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THE NOONER for February 27, 2014
T-6: Jerry Brown has not begun the process of filing for reelection.
The holier-than-thou crowd is pushing for Rod Wright to be forced from office as soon as possible, even though state law is clear that it shouldn't happen until trial court sentencing (Gov't Code 1770). Yes, by fibbing about where he "domiciled," the senator did the equivalent of driving 65 in a 55 zone, which turns out to be a felony. Those calling for his expulsion care nothing about the case, but just want one fewer seersucker suit and Democrat votes and are happy to deprive his very liberal district of representation during the time it takes to hold a special election to elect a similarly voting replacement. And, there are holier-than-thou folks on the left that are happy to see him go as he's one of the most moderate members of the Democratic caucus.
Of course, everyone knows that Mimi Walters did the same thing while she tried to sell her house in her old district and rented a 570 square foot apartment in her newly reconfigured district. Both cast votes supporting their districts, and should be eligible to serve for that reason.
"Prosecutorial discretion" is a remarkable thing, and the Los Angeles D.A. likes to focus on political corruption, while Orange County's D.A. likes to focus on black youth pulling pranks that lots of wealthy white youth growing up around me did over the years while working at Disneyland. Meanwhile, we have a candidate for governor who has a penchance for running afoul of gun laws--perhaps enjoyingly so to reiterate his support for the Second Amendment.
It's time to get rid of the silly "domicile" requirement for state office and be consistent with rules for congressional offices, and take away the authority for our district attorneys to waste limited taxpayer dollars to play "gotcha." Let voters decide who they want to represent them. If Tom McClintock and Dan Lungren want to run in districts far from home, let them. If Rod Wright is a couple of miles out of the district and the voters choose him, so be it.
Meanwhile, if there are other ticky-tack laws, get rid of them too. We have plenty of public safety and legitimate public corruption issues for our prosecutors to focus on.
And, yes, I'm pissed that Tim Donnelly got pre-check while I'm still waiting to get an appointment.
FAIR WARNING: Staffers, beware what your member might be doing during an important, albeit boring, speech.
MY BABY, SHE WROTE ME A LETTER: As a whopping 0.5 inches of rain fell on Sactown leading to e-mail alerts from media outlets (and horrific driving in San Diego), the California Economic Summit leaders sent a letter to Governor Brown about dealing with the drought.
POST-REDEVELOPMENT WORLD: Baby I loved and wooed you with big bucks, but I don't get the benefit anymore and, well, you smell.
AD36 (Antelope Valley): Calif. Dem Made Law Staff Do Free Campaign Work, Suit Says [Michael Lipkin @ Law360]
To which I say that every candidate should have to do a Buzzfeed-style top 5 things about me as they run.
TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
California Local Government Retirements Spike
Jon Ortiz @ sacbee.com
A quarter more local government employees retired in January than in the same month a year ago, according to CalPERS data, signaling that pension policy, politics and litigation are leading jittery city, county and special district workers to leave their jobs.
Republicans Push For Vote To Expel Rod Wright
David Siders @ blogs.sacbee.com
One day after Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg announced state Sen. Rod Wright will take an indefinite paid leave of absence, three Republican senators said they will push for Wright's expulsion during the upper house's next regular floor session, on Thursday.
Arizona Governor Vetoes Controversial Bill Allowing Denial Of Service To Gays
Gay rights advocates have denounced the legislation, labeling it a form of legalized discrimination, and Arizona's two GOP senators and leading Republican candidates for governor urged Brewer to veto the bill. Even a few GOP state legislators who voted for the measure now say it is not the right thing to do.
Judge Tosses Out Stop Arena Lawsuit
Dale Kasler and Ryan Lillis @ sacbee.com
Two taxpayer groups today lost their legal fight to place the proposed $258 million public subsidy for the new Sacramento Kings arena before the city’s voters.
Waterfront development ballot measure full of twists, turns
The supes, who are happy to weigh in on gay rights issues in Arizona, staged a bicker fest over an innocuous idea to allow city departments to prepare an objective report on a June ballot measure. The measure would require a citywide vote to build anything on the waterfront that exceeds an established height limit. For the 8 Washington condominium project on the ballot last fall, opponents tagged the project as the "wall on the waterfront." [...] it wasn't on the waterfront, several nearby buildings are much taller, and a barricade of pier buildings already blocks the view. [...] what it means is that every single project on the waterfront would need a citywide vote, regardless of what the Planning Commission, Port of San Francisco, Board of Supervisors or any other city agency decides. If the height limitation passes, it will affect building from Fisherman's Wharf to Hunters Point. Fine, except that one of the biggest proposed developments in the pipeline is the Giants' Mission Rock project (previously approved - unanimously - by the Board of Supervisors) that would bring shops, restaurants, housing and business to the booming Mission Bay neighborhood.
Sheriff Candidates Say They Were Victims Of Campaign Prank
Robert Faturechi @ latimes.com
When Jim Hellmold decided to run for sheriff of Los Angeles County last month, he knew that one of the first things his campaign needed was a website. He figured JimHellmoldForSheriff.com would make the most sense.
UC Berkeley Students File Complaint On Campus Sex Assaults
Alexei Koseff @ blogs.sacbee.com
Thirty-one current and former UC Berkeley students filed a federal complaint Wednesday morning alleging the university has mishandled sexual assault cases on campus, creating a hostile environment for female students.
Ron Calderon's Decision Could Add Costs, Complications To Election
Patrick McGreevy @ latimes.com
If Calderon does not do one or the other by Monday, he could face a Senate vote suspending him from office.
The Buzz: Republican senators want a vote on ousting Wright
the numbers @ sacbee.com
One day after Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg announced state Sen. Rod Wright will take an indefinite paid leave of absence, three GOP senators said they will push for Wright’s expulsion during today’sThursday’s floor session.
Laura's Law mental-health debate rages in Bay Area
The law, now implemented only in Nevada and Yolo counties, allows judges to order outpatient treatment for people with a record of failed mental health hospitalizations and of violence. Advocates see it as a way to help people who won't help themselves and ensure they take medication, but critics warn of a system ripe for civil rights abuses. The Board of Supervisors was asked to consider implementing a Laura's Law pilot program, compelling a maximum of five people to accept mental health treatment. Another critic was Christina Murphy, a 35-year-old woman who said she overcame a lifelong struggle with misdiagnosed mental illnesses and overmedication thanks to anger management classes and support groups. Passionate pleaShe turned to her opponents at Tuesday's hearing, many wearing the bright yellow shirts of the county's Pool of Consumer Champions, a group of Alameda County constituents advocating for mental health, and noted their success in battling mental illness. In the proposed Alameda County pilot program, up to five people could enter court-ordered treatment only after all other efforts failed, said Alex Briscoe, who directs the county's Health Care Services Agency. [...] on the table on Tuesday were nine other recommendations for improving mental health care, including an expansion of outreach teams, peer support and intensive case management services. Aaron Chapman, interim director of the county's behavioral health services agency, said he and other health officials were hoping for more direction from the board.
Laguna Hills Mayor Enters Governor's Race
Seema Mehta @ latimes.com
Another Republican is throwing his hat into the ring to try to take on incumbent Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown .
Arizona Governor Vetoes Bill On Denying Services To Gays
Aaron Blake @ washingtonpost.com
Gay rights advocates had denounced the legislation, labeling it a form of legalized discrimination, and Arizonaâs two GOP senators and leading Republican candidates for governor had urged Brewer to veto the bill. Several GOP state legislators who had voted for the measure last week have said since then that it was not the right thing to do.
Correa Takes Over Key Committee In Rod Wright Fallout
Dan Smith @ blogs.sacbee.com
Sen. Lou Correa will take over the powerful Senate Governmental Organization Committee in the fallout over the paid leave of absence granted to Sen. Rod Wright on Tuesday.
UCLA Student Government Votes Against Divestment From Israel
Larry Gordon @ latimes.com
After a meeting that lasted until dawn Wednesday, the UCLA undergraduate student government voted against a measure that would have urged the UC system to sell off stocks of companies that do business with the Israeli military and profit from Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories.
California Bill Would Offer Tax Breaks To Shelter Pet Adopters
Max Pringle @ capradio.org
People who adopt shelter pets would get a state tax refund up to $100 under a bill in the California legislature. Supporters of the measure say it would help save animal lives, save public money and offset adoption fees.
31 Women Accuse UC Berkeley Of Botching Sexual Assault Investigations
Jason Felch @ latimes.com
Current and former students file federal complaints saying UC Berkeley administrators discouraged victims from reporting assaults.
Democrats derail GOP attempt to expel senator
Democrats in the Senate have sidetracked an attempt by Republican lawmakers to expel a senator convicted of perjury and voter fraud.
Texas gay marriage ban latest to be struck down
Chris Tomlinson @ mercurynews.com
A federal judge declared a same-sex marriage ban in deeply conservative Texas unconstitutional on Wednesday, but will allow the nation's second-most populous state to enforce the law pending an appeal that will likely go to the U.S. Supreme Court.
California Gov. Jerry Brown to run for reelection
Gov. Jerry Brown announced Thurday that he has taken out the papers to run for re-election.
GOP tax writer Dave Camp offers revamp of tax code
David Lightman and Kevin G. Hall @ sacbee.com
The chairman of the Republican-led House of Representatives’ tax-writing panel proposed on Wednesday the first complete overhaul of the nation’s tax code since 1986, a plan that both political parties are likely to debate throughout this election year.
Jerry Brown names Eleni Kounalakis to trade post
David Siders @ blogs.sacbee.com
Gov. Jerry Brown announced Wednesday he has formed an advisory council on international trade, appointing as its chairwoman Eleni Kounalakis, the businesswoman and daughter of Sacramento developer Angelo Tsakopoulos.
Sen. Wright's Conviction Leads To Committee Shake-ups
Patrick McGreevy @ latimes.com
Wright was removed as chairman after a jury last month found him guilty of eight felonies including voter fraud and perjury for lying when he signed forms indicating that he lived in his Senate district when he ran for office.
Republican Tax Overhaul Would Come At Cost Of Hundreds Of Credits, Deductions
The Republican chairman of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee proposed a bold but politically hazardous overhaul of the nation’s tax laws Wednesday that would jettison hundreds of popular tax breaks in favor of a simpler code with lower rates.