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THE NOONER for March 3, 2014

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  • SD20 (Ontario-Pomona): added California Labor Fed president Connie Leyva (D)
  • AD31 (West Fresno): added former Sanger Unified board member Walter Villarreal (N)
  • AD02 (North Coast): added environmental healing consultant Pamela Elizondo (G)

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Governor Jerry Brown was on Meet the Press yesterday morning and showed that he continues to be one of the most dynamic, energetic politicos. From the transcript [video]:

David Gregory: Over a 40-year political career, how have you changed?

Jerry Brown: Well, I was just reviewing my transcript from Meet the Press in 1975, and I find a lot of similarities. There I was talking about limits, I'm still talking about limits. But I'm also talking about full employment and equality. So I've changed, A) I'm 40 years older. Two, I've done a lot of things. And I've learned a lot of things. So I'm older and wiser, but I'm just as energetic and I have to say just as ambitious.

David Gregory: Forty years ago, we weren't talking about legalizing marijuana in states either. Is that a good idea or a bad idea for California?

Jerry Brown: Well, we have medical marijuana, which gets very close to what they have in Colorado and Washington. I'd really like those two states to show us how it's going to work. The problem with anything, a certain amount is okay. But there is a tendency to go to extremes. And all of a sudden, if there's advertising and legitimacy, how many people can get stoned and still have a great state or a great nation? The world's pretty dangerous, very competitive. I think we need to stay alert, if not 24 hours a day, more than some of the potheads might be able to put together.

While you were engaged in the great debate yesterday (to watch the Oscars or The Walking Dead), Ron Calderon requested an indefinite leave of absence from the State Senate, which was promptly granted by Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg. The move essentially assures that Calderon's existing SD30 will remain vacant through a replacement is elected to the successor SD32 in November.

Calderon's action joins Rod Wright's similar leave last week, which means that Democrats are down to 26 votes in the State Senate. While many observers overstate the importance of the two-thirds bar of 27-votes in the State Senate (particularly following Prop. 25's lowering of the budget passage threshold to a simple majority, it is still needed to place constitutional amendments on the ballot, for confirmation of many gubernatorial appointees, and to approve urgency bills.

With Rod Wright's sentencing scheduled for May 16 and no indications that he plans to step down before them, it is almost certain that he won't vacate office in time to trigger a special election before a September 2/November 4 cycle.

Speaking of the Oscars, here are your 3.5 hours in three minutes. And, The Walking Dead, can you believe what happened to ________________ and _____________???

CD31 (San Bernardino): Eloise Gomez Reyes (D) is definitely staying put in the congressional race, while . . . 

SD20 (Ontario-Pomona): California Labor Fed president Connie Leyva is expected to join the party, which also now includes Pomona Mayor Elliott Rothman, Grand Terrace Councilmember Sylvia Robles, and Negrete McLeod COS Alfonso Sanchez (all are Democrats).

MUST READ: Adam Nagourney profiles Chris Lehane in the NYT Magazine: "Chris Lehane Out-Washingtons Washington" -- hitting on the MICRA fight, Vernon, etc.

THE VALLEY: The Fresno Bee's John Ellis asks the question why Democrats keep increasing voter registration in the Central Valley, but can't close the deal on Election Day.

$$$: Labor's campaign spending a waste of millions [Eric Christen @ UTSD] - "In no other profession could the leadership of an organization survive throwing away $20 million with nothing to show for it except catastrophic defeats."

. . . can't say the California Republican Party did much better in 2012 spending $10 million, starting with the ill-fated redistricting initiative, but then again, the party's leadership did not survive. 

SON, YOU'RE CUT OFF: Disney ends funding to Boy Scouts over gay policy [AP]

OMNIPRESENT: I don't know about you, but Neel Kashkari is staging an occupy across my Interwebs, courtesy of targeted Google ads.




  • The California Optometric Association seeks a Grassroots Manager to mobilize members, patients and the public in support of COA's legislative and political action agenda. Salary DOE. Send cover letter/resume and salary requirements to
  • California Senior Legislature - You can help keep this essential organization in business by making a tax deductible contribution on your state tax form 504, sheet 4 under Contributions. This is the only way the CSL is funded and will help the 120 senior legislators continue to research and write legislation impacting our aging population! Check out for more information.
  • Oil Production and the Drought: We Get It. As the nation's third biggest producer of crude oil, California plays an important role in keeping the state's economy and population on the move and thriving. But that doesn't mean it gets a pass when it comes to adapting to drought conditions. Oil companies are doing their part to conserve, recycle and reduce the water they use to produce oil and refine petroleum products. Understanding how they are doing that requires a short course on water and oil.
  • Join tons of friends and former staff of Senator Sheila Kuehl on Thursday, February 27th 5:30pm-7:30pm, in support of Sheila’s campaign for Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. Sheila will be at the party to talk and answer all your questions. Office of Sacramento Advocates, Esquire Building, 1215 K Street, #2030, Sacramento, CA 95814. For more information and to RSVP.
  • California Restaurant Association seeks digital communications specialist. Administration of online community engagement programs; i.e. social media, email marketing, content strategies. BA/Communications required w/min 3 yrs. exp. in PR and/or Marketing. Please include writing sample with resume & cover to Salary range: 38,000-48,000, DOE
  • California Subcontractors Legislative Conference on Wednesday, April 2, 2014. Get briefed on bills regarding prompt pay, disputed amounts, additional insureds, "substantially complex" public projects, design build, and bidding. Then lobby your own senator and assembly member. To Register and pay by credit card, go to Or call 888-310-2722.
  • 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.




Political Math Toughens For Democrats As Calderon Takes Leave
John Myers @
In the middle of Sunday night's Academy Awards, the embattled state senator who allegedly offered favors to an undercover FBI agent posing as a movie executive announced a temporary exit via stage left -- not permanent, not just yet. In so doing, he upped the dramatic intrigue about the remainder of the 2014 legislative season in Sacramento for his fellow Democrats.

California Conservative Group Endorses Tim Donnelly For Governor
Seema Mehta @
The California Republican Assembly's endorsement of gubernatorial candidate Tim Donnelly could give his campaign a boost.

The Buzz: Jerry Brown Worries About Alertness Of "Potheads"
David Siders and Christopher Cadelago @
Gov. Jerry Brown said Sunday on “Meet the Press” that he is wary of marijuana legalization because fears “potheads” won’t be able to be informed and active citizens.

Jerry Brown rain-delayed his reelection announcement
It's no coincidence that Governor Jerry Brown rain-delayed his reelection campaign announcement.

Gov. Jerry Brown Seeks Redevelopment Replacement
After thieves struck Naomi Richmond's Lower Lake home while she was with her dying husband at the hospital, she wrote a letter to the culprits. What happened next restored her faith in people.

Three New Rulings On Retiree Health Care Cuts
Ed Mendel @
A federal appeals court last week gave Sonoma County retirees another chance to show that an implied contract gave them vested rights to retiree health care, preventing the benefit from being cut to $500 a month.

Fourth Term For Gov. Brown Needs Bold Ideas
George Skelton @
With little competition, Gov. Jerry Brown should focus his reelection campaign on solving some of the state's long-range problems.

Democrats Lead Valley Voter Registration Battle But Still Losing Election War
John Ellis @
A decade ago, Republicans were painting Fresno County red, and the wider central San Joaquin Valley was being portrayed as California's new GOP epicenter — a worthy successor to rock-ribbed conservative bastions Orange County and the Inland Empire.

Jerry Brown Worries About Marijuana Legalization And 'potheads'
David Siders @
Gov. Jerry Brown said on NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday that "fiscal discipline is the fundamental predicate of a free society," but it may help if everyone isn't getting stoned.

Judge says 2 California laws are unconstitutional
A federal judge says two California laws enacted through the initiative process are unconstitutional because they improperly change the punishment for crimes committed before the laws came into effect.

California Farmers Hire Dowsers To Find Water
In this photo taken Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014, proprietor Marc Mondavi demonstrates dowsing with "diving rods" to locate water at the Charles Krug winery in St. Helena, Calif. As water supplies shrink during California’s historic drought, vineyard owners and other farmers are looking to an ancient, yet scientifically discredited, source for finding water: dowsers. Also known as water witches, dowsers use so-called “divining rods” made of copper or wood, pendulums or other items to find water deep underground using nothing more than their own intuition. Even though dowsing hasn’t held up under scientific scrutiny, according to U.S. Geological Survey, it remains a popular national past-time, especially in drought-stricken areas.

Obama launches final push for healthcare sign-ups
Christi Parsons @
WASHINGTON -- President Obama is scheduled to hold a town hall meeting with Latinos this week in an attempt to boost enrollment in the healthcare law's new insurance marketplaces before an end-of-the-month deadline.

California Cities, Police Chiefs Support Pot Regulation For First Time
Peter Hecht @
Canna Care Inc., a medical marijuana dispensary in Sacramento, offers samples for customers. State legislators will try again this session to come up with statewide regulations.

County Asks Voters: Opt Out Of Sample Ballot
Sonoma County election officials say voters can make one simple change that would save taxpayers money and reduce waste paper at the same time.

Patrick McGreevy @
California, California politics, Jerry Brown, Sacramento, California budget

Editorial: State should not wait for Congress to protect kids’ privacy
the Editorial Board @
As kids step into the Internet, adults need to provide basic protection. In that spirit, Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg introduced Senate Bill 1177, which seeks to protect the privacy of children using educational software and to prevent companies from tailoring ads for them.

Political Blotter: United Farm Workers endorse Mary Hayashi for state Senate
Josh Richman @
Former Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi, still on probation for her 2012 shoplifting conviction, won the UFW's endorsement in her state Senate race; also, Tim Draper puts $750,000 into his proposal to split California into six states.

Senate spokesman: California state senator accused of corruption to take indefinite leave
Senate spokesman: California state senator accused of corruption to take indefinite leave.

Warriors, Giants open to teaming up on arena near AT&T Park
Phillip Matier and Andrew Ross @
An increasingly hostile political climate, coupled with the prospect of rocketing costs and a drawn-out permit fight, has rekindled prospects of the Warriors trying to team up with the Giants to shift the site for their proposed waterfront arena down to the parking lot across from AT&T Park.

House GOP Budget Will Focus On Reforming Welfare, Overhauling Social Programs
As a direct counter to President Obama’s recent emphasis on the gap between rich and poor, the upcoming House Republican budget will focus on welfare reform and recommend a sweeping overhaul of social programs, including Head Start and Medicaid.

Break California Into Six States? A Fine Idea, But...
Michael Hiltzik @
A venture capital investor's proposal to break up California into six states could have horrific consequences.

Ron Calderon to take indefinite leave from California Senate
Jeremy B. White @
Sen. Ron Calderon has agreed to take an indefinite leave of absence from the Senate, Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg announced on Sunday.