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THE NOONER for February 14, 2014
Following my tweet yesterday about the Internet access at my hotel being slow because everyone was re-watching last season's House of Cards, the hotel delivered me this House of Cards treat. Unfortunately, it won't fit in my suitcase, but fortunately I'm packing up and heading to the airport today!
TIMMY'S GOT A GUN: Republican governor candidate fires borrowed guns despite probation [Chris Megarian @ LAT] - "'I didn’t do anything other than exercise my 2nd Amendment rights as a free American,' he said."
Dan Walters takes a look at congressional races today. He says he got it all from "the authoritative Cook Political Report," but we all know he's also a reader of the very unauthoritative Nooner. I also know that he doesn't write the headlines, but I had to laugh when I woke up to the breaking news headline that "Democrats could lose California congressional seats."
CA31 (San Bernardino): As noted above, San Bernardino councilmember John Valdivia announced he is in the race to succeed Gary Miller, while Fontana mayor Acquanetta Warren said she will not be running. Businessman Paul Chabot (R) is jumping from the AD40 race to the congressional race, and is supported by former Senate Republican Leader Bob Dutton, who lost to Miller in the 2012 general.
THE EXIT: Thus far, four incumbent members of Congress have announced they are not seeking reelection, dropping #5 (George Miller), #6 (Henry Waxman), #62 (Buck McKeon), and #113 (Gary Miller) from the seniority list. Nancy Pelosi (#25) will be the state's most senior member in the 114th Congress, followed by Dana Rohrabacher (#32), and Maxine Waters (#42).
Seniority matters more for Democrats than Republicans ever since the latter imposed six-year term limits on its committee chairmanships/ranking member. Buck McKeon would likely have stayed if he could continue as chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. Meanwhile, if Joe Baca is returned to Congress in either CA31 or CA35, he would jump up to around #120, as returning members are given credit for the number of previous terms minus one.
Feinstein and Boxer are #13 and #14, respectively.
SD28 (Coachella): Bonnie Garcia responds to accusations in homicide case [Colin Atagi and Erica Felci @ Desert Sun]
YES/NO/MAYBE SO: Can California be optimistic and pessimistic at the same time? [Ed Coghlan @ California Forward]
UNCHOICE: In statewide debut, top-two primary blocks third parties from June ballot [John Hrabe @ CalNewsroom]
#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Angie Wei!
TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
An Historic Republican Win In San Diego :: Fox&hounds
Proving that, in fact, the Democratic Party actually is a wholly owned subsidiary of the unions, labor made sure Fletcher could not get into the runoff, and then proceeded to spend $4 million to elect Democrat Alvarez, who had run second to Republican Faulconer in the special election primary.
Drought May Be A Fertile Topic For GOP Candidates
Seema Mehta and Anthony York @ latimes.com
Republican candidates for governor are seizing on the subject as they seek to score points against Jerry Brown
Judge: Virginia same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional
Brock Vergakis @ mercurynews.com
Virginia on Thursday became the first state in the South to have its same-sex marriage ban overturned, with a late-night federal court ruling that declared the voter-approved amendment unconstitutional.
Republican Governor Candidate Fires Borrowed Guns Despite Probation
Chris Megerian @ latimes.com
Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, Republican candidate for governor and outspoken gun-rights advocate, appears to have violated his probation agreement while firing borrowed weapons at an indoor gun range last week.
Mary Hayashi Rolls Out Her State Senate Campaign
Josh Richman @ ibabuzz.com
Former Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi has rolled out her campaign for the 10th State Senate District, presenting a top-shelf team of advisors and poll numbers that claim sheâs a serious contender.
In statewide debut, Top 2 primary blocks third parties from June ballot
California's top-two election system, by its very design, excludes third parties from the general election ballot. But, as the law makes its debut in statewide races, minor parties say it's undermining their ability to even field candidates for the June primary.
Health Warning Labels Proposed For Soda Sold In California
Patrick McGreevy @ latimes.com
SACRAMENTO -- Citing studies linking soda to obesity , a state lawmaker and medical experts proposed a first-in-the-nation bill Thursday that would require sugary drinks sold in California to have health warning labels similar to those on packs of cigarettes.
Va.: Ban on Same-Sex Marriage Unconstitutional
A federal judge has ruled that Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional.
Democrat leading in Florida race eyed as test of Obamacare
David Lauter @ latimes.com
A Democratic candidate who has explicitly defended Obamacare holds a slight lead in a special congressional election in Florida that both parties are eyeing as a test of the political impact of the healthcare law.
California Lawmaker Proposes Adding Health Warning Labels To Sodas
Patrick McGreevy @ latimes.com
The bill would make California the first state to require warning labels on sugary drinks, similar to those on cigarette packs.
Boxer Ramps Up San Onofre Fight With Nrc - The Orange County Register
DAVID HOOD @ ocregister.com
Senator threatens suing NRC if missing documents aren't sent to her panel.
Court strikes California law restricting concealed weapons
California must allow law-abiding citizens to carry concealed firearms in public, a federal appeals court ruled Thursday, striking down the core of the state's permit system for handguns. C.D. Michel, lawyer for the National Rifle and Pistol Foundation and individuals who challenged the San Diego County system, said sheriffs in many rural California counties already comply with the court's standard by issuing gun permits to anyone who wants one for self-defense. "Courts and state legislatures have long recognized the danger to public safety of allowing unregulated, concealed weapons to be carried in public," Thomas said. By allowing permits only to those who show a special need for self-protection, he said, San Diego and other counties strike "a reasonable balance between individuals interest in self-defense and the public's interest in limiting the proliferation of handguns in public spaces."
Proposal Would Allow Military Instructors To Teach Physical Education | Edsource Today
High school military instructors could become authorized physical education teachers if a contentious regulation change before the state Commission on Teacher Credentialing is approved Friday.
L.A. County Union Approves New Contract Agreement
Abby Sewell @ latimes.com
SEIU members vote to approve new contract agreement with L.A. County after months of negotiations and a strike by social workers.
California Takes Down Online Health Insurance Exchange For Small Businesses
The nation’s most populous state has elected to temporarily shutter its new online health insurance marketplace for small business only four months after it launched, dealing yet another blow to a key element of the health care law meant to lower costs for employers.
Dan Walters Daily: Jerry Brown needs to show us the money
Alexei Koseff @ blogs.sacbee.com
No one has come up with the tens of billions of dollars needed to build the high-speed rail or the Delta water tunnels, Dan says.
Mexican Officials Introduce Bills Seeking To Relax Marijuana Laws
Richard Fausset @ latimes.com
MEXICO CITY – Lawmakers in Mexico introduced bills Thursday that would create marijuana dispensaries in the capital and increase the amount of the drug people across the country could carry for “personal use.”
California death penalty: Three former governors back ballot measure to hasten executions
Howard Mintz @ mercurynews.com
Former governors George Deukmejian, Pete Wilson and Gray Davis back proposed ballot measure that would speed up California's slow death penalty system
Judge strikes down Va. same-sex marriage ban
Josh Gerstein @ politico.com
Jurist finds gay-marriage prohibition unconstitutional, but puts ruling on hold pending appeal
Health officials: Student infected with measles may have spread illness on BART, UC Berkeley campus
Kristin J. Bender and Katie Nelson @ mercurynews.com
Health officials are warning Bay Area residents about possible exposure to measles after a student diagnosed with the illness used BART to travel between the UC Berkeley campus and his home in Contra Costa County last week.
Experts: No health risks from contaminated SFSU building
Toxicology and medical experts said Thursday that 6,250 displaced students and employees at San Francisco State University face no increased health risk after asbestos, lead and mercury shut down the campus Science Building in January. [...] he and Patricia Beach, an environmental toxicologist specializing in human exposure, said there was no evidence that people working and studying in the building had breathed in any toxic materials - the most likely mechanism for causing health problems. The experts joined campus officials, including President Les Wong, on a panel to update faculty, staff and students on potential health risks. "Lost productivity affects the tenure clock," said a displaced assistant professor of social science who declined to give her name lest she call negative attention to herself.
Democrats Could Lose California Congressional Seats
Dan Walters @ sacbee.com
Democrats picked up several California congressional seats in 2012, but the state â contrary to pre-election cheerleading by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi â didnât generate enough action to prevent Republicans from retaining control of the House. As the 2014 political season picks up steam, Democrats face potential congressional losses in the state, for a variety of interlaced factors, to wit:
Obama To Announce Millions Of Dollars For Drought Assistance
Christi Parsons @ latimes.com
President Obama will announce millions of dollars in federal drought assistance when he flies to California and tours fields and orchards ravaged by the crisis.
Libya's Former Military Chief Calls For Suspension Of Government
Amro Hassan @ latimes.com
CAIRO – Libya’s former army chief posted a video statement on Friday calling for the suspension of the government, parliament and constitution, but the nation's prime minister dismissed the remarks as a failed attempt to engineer a coup.