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THE NOONER for April 4, 2014

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"Like anybody, I would like to live - a long life; longevity has its place. But I'm not concerned about that now. I just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over. And I've seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land. So I'm happy, tonight. I'm not worried about anything. I'm not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord." [YouTube]

BLAME HAL: An attentive reader objected to the picture yesterday next to the story about Betty Yee, and whether Leland's troubles would affect her Controller bid. More on that later, but the picture issue had to do with the algorithm that selects pictures. Because Leland's first name is a bit longer, the 'puter found his picture a better match with the story than Betty's. I'll think about ways to improve that as I sit on my VX bird for the next five hours.

The NYT's Noritmitsu Onishi writes today on the possible impact of the Leland Yee and other cases on this year's elections. Of course, seven months out from the general means that we have no ability to project the impact. On whether Betty Yee is disadvantaged because of her last name, one could equally argue that John A. Pérez will be impacted, as he is currently a Democratic leader in the Legislature (albeit from the "other" house). 

Will "Retired Lawmaker Assemblymember" Charles Calderon be disadvantaged by his brothers' adverse publicity against "Child Molestation Prosecutor" Carol Rose in the race for L.A. Superior's 48th judicial seat? 

Can Janet Nguyen hang Senate Democrats around the neck of Jose Solorio? That's a challenge, particularly when there have been questions of business at the county seat. 

At the end of the day, pundits might attribute wins and losses to these cases, but it will be impossible for anyone to point to a causality. All of the races in question were as much in question last Monday as they are today. This will not be 1974 with a class of Watergate Babies. 

THE COUNT: The measure to raise medical malpractice caps, require drug testing for physicians, and create a drug database had its first reported random sample count yesterday. Not all counties have reported their raw count, so we don't yet know the validity rate required, but it is expected to easily qualify, leading to the biggest battle on the November ballot.

NOT WHAT THE DOCTOR ORDERED: As I was driving from Davis to SFO this morning, I listened to today's Slate Political Gabfest. Of course, John Dickerson's cocktail chatter was about a study of why air transportation is one big petri dish. Thanks, John.

TUNE IN LATER: Today is the last day on the boob tube for John Myers, who will reappear in our ears and other "multiplatform" sensory inputs in late April as part of KQED's enhanced Capitol presence.  

#CAKEDAY: Light those candles for Lacy Bauer, Bryan DeBlonk, David Graham-Caso (Saturday), Mark Smith (Saturday), Fielding Greaves (Sunday), Gus Khouri, and Katherine Maestas (Sunday)!





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Jerry Brown Signs Bill Expanding Reach Of FPPC
David Siders @
Gov. Jerry Brown has signed legislation expanding the power of the Fair Political Practices Commission to investigate or seek injunctions in campaign finance cases, his office announced Thursday.

Gov. Brown Signs Bill To Increase Ethics, Tax Agencies' Audit Power
Melanie Mason @
SACRAMENTO -- California's ethics and tax agencies now have more power to conduct campaign finance investigations under a law signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday.

CalSTRS Says Pension Funding Gap Has Grown To $73.7 Billion
Dale Kasler @
An angler checks his pole at the Sacramento River, running high near the CalSTRS building in West Sacramento.

San Jose Mayor Pledges To Push Pension Reform Effort On 2016 Ballot
Jessica Calefati @
"We have not stopped working on this. We will not give up," Reed told a gathering during a speech to the Sacramento Press Club.

Federal indictment issued against Leland Yee and others
A federal grand jury has indicted state Sen. Leland Yee and 28 other defendants on charges of political corruption and arranging illicit transactions with undercover agents, adding an eighth felony count against Yee - conspiracy to defraud the public by accepting bribes. According to an FBI affidavit, the charges stems from a five-year investigation that initially targeted Chinatown gang leader Raymond "Shrimp Boy" Chow and spread to his associates, including Keith Jackson, a former San Francisco school board president who worked as a consultant to Yee. The alleged favors include writing a letter and making a phone call in support of Well Tech, a fictitious software company seeking state contracts; arranging meetings with two state senators for an undercover agent posing as a medical marijuana supplier who sought legislation to help his company; and a March 2013 Senate resolution honoring Chee Kung Tong, a Chinese-American association headed by Chow.

Yee Campaign Committees Paid For Manila Travel
Jim Miller @
Suspended state Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, leaves the San Francisco Federal Building on March 26, 2014, in San Francisco. The FBI has filed a 137-page affidavit outlining a detailed corruption case against Yee, who is accused of asking for campaign donations in exchange for introducing an undercover agent to an arms trafficker.

No Leland Yee gun control bill has ever been signed into law
Here's a surprising fact: State Senator Leland Yee has never successfully authored a gun control law. Not a single gun bill authored by Yee has been signed into law.

Silicon Valley Patent Office Delayed Until Mid-2015; San Jose Taxpayer Costs Soar
Mike Rosenberg @
In November, politicians from virtually every branch of government, university leaders and business groups cheered the U.S. government's selection of San Jose City Hall to house the region's first permanent satellite patent and trademark office. Following a four-year push to land the hub, they predicted an economic surge for San Jose and a leg up for Silicon Valley inventors.

San Jose mayor vows his pension measure will resurface in 2016
Jon Ortiz @
Vowing to revive his campaign to overhaul California’s public-pension laws, San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed predicted Thursday that the courts will eventually give him the language he wants and that a ballot measure will go to voters in two years.

Pension-reformer says he plans initiative in 2016
JULIET WILLIAMS Associated Press @
San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed says he's not giving up on a proposed ballot initiative that would give local governments more leeway to cut public employees' pension plans, despite losing a court challenge this year.

Leland Yee Consultant Keith Jackson Released
Laurel Rosenhall @
Keith Jackson, a consultant to suspended state Sen. Leland Yee who is accused of corruption and conspiring with him to pull off an international weapons deal, was released from jail Thursday evening.

Assembly Slaps HOAs On Water
Michael Gardner @
San Diego Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez’s legislation to grant residents of common-interest developments the unbridled right to plant drought resistant landscaping is on its way to the state Senate.

Affirmative Action Controversy Costs Sen. Ted Lieu Six Endorsements
Jean Merl @
In a March 25 letter mailed to Lieu's congressional campaign office, the legislators asked their colleague to "remove our names from your list of endorsements for Congress."

Anti-Outsourcing Resolution Passes California Assembly
Jeremy B. White @
On a party-line vote, the Assembly on Thursday affirmed a union-backed resolution urging lawmakers to resist contracting out public services.

Brown signs bill to strengthen campaign finance
Associated Press @
Gov. Jerry Brown has signed legislation giving California's political watchdog agency more authority to enforce the state's campaign finance laws and investigate suspected wrongdoing.

Two More Arrests As UC Teaching Assistants' Strike Spreads
Larry Gordon @
Two picketers were arrested at UC Santa Cruz Thursday as a strike by unionized teaching assistants and tutors widened to all nine UC undergraduate campuses.

Washington: Senate Panel Finds Cia Illegally Interrogated Terror Suspects After 9-11 | National Security & Defense | Mcclatchy Dc
Ali Watkins, Marisa Taylor and David Lightman @
Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., heads to closed-door meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington, April 3, 2014.

Leland Yee charges: Political consultant freed on bail
Paul EliasAssociated @
Keith Jackson, the political consultant who played a key role in a San Francisco political corruption scandal that has ensnared State Senator Leland Yee, has been released from jail.

Cal Senate OKs Bill That Would Reduce Deportations For Minor Crimes
Patrick McGreevy @
SACRAMENTO — The state Senate on Thursday approved a bill that would reduce the maximum possible misdemeanor sentence from one year to 364 days,  to reduce deportations of legal residents for minor crimes.

Stanford University to construct water recovery testing center on campus
Kara Guzman, @
Construction will begin in May for a $3.5 million water recovery testing center at Stanford University, partly funded by a Santa Cruz couple.

Assembly Democrats denounce government outsourcing
FENIT NIRAPPIL Associated Press @
A Democratic resolution denouncing outsourcing of government functions to private contractors has passed the Assembly after prompting a spirited partisan debate about the role of government.

Afghan Presidential Vote May Be Different This Time
Shashank Bengali @
Irregularities are expected. But robust voter registration and other improvements fuel optimism about the election in Afghanistan.

Sen. Leland Yee's Chief Of Staff Leaving For Private Sector Job
Patrick McGreevy @
Curley, who was not implicated in the Yee case, gave her two week’s notice a week before Yee’s arrest.

Biz Break: Mozilla CEO steps down after Prop. 8 furor
Jeremy C. @
Today: Mozilla's new leader steps down from the Mountain View nonprofit after a backlash stemming from his financial support of initiative to ban same-sex marriage.

Latino Healthcare Sign-ups Soar In California
Maeve Reston @
Covered California's push to reach out to Latinos, a key group, boosts the tally in the final month of health insurance enrollment.