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THE NOONER for June 23, 2014
Well, that game sucked. But, the NYT tells us what we need to know: "The United States advances so long as one of three things happen: 1) It beats Germany; 2) It ties Germany; 3) Ghana and Portugal tie in their match. No, avoiding a loss to Germany will not be easy. But the United States has shown it belongs in this tough World Cup group, and Germany looked mortal in its 2-2 tie against Ghana (which the United States beat, 2-1)."
Of course, the USA-Germany game on Thursday is at 9am in the middle of floor session. Ummm, can we, like, make it a check-in session? To quote Bill Lumbergh, "So, if you could do that, that would be great..." Meanwhile México faces Croatia at 1pm today. Really, Scott? The Nooner has been taken over by football?
DEADLINES: Thursday is the deadline for the Legislature to approve ballot measures for November. Of course, the Legislature can waive that deadline, which it might. As political maneuvering continues for both the water bond and an education bond, the big question is what would the governor sign off on? Some members wanted the bond deal to be part of the Rainy Day Fund ballot measure deal, although missed their opportunity.
Friday is the deadline for policy committees to hear and act on bills.
VOTING RIGHTS: Watching Rand Paul on Meet the Press yesterday was fascinating and brought up an issue I haven't thought about since law school. The Kentucky senator made the case for his bill to have a national standard of restoration of voting rights for post-incarceration felons. California is a "middle ground" state, providing for restoration after incarceration, parole, and probation. Maine and Vermont allow felons to vote during incarceration; others such as Florida permanently disenfranchise felons; and some wait until parole and probation. In Florida, if you are convicted of any felony, you have to apply to a clemency board after a five-year waiting period to restore your voting rights, a process which was enacted in 2011.
It's the biggest voting rights issue of our day. We've gotten distracted by a lot of other things. We think there may be a million people who are being prevented from voting from having a previous felony conviction. I'll give you an example: I have a friend whose brother, thirty years ago, grew marijuana plants in college. He made a mistake; he probably would tell you now it’s a mistake. He still can't vote, and every time he goes to get a job he has to tick a box that says convicted felon. It prevents you from employment, so if we're the party of family values and keeping families together, and the party that believes in redemption and second chances, we should be for letting people have the right to vote back, and I think the face of the Republican party needs to be not about suppressing the vote, but about enhancing the vote. So I have a bill that I'm going to introduce next week, if it comes forward would allow somewhere between a half a million to a million people to get the right to vote back.
That was in response to the following question by David Gregory:
You are championing another piece of legislation that could be controversial, but it focuses an area where you think you can work with Democrats. Here's something you said last year "If I told you that one out of three African-American males is forbidden by law from voting, you might think I was talking about Jim Crow 50 years ago. Yet today, a third of African-American males are still prevented from voting because of the war on drugs". What do you mean and what do you want to do about it?
Seriously, one out of three?
Should we join Maine and Vermont and not disenfranchise anyone? Even if you did an awful thing and are convicted, you are still a citizen. I'm all about deterring crime, but I doubt people think about voting rights before committing the act. As I wrote a couple of weeks ago, I've spent time with inmates who are as articulate on the state's need for a water bond as your average Joe on the street.
#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Michelle Elmer, Lucas Frerichs, and Elise Flynn Gyore!
TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
Latino Lawmakers Move To Reverse Decades Of Anti-immigrant Legislation
Two decades after California voters took a hard line on illegal immigration, affirmative action and bilingual education, an ascendant class of Latino lawmakers is seeking to rewrite the books and discard the polarizing laws.
Constitutional Amendment To Regulate Money In Politics
John Diaz @ sfgate.com
California's Legislature is on the brink of becoming the second in the nation to call for a constitutional amendment to affirm the citizenry's right to regulate money in politics. The state Senate is expected to vote on the measure, AJR1 by Assemblyman Mike Gatto, D-Los Angeles, on Monday.
San Bernardino Cuts Deal To Pay CalPERS Debt | Calpensions
Bankrupt San Bernardino announced an agreement with CalPERS last week to pay off an unprecedented pension debt owed for skipping payments to the pension fund for a year — $13.5 million, plus several million more in penalties and interest.
Initiative for renewable power in S.F. is stalling
In his first month in office, Mayor Ed Lee assembled a team of energy experts to help San Francisco meet its ambitious goal of having all electricity in the city come from renewable sources by the end of 2020. PG&E insists that it has remained neutral in San Francisco's renewable energy fight, saying in an e-mailed statement: "We respect the energy choices that are available to our customers and cities." In 2011, shortly after he was appointed mayor, Lee praised PG&E as "a great company that gets it" for its donation of $250,000 to help promote literacy and sports for underprivileged kids at a public elementary school. The comments came two days after federal regulators said PG&E's shoddy safety practices made the utility to blame for a 2010 explosion in San Bruno that killed eight people and destroyed 38 homes. Disputes with cityA 2012 memo to the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, which Lee was copied on, said PG&E was disputing the city's right to provide power to Port properties, including tenants in the Ferry Building, and to Muni bus shelters. "In some cases city departments, and ultimately taxpayers and ratepayers, have paid costs that should have been paid by PG&E just to prevent even more costly project delays," said the memo, written by the agency's assistant general manager for power, Barbara Hale. Documents obtained under a public records request show only four phone calls or meetings between Lee or his staff and PG&E officials since Lee became mayor. While it's not unusual for elected officials to have relationships with business executives, several current and former city officials described Lee as particularly close with PG&E's vice president of corporate affairs, Travis Kiyota. What we have seen again and again at PG&E rate hearings is a parade of people representing organizations that receive money standing up and defending the company, saying that rate hikes are good for customers. During those years, PG&E also donated $35,500 to the Chinatown Community Development Center, a housing nonprofit with long-standing ties to Lee, and paid the Chinese Chamber of Commerce $59,000 in dues. Jason McDaniel, a political science professor at San Francisco State University, said there's no doubt corporations use charitable giving as a way to "build better relationships," and, in the case of a company criticized for incidents such as the San Bruno explosion, "as part of a public relations campaign." In the five years prior to the blast, the company spent more than $55 million on political efforts opposing those programs, which allow cities and counties to bypass utilities by purchasing clean energy on the wholesale market and selling it directly to customers. Dawn Weisz, executive officer for Marin's community choice aggregation program, Marin Clean Energy, said the utility vociferously fought that now successful program, largely through "closed-door meetings with decision makers where untrue information was being provided." Killing mention of programLast year, Lee's office directed the city's Department of the Environment to delete mention of the CleanPowerSF program and PG&E's competitor program from the city's latest Climate Action Strategy, according to a Sept. 30 memo from Melanie Nutter, then the city's environment director.
Next Senate Leader Kevin De León Wants Brown To Rethink Bullet Train
Gov. Jerry Brown must be saved from himself, says the next state Senate leader. He needs to be talked out of starting the bullet train in the Central Valley boonies.
Low Primary Voter Turnout Foretells November, Could Hurt Democrats
Dan Walters @ sacbee.com
Although election officials are still counting votes from the June 3 primary election â and a few contests are still in doubt â the lukewarm tenor of the Nov. 4 general election is evident, and that could be bad news for Californiaâs dominant Democrats.
Corinthian, Department Of Education Reach Deal; Campuses To Be Sold
Chris Kirkham @ latimes.com
A troubled for-profit college corporation based in Orange County has reached a temporary agreement with the U.S. Department of Education that will allow access to $16 million in federal student aid, enough to keep the company afloat.
Brown's Water Tunnel Job Claims Generating Controversy
Critics of proposal to build two water tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta call job-creation estimates overblown.
Pregnant Women Living Near Where Agricultural Pesticides Are Applied At Greater Risk For A Child With Autism, UC Davis Study Says
Edward Ortiz @ sacbee.com
Pregnant women who live near areas where agricultural pesticides are applied experience a higher risk of delivering children with autism or other developmental delays, a UC Davis study has found.
East Bay mayors looking to raise minimum wage together
East Bay mayors are moving forward with a plan to adopt a single minimum wage for the region in order to share the benefits and burdens of raising salaries for the lowest-paid workers. Bates' plan also does not include mandatory health benefits or sick leave, which he said should be handled individually. The advantage of a regional plan is that cities with higher minimum wages would not lose business to neighboring towns with lower minimum wages, he said. Oakland Mayor Jean Quan said a regional minimum wage, especially if it's lower than San Francisco's $15-per-hour proposal, would give the East Bay an economic advantage in attracting business but still help its lowest-paid workers. Even with a regional minimum wage proposal, each city will still have to navigate difficult political waters with its own business and labor communities, she said.
It’s Better At The Top: Upscale Home Buyers Have Advantage In Today’s Tough Market
Hudson Sangree @ sacbee.com
This house at 9796 Swan Lake Drive in Granite Bay, was for sale on June 20, 2014 for $629,999 -- less than online real estate tracker Zillow’s estimate of $636,000. On a cul de sac, it has 5 bedrooms, 4 baths and is approximately 3,500 square feet. It had been on the market since May 7. Buyers shopping for homes like this one in the $500,000 to $750,000 price range have more choices than buyers seeking lower-priced homes in the Sacramento area.
Corinthian, Education Dept. in tentative agreement
Associated Press @ utsandiego.com
Corinthian Colleges Inc. and the U.S. Department of Education have reached an agreement that will allow the for-profit education company to receive an immediate $16 million in federal student aid funds.
Kerry Visits Iraq
Alan Rappeport @ rss.nytimes.com
Summer has officially started, but the situation in Iraq has been hot for a while. President Obama has dispatched Secretary of State John Kerry to Baghdad, where he arrived this morning to urge the country to bridge sectarian rifts and form a new government.
California Law Would Fast-track Residential Solar Panel Installations
Jordan England-Nelson @ dailybulletin.com
Installing solar panels in California will get a lot less complicated if the state Senate votes Wednesday to pass a bill to speed up the permitting process that can often drag on for months.
Stanford study: Moving some public workers to Obamacare could save billions
Tracy Seipel @ mercurynews.com
If two segments of America's public employee sector -- retirees under 65 and low-income government workers -- were to be transitioned to coverage under the Affordable Care Act, the study found, state and local governments nationwide could save almost $12 billion annually.
What A GOP Senate Would Mean For Obamacare - Nationaljournal.com
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Obama Seeks To Expand Flex-time For Government Workers | Reuters
Mark Felsenthal @ reuters.com
WASHINGTON Mon Jun 23, 2014 6:09am EDT
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Say you’re shopping for a new computer or a new car, and you want to get the best price. Within a matter of minutes on Google, you would have a pretty good idea of the price range for the product you want.
Kerry In Iraq For Crisis Talks As Isis Militants Gain Ground
Secretary of State John F. Kerry arrived in Baghdad Monday for talks with Prime Minister Nouri Maliki and other senior officials as the Iraqi government faces a political crisis that has bred a violent Islamist insurgency.
Juvenile rape legislation --"Audrie's Law" -- stirs Capitol debate
Jessica Calefati @ mercurynews.com
Supporters of the measure named after assaulted Saratoga girl want mandatory sentencing with treatment. Juvenile justice advocates say the bill’s penalties are too harsh.
Mountain lion found in Sacramento backyard
Associated Press @ utsandiego.com
A mountain lion is back in the wild after it was found in the backyard of a Sacramento home.
Justice Department Found It Lawful to Target Anwar al-Awlaki
The Justice Department memo, released after Freedom of Information Act lawsuits, concluded that it would be lawful to target Anwar al-Awlaki for killing if his capture was not feasible.