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THE NOONER for May 21, 2014
Good morning from just north of AD10, where it is likely that first-term Assemblymember Marc Levine will face off against fellow Democrat and Marin Community College District trustee Diana Conti in November. The question is whether public employees unions want to spend money to try to take him out. Levine beat redistricted Assemblymember Michael Allen in 2012. Here in AD02, Healdsburg mayor Jim Wood is the favorite to succeed Wes Chesbro in this long district that extends along the coast to the Oregon border.
Yesterday, I wrote Ted Lieu was a favorite in CA33, which of course contradicts what I have written previously. It is very likely that Republican Elan Carr will place first on June 3. Then it is a question of who from the top tier of candidates--Lieu, Wendy Greuel, Matt Miller, or Marianne Williamson--will join Carr in November. Another example of the hazard of trying to cover 161 races and writing at 5am.
Some readers asked why AD04 wasn't on there. I've written enough about this race, which has gotten pretty nasty with independent expenditures. Napa Supervisor Bill Dodd is the favorite to place in top two, because of geography and cross-over support from Republicans. However, there is a question whether the two Republicans split enough of the votes to leave the door open for Dan Wolk to get a ticket to November, or whether fellow Davis councilmember Joe Krovoza will pull enough votes allowing Dodd be on the ballot with a Republican and thus have a walk in November. And, Krovoza is hoping he can earn a ticket by being the candidate who doesn't have a negative campaign target on his back. (I have contributed to both Wolk and Krovoza.)
The Prop. 34 laundry machine is in full operation with the California Teachers Association doling out $30,000-$32,000 checks to three more Democratic county central committees. In the last week, contributions of that size have been reported to the Del Norte, Fresno, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara and Stanislaus committees. These funds can then be redistributed to candidates in excess of the $8,200 (combined primary/general) contribution limits. At $7.64 per registered voter in Del Norte County that lies in safe Dem seats, the contribution is unlikely to be targeted for party building or local state candidates.
The LA Times comes out with an endorsement for Gavin Newsom, writing "He was a cocky mayor of San Francisco, but he was dynamic and smart. He's ready to step in, unlike his opponents." Cocky, but well, sort of right.
Our updated endorsements chart is after the jump. It was also a big day for independent expenditures, with Bill Bloomfield spending $345k on behalf of Marshall Tuck for Superintendent of Public Instruction. Find the full list of yesterday's IEs below.
VBM RETURNS: Paul Mitchell gives us the first return numbers of ballots, by district and with enough demographics to consume the rest of your day.
#APOLOGIES: I listed Ben van der Meer's name yesterday as Brian.
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
Jerry Brown, Legislative Analysts Differ On Healthcare Costs
If the governor's estimates were too high, Steinberg said, that could free up more money for other government services. The goal is to "add up $50 or $100 million at a time" until there's enough cash for other programs he wants to fund, like preschool for poor children.
Secretary Of State Campaign Takes On A Higher Profile
Candidates vying to become secretary of state are offering competing plans to inject transparency and restore public faith in government.
Brown's Budget Proves He's A Centrist | East Bay Express
Only far-right conservatives and people who don't know Governor Jerry Brown think he's a liberal. The rest of us, especially longtime Oakland residents, know that the former mayor is very much a centrist. And he proved it once again last week, unveiling yet another austere budget proposal that prioritizes paying off debt and stockpiling cash in reserve rather than restoring funds to California's social safety net, which was shredded by cutbacks during the Great Recession.
Fresno GOP Gives Backing To Donnelly For Governor, Swearengin For Controller
Learn about the candidates in the June 3 primary and where they stand on issues.
California Senate Votes To Ban 'material Support' To Nsa - Us News
Steven Nelson @ usnews.com
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., should be glad state legislatures no longer elect U.S. senators.
Calif. Democrat John Burton Endorses Reagan, Tongue Firmly In Cheek
For nearly a decade starting in the mid-1960s, Ronald Reagan was California governor and Assemblyman John Burton was his liberal nemesis in Sacramento. The two battled over school funding, mental healthcare and other social welfare programs.
Campaigns On Malpractice Measure Will Avoid The Issue
Dan Walters @ sacbee.com
Jerry Brown signed the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act during the first year of his first governorship 39 years ago, and except for a brief truce, the contending factions have waged perpetual war over its provisions in the Capitol ever since.
State Assembly 73: Charles Munger PAC outspends all candidates- combined
The Spirit of Democracy California PAC, which is sponsored by Charles Munger, Jr., has outspent all of the candidates in the race for the 73rd Assembly District. Munger's backing a "pro-family" NRA member.
House GOP Won’t Allow Vote On Legal Status For Military Service - Time
House Republicans are prepared to spike a proposal that would allow children brought into the country illegally to gain legal status through military service, in the latest sign that immigration reform is a no-go ahead of the midterm elections.
Joe Krovoza Laments Spending, Ads In Yolo-napa Assembly District
Christopher Cadelago @ blogs.sacbee.com
In the 1992 vice presidential debate, Admiral James Stockdale famously said he felt like he was watching a ping pong match between "expert professional politicians" Al Gore and Dan Quayle.
Richmond Moves A Step Closer To Sales Tax Hike To Fix Streets
Robert Rogers @ contracostatimes.com
The council, by a 5-1-1 vote, paved the way for the November sales-tax measure along with an informational campaign to explain the measure to voters.
Leland Yee Case: Judge Orders Evidence Kept Secret
Howard Mintz @ mercurynews.com
U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer imposed the restrictions Monday on every lawyer and defendant in the case, finding the material should be kept under wraps while both sides prepare for trial. Breyer rejected the free speech arguments of Chow's lawyer, J. Tony Serra, who insisted he should be able to reveal evidence to combat the government's public charges.
Independent Campaign Mega-Cash Cuts Both Ways
John Wildermuth @ blog.sfgate.com
In politics, money is nice, but it can come with a cost. Especially if itâs arriving in chunks way bigger than Californiaâs campaign finance laws typically allow.
Festive Crowd Lines Up For Sacramento City Council Vote On New Kings Arena
Ryan Lillis, Dale Kasler and Tony Bizjak @ sacbee.com
Amid a festive atmosphere at City Hall, the Sacramento City Council voted Tuesday night to approve the construction of a new downtown arena for the Kings, ending years of effort and angst.
Grover Norquist calls John Burton's Reagan support 'childish'
Christopher Cadelago @ blogs.sacbee.com
Anti-tax activist Grover Norquist's plan to name 3,000 items after former President Ronald Reagan - including a mountain overlooking Las Vegas - drew a tongue-in-cheek endorsement from California Democratic Party Chairman John Burton.
Washington: House GOP Leaders Block Calif. Republican’s Immigration Measure | Immigration | Mcclatchy Dc
Michael Doyle @ mcclatchydc.com
WASHINGTON — California Republican Rep. Jeff Denham’s pro-immigrant amendment to a big defense bill Tuesday exposed, once again, deep fault lines in his party.
Federal Funds Earmarked To Offset Affordable Care Act Insurer Losses
The Obama administration has quietly adjusted key provisions of its signature healthcare law to potentially make billions of additional taxpayer dollars available to the insurance industry if companies providing coverage through the Affordable Care Act lose money.
Cal State Holds Off On Budget Decisions, Lobbies For More State Money
California State University is delaying some budget decisions for next year in hopes that an improved economic outlook may spur California legislators free up more funding for the vast system, which annually educates nearly half a million students.
The BART Strike Contest
Steven Tavares @ eastbayexpress.com
This year's race for the East Bay's 16th state Assembly District is all about a proposal to ban BART workers from striking and the resulting pushback from organized labor. Not surprisingly, the battle over BART strikes has attracted truckloads of special interest money to the race. Since March, the fight over the right of transit workers to go on strike has drawn at least $2.7 million in contributions to so-called independent expenditure committees that are attempting to influence the race. Indeed, the total amount of money in the contest is extraordinary for a state Assembly race.
L.A. Unified hires Rory Pullens as new head of arts education
The leader of one of the nation's top arts high schools has accepted the job of leading arts education for the Los Angeles Unified School District. Rory Pullens, 56, has served as head of school and chief executive at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, D.C. Pullens had...
Moody's: Drought Unlikely To Hurt State Economy
This report arrives a day after another study from the University of California Davis found that the drought could cost Central Valley farmers and farm communities$1.7 billion this year and may cause more than 14,500 workers to lose their jobs.
Bailout For Teachers' Pensions To Cost California School Districts
California's public school districts could face difficult cutbacks if state officials move forward with a plan to bail out the retirement fund for teachers, officials and educators say, but even those painful steps may fall short of curing the pension deficit if investments don't meet expectations.
Cabbies Protest Proposal By City To Require English Test
Tony Bizjak @ sacbee.com
Tougher regulations of taxi cabs in Sacramento, such as some of these lined up in front of a downtown hotel in 2012, have caused strong reaction from many drivers, who oppose the rules that are up for a final vote on May 27, 2014.
Stanley Fischer Confirmed By Senate For Federal Reserve Board Seat
Stanley Fischer, the former Bank of Israel head picked by President Obama for the No. 2 job at the Federal Reserve , won Senate confirmation Wednesday to become a member of the Fed's board of governors.
The Buzz: Grover Norquist calls John Burton’s comments on Reagan ‘childish’
Anti-tax activist Grover Norquist’s plan to name 3,000 items after former President Ronald Reagan – including a mountain overlooking Las Vegas – drew a tongue-in-cheek endorsement from California Democratic Party Chairman John Burton.