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THE NOONER for April 25, 2014

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Good morning from Lake Arrowhead, where I am for a few more hours before crossing much of the state on the way back to Davis. Thanks for your patience this very long week on the road.

GOV: Let's face it. The Republican Party's gubernatorial candidates are crumbling before our eyes. That's hard for me to say, as I like Neel Kashkari and thought he would contribute to a good debate around the state's future. Obviously, regardless of competitors, Jerry Brown has been the significant favorite all along, although that doesn't mean we shouldn't have a good dialog about what is working and what isn't in the Golden State.

However, with 39 days to go before the top two election, things are a disaster on the Republican front. A poll released yesterday finds Kashkari trailing registered sex offender Glenn Champ and Laguna Beach Mayor Andrew Blount. Meanwhile, a Kashkari ally has filed a campaign finance complaint against Tim Donnelly over the Assemblymember's RV. And, yesterday, Donnelly sent an appeal to supporters asking for donated office space for the remainder of the campaign. 

Business interests that normally fund GOP candidates have abandoned this field and it will likely have ramifications down ballot come November. There will be plenty of Monday morning quarterbacking following this year, but Kashkari erred in waiting to launch his campaign, and Abel Maldonado's campaign uncertainty didn't help.

The only question now is how much damage the GOP's campaign for governor in 2014 will cause.

CA17 (Milpitas): Silicon Valley House race 'unlike any other' and Vanila Singh uses odd tactics in Silicon Valley House race [Carla Marinucci @ SFChron] 

AD33 (SB High Desert): Yesterday I failed to mention that Big Bear Mayor Jay Obernolte is supported by the San Bernardino County Republican Party and must be considered a top-tier candidate.

$$$: Yesterday was another suprisingly good late April day for state revenues.

For California's sake, Irwindale needs to save its Sriracha plant [LAT Editorial]- "There's no need to drive business away from the city – and possibly the state – when sauce maker Huy Fong Foods is working toward a compromise."

#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Ted Gaines, Marc Levine (Saturday), Dave Ford (Sunday), Paul Mitchell (Sunday), and Phil Pluckebaum (Sunday).



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Neel Kashkari Trails Registered Sex Offender In New Governor Poll
Carla Marinucci @
Republican gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari was already facing an uphill climb to unseat Gov. Jerry Brown this year, and now a new poll shows just how steep that hill is — he’s trailing a registered sex offender.

California Oil Tax Survives First Senate Committee Vote
Patrick McGreevy @
SACRAMENTO — A proposal to charge a tax on oil pumped from the ground in California was approved Thursday by a state Senate panel on grounds that it would help fund higher education in the state.

California Space Industry Tax Break Heads To Gov. Jerry Brown
Jeremy B. White @
With no debate, the California Assembly on Thursday voted 70-2 to send Gov. Jerry Brown a bill offering a ten-year property tax break to private space firms.

State Sen. Tom Berryhill Fined In Political Money Laundering Case
Patrick McGreevy @
The state Fair Political Practices Commission voted unanimously to uphold an administrative law judge's ruling that Berryhill committed a “serious and deliberate” violation of campaign finance laws.

Candidate For Governor Tim Donnelly Wants To Overhaul Concealed-Carry Laws
Josh Richman @
Introduced in the wake of a federal appeals court decision declaring unconstitutional the restrictions that many California counties have used to sharply limit the right to carry a concealed weapon, Donnelly's AB1563 would strip county sheriffs of the authority and discretion to grant or deny such permits -- and instead give that authority to the state Justice Department.

Kashkari Supporter Files Campaign Finance Complaint Against Donnelly
Chris Megerian @
The duel between Republican gubernatorial candidates Tim Donnelly and Neel Kashkari has spawned a campaign finance complaint.

Assemblyman Tim Donnelly Proposes New Handgun Law
Today's high

Democratic Candidates Grow More Vocal in Supporting Health Law
More Democratic candidates are making support of the health care law a campaign issue, particularly the negative consequences if Republicans succeed in repealing it.

Silicon Valley House Race 'Unlike Any Other'
Carla Marinucci @
Democratic political strategist Jeremy Bird -- the national field director for President Obama’s 2012 campaign and now a strategist for Silicon Valley House candidate Ro Khanna -- says the South Bay congressional race is “unlike any other” in the country, because it showcases demographic and technological shifts in American politics.

Complaint claims violations in governor's race
A supporter of a rival Republican gubernatorial candidate filed a complaint Thursday with California's elections watchdog agency, claiming that state Assemblyman Tim Donnelly has failed to report the gift of a borrowed motor home as a campaign expense.

U.S. Seeks $700,000 From Ex-south Korean President In O.C. Home Sale
Victoria Kim @
The U.S. government on Thursday filed a civil forfeiture claim in Los Angeles to seize more than $700,000 in alleged corruption proceeds from former South Korean President Chun Doo-hwan, federal prosecutors announced.

FPPC Upholds $40,000 Penalty Against Sen. Tom Berryhill | Local News | Modesto Bee
Jim Miller @
Real estate, education, salaries ... get the numbers behind the stories.

Senate Panel Supports Bill To Aid Affordable-housing Projects Facing Back Taxes » Ventura County Star
Timm Herdt @
© 2014 Ventura County Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

No Dazzling Answers For ‘lite Gov’ Hopefuls - Politics Blog
George Yang, a GOP candidate for lieutenant governor, was ready to talk about his plans to a Republican group in San Jose recently, but first had to answer a simple question: Why in the world do we...

FPPC upholds $40,000 money-laundering penalty against Tom Berryhill
Jim Miller @
California’s political ethics panel Thursday unanimously approved a $40,000 money-laundering penalty against state Sen. Tom Berryhill, agreeing with an administrative law judge’s proposed decision that the Twain Harte Republican committed “serious and deliberate” violations of campaign finance rules.

Lawmakers reject bill requiring cell phone kill-switch
California state Sen. Mark Leno said a powerful and deep-pocked wireless communications industry killed his bill requiring antitheft technology on smartphones. With support from law enforcement, including adamant backing from San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón, the bill requiring "kill switches" on mobile devices fell two short after nearly all Republicans and several Democrats voted against it, including senators Jim Beall, D-San Jose; Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens; and Norma Torres, D-Pomona. The wireless industry trade group CTIA has fought kill-switch technology on cell phones up until this month when the group announced it would offer the feature as an optional tool. Some companies already offer the technology on a voluntary opt-in basis, while others have characterized kill switches as technically unfeasible, prohibitively expensive or rife for abuse by hackers. With their no vote, 17 members of the Senate chose to protect billion dollar industry profits over the safety of the constituents they were elected to serve.

FPPC upholds $40,000 penalty against Sen. Tom Berryhill
Jim Miller @
California's political-ethics panel Thursday unanimously approved a $40,000 money-laundering penalty against state Sen. Tom Berryhill, agreeing with an administrative law judge's recommended decision that the Twain Harte Republican committed "serious and deliberate" violations of campaign-finance rules.

Immigration Update: 22 Republicans Rip Obama For Slowing Deportations
A group of 22 Senate Republicans, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., urged President Barack Obama not to proceed with another plan to limit deportations of immigrants here illegally.

S.F. Supervisors Scott Wiener, London Breed game for pinball
Pinball machines and other arcade games don't seem very nefarious now, but they apparently did in the early 1980s - enough so that city police code restricts these types of devices to fewer than 10 per business. [...] two years ago, he authored legislation to repeal outdated restaurant codes that, among other things, prevented some cafes from toasting the bagels they sold or serving ice cream in a cone - cups were all right. Sometimes the municipal code doesn't take into account the positive aspects of allowing businesses flexibility to offer products and services. Wiener said the owners, who also own the nearby Blackbird Bar, want to make it an arcade-themed watering hole. Since the police code restricts the number of arcade games by the business' square footage, Wiener said it would be limited to three or four without the exemption. If the supervisors author legislation to repeal the police code, they would probably still require business owners who want to host arcade games to apply for a special permit, he added. An unnamed coalition of San Franciscans, including a Republican candidate for Assembly, submitted papers and started collecting signatures to qualify an initiative for the November ballot that would establish a nonbinding declaration of policy "restoring transportation balance in San Francisco." "The Transit First policy has morphed into one that favors only public transportation and bicycles to the exclusion of any other mode of transportation," the coalition states.

Palo Alto Unified board members may get health benefits
The Palo Alto Unified School District Board of Education is weighing a proposal to give its members the same medical benefits that employees receive. The proposal from the board's Policy Review Committee could cost $100,000 annually, according to Human Resources Assistant Superintendent Scott Bowers.

Docs: Secret Pr Campaign Targeted San Diego Water Ratepayers - Kgtv Abc10 San Diego

Republicans Back Brown's Concept Of A Fund For Debt And Rainy Days
Chris Megerian @
Some want tighter controls on Gov. Jerry Brown's proposed reserve fund, aimed at taming California's volatile finances.

Oregon Leaders To Vote On Scrapping Health Insurance Exchange
Maria L. La Ganga and Maeve Reston @
Oregon officials will vote on whether to scrap its health insurance exchange and switch to the federal system.

Santa Clara County May Put Sales Tax For Transportation On A Fast Track
Gary Richards @
Combined, these moves have Bay Area-wide implications, as many of the proposed projects link East Bay commute routes to those in the South Bay and San Francisco. Surveys show that support for such a tax is at 73 percent in Santa Clara County and 72 percent in Alameda County, a cushion that could be crucial to meet the state's strict two-thirds approval for special taxes.

Silicon Valley Leadership Group Poll: 73% Of Silicon Valley Backs 2014 Tax Hike For Transit Amid Tech Boom-time Gridlock - Silicon Valley Business Journal
About 73 percent of 600 likely Santa Clara County voters support the idea of a 30-year, one-quarter-cent sales tax hike to fund transportation improvements to area roads and some public rail services, according to a new Silicon Valley Leadership Group poll.