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THE NOONER for August 6, 2014

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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.

  • CA10 (Modesto-R): Second-term congressman Jeff Denham (R) is being challenged by beekeeper Michael Eggman, whose sister Susan Talamentes-Eggman serves in the State Assembly. Eggman is running a strong campaign and has a respectable $517,000 cash on hand. However, Denham nearly $1.7 million on hand and the advantage of an mid-term election. While Obama won here by 3.5%, Jerry Brown lost it to Meg Whitman by 5.2%, and Republicans outnumber Democrats in registration here. Those are tough numbers to overcome in a mid-term election, making this a LIKELY REPUBLICAN.
  • CA21 (Kings-R): Following a disappointing 2012 in which John Hernandez (D) beat DCCC-favorite Blong Xiong in the top-two primary and then hardly ran a general election campaign, Democrats recruited former Capitol Hill chief of staff Amanda Renteria to compete for this western Central Valley seat in 2014. Hernandez ran again, although Renteria easily placed in second. Obama easily won this district by 11.1% in 2012, and Jerry Brown won it by 3.8% in 2010. While Democrats have a 14.1% registration margin over Republicans, it's still an uphill battle for Renteria to establish name identification while David Valadao uses the benefit of incumbency to raise money and gather endorsements. LEANS REPUBLICAN.
  • CA26 (Ventura-D): Republicans scored big by recruiting second-term Assemblymember Jeff Gorell to run against freshman Congresswoman Julia Brownley. Gorell carries the ballot label "Legislator/Naval Officer," and has taken time off from Sacramento to serve in Afghanistan. As incumbent, Brownley has a huge cash advantage with $1.5 million on hand to Gorell's $306k. However, observers note that Republicans combined for about 6,000 more votes than Brownley in June, which moved this district to TOSS-UP.
  • CA31 (Redlands-R): Both Republicans and Democrats had a bruising primary in this San Bernardino district currently held by retiring Congressman Gary Miller. Emerging were businessman Paul Chabot (R) and Redlands mayor Pete Aguilar (D). While the primary was very expensive for Aguilar (over $1 million spent), he still has $325,729 on hand compared to $26,342 for Chabot (who also has $72k in debt). With Aguilar's cash advantage, underlying registration, and June primary performance, this district is now LIKELY DEMOCRAT.
    (disclosure: I am a contributor to Aguilar.)
  • CA36 (Coachella-D): First-term congressman Raul Ruiz (D) has turned into a powerhouse fundraiser, banking $1.9 million cash on hand as of June 30. He's challenged by Assemblymember Brian Nestande (R) , who hopes that the still challenging economy in California's Inland Empire and unpopularity of Obamacare will help overcome Ruiz's cash dominance. With a strong showing not only in fundraising but votes in the June primary, Ruiz continues the edge, leading to this seat continuing as LEANS DEMOCRAT.
  • CA52 (San Diego-D): The most threatened California incumbent is Scott Peters (D), who defeated incumbent Brian Bilbray in 2012. His challenger in November is former San Diego councilmember Carl DeMaio (R) an openly gay social moderate and fiscal conservative. With three Republicans combining for 20,000 more votes than earned by Peters, the incumbent needs an aggressive turnout operation to hold on to the seat. Both have over $1 million cash on hand, and there's plenty more where that came from, making this a TOSS-UP.

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.

  • SD12 (Merced/Salinas-R): On paper, this is a solidly blue Democratic seat.  Barack Obama beat Mitt Romney here by 17 points, and Democrats claim a 13.9% voter registration advantage over Republicans. However, Anthony Cannella (R), the son of a former Assembly Democrat, is seen as a friendly moderate that Democrats are hesitant against taking out. Cannella has picked up money from labor groups, building a a nearly $1 million war chest. His competitor, Shawn Bagley, has less than $10,000 on hand. Cannella can be expected to easily win, making this a LIKELY REPUBLICAN seat.
  • SD14 (Kings-R): In a 2013 special election following Michael Rubio's (D) resignation, Andy Vidak (R) defeated Leticia Perez (D) in this Central Valley district where Democrats hold a 16.6% edge. Like CA21, voters here seem to be fine splitting their ballots between Democrats for top executive offices and Republicans for the legislative seats. Democrats hope that Fresno Unified trustee Luis Chavez can reverse that, and are preparing a major effort to fight for this seat as supermajority insurance in the event SD35 is lost. LEANS REPUBLICAN.
  • SD34 (West Orange County-D): SD34 is a tough district to which to tie hopes of a continued supermajority, even with an outstanding candidate. The seat, which is currently held by Lou Correa (D), shifts west and becomes less Democrat than the current seat that is more centrally located in Orange County. While Obama won here in 2012 by 8.9%, Meg Whitman beat Jerry Brown here by 5.1% in 2010. Democrats have a 3% registration edge over Republicans. Running are Orange County supervisor Janet Nguyen (R) and former Assemblymember and community college trustee Jose Solorio (D). Solorio has plenty of cash on hand ($625,311), and Nguyen has $263,360. This will be a fight for turnout, and there's a big question as to whether voters are more loyal to party or ethnic background. LEANS REPUBLICAN.

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):

  • AD36 (Antelope Valley-D): Steve Fox (D-i) v. Tom Lackey (R): LEANS REPUBLICAN
  • AD40 (Redlands-R): Kathleen Henry (D) v. Marc Steinorth (R): LEANS DEMOCRAT
  • AD44 (Ventura-R): Jacqui Irwin (D) v. Rob McCoy (R): LEANS DEMOCRAT
  • AD65 (North Orange County-D): Young Kim (R) v. Sharon Quirk Silva (D-i): TOSS-UP
  • AD66 (Torrance-D): David Hadley (R) v. Al Muratsuchi (D-i): LEANS DEMOCRAT

Plus, two for the radar--AD32 (Kings-D-Rios v. Salas) and AD16 (Tri-Valley-D - Baker v. Sbranti)--both LEANS DEMOCRAT.

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
2. Derek Humphrey - 221
3. Ezrah C. - 216
4. Shanan Alper - 209
5. Mac Zilber - 209
6. Steven Maviglio - 204
7. Hatcher - 202
8. JH - 202
9. DavidL - 201
10. Megan MacNee - 199
11. Kevin Liao - 197
12. Mr. O - 195
13. Tom Kaptain - 191
14. Craig Brown - 191
15. NoClue - 190
16. Allen Wilson - 189
17. Drew Cartwright - 189
18. Odysseus Bostick - 188
19. An Vu - 186
20. Daniel Lopez - 186
21. Paul Mitchell - 186
22. Todd Roberson - 185
23. Kirk Kimmelshue - 185
23. Harry Ermoian - 185
23. The 2nd of the Macapinlac Clan - 183


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." 




  • Please join the New Leaders Council-Sacramento and our 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. Senate President pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg will kick-off this free networking happy hour at The Citizen Hotel. Today's the last day to register for the NLC National Leadership Retreat, August 8th & 9th. Come for the panels and discussions highlighting the accomplishments of progressives in the economy, technology and entrepreneurship, and in state and local government. 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.

  • 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.
  • 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!



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 @
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
Current subscriber?Activate

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 @
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 @
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 @
Dan Walters

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 @
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 -
Not a member? Learn More »

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 @
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 @
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 @
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 -
Not a member? Learn More »

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. @
(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.