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THE NOONER for September 22, 2014

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The 2014 NOONER/ End-of-Session Awards are after the first jump. Also, it's time to launch tables of newspaper endorsements on the statewides and initiatives, which are after the second jump.

PARTY FOUL: The California Republican Party had its fall confab this weekend, and Jim Brulte threw a great party. However, some of the guests got a little out of hand. Controller candidate Ashley Swearengin, Secretary of State Pete Peterson, and former gubernatorial candidate Tim Donnelly all made news--by not endorsing the party's candidate for governor, Neel Kashkari.

The Bee got a hold of some emails between Republican Party leaders, including this one by LiteGov candidate (and former CAGOP chairman) Ron Nehring:

"I doubt Ashley was given the prominence of speaking Friday night (the ONLY statewide candidate to be given a speaking role other than Sunday morning … as a platform to generate news by blowing off others on the statewide ticket," he wrote. "This does NOT help the party, and it distracts from the efforts made to convey a positive theme. The coverage is not of a party expanding its reach. It's about a party that isn't unified because (its) candidates can’t get it together and get on the same page."

I was in SF this weekend with Kara and generally stayed away from news and social media. However, all I got was that California Republicans were having a Rand Paul love fest and not supporting each other for already long-shot bids. Did I miss anything?

I love Jim Brulte. He is the best, but he knew what he was getting in to. Reversing gravity is hard.

FLAP: If you were away from social media this weekend, you might have missed the emergency landing of of a Southwest bird carrying several California politicos, including Paul Mitchell, Jodi Hicks, and Adam Keigwin. And, the plane was one of three Southwest planes painted to look like Sea World's Shamu, which are scheduled to be repainted after the end of the year following the uproar over the Blackfish documentary and a fight in the state legislature over the treatment of orcas.

Is it me, did fundraising emails truly jump the shark this weekend? They are starting to read like texts between 12-year-olds.

#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Rob Bonta and Roger Dickinson! A belated cakeday to Steve Maviglio, whose birthday was last weekend, which I missed!




Thank you to all who voted in the 2014 End-of-Session Awards! While no awards process is perfect, handing you the keys delivers great results, which follow. I didn't vote and my only editorial contribution is choosing which rationale comment I believe most appropriate fits the choice.


Most Effective

Senate Democrat

  1. Darrell Steinberg - "Amid a tumultuous term, Steinberg gets it done and keeps the ship and his family going strong."
  2. Alex Padilla - "Gets tough bills passed; can work with business & labor. Will be sorely missed under the Capitol dome."
  3. Mark Leno - "Entirely trustworthy."

Senate Republican

  1. Anthony Cannella - "Could have been toast in the 2014 but worked across the aisle so effectively no one really wants to take him out."
  2. Bob Huff - "Took over a moribund political operation and has more than restored credibility within the 3rd house. Earns respect on both sides of the aisle because he's willing to listen. Oh and he picked up a seat where the party registration was +17 D and he takes care of his caucus. What else do you need?"
  3. Andy Vidak - "Unlike too many around here he has respect for the institution and he's a fierce advocate for what he believes."

Assembly Democrat

  1. Toni Atkins - "Has the support of her peers and the Speakership to prove it."
  2. Marc Levine - "He is a true liberal, but doesn't just go with the flow."
  3. Lorena Gonzalez - "With her wit, charm and beauty, this former labor leader is quickly becoming a key moral voice in the Assembly with a list of legislative accomplishments."

Assembly Republican

  1. Kristin Olsen - "From being on the outs to GOP leader. Proves a good person can become a leader with hard work."
  2. Connie Conway - "She fended off challengers, keeping her post and then got her candidate for leader elected and transitioned on her terms."
  3. Katcho Achadjian - "I love him so much, I named my cat Katcho."

Truest to Party Values

Senate Democrat

  1. Mark Leno - "He is true to party values and moving the progressive agenda and at the same time works well with the opposition."
  2. Hannah-Beth Jackson - "Webster's has her picture next to the definition of 'Progressive Democrat.'"
  3. Holly Mitchell - "When no one else seems to want to take a stand for poor folks, she always does."

Senate Republican

  1. Joel Anderson - "He is the bellwether for the GOP."
  2. Jim Nielsen - "Unlike too many around here he has respect for the institution and he's a fierce advocate for what he believes."
  3. Steve Knight - "Didn't stray from party values even after finding himself in a Rep-on-Rep congressional contest in which he needs to pick up a lot of Democratic votes."

Assembly Democrat

  1. Tom Ammiano - "Sometimes the sole member of the chamber's far left- he keeps the "Tired, poor and huddles masses" in this legislation 100% of the time. Like it or not, that kind of consistency is rare."
  2. Toni Atkins - "She is the leader, so she is the party."
  3. Nancy Skinner - "Smart, strategic, understands the bigger needs of the party statewide despite her Bay Area liberal leanings."

Assembly Republican

  1. Tim Donnelly - "He sticks to his guns."
  2. Kristin Olsen - "Smart, conservative, but also pragmatic. Wants solutions."
  3. Don Wagner - "D-Wag is the man. Always representing business with a logical and professional tone."

Best to Have a Beer/Espresso With

Senate Democrat

  1. Rod Wright - "No one's as eloquent as he is and the stories he tells are great. He will be missed."
  2. Leland Yee - "Actually, would just want to be a bug on the wall the next time he has an beer of espresso with one of his friends."
  3. Ben Hueso - "The guy clearly knows how to party." "Kind, thoughtful, fun-loving person."

Senate Republican

  1. Anthony Cannella - "Smart, practical, reaches across the aisle."
  2. Andy Vidak - "Just a regular guy in a strange place called the Capitol"
  3. Joel Anderson - "It's always coffee and breakfast." "He'd just say no."

Assembly Democrat

  1. Tom Ammiano - "He's already funny without alcohol, so imagine what he's like with a few drinks in him!"
  2. Wes Chesbro - "Two words: The pony."
  3. Ian Calderon - "To count how many times he says "dude." And to admire his glorious face. (And I'm a lesbian saying this)."

Assembly Republican

  1. Kristin Olsen - "A new kind of GOP leader and something tells me that she might be a killer at playing bar darts."
  2. Connie Conway - "She has a wicked tongue and quick wit."
  3. Jeff Gorell - "Time spent overseas serving would make for good conversations." "All the hot women lobbyists would be there too."

(note: through my idiocy, Sebastian Ridley-Thomas was not included as a selection for Assembly Democrat. He received several votes via email/comments.)

Legislative Staff Member of the Year

Senate Democrat

  • Elise Flynn Gyore (Mitchell) - "Elise has largely been under the radar, but deserves this recognition. She's served in both houses in many capacities and knows how to navigate the building - on policy and politics."

Senate Republican

  • Kevin Bassett (Huff) - "No one is as effective at managing the policy, political and member needs of the caucus and he does it with an unparalleled level of respect and professionalism."

Assembly Democrat

  • Greg Campbell (Atkins) - "Have you watched the Assembly Floor lately? I barely recognize my own house."

Assembly Republican

  • Deborah Gonzalez (Caucus) - "So glad to have her in the building. Too many strong staffers have left."

Committee Consultant of the Year


  • Colin Grinnell, Senate Committee on Governance and Finance - "Colin is what a consultant should be: fair and thoughtful."


  • Tina Cannon-Leahy, Assembly Committee on Water, Parks and Wildlife - "Tina has dazzled in an incredibly busy year for her committee, negotiating the water bond, groundwater regulation, and a statewide set of hearings ."

Legislative Advocate of the Year - Contract

  • Amy Brown, DiMare, Brown, Hicks & Kessler -"Effective -- and hilarious." "WATER BOND."

Legislative Advocate of the Year - In-House

  • Willie Pelote, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees - "The guy is a living legend! He should ALWAYS be the Legislative Advocate of the Year, if you ask me - which you are. "

Legislative Advocacy Firm/Organization of the Year

  • California Labor Federation - "Uncle Leland said it best: 'Whatever labor wants, labor will get.'"

(note: When I accepted nominations, I asked for firms. A couple of readers suggested expanding it to organizations and nominated the Labor Fed. The top vote recipient for firm was DiMare, Brown, Hicks & Kessler - "They were in every fight this year.  NFL Players, Uber, Water Bond, Optometrists, Medi-Cal, etc...")






Public Retirement Journal


Join your colleagues from around the state for a day of in-depth discussion on current and future issues facing public retirement in California at the 25th Annual Northern California Public Retirement Seminar.
September 25, 2014 - 9AM-4PM - Registration: 8AM; CalPERS Auditorium (400 Q Street, Sacramento)
Keynote Speaker: Senate Pro Tem Elect Kevin de León
Registration Fee: $190.00 - includes breakfast & lunch and seminar materials.
Register online or contact us directly @ 916-341-0848

Seminar registration:

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Send me links if you have them!


EditorialProp 1: water bondProp 2: rainy day fundProp 45: health ratesProp 46: malpractice & testingProp 47: crim. penaltiesProp 48: gaming referendum
Sacramento Bee     No No    
San Francisco Chronicle       No Yes  
San Jose Mercury News     Yes No    
UT San Diego   Yes  No   No   


LA Daily News           Chiang    
LA Times     Peterson       Jones  Tuck 
SJ MercNews Brown         Chiang    
UT San Diego               Tuck




  • The Los Angeles City Controller’s Office is hiring a Community Affairs and Engagement Coordinator. This position will work to increase public awareness of the work of the Controller and manage the Office’s interaction, engagement and response to constituents internally and externally. Job Announcement

  • Fiona Hutton & Associates Inc., a Los Angeles-based, issues-focused public relations/public affairs firm representing corporate, non-profit, government, trade association and political clients involved in complex and often controversial policy issues, is immediately hiring a full-time Executive Assistant.  Click on the link to get more information about how to apply.
  • Strong Mayor Happy Hour hosted by Claire Conlon, Robbie Abelon and John Vigna this >Monday, September 22, 5:30 Café Bernardo, featuring Mayor Kevin Johnson to discuss Measure L, the proposed ballot measure to modernize and strengthen Sacramento’s City Government. Appetizers provided by Randy Paragary. Questions? Contact John Vigna
  • Corporate sponsorships available for the Global War on Terror Traveling Wall at Capitol Park Nov. 7-11. Event sponsored by Assemblyman Cooley. Wall is a memorial to those killed in the Global War on Terror. Contact: Pete Conaty, 916 492-0550,
  • Join the Los Angeles County Young Democrats for our Annual Laurel Awards honoring Democrat of the Year Speaker Toni Atkins and Rising Star Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia. More Information and Tickets Available at
  • ACLU of California seeks a Legislative Advocate in its Sacramento office. Salary dependent on experience. To view job announcement and application instructions, visit here.
  • Water District campaign in Santa Clara County seeking hourly paid canvassers to play a critical role in ensuring candidate’s message reaches targeted voters in the District this November. Responsibilities include door to door canvassing and other outreach efforts. Send resume and cover letter indicating availability to For more information go



Students Struggle To Access Mental Health Services On UC Campuses | State Of Health Blog From Kqed News
Students throughout the University of California system are having trouble accessing mental health care, and health services directors are raising alarms that increased staffing and funding could be warranted to meet demand.

Propositions 45 And 46 Latest Skirmishes In War Over Big Money In Health Care
Dan Walters @
Both may be doomed, but their rejection would not change the underlying dynamic that with health care our largest industry and destined to expand, the political infighting over who gets what from the system, both medically and financially, will grow as well.

At Supreme Court, Kicking the Tires on a Same-Sex Marriage Case Fit for History
Battling for a place in the ages, some of the best lawyers in the nation have spent many pages arguing that their case was the right one in which to establish a nationwide right to same-sex marriage.

CalPERS Earnings No Longer Last Among Big Funds | Calpensions
Three years ago CalPERS investment earnings hit bottom in a Wilshire consultants report that ranks the performance of big pension funds — dead last among its peers over the previous five years.

A Group's Opposition To A Possible Gas Tax Increase Gets No Traction
With gasoline prices dropping in California, a business coalition may have a tough time winning public support for a campaign to delay the next phase of a state program to combat climate change.

Tv Reporter Quits On Tv Admits She Owns Alaska Medical Marijuana Club
A local news segment went up in smoke when a reporter quit her job on air after making a rather surprising announcement Sunday night. Charlo Greene, a reporter for KTVA-TV in Anchorage, Alaska, revealed that she’s the owner of the Alaska Cannabis Club, a business that connects medical marijuana cardholders in need of ganj with medical marijuana cardholders in possession of ganj.

California GOP Endorses Water Bond, Rainy-day Fund
California GOP delegates listen as chairman Jim Brulte speaks at the party’s biannual convention Sunday in Los Angeles.

Kashkari Portrays GOP As A Champion Of Minorities And The Poor
Stung by the refusal of two fellow Republicans to support his candidacy for governor, Neel Kashkari sought to put the controversy behind him Sunday with a fiery speech portraying his party as a champion of minorities and the poor.

Endorsement: Newsom is best choice for lieutenant governor
If he wins reelection, however, we hope he uses the office as more than a tax-funded campaign operation.

Brulte's Fables: Ashley Swearengin stings California Republicans
Ashley Swearengin, like the scorpion that stung the frog, can’t seem to help herself. This weekend, the divisive mayor of Fresno added California Republicans to the long list of people she can’t get along with. As mayor of Fresno, Swearengin's tenure has been marked by contentious battles with labor unions, police officers and taxpayers.

160-foot water tower sideways at Edwards Air Force Base
A 160-foot water tower that once served as a landmark for Edwards Air Force Base was torn down last week in favor of a new, smaller water tank, making for an arresting image on social media.

Neighbors feeling squeezed by work on Mark Zuckerberg's S.F. Home
Matier and Ross @
Welcome to Fort Zuckerberg — the $10 million Dolores Heights “fixer-upper” that Mark Zuckerberg and his wife have turned into a massive construction encampment that has some neighbors feeling under siege by the Facebook founder.

RNC launches voter 'challenge'
The social media campaign is aimed at pressuring GOP voters to go to the polls by election day.

Drought May Be Driving Increase In West Nile | State Of Health Blog From Kqed News
West Nile virus is spread by mosquitoes. They contract the virus when they feed on infected birds, then spread it to other birds they bite next. A shortage of water can accelerate this cycle.

Jerry Brown Signs Bill For Bike Lane Fee
Bicyclists and pedestrians walk or ride on the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2011.

Brown Administration's Angling To Ban Lead Fishing Weights
Californians who enjoy fishing, heads up: Gov. Jerry Brown has his eye on your tackle box.

Giuliani hired to fight Noriega lawsuit
The former mayor will fight to dismiss a lawsuit against the "Call of Duty" video game franchise.

AM Alert: Democrats’ legislative supermajority hinges on several key races
California Republicans face an uphill battle to win any statewide constitutional office this November, but the party’s other major political goal – to roll back Democrats’ two-thirds supermajorities in both houses of the Legislature – is well within reach.

Brown signs several clean-air vehicle bills
Marisa Lagos @
Gov. Jerry Brown on Sunday signed six bills he said will “strengthen California’s best-in-the-nation electric vehicle market” and help the state reach its goal of getting 1.5 million zero-emission cars on the road by 2025. In a statement, the governor’s office said the state already accounts for 40 percent of the nation’s plug-in electric vehicle sales, with more than 100,000 sold. [...] SB1275 by Sen. Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles, creates the “Charge Ahead California Initiative” which provides financial incentives to low-income residents who trade in polluting cars for electric vehicles.

Ad Watch: Democratic Ad Hitting Doug Ose Goes Too Far
No Wonder DCCCVideo