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THE NOONER for August 4, 2014

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Date: August 4, 2014
To: Legislators 
From: The Capitol Ghost
Re: Welcome back

Welcome back to Sacramento! I hope you had a pleasant time in Europe, Central America, Asia, and wherever else you went to avoid tackling chores around the house. I've tried hard to keep things tidy here around the Capitol, including my best effort to kill the grass around Capitol Park. I've taken the liberty of dialing back the Sacramento thermastat to help you reacclimate before we return to August normals.

Here are a few things you may have missed while you were gone:

  • California's drought continued (even amidst flash floods in the IE), with the 58% of the state falling in the worst "exceptional" drought category. Oh, and Los Angeles sprung a leak creating a 20 million gallon swimming pool at UCLA, unfortunately, Pauley Pavilion wasn't really designed for that purpose. Three days later, a pipe break a block away flooded a Target with 2,000 gallons of water. Now, if we can be fined $500 each time a cup of water spills on our sidewalks, let's calculate the fines for these two water incidents...that would be $320,032,000.
  • Republican gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari went looking for a job in Fresno, but for some strange reason nobody wanted to hire a guy claiming no qualifications, wearing a duct-taped backpack and ballcap, who said he had just arrived in town and needed work to pay for a place to stay. If this governor thing doesn't work out, we want to see the sequel when he remembers to bring that Wharton resume. (A Nooner Nod does go to Kashkari for highlighting the very different states of California's economy.)
  • Some might even say we have six economic states. Oh yeah, the campaign for venture capitalist Tim Draper's initiative for the 2016 ballot for the Kramer vs. Kramer of California claimed to have submitted 1.3 million signatures to county elections offices, which are now doing a random sample.
  • On July 18, I looked at the unemployment rate in California's would-be six states. Meanwhile, collectively, California's number of jobs finally exceeded the pre-recession peak in the monthly report for June, and the statewide unemployment rate dropped to 7.4%.
  • After picking up a handful of votes in San Bernardino and Imperial counties, Speaker Emeritus John A. Pérez ended his recount effort amidst increasing political pressure and logistical questions, sending Betty Yee to face Ashley Swearengin in November for state controller. 
  • There are increasing calls for a shake up at the California Public Utilities Commission, as emails disclosed in the deliberations related to the San Bruno blast show a particularly cozy relationship between some of the regulators and Pacific Gas and Electric.
  • First California Bank, the institution used by Kinde Durkee, agreed to a fine of $4 million, without admitting guilt, which is being distributed to clients who were defrauded by the former campaign treasurer.
  • Leland Yee had the charge of racketeering added to the charges against him, to which he pleaded not guilty.

Now, even though Congress left town without getting much done, there are many expectations for your work over the next 27 days. Here are some of today's back-to-school articles:

Have a Noonerific end of session! Let's leave town August 31 proud of our work.

#CAKEDAY: Light those candles for Ron Dougherty!

#GHOSTSOFCAKEDAYSPASSED: On Friday, I missed the weekend cakedays! Happy belated to Alex Breitler (Saturday), Jose Cornejo (Saturday), Phil Giarrizzo (Sunday), and Nayiri Nahabedian (Saturday).

DEPT OF CORRECTIONS: The rules adopted limiting State Senate fundraising for congressional candidates only applies to contributions from state lobbyist employers.





  • Please join the New Leaders Council-Sacramento and NLC National Chairman Chris Kelly on the evening of Thursday August 7th 6-9 p.m. as we welcome hundreds of young progressive leaders from around the country to Sacramento. This free networking happy hour at The Citizen Hotel kicks-off the NLC National Leadership Retreat weekend 8-9th. Registration is open through August 5th. Come for the panels and discussions highlighting the accomplishments of progressives in the economy, technology and entrepreneurship, and in state and local government. And to learn more about the NLC Institute, a rigorous, six-month progressive entrepreneurship training program. Questions? Contact
  • SEIU United Healthcare Workers-West Regional Political Organizer (Los Angeles, Bay Area or Sacramento).  150,000 member California healthcare union seeks to fill 3 openings for strategic, progressive, motivated Regional Political Organizers, 5-10 yrs political/union experience.  Excellent benefits, career ladder.  Salary $49k-$91k.  Resume, letter, 3 references:

  • Fiona Hutton & Associates is seeking an Account Executive to join their PR/Public Affairs team. Minimum 1 – 3 years related experience required. Position could be up to Senior AE for those with additional experience. Located in Los Angeles office. Details and additional information can be found here. Competitive salary and benefits package offered.

  • Join Capitol Network for 2 upcoming events: Back to Session Reception and celebration of the organization's 31st Anniversary on Tuesday, August 5 at Cafe Bernardo on K. All are welcome. Contact Amanda Levy at with questions or for more information.

    26th Annual Capitol Network Charitable Golf Tournament on October 16, 2014 at Yocha Dehe Golf Club. Sponsorships available and proceeds benefit women's and children's organizations across the state. Please visit: or contact Co-Chairs Jenny Devine-Smith or Erin Norwood at
  • Assistant Press Secretary (California)
    NextGen Climate – San Francisco, CA

    NextGen Climate is seeking a driven, detail-oriented individual to join our organization as an Assistant Press Secretary, focused on California issues. The ideal candidate would have California-specific media experience, including writing press releases and statements, as well as developing relationships with reporters in a campaign environment. This position reports to the NextGen Climate Press Secretary.

    For more details, please see job description If you are interested in applying, please send your cover letter and resume to

  • Oakland ballot measure campaign seeks experienced field staff for high profile role. Position will be responsible for building field program, coordinating coalition activities and implementing an aggressive GOTV program. Qualifications: on the ground electoral campaign experience, experience managing data collection and a positive attitude. Please email resumes to

  • San Diego County Water Authority. Accepting proposals for Legislative Advocacy and Consulting Services Sacramento, CA. Request RFP from Jennifer Graffam at Proposal submittal deadline: 5:00 p.m. on 8/28/2014. Questions deadline: 5:00 p.m. on 8/11/2014. See RFP for further details.

  • Save The Bay is hiring a Political Director to be the top advocate for San Francisco Bay, designing ambitious campaigns to protect and restore the region’s greatest natural treasure.  The Political Director leads a team of professionals and volunteers for the largest organization working on the Bay, with more than 60,000 supporters and 50 years of accomplishments.  Apply at
  • Campaign staffers needed for a variety of roles on Bay Area campaigns for Democratic elected officials and nonpartisan ballot measures. Looking for hard working day-to-day managers, communications, finance directors and staff, field directors and organizers. Send resume and cover letter indicating availability to No Phone Calls.
  • The best way to learn the legislative process and best practices for effective governmental advocacy. Veteran lobbyist Ray LeBov presents "Lobbying 101" and "Lobbying 201" seminars July 31-August 1. $250 each. Essential for lobbying firm principals / support staff, organizations that employ lobbyists, public agencies. Complete info / registration: or 916 442 5009.
  • 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!



Biggest funders in Oakland mayoral race? The candidates
Port Commissioner and health care executive Bryan Parker spent $20,000 grooming his image with a cable TV campaign for Measure AA, the health services tax that Alameda County voters approved in June. Producers of a documentary on the new $6.4 billion Bay Bridge eastern span plan to premiere the movie with an Imax screening in Sacramento on Monday - with a "special guest message" from state Transportation Agency Secretary Brian Kelly. The event is being hosted by Alta Vista Solutions, the Emeryville firm whose inspectors signed off on the welds for the bridge despite earlier complaints from other inspectors that the Shanghai factory making the deck sections was doing a shoddy job. Last week, the moderates stuck again when they showed up in force at a labor confab in San Diego and, in a series of floor maneuvers including a three-hour roll-call vote, got the state labor council to pull back the Campos endorsement. Gleneagles Golf Course operator Tom Hsieh certainly is putting his political skills to the test as he fights a 40 percent water hike that he says will put him out of business. He partnered with the laborers union for a neighborhood job training program that, in addition to trimming his maintenance costs, will bring a bit of labor and community pressure on Rec and Park to keep the gates open on the nine-hole course near the Sunnydale housing projects.

The Buzz: Is California Legislature Nation’s Most Polarized?
Christopher Cadelago and Jim Miller @
Assembly members Don Wagner of Irvine and Shannon Grove of Bakersfield are in the Republican minority of the Legislature, recently ranked as the nation’s most polarized.

Kashkari's Homeless Stint Elevates Candidate's Visibility
Carla Marinucci @
Within 24 hours of revealing his unorthodox six-day foray on the streets of Fresno, Kashkari hit the social media jackpot, trending on Twitter with nearly 5,000 tweets and reaping 70,000 views for a 10-minute video he posted to Facebook. 

California Drought: Santa Cruz Pushes The Limit With The State's Toughest Water Rationing Laws
Paul Rogers @
But in Santa Cruz, there's a new pastime: people lifting up the cement covers in front of their houses to read the water meter.

Water Bond Leads Agenda As California Lawmakers Return For Final Month
Jeremy B. White @
While the water bond debate looks poised to dominate, here are some other unresolved issues of note:

California Lawmakers Have A Busy Month Ahead
Patrick McGreevy @
Legislature has a few weeks to wrap up 1,000-plus bills, many of them controversial, including gun control, Internet poker and medical marijuana measures.

Drought Watering Regulations May Leave Trees High And Dry
Edward Ortiz @
Trees around the Sacramento region are beginning to show signs of stress from watering restrictions that are turning lawns brown around the region and could also weaken trees, arborists warn.

Brown Moving Forward On Water Bill To Protect Homeowners From Fines
Liset Marquez @
A bill that would prohibit local governments from fining residents — who are trying to conserve water — for having brown lawns is expected to be introduced when the Legislature reconvenes from summer session this month.

An Unlikely Survivor In The Digital Age: Direct Mail
Tarini Parti @
In an era of highly targeted digital and TV advertising, political campaigns are still banking on an old-fashioned, mundane routine: Voters picking up their mail and leafing through it as they walk from their mailboxes to kitchen trash cans.

Many Issues Unresolved As Legislative Session Enters Final Month
Dan Walters @
Among some fans, the rap on professional basketball is that players run up and down the court for 45 minutes, exchanging buckets, but games are often decided in the final three minutes of intense physicality.

Board Ruling Shields New Hires From Pension Cuts
Ed Mendel @
A labor board may have helped open a new front in public pension battles last week by overturning a Los Angeles cost-cutting reform, ruling that pension cuts for new hires must be bargained.

California Plans Bullet Train Without More U.S. Aid - Wsj
Alejandro Lazo @
California's Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown, who has won billions in state funding to build a high-speed bullet train from Los Angeles to San Francisco, said he will move forward on the project without additional federal commitments.

Celebrated Trial Lawyer to Head Group Challenging Teacher Tenure
Motoko Rich @
David Boies, the star trial lawyer who helped lead the legal charge that overturned California’s same-sex marriage ban, is becoming chairman of the Partnership for Educational Justice, a group that former CNN anchor Campbell Brown founded in part to pursue lawsuits challenging teacher tenure.

Bill That Would Require Smartphone Kill Switches Is Close To Passage
Marc Lifsher @
Lawmakers have flipped the kill switch again, and legislation nearly defeated by the powerful wireless communications industry appears close to passage.

Political Memo: Democrats Seize on Social Issues as Values Wedge Cuts Their Way
traditional-values script is being used against them as attitudes shift leftward on issues including same-sex marriage, marijuana and climate change.

Am Alert: Water Bond, Cap-and-trade Loom Large As Legislature Returns
Alexei Koseff @
Beatriz De Anda and Olivia Gallardo, who work at an almond packaging plant in Mendota, hold signs in support of a water bond after a rally at the Capitol on Jan. 16, 2014.

Is Your Los Angeles Taxi Safe?
Los Angeles taxi drivers have been cited more than 10,000 times in the past five years, a investigation has found. In some cases, taxi drivers have been caught drinking on the job, aiding in prostitution and driving without a license.

Editorial: Christmas will come early for favored industries in the form of tax breaks
The Editorial Board @
Upon their return this week, legislators will be doing something they relish, especially in an election year: Handing out goodies to big business in the form of tax breaks. Hollywood, Silicon Valley and the aerospace industry all stand to benefit.

California Lawmakers Return To A Mountain Of Bills
Jessica Calefati @
The measures would require all smartphones sold in California to come equipped with anti-theft technology, guarantee all workers at least three days of paid sick leave annually and ban plastic grocery bags. All of the bills drew intense opposition earlier this year, and their fate remains uncertain.

Disputes Threaten to Derail Audit of Afghanistan Vote
Three weeks after Secretary of State John Kerry brokered a deal to impose a monitored review of the presidential election runoff, the process came close to collapse over the weekend.

L.A. Unified School Board Race Turns Negative, Focuses On Reputation
George McKenna has the sort of resume that would appear to make him a natural frontrunner in an important contest this month for the Los Angeles Board of Education . He has five decades of experience as a local educator, much of it in key leadership positions where he was responsible for some of the region's lowest achieving schools.

In Colorado, Lines Are Drawn For An Election Battle Over Fracking
Proposed ballot measures seek to restrict hydraulic fracturing in Colorado, prompting the oil and gas industry to mount a costly opposition campaign.