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THE NOONER for April 23, 2014
Good morning, happy ETHICS DAY! Today is the day when you send flowers to those staff members that help you fill out your Form 700s, lobbying reports, and campaign filings! Ring up the florist! Unfortunately, Leland did it himself.
Actually, it is Administrative Professionals Day, which has now turned into a week and shortly will be a month or longer for the benefit of the floral industry. Meanwhile, members and staff in the State Senate will be heading across the street to the Library and Courts building to learn about ethics. Wouldn't it be fun if smartphones were checked at the door?
Another day on the road...heading to Lake Arrowhead today where I just might get to see this campaign sign in Tim Donnelly's mighty AD33. I'm taking a break from the drive and writing you right now from the Buttonwillow rest stop, in David Valadao's CA21 and Rudy Salas's AD32. It's been a nice drive over the hills on Highway 46 and through the Lost Hills oil field. It's remarkable how un-populated this state is.
In AD32, Pedro Rios (R) is returning for a challenge against Salas and the district should be on your political radar. Rios fell 4,300 votes short in 2012, but as we saw in the overlapping Andy Vidak-Leticia Perez race last year, Democrats are willing to cross over in this area. And, with the drought continuing to challenge farmers in this agriculturally heavy district, the anti-Sacramento (and Washington) attitude is strong. I have moved AD32 form Likely Democrat to Leans Democrat although a case can be made that it should be a Toss-up.
Meanwhile, CA21 candidate John Hernandez is once again increasing the blood pressure of Democratic strategists. Hernandez edged out insider favorite Blong Xiong in 2012, and proceeded to do little campaigning against now-Congressman David Valadao. As if on repeat, Hernandez filed for election but didn't turn in a campaign finance report for the first quarter. That said, he has a good chance of edging out DCCC-favorite Amanda Renteria once again, leading to Democrats once again forfeiting the most Democrat-friendly district held by a Republican.
This region has a lot of conservative Latinos who are still registered Democrat but are voting Republican. They frequently started in the fields, were beneficiaries of amnesty in 1986, and are now working in farm management. They hold on to their Democratic registration because of history, but now vote their pocketbooks. They know that water is their livelihood and have lost the connection to the UFW and don't appreciate the work in Sacramento for improving working conditions for those that follow in their footsteps in the fields. Thus, these districts require a very specific type of Democratic candidate, which is why Democrats have lost seats that by numbers should be safely in their column.
Today is also the controversial Sacramento Press Club debate among Secretary of State candidates. President Juliet Williams of the Associated Press posted this response to Green Party candidate David Curtis on the club's Facebook page:
Prior to the release of the Field Poll, the Sacramento Press Club, a non-profit dedicated to providing scholarships for aspiring journalists, invited 4 of the candidates for secretary of state to participate in a debate. Given our severe time constraints within a luncheon format, we sought to hold the most informative event possible. At no time did Mr. Curtis contact us through our phone number or email address. After he posted a message on our Facebook page over the weekend, members of our volunteer board were in deliberations about how best to address the situation given our time constraints. As we were discussing the best approach to take, Mr. Curtis began a tirade of insulting and threatening social media posts about our organization. Upon receiving a phone call from our program director, Mr. Curtis became belligerent and rude, making a conversation impossible. Our decision was clear, given our intent to hold a civil and informative discussion on the issues in the race. Our organization is entitled to invite whichever speakers we choose and is under no mandate to invite everyone.
THE CASH REPORT:
At the end of March 2014, the state’s “Big Three” General Fund personal income, corporate income, and sales taxes collectively were running a combined $1.3 billion above the administration’s forecast for 2013-14 to date, principally due to PIT collections that were $1 billion above forecast. If PIT ends April 2014 close to the administration’s monthly forecast, then PIT would remain about $1 billion above forecast for the fiscal year to date. How this news affects the state’s revised revenue forecasts next month will depend largely on more detailed data we will receive from FTB in early May: principally concerning the April performance of 2013 revenue sources (final returns and extension payments received less refunds) and 2014 revenue sources (quarterly estimated payments, principally by high-income individuals). If 2014 revenue sources differed from expectations in April, for example, this could affect forecasts of future quarterly and other payments during the 2014-15 fiscal year either positively or negatively.
The VC Star's Timm Herdt talks to politicians and comes to the conclusion that, indeed, they are human and mostly good people.
Teevee watchers in Los Angeles are wondering who is paying for the spots featuring Speaker John A. Pérez with a call to sign up for Covered California (by March 31). . .
#CAKEDAY: Light the candles for George Raya and Matt Ross!
TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
California Bill Reignites Affirmative Action Fight
JULIET WILLIAMS @ sacbee.com
Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, left, talks with Sen. Ed Hernandez, D-Covina at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., Monday, April 21, 2014. Hernandez proposed a constitutional amendment that would ask voters to again allow public colleges to use race and ethnicity when considering college applicants. The proposal stalled this year after backlash from Asian Americans.
Green Party Secretary Of State Candidate To Crash Sacramento Debate
Jim Miller @ blogs.sacbee.com
David Curtis, the Green Party candidate for secretary of state, said he will show up at Wednesday's Sacramento Press Club luncheon debate featuring four of his rivals for the state's top elections post even though he wasn't invited.
Senate Panel Supports Governor Filling Legislative Vacancies
Patrick McGreevy @ latimes.com
SACRAMENTO -- Alarmed by the cost of holding special elections whenever a vacancy occurs in the Legislature, a state panel on Tuesday endorsed putting a measure before voters that would allow the governor to appoint people to fill empty seats.
GOP candidate releases education policy overview
OD best practices @ utsandiego.com
Republican gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari is releasing his proposals to fix California schools, which include getting rid of the state's complex education code and sending state funding directly to schools rather than districts.
U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Michigan Anti-affirmative Action Law, California's Prop. 209 Stands
Howard Mintz @ insidebayarea.com
The Supreme Court, although splintered in its legal reasoning, determined that voters had a right to enact Michigan's law in 2006 and choose to outlaw race and gender preferences. The majority decision, written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, based the outcome on a states' rights argument, steering clear of whether Michigan's law violated the constitutional rights of minorities in the state.
State Senate’s Ethics Review Is Tomorrow
By Josh Richman Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014 at 3:21 pm in California State Senate, Darrell Steinberg, Leland Yee.
Sacramento County Supervisors Ban Outdoor Marijuana Growth
Brad Branan @ sacbee.com
Sacramento County supervisors approved a ban on growing marijuana outdoors Tuesday after hearing complaints that the plants have become a major safety risk and neighborhood nuisance.
Setting Political Cynicism Aside
Timm Herdt @ vcstar.com
At the risk of being called a Pollyanna, or being forced to surrender my press credential for excessive lack of cynicism, let me say this collectively about the men and women I met with last week: As a group, they are genuine, likable human beings who have decided to take participation in democracy to a level from which most sane folks would recoil.
Tougher Ethics Rules Advance In California Senate Committee
Patrick McGreevy @ latimes.com
Proposals include a fundraising ban near the end of legislative sessions and a reduction in the value and types of gifts allowed.
California Massage Fix Proposed
Jeremy B. White @ blogs.sacbee.com
Seeking to work out the kinks in California's disputed massage regulations, Assembly members are poised to announce a bill giving local governments broader powers to crack down on wayward operators.
Feinstein Backs Padilla In Tight Secretary Of State Race
Frank Stoltze @ scpr.org
State Senator Alex Padilla of the San Fernando Valley received some help Tuesday in his bid to break from the pack of candidates running for California Secretary of State when U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein endorsed him.
Sacramento County bans outdoor marijuana crops
OD best practices @ utsandiego.com
Sacramento County supervisors have unanimously voted to ban outdoor marijuana crops after hearing from law enforcement officials who said the region has seen an explosion of grow sites.
Iranian Protesters Urge President Rouhani To Free Political Prisoners
Ramin Mostaghim @ latimes.com
TEHRAN — Relatives of Iranians jailed on various security charges held a protest Tuesday outside the offices of President Hassan Rouhani , alleging that the prisoners are being detained unfairly.
California Dems Push Statewide Earned Income Tax Credit | Kpbs
Democratic state Senator Carol Liu acknowledges that the $120 million the program would cost could be spent elsewhere. But she says the legislature must do all it can to help Californians in poverty.
Warriors' Piers 30-32 arena plan faced long federal review
According to sources close to the deal, the Warriors learned three months ago that the Army Corps had made a regional, staff-level decision that the $1 billion waterfront arena project needed a federal as well as a state environmental review - a process that can take three to five years. The Army Corps requires such reviews under federal law for harbor and river projects "significantly affecting" the environment. J.D. Hardesty, spokesman for the Army Corps in San Francisco, said his office had not yet made a decision on the Warriors' application seeking to be excluded from a full review, and was about to start a public comment period when the team asked two weeks ago that the matter be put on hold. The Army's review was the latest in a string of political and financial uncertainties facing the waterfront arena that included: The survey of 700 likely voters, conducted from March 20 to March 23, found 51 percent have a somewhat or strongly favorable view of tech companies, while just 16 percent have a negative view. The poll was conducted on behalf of Airbnb, which was looking to gauge the public's reaction to Supervisor David Chiu's new legislation to lift a ban on short-term rentals in the city, thereby legally clearing the way for Airbnb sublets.
California Edging Closer To Regulating Groundwater For The First Time | Science | Kqed Public Media For Northern Ca
The current drought appears to be putting a new level of pressure on the groundwater debate. Cutbacks in state and federal water allocations have unleashed a drilling frenzy for water wells, and parts of the San Joaquin Valley are actually sinking from groundwater depletion below.
Oil And Gas Industry Generates Thousands Of Jobs In California, Report Finds
Shan Li @ latimes.com
The oil and gas industry creates about 49,000 jobs in Los Angeles County and billions of tax revenue in California.
Spacex Tax Break Reveals Lack Of Consistency
Dan Walters @ sacbee.com
A fairly constant refrain among California’s Democratic politicians and their liberal allies is that corporations should be paying more in taxes to support public services.
EBMUD to take Sacramento River water for first time to avoid rationing
Denis CuffContra @ mercurynews.com
East Bay Municipal Utility District board votes to stick with 10 percent voluntary conservation plan and take Sacramento River water from Freeport
Republican activists push party on gay marriage
OD best practices @ utsandiego.com
As bans against gay marriage crumble and public opinion on the issue shifts rapidly, some Republicans are pushing the party to drop its opposition to same-sex unions, part of a broader campaign to get the GOP to appeal to younger voters by de-emphasizing social issues.
Affluenza Bill In California Gets Voted Down - Time
“In our justice system, people who have means already have advantages,” Gatto said in introducing the bill before a legislative committee. “They have access to the better lawyers, they have access to better relationships and they know how the system works. And the idea of a defendant saying that a life of privilege and an upbringing of means somehow makes that defendant absolve him or herself of personal responsibility for a heinous act really is insulting to the intelligence of just about everybody who interacts with the justice system, and those of use who care about making sure that justice system is blind.”
Failure Of Warriors' Waterfront Arena The Latest In A Long Line Of Bay Development Defeats
Paul Rogers @ mercurynews.com
No matter how rich or how politically connected, people who have proposed projects that environmentalists say are "filling the bay" or "walling off the bay" have nearly always seen those plans end in defeat.
Dan Walters Daily: Ethical issues abound with money in politics
Alexei Koseff @ blogs.sacbee.com
on ethics, legislators should consider not just how they fund their campaigns, but the policy decisions they make, Dan says.
California Genetically Modified Food Labeling Bill Passes Senate Committee
Max Pringle @ capradio.org
Backers of the bill say it is not about banning âGMO foods,â itâs about giving consumers information similar to the way nutrition information labels do.