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THE NOONER for May 28, 2014
On Friday, the Secretary of State released the certified write-in list. As I wrote about before, top two provides an opportunity for write-ins to get on the general election ballot without paying filing fees, which are $952.91 for Assembly and Senate this cycle. To be a certified write-in, in simply requires 40 valid signatures.
As expected, nearly all of the districts in which only one candidate filed "normally" had a write-in qualify. On June 3, as long as one vote is cast (ostensibly the candidate's) for the write-in, they earn a place on the November ballot. In 2012, the first cycle we used top-two, a candidate earned a spot on the November ballot with only 3 votes.
Here are the districts in which a write-in qualified against a solo candidate:
In most cases, the write-ins that qualify for November will not pose a serious challenge, as most of the districts are solid Dem or solid Rep. The two that could prove interesting are AD21, where Jack Mobley (R) will seek a rematch against Adam Gray (D), and AD60, where Oliver Unaka (D) hopes to be the top of three write-in candidates to challenge Eric Linder (R).
Before top two, a write-in candidate had to get the same 40 valid signatures, but also had to receive votes equivalent to 1% of the ballots cast for that office the previous cycle. So, on average, a write-in candidate was required to get 1,500 votes in the primary (and be the top candidate for that party) to earn a spot in November. That is a much higher hurdle than earning a spot by writing your own name in, which you can do now.
In 2010, there were only 13 write-in candidates for House, State Senate, and Assembly seats; in 2006 there were 12; in 2002 there were 11. This year, there are 43! That will signficantly slow down the ballot counting process.
The Legislature should put a measure on the ballot to increase the work required for write-in candidates to earn a spot on the November ballot. Last year, Assemblymember Jeff Gorell carried ACA 9, which would have reinstated the 1% requirement. While the bill sailed through committees with only 1 no vote (Donnelly), it hit a wall on the Assembly Floor. The bill received 46 votes, but required 54 as a proposed constitutional amendment. The bill was supported by the California Association of Clerks and Election Officials and opposed by the Libertarian Party.
The split of votes and number of folks sitting on their hands was interesting:
I understand why the minor parties don't like increasing the threshold for write-ins to make in to November, but that's really a beef with the top-two primary. Top-two makes it extremely difficult for a minor party candidate to earn a spot on the November ballot, but that doesn't mean letting someone on the ballot with only three votes makes sense.
AD62 (Inglewood): When you read the subject line "Special Breaking News:Simona Farrise Arrested for Real Estate Fraud San Francisco Chronicle," you probably think that it's leading to a big campaign shakeup. Instead, it's Basil Kimbrew pulling his tricks on behalf of the "California Friends of the African-American Caucus." The story is from 1992.
Because the California Friends of the African-American Caucus is a PAC and its e-blast slate card and candidate trashing doesn't count as a slate mailer, we don't see filings until the semi-annual report closing June 30.
OUR FUTURE: It was an honor to be asked to emcee the New Leaders Council event last night at The Park. What an amazing group of young progressive leaders working in and around the Capitol. As I told them, John Vasconcellos would be proud to know that his legacy and life's work will be continued by the next generation.
#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Bill Cardoza!
BINGO! With an endorsement of Kamala Harris, the LA Times is the first to fill a row in our endorsements grid!
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
Lawmakers Could Be Suspended Without Pay
FENIT NIRAPPIL @ sacbee.com
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Responding to a string of scandals, the state Senate voted Tuesday in favor of a proposed constitutional amendment that would allow the Legislature to withhold pay from suspended lawmakers.
Senate Supports Asking Voters To Repeal Ban On Bilingual Education
The state Senate voted Tuesday to ask California voters to repeal a ban on bilingual education in the state, saying children in other countries are successfully learning multiple languages.
CalPERS Lawsuit Against Wall Street Ratings Agencies Survives Dismissal Attempt
Dale Kasler @ sacbee.com
CalPERS defeated a bid by Wall Street’s leading credit ratings agencies to toss out the pension fund’s lawsuit over a $1 billion investment loss.
Pro-Kashkari Group Sends Mailers Attacking Donnelly In Governor's Race
With a week to go before the primary, a glossy new mailer funded by GOP establishment forces began hitting mailboxes, trying to boost Neel Kashkari’s gubernatorial bid by telling voters about Republican rival Tim Donnelly’s criminal past.
'student Success Fees' Part Of California Budget Debate
Alexei Koseff @ blogs.sacbee.com
Directly challenging Gov. Jerry Brown's budget priorities, Senate and Assembly committees last week proposed spending another $95 million to $100 million for California State University next year.
Poll: Californians want state budget surplus spent on taxpayer refunds
According to a new Hoover Institution Golden State poll released Wednesday, one in five Californians wants this yearÂs state budget surplus spent on taxpayer refunds. That was the top choice of Californians polled online between May 7 and May 19.
S.F. to offer George Lucas prime lot for his museum
Phillip Matier and Andrew Ross @ sfgate.com
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee plans to officially offer George Lucas a prime lot near the Bay Bridge as the site for a museum to house the "Star Wars" creator's collection of illustrative art and Hollywood memorabilia.
Obscure Tax Board Draws Line Of Candidates
Michael Gardner @ utsandiego.com
A crowded field is jockeying to represent San Diego County on an obscure state tax board that acts as judge and jury in disputes over bills, makes sure assessors follow the law and administers about $56 billion collected annually from taxes and fees levied on everything from property to pizza.
Tim Donnelly Calls Financial Difficulties Proof He Can Relate
David Siders @ blogs.sacbee.com
Republican Tim Donnelly said Tuesday that his past financial difficulties are evidence he can relate to regular Californians, firing back at Neel Kashkari, his better-funded rival in the governor's race one week before the primary election.
Focus Of Campaign To Boost The Minimum Wage Shifts To The Local Level
Congressional action to raise the minimum wage may have stalled, but a grass-roots campaign to lift basic pay is picking up steam at city halls and state legislatures — and probably heading to ballot boxes in the Bay Area.
Hoover Poll: Donnelly leads Kashkari (but from May 7-19)
A new poll released Wednesday shows Assemblyman Tim Donnelly maintaining a comfortable lead over his GOP rival, Neel Kashkari, in the gubernatorial race for second place. But, the poll was conducted before Kashkari's recent media blitz.
See Where Republican Party Is Shrinking Fastest In California
Phillip Reese @ sacbee.com
California Republicans are struggling this year to find a candidate that can beat Gov. Jerry Brown, state polls show. That's partly due to Brown's popularity and partly due to the shrinking proportion of the state's voters registered as Republicans.
Brown Links Budget Dollars To Department Reforms
Katie Orr @ capradio.org
At the most basic level, Californiaâs budget allocates money to state programs for the year. But Governor Jerry Brown also wants to use it to push his agenda.
Oakland: Union-backed Campaign To Raise Minimum Wage Seeks Ballot Measure
Matthew Artz @ contracostatimes.com
The proposal also provides paid sick days and cost-of-living adjustments for the city's lowest paid workers.
Martins Beach fight heads to state Capitol
The fight over access to the picturesque Martins Beach near Half Moon Bay moved to the state Capitol, as lobbyists and activists attempted to sway state lawmakers ahead of a crucial vote Wednesday on a bill to reopen the sandy haven to the public. The bill by Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, would require the State Lands Commission to buy a road or obtain access rights so that the public can use Martins Beach. Billionaire property owner Vinod Khosla, who purchased the land containing the only public access road to the beach - and then closed the road - has been locked in a court case with the Surfrider Foundation over access. An opposition letter Areias gave Hill's office says California was asked multiple times if it wanted to buy private property for public access to the beach, but passed. The letter says Martins Beach is private, from the sandy beach to submerged tidelands seaward of the mean high tide and therefore the state's coastal public access policies don't apply.
Bill Would Allow Local Groundwater Management
JULIET WILLIAMS @ sacbee.com
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- The state Senate approved legislation Tuesday asking local agencies to develop plans to manage groundwater, a supply that is largely unregulated throughout the state even amid a statewide drought.
Bill dedicates funding for agriculture education
Associated Press @ utsandiego.com
The state Assembly has unanimously approved legislation to support funding for agriculture education.
Obama delays deportation review to give immigration bill a chance
President Obama will not make changes to America's deportation system for at least two months, administration officials said Wednesday, to give House Republican leaders more time to search for votes for an overhaul of immigration laws.
California Democrats Call For Gun Restrictions After Isla Vista Killings
Laurel Rosenhall @ blogs.sacbee.com
On their first day back in the Capitol since the killing Friday night of six college students near UC Santa Barbara, Democrats in the California Legislature said the state should do more to keep mentally ill people from obtaining guns.
Joe The Plumber: 'your Dead Kids Don't Trump My Constitutional Rights' To Have Guns
Paige Lavender @ huffingtonpost.com
Samuel Wurzelbacher, better known as Joe the Plumber, insisted the deaths of innocent people "don't trump" his constitutional rights in an open letter to the families of victims in Friday's shooting rampage near the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Insurance Commissioner Defends Health Insurance Initiative | State Of Health Blog From Kqed News
The commissioner closed his remarks by pitching for the rate review ballot initiative coming up in November. As moderator of the discussion following, I fielded several questions from the audience about the upcoming initiative. To recap the basics: If passed, the initiative would give the insurance commissioner the authority to reject excessive health insurance rate increases.
Fight over Martins Beach goes to state Capitol
The fight over access to the picturesque Martins Beach near Half Moon Bay moved to the state Capitol, as lobbyists and activists attempted to sway state lawmakers ahead of a crucial vote Wednesday on a bill to reopen the sandy haven to the public. Billionaire property owner Vinod Khosla, who purchased the land containing the only public access road to the beach - and then closed the road - has been locked in a court case with the Surfrider Foundation over access. An opposition letter Areias gave Hill's office says California was asked multiple times if it wanted to buy private property for public access to the beach, but passed. The letter says Martins Beach is private, from the sandy beach to submerged tidelands seaward of the mean high tide and therefore the state's coastal public access policies don't apply.