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THE NOONER for April 10, 2014

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POINT: California Legislature Approval Rating Takes Big Hit [KFBK]

COUNTERPOINT: @proTemSteinberg - "Despite Yee and others, Leg approval rating highest in years. Thank you to my colleagues for continued focus on producing for the people"

The Field Poll found the Legislature's job approval rating slipping from 46% to 43% and disapproval increasing from 40% to 46% after the news of Yee's arrest. Steinberg's point is valid though -- approval is 20 points higher than it was in July 2012 and 30 points higher than March 2010.

People have wondered whether Assemblymember Bonnie Lowenthal's loss in Tuesday's Long Beach mayoral election can be partially blamed on the legislative scandals. I think it has more to do with three white Democrats (one gay), 1 conservative independent African-American, and one gay Latino (among the legit candidates). The city is 40% Latino (although CVAP is less), and there is a sizeable gay population. I think Latinos and much of the younger gay population went for Garcia. 

GOV: KCRA's Mike Leury gets a stand-up with Tim Donnelly, while Neel Kashkari says his campaign is going as planned. Donnelly sure loves that California State Assembly jacket. And, Connie Conway offers:

"Mr. Donnelly's opinions are his and his alone and are not representative of the Republicans in this [Capitol] building," [Conway] said in a statement to The Times.

AD04 (Napa-Yolano): Napa supe Bill Dodd's (D) campaign is out with a poll showing Dodd in the lead with 25%, followed by Republican Charlie Schaupp at 18% in the solidly Dem race to succeed Mariko Yamada. In third is Davis councilmember Dan Wolk (D) with 12%, fourth Davis councilmember Joe Krovoza (D) at 10%, and finally legislative aide Dustin Call at 4%. Entering the final stretch, Dodd has a huge cash advantage with $527,942 as of March 17 to Krovoza's $143,893 and Wolk's $83,651. Don't be surprised, however, if labor moves in with an IE to buoy Wolk and drop Dodd. 

AD74 (Irvine): She addressed Tea Party, but running for Assembly as Democrat - "Karina Onofre, who as recently as January espoused her conservative credentials at a Tea Party forum in Costa Mesa, filed paperwork last month to run as a Democrat in the 74th Assembly District race. Onofre, a self-described conservative Democrat, said in an interview she’d become increasingly disillusioned with Orange County's "good old boys club" after identifying as a Republican for more than a year. She ran unsuccessfully as a Republican during the nonpartisan Santa Ana City Council race in 2012."

BEACHED: Anthony York pens a piece on the SeaWorld bill for Capitol Weekly. - Toni Atkins "didn't actively work against the bill. But she didn't have to. She made her position clear, and her caucus followed suit.

Secondly, some see the bill as part of a larger fight to get SeaWorld to use union workers. One of the largest critics is San Diego Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez, who is the immediate past head of the San Diego-Imperial Labor Council. The council unsuccessfully tried to get a project labor agreement for a hotel in 2002 (before Gonzalez's leadership). In the hearing, Gonzalez focused on SeaWorld's (minority) ownership by investment group Blackstone.

ENDORSED: Journalist Greg Lucas as State Librarian? Yes! [Joel Fox @ Fox and Hounds]

SRIRACHA: California city declares Sriracha maker a nuisance [AP] - "The Irwindale City Council's action Wednesday night gives the factory 90 days to make changes to stop the spicy odors that prompted complaints from some residents last fall. Declaring a public nuisance will allow city officials to enter the factory and make changes if the odors persist after the deadline."

DEPT OF SLOPPY FINGERS: I typed "Democrat" party yesterday, when it should have been Democratic. It was my inner Stephen Colbert.

#CAKEDAY: Light the candles for Loni Hancock!

 

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**CLASSIFIEDS**

  • Corporate & individual sponsorships are available for the 7th Annual Assembly Veteran of the Year Luncheon, scheduled for Wednesday, June 25th (Sacramento Convention Center). The event is co-sponsored by Assemblymembers Pérez, Quirk-Silva & Chávez. All Assemblymembers select a veteran to honor from their district. For more information contact: Pete Conaty, 916 492-0550, pconaty@sbcglobal.net.
  • April 22: Rock 'n Restaurants returns to the Crest Theatre on K Street. 5 PM hosted reception and 7 PM concert featuring Ivy Levan. This event closes out the California Restaurant Association's annual Lobby Day and benefits the CRA Issues PAC. RSVP required at jgoddard@calrest.org.
  • American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network. Associate Director of Media Advocacy Western Region. Sacramento. Oversee media advocacy efforts for American Cancer Society’s advocacy affiliate in 13-state region with primary responsibility for executing comprehensive media strategy in California. Minimum 7 years political journalism/communications experience. Min. salary: $73K. Info & application online: www.acscan.org/careers, Job ID: 15911.
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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: www.capitolseminars.net or 916 442 5009.
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TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
Lagging In Polls, Neel Kashkari Says Paid Advertising Will Push Him Ahead
David Siders @
blogs.sacbee.com
SAN JOSE - Lagging in the governor's race with only 2 percent support, according to a new Field Poll, Republican Neel Kashkari said Wednesday that he can make up ground on GOP rival Tim Donnelly with paid advertising closer to the June primary election.

Munger Helps Launch Republican Assembly Candidates
Chris Megerian @
latimes.com
SACRAMENTO -- Charles Munger Jr., one of California Republicans ' biggest donors, is chipping in some of his wealth to ensure his party has candidates on the ballot in more Assembly districts.

Proposal Offers Loans To Undocumented Students At California Universities
Alexei Koseff @
sacbee.com
Sen. Ricardo Lara announces Senate Bill 1210 to expand college financial aid for illegal immigrants. He is joined Wednesday, left to right, by UC Davis student Ana Maciel, UC President Janet Napolitano, CSUS student Deisy Caro, partially seen, and Sacramento State President Alexander Gonzalez.

Republicans Could Slide Further With Women, Latinos
Seema Mehta @
latimes.com
A website's raunchy photo and a candidate's remarks on illegal immigration may hurt efforts to regain support from the key groups.

Government Unions Attack Free-Market Nonprofits via Pension Funds
flashreport.org
Since the American Federation of Teachers fired this latest salvo against the free market, here are a few facts about CalSTRS, the California State Teachers Retirement System:

California Drought: Feinstein Pressure Helps Farms Over Fish
Carolyn Said @
sfgate.com
First came the urgent e-mail to two Cabinet secretaries from San Joaquin Valley farm interests, demanding that officials allow "maximum pumping" of water from recent storms for agriculture and cities and minimize flows for endangered fish making their river migrations amid the worst drought in years.

Inland Empire Has Greatest Need For Community College Expansion, Report Says
Alexei Koseff @
blogs.sacbee.com
A California budget proposal to increase community college enrollment with an emphasis on the neediest districts should focus on the Inland Empire, the Central Valley and Los Angeles, according to California Competes.

Next Assembly Speaker's Focus On Poor Is Grounded In Experience
George Skelton @
latimes.com
Toni Atkins' childhood was spent in rural poverty. A clear sense of what is possible when people work hard and cooperate is central to her political vision.

New pension plans differ greatly from "classic" models
Jon Ortiz @
sacbee.com
California became a dual-class public employee state last year when a sweeping law lowered pension benefits for state and local government workers hired in 2013 and later.

Field Poll: GOP's Hope In California Governor's Race Leaning Far To The Right
Jessica Calefati @
mercurynews.com
Although some California Republican leaders had seen the moderate, Neel Kashkari, as the GOP's candidate of the future in a deep blue state, tea party favorite Tim Donnelly is pummeling him, according to a surprising new Field Poll.

Algeria President's Fourth Term Likely Despite Health, Opposition
Sherif Tarek @
latimes.com
Algeria’s longtime President Abdelaziz Bouteflika appears a shoo-in to win reelection during the national vote scheduled for April 17, despite concerns about his health and criticism of the government’s strict control.

Federal Judges Name Prison Compliance Officer
Paige St. John @
latimes.com
A retired appellate judge in Los Angeles has been tapped by federal courts to make the final decision on which and how many inmates to release from prison if California fails to meet a court-ordered limit on the state prison population.

Assembly Panel Sour On Bill Allowing Limited Raw Milk Sales
Jeremy B. White @
blogs.sacbee.com
Citing overwhelming evidence of the health risks, lawmakers on Wednesday rejected a bill that would allow small farms to sell or give to friends portions of raw dairy products.

Upset In Mayor's Race Could Help Reshape Long Beach Politics
Christine Mai-Duc @
latimes.com
Robert Garcia and Damon Dunn head for the June runoff, besting Bonnie Lowenthal, who was favored in the primary. Two of five open council seats were decided.

Why Won't Democrats Let The Public See Their Budget Proposals? | Senate Republican Caucus
cssrc.us
Senate Republicans requested that the final budget legislation should be in print for at least three days prior to a legislative vote when the budget is taken up in June.  Democrats could not guarantee that level of transparency and public review for the state budget.

She Addressed Tea Party, But Running For Assembly As Democrat
SCOTT MARTINDALE @
ocregister.com
Candidate from Irvine began campaigning as a Republican but says her heart was broken by GOP opposition to allowing driver's licenses to undocumented immigrants.

Field Poll: Leland Yee scandal blunted increasing approval of Legislature
Jeremy B. White @
sacbee.com
A state senator's arrest in a sweeping criminal investigation reversed what had been increasing public confidence in the California Legislature, according to a new Field Poll.

Bell Corruption: Former Mayor Apologizes For 'my Ignorance'
Kate Mather and Ruben Vives @
latimes.com
The former mayor of working-class Bell apologized in court Wednesday as he and four ex-colleagues agreed to plead no contest to corruption charges that could send them to prison for years.

CTA Lobbies Against CalSTRS Fix Despite Growing Debt
district37.cssrc.us
The California State Teachers Retirement System (CalSTRS) announced Thursday that the unfunded liability for its obligations to pay retirement for its members grew by almost three billion dollars in just the past year, from $71 billion to $73.7 billion. This unfunded liability grew despite CalSTRS investment portfolio showing a 13.9% return over the same period.

Comcast And Time Warner Cable Execs Grilled By Lawmakers
Joe Flint @
latimes.com
Senior executives from Comcast and Time Warner Cable were grilled for more than three hours Wednesday about their proposed merger by a mostly skeptical Senate Judiciary Committee concerned that the more than $40-billion deal would be bad for consumers and competition.

Al Qaeda runs pic of SFO tram: 'Assemble your bomb'
sfgate.com
An al Qaeda magazine containing a photo of a people-mover train at San Francisco International Airport - along with caption urging readers to "assemble your bomb" - has set off alarms on Capitol Hill as the one-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings approaches. Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Dublin, told a homeland security hearing Wednesday that he was "disturbed" by the English-language spring edition of the al Qaeda publication Inspire, which features a darkened photo of a lone young man aboard what the congressman said had been identified as "a tram in San Francisco's international airport." Swalwell, a member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, said he was especially concerned because "this is one of the largest international airports in the world, certainly one of the largest on the West Coast, and thousands of passengers a day use the tram to connect from BART to the airport." The head of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission at the time, Jon Wellinghoff, called it "the most significant incident of domestic terrorism involving the grid that has ever occurred" in the country, although the FBI has said it does not believe the incident was the work of terrorists. An official with the Transportation Safety Administration, speaking on background Wednesday, said the agency was aware of the photo but viewed it mostly as a "propaganda" piece rather than evidence of specific planning.

California Bill Would Establish Loan Program For Undocumented College Students - Capradio.org
capradio.org
The new loan program would cost an estimated $9.2 million to start. The state would be responsible for about seven million of that. The UC and CSU would pick up the rest. After that Loan repayments would sustain the program.

Los Angeles Unified’s Draft Accountability Plan Shows Promise Of New Funding Law | Edsource Today
edsource.org
The potential of the state’s new education funding system was on full display this week when Los Angeles Unified School Superintendent John Deasy presented a draft accountability plan that included a dizzying array of new and expanded programs.

Los Angeles City Hall's Top Budget Adviser Will Forfeit Wage Hike
Dakota Smith @
dailynews.com
Seeking to set an example of fiscal restraint at Los Angeles City Hall, the city’s top budget analyst said Wednesday he will forfeit $24,000 in pay increases over the next 18 months.