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THE NOONER for February 10, 2014
THE ENDORSEMENT RECOMMENDATIONS: The weekend was a busy one for Democratic activists, who convened in regional caucuses to consider pre-primary endorsement recommendations for the California Democratic Party. Eligible voters included residents of the district who are members of the party's large state central committee, county committee members, or representatives of chartered clubs. To be placed on the consent calendar at the March 7-9 state convention in Los Angeles, a candidate needed 70%. If no candidate received 70% but one received at least 50%, the race becomes eligible for a convention caucus, at which only state central committee members can vote.
Here's what I've been able to collect from the Twittersphere and other tips on the open seats/Dem-on-Dem primaries. Let me know if anything looks askew.
THE MUST READ: 4 key insights into 2014 midterm elections [Taegan Goddard @ PoliticalWire]
LieutGov: Former Rep. Ernie Konnyu might take on Newsom [Josh Richman @ MercNews]
CD03 (Yolano-Yuba-Lake): I had this district as Safe Democrat, but with Dan Logue (R) having as much cash on hand as John Garamendi (D) (albeit with a candidate "loan"), and with the water issue continuing to heat up, this could be a district to watch. There's a reason Garamendi didn't immediately rule out a run for George Miller's Contra Costa congressional seat. (Disclosure: I believe I have contributed to Garamendi, my congressman, this cycle.)
SD26 (Coastal Los Angeles): While Betsy Butler was on the ballot for both the SD26 and AD62 endorsements, she announced yesterday that she was indeed running for Senate. Reportedly, Betsy received the endorsement of former foe Torie Osborn over the weekend, while Santa Monica-Malibu school board president Ben Allen picked up the endorsements of Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky and Senator Fran Pavley.
THE NATIONAL STAGE: QUIZ: How well do you know Sandra Fluke? [Andrea Drusch @ Politico]
THE BLOOD HUNGRY: Mary Hayashi: "'You all know my positives. I've done a lot of great work for the district,' Hayashi told party leaders. 'You also know my negative, which I am very sorry. I also want you to know Bob Wieckowski is not the person that you think he is.'" [Steven Tavares @ EBCitizen]
THE EVE: Tomorrow is the special election runoff between David Alvarez and Kevin Faulconer for mayor of San Diego.
THE WINDOW: The filing period for candidates for local, state and federal offices on the ballot June 3 opened today. Candidates have until March 7 to file, unless an incumbent does not file, which extends the deadline to March 12.
THE DEAN SPEAKETH: Top-two system could force voters to work [George Skelton @ LAT]
THE TENT: Republicans on mission to win over Asian-American voters [Josie Huang @ SCPR]
THE REDESIGN: Let me know what you think of the new, cleaner AroundTheCapitol.com home page, meant to make it easier to read on mobile devices.
THE AWESOMENESS: On the 50th anniversary of the Fab Four's arrival in the US, Mark Z. Barabak and Paul Maslin post a "Beatles Bracketology" looking at the bands best songs.
TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
State announces $133K fine against 49ers lobbyist
Sacramento - The state's political ethics watchdog on Monday announced a $133,500 fine against a prominent Capitol lobbyist following an investigation that ensnared some of California's most powerful politicians, including Gov. Jerry Brown and his former Republican adversary Meg Whitman. The Fair Political Practices Commission said that Kevin Sloat and his firm, Sloat Higgins Jensen and Associates, whose clients include the San Francisco 49ers and Pacific Gas and Electric Co., agreed to the fine as part of a settlement over 30 counts of violating the Political Reform Act in connection with gifts to dozens of elected officials. According to the FPPC investigation, Sloat would serve catered food and alcohol at the fundraisers, and the campaign committee of the benefiting politician would pick up the tab for the food. FPPC officials said in a summary of their investigation findings that "there was no evidence that any of the candidates or elected officers who benefited from the fundraisers were notified or made aware that they received a contribution from Respondent Sloat and all other expenses from the fundraiser were properly disclosed by the candidates or elected officer." Some 40 politicians are listed as having received improper contributions from Sloat's events between 2009 and 2012, including Brown, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, Whitman; Assembly Speaker John Perez, D-Los Angeles; Senate Leader Darrell, Steinberg, D-Sacramento; Assembly Republican Leader Connie Conway of Tulare; and Senate Republican Leader Bob Huff of Diamond Bar (Los Angeles County). In addition to the civil fine, the allegations against Sloat have drawn the attention of law enforcement agencies including the FBI, said an attorney for a former employee whose accusations led to the probe.
Gov. Jerry Brown Wins Two-year Delay In Prison Crowding Caps
Paige St. John @ latimes.com
Promises have won Gov. Jerry Brown a two-year delay in orders to reduce prison crowding.
Political Blotter: Lawsuit filed over former inmates' voting rights
Josh Richman @ mercurynews.com
Certain former inmates reclassified under California's prison realignment should have the right to vote, a lawsuit claims; also, a rare moment of agreement between Sens. Barbara Boxer and Ted Cruz.
SEIU Launches First TV Ad in Campaign to Limit Hospital Pricing, CEO Pay
The SEIU has launched its first television advertisement in its campaign to limit pricing and executive compensation at California's hospitals.
Cannella/Vidak: It's Time to Pass an Essential Water Bond
Senators Anthony Cannella (R-Ceres) and Andy Vidak (R-Hanford) today announced new legislation to put a water bond on the November 2014 ballot that prioritizes water storage and clean drinking water, and protects the Delta water supply.
Will SoCal Water Rescue The North?
Michael Gardner @ utsandiego.com
The Metropolitan Water District finds itself in the politically awkward position of being flush with reserves while the rest of California faces economy-crippling water shortages.
The Big Casino: Paying Pension Debt With Bonds
Ed Mendel @ calpensions.com
An $8 million pension bond was approved last week by voters in Piedmont, a small well-to-do city completely surrounded by deep-in-debt Oakland, originator of the pension bond that has figured in the Stockton, San Bernardino and Detroit bankruptcies.
Jerry Brown Website Glitch Touts Republicans As Supporters
David Siders @ blogs.sacbee.com
Gov. Jerry Brown's public-approval ratings may be the highest of his third term, but unless his supporters include any number of prominent Republicans — including those bidding to unseat him — he appears to have found room to overstate his appeal.
Federal Funds To Foster Healthy Marriage Have Little Effect, Study Finds
Emily Alpert Reyes @ latimes.com
$800-million initiative does not seem to have changed state marriage or divorce rates, raising question of whether it should continue.
Sacramento Rainfall Record For Date Set; Folsom Lake Rises Over 2 Feet
Tillie Fong @ sacbee.com
Folsom Lake has risen 6 feet but state water officials say the storm hitting Northern California has done little to ease a severe drought.
Egyptian Presidential Candidate Splits Key Youth Movement
Amro Hassan @ latimes.com
CAIRO -- In a preview of what will likely be a tumultuous campaign season, a leftist politician's decision to run for president has split members of a youth movement that ignited the demonstrations leading to last year's ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi .
The Buzz: ‘Special’ senators seek reimbursement for special elections
Jim Miller @ sacbee.com
Following a 2013 that featured 13 special elections, two state senators – both of whom were elected in special ballots last year – have introduced measures to reimburse counties’ election costs.
Obama's class of 2008 in Senate faces reelection fight
Michael A. Memoli @ latimes.com
When Barack Obama won a historic victory in 2008, eight Democratic candidates captured Senate seats that had been in Republican hands.
With Election On Horizon, Each Party Is Tracking The Opposition
Maeve Reston @ latimes.com
Democratic and Republican 'super PACs' gear up for the midterm election by tracking opposition candidates, watching for gaffes.
DA: Nguyen Didn't Violate Conflict Of Interest Laws On CalOptima Board
TRACY WOOD @ voiceofoc.org
Supervisor Janet Nguyen has been cleared of all criminal conflict of interest violations in connection with her seat on the CalOptima board of directors, according to a letter released Friday by the Orange County district attorneyâs office.
Mayor Ed Lee raises prospect of adopting form of Laura's Law
John Cote and Heather Knight @ sfgate.com
Mayor Ed Lee knew he was courting controversy when he declared in his recent state of the city address that he wanted a "community-based mental health program" to help confront San Francisco's homeless problem.
California Drought: Database Shows Big Difference Between Water Guzzlers And Sippers
Paul Rogers and Nicholas St. Fleur @ mercurynews.com
In steamy Sacramento, where half of the homes still don't have water meters, residents use 279 gallons a day per capita -- almost triple the 98 gallons that residents of foggy San Francisco use. Palm Springs, land of big desert lawns and verdant golf courses, gulps down a staggering 736 gallons a day per person, five times as much as residents of San Jose and Los Angeles.
Rod Wright Handled With Kid Gloves, But Why?
Dan Walters @ sacbee.com
The state Senate has been, as this column pointed out recently, very inconsistent in policing its membersâ ethics, sometimes hammering them for minor transgressions and other times overlooking truly egregious conduct, such as sexual harassment.
Obamacare is not compassionate
GOV. BOBBY JINDAL @ politico.com
Opinion: The verdict is in on the president's health care law, and it's not good.
Top-two System Could Force Voters To Work
George Skelton @ latimes.com
California's election system was reformed to make elections less ideological. It seems to be happening.
Giant New Floodgates Soon To Arrive At Folsom Dam
Matt Weiser @ sacbee.com
A Great Blue heron along the American River near the Nimbus fish hatchery on Saturday, January 11, 2014. Flows from Folsom Dam to the American River will be reduced this week because of drought like conditions. The American River will have its lowest flows since 1993. The National Weather Service is forecasting a high of 70 degrees on Wednesday, which is 15 degrees above normal for the Sacramento region.
Lieu Wins Strong Support From Party Activists In Bid To Replace Waxman
Jean Merl @ latimes.com
He gets 59 votes to Wendy Greuel's 7 at a Democratic pre-endorsement conference, giving him strong odds of winning state party backing.