz: Consultant's memo outlines pluses, minuses for union coalition on pension measure
sacbee.com
A new memo Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group prepared for labor unions lays out tactics to fight a proposed public pension ballot measure that could go to California voters next November.

Steinberg Seeks To Restore Grants For Mental Health Offender Programs
Paige St. John @
latimes.com
After a decade of state funding, the Mentally Ill Offender Crime Reduction Grants ceased in 2008 due to budget cuts. Steinberg is seeking to restore funding, starting with $50 million.

Sacramento Homeowners To Receive $20 Million Under Settlement With Ocwen Financial
Hudson Sangree and Mary Lynne Vellinga @
sacbee.com
Sacramento area borrowers could receive nearly $20 million in financial assistance from Ocwen Financial Corp. under a $2.1 billion settlement announced Thursday between the mortgage servicing giant, the federal government and 49 states.

Conn. and Calif. lawmakers seek a health care FAQ
utsandiego.com
Two members of the U.S. House of Representatives from Connecticut and California want the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to distribute a list of frequently asked questions to help people signing up for health insurance under the federal health care overhaul law.

Common Cause Seeks New Limits On Gifts To California Officials
Patrick McGreevy @
latimes.com
Alarmed that elected state officials last year accepted more than $200,000 in gifts, California Common Cause on Thursday proposed to overhaul the laws to reduce the ability of special interests to seek favor by providing expensive meals, lodging and travel.

Oakland Candidate’s Car Broken Into As He Works On Crime Plan - Politics Blog
blog.sfgate.com
Oakland mayoral candidate Joe Tuman had his car broken into this week while it was parked in downtown Oakland. What was Tuman doing at the time? "We were working on our public safety and crime plan...

Proposal Seeks To Expand California Legislature From 120 To 12,000
Patrick McGreevy @
latimes.com
SACRAMENTO -- John Cox, a San Diego County real estate mogul, hates the way the California Legislature operates, so he wants to make it bigger. Much bigger.

Affirmative Action Foe Wins California Court Fight - Sfgate
PAUL ELIAS, Associated Press @
sfgate.com
The unanimous decision represents a legal victory for a law professor seeking to test his theory that minority students are actually harmed by preferential admissions policies. In particular, it seems beyond dispute that the public has a legitimate interest in whether different groups of applicants, based on race, sex or ethnicity, perform differently on the bar examination and whether any disparities in performance are the result of the admissions process or of other factors. The trial judge ruled in favor of the state bar, but the California Court of Appeal reversed that decision in 2011. Since the state Supreme Court has agreed to accept the case, many California newspapers have joined with politically conservative nonprofits such as the Pacific Legal Foundation in urging release of the data.

Steinberg Seeks To Restore Mental Health Funds For Criminals
Paige St. John @
latimes.com
Senate leader hopes to allocate $50 million to a program that ended in 2008 due to budget cuts, but the move depends on whether the U.S. grants a delay on reducing prison crowding.

Poll: What does Sherles v. SEIU Local 1000 mean?
Jon Ortiz @
sacbee.com
You’ve read the column and maybe even perused the court records in the sexual harassment lawsuit state worker Mechelle Sherles brought against her union, SEIU Local 1000. You know the judge in the case ruled that Sherles couldn’t hold the local responsible as her employer because, as a state worker on union paid leave, she wasn’t a union employee.

BART union dismayed by proposal to ban strikes
sfgate.com
BART union leaders expressed more dismay than anger Thursday at new board President Joel Keller's proposal for an advisory ballot measure that would urge state legislators to prohibit strikes by public transportation workers. Keller took the chance, after he was appointed president by his fellow directors at Thursday's meeting, to suggest the board seek the public's opinion on a transit strike ban by way of a ballot measure. Since such a prohibition would require state legislation, Keller suggested an advisory measure in Alameda, Contra Costa and San Francisco - the three counties in the BART district - backing a ban. [...] Thursday, the board approved a contract with a smaller union, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, even though BART made a mistake in the effective date of a benefits change in the proposed agreement.

In Chacon Political Dynasty, Deceit Hits Close To Home
Hector Becerra @
latimes.com
Montebello school board member learns brother, a Central Basin Municipal Water District board member, impersonated him in arrest.

PG&E Seeks 12.6 Percent Rate Hike For Natural Gas Customers
George Avalos @
mercurynews.com
In a controversial move, PG&E on Thursday requested a nearly 13 percent rate increase for its residential natural gas customers to help finance upgrades of its pipeline system -- the same day state regulators slapped the utility with a $14 million fine for blunders related to its gas pipeline in San Carlos.

Charter School Group Calls For Closure Of West Sacramento School
Diana Lambert @
sacbee.com
The California Charter Schools Association wants the charter for West Sacramento Early College Prep revoked.

New Mexico Supreme Court: Same-sex marriage legal
mercurynews.com
The New Mexico Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in the state Thursday, declaring in a ruling that it is unconstitutional to deny a marriage license to gay and lesbian couples.

California PUC Fines Pg&e On Ethics Violations
Marc Lifsher @
latimes.com
The California Public Utilities Commission has fined Pacific Gas & Electric Co. $14.4 million for failing to notify regulators about incorrect records on a natural gas pipeline running through the city of San Carlos.

Powerful Factions Go To War Over Direction Of California Schools
Dan Walters @
sacbee.com
Dan Walters

Senate Deal On Nominations To Delay Yellen Vote Until January
Michael A. Memoli @
latimes.com
WASHINGTON -- Senators reached a late-night deal Thursday to confirm a trio of nominations while setting up a final vote in January to install Janet Yellen as chairwoman of the Federal Reserve , putting aside a bitter dispute so that lawmakers can leave Washington on time for Christmas recess.

VIDEO
Laurel Rosenhall @
blogs.sacbee.com
Mentally ill criminals could get new resources for treatment under a $50 million proposal Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg unveiled on Thursday. Learn more about the Sacramento Democrat's latest plan in this video: