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THE NOONER for January 3, 2014

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  • SD23 (Redlands): added publisher Ameenah Fuller (D)
  • AD46 (Sherman Oaks): added sound engineer Zachary Taylor (R)

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


Good morning, apparently more was happening yesterday than Ezra Klein's possible departure from WaPo, David Brooks's admitted pot-smoling, and the blizzard.

PRO TEM DE LEÓN? It is rumored that Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) has obtained 16 signatures in his bid to succeed Darrell Steinberg as President Pro Tempore of the State Senate, a majority of the 28-member caucus.


  • Budget release: January 10 @ 9 a.m.
  • State of the State: January 22 @ 9 a.m.

Good morning, Sacramento Superior Court Judge Alan Sumner ruled yesterday that proponents (Pacific Justice Institute) of the AB 1266 (gender in schools) referendum had a right to have signatures counted in Mono and Tulare counties. The signatures had been deemed received by the two counties after the 90-day deadline, which occurred over the Veterans Day weekend. There is an estimated 5,000 signatures among the two counties.

The judge's ruling does not mean that the referendum will make the ballot. My projection without the counties--based on validity rates among the 5 other counties remaining--would forecast the referendum falling short of the 479,522 needed to proceed to a full count by 13,025. It's an imperfect science, though, as validity rates can vary significantly based on the mix of vendor and volunteer gathering and other factors. Nevertheless, if the 5 counties aside from Mono and Tulare left average the 73% validity of the last two signature efforts (health insurance rates and tribal compact referendum), the additional 5,000 signatures would not be enough.

Anyway, it's going to be very close, and the validity in Los Angeles is what proponents and opponents are both watching.


  • Number of counties reporting random sample: 51
  • Percent of sampled reported valid: 78.22% (266,935)
  • Signatures remaining to be sampled: 298,626 (Los Angeles, Nevada, San Bernardino, San Diego, Trinity) PLUS around 5,000 in Mono and Tulare counties.
  • Percent of remaining signatures needed to be valid to avoid failure: 77%
  • Average validity in two previous counts (health care rates and tribal referendum) in remaining counties: 73%
  • Random sample deadline: January 8, 2014  

Here was my geek analysis on December 13.

$600/HOUR HELP: Senate ethics committee hires outside counsel for Calderon inquiry [Jim Miller @ SacBee]

LANDSCAPE: 10 House Races to Watch [Alex Isenstadt @ Politico] - CD17 (Honda/Khanna) and CD52 (DeMaio/Peters)

ADMITTED: The California Supreme Court yesterday ruled that Sergio Garcia, who is a longtime undocumented resident, may be admitted to the State Bar of California. The ruling follows the January 1 effective date of AB 1024 (Gonzalez), which cleared the way for the ruling. 

AD44 (Ventura): "The senior pastor of a Newbury Park church who has shared his pulpit with national conservative political figures including Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul will seek to represent most of Ventura County in the state Assembly." [Timm Herdt @ VCStar]

Also in AD44, Democratic activists are responding negatively to Thousand Oaks councilmember Jacqui Irwin's entrance into the race, claiming she hasn't supported Democrats such as Julie Brownley in local races. Nevertheless, some Democratic leaders see her as the former Rocketdyne engineer and swimming All-American as the ideal candidate to score a pick-up in Jeff Gorell's Assembly seat, which could be the deciding factor in allowing Democrats to keep a two-thirds majority in the Assembly. Timm Herdt writes that Irwin wouldn't say who she supported for President in 2008 and 2012.

LOOKING AHEAD: Intriguing California Politics for the New Year [Joel Fox @ Fox and Hounds]


  • Saturday, January 4
    • Kansas City Chiefs @ Indianapolis (-1): 1:35 p.m. PST (NBC)
    • New Orleans @ Philidelphia (-2.5): 5:10 p.m. PST (NBC)
  • Sunday, January 5
    • San Diego Chargers @ Cincinnati Bengals (-7): 10:05 a.m. PST (CBS)
    • San Francisco 49ers (-2.5) @ Green Bay Packers: 1:40 p.m. PST (FOX)

The temperature for the Niners game at Green Bay is forecasted to be between -5 and 0, with 20% chance of snow. Lambeau Field, though, contains 30 miles of heating beneath the field, so a snow bowl is unlikely. For the Chargers, they will be facing 34 degree high in Cincinnati with an 80% chance of snow. Paul Brown stadium also has heating under the field.

While we set a record high of 66 yesterday in downtown Sacramento, the East Coast is expected to see the lowest temperatures in 15-18 years today. The bad news, as reported today (when the first snow survey will occur) by Capital Public Radio: "Last year, California had huge storms before the first snow survey. Water content was 150 percent of normal. This year it’s expected to be a dismal 20 percent. Snowpack normally provides a third of the water used in California as it melts into streams and reservoirs. But 2013 was the driest year on record."




  • The fastest, most cost-effective way to learn the legislative process and effective advocacy. Veteran lobbyist Ray LeBov presents his introductory "Lobbying 101" and advanced "Lobbying 201" seminars January 23-24. $250 each. Valuable for principals / support staff at lobbying firms, organizations that employ lobbyists, public agencies. Complete info / registration: or 916 442 5009.
  • SEIU United Healthcare Workers-West Political Capacity Organizer (Los Angeles, Oakland or Sacramento). 150,000 member California healthcare union seeks strategic, progressive, motivated Regional Political Organizer, proven track record in political fundraising/union a must. Excellent benefits, career ladder. Salary $49k-$91k. Resume, letter, references:
  • California School Boards Association-Legislative Advocate: Researches, analyzes evaluates proposed and current state & federal legislation, legislative issues, statutes, regulations, and policies; communicates and advocates to influence opinion in favor of public education. Salary based on experience. Details at:


Jerry Meral Will Keep Pushing Water Project, But From Outside
David Siders @
Jerry Meral, the chief steward of Gov. Jerry Brown's $25 billion water project while deputy secretary of the state's Natural Resources Agency, is going to work for an environmental group supporting the controversial plan.

Intriguing California Politics For The New Year :: Fox&hounds
Of course, this is California, so the voters by ballot initiatives could institute big changes themselves.

Judge Orders Calif. To Accept Signatures In Fight Over Transgender Student Bill
David Siders @
A Sacramento County Superior Court judge ordered the California secretary of state Thursday to accept about 5,000 disputed signatures collected in a referendum effort by opponents of California's new transgender student law.

Judge: Calif. Must Count Rejected Ballot Petitions Seeking To Overturn Transgender Law
Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Allen Sumner issued a tentative ruling on Thursday directing Secretary of State Debra Bowen to "accept, file, and process as timely" the qualifying petitions the referendum's backers circulated in Mono and Tulare counties.

Newbury Park Pastor To Seek 44th Assembly Seat
Timm Herdt @
The senior pastor of a Newbury Park church who has shared his pulpit with national conservative political figures including Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul will seek to represent most of Ventura County in the state Assembly.

Journalist, UC Berkeley teacher Susan Rasky dies
Ms. Rasky was "the most profound influence of my career," said John Myers, political editor of the ABC network affiliate KXTV in Sacramento who graduated from UC Berkeley in 1995. Susan became a guiding force in my professional life in August 1993 and never wavered in her willingness to advise, promote and tutor my work as a political reporter. Ms. Rasky joined the department in 1991 and founded and supervised the school's California News Service, which provided hundreds of students with hands-on experience in deadline reporting on politics and government. David McCuan, professor of politics at Sonoma State University, worked with Ms. Rasky on a book on political consultants. Donations in Ms. Rasky's memory may be made to the University of California Board of Regents, with funds earmarked for the Susan Rasky Scholarship Fund for Journalistic Excellence at the Graduate School of Journalism, 121 North Gate Hall, Berkeley, CA 94720.

The Buzz: Jerry Brown’s former point man on water tunnels will work the issue outside government
Jerry Meral, the chief steward of Gov. Jerry Brown’s $25 billion water project while deputy secretary of the state’s Natural Resources Agency, is going to work for an environmental group supporting the controversial plan.

In Practice: New Ad Campaign Criticizes Senators for Support of Health Law
A conservative advocacy group backed by the billionaire Koch brothers said Thursday it will spend $2.5 million on television advertisements targeting three vulnerable Democratic senators.

Hollywood Seeks To Bolster California Film And Tv Tax Credit
Richard Verrier @
Hollywood is mobilizing to back legislation that would bolster California's film and TV tax credit.

Bart Board Endorses Four-year Deal With Unions; Threat Of Strike Disappears
Lisa Vorderbrueggen @
The mega-transit agency's elected board voted 8-1 on Thursday to ratify labor contracts with its two largest unions, ending a six-week stalemate over an expensive family leave provision the agency says was mistakenly added to the deal.

From Nascar To Wind Power: Congress Just Let 55 Tax Breaks Expire
Ezra Klein @
This is becoming an annual tradition of sorts. Every year, there are a raft of "temporary" tax breaks, credits, and deductions that expire on Dec. 31. Lawmakers usually plan on extending them. But they don't always get to it on time.

Machinists Union Local Set To Vote On Boeing Contract
Maria La Ganga and W.J. Hennigan @
A rejected contract offer could prompt Boeing to take its 777X project out of Washington state and possibly move it to Long Beach.

California Senate Ethics Committee Hires Outside Counsel For Calderon Inquiry
Jim Miller @
The California Senate's ethics committees has hired a former federal prosecutor as a $600-an-hour independent counsel to assist the panel's inquiry into corruption allegations involving state Sen. Ron Calderon, D-Montebello.

Judge: Calif. must count rejected ballot petitions
A judge in Sacramento has ordered the secretary of state's office to add about 5,000 signatures to the total submitted by supporters of a voter referendum that seeks to overturn a new California law guaranteeing certain rights to transgender students in public schools.

Rough Justice Prevails In Insidious California Land Case
Dan Walters @
An insidious political syndrome popped up in California during the 1990s involving large tracts of land whose owners wanted to sell to state and federal governments. The owners would announce, very loudly, plans to develop their properties, sparking Pavlovian opposition from environmental groups and political pressure to “save” them from a rapacious fate.

Lawmakers look to restore veterans pension cuts
Local members of Congress are scrambling to repeal a provision in the budget deal approved last month that cuts military retiree pensions starting in 2015.

The Gap In Medical Education
Medical students are all but illiterate when it comes to health policy and the healthcare system.

USC Program Lets Disabled Student Complete Degree From Far Away
USC Viterbi School of Engineering's Distance Education Network is a high-tech classroom and laboratory unbound by geography.

Officials Reject Concern On Bay Bridge Rods As Unfounded, But Plan Technical Review
Charles Piller @
The top oversight official for construction of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge rejected independent engineers’ concerns that key anchor rods were improperly evaluated and remain at risk, but announced a public forum to discuss lingering doubts.

Confusion, Relief Mark Start Of New Health Reforms
JULIET WILLIAMS, Associated Press @
The new year brought relief for Americans who previously had no health insurance or were stuck in poor plans, but it also led to confusion after the troubled rollout of the federal health care reforms sent a crush of late applications to overloaded government agencies. That created stacks of yet-to-be-processed paperwork and thousands — if not millions — of people unsure about whether they have insurance.

Health Insurance Cancellations, Higher Costs From Obamacare Hitting Some Middle, Upper Class Families Hard
Today's high

BART board approves contract with unions
John Wildermuth @
BART directors finally approved a contract with the transit agency's largest unions Thursday, signaling the end to a months-long labor dispute that included a pair of strikes, a potential $44 million misstep by district negotiators, and plenty of posturing and finger-pointing on both sides. Union officials weren't bubbling over with goodwill, charging that transit district officials, in concert with Bay Area business interests, brought on the strikes in an attempt to turn public opinion against the unions. Days later, BART management sought to revise that agreement, arguing that its negotiators had mistakenly signed off on a provision that granted workers up to six weeks of paid family leave, a change they said could cost the district as much as $44 million over the four-year life of the contract. The union finally agreed to drop the controversial provision in exchange for minor improvements in working conditions, bereavement leave eligibility and other contract changes that Castelli described as "not earthshaking." Unchanged are the key provisions hammered out during the talks that ended the four-day October strike, including a 15.4 percent pay increase over the length of the contract, new worker contributions to their pension plans, an increase in the fixed payment for medical benefits and a variety of work rule changes, including new restrictions on overtime pay.

Access to Health Care May Increase ER Visits, Study Suggests
A new study conducted in Oregon found that after getting health insurance, people went to the emergency room more often than their uninsured counterparts.

Orange County Confirms Its First Flu Death Of 2013-14 Season
Marisa Gerber @
Health officials Thursday confirmed Orange County's first reported flu -related death this season.

UC Davis professor offers beer for butterflies
If you collect the first cabbage white butterfly of 2014 in the three-county area of Yolo, Solano or Sacramento, you'll collect a pitcher of beer or its cash-prize equivalent from Professor Shapiro of the UC Davis Department of Evolution and Ecology.