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THE NOONER for July 9, 2014

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CONTROLLER: Long recount to begin in controller's race [John Wildermuth @ SFChron]:

California's unprecedented recount in the primary race for state controller will begin Friday, but when it will end is anyone's guess.

"We're hoping to complete our count in two weeks or so," said Karen Rhea, Kern County's chief deputy registrar. "But a lot depends on how many challenges the campaigns make during the count."

Bet on a high number. With Los Angeles Assemblyman John Pérez trailing fellow Democrat Betty Yee of San Francisco by 481 votes and only one continuing on to join Ashley Swearengin, the Republican mayor of Fresno, on the November ballot for controller, it's all or nothing for both Democratic campaigns.

"If both sides are arguing over every ballot, it's going to take a lot more than two weeks to finish the count," said Parke Skelton, a consultant for Yee, who is a member of the state Board of Equalization. "And that's just the first county."


  • California's recount system needs a reboot [Editorial @ SacBee] - "Democracy comes at a price. We can't always get it on the cheap."
  • Pérez's challenge a test of California's recount law [Editorial @ LAT] - "Recounts are often highly political and emotional. Everyone remembers Bush vs. Gore in 2000 and the fight over how and which ballots to recount in Florida. That's why California leaders should look at this recount as a test case, and evaluate whether the law should be changed to ensure that the politics of an election don't undermine the integrity of the election results."
  • Controller's race shows flaws in California recount process [Editorial @ SFChron] - "That said, Pérez is merely following California law - and that means it's the law that needs to be changed."

SD26 (Coastal Los Angeles): Who voted and for whom?

In SD26, there were seven Democrats and one No Party Preference candidate--Seth Stodder, a former official in the Department of Homeland Security in the Bush Administration who previously was registered as a Republican. With every flavor of Democrat and a center-right independent, it seemed there was something for everyone in this 46.3% D, 23.8% R, 18.5% NPP district. This was the ideal race for proponents of the "jungle primary." And, this is a particularly educated district, which is located in the 2nd wealthiest congressional district in the country. These should be people who vote!

However, votes counted in SD26 appear to have been about 19.5% on June 3, well below the 25.2% statewide turnout. Huh?

The seven Democrats received votes from 35% of registered Democrats. Meanwhile, Stodder received votes accounting for 14.4% of registered Republicans and, if accounted together, only 8.1% of Republicans and NPP voters. Now, granted, Stodder raised and spent almost no money, but I have to believe Republicans turned out and didn't choose to vote for any of the seven Democrats--none of whom were actively seeking conservative votes (although fifth place finisher Amy Howorth came across as the "pragmatic" local official.

Proponents of top-two claim that the top-two finishers Ben Allen and Sandra Fluke will now have to compete for Republican and independent voters. I don't believe that's really the case. Sure, there are independent voters who will vote Democrat--and always have. Through firms like Political Data Inc., these voters can be targeted fairly easily. However, I don't buy that Republicans will be voting in large numbers for the candidate that moves furthest to the right. After all, most abhor Democrats and the candidate that does that does so at his or her own peril. 

I've said it before. There are very few "independent" NPP voters. I'd be willing to bet that a sizeable number of the 11,769 NPP voters in Santa Monica are to the left of the Democratic Party. Similarly, in Ranchos Palos Verdes, a significant number of the 5,048 NPP voters may be more libertarian than the Republican Party. However, these "independent" voters are not necessarily looking for an independent candidate--they fall to their closest party affinity (albeit not affiliation) when election time comes around. 

And, of course, NPP voters are not used to voting in primaries. I will leave the door open that there was a very low turnout of NPP voters in this election, which had no significant ballot measures and nothing at the top to drive turnout. However, I'm willing to hypothesize that when we see the Statement of Vote, we will see turnout in SD26 higher than the 19.5% that appear to have voted in the race.

I hypothesize that most Republicans don't vote for "moderate" NPP candidates, even when there is no alternative. And, NPP voters are looking for a party label that they have an affinity to--not an NPP candidate.   

CLARIFICATION: On Monday, I stated that Sandra Fluke was raising money on the DCCC website. In fact, the page was a sign-up for a DCCC list, which then redirected users to a NationBuilder page for Fluke. Semantics, but it was really through the DCCC website.

GREAT FLICK: "The Case Against 8" - Now showing on HBO, who can resist a flick in which you get to see both Andy Pugno and my former political science professor Gary Segura? Even if you are pro-Prop 8, it's a fascinating look at the legal case and process, but told in a very non-technical way. 

GET WELL SOON: Nadia Davis Lockyer tripped off a stairwell leading to a compression fracture in her back. While the incident was posted on her Facebook page over the weekend, I didn't treat it as public information, but now it's reported in the press.

#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Dana Ferry and Nikki Williams-Whitfield!





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Bomber Subsidy Bill Puts Liberal Legislators On The Spot
Dan Walters @
If you are a liberal Democrat, two of your likely ideological tenets are ending tax breaks and subsidies for corporations and reducing spending on nuclear arms to free up money for health, social and educational services. Assembly Bill 2389 violated both. The hastily written bill, sought by Gov. Jerry Brown, would grant one defense company, Lockheed Martin, a special tax break estimated at $420 million to help it and Boeing win a Pentagon contract for a new strategic bomber that would make it easier to rain thermonuclear destruction on a future military foe.

Laura's Law passes easily in S.F. supervisors' vote
observing proper baseball etiquette, you can avoid these embarrassing situations. @
After years of debate, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors overwhelmingly voted in favor Tuesday of implementing Laura's Law, the state measure that allows mentally ill people to be compelled into treatment by a court. The 9-2 vote wasn't a surprise, however: In May, Supervisor Mark Farrell announced he would move forward with implementing the law here, either by taking it to the ballot or, if he could get the votes, at the Board of Supervisors. Last month, Farrell all but guaranteed a legislative win when he secured the support of progressive Supervisor David Campos by agreeing to amend the law to include creation of an oversight team that will try to get mentally ill people to accept voluntary treatment first.

Bankruptcy Judge May Rule Pensions Can Be Cut | Calpensions
A federal judge handling the Stockton bankruptcy may be moving toward a landmark ruling that CalPERS pensions can be cut, possibly while allowing the city to exit bankruptcy in October without cutting its pensions.

Alameda County transportation sales tax back for a vote
observing proper baseball etiquette, you can avoid these embarrassing situations. @
All 14 of the city councils in the county have also voted unanimously to back the plan, which will allot funds to transit; affordable fare programs for youth, seniors and the disabled; street repairs; and bicycle and pedestrian projects. The proposed spending plan steers $2.8 billion to BART, bus, ferries and commuter trains; $2.4 billion to city and county streets; $1 billion to paratransit service for seniors and disabled and an affordable youth transit pass; $677 million for improvements to major freeways and highways; $651 million for bicycle and pedestrian paths and safety improvements; $300 million for community development that improves connections to transit and $77 million for technology and innovation. AC Transit, the Wheels bus system in the Tri-Valley area and Union City Transit would receive money to restore and increase service, and AC Transit would also get funds for bus rapid transit projects.

New Law Allows Wine Tastings At Farmers' Markets
Josh Richman @
Wine and hard cider vendors at farmers’ markets can now offer tastings under certain conditions, thanks to a bill signed into law Tuesday by Gov. Jerry Brown. Brown signed AB 2488 by Assemblyman Marc Levine, D-San Rafael, which had passed the Assembly and state Senate with unanimous votes.

Instead of helping the poor, liberal Democrats embrace corporate subsidies
In recent years, Sacramento has slashed public services and raised regressive taxes to balance the state budget. Now, there's finally a state budget surplus, and it's reserved for an out-of-state corporation, not the 9 million people living in poverty.

Abdullah's supporters threaten to back breakaway Afghan government
A defiant Abdullah Abdullah asserted Tuesday that he had won Afghanistan's bitterly disputed presidential election as outraged supporters threatened to back a breakaway government, raising the specter of a prolonged and perhaps bloody political crisis.

California lawmakers tour immigrant detention center
observing proper baseball etiquette, you can avoid these embarrassing situations. @
(07-08) 17:03 PDT Sacramento -- Latino state lawmakers called on President Obama to extend refugee status to unaccompanied children fleeing Central America after touring a temporary Southern California immigration detention facility Tuesday. A group of legislators thatvisited Naval Base Ventura County in Oxnard said they saw youth who appeared to be in good spirits and were "extremely well behaved." The group, which included members of the California Latino Legislative Caucus, was not allowed to speak to the youth, but was shown their sleeping quarters and heard them recite the Pledge of Allegiance during classes. They also saw the children participating in soccer and basketball games.

California state payroll database updated with university system salaries’s searchable database of state salaries is newly updated and now includes 2013 University of California pay. Also see 2013 civil service pay, 2013 CSU pay and 2012 state legislative pay. Search salaries and view up to seven years of salary history, courtesy of The Bee’s database guru, Phillip Reese. Click here to open the state salary search page.

Major Lgbt Groups Abandon Enda - Politics Blog
Several leading gay advocacy groups on Tuesday announced that they are abandoning the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, commonly known as ENDA, following the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision l...

Meet Calif. Assembly Minority Leader Elect Kristin Olsen
Cadee Condit Gray @
In the fall, California Assemblymember Kristin Olsen will take on a new political role as Republican Minority Leader. Olsen, 40, who represents the 12th Assembly District in the heart of the San Joaquin Valley, has a reputation of working effectively on both sides of the political aisle.

Crude Oil Train Protests Planned In Sacramento, Davis
Tony Bizjak @
A crude oil train operated by BNSF snakes its way west through James, Calif., just outside the Feather River Canyon in the foothills into the Sacramento Valley.

Obama's Katrina? President heads to Texas but will not visit border
For President Barack Obama, the humanitarian crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border is increasingly becoming a political liability, giving Republicans a fresh opportunity to question his administration's competence and complicating the debate over the nation's fractured immigration laws.

Capitol Corridor Hope: 10 Passenger Trains A Day Between Roseville And Sacramento
Tony Bizjak @
Passengers wait for the train to Roseville from the Capitol Corridor on Tuesday. Capitol Corridor rail officials intend to build a new track between Roseville and downtown Sacramento, allowing them to increase passenger train service from one round trip a day to as many as 10.

California board considers fines for wasting water
Wasting water outdoors amid the state's drought will begin hitting Californians in the wallet under get-tough restrictions being proposed by state regulators, with fines of up to $500 a day for overwatering front lawns or washing a car without a nozzle on the hose.

Bono's One Action Ramps Up Lobbying
One Action lobbied on budget and appropriations issues, such as FY15 appropriations for State-For Ops, including HIV/AIDS, agriculture, GAFSP, vaccines, MCC, Feed the Future, and OPIC.

Duran Says Some In Gay Community Unhappy He's Backing Shriver
West Hollywood City Council member John Duran, who finished third in the June primary for Los Angeles County Supervisor, formally endorsed second-place finisher Bobby Shriver on Tuesday.

Senate Confirms Julian Castro As Hud Secretary
The Senate voted overwhelmingly to confirm Julian Castro as the new secretary of Housing and Urban Development Wednesday, elevating the rising Democratic star to President Obama¿s Cabinet.