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THE NOONER for March 12, 2014

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  • 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.

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DEADLINE: At 5pm today, the fields will be set in the 165 state and federal races on the ballot June 3, although it will take us a little while to nail everything down. Counties have until Monday to transmit the final reports of qualified candidates to the Secretary of State, which will then publish an official list by office by March 27. While I'm trying to keep the candidates list on AroundTheCapitol as accurate as possible, it's only to the extent the counties have the information available. Some counties, including Sacramento, don't have a candidates' list online, and make accuracy on candidates and ballot labels impossible without physically visiting each elections office.

Here are some things to keep in mind. All 165 of those races will be on the ballot on June 3 and November 4, even if only one candidate made a qualified filing, and even if one candidate pulls a Clippers v. Lakers and wins 67%-33%. June is solely about determining top two and, unlike nonpartisan local races, winning more than 50% only brings bragging rights.

Technically, there is the ability for a write-in candidate that follows the procedure to be qualified to get into the top two, even in the case where only one candidate filed by last Friday or today's deadline. Write-in candidates are not allowed in the general election, which is technically the runoff of the top two vote recipients from the June primary.

Speaking of county candidate lists . . . As I tweeted over the weekend, I'm all about local control. However, it's time to create a standardized filing system for state and federal candidacies. Orange County accepts candidacy filings online, and there's no reason that should be available everywhere this responsibility shouldn't be shifted to the Secretary of State's Office so all citizens and potential candidates can review who is considering a run. If you're in a multi-county district (including statewides), you literally have to call all 58 counties to have a true understanding of who is running. That's just wrong in our modern age.

FLORIDA RESULTS: The chattering class is looking at yesterday's special election in Tampa-centered FL13, in which David Jolly (R) defeated Alex Sink (D). The race is being identified as a bellweather referendum on Obamacare and climate change and a predictor of things to come this year. From the Nooner perspective, it's worth asking if there are any signs California politicos should read from this election.

The redistricted seat was won in 2012 by 42-year Congressman Bill Young (R) with 57.6%. On the same day, Obama won the seat with 50.1% of the vote This puts the district in the national partisanship range of CA07 (Bera), CA10 (Denham), and CA36 (Ruiz)--which had Obama votes of 50.7%, 50.5%, and 50.7%, respectively. Bera (D) won his seat with 51.7%, Denham (R) with 52.7%, and Ruiz (D) with 52.9%.

Preliminary turnout yesterday in FL13 was 40.9%, compared to nearly 70% in 2012. Thus, the 3,400 vote margin of 188,417 counted could easily have switched the prevailing candidate if held in a regular election. In other words, there really is nothing to read from this race, despite its high-profile nature. We will have several close and exciting races in California come November, and wise campaigns will focus not on headlines from other states, but rather on people and issues within their own districts.

As an aside and interesting fact: Florida collects and reports race data on voter registration forms. In California, such data is not collected but inferred by private companies such as Political Data Inc. based on last name and census block.

GOV: Adding to his $800,000 haul reported over the weekend, Jerry Brown reported $332,800 in contributions yesterday with a Silicon Valley surge.

GOV: No debate, but Kashkari, Donnelly get speaking spots at GOP convention [David Siders @ SacBee] - "Neither candidate was previously listed as a speaker. They are expected to address delegates Sunday, the final day of the convention. [Jim] Brulte said he heard from candidates "this morning, for the very first time, three days before the start of the convention" that they would like to address delegates. He said he told them, "Makes sense to me."

CA33 (Coastal Los Angeles): While filing with Los Angeles County for the Waxman congressional seat, Wendy Greuel listed her ballot label as "City Controller/Businesswoman."

I'm just wondering if the LA County Registrar asked "Are you flippin' kidding me?" when Greuel submitted this on the ballot designation worksheet, as she left the office of Controller on June 30, 2013. To include an office, a candidate must hold the office "at the time of filing the nomination documents," and preceding an office to designate it as "former" is prohibited. And, since Greuel is under the age of 55, she can't use "Retired City Controller."

Anyway, the Secretary of State will be required to reject Greuel's ballot designation unless it is changed by 5 p.m. today.

If anyone has a chance to swing by LA County Registrar to get a copy of Greuel's ballot designation worksheet and the required "Justification for use of proposed ballot designation," that would be interesting.

Let me be clear that I have no dogs in the CA33 fight . . .

CD37 (Culver City): From my inbox in a press release from frequent candidate Mervyn Evans. "Mervin Evans, the Black Candidate for Congress in California's 37th District, spoke with Rep. Rob Wittman during the Washington Journal."

Evans is running against Karen Bass, who unless being impersonated on Meet the Press last weekend, is still black.

AD73 (Dana Point): Four Republicans, one Democrat to face off in 73rd Assembly race [Tomoya Shimura @ OCR] - "Four Republicans and one Democrat will face off June 3 in the race to replace Assemblywoman Diane Harkey in the 73rd state Assembly District, arguably the most conservative in the state."

THE LBC: In the inbox: "Congressman Alan Lowenthal Endorses Bonnie Lowenthal." For our newer Nooner readers, I covered this awhile back, but it can take a flowchart to identify the three Lowenthals that Long Beach voters may see on their ballot on June 3.

Alan Lowenthal is the first-term congressman running for reelection in the 47th District. Bonnie Lowenthal, is currently an Assemblywoman running for mayor of Long Beach in an April 8 primary. Then, in the 70th Assembly District, we have Long Beach councilwoman Suja Lowenthal, who was previously married to Dan Lowenthal, the son of Alan and Bonnie. Dan serves as a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge and was reelected to the bench in 2012. If no candidate receives 50% in April 8's mayoral election and Bonnie places in the top two, three of the four Lowenthals will appear on the June 3 ballot for Long Beach voters. (Suja briefly considered running for mayor in the same race as Bonnie, but moved over to the Assembly seat.)

OMITTED: Yes, Bee reporter Christopher Cadelago belongs on our Top 25 Twitter Accounts to Follow for the 2014 Election list. But, should we extend the list or throw Fleischman and Maviglio out of the boat, as some purists have suggested?

Speaking of the Twitterverse, I am adding Twitter accounts to the elections pages, but it s labor intensive and will take some time. To be fair, I'm trying to tackle it by district and am focusing on the most competitive districts. Statewides and BOE are complete.

WAKE UP, WARD: SCA 5: California lawmakers look to change college admission rules [Nanette Asimov @ SFChron] - "Now state lawmakers are considering SCA5, a constitutional amendment for the November ballot that would give voters a chance to amend Prop. 209 to restore racial and gender preference in college admissions."

UNPLUGGED: Fuggedaboutit: New Jersey tells Tesla to close its stores [Dana Hull @ MercNews] - "The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission unanimously ordered Palo Alto-based Tesla Motors to close its two stores in the state April 1. Tesla has sold more than 600 Model S sedans in the state since those stores opened a year ago, but the commission said the company is violating a New Jersey statute that prohibits auto manufacturers from selling automobiles directly to consumers."

UP: Housing prices surpass bubble peak in some Southland ZIP Codes [Andrew Khouri @ LAT] - "Home prices in a dozen Southern California ZIP Codes have passed their peaks during the housing bubble, according to research firm DataQuick. Most are either in the San Gabriel Valley, a magnet for buyers from Asia, or on the Westside, where the technology industry is booming.

DOWN: FTC Opens Investigation Into Herbalife - Shares Plunge [Julia La Roche @ Business Insider] 

#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Michael Faust, Karla Fung, and Rudy Salas!




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Sacramento Scandal Response Is For Looks Only :: Fox&hounds
Responding to the scandal that has a pair of Democratic state senators looking at jail time, Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg has proposed banning legislators from accepting free tickets to ball games and theme parks.

Assemblywoman Kristin Olsen Shows Off Sweet Skills To Sell Skateboard Bill
Alexei Koseff @
An electrically powered skateboard called a 'Zboard' during a press event near the State Capitol in Sacramento, Calif, on Tuesday, March 11, 2014. Assembly member Kristen Olsen discussed AB 2054, a bill that would permit the use of electrically-motorized skateboards as alternative modes of transportation.

Request For Formal Audit Of Unemployment Insurance Program Put On Hold
Marc Lifsher @
SACRAMENTO -- A Republican state senator has put on hold his request for a formal audit of the state's troubled unemployment insurance program.

Dianne Feinstein Accuses Cia Of Breaking Law - Politics Blog
In a startling floor speech Tuesday, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein, one of Washington's staunchest defenders of the intelligence community, accused the CIA of breaking t...

California Has Nearly 870,000 Health Care Sign-Ups
Nearly 870,000 Californians have signed up for an insurance policy through the state's health care exchange, the federal government reported Tuesday, as the state intensifies efforts to boost participation and target younger people ahead of the March 31 enrollment deadline.

Shriver Decision Lifts Spending Limits In L.A. County Supervisor Race
Catherine Saillant @
Los Angeles supervisorial candidate Bobby Shriver has rejected voluntary campaign spending limits and said he will at least partially self-fund his campaign to replace retiring Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky in the June 3 primary. In a declaration filed with the county's elections office, Shriver, a businessman and member of the Kennedy political dynasty, indicated he would put at least $300,000 of his own money into his campaign.

Now That the Future's Back in California, What's Up and Why with Jerry Brown, Democrats, and Republicans
William Bradley @
California still has some big problems, as pretty much always, but as observers across the spectrum and around the world have noted, the state's political system, long mired in gridlock has become increasingly functional. Especially compared to national politics and governance and the ongoing clown show that Washington has become.

Republican wins Florida congressional race seen as test on Obamacare
David Lauter @
Republicans scored a significant victory in a special congressional election Tuesday, holding onto a seat in a swing district in Florida that Democrats had high hopes of capturing after a campaign that focused heavily on President Obama’s healthcare law.

Black Muslim Security Firm Makes False Claims In Bid To Secure Port Of Oakland Contract
Thomas Peele and Matt O'Brien @
As part of its list of qualifications, BMT International Security Services listed four government contracts that do not exist, people speaking for those agencies said, including purported work for BART and the San Joaquin County Housing Authority. The firm also included resume information for its officers, ranging from a Harvard education to membership in various law enforcement organizations, that is contradicted by the organizations listed.

AAA: Rising Gas Prices Slam Jurisdictions Across California
Mark Glover @
If there’s any good news in AAA’s latest statewide monthly gas price survey, it’s this: Be glad you don’t live in Los Angeles, where the average price of unleaded regular gasoline is $3.98 a gallon.

Garcetti Says 'Mandate' To Reform DWP Goes Beyond Recent Billing Woes
Emily Alpert Reyes @
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said Tuesday that he was bent on writing "a new chapter" for the Department of Water and Power with the help of its new leader Marcie Edwards -a task that goes beyond cleaning up its woebegone billing system, he argued. In the race that led to his election, "Los Angeles voters really gave me a mandate to reform the DWP," Garcetti told a roomful of business leaders and reporters Tuesday. Even his own father -- one-time Dist. Atty. Gil Garcetti -- had complained to him about being on hold with the agency for more than 40 minutes, the mayor said.

Tea Party Under The Bus?
Timm Herdt @
When U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell says of the tea party that the GOP establishment is “going to crush them everywhere,” it’s a pretty strong indication that the dynamic of Republican politics is shifting.

Golden Gate Bridge suicide barrier a go if district kicks in
Phillip Matier and Andrew Ross @
After 40 years of debate, a suicide barrier on the Golden Gate Bridge could finally become a reality - but only if bridge officials pony up $12 million in toll money to help cover the cost.

Groundwater Management Emerges As New Water Debate Issue
Dan Walters @
A legislative committee kicked around California’s water dilemma the other day – not only its current drought but its longer-term demand/supply imbalance.

Californians' Food Assistance Use Doubled During Recession
Dan Walters @
As recession gripped the state a half-decade ago, Californians receiving what used to be called food stamps more than doubled to more than four million, a legislative hearing was told Tuesday, but the state still has, relatively, a very low rate of utilization.

Three Long Beach-Area Democrats To Face Challengers
Three Long Beach area Democratic congressional representatives, all considered to be in safely Democratic seats, will face a challenger during the upcoming election cycle, according to candidacy documents filed with Los Angeles County.

Dea, LAPD Raid Marijuana Dispensaries, Beverly Hills Homes
Joseph Serna and Emily Alpert Reyes @
Drug enforcement agents raided and shut down several marijuana dispensaries Tuesday, the first move in what authorities say is a case they are building against a Los Angeles man.

Feinstein Accuses Cia Of Spying On Senate Panel As Dispute Escalates
Ken Dilanian @
Sen. Dianne Feinstein says the CIA searched computers used by Senate Intelligence Committee staffers investigating the agency.

Four Republicans, One Democrat To Face Off In 73rd Assembly Race - The Orange County Register
Five candidates vying to fill termed-out Assemblywoman Diane Harkey’s seat.

A Mayor's Pension Pushback
Alejandro Lazo @

No Debate, But Kashkari, Donnelly Get Speaking Spots At GOP Convention
David Siders @
Neel Kashkari and Tim Donnelly may not be debating at the California Republican Party's annual convention this weekend, but they will be offered speaking spots, Jim Brulte, the party chairman, said Tuesday.

Solis Friend Testified Before Federal Grand Jury, She Says
Abby Sewell and Paul Pringle @
Rebecca Zapanta, who is prominent in Latino political circles, discussed phone conversations she had with the candidate for supervisor.

Dan Walters Daily
Alexei Koseff @
Many informational hearings are just an opportunity for legislators to promote their re-election campaigns, Dan says.

The Buzz: ‘Old-fashioned’ Kashkari-Donnelly debate not on the GOP agenda
the numbers @
GOP gubernatorial candidate Tim Donnelly has challenged rival Neel Kashkari to an “old-fashioned debate” at this weekend’s California Republican Party convention, an invitation immediately dismissed by Kashkari and party leadership.