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THE NOONER for February 18, 2014

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  • Lieutenant Governor (Statewide): added businessman Ron Nehring (R)
  • CA35 (Ontario): removed Congresswoman Gloria Negrete McLeod (D)
  • CA45 (Irvine): added businessman Drew Leavens (D)
  • CA49 (Carlsbad): added businessman Drew Leavens (D)
  • SD26 (Coastal Los Angeles): added attorney Barbi Appelquist (D)
  • AD15 (Berkeley): added small business owner Clarence Hunt (D)
  • AD38 (Santa Clarita): added engineer Jorge Fuentes (D)
  • AD68 (Tustin): added Anne Cameron (D)
  • AD74 (Irvine): added Anila Ali (D)

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My snow-delayed flight got me back to California late Friday night, in time to head to the beautiful western reaches of AD10 for the long weekend. It's easy to forget how beautiful the California wilderness is just a stone's throw from the urbanity of San Francisco and Sacramento. After Saturday's rain cleared, there were plentiful whales and elephant seals visible on the Point Reyes National Seashore.

Speaking of AD10Marc Levine could face formidable challenge in Assembly race

I'll write more about AD10 soon. The question is whether the interests that fought in the Dem on Dem races in AD10 and AD50 are going to play again, or are now accepting of the incumbents and have bigger fish to fry.

CD35 (Ontario): First-term Congresswoman Gloria Negrete McLeod (D) pulled nomination papers and paid her filing fees for San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors District 4 this morning, and did not pull papers for re-election to CD35. Shortly after, her campaign sent an announcement confirming that she is not seeking a return to Congress. She is the fifth member of the California delegation to choose not to run for re-election.

Joe Baca (D) plans to stay in the CD31 race, although the engine doesn't seem to be really running as Pete Aguilar and Eloise Gomez Reyes continue to be strong front-runners. Look for a congressional bid by State Senator Norma Torres (D). Torres was elected in 2013 to Negrete McLeod's old SD32 and would be required to run in the substantially similar new SD20 this year. Baca could choose to run for State Senate and serve two terms, as he served less than half a term previously, but he would have to choose to run (and finish nomination process) by March 12, assuming Torres makes the congressional bid.

CD33 (Coast Los Angeles): Progressive independent candidate Marianne Williamson announced over the weekend that she had secured two high profile campaign consultants, former Howard Dean manager Joe Trippi and John Shallman/Shallman Communications.

While the addition of Joe Trippi is not too much of an eyebrow-raiser, Shallman caught many by surprise, particularly if you were on the recipient end of Dave Jacobson's near-daily messages touting Wendy Greuel's endorsements during the mayoral campaign, which Shallman steered. Wendy Greuel reported Shallman Communications $132,000 of total debts of $490,405 from her mayoral campaign as of December 31. Greuel's camp claims that the debts are not an issue at this point.

We don't know if this was Greuel's decision, Shallman's choice, or a mutual decision to see other people.

The LAT's Jean Merl writes it's not the first time Shallman has been the horse carrying a candidate opposing a former client:

Greuel is at least the second former Shallman client in as many years to have the consultant go to work for a competitor. Shallman steered then-City Attorney Carmen Trutanich's unsuccessful 2012 race for Los Angeles County district attorney.

When Trutanich lost in the primary, he pivoted to the city attorney's race. But he lost his 2013 re-election bid to former Assemblyman Mike Feuer, who had retained Shallman Communications for the race.

And, we have a poll. Roll Call was provided an internal poll from the Greuel campaign, which found:

  • Elan Carr (R): 19%
  • Wendy Greuel (D): 29%
  • Ted Lieu (D): 21%
  • Brent Roske (N): 1%
  • Marianne Williamson (N): 7%

The poll was of 500 likely voters, was conducted February 12-13, and has a margin of error of 4.3%, Roll Call reports. Three candidates who joined the race last week--radio host Matt Miller, attorney Barbara Mulvaney, and attorney Zein Obagi, Jr.--were not included in the poll. Of course, it's early, and while I haven't seen the numbers in the Roll Call article that 23% are undecided. It's very early.

Meanwhile, Williamson must be taken seriously, and likely is a beneficiary of the headline Greuel-Lieu fight. Combined with KCRW radio host Matt Miller, there is a particular threat to Wendy Greuel in the northern half of the district. Remember, only 28.7% of likely voters in the district are in the City of Los Angeles where Greuel has been on the ballot. The rest of the district is split in relatively distinct areas--the northern (Agoura Hills, Calabasas, Topanga), western (Malibu, Santa Monica), and southern (Manhattan Beach, Palos Verdes, Redondo Beach, Torrance).

While there are no fine geopolitical lines, Ted Lieu is the only candidate from, and a favorite in, the southern half (where he served as an Assemblymember for five years). The battle among other Democratic candidates is found north of the half-mile stretch of land between the end of LAX's runways and the sand. 

Williamson has been in the race since October, and has been working the progressive groups particularly in the northern half of CD33, many of which had reliably voted for Henry Waxman while also having significant discontent with the national Democratic Party's leadership. Some didn't vote or even crossed over to support conservative independent Bill Bloomfield in 2012. (Bloomfield's vote total was equal to the Rep+NPP voter registration.) These are anti-establishment progressives who cringe when the Democratic Party shows up to the Westside ATM, are active in issues like tenants rights, and those who live in the city of Los Angeles are rarely happy with city hall.

Miller enters the race as a moderate Democrat who worked on educational and economic policies in Washington that won't find him friends among Williamson's crowd. However, he has the potential to grab those independents who turned their backs on Waxman in 2012 and voted for Bill Bloomfield. Of course, he has to compete with moderate independent Brent Roske, who has been in the race for several months. Roske hasn't yet shown fundraising chops, however, and Miller has a national network that he can tap in what is going to be a very expensive race. 

The rest of the eight-member field shapes up with deputy DA Elan Carr (R), attorney Barbara Mulvaney (D), and attorney Zein Obagi, Jr. (D). Carr and Obagi live on the Westside, while Mulvaney is/was last registered far outside of the district in San Marino, near Pasadena. We will have to see how their campaigns come together to determine how big a factor they willl play, including whether Waxman's successor will be decided in June or November. 

TIMING: California ballot measure on pot legalization delayed until 2016 [Maria L. La Ganga @ LAT]

DEPT OF CORRECTIONS: I left Congressman John Campbell off Friday's blurb about House seniority. He is currently #196 in rank.

#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Jared HuffmanJim Leddy, Jim PattersonBob Wieckowski. Belated greetings to Melissa Melendez (yesterday).



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  • Pacific McGeorge is hosting information sessions about its Master of Science in Law (M.S.L.) and J.D. part-time degree programs for working professionals: Feb. 26 and March 11, 5-6 p.m. at Hyatt Sacramento. Register online.
  • The American Heart Association is seeking a Government Relations Director to develop, plan and direct an advocacy program for California through maximizing strategic relationships with public and elected officials, the state health department, and others, to ensure activities and efforts are directed towards issues related to its mission. Salary $58,000 - $76,300. Apply here
  • The fastest, most cost-effective way to learn the legislative process and effective advocacy. Veteran lobbyist Ray LeBov presents his introductory "Lobbying 101" and advanced "Lobbying 201" seminars March 13-14. $250 each. Essential for principals / support staff at lobbying firms, organizations that employ lobbyists, public agencies. Complete info / registration: or 916 442 5009.
  • The Council of Community Clinics is looking for an experienced Program Manager that will lead a project to investigate the remaining uninsured residents in San Diego, Riverside and Imperial counties. More information here.
  • Housing California, a nonprofit advocacy organization, seeks a Sustainable Communities Coordinator to focus on our work around the intersection of housing, transportation, and land-use planning. Competitive salary/benefits. Apply by 2/17/2014. View job description.
  • California Council on Science and Technology is now hiring a Program Assistant for our Sacramento Office. Position will do website edits, report layout, database management, and provide program and administrative support. $36,600 minimum salary. Looking for a highly organized self-starter with strong communication skills. Must apply through UC Merced by February 14th. See job positing at:
  • California Grocers Association – Receptionist/AA The California Grocers Association is seeking a Receptionist/Admin Assistant for its Sacramento office. Position is first line of contact for CGA’s membership and staff, managing multiple-line phone system, providing clerical support (Microsoft Office programs), and helping with events and special projects. Salary DOE $33,000+ plus full benefits package. Complete job description and instructions HERE.




Nine Charter Schools Fail New CalPERS Entry Test
Ed Mendel @
CalPERS has denied membership to nine charter schools, saying a proposed IRS rule could end crucial tax advantages if “even a single non-governmental entity” is allowed into the giant pension system.

Sacramento Marijuana Dispensary Battles With The Irs Over Business Expenses
Peter Hecht @
Medical marijuana dispensary Canna Care Inc. in Sacramento has challenged an IRS assessment of tax penalties that it says is unfair.

Prop 8 Sparks Slew Of 2014 Initiatives Requiring A Defense In Court
Call it for what it is: Prop 8's legacy when it comes to the California initiative process.

UC workers vote to go on strike
More than 21,000 workers at the University of California have voted to go on strike. An overwhelming 96 percent of the university’s service workers and patient care employees approved the strike authorization after three days of voting, union officials announced on Friday.

Why San Diego's Water Wonks Aren't Panicking
Lisa Halverstadt @
The San Diego County Water Authority hasn't asked cities to cut back as much as others across the state thanks to past efforts to diversify its water sources.

There's A Darker Side To Californians' Mortgage Relief
Dan Walters @
Two years ago, Attorney General Kamala Harris trumpeted a landmark deal with the nation’s three largest housing lenders, which agreed to give beleaguered California homeowners $12 billion in relief from their underwater mortgages.

Ron Nehring to challenge Gavin Newsom for lieutenant governor
Christopher Cadelago @
Former California Republican Party Chairman Ron Nehring today announced plans to run for lieutenant governor, framing his campaign as a challenge to the status quo and encouraging his beleaguered party to become standard-bearers of bold, serious reforms aimed at tackling the state's problems.

Congress In Middle Of Hollywood Copyright Clash With Silicon Valley
Evan Halper @
As Congress updates copyright law, Hollywood film studios struggle not to get outmaneuvered by tech firms and their allies.

Missteps In Covered California's Marketing Campaign To Latinos
April Dembosky @
It’s been decades since the advertising industry recognized the need to woo Hispanic consumers. Big companies saw the market potential and sank millions of dollars into ads. The most basic do’s and don’ts of marketing to Latinos in the U.S. have been understood for years. So when California officials started thinking about how to persuade the state’s Latino population to enroll in health care plans, they should have had a blueprint of what to do. Instead, they made a series of mistakes.

California Ballot Measure On Pot Legalization Delayed Until 2016
Maria L. La Ganga @
A coalition of drug reform supporters decides not to put a marijuana legalization initiative on California's ballot this November.

Spike In California Students Seeking Financial Aid For College
Loretta Kalb @
Sociology majors Melanie Casillas, left, helps Julie Rang prepare for the Sacramento State University graduation ceremony at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento on Friday, December 20, 2013.

Former Greuel Strategist Signs On With Competitor Williamson
Jean Merl @
The consultant who oversaw former L.A. Controller Wendy Greuel's campaign for mayor last year has signed on with a competitor in Greuel's race for an open congressional seat.

Poll: Cost of owning home San Franciscans' top concern
John Cote @
Not that there was much doubt, but San Franciscans are really concerned about the cost of living here.

Editorial: Taxpayers ultimately will pick up the tab for pensions
the Editorial Board @
First the good news: We’re living longer. Now, the bad news: Longer lives will cost taxpayers billions in added public employee pension costs.

GOP campaign arm tweaks mock websites for Democratic candidates
Daniel Rothberg @
WASHINGTON — The Republican campaign organization responsible for websites that appear, at first glance, to support Democratic candidates has backpedaled a bit, altering the way they seek donations.

San Diego Students Adjusting To New Expectations For GED
Kyla Calvert @
Research shows people who pass the test General Educational Development test earn less than high school grads and were less likely to go to college.

2 CHP Officers Killed In Highway 99 Crash
Two California Highway Patrol officers died early Monday on Highway 99 while driving to a collision near Kingsburg. They have been identified as Brian Law of Clovis and Juan Gonzalez of Fresno.

Bruce Maiman: Initiative could just worsen dysfunction on death penalty
Bruce Maiman @
Former Govs. George Deukmejian, Pete Wilson and Gray Davis, along with some politically ambitious prosecutors, are backing a proposed ballot measure they claim would end lengthy death penalty appeals and speed up executions.

Five years later, White House and critics fight over stimulus law
David Lauter @
WASHINGTON – Five years after its passage, White House officials and their Republican critics are still fighting over the merits of President Obama’s economic stimulus law.

There's a darker side to Californians' mortgage relief
Dan Walters @
Two years ago, Attorney General Kamala Harris trumpeted a landmark deal with the nation’s three largest housing lenders, which agreed to give beleaguered California homeowners $12 billion in relief from their underwater mortgages.

Financier Plans Big Ad Campaign on Environment
Tom Steyer, a retired hedge fund manager, plans to spend as much as $100 million this year on a hard-edge campaign to pressure officials and candidates to support climate change measures.

Development alters S.F.'s road of churches
John Wildermuth @
For decades, Brotherhood Way has been a unique part of San Francisco, an almost pastoral road running toward Lake Merced past a hillside of pine trees on one side and a row of churches, temples and religious schools on the other. But change is coming as rumbling bulldozers carve up the now-denuded hillside to make way for the new 7.7-acre Summit 800 development of $1 million-plus townhomes that will change the neighborhood forever.

Actavis To Buy Forest Laboratories To Add Branded Medicine
Bloomberg @
Generic drug maker Actavis agreed to buy Forest Laboratories Inc. for about $25 billion to increase its focus on branded medicines.

Latino Cops' Bias Suit Against Westminster Moves To Trial
Adolfo Flores @
Jury selection will begin in the case of three Latino police officers who accuse Westminster of passing them over for promotions.