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THE NOONER for June 26, 2014

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CONTROLLER: Today, the most politically suspenseful place in California is Lakeport, a town with 2,562 registered voters, which serves as the county seat of Lake County. The county is the only one with significant ballots outstanding, with 6,053 or about 38..4% of those cast. It anticipates finishing and reporting the count by Tuesday's deadline. 

Both campaigns for John A. Pérez and Betty Yee will be watching over that count carefully, matching signatures, looking at postmarks, and generally trying to advocate for voters they believe punched for their candidate on June 3. The battle is on for second place behind Republican Ashley Swearengin, the mayor of Fresno.

In ballots counted thus far in Lake County, Pérez leads Yee 2,326 to 1,662, or 26% to 18.6%. Some observers were caught by surprise by this, as Lake is a far cry from Perez's home in Los Angeles, and Yee represents the county in her current Board of Equalization seat. The county is very white (73.4%), there is a tiny Asian population (1.3%), and a larger Latino (18.3%) and Native American population (4.3%). 

One idea is that voters were influenced by Pérez's support of tribal gaming, which is a significant part of Lake County's economy with four casinos and, to supporters, hopefully more on the way. Since Yee hasn't served in the Legislature, she hasn't had an opportunity to build a record on the topic.

Also interesting to watch here is the votes for David Evans, the businessman who was in second place for a period on election night. He currently is one vote behind John Pérez, and while Lake County doesn't have enough votes to put him back in second place, every vote between Perez and Yee matters, and thus every vote for other candidates do as well.

THE DEAN EXPLAINETH: George Skelton has a great column on the debate over a water bond.

CA31 (Redlands): Gooch campaign calls off recount [Nickie Johnson @ PE] - "A day spent manually recounting the ballots in the 31st Congressional District led to a single additional vote being recorded for third-place finisher Lesli Gooch — and the recount has now been called off." So, it's [almost] official, Paul Chabot (R) and Pete Aguilar (R) advance to November.


  • Technology Pulls Back the Political Curtain [Sam Blakeslee @ Fox and Hounds] - "With the new Digital Democracy program users will be able to search the spoken word or search by individual speaker, instantly accessing a treasure trove of new data."
  • Agreement on California business property tax bill blows up [Dan Walters @ SacBee] - Lenny "Goldberg's pullback drives a wedge between him and [Tom] Ammiano, who has also been a long-standing champion of changing tax assessments on business property. Whether the split is fatal will depend on what happens when the bill hits the Senate Appropriations Committee and, perhaps, the Senate floor."


#CAKEDAY: Light those candles for Tony Gonzalez!





Projection Spreadsheets: Election Day | Total Vote 






  • Jay Hansen for School Board
    Monday, June 30th - 5:30-7:30pm
    Chicory, 1121 11th Street, Sacramento
  • Capitol Weekly Top 100 Party
    Tuesday, August 19, 5:30 PM  – 8:30 PM
    The Senator Hotel, 1121 L Street, Sacramento
    Get your tickets here!

  • Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, author of AB 1516 to provide a diaper supplement for CalWorks families, is hosting a diaper donation drive at the State Capitol through Friday, June 27. Diapers can be dropped off in the bins near the elevator bank on floors 2-6 of the Capitol or at Room 5158.  Proceeds benefit River City Food Bank. Contact Ricki Wells at (916) 319-2080 for more info.

  • GrassrootsLab seeks an intern to assist with administrative duties and complete research in its Sacramento office. The internship is paid and allows for a flexible schedule, not to exceed 24 hours per week. Candidates should be detail-oriented and familiar with basic Microsoft Office programs. This position is an excellent opportunity for driven individuals to become familiar with the intricacies of California politics. All interested candidates are encouraged to apply immediately. Please submit cover letter and resume to Ashley Underlee at



Gov. Jerry Brown's Proposal Intensifies Water Bond Negotiations
Melanie Mason @
Gov. Jerry Brown's call for a drastically cheaper water bond set off a fresh round of negotiations in the Capitol on Wednesday, as lawmakers and stakeholders seek to craft a plan that addresses the state's myriad water needs without a bloated price tag.

Governor's Bond Plan Seeks Tunnel Neutrality
Water bond politics look poised to dominate the remainder of California's legislative session, with Senate leadership and Gov. Jerry Brown billions of dollars apart on the size of a revised water bond for the November 2014 ballot.

Family Of S.F. Girl Killed By Uber Driver Backs Insurance Law
Melody Gutierrez @
A San Francisco couple who said their family was destroyed when an Uber driver struck and killed their daughter urged lawmakers Wednesday to increase auto insurance requirements for ride-sharing companies.

California Lawmakers Should Not Procrastinate On Water Plan
George Skelton @
How soon people forget: One spring day just three years ago so much water was rampaging down the Sacramento River nobody knew where to put it.

Agreement On California Business Property Tax Bill Blows Up
Dan Walters @
It wasn't exactly a chorus of Kumbaya, but a few weeks ago, two lobbyists who have battled each other for decades over property tax policy sat together at a legislative hearing to praise a compromise bill.

Governor To Consider Legalizing Bitcoin, Starbucks Stars
California Gov. Jerry Brown is considering signing a law that would legalize alternative currencies including bitcoin, Amazon Coins and Starbuck Stars.

Senators spar over the need for new voting rights legislation
Republicans and Democrats in the Senate argued bitterly Wednesday about the need for a new law to protect the voting rights of minorities.

Dan Walters Daily: Water politics complicate drought response
Lawmakers are scrambling to craft a deal on a new water bond, the state's most confounding and contentious political issue, Dan says.

SEIU dissident renews fight for union transparency
Jon Ortiz @
DMV employee and union member Miriam Noujaim once again has revved up a lawsuit aimed at prying open the financial records of SEIU Local 1000, the largest state-employee union.

Lawmakers: Students Need 20 Minutes To Eat
Twenty minutes, according to the California Department of Education, is considered the minimum “adequate time” to consume a meal once it has been served. AB 2449 would require schools not hitting that mark to coordinate with their district or county office of education on a plan to increase students’ time to eat beginning in the 2015-16 school year.

Lawmakers Consider Repealing Glove Rule For Food Handlers
Patrick McGreevy @
A year after approving a law requiring restaurant workers to put on new plastic gloves each time they handle food, state lawmakers are rushing to repeal the mandate after eateries complained it is a significant burden.

Bill Again Boosting California Minimum Wage Fails
With multiple Democrats not voting, a California Assembly panel on Wednesday rejected a bill that would raise the state's minimum wage beyond the boost agreed to in 2013.

Repeal Of Food Safety Law Requiring Gloves In 'final Push'
The proposed repeal of the California law that requires food workers to wear gloves has inched its way through the state Assembly and Senate and is in its "final push" toward a vote by Gov. Jerry Brown. 

The Caucus: House Panel Seeks to Block Washington Marijuana Law
The action by the House Appropriations Committee is a stumbling block for a new law decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana in the District of Columbia.

Bill Requiring Tougher Insurance For Ride-sharing Firms Advances
Tougher insurance requirements for high-tech ride-sharing companies operating in California got the go-ahead from a Senate Insurance Committee on Wednesday.

Family of SF girl killed by Uber driver backs insurance law
Sacramento -- A San Francisco couple who said their family was destroyed when an Uber driver struck and killed their daughter, urged lawmakers Wednesday to increase auto insurance requirements for ride-sharing companies. Ang Jiang Liu and Huan Hua Kuang of San Francisco spoke at a legislative hearing for AB2293 by Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla, D-Concord, which would require ride-sharing companies to cover drivers with commercial insurance policies from the time they turn on the app to the time it's turned off. Muzzafar was arrested following the crash on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence and failure to yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk. The bill, which passed the Senate insurance committee Wednesday, is also opposed by taxicab drivers who say the state is not regulating app-based transportation companies enough. Last year, the Public Utilities Commission began requiring app-based transportation companies to carry commercial insurance policies of at least $1 million of coverage for their independent drivers.

CalSTRS names new equity investments director
Dale Kasler @
CalSTRS named a new global equity director Wednesday, hiring an investment officer from Los Angeles to oversee the pension fund’s $105.8 billion stock portfolio.

Wicker, McDaniel allies toss water on challenge
His campaign considers challenging ballots cast by people who voted in the Democratic primary.

Palestinian Prisoners Halt Hunger-strike As Force-feeding Law Nears Ok
Dozens of Palestinian prisoners have halted a two-month hunger strike after reaching an undisclosed agreement with Israeli Prison Service authorities, even as Israeli lawmakers continue to push a controversial bill to allow forced feedings.

California Film Tax Credit Bill Moves Closer To Passage
California lawmakers could soon take action to stem the flight of television and movie productions to other states and foreign countries.

California Seeks Constitutional Convention Over Citizens United
Bob Egelko @
There hasn't been a U.S. constitutional convention in 225 years, and it would take a daunting number of states, 34, to call another one.

Legislators lack direction for a water fix
Despite urgency caused by the drought, legislators aren’t sure what to do about water.

Dana Milbank: Obama’s political bogey
President’s penchant for playing golf during crises is doing political damage.