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THE NOONER for August 6, 2014
Good morning all. I wanted to let you know that I'm going to be taking the next month off to tune up my brain before the sprint to the general election. After three years of coming into your inbox each morning, I need a break! I will be completely unplugged.
That said, you're still going to be getting your Nooner goodness, as I get by with a little help from my friends. The biggest question is whether you'll want me back after my guest writers set a higher bar. Anyway, I will not be connected at all the next month and there might be a flew glitches.
After the jump, I'll look at the election landscape as I see it now.
CONGRESS: Unless something completely unforeseen happens, Democrats will not net 19 seats to take back the House of Representatives this year. In fact, 2012 was a bit of a high-water mark and Democrats are in a tough spot through this decade. That is not because the party is less popular than Republicans, but rather because of redistricting. That said, there are still plenty of interesting races to watch here in California. The letters after the district geography indicate the current party of the incumbent.
STATE SENATE: Losing one seat to redistricting, Democrats face the November election with 27 seats, the bare supermajority. In theory, there are three competitive seats, although as discussed below, the playing field is really down to two--one offensive and one defensive for the majority party.
STATE ASSEMBLY: Going into 2014, Democrats hold 55 seats, one more than required for a supermajority. Thus, they can lose one net seat and still have two-thirds. Here's a quick rundown of the races to watch ("i" means incumbent):
More after the jump.
NOONER JUNE ELECTION CONTEST: It occurred to me that while we were awaiting the recount in the controller's race, I never posted the final standings in the June 2014 Nooner Election Contest! First place receives a $100 Amazon gift card, second place gets $50, and third place gets $25.
307 Total Possible Points
1. Pam Woudstra - 222
CA17 (Milpitas): Honda drops off 'most vulnerable incumbent' list - Roll Call, a top Washington, D.C., political site, on Tuesday moved the veteran Democrat off its "10 Most Vulnerable House Members" list, where he’s languished since May."
AD16 (Tri-Valley): GOP millionaire Munger behind Dem vs. Dem 'smear' piece [Carla Marinucci @ SFChron] - "Two months after he lost a bruising state Assembly race in the East Bay, Democrat Steve Glazer said he was shocked this week to find himself the star of an extensive Web and mail campaign charging he was the victim of a political "smear" by his Democratic opponent in the primary. Even more shocking: The campaign is funded by an independent expenditure group backed by multimillionaire Republican activist Charles Munger Jr. - who spent hundreds of thousands of dollars attacking Glazer before the June primary."
TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
L.A. County Supervisors Vote To Put Proposed Tax For Parks On Ballot
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to place a new annual property tax on the November ballot to fund parks, recreation centers and other county facilities.
Jerry Brown presses case on $6 billion water bond
David Siders @ sacbee.com
Gov. Jerry Brown, pressing his case Tuesday for a smaller water bond on the November ballot, criticized the existing, $11.1 billion bond as “pork-laden” and “with a price tag beyond what’s reasonable or affordable.”
A Short Primer On The California Water Bond Debate
California lawmakers and the governor want a smaller water bond than the one scheduled for the November ballot.
Tentative Ruling Removes Pension Initiative From Ballot - Vc-star
Utah Attorney General Asks Supreme Court To Rule On Same-sex Marriage
Utah's attorney general petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday to hear an appeal of a decision overturning the state's ban on same-sex marriage.
San Jose Abandons Sales Tax Measure After Officials Can't Decide How To Spend Money
Mike Rosenberg @ mercurynews.com
A divided San Jose City Council voted against placing a measure on the November ballot to increase the sales tax rate by a quarter-cent, to 9 percent, even though 10 of 11 council members wanted to put a tax bump on the ballot.
Utah, Virginia Want Supreme Court To Settle Same-sex Marriage Issue
Two states, coming from different sides of the gay marriage debate, said Tuesday that they were appealing the issue to the U.S. Supreme Court , seeking a constitutional ruling that will finally settle the question of whether same-sex couples have a right to marry.
California Public Universities Could Get $100 Million More Than Expected
Katy Murphy @ mercurynews.com
The last-minute push to give California State University and the University of California a greater-than-expected increase for the coming year comes just weeks after the Department of Finance announced state property tax revenues weren't high enough to trigger the extra funding.
Political Hubris Plagues Bay Bridge, Other Big Public Projects
Dan Walters @ sacbee.com
Honda Drops Off ‘most Vulnerable Incumbent’ List - Politics Blog
But what a difference a primary election makes, particularly one where Honda drubbed Khanna, 48 percent to 28 percent.
Sacramento Leaders: Risk Of Oil Train Explosions Needs To Be Acknowledged
Tony Bizjak @ sacbee.com
A BNSF train carrying 98 tankers of crude oil passes through midtown Sacramento at 4 p.m. Monday en route from the North Dakota Bakken oil fields to a refinery in Richmond.
L.A. Councilman's Ex-aide Charged In Water District Corruption Case
Prosecutors filed felony public corruption charges on Tuesday against a former high-level aide to Los Angeles City Councilman Curren Price , alleging the advisor participated in a scheme to send money from a Torrance-based nonprofit group to an elected water board member.
Family sues UC over Cal football player's death
The family Ted Agu, the 21-year-old Cal football player who collapsed after an all-team training run in February and died, sued the University of California on Tuesday and said his death could have been prevented if trainers had remembered that Agu had sickle cell trait, recognized his symptoms, and immediately stopped his workout as protocol required. What makes the case especially egregious is that Agu's head trainer was the same supervising trainer at the University of Central Florida in Orlando in 2008 when wide receiver Erick Plancher, 19, who also had sickle cell trait, collapsed and died after a training, the family's lawyers said after filing the suit in Alameda County Superior Court. Agu's parents, Emilia and Ambrose Agu of Bakersfield, stood outside the courthouse wiping tears but declined to speak as their lawyers staged a dramatic news conference to paint UC officials as not only negligent, but reckless for failing to provide a safe workout for a student with a potentially fatal condition.
Steve Ballmer Says He Paid 'L.A. Beachfront Price' For Clippers
Steve Ballmer described his record $2-billion purchase of the Clippers as an “L.A. beachfront price” Monday in his first public comments since a judge tentatively approved the sale of the franchise.
Sen. Feinstein Rips Obama On Redacted Torture Report - Nationaljournal.com
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The New Health Care: States That Embraced Health Law Show Biggest Gains in Reducing Uninsured
Arkansas and Kentucky lead the way as a Gallup survey points to how the Affordable Care Act could help other poor states.
Major League Soccer To Tour Possible Stadium Sites In Sacramento
Ryan Lillis and Dale Kasler @ sacbee.com
Sacramento Republic FC fans cheer at a match in Hughes Stadium in June. Officials from the lower-division soccer club and the Sacramento Kings are making their case to catapult Sacramento into Major League Soccer.
Hearing Stirs More Debate On Caltrans Quality Control On New Bay Bridge
Denis Cuff @ contracostatimes.com
They agreed the $6.5 billion new span between Oakland and Yerba Buena Island is safe even though it was 10 years overdue and cost five times more than original estimates.
California legislators have raised $56 million-plus in current session
Jim Miller @ sacbee.com
Members of the California Legislature pulled in more than $56 million in campaign cash from January 2013 through June, state data shows.
California Residents Are Painting Their Lawns Green - Nationaljournal.com
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California Drought: Flightless Geese Rescued From Dried-up Pond
As an extreme drought tightens its vise grip on Northern California, images of peeling dirt where bodies of water once covered mud have become commonplace. But in the town of Woodland, the drought has sparked a rescue operation.
Cambodian Opposition Ends Yearlong Political Boycott
Cambodian opposition lawmakers sworn in after yearlong political boycott in protest of election flaws
GOP millionaire Munger behind Dem vs. Dem 'smear' piece
law, independent expenditure groups cannot coordinate their efforts with the candidate. @ sfgate.com
(08-05) 15:34 PDT ORINDA -- Two months after he lost a bruising state Assembly race in the East Bay, Democrat Steve Glazer said he was shocked this week to find himself the star of an extensive Web and mail campaign charging he was the victim of a political "smear" by his Democratic opponent in the primary. Even more shocking: The campaign is funded by an independent expenditure group backed by multimillionaire Republican activist Charles Munger Jr. - who spent hundreds of thousands of dollars attacking Glazer before the June primary. "I have yet to really understand it myself," Glazer said Tuesday. "I am not involved in any way with this group," the Orinda city councilman said.