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THE NOONER for April 3, 2014

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TRANSITION DAY: Toni Atkins will take over as California Assembly speaker in May

UNDIVIDED: A committee has been formed to oppose venture capitalist's Tim Draper's ballot measure to divide California into six states. "This measure deserves to die a quick death," said co-founder Steven Maviglio, President of Sacramento public affairs firm Forza Communications and former Press Secretary to Gov. Gray Davis. "We're calling in the cavalry now to make sure it does."

CA17 (Milpitas): Mystery volunteer at center of House race's Khanna-GOP controversy [Josh Richman @ MercNews]

SD12 (Salinas-Merced): In evidence that Democrats aren't contesting SD12, the California Pipe Trades Council opened its checkbook to Republican Anthony Cannella. I can't find the last time the council contributed to a Republican. BTW, I have moved SD12 back to Likely Republican, despite the overwhelming Democratic advantage.

SD26 (Coastal Los Angeles): The backlash against Betsy Butler's indecision about running for Assembly or Senate continued yesterday with the withdrawal of her SD26 endorsement by Assemblymember Reggie Jones-Sawyer. Supporters of Autumn Burke are angre that Butler filed for California Democratic Party endorsement in both AD62 (where Burke is running) and SD26 even while all signs pointed to her Senate bid. The dual-filing is believed to have denied Burke the party's endorsement. Isadore Hall and Chris Holden previously withdrew their endorsements of Butler.

AD44 (Ventura): Councilwoman maintains fundraising lead in 44th [Anna Bitong @ Thousand Oaks Acorn]

SLUGGED: 20 arrested at UC Santa Cruz as teaching assistants strike [Larry Gordon @ LAT]

CONGRATS: Mark Takano (D) picks up an appointment to the House Education and Workforce Committee. With ranking member George Miller's retirement along with that of member Buck McKeon (R), the Golden State was poised to lose two of its four seats on the 41-member committee. Also on it are Republican Duncan Hunter and Democrat Susan Davis

DEPT OF BROKEN SYNAPSES: Yesterday, I typed AD18 in place of SD10 in the item about the, uh, Senate race.






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Website Allows Tracking Of Prop. 30 Money To Schools
Dan Walters @
Proposition 30, enacted by voters in 2012 to temporarily raise sales taxes and income taxes on the wealthy, was touted by Gov. Jerry Brown and other proponents as an alternative to making billions of dollars in cuts to state school spending due to state budget deficits.

The Buzz: California Controller Candidate Betty Yee: “i’m A Different Yee.”
Betty Yee, a candidate for the Board of Equalization, is concerned that news about the case against Sen. Leland Yee will hurt her campaign. “I’m a different Yee,” she emphasizes.

Is Public Financing The Answer For Crooked Politicians?
John Wildermuth @
Do California taxpayers really want to pay to elect Leland Yee to office? If you read a lot of the commentary about the now-suspended state senator and not-going-to-be secretary of state, you’d think that’s the quick and easy answer to the political scandals roiling the state capital.

Tax Filings Give Hint To Number Of Marijuana Shops In L.A.
Emily Alpert Reyes @
Los Angeles' finance office says 457 pot shops have filed renewals to pay taxes this year, but more than 1,100 medical marijuana collectives are actively registered.

Unions Pouring In Money To Help East Bay Democrat Tim Sbranti
Carla Marinucci @
Teachers unions, service employees and other labor groups are pouring cash — $335,000 to date — into independent expenditure efforts backing Dublin Mayor Tim Sbranti in his primary race for an East Bay Assembly seat against fellow Democrat Steve Glazer, spending statements show.

Bill To Strengthen Ban On Prison Sterilizations Advances » Ventura County Star
Timm Herdt @
A bill by Hannah-Beth Jackson that would prohibit sterilizations for birth control purposes on inmates was approved Wednesday by the California Senate Health Committee.

Some Actions Are Beyond Right And Wrong
George Skelton @
Senate leader Darrell Steinberg wants to bring in ethics experts to speak to legislators. But that won't help those bent on self-destruction.

California controller candidate Betty Yee
Jim Miller @
Board of Equalization member Betty Yee, a candidate for state controller, said she was shocked at the news of last week's arrest of state Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, on corruption and weapons charges.

Gov. Brown Offers Help To Counties Taking More Felons
Patrick McGreevy @
Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday told law enforcement officials from throughout California that he is willing to do more to help them absorb the thousands of felons being sent to county jails rather than prison as part of the realignment program begun in 2011.

Tracking Prop. 30 school money
Ashley McGlone @
Californians can now see where their Proposition 30 education tax dollars are going and how the money is being spent thanks to a new online tool launched by the state Controller's Office Wednesday.

State Sen. Leland Yee Picks New Lawyer In Gun, Corruption Case
Howard Mintz @
Yee on Wednesday signed up San Francisco attorney James Lassart to replace Paul DeMeester, who has represented him since he was charged with gun trafficking and corruption last week. DeMeester told this newspaper that the court would be notified Wednesday of the change in representation.

Dianne Feinstein Recasts California Water Bill
In a move designed to lure Republican support, Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein has introduced a revised California water bill that could move lawmakers closer to meaningful negotiation.

California Adds Another Private Prison
Paige St. John @
California corrections officials have agreed to lease another private prison within the state, telling the GEO Group it will get $9 million a year to house some 260 female inmates at a facility north of Bakersfield.

CalPERS says retiree benefits generate $30 billion in economic activity
Jon Ortiz @
The economic ripple of benefits paid to CalPERS’ retirees and their family members generated tens of billions of dollars in economic activity in fiscal 2011-12, the fund reported Tuesday, while CalPERS’ investments poured billions more into the state.

Are Individual Contribution Limits Next?
Now that the Supreme Court has removed the ceiling for total political giving by an individual, the next thing to fall could be per-candidate donation limits, some legal experts and political observers in Orange County predicted.

Health Enrollment Numbers Lift Democratic Hopes
Democrats are talking up the contrasts between their agenda and the newly released Republican budget plan that would cut health care and education spending and change Medicare.

Epipen Bill Advances, With Testimony From Natalie Giorgi's Mom
David Siders @
A bill to increase the prevalence of emergency epinephrine auto-injectors, or EpiPens, in California schools, would not have helped Natalie Giorgi, who died from an allergic reaction after biting into a Rice Krispies treat at Camp Sacramento last year.

Will campaign-spending decision energize or squelch voters?
David Lightman @
Thanks to Wednesday’s U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning laws on certain donor restrictions, legions of American voters, already angry at a distant, dysfunctional political system, might feel even further alienated from the process. Or they’ll have new opportunities to make it better.

Senate Democrats keep cash, replace Pro Tem Cup with personal calls to third house
John Hrabe @
Senate Democrats, who canceled a luxurious annual fundraising event, are keeping the campaign cash and have promised to personally call each of the event sponsors.

The Buzz: California controller candidate Betty Yee: “I’m a different Yee.”
Board of Equalization member Betty Yee, a candidate for state controller, said she was shocked at last week’s arrest of state Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, on corruption and weapons charges.

Sweetwater-inspired reform bill advances
Legislation authored by San Diego Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, and inspired by revelations of a “pay-to-play” culture among contractors and South Bay public officials at Southwestern College, the Sweetwater Union High School District and the San Ysidro School District will go on to the Assembly Judiciary Committee.

Berkeley Protesters Fume Over Supreme Court Decision On Campaign Financing
Judith Scherr For the Oakland Tribune @
"It's so outrageous what they did," fumed longtime Berkeley resident Marty Schiffenbauer. "It's so blatant that the country has become a plutocracy where rich people will be able to pass rules and tax breaks."

CA17: Honda Outraises Khanna For The First Time
Josh Richman @
Rep. Mike Honda outraised Democratic challenger Ro Khanna in 2014’s first three months – the first quarter in which he has done so since Khanna entered the race a year ago.