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THE NOONER for February 4, 2014
Good very early morning from Washington, DC. Time to put on my happy face and look over scholarship applications. I hear the Today Show music, but my MacBook says it is 4:01am. Al Roker is now on the teevee talking about up to an inch of ice tonight. Well, that just sounds dandy.
We're going to be a bit short this morning, as I ring Uber to get me to the headquarters of a newspaper I receive frequently but, uh, rarely read in McLean. And, no, 90% of the building is not dedicated to sports coverage.
BTW, for the newcomers, I always recommend Kimpton Hotels--this time Topaz Hotel--a California-based chain that was last week again one of Fortune's Top 100 Best Places to Work. Now I'm sitting in my Uber-requested town car and, as I always do, I asked the driver what he thinks of the California-based service and he answered "I love it." Sorry Chuck DeVore and Jeff Miller, there just aren't brands like Kimpton and Uber starting in the Lone Star state. Yes, let's give that bear a hug.
Today, we look at constitutional and Senate campaign fundraising reports, which shows how the Democrats playing field has shrunk to one. Dems need to win one of three competitive seats next year to hold a two-thirds supermajority in the formerly-known-as upper house. And, it appears that it's down to SD34 in Orange County, which I wrote about on Friday.
In the constitutional races, there's nothing to write about except, who doesn't feel bad for Betty Yee?
SWORN IN: The Legislature did the right thing in allowing Sergio Garcia and others like him to be sworn into the bar, since nationals of foreign countries are eligible. Now it is time for Congress to get off its tush and do something about the idiotic immigration situation that states are choosing to ignore. I guess it's similar to marijuana--when is the tipping point? And, thank you to Cruz Reynoso for conducting the ceremony. Albeit less historic, Cruz also officiated the wedding between Kara and me.
LA BOS: Solis, Kuehl have fundraising lead in L.A. County supervisors' race [Catherina Saillant @ LAT]
AYE: Anderson, Vidak: Will Vote To Remove Wright From Senate [Jon Fleischman @ FlashReport]
NAY: Hypocrisy of voting on fate of convicted senator [Gloria Romero @ OCR]
I RAISE YOU: The Conservative Case for a Higher Minimum Wage [Ron Unz @ Fox and Hounds]
TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
Health Care Workers' Radio Ads Assert High Hospital Costs, Executive Pay
Mark Glover @ sacbee.com
SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West on Monday launched radio ads in support of two initiatives itâs working to get on the statewide ballot.
Lawmakers Examine Tax Controversy Raised By Ventura County Assessor
Timm Herdt @ vcstar.com
As lawmakers looked into a thorny tax issue inspired by an action of the Ventura County assessor, affordable-housing advocates Monday urged the Legislature to do nothing that would nullify scores of existing project agreements.
Government Reform Group Launches Public Pension Database
Jon Ortiz @ sacbee.com
A conservative Southern California group has launched a public pension database that includes retireesâ names, their annual pension payments, years of service, last employer and year of retirement.
California's Jerry Brown: The Richest Candidate in the Nation's Poorest State
John Hrabe @ huffingtonpost.com
Why is Governor Jerry Brown indifferent to California's income inequality? Check the latest campaign finance reports.
Hilda Solis Won't Say If She Advised Obama About FBI Inquiry
Paul Pringle and Abby Sewell @ latimes.com
A spokesman for former U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis said Monday it would be "inappropriate" for the L.A. county supervisorial candidate to say if she informed the president about an FBI inquiry into her involvement in a 2012 fundraiser for the Obama reelection campaign.
Drought Complicates Already Dicey Water Politics
Dan Walters @ sacbee.com
California is facing a water crisis, the third â and by far the worst â year of drought, with the all-important Sierra snowpack just 12 percent of normal and man-made reservoirs drawn down to historically low levels.
Voting-rights activists sue Debra Bowen claiming mass exclusions
Christopher Cadelago @ blogs.sacbee.com
Voting-rights advocates filed a lawsuit against Secretary of State Debra Bowen this morning claiming she disenfranchised tens of thousands of Californians by instructing local elections officials that those under new categories of criminal-justice supervision are ineligible to vote.
Signatures for S.F. waterfront height limit measure filed
If passed, the measure would put a check on high-rise hotels and condo towers along the bay and require voter approval for height increases for three major waterfront development plans: the Golden State Warriors' proposal for an 18,000-seat arena complex, the San Francisco Giants' plan for an urban neighborhood on what is their main parking lot, and the development of the industrial Pier 70 area. Proponents, including the San Francisco chapter of the Sierra Club and limited-growth activists who in November helped defeat a luxury condo development planned near the Ferry Building, say the measure is about protecting the waterfront from politically connected developers trying to skirt rules that voters required when they backed the creation of a comprehensive waterfront development plan in 1990. According to the latest campaign finance filings, the effort has so far been funded exclusively by $75,000 donated from Barbara and Richard Stewart, a wealthy couple who live in the Golden Gateway Apartments and were the major backers opposing 8 Washington, which would have been built between their building and the water.
Fired Whistleblower Reaches Settlement With CalPERS
Jon Ortiz @ sacbee.com
A former CalPERS employee who alleged she was fired for challenging a cover up of insider trades by fund staff settled her wrongful termination case this morning.
Anderson, Vidak: Will Vote To Remove Wright From Senate | Flashreport
One week ago today State Senator Rod Wright was found guilty of eight felony counts after Los Angeles County District Attorney prosecutors made the case to a jury that Wright did not actually live in the State Senate District to which he was elected to office.
San Joaquin River Restoration Flow Stopped Early To Save Water
Mark Grossi @ fresnobee.com
Federal authorities are shutting down water releases for the San Joaquin River restoration, making the water available for 30,000 people in small communities who face the possibility of summer with dry taps.
Minimum Wage A Defining Campaign Issue For Democrats
Christopher Cadelago @ sacbee.com
Senators support for a federal minimum wage hike on Thursday. From left are Sens. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., Kristen E. Gillibrand, D-NY., Amy Klobuchar D-Minn., Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, and Patty Murray, D-Wash.,
California's School Money Fight Heads To New Venue
Dan Walters @ blogs.sacbee.com
The Office of Administrative Law is an obscure branch of the governor's office that was created more than three decades ago, during Jerry Brown's first governorship, to ensure that rules issued by state agencies comply with the law.
Gov. Brown Blasts GOP ‘drought’ Bill As Divisive | Kqed News Fix
Gov. Jerry Brown has come out against an emergency water bill introduced by California’s House Republicans, saying the legislation would do little to provide drought relief and instead would reopen divisions among all those with an interest in the how the state’s water supply is divvied up.
State Health Care Sign-ups Faster Than Expected
Phillip Reese @ sacbee.com
Sacramento-area residents are buying insurance on the state’s new health care exchange much faster than anticipated – but hundreds of thousands still lack coverage, new figures show.
Jerry Brown Wants Republicans To Back Off Drought Proposal
Chris Megerian @ latimes.com
When it comes to California's drought, Gov. Jerry Brown has a message for Republicans in Washington: their proposal is unwelcome.
Budget Office Revises Estimates of Health Care Enrollment
Glitches in the rollout of exchanges will result in 1 million fewer Americans signing up, the Congressional Budget Office said, and the law will result in 2.3 million fewer full-time workers by 2021.
Tough Fight Looms For New Tax To Support San Pablo Hospital
Robert Rogers @ contracostatimes.com
The question is whether they will be willing to tack another special tax onto their already lengthy list of property assessments, to the tune of about $20 million annually.
San Francisco group submits signatures to put proposed Warriors arena measure on the ballot
More than 21,000 signatures were submitted to San Francisco's Department of Elections today in support of a measure for the June ballot that would impose tighter restrictions on waterfront development, including a proposed basketball arena.
Lawyer's Struggle Ends In Triumph
Peter Hecht @ sacbee.com
On Saturday, Garcia was officially certified as a member of the legal profession in California. He was sworn in at the state Capitol by Cruz Reynoso, a former associate justice of the state Supreme Court. The ceremony capped a three-year legal saga for Garcia.
Immigration Agent Allegedly Demanded Egg Rolls For Citizenship
Anh Do @ latimes.com
An immigration officer who demanded that a Vietnamese immigrant pick up hundreds of egg rolls and deliver them for an office party will stand trial later this year on bribery charges.
GOP distrust of Obama unchanged by deportations
The Obama administration has deported more than 1.9 million immigrants, aggressive enforcement of current law that fails to sway several House Republicans who blame distrust of President Barack Obama for GOP reluctance on immigration legislation.
Rep. Issa's Fundraising Hits $3 Million In 2013 - The Orange County Register
ELIZABETH HELD and DAVID HOOD @ ocregister.com
First look at campaign filings for last year.
With An Immigration Deal Possible, Advocates Mount New Push To End Deportations
New momentum in Congress for a broad overhaul of border-control laws has prompted White House allies to demand that President Obama halt deportations of millions of illegal immigrants, many of whom would be allowed to remain in the country under a legislative deal.