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THE NOONER for February 24, 2014
California Sen. Ronald S. Calderon, brother charged in FBI probe [Scott Glover and Hector Becerra @ LAT]:
Ron "Calderon (D-Montebello) initially agreed to wear a wire in an effort to implicate other politicians, authorities said. That arrangement eventually fell apart, and on Friday prosecutors announced a sweeping indictment against Calderon charging him with bribery, fraud, money laundering and related offenses. Calderon's brother, Thomas, a former member of the California Assembly, is also charged with money laundering."
"We welcome the opportunity to disprove these allegations in a courtroom," said his attorney, Mark Geragos.
Thomas Calderon surrendered Friday morning. His attorney, Shepard Kopp, said the former assemblyman was expected to be released on a $25,000 signature bond. Kopp said his client "categorically denies ever committing any criminal violation."
Ronald Calderon is expected to surrender Monday morning in Los Angeles and be arraigned in U.S. District Court, prosecutors said.
Ron Calderon is term-limited and not on the ballot this year. If he resigns any time before
AURAL PLEASURE: John and Anthony tackle Calderon and water on the Capitol Connection podcast.
THE ARNOLD/MALDO LEGACY: How California tamed its once-dysfunctional Legislature [John Diaz @ SFChron] - "One might assume that a legislature that just gained a Democratic supermajority would become more liberal and more combative with business interests. But the opposite happened when Democrats secured two-thirds of all seats in the Senate and Assembly - along with control of the governor's office - in Sacramento in 2013. The California Legislature proved "more moderate and less polarized" than before the 2012 election, according to an analysis of its voting patterns by the University of Southern California to be released Monday."
GOV: Neel Kashkari Faces Steep Climb in Governor's Race [Scott Detrow @ The California Report]
CA31 (Redlands): Eloise Gomez Reyes endorsement shows divided Democrats [Ryan Hagen @ SBSun] - Xavier "Becerra's decision breaks with the endorsement of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and other high-ranking party members, who endorsed Redlands Mayor Pete Aguilar and deepens the divide among the four Democrats seeking the seat that Rep. Gary Miller, R- Rancho Cucamonga, said he would retire from this year."
CA52 (San Diego): San Diego's next big election battle [Mark Walker @ UTSD] - "San Diego's next major election is gaining a growing national profile as incumbent Democratic Rep. Scott Peters tries to hold off a well-financed challenge from Republican former City Councilman and 2012 mayoral candidate Carl DeMaio."
FAST LANE: Netflix reaches deal with Comcast to ensure TV shows, movies are streamed smoothly [Joe Rodriguez @ MercNews] And, the bigger analysis may mean that Netflix saves a bunch of dough by eliminating middlemen content delivery networks.
IN MEMORIAM: Former State Senator Ollie Speraw (R-Long Beach). [March 26, 1921 - February 20, 2014]
TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
How California Tamed Its Once-Dysfunctional Legislature
John Diaz @ sfgate.com
One might assume that a legislature that just gained a Democratic supermajority would become more liberal and more combative with business interests. But the opposite happened when Democrats secured two-thirds of all seats in the Senate and Assembly - along with control of the governor's office - in Sacramento in 2013. The California Legislature proved "more moderate and less polarized" than before the 2012 election, according to an analysis of its voting patterns by the University of Southern California to be released Monday.
California Launches Successor To Enterprise Zone Program
Jim Miller @ sacbee.com
For most of his first term, Gov. Jerry Brown led efforts in the Capitol to scrap enterprise zones and redevelopment areas, two programs that many local officials viewed as important job-creating tools. Now the administration is pushing an economic development program of its own.
Working Poor's Plight A Major Issue In Year's Campaigns
Carla Marinucci @ sfgate.com
Such firsthand looks into poverty show how the plight of the working poor is becoming a major issue in California's 2014 elections.
Huge CalSTRS Funding Hole Grew For 10 Years
Ed Mendel @ calpensions.com
Getting CalSTRS back to full funding, if rates are steadily increased over the next half dozen years, would take an annual increase reaching more than $5 billion a year by 2020 â about what the state general fund currently spends on UC and CSU combined.
New Bill Brings Medical Malpractice Fight To The Legislature
Melanie Mason @ latimes.com
State Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg introduced a bill as a compromise on California's medical malpractice law.
Water, Ethics Bills Play Big Roles In 2014 Session
Fenit Nirappil @ dailydemocrat.com
Drought and water issues will play a prominent role in this year's legislative session as most of California is dealing with the consequences of one of the driest periods on record. Since the Legislature reconvened in January, 1,929 bills were introduced in advance of Friday's deadline.
Egypt Government Resigns En Masse Ahead Of Presidential Election
Amro Hassan @ latimes.com
CAIRO — In a surprise move that paves way for Field Marshal Abdel Fattah Sisi to run in the upcoming presidential election, Egyptian Prime Minister Hazem Beblawi announced his cabinet's en masse resignation on Monday.
The Roundup: WA governor considers raise for lowest-paid state workers; NV pension records debate; OK workers fight pension plan switch
Jon Ortiz @ sacbee.com
Want more? For stories of interest to state employees, check out the State Worker's constantly updated News & Views feed by clicking here. Follow @TheStateWorker on Twitter and check out our community page on Facebook for links, comments and insights into our reports, blog posts and columns.
2 S.F. lawmakers push bills to slow Ellis Act evictions
John Cote @ sfgate.com
San Francisco's housing crunch has reached Sacramento. Faced with a surge in evictions and stratospheric prices for homes and apartments, two San Francisco lawmakers are now pushing separate bills in an effort to amend the state law that property owners used to evict hundreds of households in the city last year, often to put the apartments up for sale.
Six States Ballot Measure Underscores California's Diversity
Dan Walters @ sacbee.com
But the proposal, and the LAO analysis, once again remind us that Californiaâs cultural and economic diversity makes it very difficult to effectively govern the state without some residents feeling alienated and even victimized.
Health-care Law's Small-business Marketplace Not Attracting Many Small Businesses
J.D. Harrison @ washingtonpost.com
After a slow start, the pace of enrollment is starting to pick up on the health-care lawâs new insurance marketplace for individuals and families, with more than 1âmillion people signing up for coverage last month, including strong showings in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia.
Med Pot Rules Gain Momentum
Craig Gustafson @ utsandiego.com
A path to legitimacy for medical marijuana dispensaries could be in the offing as the San Diego City Council takes a second swing Tuesday at implementing an ordinance that would allow those businesses to operate legally within the city.
Rainstorm Could Be Los Angeles' Wettest In 2 Years
Get ready, L.A. -- the winter storms headed to Los Angeles this week could be the wettest in two years.
Dan Walters Daily
Alexei Koseff @ blogs.sacbee.com
In an election year, Gov. Jerry Brown doesn't want to rock the boat, Dan says, so a very liberal agenda is unlikely to become law.
E.J. Dionne Jr.: To make our government work, Obama needs to think bigger
E.J. Dionne Jr. @ sacbee.com
Republicans are unhappy that President Barack Obama is invoking his executive powers to govern in the face of a do-nothing-in-2014 House of Representatives. To hear them talk, you would think our chief executive is modeling himself on the late Hugo Chavez and wants to seize dictatorial control.
James Cahill, Asian art expert at UC Berkeley, dies
The College Art Association honored him with both its Lifetime Distinguished Teaching of Art History Award and its Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award for Writing on Art. Perhaps the most prestigious of many guest lectureships came in 1978 and '79, when he was appointed Charles Eliot Norton Professor of Poetry at Harvard University, a distinction previously bestowed on T. S. Eliot, Igor Stravinsky, Jorge Luis Borges and Italo Calvino, among other luminaries. While staying close to his Berkeley home, he continued far-reaching exchanges both scholarly and informal via his website and blog. Mr. Cahill's adult children from a first marriage - Nicholas, an archaeologist and art historian, and Sarah, a renowned Bay Area pianist and advocate of 20th century music - survive him, as do younger twin children, Julian and Benedict, and their mother, artist and art historian Hsingyuan Tsao.
Issa Among Few House Members Who Invest Campaign Funds
MATTHEW FLEMING @ ocregister.com
Darrell Issa had a big year in 2013. The Vista Republican is one of the top fundraisers in the House. He is the wealthiest member of Congress. He was awarded Conservative of the Year by Human Events. And he can add top investor of campaign funds to his growing list of superlatives.
Anniversary party for BART SFO extension stalls indefinitely
Phillip Matier and Andrew Ross @ sfgate.com
Some ideas die hard. Take the case of BART board member James Fang's proposal to raise as much as $300,000 from private contributors for a big celebration of the 10-year anniversary of BART's extension to San Francisco International Airport. Like a lot of things involving BART, the party was jinxed.
Ohio Gay-Marriage Push Divides Some Advocates
Activists seek the repeal of a constitutional amendment that bans same-sex marriage in Ohio, but other gay rights leaders caution that âÂÂ2014 is not the year.âÂÂ
Golden Gate Bridge considers new toll hike
The finance committee of the Golden Gate Bridge Highway and Transportation District is scheduled to vote on the proposal Thursday and, if approved, the district's board of directors could give it the increase a final OK on Friday. More than half of the new money will be used to subsidize the district's bus and ferry service.The district's 2003 mission statement calls for it to provide transportation services within the Highway 101 corridor.
California Almond Farmers Face Tough Choices In Face Of Drought
Uganda Anti-gay Law Called 'abhorrent,' 'deeply Offensive'
Robyn Dixon @ latimes.com
Human rights groups and Western leaders condemned harsh anti-gay legislation signed into law by Uganda¿s President Yoweri Museveni
Young Immigrants Turn Focus to President in Struggle Over Deportations
After months of rallies brought no movement in the House on immigration, a national network of young immigrants has decided to turn its protests on President Obama.
California Website For Obamacare Back Up After 5-day Outage
Chad Terhune and Soumya Karlamangla @ latimes.com
California's enrollment website for Obamacare coverage was restored Monday after a five-day outage due to software problems.