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THE NOONER for February 13, 2014
Good morning from the hunkered-down winter wonderland Nooner east coast headquarters crafted by "Snochi." Stuck here another day and hoping the Noonerite prayers will melt the landscape sufficiently to get me on a bird tomorrow evening to spend time in Olema this weekend. Meanwhile, the normally great internet access at the hotel is compromised by snowed-in guests watching last season's House of Cards, awaiting tomorrow's release of season 2.
[Since I tweeted this, the hotel responded and increased the bandwidth for all of its bandwidth hog guests, and called me to verify that life was better. Have I told you how great California-based Kimpton Hotels are?]
#CA31: Well, as I was able to quickly insert into yesterday's Nooner (with an advanced alert to Nooner subscribers) in between Hill visits, the California congressional race landscape got a lot more interesting yesterday when eight-term congressman Gary Miller announced he would not be seeking reelection to CD31, which had been the GOP's most difficult to defend congressional seat. I have changed the district to Likely Democrat based on Jerry Brown's win of 48.7%-41.5% in the mid-term of 2010 and the unlikelihood that Democrats will repeat the top-two flub of 2012.
Assemblymember Curt Hagman (R) ruled out a run for Miller's CD31, saying that he is committed to the supervisor's race (ostensibly against Negrete McLeod). If Bob Dutton (R), who lost in the 2012 general to Miller, runs, the field likely clears for him. If not, businessman Paul Chabot (R), currently running for AD40, will likely run, along with Fontana mayor Acquanetta Warren and San Bernardino councilmember John Valdivia. Put it this way, the serious candidates are waiting for a call from the NRCC to show some interest in defending this likely loss for Repubilcans in a cycle when they have lots of pick-up opportunities.
#AB1266: It's time to check in on the referendum qualification of the measure to overturn AB 1266, relating to gender in public schools. The measure had a very close call of failing without a full count during the random sample stage, and then moved on to the full count. Thus, counties have to manually verify the 619,344 signatures submitted, and 504,760 (81.5%) of those must be valid. Through yesterday, 40 counties have reported a full count (but only amounting to 20% of collected signatures), and the validity rate right now is 79.06%. The deadline for counties to submit their full count report is February 24.
#REPRISE: Obama "Birther" Orly Taitz, who received 3.2% of the vote in the primary for U.S. Senate in 2012 (losing to Elizabeth Emken by 3:1 who subsequently got crushed 2:1 in November) has stated her intention to run against Kamala Harris for attorney general. Jim Brulte has to be banging his head against his desk (most often a Southwest Airlines tray table).
#STUPID: The DCCC chooses another unnecessary and idiotic subject line for a fundraising e-mail: "avalanche" . . . yesterday a deadly avalanche hit Oregon and millions are without power because of snow and ice across the east. Oh, and, yeah, I'm stuck in the snow in DC.
#SCOCA: Here's a more expansive list of potential appointments to fill the vacancy left by Joyce Kennard's retirement from the California Supreme Court:
#SDMAYOR: An Historic Republican Win in San Diego [Tony Quinn @ Fox & Hounds]
#LIKE: @MattRexroad: "Rexroad for Supervisor Contribution: $1 from @paulmitche11 confirming he is a pain in the ass."
That reminds me of the time I contributed to "B1" Bob Dornan's campaign with a check for $0.02 along with one of those "issues surveys" that aren't sent out by the fundraising houses. They cashed it! I wish I would have kept the cancelled check. Anyway, I did give @NeelKashkari $7 recently for using his trademarked "Crazy Train" phrase.
Seriously, Matt Rexroad is a great representative for his constituents and deserves support and reelection. I won't comment on whether Paul Mitchell is deserving of any elected office. Sorry Matt, I know I just cost you a lot of votes.
#CAKEDAY: Light those candles for Norman Fassler-Katz, Gary Link, and Patrick Perry!
TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
Gov. Brown Says He Can Help Solve State's Water Crisis
Anthony York @ latimes.com
TULARE -- Gov. Jerry Brown came to this town halfway between Fresno and Bakersfield on Wednesday to briefly tour the World Ag Expo and continue his unofficial reelection bid in the heart of Republican California.
In 10 days, Brown nearly matches Donnelly's 2013 fundraising
In the first ten days of February, Governor Jerry Brown, the richest candidate in the country, added another $293,000 to his already massive $17 million campaign war chest. In February, the Democrat governor raised nearly as much money as Republican Asm. Tim Donnelly raised in all of 2013.
Extension Of Deadline On Prison Crowding Looks Like A Win-win
George Skelton @ latimes.com
It's a victory for Jerry Brown, but if all goes as planned, the taxpayers and many inmates may ultimately benefit too
California Republicans Seeking To Capitalize On Health Law Vulnerabilities
Christopher Cadelago @ sacbee.com
The Barack Obama impersonator is well into promoting the president’s health insurance overhaul when he concedes a deficiency of the law: “It’s not going to stop you from doing stupid things.”
Assembly Moves To Reign In 'Abuse' Of Government Outsourcing
Allen Young @ bizjournals.com
A package of bills introduced in the state Assembly aim to break apart a perceived culture of abuse in government outsourcing to private-sector businesses.
Faulconer Victory And Voter Turnout :: Fox&hounds
San Diego City Councilman Kevin Faulconer captured an impressive victory in the San Diego mayoral special election boosting him immediately as a high profile Republican in a Democratic state. Despite heavy spending against him by public unions who backed Democratic City Councilman David Alvarez and even poll numbers over the last week, Faulconer captured a 10-point win.
California Bill Would Ban Lobbyists From Hosting Fundraisers
Laurel Rosenhall @ blogs.sacbee.com
Reacting to this week's announcement that a Sacramento lobbyist is paying a six-figure fine for making illegal campaign contributions by hosting lavish political fundraisers at his home, Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia introduced a bill Wednesday to ban the practice.
Inland Empire Rep. Gary Miller Bows Out Of Reelection Campaign
Richard Simon @ latimes.com
Facing one of the toughest campaigns of any Republican congressman in the country, Rep. Gary Miller announced Wednesday that he would not seek reelection to his Inland Empire seat, increasing prospects for a Democratic pickup.
The Waxman Berman Machine :: Fox&hounds
I first became aware of the team in 1972, while I was serving as the Los Angeles County Field director for the Nixon reelection campaign. That year Berman ran for the Assembly in a southern San Fernando Valley district, going on to defeat veteran GOP Assemblyman Charlie Conrad, a former Assembly Republican Leader. Michael Berman again managed the campaign.
Butler, Howorth Enter Contest For Ted Lieu Senate Seat
Patrick McGreevy @ latimes.com
SACRAMENTO -- The field of candidates competing for the coastal Senate district seat being vacated by Ted Lieu grew Wednesday with former Assemblywoman Betsy Butler and Manhattan Beach Mayor Amy Howorth, both Democrats, announcing their candidacies.
CalPERS Poised To Raise Rates, But Not On Brown’s Timetable
Dale Kasler @ sacbee.com
Though CalPERS is calling for higher contributions from state and local governments, its timetable for such an increase differs from Gov. Jerry Brown's.
Local Lawmaker's Dog Stealing Spotlight From California's 'first Dog' » Ventura County Star
Timm Herdt @ vcstar.com
Playing off the popularity of Gov. Jerry Brown's "first dog" Sutter, Republican Assemblyman Scott Wilk has designated his mixed-breed rescue dog Simi V as first dog of the 38th Assembly District.
Neel Kashkari Blames Jerry Brown For Drought
David Siders @ blogs.sacbee.com
Republican Neel Kashkari blamed Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday for California's ongoing drought, saying a "lack of leadership in Sacramento" has left the state unprepared for dry years.
Marking S.F.'s decade of same-sex marriage
Frank Capley-Alfano hugs Laura Espinosa at San Francisco City Hall before Wednesday's ceremony celebrating the decade since then-Mayor Gavin Newsom brought same-sex marriage into the national spotlight.
Congress: Gary Miller Won’t Seek Re-election
Rep. Gary Miller, whose label as the most vulnerable House Republican in the country made him a prime target of liberal activists, announced Wednesday, Feb. 12 he would not seek re-election, giving a huge boost to Democrats who already felt confident about winning the San Bernardino County seat.
Lieu Urges Big Budget Hike To $25 Million For State Arts Grants
Mike Boehm @ latimes.com
If adopted, the measure would end a streak of 11 consecutive years in which California governors and legislators have allocated just $1 million to the arts council from the state’s tax-fed general fund -- a level that consistently has left the Golden State last in the nation in per capita funding of its state arts grant making agency.
3 Former California Governors Back Proposed Death Penalty Initiative
Maura Dolan @ latimes.com
SAN FRANCISCO — Three former California governors are set to announce their endorsement Thursday of a proposed initiative sponsors say would end lengthy death penalty appeals and speed up executions.
Slew of permit problems cited in S.F. house collapse
When a politically connected San Francisco developer's Twin Peaks house collapsed and slid down a hill during renovations in December, it was being supported by three reinforcing towers, rather than the nine required under its approved plans, according to documents provided to city building inspectors. A second city investigation by the city's General Services Agency found that Department of Building Inspection employees violated either city or department policies in handling the project. Murphy blasted the report as a cover-up of Department of Building Inspection shortcomings designed to unfairly tarnish him, disputing nearly every aspect of it and saying officials didn't even interview the subcontractor who did the shoring work. The reports come as the Department of Building Inspection has been trying in recent years to overcome a reputation for corruption and favoritism. Murphy, who donates regularly to city political campaigns and whom Lee has described as a friend, substantially undervalued the cost of the "remodeling" work being done with business partner Luke O'Brien, initially saying it was worth only $60,000, city documents show. Permit fees are based on the value of construction, and Murphy, who is transforming what was a modest single-story home into a modern showpiece by adding two stories and expanding the footprint by 1,448 square feet, initially saved himself more than $39,000 with the lowball estimates, city figures show. Murphy bristled at the idea he would orchestrate the collapse, saying he had already spent thousands of dollars designing and getting permits for the rebuilding project, which is planned as his family home. Rodrigo Santos, the engineer for the project who is a former member of the City College board appointed by Lee and a former Building Inspection Commission president appointed by then-Mayor Gavin Newsom, recently told the commission that the development team took responsibility for the Dec. 16 collapse, which sent a portion of the home sliding down the slope but didn't injure anyone or hit other homes. An unspecified number of Department of Building Inspection employees in two units - plan checking and building inspections - violated either city or department policies in their handling of the project at 125 Crown Terrace, according to a memo summarizing an investigation by the city's General Services Agency. Permit valuation soarsThe memo outlined 13 steps the department should take, including implementing quality controls "to ensure that construction cost reductions are equitable." Neighbors of the 26th Street project also said the foundation of a cottage on the property had been deliberately undermined when "critical framing elements" were removed before Murphy sought and received an emergency permit to demolish it, city records show.
Calif. Prison Doctor Linked To Sterilizations No Stranger To Controversy | The Center For Investigative Reporting
Click for larger image Dr. James Heinrich performs a prenatal exam on a pregnant inmate, filmed for the 2007 documentary "Lockdown: Women Behind Bars," at Valley State Prison for Women in Chowchilla, Calif. The OB-GYN ordered tubal ligations without state approval and is responsible for hundreds of other inmate sterilizations.
Take marijuana off Schedule I, Bay Area lawmakers urge Obama
Four Bay Area members of Congress are among 18 lawmakers who sent a letter to President Barack Obama urging the removal of marijuana from the federal Schedule 1, which classifies it as equal to heroin and more harmful than methamphetamine or cocaine.
Union Representing L.A. County Social Workers Approves New Contract
Abby Sewell @ latimes.com
After months of contentious negotiations that culminated in a six-day strike by county social workers in December, county employees represented by Service Employees International Union Local 721 voted to approve a new labor agreement.
3 ex-governors to push Calif. death penalty reform
Three former California governors will back a proposed ballot initiative designed to speed up the state's lengthy death penalty process.
Sequoia Healthcare board gives CEO second big raise in 15 months
Bonnie Eslinger @ mercurynews.com
The Sequoia Healthcare District board has given the organization's chief executive officer a 5.6 percent raise, boosting his annual salary an extra $10,000 to $192,800.