Around The Capitol

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THE NOONER for November 17, 2014

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THE DEAN SPEAKETH: George Skelton excoriates the University of California's tuition hike proposal.

AD39 (San Fernando Valley): Raul Bocanegra (D-inc.) is now 46 votes behind challenger Patty Lopez (D).

AD64 (Carson): Dan Morain lays it out.

AD66 (Torrance): Al Muratsuchi (D-inc.) is now 1,311 votes behind David Hadley (R). 

LA County will issue its next report tomorrow afternoon. The county estimated 113,400 unprocessed ballots after its Friday report.  Speaking of LA County, how great is the elections office under the leadership of Dean Logan with materials like this?

Jim Costa (D-inc.) and Ami Bera (D-inc.) seem to be okay. 

#CAKEDAY: Birthday greetings to Karen Zamarripa!

#GHOSTSOFCAKEDAYSPAST: Belated greetings to Caroi Chamberlain, Elaine Reodica, and Darrow Sprague




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Misuse of disabled parking placards costing S.F., other drivers
The use and abuse of disabled parking placards in San Francisco cost the city $22.7 million in lost meter money last year, a new report shows. A 2008 Muni report found that almost half the cars in downtown metered spaces had blue placards hanging from their rearview mirrors, and that 57 percent of the cars were registered to out-of-town owners. Lately, there’s been a rash of complaints about possible improper use of placards, and even a state Department of Motor Vehicles sting — Operation Blue Zone — against people suspected of obtaining the free-parking placards illegitimately. Having spaces filled for hours on end by cars with disabled placards keeps parking tight and prices at a premium of up to $6 an hour. Hennessy, whose resume includes more than 30 years with the Sheriff’s Department and two years as head of the city’s emergency services operation, was tagged by Mayor Ed Lee to be acting sheriff when he suspended Mirkarimi after the sheriff was charged with domestic violence. Mirkarimi tells us he looks forward to running on his record but added, “This year’s election demonstrated that the mayor’s billionaire bullies, along with their proxies who receive city contracts, will stop at nothing to smear with their vile tactics.” Firefighters unions in the East Bay are spraying cold water on the idea of appointing former state lawmaker Guy Houston to a $245,000-a-year contract to run the day-to-day operation of the Coliseum complex. Houston, a Republican former state assemblyman who now works as a lobbyist, was tentatively picked by the Coliseum’s governing commission back in September after two other finalists priced themselves out of the job. No sooner did word get out about the pending appointment than questions began bubbling up about a decade-old lawsuit saying that Houston and his father had defrauded senior citizens out of $340,000 in a real estate investment scheme. The real kicker came when representatives of the International Association of Firefighters Local 55, representing firefighters in Oakland and other Alameda County cities, hit the phones to demand that the Coliseum board squelch Houston’s appointment. Why? Because Houston, while in Sacramento, supported a 2005 measure put on the ballot by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to curb the power of public employee unions by prohibiting their dues from being used for political campaigns and ads.

A Machine, Big Money And A Lie In L.A. Assembly Race | The Sacramento Bee
Dan Morain @
Be sure to include your name, daytime phone number, address, name and phone number of legal next-of-kin, method of payment, and the name of the funeral home/crematory to contact for verification of death.

Voters May Be Tired Of Boxer, Feinstein, But It Doesn't Mean They'd Lose
California voters may say they're ready for new blood in the U.S. Senate, but desire for change is tempered by fear of the unknown.

San Jose Pension Reform: New Players, New Ruling | Calpensions
In what looked like a referendum on a voter-approved pension reform, a supporter, Councilman Sam Liccardo, was narrowly elected mayor of San Jose. He defeated a union-backed reform opponent, Supervisor Dave Cortese, who conceded last week.

Rising Retirement Costs Help Drive UC Plan To Raise Tuition | The Sacramento Bee
Alexei Koseff @
Be sure to include your name, daytime phone number, address, name and phone number of legal next-of-kin, method of payment, and the name of the funeral home/crematory to contact for verification of death.

Gun Rights Showdown Over Sunnyvale Law Reaches Appeals Court
Howard Mintz @
A group of Sunnyvale gun owners, backed by the National Rifle Association and other gun groups, on Monday will urge the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to invalidate the city's law, which was overwhelmingly approved by voters last year.

Gov. Jerry Brown To Campaign Donors: Keep On Giving
Less than two weeks after winning a fourth term, Gov. Jerry Brown plans to collect more money for his reelection committee Monday at a Sacramento reception with lobbyists and their clients.

Longtime North County Lawmaker To Retire From Legislature This Month. |
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Tri-valley: GOP's Baker Seeks Bipartisanship But Faces Tough Road
As she sips a cup of English Breakfast tea at a Starbucks on a drizzly day, it's not obvious that the Dublin attorney and mother of 11-year-old twins is seen by the GOP as a giant-killer, having just beaten Democrat Tim Sbranti to become the first Republican to win a Bay Area legislative or congressional election in eight years.

UC Tuition Hike Earns A Failing Grade
It's just common sense: If you're trying to grab more money from university students and their parents, you should not be dramatically raising the pay of top brass.

Japan Enters Unexpected Recession As Sales Tax Hike Takes A Toll
AP Member Choice Complete @
Japan's economy unexpectedly slid into recession as housing and business investment declined following a sales tax hike, further clouding the outlook for the global economy.

Senate Dems to Obama: We're with you on immigration
Lawmakers send a letter urging the president to use his "well-established" executive powers to improve the immigration system.

Picking 'three-strikers' To Free Poses Complex Challenge
In California prison, Lester Wallace was hardly a model inmate.

Get to know Assembly GOP 2014 freshman class
In the Assembly, women make up a greater share of the Republican caucus than the Democratic caucus. Which freshman will court Silicon Valley? Which freshman is on the fast track to GOP leadership> Who gave $60k to GOP targets before getting elected?

Actavis Buys Allergan In $66-billion Deal
The pharmaceutical company Actavis on Monday said it would purchase Irvine-based Botox maker Allergan in a $66-billion deal. 

Chemical Firms Try To Reverse Setbacks Over California's Fire Retardant Rules
A dispute is smoldering in the Capitol over flameproof furniture.

Tenants hero Gullicksen remembered at crowded memorial in S.F.
J.K. Dineen @
With his trademark bullhorn, shorts, and thick Boston accent, Ted Gullicksen was as fierce a fighter for tenants rights as San Francisco has ever seen, personally preventing the eviction of thousands of renters through his activism and the legislation he pushed. [...] he was also a sailor who loved the ocean, an avid baseball fan, and a patient and soft-spoken man who never turned down a media request, a call for help from a tenant, or an opportunity to mentor a younger activist or student. Gullicksen loved doughnuts, chocolate espresso beans, and Falcone, the little white Maltese mutt who turned up on his doorway a few years ago. “He was like the principal, the dean, the teacher, even the guidance counselor in what was, as it’s been called, a university of activists,” said Rebecca Gourevitch, who went to work for the tenants union after graduating from college in 2011. Outside in the hallway prayer flags hung with statements like: “This whole damn town misses you” and “Thank you for helping three generations of the Fitzgeralds and Rodriguez family stay in the city.” Gullicksen became head of of the Tenants Union in 1988, but in his typically modest way never elevated his own title beyond “office manager.” [...] the nighttime was a different story — he was a founder of the Homes Not Jails group, which squatted in abandoned buildings to call attention to the city’s homeless problems and highlight wasted property. Mara Raider, who worked with Gullicksen on Homes Not Jails, said that Gullicksen would cruise around on his bike scoping out potential squats. “He would be hanging out of second-story windows with his bullhorn in hand, yelling out interviews in his thick Boston accent,” said Raider. “He looked at me and said, 'I’ve been doing this for all these years, I don’t know how many times I’ve been arrested, and all I’ve ever wanted was to be removed from a building by way of a fire truck ladder,’” she said.

Fresno, Calif.: California: Customers Would Pay For Water Tunnels | State News |
Get Fresno State sports news wherever you are with The Bee's free Bulldog Buzz iPhone app.

San Jose State Clams Up On No-bid Cisco Contract
Katy Murphy @
After publishing an investigative report on the Next Generation Technology Project, this newspaper sought additional information: How much over budget is the campus's unfinished wireless network expansion -- already $2 million over -- expected to go? How much of the classroom-technology equipment purchased up to two years ago still awaits installation? How does the administration plan to encourage and train faculty to use the costly new technology in their classes?

Ticket Scofflaws Owe State $10.2 Billion - The Orange County Register

California National Guard Prepares For Ebola Mission In West Africa
A unit of the California Army National Guard has been ordered to mobilize for possible deployment to West Africa to support U.S. and international efforts to stem the spread of the deadly Ebola virus .

By Using Executive Order on Immigration, Obama Would Reverse Long-Held Stance
After years of denial, the president has changed course as 400,000 immigrants are deported each year and Republicans in Congress block bills to revamp immigration law.

Gallup: New low for Obamacare
Support for the health care law continues to decline, hitting a new low in approval, and a new high in disapproval.