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THE NOONER for March 19, 2014
Meanwhile, I pay $169.02 per month to Comcast and don't appear to get TRU. WTF?
Leading up to last weekend's California Republican Party convention, there was some suspense as to whether the party would make room for its gubernatorial candidates to speak on stage in Burlingame. The conventional wisdom echoed by the media was that party chairman Jim Brulte wanted to keep the focus on the down-ballot rebuilding that is his priority, and avoid too much media attention on each word spoken by Tim Donnelly. In the end, Brulte said that the candidates had not asked to speak previously, and he then created space on Sunday for four candidates to speak. The four who spoke were Donnelly, Neel Kashkari, Laguna Hills mayor Andrew Blount, and Glenn Champ.
The speeches went off and a few reporters made it out of bed following Saturday night's festivities to cover a whole lot of nothing. Sure, a bit of red meat for the activists, but nothing that would distract from a successful weekend about rebuilding. (Sure, the Tea Party folks were unhappy their resolutions weren't considered, and "fractivists" interrupted Jerry Brown's speech the weekend before in Los Angeles.
John Hrabe touts the "whole new level of inclusiveness" in a piece on CalWatchdog. Although, the biggest degree in inclusiveness has been left unstated.
Did party leaders and the other candidates know that on stage was a registered sex offender--who has also been convicted of manslaugter?
Glenn Champ is a colorful contractor who lives in Tollhouse, in rural Fresno County. Before voting in November 2012, his last vote was cast in November 1996 and for good reason--he spent ten years in prison and then was on parole.
He used his time in prison to increase his devotion to his Christianity. Champ declared at Sunday's convention and on his website that he is part of a "new breed of Christian soldier." Taking it a little further, his website declares that he is "of all American Christian heritage."
According to an interview on Fresno's KMJ, Champ's brushes with the law stem to a 1993 conviction for assult with the intent to commit rape, with the original arrest record alleging involvement of a child under 14. In 1998, he was convicted for loitering for the purpose of prostitution and voluntary manslaughter. KMJ reports "Court papers relating to the latter say Champ hit and killed a man with his truck."
In the interview, Champ doesn't challenge the under-age allegation, asking his interviewers whether people normally check IDs before hiring a prostitute. On the manslaughter conviction, he says that a drunk man charged his vehicle.relating to the latter say Champ hit and killed a man with his truck."
Champ has now served his time and completed his parole, and he is now eligible again to vote and, well, run for governor. However, he will be a registered offender in California's Megan's Law database for the rest of his life because of the underage prostitution conviction.
While I am fairly libertarian, let me be clear that underage prostitution and the associated human trafficking is a huge problem. That said, Champ has served his time and legally done what it takes to reenter society. I'd rather have him running for governor than returning to his old hard-living ways.
However, how can Champ honestly stand on stage with political leaders who have had a "burn 'em at the stake" attitude toward sex offenders? This isn't a partisan issue, as only the most politically secure and civil libertarian politicians are willing to even engage in a thoughtful conversation about punishment and rehabilitation.
In 2006, 70.5% of California's voters cast ballots in favor of Proposition 83, which required sex offenders to wear GPS units and increased residency restrictions, prohibiting sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of a school or park, eliminating the ability to live in many urban areas. Donnelly introduced a bill this session to increase the enforcement of residency restrictions.
While many Republican attendees at Sunday's confab might be uncomfortable that they listened to a registered sex offender, I welcome Champ to the race. I disagree with his platform and self-description, which tinges on shades of racism, but if he forces a conversation whether rehabilitation is at all possible, I'm all for it.
A free piece of advice for Champ, though. Take down that picture on your website of you holding a gun. It appears to be recent and from what I can tell from the law and your circumstances, you're not allowed to possess one, at least until Governor Donnelly restores that right.
REPS HOPE: State GOP has $13.6-million plan to block Democratic supermajorities [Patrick McGreevy @ LAT] - "The strategic plan, a copy of which was obtained by The Times, calls for "surpassing historical leadership fundraising" for a party that raised just under $10 million in the 2012 election year. "It's an aggressive goal but we think we can reach it," said Senate Republican leader Robert Huff of Diamond Bar, who co-authored the 18-page plan with Assembly Republican leader Connie Conway of Tulare."
DEMS WORRY: Democrats Face Turnout Problem, Dissatisfaction In Ranks Leading To Midterms [Dan Balz @ WaPo]
CA33 (Coastal Los Angeles): Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica) gave his nod to Wendy Greuel, helping her pedigree in the northern half of the district.
SD26 (Coastal Los Angeles): Manhattan Beach mayor Amy Howorth adds a second $100,000 to her campaign in the crowded race to succeed Ted Lieu. The contribution was made on Monday, which was the deadline for the first pre-election filing report. Fellow candidate Santa Monica school board member Ben Allen is in our inbox this morning claiming that his filing will show $225,000 cash on hand.
HUGFEST: Tonight, SD18 candidate Robert Hertzberg is hosting a funder at Pizza Rock, with the promise that the "First 100 people get FREE HUGS!!!!" Of course, to get that hug and some pizza, it'll cost you $1,000.
PLUG: Last summer, I attended Georgetown University's Nonprofit Management Executive Certificate program. It was a great week-long experience, and I would highly recommend it to those in the nonprofit sector (from do-gooders to trade associations to wannabe non-profiteers). They are hosting an open house about the program next Wednesday, March 26 from 5:30-7:30pm at Georgetown. Here is more information on the program, and you can RSVP for the Open House here.
$$$: California: You’re Doing Alright After All [Jordan Levine @ Beacon Economics]
SUPER SAVER: Senator Mimi Walters Proposes $2 Billion Emergency Funding to Teacher Retirement Program [Senate GOP]
WATER WOES: Drought May Lead to Declining School Attendance [Katie Orr @ Capital Public Radio]
SOFA LIBRARY: Finally, the Class of 2014 is well on their way to earn the Nooner Sofa Degree. Thanks to @carsoneades for the picture! Yesterday, I dropped a "Nudge" and "Why David Sometimes Wins"--both great books--for a few more California-centric books:
#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Mike Bonin, Peter DeMarco, Adrin Nazarian and four waters.
TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
Consultants' Prop. 8 support rattles Peralta district
Phillip Matier and Andrew Ross @ sfgate.com
A big-bucks plan to inspire employees of an East Bay community college district with management practices gleaned from "The Wizard of Oz" has hit a rainbow roadblock.
The Gluttonous Sen. Calderon
Timm Herdt @ vcstar.com
At an entertainment event in Southern California last year, a few legislators attended as invited guests and were seated in a VIP suite that included food and wine. Among them was Sen. Ron Calderon, who complained that the accommodations werenât VIP enough. He insisted that he be provided with hard liquor. That story, told to me by a person involved in the event who asked not to be named, helps illustrate how Calderon came to be in the fix heâs in today, under federal indictment on 24 felony counts. The specific crimes alleged are fraud and accepting bribes, but the root of his predicament can be summed up in a single word: gluttony.
Judge says waterfront measure may proceed to ballot
A trio of individuals, some with ties to developers, sued in February to get Proposition B removed from the ballot, saying the initiative intrudes on the state's jurisdiction over the shoreline and the Port Commission's authority to manage the waterfront. B opponents who filed the lawsuit and the executive director of the Housing Action Coalition, a pro-growth advocacy group whose funders include real estate interests. In court filings, the named opponents - Colen, building trades official Michael Theriault, and Mission Bay neighborhood activist Corinne Woods - had argued that the measure seeks to regulate "state lands that are held in trust for all the people of the state, not just San Franciscans" and the state had "expressly prohibited those lands from being subject to local initiatives." B's supporters contend that's a "smokescreen," pointing to 18 different ballot measures impacting port management that San Francisco voters have decided since the state turned over management of bayfront property to the port under the Burton Act in 1968.
Senator Mimi Walters Proposes $2 Billion Emergency Funding to Teacher Retirement Program
State Senator Mimi Walters (R-Irvine) said today that the California State Teachersâ Retirement System (CalSTRS) falls behind $22 million per day, and California must act now before the shortfall becomes even more catastrophic. In response to the shortfall, Senator Walters proposed SB 984, new legislation appropriating up to $2 billion in emergency funding over the next two years, and concurring with the Governorâs 2014-15 Budget proposal in forming a working group to look at long-term solutions. The announcement came just before a joint informational hearing by the Assembly and Senate Public Employees and Retirement (PE&R) Committees. Senator Walters is the Vice-Chair of the Senate PE&R Committee.
Judge rejects effort to kill high-rise measure Prop. B
John Cote @ sfgate.com
San Francisco voters are in line to decide in June whether they should have the power to approve high-rise buildings along the waterfront after a judge Wednesday rejected an effort to strike the measure from the ballot.
Vidak, Senate GOP Colleagues Don't Like Urgency Push In Campaign Finance Bill
How much money do people make in the education field in the Valley? Consult our database.
L.A. Should Hike Sales Tax To Pay For Street Repairs, Report Says
David Zahniser and Emily Alpert Reyes @ latimes.com
L.A.'s elected officials should put a half-cent sales tax hike on the November ballot to pay for repairs of the worst streets and sidewalks, two top policy analysts said Tuesday.
Campaign Fund Bill Killed, But Who Did It And Why?
Dan Walters @ sacbee.com
However it met its demise, SB 27 has been, in a sense, a Democratic win-win-win. If it was enacted, it might scare off out-of-state donors on ballot measures â such as one to overhaul public employee pensions. If it died, not only could Democrats blame Republicans for its death, as they are doing now, but the loopholes would remain and they could raise the bogeymen of secret campaign contributions in future campaigns. When political rules are being âreformed,â nothing is ever as straightforward as it seems.
Auto Clubs Back Bill To Give Car Owners Control Of Their Onboard Data
Marc Lifsher @ latimes.com
California's two giant automobile clubs on Tuesday unveiled legislation that they said would give car owners control over a wide range data streaming from their vehicles.
Legislative Republicans Send Letter to Sen. Steinberg, Say Changing MICRA Cap Would Trigger More Junk Lawsuits, Hurt State's Economy, Threaten Access to Affordable Health Care
The text of the letter is below:
State GOP Has $13.6-million Plan To Block Democratic Supermajorities
Patrick McGreevy @ latimes.com
California Republican leaders have a plan for depriving the Democrats of supermajorities in both houses of the state Legislature and rebuilding the party in this year’s elections, but it will take raising up to $13.6 million, which GOP officials admitted Tuesday is a very tall order.
The Roundup: Highest-paid local-agency workers in Sacramento region; NM battle over union dues collection
Jon Ortiz @ sacbee.com
Governor wants NM to stop collecting union dues - sacbee.com
Jerry Brown's New Push For High-speed Rail
David Siders @ blogs.sacbee.com
Gov. Jerry Brown has a new argument for high-speed rail: Get senior citizens off the road.
Legislators Don't Question Calif. Utilities Chief On Scathing Audits
There's only one annual hearing where the state Senate reviews the overall performance of the California Public Utilities Commission, but it was too much of a time commitment for the agency's top man, Michael Peevey.
LaMalfa, Garamendi introduce Sites Reservoir bill
Jeremy B. White @ blogs.sacbee.com
In a rare moment of unity for two ideological antagonists, Rep. John Garamendi, D-Walnut Grove and Rep. Doug LaMalfa, R-Richvale, on Wednesday unveiled legislation to build a new large-scale reservoir in Northern California.
California Chief Justice Warns Of Civil Rights Crisis From Court Cuts
Maura Dolan @ latimes.com
Recent court budget cuts have left many Californians with little access to justice, Tani Cantil-Sakauye tells Legislature.
AltSchool Gets $33 Million In Venture Capital
Jill Tucker @ sfgate.com
The business plan was relatively simple: Build a new kind of school that offers technology-fueled, personalized learning and automated administrative services that keep costs low. Then build a lot of those and make money, eventually a lot of money.
Democrats Face Turnout Problem, Dissatisfaction In Ranks Leading To Midterms
Dan Balz @ washingtonpost.com
If President Obamaâs 2012 campaign was known for anything, it was its voter mobilization operation, said to be the most sophisticated ever assembled in a presidential campaign. Which makes David Plouffeâs comments over the weekend all the more telling for Democrats as they look nervously toward the November midterm elections.
Lawmakers Call For More Computer Science In California Schools
Lillian Mongeau @ edsource.org
Half a dozen bills before the state Legislature address the growing concern that California students donât have the computer science skills necessary to thrive in the modern workforce.
Affirmative Action Blows Up :: Fox&hounds
Please note, statements and opinions expressed on the Fox&Hounds Blog are solely those of their respective authors and may not represent the views of Fox&Hounds Daily or its employees thereof. Fox&Hounds Daily is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the site's bloggers.
San Jose: Accountant sentenced to prison for tax evasion, fraud
Eric Kurhi @ mercurynews.com
A certified public accountant from San Jose was sentenced to 41 months in prison and ordered to pay nearly $182,000 in restitution for filing false tax returns or not filing tax returns at all for several years, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
National Briefing | Midwest: Wisconsin: Assembly Passes Governorâ
s $504 million tax-cut plan by a vote of 61 to 35.
California Quake Warning System Works, But It Needs Funding - Sfgate
In a glimpse at a potentially safer future, an earthquake early-warning system gave seismologists a heads-up in the seconds before a magnitude 4.4 temblor shook the Los Angeles area Monday morning. The goal is for such an alert to reach people like schoolteachers and train operators, giving them precious seconds to order a duck-and-cover or hit the brakes. The bill stipulated that the money could not come from the state's general fund while asking the Governor's Office of Emergency Services to find a source for the funding by Jan. 1, 2016. A few seconds, for example, could be enough for schoolchildren to follow commands to take cover under desks, for fire crews to begin to roll out their trucks, for trains to slow or even stop, and for utilities to power down safely. BART has made use of the state's prototype early-warning system since 2012, with warning stations directly connected to BART control centers, said Alicia Trost, a spokeswoman for the transit agency. Japan's early-warning system provided information to residents about the devastating Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in March 2011, which killed more than 15,000 people. Earthquake warnings there were broadcast on radio and television, and more than 52 million people received them on their smartphones, according to California officials.