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THE NOONER for May 20, 2014
TWO WEEKS OUT:
Here are the ten June races right now that I'm finding most interesting.
10. AD73 (Dana Point): While the national story is the fight for the future of the Republican Party is between Donnelly and Kashkari, it's playing out in several other districts as well, including this safe Republican seat. Bryson is carrying the moderate flag, while some speculate Petrilla could follow in Donnelly's red meat footsteps in the Assembly.
9. GOVERNOR: I debate whether to include the race to lose to Jerry Brown. However, from a campaign strategy perspective, it's an important race to watch. Neel Kashkari and allies are pulling out all stops and bringing in the biggest names in the GOP business. But, is it too late to offset the ballots that have already been cast by Donnelly's passionate base?
8. SD10 (Hayward-Santa Clara): Mary Hayashi and Bob Wieckowski and their allies are scraping the bottom. It's 50-50 as to whether the fight will continue to November, or whether Republican Peter Kuo will be able to grab a sufficient share to move on.
7. SD28 (Coachella): Bonnie Garcia and Jeff Stone are fighting as if only one will emerge after June 3, although it's possible they will continue to November.
6. CA33 (Coastal Los Angeles): With 18 candidates, there are lots of ways for the chips to fall. Ted Lieu is a favorite to be in the top two, but who will join him?
5. CA31 (Redlands): This race to succeed Gary Miller could go several ways -- two Democrats, two Republicans, or one of each. Paul Chabot seems to have the Republican momentum, and it's a toss-up on the Democratic side. It doesn't appear Michael Bloomberg will carpet bomb Joe Baca as he did in 2012 over guns (at least in June).
4. CONTROLLER: Ashley Swearengin has a date with a Democrat on November 4. Will it be John Perez or Betty Yee?
3. SD26 (Coastal Los Angeles): While the Waxman seat is higher profile, the political dynamics of the overlapping State Senate district are much more interesting.
2. AD16 (Tri-Valley): Millions are being spent on behalf of business-aligned Democrat Steve Glazer and labor ally Tim Sbranti. One will face off against Catharine Baker (R) in November, and it is damn close.
1. CA17 (Milpitas): Can Republican Vanila Singh get enough votes to end the fight between Mike Honda and Ro Khanna, or will the battle continue to November?
That was not easy. There are quite a few others (including four within a stone's throw of the Capitol), and of course a whole different set for November. Which are you watching and what are you seeing on the ground?
NIBBLE: Jeff Denham pushing immigration measure [Seung Min Kim @ Politico] - "Bucking his own leadership, Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Calif.) is pushing for a vote on a scaled-back immigration measure that would give legal status to young undocumented immigrants who serve in the military."
DOUBLE-X FACTOR: Only 11 States Have Ever Elected Both a Female Governor And Senator [Ritchie King @ FiveThirtyEight] - and they're mostly red states
ONE WORD: PLASTICS! The American Progressive Bag Alliance is on the air with an ad against plastic bag ban bill SB 270, although it also singles out one of its co-authors, Alex Padilla, candidate for Secretary of State.
CA31 (Redlands): Secretive group spending money on former Rep. Joe Baca's campaign [Jean Merl and Richard Simon @ LAT]
DEAR GROVER: California Democratic Party chairman pens a letter to Grover Norquist, praising Ronald Reagan.
STAR POWER (no, really, boss, she doesn't look familiar): The adult film community (Free Speech Coalition) will be in the Capitol today and tomorrow lobbying against AB 1576 (Hall), which would require condom use and expansive recordkeeping.
WORDS: NPR's White House Reporter Tells Grads A Secret to Her Success: Not Realizing Limitations - We miss you Tamara and are so proud of you!
STAGE STEALERS: West Sacramento mayor Christopher Cabaldon once again stole the show as the emcee of the My Sister's House annual gala at the Crest Theatre. Cabaldon opened with a mash-up of "Waiting on the World to Change" and "Same Love," and was accompanied by West Sacramento councilmembers Chris Ledesma on guitar and Babs Sandeens on keyboard.
River Cats could be looking for giant influx of fans [Brian van der Meer @ SacBizJour]
Is automated closed captioning even worthwhile or just cruel to hearing impaired? Watching KCRA morning news in a hotel lounge, and every single word is wrong. Then it's fine when it goes to the non-automated Today show feed.
From: Kim Lehmkuhl
June and Tim
Following up on my email to you last week regarding my job interview in Washington, DC, I have been offered and accepted the position. Consider this email notice of my formal resignation, effective immediately.
This has been an atrocious, incredibly depressing, and mind-numbingly inane experience I would not wish on anyone. I wish the City the best of luck in finding some schmuck eager to transcribe every last misogynistic joke, self-indulgent anecdote, and pathetic pandering attempt by Council, and every tinfoil hat conspiracy theory, racist aside, and NIMBY asshattery from the lovely Council meeting frequent flyers, without which, surely our democracy could not flourish. June, also best of luck with your imminent unfunded pensions scandal, that is going to be a rough one.
[Contra Costa Times - h/t kku]
Apparently, the feeling was mutual.
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
Bill To Close Prop. 13 Loophole Gets Rare Mix Of Support - Sfgate
Sacramento -- - A bill to close a loophole in Proposition 13 that lets commercial property buyers avoid higher taxes has received such a rare mix of support that one Republican lawmaker quipped that hell was freezing over and pigs were flying. The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, whose namesake was the architect of Prop. 13, removed opposition to Ammiano's bill, giving the proposal a clear shot at earning a two-thirds majority vote to pass the Legislature. Under the law, taxes paid for homes and commercial properties are frozen at the assessed value on the purchase date and can be increased annually only by up to 2 percent of the inflation factor thereafter. The city contended that IBM's pension fund concealed its purchase of One Market Plaza from Equitable Life Assurance in 1986 to avoid a reassessment that would lead to higher property taxes. After being tipped off six years later to the sale, the city revalued the building and charged its owners back taxes and a fraud penalty totaling $40.4 million, but settled the case for $24 million, according to Chronicle coverage at the time. Dell and several business partners avoided paying $1 million a year in property taxes by structuring the 2006 purchase of a Santa Monica hotel in a way so that it did not appear as a change in ownership, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Dan Walters Daily: Schools chief race reflects education policy battles
Alexei Koseff @ blogs.sacbee.com
California's growing battle between teachers unions and education activists has raised the stakes in this year's race for state superintendent of public instruction, Dan says.
Laura's Law adoption closer to being in S.F. voters' hands
Heather Knight @ sfgate.com
After years of hand-wringing and debate among San Francisco officials over whether to adopt Laura's Law to compel mentally ill people into treatment, Supervisor Mark Farrell on Tuesday will propose letting voters decide.
Senate Approves Bill To Halve Gifts To Lawmakers
Christopher Cadelago @ blogs.sacbee.com
The California Senate on Monday advanced a measure to crack down on special-interest gifts to lawmakers.
John Burton 'Endorses' Reagan Naming Project
Chronicle scribe Carolyn Lochhead reported last week on conservative boss Grover Norquist's campaign to name 3,000 things after Ronald Reagan, including a mountain in Nevada. Some Democrats aren't ...
Editorial: Ammiano bill would close a Proposition 13 loophole
the Editorial Board @ sacbee.com
The Legislature soon may alter Proposition 13 in a way that would bring a measure of fairness to California’s property tax system and cause some corporations to pay higher taxes in the future.
Climate Change Threatens California And The World, Jerry Brown Says
Gov. Jerry Brown continued to sound the alarm about climate change on Monday, saying people need to find a way to "live with nature" and "not to collide with it."
Source Of Money To Help California Tribes, Other Programs Almost Empty
Jim Miller @ blogs.sacbee.com
The state fund that helps provide a lifeline to dozens of poor tribes is almost tapped out, the Legislative Analyst's Office said in a new report, which notes that the state has no plan to cover the costs.
Affirmative Action Amendment Divides State's Asian Americans
Outrage prompts shelving of proposed amendment that would cut the number of Asian students admitted to UC schools.
CCSF accrediting group can extend deadline, feds tell Pelosi
The Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges "has the authority to reconsider or rescind its termination decision so as to provide the institution with additional time to come into compliance within the two-year time frame, if such period has not run out, or to provide an extension for good cause," Lynn Mahaffie, a senior accrediting director with the Education Department, wrote Pelosi on Monday in response to questions from the Congresswoman. For the (commission) to refuse to allow good-cause extension - even after this clarification from the Department of Education, even after all the monumental progress City College has made along its Roadmap to Success - would be destructive, irresponsible, and could be viewed as a political act. Thousands of City College students and employees, as well as state officials and politicians from Pelosi to San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee have become increasing anxious about the fate of the college of 80,000 students, the largest public school in California, because of the commission's apparent unwillingness to help the college avoid losing its accreditation. In 2012, the commission determined that City College had extremely poor financial controls, a tangled governance structure, and a lack of educational oversight to such an extent that college officials hadn't known what courses to offer or whether students were meeting learning objectives. [...] education officials at City College, andCalifornia Community College Chancellor Brice Harris saying progress has been extensive, with a new administrative team, new fiscal controls and evaluations of student learning outcomes now the norm.
UC Davis Eyes Downtown Sacramento Railyard For New Food Center
Dale Kasler, Ryan Lillis and Tony Bizjak @ sacbee.com
The downtown Sacramento rail yard is a potential site for part of UC Davis’ World Food Center.
Senate approves lower gift limit for lawmakers
Associated Press @ utsandiego.com
The state Senate has approved reducing the gift limit for lawmakers by more than half in an effort to improve the Legislature's image after a string of ethical lapses and criminal charges.
Immigration: New Push For Legal Status For Undocumented In Services
Denham is also asking the Rules Committee to allow consideration of an amendment that would call upon the secretary to Defense to compile a report on the number of undocumented immigrants who have, since 2000, enlisted in the military and gone onto obtain citizenship.
Bill requires payments for misusing campaign funds
Associated Press @ utsandiego.com
Candidates or lawmakers who illegally use campaign contributions for personal expenses would have to pay an equal amount to the state treasury under a bill passed by the Assembly.
Suicide-Prevention Training Bill Passes Assembly
FENIT NIRAPPIL, Associated Press @ sfgate.com
A bill requiring mental health professionals to undergo suicide-prevention training passed the state Assembly on Monday, as California public health data shows suicide is on the rise.
First Lady Vows To ‘fight’ Healthy School-lunch Rollback
Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP - First lady Michelle Obama has lunch with school children at Parklawn Elementary School in Alexandria, Va., on Jan., 25, 2012. Celebrity cook Rachael Ray is at left.
California Drought Could Cost Central Valley $1.7 Billion
California’s leading agricultural region, the Central Valley, could lose $1.7 billion and 14,500 jobs because of the state’s severe drought, according to preliminary results of a study released Monday by the UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences.
Seven candidates compete to represent east Sacramento, South Natomas on City Council
Ryan Lillis @ sacbee.com
After 20 years at City Hall, Sacramento Councilman Steve Cohn is stepping down to run for state Assembly. His departure has touched off a frenzied race to represent a district that covers the affluent blocks of east Sacramento, the working-class areas of South Natomas and the transitioning industrial area north of downtown.
National Briefing | New England: Maine: Ethics Inquiry Faults Anti-Gay Marriage Group
s same-sex marriage law in 2009 may be fined more than $50,000 and ordered to reveal its donors.
Egypt, international groups weigh value of observers for election
Egypt's presidential vote next week presents a quandary for both international observer groups and the military-backed interim government. To Egyptian authorities, the mere presence of prestigious outside observers gives the balloting a much-desired stamp of legitimacy, even in the face of...
Bonnie Garcia's campaign blasts GOP rival for 'oldest profession' link
supporting the state budget to receive an appointment to the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board. @ blogs.sacbee.com
Republican Bonnie Garcia's campaign denounced a comment attributed to Jeff Stone, saying the GOP rival in Riverside County's 28th Senate District is equating her fundraising efforts to prostitution.