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THE NOONER for February 25, 2014
T-8: Governor Jerry Brown has yet to file for reelection.
Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg yesterday offered Ron Calderon one week to consider whether to resign from office, and suggested that the Senate would suspend the senator should he not resign. Republicans aren't under significant pressure to push for his resignation as a suspension would operationally reduce Senate Democrats to 27 votes, and possibly 26--one vote below the two-thirds supermajority--if Rod Wright is forced from office due to the residency conviction, currently pending sentencing in May. Expeditious resignations would trigger special elections and it's possible Democrats would be back to 28 active votes by the end of session.
On the dates by which a Ron Calderon resignation would trigger a special election, it's either March 7 or March 12. The vacancy election question of whether to elect to fill or leave vacant is tied to the nomination period for an office, which has an extension if an incumbent does not run, but only if they are eligible to run. Calderon is not eligible to run for reelection because of term limits, although there is some thought the Secretary of State would provide consistent application of the latter date regardless. Because Rod Wright serves in an odd-numbered district not up for election this year, a resignation at any time this year would trigger a special.
...should the governor fill legislative vacancies? You may get a chance to vote on the issue soon.
WAR AND PEACE, WATER STYLE: Truce called in longtime feud between L.A. County water districts [Hector Becerra @ LAT] - "The detente comes amid a year of change at Central Basin, which has faced several scandals and has seen some of its top leaders depart. On Friday, former Assemblyman Thomas Calderon — a onetime consultant for the agency — was charged as part of a major federal corruption case, along with his brother, state Sen. Ron Calderon (D-Montebello). The charges Friday alleged the brothers took tens of thousands of dollars in bribes, though not related to Central Basin. However, the FBI obtained boxes of records from Central Basin's offices last year and is continuing to investigate.
CAN'T WE ALL GET ALONG: Darrell Steinberg has introduced a formal invitation for trial lawyers and physicians to sit down and talk medical malpractice pain and suffering caps. The spot bill, SB 1429, seeks to encourage parties to seek a legislative solution rather than an initiative war that could easily cost over $100 million.
SD20 (Ontario-Pomona): While Norma Torres has pulled papers for CA35, neither Cheryl Brown nor Freddie Rodriguez have yet pulled papers for SD20. Both pulled for their respective Assembly seats before the chain reaction of Gloria Negrete McLeod's announced decision not to run for reelection.
AD17 (E. San Francisco): Campos, Chiu Assembly race: Follow money to find differences [Marisa Lagos @ SFChron]
AB 1266 (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., Counties had to manually verify the 619,344 signatures submitted, 504,760 (81.5%) of those must be valid, and the final count shows only 487,484 (78.70%) were valid. The validity of 76.6% in Los Angeles was the nail in the coffin.
The referendum therefore has been determined to have failed. Proponents have suggested that they will review signatures ruled invalid and could challenge the determination.
Yes, the Republican Audie Bock listed yesterday as filing in SD10 (Hayward-Santa Clara) is the same one who served one term in the State Assembly as a Green. She also has registered as an independent and Democrat over the years as she has unsuccessfully sought reelection or election to other offices.
TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
Scott Wiener accused of using office to oppose measure
In what is being portrayed as either a misuse of public funds or a calculated intimidation campaign against an elected official, supporters of a June ballot measure to limit development on San Francisco's waterfront have accused Supervisor Scott Wiener of violating state law by using his staff and office resources for political campaign purposes. On Monday, Jon Golinger, the director of the ballot measure campaign, filed a complaint with City Attorney Dennis Herrera's office accusing Wiener of misusing public resources for a political campaign in creating the legislation. The city attorney's office declined to comment about any investigation, but a memo it issued last year indicates that it is legal to use city resources to provide impartial analyses of ballot measures. Wiener dismissed the accusation of impropriety as "just a gigantic red herring" designed to intimidate him into silence and coordinated by one of the measure's main backers, former Board of Supervisors President Aaron Peskin, known around town as the political Rasputin of the progressive left. Texts and e-mails that Wiener's office turned over under a public records request show that Gabriel Metcalf, the executive director for SPUR, a smart-growth think tank, suggested to Wiener that state law allows the Board of Supervisors to request specific information from departments about the fiscal and other impacts of ballot measures. Two days later, Metcalf e-mailed a draft resolution and followed up later, saying in part: Hoping to stay unmentioned for now. [...] my board takes its vote.
Tim Draper Insists 'six Californias' Ballot Measure Is For Real
Josh Richman @ mercurynews.com
The Secretary of State has now given Draper the go-ahead to start collecting signatures for his ballot measure, but the Silicon Valley tech investor offered mostly off-the-cuff answers at a news conference Monday when asked how he would run or fund a campaign that has generated plenty of media attention and a huge dose of "Is he really serious?" suspicion.
Wiener - complaint on waterfront proposal "ridiculous"
In what is being portrayed as either a misuse of public funds or a calculated intimidation campaign against an elected official, supporters of a June ballot measure to limit development on San Francisco's waterfront have accused Supervisor Scott Wiener of violating state law by using his staff and office resources for political campaign purposes. Working too closely with development interests before introducing legislation at the Board of Supervisors to request that specific city departments, like those involved in urban planning and housing, provide an analysis of how the ballot measure would impact their operations. On Monday, Jon Golinger, the director of the ballot measure campaign, filed a complaint with City Attorney Dennis Herrera's office accusing Wiener of misusing public resources for a political campaign in creating the legislation. The city attorney's office declined to comment about any investigation, but a memo it issued last year indicates that it is legal to use city resources to provide impartial analyses of ballot measures. Texts and e-mails that Wiener's office turned over under a public records request show that Gabriel Metcalf, the executive director for SPUR, a smart-growth think tank, suggested to Wiener that state law allows the Board of Supervisors to request specific information from departments about the fiscal and other impacts of ballot measures. Two days later, Metcalf e-mailed a draft resolution and followed up later, saying in part: Hoping to stay unmentioned for now. [...] my board takes its vote.
Senate leader calls for new tax on gas to fund transit
Laurel Rosenhall @ sacbee.com
Californians gassing up their cars would pay a carbon tax – starting at 15 cents per gallon next year and rising to 43 cents per gallon in 2030 – under a proposal made Thursday by Senate leader Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento.
Truce Called In Longtime Feud Between L.A. County Water Districts
Hector Becerra @ latimes.com
The Central Basin Water District had refused to sell to its rival, the Water Replenishment District. New circumstances bring detente.
Bay Area Water Agency May Start Sacramento River Diversions
Matt Weiser @ sacbee.com
A Bay Area water agency may use its water contracts on the Sacramento River for the first time to help its customers survive the ongoing drought.
Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez stands with UC workers
While a majority of her colleagues remain silent, one Democrat lawmaker is drumming up support for an upcoming strike by the University of CaliforniaÂs lowest-paid workers.
State Senate leaders agree boundary law is unclear
The Republican and Democratic leaders of the state Senate say a law that ensnared a legislator on perjury and voter fraud charges is ambiguous and might need to be changed.
While Serving In The Assembly, Charles Calderon Pushed Anti-Rent Control Bill
Ben Baeder @ dailynews.com
While he was in the Assembly in 2012, Charles Calderon pushed for several bills that would have made it easier for mobile home park owners to collect more rent.
Two California Bills Set Up Battle Over Condo Conversions
Dan Walters @ blogs.sacbee.com
The introduction of two bills sets the stage for what could be one of the 2014 legislative session's highest octane battles - whether landlords can sidestep local rent control laws and evict their tenants to convert units to condominiums.
California Senate Roiled By Two Criminal Cases
Dan Walters @ sacbee.com
One seat was conspicuously empty when the state Senate convened Monday because Sen. Ron Calderon was, to use the official parlance, âexcused on personal business.â His âpersonal businessâ was being arraigned in Los Angeles on federal corruption charges that could imprison him for decades.
Referendum challenging transgender rights law fails to make ballot
A referendum sponsored by social conservatives on a new state law on transgender rights has failed to qualify for the November ballot, elections officials said Monday. The announcement means the law, which took effect Jan. 1 and allows public school students to use restrooms and play on sports teams that fit their gender identity, will remain in force. Supporters of the referendum, who called themselves Privacy for All Students, labeled AB1266 the "Coed Restroom Bill" and said it enables deluded or deceptive boys to infiltrate school facilities reserved for girls.
California Drought: Santa Clara Valley Water District Considers Seeking 20 Percent Reduction
Paul Rogers @ mercurynews.com
The call for more conservation could lead to everything from new restrictions on lawn watering to temporary hikes in water rates -- the most visible impacts to the public in the South Bay so far as a result of the drought.
Student At Sacramento’s Grant High School Diagnosed With Tuberculosis
Diana Lambert @ sacbee.com
Sacramento County health officials are testing dozens of Grant High School students for active tuberculosis after a classmate was diagnosed with the infectious disease.
Defense Firms See Shares Rise After Pentagon Budget Plan Is Detailed
W.J. Hennigan @ latimes.com
Major U.S. weapon makers watched their shares tick upward in trading Monday after the announcement of the Pentagon ’s budget plan.
Casino M8trix Halting Lawsuit Against San Jose After Top-floor Gambling Moves Ahead
Mike Rosenberg @ mercurynews.com
The latest development could finally end the long-running legal battle between the casino and the city, which initially banned 8th-floor gaming when M8trix opened next to Mineta San Jose International Airport on Aug. 8, 2012. That's been a sticking point for card-room owners who want to wow high rollers with poker games 135 feet up in the air against the backdrop of sweeping views of the Santa Clara Valley.
Foes of transgender rights law fail to force vote
Opponents of a new California law that provides transgender students certain rights in public schools have failed to gather enough voter signatures to place a referendum to repeal the law on the November ballot.
Gang Rape Of UC Santa Barbara Student Is Second In Two Months
Joseph Serna @ latimes.com
University police have increased patrols at UC Santa Barbara and in the surrounding neighborhood after a woman was gang raped in the middle of the night over the weekend, authorities said Monday.
Holder: Discriminatory laws don't need defending
Attorney General Eric Holder says state attorneys general are not obligated to defend laws in their states banning same sex-marriage if they don't believe that those laws are constitutional.
Another View: A Libertarian argument against the city’s subsidy for a downtown Sacramento arena
Chris Rufer @ sacbee.com
I want to express my appreciation for the article about the proposed construction of the downtown arena and my role in opposing the city subsidy (“Tomato-paste mogul helps bankroll arena subsidy fight,” Page A1, Feb. 9). I also want to make clear that my political donations primarily support Libertarian organizations and candidates, not conservative ones.
Supervisor Farrell targets homelessness
Because if anything's going to solve homelessness, it's politicians talking even more about it. The last supervisor to take on homelessness as his signature issue was Gavin Newsom, another businessman from District 2, which includes Pacific Heights and the Marina. San Francisco moved one step closer to banning plastic water bottle sales on city property Monday with a proposal by Supervisor David Chiu that aims to cut back on waste and help the city do its part to combat global warming. Many San Franciscans already use reusable steel or hard plastic bottles to cart around their water, Chiu said, and many events - including last year's America's Cup races and the annual Outside Lands concert in Golden Gate Park - have already moved away from single-use bottles and toward water-filling stations. [...] after concerns were raised about the ability of private groups to comply with the law immediately, Chiu amended his proposal to give food trucks and large nonprofits, such as the annual Gay Pride Parade, until 2018 to comply. Chiu's proposal also calls for city agencies to increase their drinking fountains and water bottle refilling stations.
Marijuana Measure Will Have New Look In 2016 :: Fox&hounds
Well, it looks like Californians are going to have to keep relying on constipation, obesity, writers cramp and a whole constellation of other ailments if they want to keep their legal marijuana coming for the next two years.
Governors' White House visit includes hints of 2016 campaign
Michael A. Memoli @ latimes.com
WASHINGTON – As President Obama hosted the nation's governors at the White House twice in 24 hours, he couldn't help but tease some of the more ambitious state leaders about their plans.
Sen. Ronald S. Calderon Pleads Not Guilty To Corruption Charges
Victoria Kim and Patrick McGreevy @ latimes.com
State Sen. Ronald S. Calderon , indicted last week on corruption charges and accused of taking $100,000 in bribes, pleaded not guilty in federal court Monday afternoon.