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THE NOONER for March 26, 2014

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Good morning. I'm joining the California Grocers Association this morning to talk the 2014 California election. Nooner subscribers can get my presentation here.

Leland Yee got a knock from the po-po this morning and has been subsequently arrested on public corruption charges. The rats in the Capitol tell me the FBI were in his office before most staffers first rubbed their eyes this morning. Yee is expected to appear in court this afternoon after a sweep related to a San Francisco Chinese gang centered on Raymond "Shrimp Boy" Chow, according to the Chron. This appears to be unrelated to the Calderon FBI sting. The Bee sent out a photo with Chow and Gavin Newsom.

Ironically, I am speaking this morning right after Yee's opponent for Secretary of State Alex Padilla at the Califorrnia Grocers Association

If the Chinese are really engaged in public corruption, I would expect they would have won more than the State Controller, one Board of Equalization member, and seven of the 120 state legislators.

Regardless, to be honest, this was the biggest surprise I have seen in 20 years of California politics. This may bring the Democratic supermajority from 28 to a practical 25 with Yee, Calderon, and Wright all busy with "other business."

Meanwhile, nobody plans on voting in June. In other words, my 33% turnout projection may be wildly optimistic.

SD23 (Redlands): No prolonged ballot counting in the vacancy created by Bill Emmerson's resignation:

  • Ameenah Fuller (R): 9.5%
  • Ronald J. O'Donnelly (R): 15.3%
  • Mike Morrell (R): 62.6%
  • Crystal Ruiz (R): 6.1%
  • Jeff Hewitt (L): 6.5%

Jon Fleischman spikes the football:

"Morrell will take the seat formerly occupied by moderate Republican Senator Bill Emmerson. Emmerson was looked to as a Republican who was willing, under the right circumstances, to vote with Democrats on such controversial items as a $2.3 billion car tax extension, and enacting a brand new consumer tax on lumber. Emmerson abruptly left the Senate a couple of months ago, in a surprise move, and now serves in a very lucrative position with the California Hospital Association. Of course the changing up of any one legislator does not rock the institution, let along one from the super-minority party. But to the extent one tracks on such things, replacing Emmerson with Morrell is a decided rightward shift."

Morrell's Assembly seat will be filled in the normal election cycle this year, with a Partisan Index of 51.2 D. One Republican and three Democrats have filed for the race, and while I have it as Leans Republican, this is one of the pick-up opportunities for Democrats.

To our friend Greg Lucas, appointed yesterday by the guv to be State Librarian, here's the list of books you need to have near your desk. And, seriously, here's the back ssiues of our beolved California Journal.

From our friends at the NRCC in the inbox:

  • Igor Birman advances to 'Contender'
  • Elizabeth Emken advances to 'Contenter'
  • Doug Ose advances to 'Contender'

Seriously? A national party campaign committee can ride three very different horses at the same time? That's a very DCCC move. Anyway, have fun with that. 

Congratulations to our Nooner friend Crystal Strait, chief of staff for Richard Pan, on the addition to the family.

CalBuzz offers us ten reasons to celebrate Greg Lucas's appointment as state librarian.

MLB opening day payrolls.

#CAKEDAY: Light the candles for Stacy Berger, Joel Cohen, and Chris Roa. And, #CAKEDAYSPAST, sorry for missing yours yesterday, George Runner!




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  • 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: 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
  • 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
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  • 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.



Assemblyman Morrell Wins Election For Senate Seat
Patrick McGreevy @
Democrat educator/author Ronald J. O’Donnell of Highland finished a distant second Tuesday with 15.3% of the vote, followed by Democrat and government consultant Ameenah Fuller of Rancho Cucamonga, who took 9.5% of the tally. Calimesa City Councilman Jeff Hewitt, a Libertarian, finished fourth, with 6.5% of the vote, and San Jacinto Mayor Pro Tem Crystal Ruiz came in last with 6.1%.

Dianne Feinstein Gives Faint Praise To Obama Surveillance Reform
Carolyn Lochhead @
California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the Democrat who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee, gave a neutral reception to President Obama’s plan to reform the controversial bulk telephone records surveillance by the National Security Agency. She called the Obama plan a “worthy effort” but said she would hold hearings on it and a House bill she contends does much the same thing.

Lawyer-Doctor Punch Out Begins; Beware The Wild Card
Joel Fox @
With the submission of over 800,000 initiative petition signatures yesterday by Consumer Watchdog, it appears that the expensive battle between doctors and lawyers over non-economic compensation in health care cases will be thrown to the people. With rich assets on both sides, expect to hear a whole lot about greedy lawyers and irresponsible doctors.

Film And Television Tax Credit Bill Passes Assembly Committee
Dakota Smith @
Legislation to expand the state’s $100 million annual entertainment tax credit program passed its first hurdle in the state Assembly on Tuesday.

UC Financial Chief Leaving To Head Up Educational Foundation
Larry Gordon @
Peter Taylor, the UC system’s chief financial officer and executive vice president, said Tuesday that he is leaving the university to run a Los Angeles-based education foundation that will focus on helping low- income students succeed in K-12 schools and college.

Pérez Holds Large Fundraising Lead In Controller's Race
Jim Miller @
Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez held a 17-to-1 cash-on-hand advantage over fellow Democrat Betty Yee as of mid-March in the race for state controller, according to the latest campaign filings.

Why Hacks, Flacks Are Cheering Brown's "Librarian"
Not since then-Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown named Jacques Barzaghi director of that city’s Craft and Cultural Affairs Department has Gandalf made an appointment so intriguing as California State Librarian-designate Greg Lucas. “I cracked up when I heard the news,” said one media veteran. “Then I realized April Fool’s isn’t ‘til next week.”

Reports: State Sen. Leland Yee indicted on public corruption charges
Dan Walters @
State Senator Leland Yee has been indicted for public corruption, several news agencies are reporting.

California Water Bond Measure Advances, But Differences Remain
Patrick McGreevy @
SACRAMENTO – A Senate panel Tuesday advanced one of the three competing proposals for water bond measures, but lawmakers acknowledged that more negotiations will be required to reach a consensus on what to put before voters.

Jerry Brown Appoints Former Reporter Greg Lucas As State Librarian
Dan Walters @
Gov. Jerry Brown announced Tuesday that he has appointed Greg Lucas, a former San Francisco Chronicle political reporter who has, most recently, been a political blogger and host of a television interview show, as the state librarian.

Crafting A 2014 Water Bond Will Be Tough Slog
Dan Walters @
Anthony Rendon, a first-term Democrat from Southern California who chairs the Assembly’s water committee, is proud of a water bond issue that he wrote after eight public hearings around the state, calling it “an open and transparent process” in contrast to the backroom deals that had marked previous water bonds. On Monday, his office touted it as “the only current bond proposal that has made it out of its house of origin …” and declared that Tuesday’s hearing in the Senate’s water committee was the “perhaps final” airing before it reached the Senate floor. Fat chance.

Tim Donnelly holds less than $11,000 in race for governor
David Siders @
Republican Tim Donnelly continued to lag behind in fundraising in California's gubernatorial race in the first three months of the year, with less than $11,000 in cash on hand mid-way through March, according to a campaign finance statement filed Monday.

House immigration bill: Democrats try to force a vote
Mercury News wire @
WASHINGTON (AP) -- House Democrats deployed a little-used legislative move Wednesday to force a vote on a comprehensive immigration bill, an effort doomed to fail but designed to increase the election-year pressure on Republicans to act.

Gov. Jerry Brown Grants Terminally Ill Abbot's Burial Wish
Chris Megerian @
SACRAMENTO -- Abbot Archimandrite Theodor Micka was awakened on Tuesday morning by his fellow priests with some good news.

'Neither Political Party Has A Clue'
Timm Herdt @
Douglas Kmiec may be the most interesting and most learned individual ever to run for Congress in Ventura County.

AM Alert: Noreen Evans brings genetically modified food fight back to California
Alexei Koseff @
Proposition 37, which would have required labeling of genetically modified food, was one of California's most expensive ballot fights in the November 2012 election.

Kashkari Unveils Jobs Plan He Says Would 'unleash' The Private Sector
Seema Mehta @
The GOP candidate for governor calls for corporate tax breaks, fracking of some oil deposits and reduced regulations on business.

Foes of transgender rights law revive ballot fight
Associated Press @
Opponents of a new California law that provides transgender students certain rights in public schools are challenging the secretary of state's finding that they failed to gather enough voter signatures for a referendum to repeal the law.

Judge May Order DWP To Turn Over Nonprofits' Records
Jack Dolan @
The two trusts have collected $40 million in ratepayer funds, but union chief Brian D'Arcy is fighting a subpoena demanding files on expenditures.

Mike Morrell elected to California State Senate
Jim Miller @
Assemblyman Mike Morrell won an easy election to the state Senate on Tuesday, filling the unexpired term of former state Sen. Bill Emmerson, R-Redlands.

Legalization of in-law units set for vote by S.F. supervisors
To mollify tenants groups, he agreed that the legalized units would be covered by the city's rent control rules and not be allowed to be sold as condos. To address property owners' concerns, the proposal allows for legalization plans to be "prescreened" by the city's Department of Building Inspection - if the required upgrades are either impossible to make or too expensive, owners will be permitted to drop their effort without penalty. The Planning Commission approved the legislation earlier this month at a meeting surprisingly devoid of controversy, and while a number of people spoke against the measure at Board of Supervisors committee hearing this week, the Land Use Committee voted to send the legislation to the full board for consideration on April 1.

Brown Signs Rare Burial Exemption For Monk - Politics Blog
SB 124 allows Alameda County to issue a burial permit for Micka at the Holy Cross Monastery. Existing state law requires a burial at a cemetery, unless a person is cremated. Failure to do so is a misdemeanor offense. Because the monastery is not a cemetery and seeking that designation would be a timely process, the 75-year-old abbot needed a rare exemption for his burial request.

S.F. firefighter's new battle: proving cancer is job-related
Marisa Lagos @
A law being drafted by Board of Supervisors President David Chiu may change that and put the city in the company of 19 states, including California, that already give firefighters the presumption that disabilities from illnesses such as cancer or heart disease were caused by their work. Such laws allow them to more easily access workers' compensation and early retirement benefits, as well as death benefits for their families.