Around The Capitol

Having trouble viewing this email? Click here

Receive this as a forward? Get the Nooner in your e-mail box

THE NOONER for March 10, 2014

jump to headlines



  • Lots of changes are still being made to the district pages, with formal ballot titles, websites, and candidates being added/removed as counties update their candidate lists.

NOONER PAID SUBSCRIBERS at $39.99/year get these benefits:

  • the Nooner arrives at 11:30 a.m., rather than 12pm, 1pm, or whenever the hamsters feel like running
  • e-mail alerts about district changes, including new analysis and candidate additions
  • downloadable spreadsheet of all candidates, with district geography, analysis, and outlook
  • downloadable voter registration numbers for all districts
  • the joy in supporting nonpartisan analysis of California politics and policy


Happy Monday! I'm still horizontal for another couple of days, but I had a pretty productive weekend nevertheless.

FILING EXTENSION ANSWER: The Secretary of State has determined that Election Code section 13108, dealing with redistricting determinations, extends the filing period for the BOE and State Senate districts. So, the original list in Saturday's Nooner Nightcap applies.

CDP ENDORSEMENTS: The California Democratic Party ratified endorsements made in regional caucuses last month, and added endorsements for Eric Swalwell in CA15, Pete Aguilar in CA31, Ted Lieu in CA33Roger Dickinson in SD06Kevin McCarty in AD07Elizabeth Echols in AD15, and Patrick O'Donnell in AD70. After a particularly close vote in the Secretary of State endorsement race (Padilla fell 26 votes--1 point short of the required 60%), there was no endorsement in either contested statewide race. John Perez received 48% to Betty Yee's 45% in the Controller's endorsement race. 

SCORE! Yesterday, I launched an ATC Score for each district up this year. While I continue to offer a "prediction" (i.e. Safe Republican, Leans Democrat), the ATC Score is an objective measure of the underlying partisanship of the districts. The Score is composed of voter registration and previous election district performance (including 2010 gub. and 2012 pres.), weighted to reflect a mid-term election. 

The underlying score doesn't provide a conclusion, but is rather a signal. For example, in CA31 (Redlands), we have a 2014 ATC Score of 54.9 Democrat. In 2012, it would have been 55.7 Democrat, as the index is pushed up by the presidential cycle. Nevertheless, the first top-two nightmare hit Democrats as two Republicans were advanced to the general election as Democrats split the vote enough that the highest vote recipient placed in third. However, in a normal D-R general election, I'd be willing to wager that 9 times out of 10, a Democrat would win the seat at an index of greater than 55.

So, let's look at our congressional landscape using the ATC Scores:

  • Democratic 55+: 33
  • Republican 55+: 11
  • Democratic 50-55: 5 
  • Republican 50-55: 4

The fun will all be had in the bottom 9 districts, and the index of course surfaces every competitive district we've been talking about throughout the cycle:

Ranked from most Democratic to most Republican, you can also see the impact of candidates. CD21 should be relatively easy for Democrats to pick up, although it's going to take an amazing campaign by Amanda Renteria to defeat incumbent David Valadao. Similarly, Republicans need everything to happen just right for Carl DeMaio to take out Scott Peters.

Anyway, I like numbers, and this can break through the passion element or the normal partisan selective use of indicators most favorable to their candidates. 

For statewide races, the index is a 58.8 Democratic, which comes as no surprise but indicates just how steep a hill CRP chair Jim Brulte has to climb. In context, the statewide voting and registration patterns--even for a midterm election--are more Democratic than Alan Lowenthal's CD47 or Loretta Sanchez's CD46.

GOV: Tim Donnelly received the endorsement of the Los Angeles County Republican Party over the weekend, in advance of this weekend's CRP Spring Convention in Burlingame. It is very unlikely the CAGOP will endorse in the gubernatorial primary under its high-hurdle endorsement procedures.

  • IMAGE: Donnelly's ballot statement: "I'm a Patriot not a Politician."
  • REALITY: Donnelly's ballot label: "California State Assemblyman"

SD26 (Coastal Los Angeles): Candidates for Ted Lieu's state Senate seat trade endorsements [Brian Sumers] @ Daily Breeze

THE SOFA DEGREE: A reader asked for the link to our Nooner Sofa Degree--the 25 books to read to get a university-quality education in California politics and policy while sitting on your couch. 

MOST HUMBLE CANDIDATE BIO PARAGRAPH: From gubernatorial candidate Akinyemi Agbede

This Super Genius man came to the United States of America in the year 2001 when he won the United States of America Permanent Resident Lottery. However, since being in the United States of America he has tremendously used his Super Genius brain to the benefits of the American Students by instilling in them skills, confidence and competence in solving ANY Mathematical problems.

NYT EDITORIAL: A Sentencing Commission for California

FOLLOW-UP: Two Years After KONY 2012, Has Invisible Children Grown Up? [Jessica Testa @ BuzzFeed]

HUMANITY: Remember, it's all just a game.

FAREWELL: Bill Hauck, CSU Trustee and longtime business advocate (1941-2014)




  • 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.
  • 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.




State Sen. Noreen Evans Faces Uphill Battle On Oil Tax
It has been killed repeatedly in the state Legislature or at the ballot box, but the backers of an oil severance tax hope 2014 is the year to get it done. History is not on their side.

Some S.F. workers earn $300,000-plus thanks to OT
Phillip Matier And Andrew Ross @
Thanks to ample overtime - especially at the Fire Department - more than 700 San Francisco city workers took home wages in excess of $200,000 last year.

Water Fight Pits Farmer Against Farmer
George Skelton @
San Joaquin Valley growers' demand for water conflicts with the needs of delta agriculture.

Political Blotter: Obama endorses Swalwell, Corbett not impressed
Josh Richman @
President Obama endorsed Congressman Eric Swalwell for re-election, but Democratic challenger Ellen Corbett notes that endorsement didn't save Pete Stark in 2012; also, a state senator is overcome by emotion while discussing multiple sclerosis.

State Lawmakers To Confront Massage Industry Oversight
Timm Herdt @
On Monday, California lawmakers will begin taking another stab at tackling the vexing issue of how to regulate massage establishments that have been proliferating at a faster rate than coffee shops.

California Democrats In Good Shape For Now, But Registration Slide, Party Tensions Loom Large
David Siders @
A supporter of California Gov. Jerry Brown and those opposing fracking listen to Brown during a general session at the California Democrats State Convention on Saturday, March 8, 2014, in Los Angeles.

Kelly Thomas Case Prompts Counties To Take Fresh Look At Laura's Law
Paloma Esquivel @
12-year-old state law allows court-ordered treatment of mentally ill adults. Only tiny Nevada County has fully implemented it.

Two decades of budget expenditures, revenue
Jim Miller @
Legislative budget subcommittee hearings on Gov. Jerry Brown's January spending plan are in full swing, with lawmakers, administration officials, the Legislative Analyst's Office and others debating the proposal's finer points.

Judge Finds No "Vested Right" To Spiked Pensions
Ed Mendel @
A superior court judge last week said he plans to uphold a key part of a new state law that curbs ‘spiking’ in county retirement systems, notorious for giving retirees pensions that are much higher than the salaries they earned on the job.

California plan to ease prison crowding undermined by counties
Don Thompson @
A surge in offenders requiring state prison sentences is undermining a nearly 3-year-old law pushed by Gov. Jerry Brown. The legislation restructured California's criminal justice system to keep lower-level felons in county jails while reserving state prison cells for serious, violent and sexual offenders.

Amn Healthcare Services Poised For Healthy Growth Under Obamacare
Ronald D. White @
AMN Healthcare Services expects the Affordable Care Act to boost demand for its services.

California Democrats, Eye On Election, Adopt Activist Agenda
Sharon Bernstein @
California Democrats wrapped up their annual convention on Sunday with an appeal to their progressive base even as leaders vowed to stay on a centrist path that has won wide popularity for Governor Jerry Brown and firm control over the state legislature.

Betty Yee criticizes, John A. Pérez cheers state party in controller race
David Siders @
Betty Yee, the state Board of Equalization member competing against Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez in the Democratic race for state controller, issued a vague but stinging indictment of the state party Sunday, suggesting its leadership has become too heavy-handed and is disconnected from grassroots activists.

Once Again, Workers' Compensation Tinged With Scandal
Dan Walters @
Among other crimes, Sen. Ron Calderon is accused of helping the owner of a Long Beach hospital get many millions of dollars in extra payments for spinal fusion surgery on workers’ compensation patients by manipulating one of the many arcane rules governing the system.

Obamacare: Fifteen percent of Covered California enrollees haven't paid
Tracy Seipel @
With less than a month left to sign up for private insurance under the federal health care law, California's enrollment numbers are closing in on the magic number of 1 million as 8,000 people sign up every day. If only everyone would pay their premiums.

Dan Walters Daily
Alexei Koseff @
The state has billions of dollars in unfunded healthcare costs for public retirees, but it's not doing anything about the problem, Dan says.

State Oversight May Tame California's Medical Marijuana Industry
Lisa Leff @
A California lawmaker has introduced legislation to regulate the state’s free-wheeling medical marijuana industry — the farmers that grow the drug, the hundreds of storefront shops that sell it and especially the doctors who write recommendations allowing people to use it.

Democrat-vs.-Democrat Races Intensify Divide In California Party
Carla Marinucci @
For the party that dominates blue state California, 2014 could be a year of the great divide - one that pits "business Democrats" against "labor Democrats" in key campaigns and at the polls.

El Salvador's Presidential Election Too Close To Call
Richard Fausset @
In El Salvador's presidential runoff, conservative Norman Quijano trails leftist Salvador Sanchez Ceren by fewer than 4,500 votes.

AM Alert
Jeremy B. White @
Determined to keep kids attending school, Attorney General Kamala Harris will stand alongside a half-dozen lawmakers today to promote anti-truancy legislation.

HOAs Get Real About Water Shortage
Deborah Sullivan Brennan @
Low-water landscaping hasn’t always received glowing reviews from community associations or their homeowner members. Lush green lawns and tropical foliage have long been favorites in San Diego County and other parts of Southern California, where homeowner covenants often require them. But while the region’s mild weather favors year-round greenery, its scarce water supply doesn’t.

Betty Yee says some California Democrats swayed by power, money
John Hrabe @
Betty Yee, who has developed a reputation as an honest and effective numbers-cruncher at the state tax board, delivered a stinging rebuke of her party Sunday, saying that California Democrats have become disconnected from their core values.

California Prisons' Solitary Units - Necessary Or Inhumane?
Melody Gutierrez @
Tucked within the sweeping green hills here is one of California's high-security prisons, and within it a cellblock for the worst of the worst inmates, where a visit requires a protective vest and three authorization checkpoints.