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THE NOONER for July 17, 2014
CONTROLLER: John A. Pérez is now +7 combined in Kern and Imperial, placing him 474 votes behind Betty Yee. At the current pace, Kern's recount will likely extend through at least another week.
H2NO: Sacramento agencies: Our water waste rules are tough enough [Matt Weiser @ SacBee] - "Large water agencies throughout the Sacramento region have no intention of imposing criminal penalties for water waste, despite a new state regulation that allows them to do so."
SEE HOW LONG THIS LASTS: Federal Judge Rules Death Penalty Unconstitutional in California [Dustin Volz @ NJ] - "In his opinion, Judge Cormac Carney said the state's death sentences are not carried out in any reasonable, timely, or organized manner and therefore should be abolished." [opinion]
THE DEAN SPEAKETH: Six-state proposal should be taken seriously, but it's just so hard to [George Skelton @ LAT] - "Splitting California into six chunks is still a crackpot idea, but maybe it's time to start taking this semi-seriously. That's because 1.3 million California voters have signed petitions to place the nutty notion on the ballot, its rich promoter says. So it's a good bet the proposal will land there. But not until November 2016. That means we've got to hear about this doomed fantasy for another two-plus years."
Speaking of, The Bold Italic suggests alternative names for the new states.
CA51 (Imperial): Transgender candidate defies the odds - "At age 88, Stephen Meade is not your typical first-time congressional candidate. Aside from age, what sets Meade apart from other candidates is appearance. The 88-year-old World War II U.S. Army veteran dresses as a woman and touts his 'transgendered run for Congress.'"
MEH: Jerry Brown puts advisory question on ballot sans signature [David Siders @ SacBee] - "Gov. Jerry Brown will allow the placement of an advisory question on the November ballot asking whether Congress should amend the Constitution to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court’s controversial Citizens United decision, but he did so only grudgingly."
HIGH HOPES: Tom Steyer struggles to find big-money donors [Andrew Restuccia and Kenneth P. Vogel @ Politico]
OUTLOOK: Governors' Races Are Close, But There’s More Upside For Democrats [Harry Enten @ FiveThirtyEight]
#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Julie Bornstein and Sue Byrnes
TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
In Sacramento Area, No Plans For Criminal Enforcement Of Water Waste
Matt Weiser @ sacbee.com
Sprinklers water a lawn Tuesday morning, July 15, 2014, in Sacramento, Calif. In an effort to force the public to conserve water, the State Water Resources Control Board voted 4-0 to approve a proposal that includes fines up to $500 a day for people who waste water on landscaping, fountains, washing vehicles and other outdoor uses.
Michelle Obama Talks Veterans' Jobs And Homes -- But Not Va Healthcare
The obama administration's handling of veterans' healthcare is under investigation
Florida judge rules ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional
A Florida judge overturned the state's ban on same-sex marriage on Thursday, but the order only carries weight in one of the state's 67 counties, according to court records and the American Civil Liberties Union.
Controller's candidates parted ways on voter guide statements
Jim Miller @ sacbee.com
At a maximum price of $6,250, the 250-word candidate statements in voter information guides are a rare bargain in California campaigns.
California Drought: Blame L.A.? Not So Fast, Southern California Water Officials Say
Josh Richman and David E. Early @ mercurynews.com
California's north-south water rivalry revved up Wednesday, a day after a state survey showed that while most of the drought-ravaged state modestly reduced its water consumption, coastal Southern California is headed in the wrong direction.
Gov. Brown Allows Advisory Ballot Measure On Citizens United Decision
An advisory measure asking Congress to amend the U.S. Constitution and overturn the Citizens United court decision will go on the November ballot in California without Gov. Jerry Brown ’s signature on the enabling legislation, Brown announced Wednesday.
Law allows some candidates to hide home address
Associated Press @ utsandiego.com
Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a bill that expands privacy protections by allowing local election officials to keep candidates' home addresses secret under certain circumstances.
Obama Takes Aim At Firms That Shift Profits Overseas To Avoid Taxes
The Obama administration called out corporate America for its growing use of a tactic to avoid paying taxes and urged lawmakers to act quickly to put a halt to the maneuver.
Sacramento Judge Makes Precedent-Setting Ruling On Groundwater Regulation
Ed Joyce @ capradio.org
A Sacramento Superior Court judge issued a ruling Tuesday requiring regulation of groundwater pumping to protect a river in Siskiyou County.
White House Spokesman Says Investigation In Solis Matter Is Ongoing
Abby Sewell @ latimes.com
A White House spokesman said Wednesday that there is an "ongoing law enforcement investigation" related to a recording released earlier in the day by a Republican congressman who alleged it showed improper fundraising activity by former U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis -- now a Los Angeles County supervisor-elect.
The Buzz: Did candidate statements make a difference in race for controller?
At a maximum cost of $6,250, candidate statements in voter guides are a rare bargain in California campaigns.
Australia Repeals Carbon Tax
Rob Taylor And Rhiannon Hoyle @ online.wsj.com
In a vote that could highlight the difficulty in implementing additional measures to reduce carbon emissions ahead of global climate talks next year in Paris, Australia's Senate on Wednesday voted 39-32 to repeal a politically divisive carbon emissions price that contributed to the fall from power of three Australian leaders since it was first suggested in 2007.
Growth initiative for downtown Menlo Park goes to voters
Rhea Mahbubani @ mercurynews.com
The Menlo Park City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to place an initiative on the November ballot that would alter the El Camino Real/Downtown Specific Plan by reducing allowable office space and requiring voter approval of any changes to development guidelines.
'Biliterate' California High School Graduates Up 30 Percent
A record number of graduating high schoolers achieved an academic standard known as "biliteracy," jumping from 19,000 students last year to more than 24,000 in 2014, according to the California Department of Education.
Controller 2014: California Democratic Party asks members to help Betty Yee
The California Democratic Party is proving that its endorsement means something. On Thursday morning, the party added some grassroots support with an email blast to party members, delegates and staff calling for small-dollar contributions and volunteer assistance to oversee ballot counting.
AM Alert: Lady Gaga joins California’s water conservation campaign
Alexei Koseff @ sacbee.com
Back in February, pop superstar Lady Gaga got permission to fill the pool at Hearst Castle for a music video shoot. Among the conditions of the deal was her participation in a public service announcement promoting water conservation, which earned her a letter of thanks from Gov. Jerry Brown.
Utah asks Supreme Court stay ruling on recognizing same-sex marriages
Wednesday in an effort to avoid having to recognize same-sex marriages performed after its ban on such unions was struck down.
Map: Splitting Up California: 6 Times They've Tried To Break Up The Golden State
Alice Walton @ scpr.org
The latest initiative to split up California is not the first.Â Or the 10th.Â Or even the 100th.Â There have been at least 220 efforts to hack California up into smaller states, with at least five just since 2000. Here's a list of six interesting efforts, including the latest, with links to maps of how California could have been divided.
Anti-Fracking Activists In California Take Fight To County Ballots
Lauren Sommer @ blogs.kqed.org
Opponents of hydraulic fracturing â or fracking â have pushed for a statewide moratorium on the controversial oil production technique. With those efforts stalled in the state legislature, activists are taking the fight to the county level.
Biggest water saving, guzzling districts
The Associated Press @ utsandiego.com
Despite the governor's call for conservation amid a historic drought, California water agencies across the state collectively reported a 1 percent increase in water use in May 2014 compared to the same month over the previous three years.
UC appoints Jewish student regent amid controversy
For the second time in two years, passions surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflicts have entered an unlikely forum: the UC regents' selection of student representatives on the university governing board.
Senate Expected to Focus on G.M. Lawyersâ
s fourth appearance before Congress, lawmakers are looking beyond why General Motors did not fix defective ignition switches to how it kept accident victims, their families and government officials in the dark.