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THE NOONER for March 24, 2014

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DEADLINE: Midnight tonight is the deadline for the first pre-election filing for state candidates. Reports are due covering January 1-March 17. 

Also today, it is the deadline for signatures on the MICRA/physician drug testing initiative, and proponents have scheduled a 10:30am presser to submit the signatures in Los Angeles. If it qualifies, the measure could easily be a $100 million battle on the November ballot.

SD23 (Redlands): The election to fill the State Senate left vacant by Bill Emmerson's retirement is tomorrow. The favorite in this Republican-leaning district is Mike Morell, who is the only candidate to raise money for the bid. If Morell is receives more than 50% tomorrow, he will be elected and vacate AD40 upon being sworn in. The special election to fill his Assembly vacancy would likely be June 3/August 5 (because the vacancy is not within 180 days of the normal general), although there would also be a regular June 3/November 4 election, and that campaign is well underway.

If no candidate receives 50%+1, the runoff is scheduled for June 3, 2014, and there would be no special election for the Assembly seat, which would be filled on the normal June 3/November 4 cycle.

THE UNOPPOSED: The following 21 candidates were unopposed as of Friday's notice to candidates issues by the Secretary of State. Of course, I as I wrote last Monday, it is much easier to qualify as a write-in against an unopposed candidate under the top two primary. 

  • AD05 (Foothills | ATC Partisan Index: 57.5 R) - Frank Bigelow (R)
  • AD14 (Concord | ATC Partisan Index: 68.4 D) - Susan Bonilla (D)
  • AD21 (Merced | ATC Partisan Index: 53.5 D) - Adam Gray (D)
  • AD23 (Fresno | ATC Partisan Index: 58.5 R) - Jim Patterson (R)
  • AD31 (W. Fresno | ATC Partisan Index: 60.1 D) - Henry Perea (D)
  • AD41 (Pasadena | ATC Partisan Index: 57.8 D) - Chris Holden (D)
  • AD51 (East LA | ATC Partisan Index: 83.8 D) - Jimmy Gomez (D)
  • AD58 (Downey | ATC Partisan Index: 69.3 D) - Cristina Garcia (D)
  • AD59 (South LA | ATC Partisan Index: 92.6 D) - Reggie Jones-Sawyer (D)
  • AD60 (Corona | ATC Partisan Index: 52.1 R) - Eric Linder (R)
  • AD67 (Murrieta | ATC Partisan Index: 61.8 R) - Melissa Melendez (R)
  • AD75 (Escondido | ATC Partisan Index: 64.0 R) - Marie Waldron (R)
  • AD76 (Carlsbad | ATC Partisan Index: 55.2 R) - Rocky J. Chavez (R)
  • AD79 (East SD | ATC Partisan Index: 58.5 D) - Shirley N. Weber (D)
  • AD80 (South SD | ATC Partisan Index: 67.2 D) - Lorena N. Gonzalez (D)
  • BOE3 (LA/Ventura | ATC Partisan Index: 60.3 D) - Jerome N. Horton (D)
  • CD23 (Kern | ATC Partisan Index: 62.6 R) - Kevin N. McCarthy (R)
  • CD44 (Carson | ATC Partisan Index: 83.7 D) - Janice N. Hahn (D)
  • SD16 (Kern | ATC Partisan Index: 63.0 R) - Jean N. Fuller (R)
  • SD22 (San Gabriel Valley | ATC Partisan Index: 66.2 D) - Ed N. Hernandez (D)
  • SD36 (Carlsbad | ATC Partisan Index: 60.8 R) - Patricia "Pat" Bates (R)

THE CROWDED: The following offices have 6 or more candidates.

  • CD33 (LA Coast | ATC Partisan Index: 59.6 D) - Candidates: 17
  • GOV (Statewide | ATC Partisan Index: 58.8 D) - Candidates: 15
  • AD33 (SB High Desert | ATC Partisan Index: 57.4 R) - Candidates: 10
  • CD24 (Santa Barbara | ATC Partisan Index: 52.1 D) - Candidates: 9
  • AD15 (Berkeley | ATC Partisan Index: 88.7 D) - Candidates: 8
  • AD62 (Inglewood | ATC Partisan Index: 79.7 D) - Candidates: 8
  • CD12 (San Francisco | ATC Partisan Index: 84.8 D) - Candidates: 8
  • CD25 (S. Clarita/Palmdale | ATC Partisan Index: 54.6 R) - Candidates: 8
  • CD53 (La Mesa | ATC Partisan Index: 58.9 D) - Candidates: 8
  • LG (Statewide | ATC Partisan Index: 58.8 D) - Candidates: 8
  • SD26 (Coast LA | ATC Partisan Index: 64.1 D) - Candidates: 8
  • SOS (Statewide | ATC Partisan Index: 58.8 D) - Candidates: 8
  • AD26 (Tulare | ATC Partisan Index: 59.2 R) - Candidates: 7
  • AG (Statewide | ATC Partisan Index: 58.8 D) - Candidates: 7
  • CD31 (San Bernardino | ATC Partisan Index: 54.9 D) - Candidates: 7
  • BOE4 (SoCal | ATC Partisan Index: 57.3 R) - Candidates: 6
  • CD07 (E. Sac Co | ATC Partisan Index: 52.1 D) - Candidates: 6
  • CD11 (Contra Costa | ATC Partisan Index: 66.1 D) - Candidates: 6
  • CD16 (Merced | ATC Partisan Index: 57.2 D) - Candidates: 6
  • CON (Statewide | ATC Partisan Index: 58.8 D) - Candidates: 6
  • SD28 (Coachella Valley | ATC Partisan Index: 56.9 R) - Candidates: 6

Here is a full list. Richard Winger notes that it "appears that California's switch from a semi-closed primary to a top-two primary has caused a 14% drop in the number of candidates who filed to be on the ballot."

GOV: Gov. Brown reinvents himself as the anti-politician politician [Anthony York and Mark Z. Barabak]

THE LBC: The Press-Telegram offers a dual endorsement to Robert Garcia and Doug Otto in the April 8 primary mayoral election. 

CD17 (Milpitas): There was a big kerfuffle when physician Vanila Singh jumped into the Mike Honda v. Ro Khanna smackdown in the district stretching from Fremont to Santa Clara. The previously unknown candidate faced alternative allegations of being a front for either Honda or Hindu nationalist Shalabh Kumar. Anyway, her entry appeared to shift the focus of Honda/Khanna from November to June, as it looked like only one would emerge in the top two.

However, we now have two more Republicans in the race, including another Indo-American, and we may again see a Honda/Khanna face-off twice this year. And, there are as many questions about one of those candidates--Vinesh Singh Rathore--and why he got in the race. Rathore, an attorney at Google, was last registered as Decline to State, and PDI records suggest that he didn't vote in 2012. Also in the race is Republican Joel VanLandingham, who is a recruiter for Sony. Anyway, Rathore's entry could be very good for Ro Khanna to the extent Vanila Singh was going to consolidate Indian GOP and independent voters.

I would expect around 32% of the vote to go to the Republicans, leaving Honda and Khanna to battle it out for 68%. If there is a Republican split at all among the three, the two Democrats will likely be in the top two.

SD26 (Coastal Los Angeles): With the on-again, off-again candidacy Friday of lone Republican Beverly Hills Mayor John Mirisch, it's time to reassess the strategy. Mirisch did not qualify, with 12 of his 49 signatures not found valid. With that, we have 7 Dems and one NPP.

AD64 (Carson): The Mike Gipson campaign is out with this poll [n=400 likely voters; March 12-17, 2014; +-1 4.9%]:

  • Mike Gipson: 29%
  • Steve Neal: 9%
  • Prophet Walker: 8%
  • Others: 12%

BEST CANDIDACY RATIONALE: Jeffrey Gerlach in CD04: "Godzilla WILL Attack America - We need leaders who are not afraid of monsters!"- 

SPOILER: If you haven't watched last night's The Good Wife, then don't read this letter. If you did, the producers have words of consolation for you.

#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Paul Krekorian!

 

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**CLASSIFIEDS**

  • 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 April 15-16. $250 each. Essential for principals / support staff at lobbying firms, organizations that employ lobbyists, public agencies. Complete info / registration: www.capitolseminars.net or 916 442 5009.
  • Jay Hansen for School Board is hosting a "Sacramento LGBT Coming Out Party" on Wednesday, March 26 from 5:30-7:30pm at the home of Michael Mendez and Richard Stapler. Co-hosts include John A. Pérez, Toni Atkins, Christopher Cabaldon and many more. More information.
  • Will the Monterey Shale be an Energy and Economic Boon for California? Next Generation, Post Carbon Institute, and Physicians, Scientists and Engineers for Healthy Energy invite you to attend a panel discussion on the energy and economic potential of developing California’s Monterey Shale formation. Tom Steyer will kick off the presentation and engage panelists Dr. David Hughes and Robert Collier in discussion. The event will take place in the Quorum Room at the Citizen Hotel on Thursday, March 27th from 2-3:15pm. There is no cost to attend, but space is limited. To RSVP, or for more information, contact James Barba at james.barba@thenextgeneration.org.
  • Join Emerge California's 2nd Annual Capitol Reception on Tuesday, April 8 from 6:30-8:30pm at Mix Downtown (corner of L and 15th). To purchase tickets or to become a host, contact Nazneen Rydhan at 510-986-0455 or naz@emergeca.org.
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TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
California’s State Payroll Holds Steady Despite Deep Job Cuts At Key Departments
Jon Ortiz @
sacbee.com
Gov. Jerry Brown, flanked by Assembly Speaker John Perez, D-Los Angeles, right, law enforcement representatives, local officials, and victims rights advocates discusses prison realignment at the Capitol in August. The realignment lead to a sharp fall in the staff and payroll at the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

'Dark' Campaign Money Needs A Little Light
George Skelton @
latimes.com
It's time politicians are honest with voters about who is funding campaigns. After the November election would be too late.

Assembly Hikes Pay For Many Employees, Including Highest-paid
Jim Miller @
sacbee.com
As the California economy continued its recovery and state revenue grew last year, the Assembly awarded about $1.2 million in raises to a quarter of its full-time employees, including some of its highest-paid staffers, salary records show.

Dan Walters Daily
Alexei Koseff @
blogs.sacbee.com
Billions in unfunded liabilities for teacher retirement grow every day, but California lawmakers just keep putting off the problem, Dan says.

CalSTRS Rate Hike: A Start, Full Phase-in Or Delay?
Ed Mendel @
calpensions.com
The total spending increase needed to get CalSTRS, brought low by mismanagement, back to full funding may be the biggest-dollar scenarios ever presented to a California legislative committee.

AM Alert
Alexei Koseff @
blogs.sacbee.com
Ever since Gov. Jerry Brown signed the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act during his first term in 1975, there have been efforts at the Capitol to overturn the law's $250,000 limit on medical malpractice awards for pain and suffering.

Legislature Shifts Election Year Session Into Higher Gear
Dan Walters @
sacbee.com
The Capitol shifts into a higher, and perhaps more relevant, gear this week as the first of hundreds of bills introduced this year get initial committee airings.

CSU Trustees To Hear From Napolitano, New UC President
Josh Dulaney @
dailynews.com
Leaders of the state’s three higher education systems will give a joint presentation before the Cal State University Board of Trustees on Wednesday.

Contract agreement blocks planned strike at UC hospitals
sfgate.com
(03-23) 15:48 PDT Oakland -- A planned, five-day strike this week at University of California hospitals was averted Sunday after school officials and the union representing patient care technical workers reached a tentative agreement. The proposed four-year contract covers 13,000 workers and could end months of tension between the university system and the union, which represents nursing aides, certified nursing assistants, magnetic resonance imaging technologists and other employees. The new agreement adopts the same funding formula hammered out last year between the UC hospitals and the California Nurses Association, increasing the amount that employees contribute to their pension plans.

UC Hospital Strike Averted By Tentative Contract Agreement
Larry Gordon @
latimes.com
A strike planned this week by 13,000 UC hospital technical workers was averted by a tentative four-year contract agreement.

One Superintendent's Spending Priority Under Local Control: Social Workers
John Fensterwald @
edsource.org
One of the first school districts to finish a draft of the spending and accountability plan required by the state’s new school funding law is proposing to hire social workers to deal with the effects of troubled home lives, cyberbullying and other social and emotional issues hobbling students’ ability to concentrate and learn.

The Roundup: California government pay; unions target Chris Christie; Iowa pays workers to stay quiet
Jon Ortiz @
sacbee.com
Assembly hikes pay for many employees, including highest-paid - Sacramento Bee

Obamacare: Asian-americans Sign Up In Droves; Latinos Disproportionately Stay Away
Tracy Seipel @
mercurynews.com
Now comes the insurance gap, and in California it's playing out most notably in the number of Latinos and Asian-Americans signing up for private health plans under the new health care law.

How tech became the enemy - then and now
Ellen Huet @
sfgate.com
The flyer tucked on the windshield of a tech worker's car on South Van Ness didn't mince words: The Mission has been colonized by pigs with money.

California to send voter forms to Obamacare enrollees
Associated Press @
mercurynews.com
The state of California has agreed to mail voter registration cards to nearly 4 million people who have signed up for insurance through its health care exchange after a threat of a lawsuit, the American Civil Liberties Union said Monday.

Roseville Declares Mandatory Water Cutbacks, But Measures Lack Teeth
Richard Chang @
sacbee.com
Sprinklers quench a thirsty front lawn. Be sure you follow the rules, watering only on designated days and before 11 a.m. or after 7 p.m.

Calif. to send voter forms to insurance enrollees
utsandiego.com
California has agreed to mail voter registration cards to nearly 4 million people who signed up for insurance through the state's health care exchange.

Fukushima Radiation Near Half Moon Bay? State Health Officials Offer Final Verdict
Aaron Kinney @
mercurynews.com
Several months after a viral video suggested the beach contained radioactive material from the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, the California Department of Public Health has issued a final report confirming what its own preliminary analysis and independent studies had shown: radiation at the beach stems from naturally occurring elements in the sand, and it does not pose a threat to human health.

California Drought: Central Valley Farmland On Its Last Legs
Carolyn Said @
sfgate.com
Even before the drought, the southern San Joaquin Valley was in big trouble. Decades of irrigation have leached salts and toxic minerals from the soil that have nowhere to go, threatening crops and wildlife. Aquifers are being drained at an alarming pace. More than 95 percent of the area's native habitat has been destroyed by cultivation or urban expansion, leaving more endangered bird, mammal and other species in the southern San Joaquin than anywhere in the continental U.S.

Brown amasses nearly $20M for re-election bid
utsandiego.com
Gov. Jerry Brown is reporting that he has raised nearly $20 million for his re-election campaign, nearly eight months before the November election.

7 Candidates Vie For Congressional Seat Made Empty By McKeon's Retirement
Rick Orlov @
dailynews.com
When Rep. Buck McKeon, R-Santa Clarita, ended the months of speculation about his future and announced his retirement this year, there was no shortage of candidates wanting to succeed him in the June 3 primary election.