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THE NOONER for January 15, 2014
CD11 (Contra Costa): With Tom Torlakson endorsing Mark DeSaulnier to succeed George Miller, DeSaulnier solidifies himself as the favorite. Meanwhile, in an interview on KFBK, Darrell Steinberg said that, with DeSaulnier choosing the congressional bid, the Pro Tem race is essentially over. Steinberg is supporting Kevin de León, who appears to have a majority of votes locked up. John Garamendi ruled out switching seats, a move that was rumored yesterday but frowned upon by Democratic leaders. And, no, Sully is not running.
(Department of Corrections: DeSaulnier unsuccessfully sought a House seat in 2009 (not 2010), when John Garamendi won the closed primary to succeed Ellen Tauscher.)
Bay Area Council president and CEO Jim Wunderman calls foul on the likelihood of having a Speaker and Pro Tem from south of the Tehachapis. And, Noreen Evans lost her chairmanship of the Senate Judiciary Committee today, believed to be because she didn't support KDL for Pro Tem and Chris Lehman to be her successor (who dropped out Monday).
CD17 (Milpitas): Republican Physician Enters Heated Honda-Khanna Congress Race [Sonita Sorhabji @ India West] - "Shalabh "Shalli" Kumar of Chicago, Ill., a businessman and founder of the Indian Americans for Freedom Super PAC, told India-West that [Vanila] Singh's work with [Hindu American Foundation] came to his attention and he approached her to run for the seat. Kumar, a fervent supporter of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, said he and Rep. Pete Sessions, a Tea Party Republican from Texas, have established the "Sessions-Kumar Project" to recruit and support 10 Republicans in bids for Congress who support a pro-India platform, the main plank of which is getting a U.S. visa for Modi, who has been banned from the U.S. for his alleged involvement with anti-Muslim activities in the 2002 riots in Gujarat."
The entrance of Singh into the race in the safe Democratic seat provides a significant challenge for Ro Khanna's effort to unseat Mike Honda. While it's possible that two Democrats can get through the top-two primary in this district that has a reliable 25% Republican vote, it could be close, depending final field. Currently, there are three Dems and Singh is the only Rep.
Roger Salazar is leaving Mercury to open his own Latino-market focused shop.
LBC: Long Beach Has a Crowded Ballot for Mayor [Sharon McNary @ KPCC]
IVP Withdraws Initiative: Asks SOS if 2012 Election Was Conducted Properly - "In withdrawing the initiative, IVP submitted 3 legal questions for California’s secretary of state, Debra Bowen, questioning whether its 2012 presidential primary was conducted properly" . . .
$$$: Highest-paid public workers call Bay Area home [Carolyn Jones @ SFChron]
TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
CA Rep. John Garamendi Rules Out Run In George Miller's: "Honored" To Represent CD-3
Carla Marinucci @ blog.sfgate.com
Just hours after he set off intense speculation about his political future, California Democratic Rep. John Garamendi has issued a statement saying he will be âhonoredâ to continuing representing his current Congressional district, CD-3 â a move that puts to rest any suggestion he might run for the Contra Costa seat to be vacated by Congressman George Miller, D-Martinez.
Ballot Drive Seeks Cap On Health Costs, CEO Pay
Carla Marinucci @ sfgate.com
Signaling the start of an expensive political battle over health care, a prominent labor union has tapped the San Francisco political team behind Gov. Jerry Brown's successful ballot drive boosting taxes to manage a campaign for two proposed ballot measures to cap spiraling hospital costs and executives' pay.
Chief Justice Says Gov. Jerry Brown's Budget For Courts Inadequate
Patrick McGreevy @ latimes.com
SACRAMENTO -- With the state’s fiscal situation much brighter, the chief justice of California said Tuesday that Gov. Jerry Brown’s budget proposal is inadequate to repair damage to the judicial system caused by five years of deep cuts.
Garamendi Not Ruling Out Run For Miller’s Seat - Politics Blog
As we said when Rep. George Miller announced his retirement Monday, there's nothing like an open congressional seat in California to send the average politico flying over the handlebars. So get Tue...
Jerry Brown's Canine Diplomacy At Work In Fresno
David Siders @ blogs.sacbee.com
FRESNO - Tucked into Gov. Jerry Brown's schedule of meetings here Monday was a tour of a pedestrian mall that, despite a variety of redevelopment efforts over the years, remains a dilapidated fixture of this city's downtown.
Bond-rating Agencies See California Finances On Upswing
Chris Megerian @ latimes.com
SACRAMENTO -- Two Wall Street bond-rating agencies gave Gov. Jerry Brown 's budget proposal a clean bill of health on Tuesday, saying it would further California's fiscal recovery.
Invite-Only PAC First Donor to Dan Schnur Campaign
The first campaign contribution reported by the legislative-fundraising-ban candidate Dan Schnur is $6,800 from an exclusive, invite-only Orange County political action committee.
Many Possible Contenders For Rep. George Miller's Seat - Sfgate
Miller's successor is expected to come from his party's ranks, given that half the registered voters in his Contra Costa County district are Democrats and just 25 percent are Republicans. With California's new "top two" primary system, "the only question is whether it's going to be two Democrats up against each other in November or whether there will be so many of them that they will split the field and allow a Republican to slip in," said Nathan Gonzales, deputy editor of the Rothenberg Political Report, a nonpartisan journal that analyzes federal races. Some analysts said her best play might be to run for DeSaulnier's state Senate seat should he replace Miller. Bonilla, who had planned to run for DeSaulnier's state Senate seat when he terms out in 2016, said Monday, "I will talk to my husband and family about the various options." The Democrat is likely to have an easy time of it in a state where his party has a commanding lead in voter registration. The highest-ranking Green Party member in the country is developing a national profile, thanks to Richmond's effort to invoke eminent domain for underwater mortgages.
Neel Kashkari Meets With Legislative Republicans, Looks Ahead To 'major Speech'
David Siders @ blogs.sacbee.com
Neel Kashkari, apparently close to announcing his campaign for governor, met Tuesday with the Republican caucuses of both houses of the state Legislature.
Fremont-based Water District Paying $280,000 For History Books Celebrating Its Centennial
Chris De Benedetti The Argus @ contracostatimes.com
The district board president said the expenditure is right in line with the agency's mission to educate the community about its valuable water resources. "People are always surprised to learn that ACWD is California's first and oldest county water district and it's the oldest government agency in southern Alameda County," said Paul Sethy.
Panel Headed By Senate Leader Appoints His Friend To Six-figure Post
Patrick McGreevy @ latimes.com
Sacramento attorney John Adkisson had previously held contracts providing legal training to the Legislative Counsel’s office, and served as the director of the Senate Office of Oversight and Outcomes formed by Steinberg in 2009.
Fresno Mayor Swearengin Raises Water Rates, Then Sues Taxpayers
A protracted legal battle between Mayor Ashley Swearengin and the taxpayers she's suing to raise water rates in Fresno.
David Siders @ blogs.sacbee.com
Gov. Jerry Brown began the second day of a two-day swing through inland California on Tuesday. It is a conservative region that has proved deeply skeptical of the Democratic governor, despite his high approval ratings statewide.
California Democrat Could Leave Congress After 1 Term | At The Races
Emily Cahn @ atr.rollcall.com
Freshman Rep. Gloria Negrete McLeod, D-Calif., is keeping her options open to seek a San Bernadino County supervisor seat back home in the Golden State, according to multiple Democratic sources.
Sacramento votes to enact severe water rationing
With no end in sight to California's drought, the Sacramento City Council has voted to enact severe water rationing on residents and businesses, while also boosting enforcement efforts against people who flout the rules.
Bid to prevent S.F. supervisors from moonlighting on hold
The moderate, pro-business supervisor from District Two makes $108,000 a year in his elected role and also earns more than $100,000 a year as a managing director at venture capital firm Thayer Ventures. Golinger is also gathering signatures to qualify a separate ballot measure that would require voter approval for any waterfront development that exceeds current height limits. Limited-growth and environmental advocates from the city's left, who in November went to the ballot to defeat a planned luxury condominium development, known as 8 Washington near the Ferry Building, are now pushing to get the height limit proposal before voters in June. While the Department of Public Works, which issued the permits for the banners, has already weighed in, saying it does not consider content - only whether there's profanity or depictions of nudity - Campos' resolution calls for a review of the city's permitting process. The resolution states that they "appear to violate city regulations in several respects, including failure to fit a category of permissible banners, failure to display an accurate date for a related event and failure to avoid lamp posts that also display holiday snowflakes." Campos also calls for the city to devote all proceeds from the banners to a campaign "to educate vulnerable populations regarding true information about reproductive health and rights, including accurate information about the safety of abortions." CO, an international company that resells clothes in bulk, repurposes rubber from old shoes and diverts other textile materials to be cut up and repackaged as rags or shredded for use as insulation or in cushions. The city is also expanding its cooperation with nonprofits like Goodwill and Salvation Army for clothes that can be reused or resold locally and is looking to put drop-off sites in apartment buildings and other convenient locations.
Mercury Hires Two As Salazar Announces Departure
Laurel Rosenhall @ blogs.sacbee.com
Roger Salazar, a former spokesman for President Bill Clinton and Gov. Gray Davis, is leaving Mercury Public Affairs to open his own firm. Mercury separately announced today hiring two new staff for its Sacramento office.
Dan Walters Daily: Government owes better access to public info
Dan Walters @ sacbee.com
New website plans from CalPERS and the state Senate obscure, rather than reveal, how they're using taxpayer money, Dan says.
Senate Deadlocks On Extending Jobless Benefits
The Senate deadlocked Tuesday on negotiations to extend emergency benefits for the long-term jobless, leaving more than 1.3 million without federal unemployment aid at least until lawmakers resume consideration of the legislation, possibly later this month.
Obama To Congress: We're Not Waiting For Legislation | Washington Watch | Mcclatchy Dc
Anita Kumar @ mcclatchydc.com
U.S. President Barack Obama speaks about unemployment insurance benefits at the White House in Washington, DC.
State Senate Leader Steinberg Predicts De Leon Will Succeed Him
Patrick McGreevy @ latimes.com
Steinberg said in a weekly radio interview before the Caucus meeting that he felt De Leon would take over at the end of Steinberg’s last term at the end of this year.
Final BART union approves labor contract
Service Employees International Union Local 1021, which represents about 1,400 workers, including mechanics, maintenance workers, clerical staff and professionals, voted overwhelmingly to approve the contract with 87 percent in favor. The four-year contract includes 15.4 percent in pay raises, new worker contributions to pension plans, an increase in the payment for medical benefits and a variety of work rule changes, including restrictions on overtime pay.
Sacramento Councilman McCarty Must Testify In Arena Case
Tony Bizjak and Dale Kasler @ sacbee.com
A judge ruled on Tuesday that Sacramento City Councilman Kevin McCarty can be deposed by a group trying to to prove that the city and the Kings owners engaged in backroom dealings to help that group pay to purchase the team.