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THE NOONER for January 31, 2014

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FAIR WARNING: Effective February 1, the annual subscription for The Nooner will increase to $39.99/year and montly will increase to $3.99/month. This occurs as I add additional subscriber-only data reports (more campaign information) and bring someone on board to help build out cool stuff and cover my butt on days like yesterday. Additionally, I will start accepting two ads in The Nooner in the non-subscriber version. Thank you all for your support! 


  • CD33 (Coastal LA): added Senator Ted Lieu (D)
  • CD33 (Coastal LA): added former LA Controller Wendy Greuel (D)
  • AD53 (Downtown Los Angeles): added consultant Emily Schrader (R)


NOONER PAID SUBSCRIBERS at $29.99/year get these benefits:

  • e-mail alerts about district changes, including new analysis and candidate additions
  • downloadable spreadsheet of all candidates, with district geography, analysis, and outlook
  • the joy in supporting nonpartisan analysis of California politics and policy


CHANCE TO START OVER! Gung hay fat choy - Chúc mừng năm mới - Saehae bok manhi baduseyo - If you, like me, haven't kept all those resolutions, here's your chance to start again by riding the Horse.

Several candidates turning in disappointing state and federal campaign finance reports for today's deadline will note that it's not too late to start over!

Good morning from Orange. And, for those of you who follow me on Twitter, yes, I am staying at the Doubletree in Orange, a Hilton property. I thought our relationship was over, but she invited me back for one more stay. And, I was "randomly selected" for an upgrade to the presidential suite. Hmmm... Anyway, still frustrated about the Hilton Anaheim's inflexibility earlier this week, but maybe my relationship with Hilton isn't completely over.

But, that's all for another newsletter!

SD34 (Orange County): Here on the border of Orange and Anaheim, I'm on the edge of SD34, the senate district currently held by Lou Correa (D). Correa is termed out this year and all signs point to this district deciding whether Democrats maintain a two-thirds supermajority in the State Senate. 

Democrats currently hold 28 seats in the formerly-known-as-upper-house. They will lose one seat next year from the delayed effects of redistricting when Leland Yee's district will magically reappear in the conservative Sierra foothills. So, that's 27, which is the bare supermajority.

There are, in theory, three districts in play--SD12, SD14 and SD34. SD12 is Anthony Cannella (R) and Yosemite Community College District trustee Tom Hallinan (D) is the lone candidate in a district where Dems sport a 16 point advantage. However, Hallinan just turned in a fundraising report for the year end with only $6,600 on hand. Clearly, the race is not being taken seriously by Democrat-friendly interests. 

After the highly contested race between Andy Vidak (R) and Leticia Perez (D) in 2013, few think that Vidak can be beat in 2014. Running for the Democrats are Kings supervisor Richard Valle and Fresno Unified trustee Luis Chavez. Neither has turned in a financial report yet nor reported and $5,000+ contributions.

Which brings us to SD34, which Democrats likely will need to hold to maintain the supermajority. Democrats have coalesced behind former Assemblymember and now Rancho Santiago college trustee Jose Solorio. Running for Republicans are OC supervisor Janet Nguyen, former Assemblymember Jim Silva, and former OC school board member Long Pham.

Solorio had $353,042 as of June 30 and likely has significantly enlarged his chest. Nguyen had $104,243 as of June 30, and Silva report a year-end number of $330,444. Pham hasn't reported yet.

While Democrats only have a 10,000 (2.6%) voter registration margin, Obama won here by 8.9%.

As of now, Nguyen and Solorio are expected to make it to the runoff. Nguyen is facing allegations of poor management of the county's CalOptima health program, where she has served on the board as the rep of the board of supervisors. Additionally, Pham could also draw enough Vietnamese votes in the oft-split community, adding to the likelihood that Silva lands in second place.

Whether it be Nguyen or Silva in November, Jose Solorio will have a fight on his hands, but also enormous resources as Democrats and their interest groups target this senate district as their 2014 epicenter.

CD33 (Coastal Los Angeles): Here's the update I sent to Nooner uber-subscribers last night. I don't think anything has changed while I slumbered, although expect things to get moving today. State Senator Ted Lieu is the first candidate officially in, although former LA controller Wendy Greuel tweeted last night that strongly suggested she was a candidate.

SD28 (Coachella Valley): Debra Kaye sues Indio, says Glenn Miller sexually harassed her [Tatiana Sanchez @ Desert Sun] - "Former Indio Water Authority General Manager Debra Kaye has filed a gender discrimination lawsuit against the city of Indio in which she alleges City Councilman [and State Senate candidate] Glenn Miller sexually harassed her, according to court documents obtained by The Desert Sun."

AD16 (Tri-Valley): The Tim Sbranti campaign has a poll from Garin-Hart-Yang that shows the Dublin mayor with a clear lead among the Democratic candidates:

  • Catherine Baker (R): 26%
  • Tim Sbranti (D): 23%
  • Steve Glazer (D): 13%
  • Newell Arnerich (D): 5%

Has California cured its political dysfunction? Not so fast.>? [Eric McGhee and Paul Mitchell @ WaPo]

#CAKEDAY: Light the candles for Kelly Calkin.



Public Retirement Journal


Join your colleagues from around the state for a day of in-depth discussion on current and future issues facing public retirement in California at the 24th Annual Southern California Public Retirement Seminar.

February 27, 2014 - 9AM-4PM - Registration: 8AM; The Centre at Sycamore Plaza (5050 Clarke Avenue, Lakewood, CA 90712)
Keynote Speaker: Jon Hamm, CEO, California Association of Highway Patrolmen
Registration Fee: $190.00 - includes breakfast & lunch and seminar materials.
Register online today!

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  • California Receives A Failing Grade On Access To Emergency Care. Find out more here.
  • Administrative Assistant in busy Democratic campaign consulting firm. Receptionist, administrative support, assist with billing, tracking, and print production. Need detail-oriented, accurate multi-tasker, with reliable transportation and good computer skills. Competitive salary and benefits. Send resumes to:
  • Miller & Olson, LLP, a law firm specializing in political law, is looking for a Political Reports Specialist for its Sacramento Capitol Mall office. Applicants should be extremely detailed-oriented, work through many deadlines and be self-starting. 2-5 years experience preferred. Salary BOE. Equal opportunity employer. Send resume to
  • California Medical Association – Associate Director – Advocates CMA policy before the legislature, other elected officials and regulatory agencies. Minimum 5-7 years experience in legislative and related government activity. Addit>Administrative Assistant in busy Democratic campaign consulting firm for full-time assignment guaranteed through Jional info:
  • Employment Opportunity: PPIC is looking for an Administrative and Government Affairs Associate. This position will be based in PPIC’s Sacramento Center and will support the daily operations of the Sacramento Center and its staff and guests, PPIC's CEO, the government affairs function, and PPIC meetings and public events. Key strengths needed: excellent administrative and interpersonal skills, flexibility, organization and detail orientation. The full position description and application instructions are posted at
  • Dream job for a fierce animal lover with legislative experience. The Humane Society of the United States, the nation’s largest animal advocacy organization, is hiring a California state director to lobby legislature/agencies, promote campaign priorities, build coalitions. BA; 4-5 years animal protection issue exposure; 2-4 years legislative/government affairs experience. $45-60,000/year. Based in Sacramento. More information.
  • Join Capitol Network for a 2014 Election Luncheon on 2/7 from 11:30 am – 1 pm at Cal Chamber featuring Shawnda Westly, Cynthia Bryant, Sabrina Lockhart & Robin Swanson. RSVP by February 3 to $25 members, $30 nonmembers. Contact:
  • Internship Opportunity: California Cannabis Industry Association seeks a part time intern for trade association Capitol office. Business, public policy or communications background required. Students for Sensible Drug Policy organizers ideal, graduate students preferred. Will train on Solve 360, Nationbuilder, and other software platforms. Internship may lead to opportunities in fundraising and PAC operations. Send resume and cover letter to
  • California's Pro-Choice Rating Just Released. NARAL Pro-Choice America has just released its 2014 Who Decides? report, detailing the pro-choice wins and losses of the past year in the states and in Washington. As one of the few pro-choice states in the country, it's going to be more important than ever for California to continue its legacy of pro-choice leadership in 2014.



Public Pension Measure Likely Off For 2014 Ballot
Jon Ortiz @
Efforts to put a public pension measure on the November ballot dimmed Thursday when the initiative’s proponents said they would file a court challenge to the language assigned their measure by California Attorney General Kamala Harris.

Senate Passes Measure Asking Voters To Repeal Prop. 209
Laurel Rosenhall @
Democrats in the California Senate used their two-thirds supermajority Thursday to pass a measure that would ask voters if they want to repeal the state's ban on race- and gender-based preferences in government hiring and contracting and university admissions.

California Pensions: San Jose Mayor's Initiative May Not Make November Ballot
Mark Emmons @
Reed, who leads a group of California city leaders campaigning for the proposal as a solution to soaring retirement costs, said Thursday they are mounting a court challenge to the state Attorney General's ballot wording, claiming it mischaracterizes their initiative's intent.

The Buzz: Jerry Brown missed voting in a couple elections, too
Gov. Jerry Brown’s political spokesman took to Twitter to trash Neel Kashkari when the Republican’s inconsistent voting record gained broader attention in recent days, and he jumped again when the shortcomings of another candidate, Tim Donnelly, came to light.

Battle Over California Pensions May Be Postponed
Chris Megerian @
SACRAMENTO — A legal dispute may postpone a campaign battle over public pensions, which was poised to become one of the most high-profile and expensive fights this year.

California pensions: San Jose mayor's initiative faces new challenge
Mark Emmons @
San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed said he will fight Attorney General Kamala Harris' description of his proposed state ballot initiative on pensions in court, jeopardizing plans to qualify it for the November 2014 ballot.

Maria Shriver Returns To Sacramento To Discuss Women And Poverty
Alexei Koseff @
After more than three years away, former First Lady of California Maria Shriver returned to Sacramento Thursday to deliver a new report on women and poverty to the governor and legislators.

Democratic women push President Obama's increase in minimum wage
Maeve Reston @
WASHINGTON--President Obama’s pitch to women in his State of the Union address Tuesday night was, without question, an opening shot in the 2014 contests. At a time when Republicans have struggled to build support among women, Obama's pledge to do away with the workplace policies of the “Mad Men” era caught the attention of that key voter bloc and was a step toward shifting conversation away from his unpopular healthcare law.

What Does Texas Know About Prisons That We Don't? - The Orange County Register
Former state Assemblyman Chuck DeVore reports to a Senate committee what he's learned as vice president at the Texas Public Policy Foundation and part of the national Right on Crime organization.

Ohio State taps UC Irvine chancellor as president
Ohio State University trustees are recommending the chancellor of UC Irvine as the university's next president.

Darrell Steinberg will not ask Rod Wright to leave California Senate
Laurel Rosenhall @
California Senate leader Darrell Steinberg said today that he is removing Sen. Rod Wright from his position as chair of the Senate's Governmental Organization committee but is not asking the legislator found guilty this week of eight felonies to leave office.

Press Clips: Difi, Nsa And Phil-for-gov Update
Just over a year after she was elected to a fourth term with two-thirds of the vote, Senator Dianne Feinstein has now tied her lowest approval level among self-identified likely voters in at least the last 15 years of PPIC polls.

Convicted state senator can keep serving for now
Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg says a lawmaker found guilty of voter fraud and perjury this week will be allowed to keep serving until a judge enters a formal conviction.

Former Los Angeles Mayor Candidate Wendy Greuel To Run For Waxman Seat
Seema Mehta @
Former Los Angeles city controller and unsuccessful mayoral candidate Wendy Greuel said Thursday that she plans to run for the Congressional seat being vacated by retiring Rep. Henry Waxman .

Senate committee votes to cut drug-related mandatory-minimum sentences
Timothy M. Phelps @
WASHINGTON -- The Senate Judiciary Committee voted, 13-5, on Thursday to slash mandatory-minimum sentences for many nonviolent drug offenses and to make retroactive a 2010 law reducing the sentences for possession of crack cocaine.

Rep. Henry Waxman’s Retirement Closes Circle On Powerful Political Apparatus
Dan Walters @
Dan Walters

Senate Approves Delay In Higher Flood Insurance Premiums
The federal government began subsidizing flood insurance policies for homeowners who lived in flood-prone areas in the late 1960s but lawmakers began rethinking the program a few years ago as the NFIP faced multi-billion dollar deficits. In recent years scientists also have warned that rising sea levels will make flooding even more common in some areas. Environmentalists and fiscal conservatives alike argued that it made little sense to encourage building in high-risk areas.

Mayor Picks New DWP Boss, Ousts Another Top Utility Executive
Jack Dolan @
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on Thursday continued his effort to overhaul the leadership of the city’s much-criticized municipal utility and curb the influence of its powerful employees union by nominating a new agency boss and dismissing a top-ranking executive. 

State pension measure less likely to make ballot
A measure aimed at controlling public pension costs in California is less likely to make it onto the state's November ballot after proponents said they would sue to challenge the ballot language.

Prolonged Drought Forces Birds From Central Valley Fields
Edward Ortiz @
An egret takes flight in a rice field on Wednesday, January 29, 2013 in Sutter County Calif. Normally, the field would be covered in water in January. Birds that use the Pacific flyway, of which the SacramentoValley is a big part, use flooded rice fields as habitat. But few such flooded habitat exists because of the drought, which is forcing rice farmers to keep fields dry instead of flooded this time of year.

No Sign Nancy Pelosi To Follow Miller, Waxman To Retirement - Politics Blog
The departure of veteran California Democrats Henry Waxman and George Miller within the last two weeks is fueling speculation in Washington that Nancy Pelosi's departure could soon follow. As the N...

Pension reformers sue over ballot summary
It may be time to remove attorney generals from the initiative-naming process.

Ukraine President Ties Tension To Opponents' Political Ambitions
Sergei L. Loiko @
KIEV, Ukraine – Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich, who went on sick leave Thursday, said he had fulfilled commitments to antigovernment protesters but that conditions remained tense because of the political ambitions of some opposition leaders.