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THE NOONER for February 5, 2014
Brrrr from the 202.
Yesterday, I was singing the praise of Uber on Twitter, as I had to get from DuPont to McLean, and the service was perfect for that. On the con side, we have this post by Planet Money economic reporter Lisa Chow who got screwed by demand pricing.
GOV: If you thought that Abel Maldonado stepped aside and was going to heap praise on fellow moderate Republcan and minority Neel Kashkari, uh, you'd be wrong. Yesterday, Maldonado tweeted "Chairman Charles T. Munger. Jr., PLEASE run for Governor! WE need you!"
Munger was one of the nine indidivuals who contributed the maximum $27,200 to Maldonado's campaign (actually, $54,400 for primary+general). Maldonado ended his campaign on January 16, and reported last week that his cash on hand as of December 31 was $22,727, with $3,799 in debt.
CD33 (Coast Los Angeles): Sandra Fluke decided on a smaller first political step, and is instead running for SD26. Jon Fleischman developed (but didn't print) a mailpiece attacking Senator Ted Lieu for not calling on Rod Wright to resign. And, Antonio Villaraigosa endorsed Wendy Greuel.
OUT IN STYLE: Henry Waxman's Massive Pre-Retirement Fundraising Haul [Shane Goldmacher @ NatJour] - "Such an account could prove especially useful if Waxman, 74, decamps to K Street, as so many of his predecessors have, where his former colleagues will almost certainly dial him up for donations."
SD26 (Coast Los Angeles): The entrance of Vito Imbasciani into the race to succeed Ted Lieu (D-Twitter) made the race a lot more interesting. Before his entrance, former Assemblymember Betsy Butler (D) and Santa Monica-Malibu Unified board member Ben Allen (D). Oh, and add Sandra Fluke (D), who switched this morning, making me rewrite this long analysis. Fluke joins the race with Congresswoman Janice Hahn's support, which signals that Hahn worked for the move to avoid a split of women votes between Fluke and Wendy Greuel.
Allen is a Berkeley-trained lawyer who lectures at UCLA Law and went to Harvard undergrad who has been on the school board since 2008. He can draw from the Santa Monica/Venice anti-Betsy crowd who are still very angry about the 2012 election, when Butler moved from the harder to win AD66 to seek AD50. The race got particularly nasty between Butler and strong supporters of Torie Osborn (D)--backed by Sheila Kuehl (D). Richard Bloom (D) largely stayed out of the fray and beat Butler by 1,700 votes in the runoff. An Allen-Butler faceoff alone would have been interesting.
Imbasciani is a Yale-trained urologist who happens to also be an openly gay veteran and government relations director for Kaiser Permanente in SoCal. That alone in a race with at least two attorneys would be interesting.
But, it gets more interesting because of other statewide politics. One of the hottest political issues in 2014 is the impending fight between trial lawyers and physicians over caps on medical malpractice awards for pain and suffering, established by a law signed by Jerry Brown in 1975. Consumer attorneys have found an initiative package that addresses their long MICRA beef with drug testing for physicians and a prescription database for some drugs., and have a compelling spokesperson and leader--Bob Pack, who lost two children to a drugged driver in 2003, and encountered the caps when it was found that a physician was negligent in overprescribing drugs.
In 2012, Consumer Attorneys spent handsomely on Betsy Butler through the California Alliance independent expenditure committee. Meanwhile, the Cooperative of American Physicians--a malpractice insurer--did the same for Richard Bloom. And, 2012 can just be seen as spring training for 2014.
This race will be over in June, and, should they play, will have to strike then. Let's assume there is one Republican and the four Democrats (Allen, Butler, Fluke, and Imbasciani). A Republican would get 30% of the vote (Romney received 32.3%). That leaves 70% to be split among the Democrats and, with four legit candidates, it's almost certain the race will be over in June (assuming there a legit Republican and only one). In AD50 (which is more solidly Democratic), we had three Dems and one Rep, and a two-Democrat face off in November was forced by a margin of 720 votes.
If the MICRA etc. initiative qualifies--very likely, it would be on the November ballot. As a deterrant show of force, opponents to the initiative reported the most on hand of any committee--$31.2 million--for the December 31 filing, and added another $1 million last week. Proponents can quickly raise significant money but are focused for now on gathering signatures by March 24.
Don't be surprised if we had a pre-game show to November's main event (MICRA fight) in the senate seat. Oh, and did I mention a fourth attorney--Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi (D)--might also jump in? Four attorneys and a doctor is a really good poker hand.
ASSEMBLY: Finishing up the campaign finance reports, the most interesting Assembly reports are the June open seat face-offs, but we're already running long today. So, as a reminder, you can see all Assembly seats here.
Also, I see that my friend Tony Quinn is now writing election analysis for the Bee's Capitol Alert app. I'd love to hear what you all think of the $199 app, as I haven't made the jump yet.
SD23 (Redlands): The stage is set for the March 23, 2014 to replace Bill Emmerson.
$$$: Pension reform proponents have launched a compensation and pensions website with public employee and retiree names. The State Controller's Office omitted names from its database.
And, yes, the Broncos weren't the only ones not playing on Sunday.
#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Alan Edelstein!
TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
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.
Ignoring his own rap sheet, Dan Schnur criticizes Wright for "criminal behavior"
John Hrabe @ calnewsroom.com
Dan Schnur says that "criminal behavior on the part of our elected representatives will not be tolerated." Does that include his own criminal record?
GOP Gubernatorial Candidate Donnelly Kicks Off Bus Tour
Seema Mehta @ latimes.com
GOP gubernatorial candidate Tim Donnelly kicked off a 10-day, 40-city bus tour Tuesday, saying he hoped to unite Republicans and Democrats who are sick of overreaching government.
Big Money In Lawyers Vs. Doctors Initiative Fight :: Fox&hounds
Lawyers have teamed up with the Consumer Watchdog organization to push the initiative. The lawyers main goal is to lift the cap on jury awards for non-economic damages in malpractice cases from $250,000 to over $1 million, then adjust for inflation. The cap was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown in 1975 with a goal to lower medical liability insurance premiums and thus lower the cost of health care.
Lawsuit Challenges SEIU Opt-out Rules For State Workers
John Myers @ news10.net
If a group of California state workers prevails in federal court, the union that represents them at the bargaining table will no longer be able to automatically collect dues for political activity.
Lieu Senate Seat Draws Crowd Of Interested Politicians
Patrick McGreevy and Melanie Mason @ latimes.com
SACRAMENTO -- State Sen. Ted Lieu ’s announcement that he is running for an open congressional seat has sparked interest in his Senate seat from a crowd of possible contenders, including Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi and former Assemblywoman Betsy Butler .
Boehner Unsure On Immigration Vote | Thehill
Russell Berman @ thehill.com
Many conservatives have raised concerns about tackling immigration reform in an election year and passing a new law that they do not trust the Obama administration to adequately enforce.
Three GOP State Senators Call For Vote To Expel Roderick Wright
Patrick McGreevy @ latimes.com
Steve Knight of Palmdale, Joel Anderson of San Diego and Andy Vidak of Hanford said in a letter to the state Senate Democratic leader that action is required to show “respect to the public and reverence for the laws.”
California Drought: House Water Bill Exposes Deep Partisan Divide
Josh Richman @ mercurynews.com
The bill -- which opponents say would give more water to farmers at the expense of the environment -- is probably dead on arrival in the Democrat-controlled Senate, where both of California's senators oppose it. But the bill, which has drawn scathing criticism from Gov. Jerry Brown, highlights a deepening partisan divide over solving the Golden State's water woes now and for decades to come in a way that balances the needs of farmers, environmentalists and average Californians who expect clean water when they turn on the tap.
Same-day voter registration law delayed until 2016
Secretary of State Debra Bowen, the stateÂs chief elections officer, says that the state wonÂt meet the legal requirements to implement the law until 2016 or later.
Mcconnell: Immigration Reform Not Going To Happen In 2014 | Thehill
Alexander Bolton @ thehill.com
Senate Democrats say immigration legislation must include all the major components of reform, tying a path to citizenship for an estimated 11 million immigrants with border security and worker visa provisions.
New Forecast Sharpens Obamacare Debate
David Lauter @ latimes.com
President Obama's healthcare law will reduce the uninsured but will also result in the equivalent of 2 million people reducing their work hours.
Timm Herdt: Bread-and-Butter Feminism
Timm Herdt @ vcstar.com
The Democratic polling firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research last week assembled a focus group of 44 swing voters to measure their responses to President Barack Obamaâs State of the Union address. They discovered that reaction soared off the charts when the president discussed womenâs economic issues, asserting that âwhen women succeed, America succeeds.â
Three California GOP Senators Call For Vote On Rod Wright Expulsion
Jim Miller @ sacbee.com
A jury found Sen. Rod Wright, D-Inglewood, guilty of eight felonies connected to whether he lives in his legislative district.
Villaraigosa Backs Wendy Greuel's Congressional Bid
Seema Mehta @ latimes.com
Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa endorsed Wendy Greuel ’s congressional bid Tuesday, saying her background made her the best candidate for the seat being vacated by retiring Rep. Henry Waxman .
Bill Clinton to give election pep talk to Senate Democrats
Lisa Mascaro @ latimes.com
WASHINGTON--Many Senate Democrats facing tough reelection battles this fall aren't welcoming President Obama to the campaign trail, given his low approval ratings.
Obamacare: Two Bay Area legislators want to expand law's subsidies in high-cost areas
Tracy Seipel @ mercurynews.com
Hoping to increase the number of Americans eligible for tax subsidies under the new federal health care law, two Bay Area lawmakers introduced a bill Tuesday that would increase the subsidized income level for those living in high-cost areas of the country.
California Lawmakers Preparing $644 Million Drought Relief Bill
Rory Carroll @ reuters.com
California's senate leader is preparing a $644 million emergency drought relief bill designed to quickly fund shovel-ready projects to combat the state's severe water shortage, according to a draft of the bill.
Bill Would Push Minimum Wage To $13 An Hour
Top ranking lawmakers in the state Senate have introduced legislation that would raise the minimum wage above the $10 per hour that was approved by California lawmakers in 2013.
Sandra Fluke Forgoes Congressional Bid To Run For State Senate
Seema Mehta @ latimes.com
Democratic attorney and activist Sandra Fluke has decided against running for retiring Rep. Henry A. Waxman ’s congressional seat, instead planning a bid for the state Senate.
VIDEO: Tim Donnelly seeking campaign donations, prayer
David Siders @ blogs.sacbee.com
As he re-commissioned a borrowed RV and touched off a 10-day push through central and northern California on Tuesday, Tim Donnelly suggested at his first stop, in Roseville, what he needs badly at this point in the campaign.
Bowen sued for blocking some criminals from voting
Christopher Cadelago @ sacbee.com
Voting-rights advocates sued Secretary of State Debra Bowen for voter disenfranchisement on Tuesday, claiming she blocked from the polls tens of thousands of Californians who fall under new categories of criminal-justice supervision.