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THE NOONER for March 6, 2014
Welcome to lots of new Nooner readers... You can read and search past Nooners, learn who I am, fill out a survey to tell me what you'd like to be reading, and learn how to become part of the super special subscribers club that pay for my server, coffee, and newspaper paywall costs. You can find me on Twitter here, and you can get a free Standard LegTrack bill tracking account here.
THE TOE: No, yesterday was not an elaborate stunt for the California Podiatric Association's Capitol Day. Yup, my toe was indeed broken, or "smashed" and "obliterated" in the words of the good doc. Fortunately, if you're going to obliterate a bone in your body, choose the distal phalange in your right toe #3. But, given how painful it is, I would advise against staying away from falling Le Creuset roasting pans. I return today to see the podiatrist (apparently, they were all busy yesterday) and we'll see how long I'll be out of downward-facing dog.
Anyways, thank you for all the well wishes and to the Twitterverse for keeping a smile on my face while I sat in the ER. And, congratulations to my friend Scott Wilk for receiving Legislator of the Year from the toe-fixers.
CONTROLLER: From said ER, I added Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin to the race for Controller. This certainly changes the nature of the race and makes it likely that November will be a face-off between Swearingin and either Assembly Speaker John Pérez or BOE member Betty Yee. Now the Perez and Yee gameplans need to shift to landing in the top-two in June to stay alive, rather than hold their dough for the fall fight.
While Perez had a sizeable cash advantage as of December 31 with $1.9 million over Yee's $502,000 and has outraised ($96,000) Yee ($15,400) in large donations since, we can't ignore the cost of building name recognition in a state this large. None of the three have run statewide, although Yee has been on the ballot twice between roughly one-fourth of the state's voters, and of course, Pérez has garnered the most media attention.
Let's talk about June. Regionally, Pérez is clearly favored in the greater Los Angeles area aside from the San Gabriel Valley and other Asian enclaves. Yee will do very well in her Board of Equalization district, centered in the Bay Area, and Swearengin will garner most Republicans statewide (who were nearly 50% of the Controller primary vote in 2010). Swearengin's entry, though, threatens the support for Pérez of the same Latino Democrats in the Central Valley that have rebuked progressive Latinos in recent elections.
The June money for both Pérez and Yee needs to persuade Democrats in areas outside of their bases and particularly in regions where the name recognition may be low. While historically advertising has been not all that useful in down-ticket races, the ability to microtarget with cable television and the Internet makes it possible. Look for them to use these strategies to deliver name recognition messages in the Inland Empire, San Diego, the Central Valley, the Central Coast, and Valley pockets. Additionally, slate cards and mail will be plentiful, with careful targeting of the latter.
Pérez was the favorite as of last week, and still is. His labor endorsements alone will have plenty of foot soldiers carrying slate cards, and in a down-ticket race, that is huge.
However, Swearengin's entry opens the door for Yee despite Pérez's money and endorsement advantage. And, with a moderate Republican mayor running for a financial office, and because June has the potential of emptying the bank accounts of the Democrats and reloading may be tough given the busy election cycle of large donors (particularly labor), the district moves from Likely Democrat to Leans Democrat.
It will still be hard for Republicans to pick up any statewide race this November, but Controller could be their best shot and it will be interesting to follow the money to see if there is a conscious effort to position the 41-year-old Swearengin as one of their biggest stars.
Interesting fact...Ashley Swearengin (R) defeated now-Assemblymember Henry Perea (D) for mayor of Fresno in November 2008 by a margin of 72,784 to 60,684. On the same day, Barack Obama (D) defeated John McCain (R) in the same city of Fresno by a margin of 78,046 to 57,221. That's a pretty big crossover, albeit without partisan labels on the mayoral.
SD26 (Coast Los Angeles): Attorney Amy Howorth shows she's a serious candidate for the hottest Democratic senate race in the state by anteing up with $100,000 of her own money to get the race off the ground.
AD04 (Napa-Lake-Yolano): The entry of one Republican against the three Democrats meant that the race shifted from November to June. The entry of a second Republican may open the door to two Democrats moving to November. More interesting is that a district that has been substantially represented by Helen Thomson->Lois Wolk->Mariko Yamada has five white guys running.
RUH-ROH: Long Beach mayoral hopeful's ad shows San Diego [AP]
TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
Berryhill Urges Rejection Of Campaign Money-laundering Decision
Jim Miller @ blogs.sacbee.com
Lawyers for state Sen. Tom Berryhill, R-Twain Harte, say in a new filing that an administrative law judge got it wrong when he concluded that the lawmaker illegally coordinated with county Republican committees in steering campaign dollars to his brother's Assembly campaign in 2008.
Senate Democrats Proposing Revamp Of Campaign, Gift Laws
Patrick McGreevy @ latimes.com
SACRAMENTO -- Countering a series of scandals, including criminal charges against two of its members, state Senate Democrats plan Thursday to propose sweeping changes to the state Political Reform Act, including stricter limits on accepting gifts and campaign contributions.
John Burton Pledges Neutrality In Dem Races For California Controller, Secretary Of State
Jim Miller @ blogs.sacbee.com
As California Democrats head to Los Angeles this weekend for their state convention, the party's leader has declared neutrality in the two most competitive statewide Democratic primary fights: controller and secretary of state.
Brown The Socialist? Look At Health Care And Guns, Donnelly Says - Politics Blog
As The Chronicle reported last week,
Oops, Lb Mayoral Candidate Sends Out Mailer With San Diego Skyline
A campaign mailer that arrived in thousands of Long Beach homes Tuesday had all the trappings of a political blockbuster – the face and endorsement of Gov. Jerry Brown on one side, a quote from a local business owner, and a photo of a glittering waterfront skyline on the other, with the words “Getting things done for Long Beach.”
Bera Reverses Himself On Health Care, And GOP Rival Pounces
Curtis Tate @ blogs.sacbee.com
Rep.Ami Bera, an Elk Grove Democrat who's facing a tough re-election in the fall, just gave his Republican opponents a bit more ammunition — by voting with them on health care.
Jerry Brown, Israeli Leader Netanyahu Pledge Greater Cooperation
Anthony York @ latimes.com
Gov. Jerry Brown and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu signed a deal that would promote trade and joint research.
Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin To Run For State Controller | Elections | Fresnobee.com
John Ellis @ fresnobee.com
How much money do people make in the education field in the Valley? Consult our database.
Donnelly's Likening Of Obama To Hitler 'outrageous,' Kashkari Says
Seema Mehta @ latimes.com
GOP gubernatorial hopeful Neel Kashkari on Wednesday called Republican rival Tim Donnelly ’s comparison of President Obama to Hitler and Stalin “outrageous.”
Lawsuit seeks to reinstate canceled health plans
A Republican state senator who is running for state insurance commissioner is suing California's health benefits exchange, saying it wrongly cut off more than 1 million insurance policies and is wasting taxpayer money on useless marketing campaigns.
Former Superintendent Backs Tenure, Layoff Laws As Defense Opens In ‘vergara’ | Edsource Today
A former superintendent of three school districts defended the current laws for granting teachers tenure, dismissing ineffective teachers and conducting layoffs based on seniority as the defense began in the Vergara vs California trial, the lawsuit putting employment protections for teachers on trial.
Kentucky Law Official Will Not Defend Ban on Same-Sex Marriage
Jack Conway, the attorney general of Kentucky, became the latest in a group of Democratic state prosecutors to refuse to defend laws prohibiting gay marriage.
San Diego lawmakers fight for fair wages for disabled workers
Two San Diego lawmakers are calling on the federal government to end the practice of paying people with disabilities less than minimum wage.
$120 Million For Flood Projects In Sacramento Region
Matt Weiser @ sacbee.com
About $120 million in new federal spending is headed for the greater Sacramento region over the next 18 months for water and flood-control projects.
L.A. Deputy City Attorneys Accept Three-year Pact With No Raises
Catherine Saillant @ latimes.com
Los Angeles City Council members Wednesday approved a new contract with the union representing deputy city attorneys that gives no pay raises through 2016 and requires a bigger contribution towards health care costs.
Obama to Latinos: Last call for health care signup
President Barack Obama is urging uninsured Latinos to sign up for health care through new exchanges before the window closes at the end of March.
Northern California Assembly Race Takes Shape With Conservative Endorsements
Alexei Koseff @ blogs.sacbee.com
Republican James Gallagher has scored two key endorsements that could put him ahead in the open race for California's 3rd Assembly District.
Ap California State News Wire | Union Democrat | Sonora News, Sports, & Weather, Angels Camp, Twain Harte, Jamestown - Ap Nation / World
>Union Democrat | Sonora News, Sports, & Weather, Angels Camp, Twain Harte, Jamestown
Ousting Wright From California Senate May Be Awkward Task
Patrick McGreevy @ latimes.com
Sen. Roderick Wright, convicted of lying about where he was living, isn't alone in facing residency questions.
Lawmaker seeks apology for Obama-Hitler comparison
A Jewish lawmaker wants an apology from a conservative state assemblyman who compared President Barack Obama's gun control policies with those of dictators such as Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin and North Korea's Kim Jong Il.
Judge allows Sunnyvale ban on large-capacity gun magazines
A federal judge on Wednesday allowed Sunnyvale to enforce a voter-approved ban on large-capacity gun magazines, saying it would have little impact on the constitutional right to possess firearms for self-defense. C.D. Michel, an NRA lawyer who represented gun owners challenging the ordinance, said they were "disappointed but not surprised" by the ruling and would ask the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for an emergency stay "to protect the Second Amendment rights of Sunnyvale gun owners." [...] the court also said the federal, state and local governments could enforce reasonable gun-control laws, such as bans on possessing dangerous or particularly dangerous weapons or carrying guns in sensitive areas. Whyte was somewhat more receptive to the challengers' claims, agreeing with them that guns with large-capacity magazines are in common use and are therefore not particularly "dangerous and unusual," a category that the Supreme Court said could be prohibited.
Verizon, Accenture Drop Kevin Sloat's Lobbying Firm
Laurel Rosenhall @ blogs.sacbee.com
Sacramento's Sloat Higgins Jensen & Associates lobbying firm lost three prominent clients last month as revelations surfaced that founder Kevin Sloat would pay a record-breaking fine for giving prohibited campaign contributions to California officials.