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THE NOONER for May 7, 2014
Please send me scans of any interesting political mail you get!
GREY MONEY MATTERS
If you live in a district with a competitive primary, your mailbox has likely to begin to fill up. However, if you look at the fine print on those mailers, you'll find it is as likely to be coming from an independent expenditure committee than a candidate. By operating independently of campaigns, interest groups can invest far more than the $4,100 allowable direct contribution per candidate. And, a whole industry has sprung up of consultants that specialize in these independent campaigns.
I have returned the daily independent expenditure reports below and let's talk a little about this spring's playing field. (Here's an ElectionTrack link with all IEs.) The players are the usual suspects including doctors, lawyers, business groups, labor, charter school advocates, and realtors. New players this cycle include Grow Elect, which is the GOP's effort to recruit and support Latino Republican candidates, and Bill Bloomfield, the moderate Republican businessman who gave Henry Waxman a scare in 2012. Bloomfield danced with a possible run in CA33, but decided to play kingmaker instead.
Bloomfield has already invested $1,061,583 in independent expenditures in support of Neel Kashkari for GOV ($141,868), Dan Schnur for SOS ($243,931), Marshall Tuck for SPI ($376,201), and Ben Allen for SD26 ($299,584).
The big daddy of independent expenditures is the fight for AD16, the Tri-Valley seat currently held by Susan Bonilla. Tim Sbranti is a teacher and longtime Democratic Party insider and has the strong support of labor. Steve Glazer, a political consultant and advisor to Jerry Brown, has made challenging BART workers right to strike a cornerstone of his campaign. With Republican Catherine Baker likely to make it into the top two, interests are pulling all stops to try to get their candidate to November. Glazer's big support has come from the realtors , which have invested over $1 million for the cause. Here's a glance at the totals so far:
Other interesting IE points thus far:
Anyway, that's a taste of the IE landscape, and I'm sure will find a lot more to talk about over the next few weeks.
SD34 (Orange County): Jose Solorio asks whether Janet Nguyen has violated the "Baugh Manifesto" by accepting $4,000 from the Santa Ana and Orange County Professional Firefighters PAC. The manifesto attempts to bar Orange County Republican Party support for any candidate who accepts union contributions.
PHOTO DU JOUR: Jon Fleischman mugs with Willie Lewis Brown, Jr.
The June 2014 NOONER Contest is now open!
Once again, The NOONER is providing an opportunity for you to prove your chops as a forecaster of California elections or, like I do with March Madness, show how little most of us really know.
Your personalized NOONER contest link is:
Once again, it is designed so you can either be anonymous or have your name in lights. Last year, we had about 500 participants and I will once again only show the top 25 scores, but you'll be able to see your score and rank. You will be able to make your picks and change your answers (via same link) through Sunday, June 1 at 5pm PDT.
TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
Hospitals And Union Make Deal To Avoid Ballot Measure Fight
California hospitals have reached a deal with the state's largest healthcare union to avoid an expensive and potentially nasty ballot measure fight this fall that would have cast a harsh spotlight on high medical costs and executive salaries.
Giants will drop Prop. B opposition
The San Francisco Giants will drop their opposition to a June ballot measure on waterfront height limits and present downsized development plans for their parking lot near AT&T Park by the summer. Agnos had pledged to fight what he called the baseball team's "Donald Trump-style" plans for high-rise development, but said Tuesday he has faith the Giants will come up with a new plan that meets with voter approval. B removed from the ballot, comes as the team faced the prospect of being on the losing side of what could be an ugly political fight pitting development interests such as the Chamber of Commerce and the Sierra Club against each other. The Golden State Warriors last month dropped their plans to build an 18,000-seat arena on Piers 30-32 and a condo tower and hotel nearby in favor of building on private land in Mission Bay not covered by Prop. "Having worked on projects in the city for 30 years, we understand the importance of the waterfront to the community," Alexa Arena, a senior vice president at Forest City, said in a statement. The parking lot, along with Pier 48, make for a 27-acre development site for the Giants, and plans currently include 10 new commercial and residential buildings holding up to 1,000 units of rental housing, plus office and retail space.
California State Attorneys' Union 'still Waiting' On Labor Deal
Jon Ortiz @ sacbee.com
California Governor Jerry Brown addresses members of the press about the State Budget for 2014-2015 at the Capitol in Sacramento.
Hospital Pricing, Executive Pay Ballot Measures Nixed As Union, Hospital Strike Deal
Jeremy B. White @ blogs.sacbee.com
Averting a costly ballot fight, a prominent labor union has agreed to pull a pair measures that would limit how California hospitals price medical care and compensate their executives.
Judge Affirms Ruling That Barred 27-year-old From California’s Ballot
Denny Walsh @ sacbee.com
A federal appellate court on Tuesday affirmed a Sacramento judge’s rejection of a 27-year-old woman’s claim that she had a constitutional right to appear on California’s 2012 presidential primary ballot.
Report says California owes $340.7 billion, some being ignored
Dan Walters @ blogs.sacbee.com
The state of California is $340.7 billion in debt and while it is on track to repay much of the sum, it's not doing anything about unfunded liabilities for teacher pensions and state retiree health care, the Legislature's budget analyst said Wednesday.
Donnelly Sparks Debate By Tying Governor Rival Kashkari To Sharia Law
Sparking the latest controversy in the governor's race, Republican candidate Tim Donnelly is claiming that GOP rival Neel Kashkari supports fundamentalist Islamic law.
Prop. B consequences for S.F. development outlined
Funding for transit, affordable housing and $1.6 billion in needed repairs to Port of San Francisco facilities - repairs like fixing the seawall that holds back the bay - could all be diminished if voters next month approve the measure to limit tall waterfront projects. B, backed by the local chapter of the Sierra Club and limited-growth activists from the city's progressive left, would also add cost and uncertainty to planned developments and "could enable developers to bypass otherwise mandatory environmental review" and other safeguards, say the reports, which were prepared by seven city departments at the direction of Mayor Ed Lee, who has not taken a public position on Prop. The reports showed that the port is relying on joint projects with private developers to contribute $322 million to its infrastructure needs and that the city is projected to get $93.6 million in development fees for affordable housing from two major development proposals - the San Francisco Giants' new urban village on their main parking lot and a two-part development plan for the industrial Pier 70 area. B in the mix, it's unclear what the final products will mean in terms of affordable housing fees and other revenue. Opponents call it ballot-box planning at its worst that will muck up the planning process, replacing professional analysis and public hearings with punchy campaign slogans.
Unions to drop California hospital initiatives
Associated Press @ utsandiego.com
The state's largest union of health care workers says it has reached a deal with the California Hospital Association and will abandon its drive to place two hospital-regulation initiatives before voters in November.
Steinberg Must Clean Up Scandal-Ridden State Senate
Dan Walters @ sacbee.com
Darrell Steinberg, the Senate president pro tem, fired a sergeant-at-arms last week after learning â from a Bee reporter â that the aide had used drugs prior to a shootout at his house that left one person dead and three others injured 17 months earlier.
Alameda County GOP Calls Tim Donnelly's Comments About Kashkari Racist
The Alameda County Republican Party on Tuesday denounced as racist GOP gubernatorial candidate Tim Donnelly ’s statements linking rival Neel Kashkari with fundamentalist Islamic law.
California hospital pricing, pay initiatives abandoned as union strikes deal
Jeremy B. White @ sacbee.com
Averting a costly ballot fight, a prominent health care labor union has agreed to pull a pair of measures that would limit how California hospitals price medical care and compensate their executives.
California Lawmakers Weigh Revoking Salary For Suspended Senators | Reuters
Sharon Bernstein @ reuters.com
SACRAMENTO, California Tue May 6, 2014 1:39pm EDT
Debra Gravert To Head Assembly Rules Committee, Replacing Jon Waldie
Jeremy B. White @ blogs.sacbee.com
With current Assembly Rules Committee boss Jon Waldie retiring, Debra Gravert has taken over as the powerful committee's chief administrative officer.
Obama’s Two Days In Bay Area: Y Combinator Out, Walmart In - Politics Blog
In a two-day trip to the Bay Area starting Thursday, President Obama will include high level political fundraising with Silicon Valley tech stars -- and a visit to a Walmart to talk energy efficien...
Supe proposes mandatory SF smart phone kill switch
The national debate over whether government should force wireless carriers to install antitheft technology on smart phones seeped down to the local level Tuesday as a San Francisco supervisor announced she will write legislation requiring any phone sold in the city to have a kill switch. The proposal by Supervisor London Breed comes two days before the state Senate is set to reconsider a bill that would mandate such technology for all phones sold in California - legislation that fell two votes short of passing last month after heavy lobbying against it by the wireless industry. Breed said Tuesday she was disappointed that state lawmakers rejected the bill and was asking the city attorney's office to draft a local ordinance.
Millionaires Say Inequality A Problem, Support Higher Taxes To Fix It
A majority of U.S. millionaires think rising income inequality is a “major problem” and almost two-thirds favor increasing taxes on the wealthy and raising the minimum wage to reverse the trend, according to a new survey.
California Senates Chief Sergeant-at-arms Retires Amid Controversy
Laurel Rosenhall @ sacbee.com
Tony Beard Jr., chief sergeant-at-arms, locks the desks of Sens. Leland Yee and Ron Calderon before session on Friday, March 28, 2014.
Calling Bs As Donnelly Links Kashkari To Shariah
By Josh Richman Tuesday, May 6th, 2014 at 12:55 pm in 2014 primary, Neel Kashkari, Tim Donnelly.
Secretary Of State Contenders Spar At San Diego Forum
All seven active candidates for California secretary of state jousted verbally during a forum in San Diego on Tuesday, with most promising to increase the state’s dismal voter registration and turnout.
Push For Five-year Block On San Francisco Ellis Act Evictions Passes Senate Hurdle - San Francisco Business Times
Controversial legislation that would allow San Francisco to prohibit city landlords from using the Ellis Act to evict tenants for five years after buying a property passed out of the State Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday.