Around The Capitol

If you don't see images in this message, click "Display Images" or the equivalent.

Having trouble viewing this email? Click here

Receive this as a forward? Get the Nooner in your e-mail box

THE NOONER for December 2, 2014



It's Giving Tuesday. It's a great day to support Open California, which publishes Capitol Weekly. Seriously, donate the equivalent of a latte.

Well, the first day of school is over and it was a Facebook fest all around. Members were sworn in, leadership was elected, and bills were introduced. Now staffers are happy to be returning to jeans until January 5. Tonight is the Capitol Christmas tree lighting, although they won't let the governor plug the tree in outside because of the rain, so it will be held inside.

POLL POSITION: PPIC is out with its monthly survey, and it finds a relatively cheerful population. Of course, the population of residents is far different than the actual number of voters.

Job approval:

Jerry Brown

    • Approve: 54%
    • Disapprove: 28%
    • Don't know: 18%


    • Approve: 41%
    • Disapprove: 42%
    • Don't know: 17%


  • Right Direction: 50%
  • Wrong Direction: 42%
  • Don't know: 8%

Economic outlook in California:

  • Good times: 52%
  • Bad times: 39%
  • Don't know: 9%

Higher taxes/more services v. Lower taxes/fewer services

  • Higher taxes/more services: 50%
  • Lower taxes/fewer services: 44%
  • Don't know: 6%

Prop. 30 extension:

  • Favor: 53%
  • Oppose: 40%
  • Don't know: 6%

College affordability:

  • Big problem: 59%
  • Somewhat of a problem: 27%
  • Not much of a problem: 12%
  • Don't know: 1%

Of course, the outstanding PPIC team asks rotating questions of whether residents are willing to pay higher taxes or see increased tuition to solve this dilemma, and, of course, respondents say no. Yes, Virginia, there is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow...

In my best Cartman voice, I say "I want my cake and to eat it too!"

In other questions, voters are hesitant to apply the sales tax on services, but are fine with sin taxes--alcohol and cigarettes. A tax on oil and gas extraction, however, is not popular--with only 45% of residents in support. However, residents would support higher taxes for local water district infrastructure (70%). 

California’s record-low voter turnout stirs anxieties [Christopher Cadelago @ SacBee] - "Though three small counties have yet to report, voter turnout in the midterm election stood Monday at just 42.2 percent, and isn’t expected to change significantly. That will obliterate the state’s modern-era record for voter apathy of 50.6 percent in 2002, when Gov. Gray Davis cruised past Republican Bill Simon."

California Democrats tally wins, even after election day [John Wildermuth @ SFChron] - "Election day can’t last long enough as far as California Democrats are concerned."

#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Stephen Gale!




  • HENRY WAXMAN (D - Los Angeles) looks back on 40 years in Congress in this exclusive exit interview:
    Know a current or former elected official we should interview?  Our TV program reaches California's #1 zip code for campaign contributions.  Send suggestions to:
  • Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez is seeking a legislative aide. The position requires strong analytical and writing skills, attention to detail, excellent organization, multi-tasking ability and English language proficiency. Capitol experience is preferred. Candidates should be strategic thinkers who can work cooperatively and enthusiastically in a team environment. Please send cover letter and resume to

  • You are invited to join Capitol Network for our Annual Holiday Luncheon and Elections on Tuesday December 9, 2014 from 11:30 am – 1:30 pm.  The luncheon is FREE for Capitol Network members with a donation of diapers (size 4 - 6) and/or feminine hygiene products, $30 for Capitol Network members without a donation, and $35 for Non-Members with a donation of diapers (Size 4-6) and/or feminine hygiene products.

    Please register at no later than TUESDAY DECEMBER 2.  Advance registration is required for all attendees. Please contact Amanda Levy at or 915-595-8755 with any questions.

  • California Voices for Progress is seeking a State Director to work with influential people to fight for policies that combat climate change, promote economic and educational opportunity for low-income and middle class Americans, and strengthen democracy. The Director will lead the state office and work with members to take action on policy priorities at the federal and state level.
  • The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network is seeking an experienced well-qualified advocate to direct its state legislative program. The State Legislative Director will serve as ACS CAN’s primary lobbyist at the State Capitol responsible for developing and executing its legislative agenda. Requires expertise in health policy, especially the Affordable Care Act, Medi-Cal and other access to care issues, and substantial experience working at State Capitol as legislative staff and/or lobbyist. Minimum salary: $85,000. For further details and to apply please visit:

  • Post your 3-4 line classified here for $25/week.



Democrats Blast UC Hikes In Legislature's Return | The Sacramento Bee
Democratic legislative leaders took aim at tuition hikes approved by the University of California as they returned to the state Capitol to kick off a new session on Monday.

Voters To University Leaders And Lawmakers: Find The Money | The California Report | Kqed News
Interpreting poll results is often a dicey proposition, given that it’s not always clear what Californians are saying they want or don’t want.

House Nearing Vote On 1-year Package Of Tax Breaks | The Sacramento Bee
The Sacramento Bee is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Senate leader Kevin De Leon proposes slashing rival's key program
Two days after lawmaker John Perez left office, longtime political rival and Senate leader Kevin De Leon proposed Tuesday to make deep cuts to a scholarship program seen as a key part of Perez's legacy as state Assembly speaker.

Senator Mike Morrell Denounces UC Board of Regents Vote to Increase Tuition
Senator Mike Morrell, R-Rancho Cucamonga, today issued the following statement regarding the decision by the Board of Regents of the University of California to approve system-wide tuition increases by 28 percent over the next five years:

California Lawmakers Set Goals As New Legislature Convenes
The new legislative session officially began Monday, with lawmakers converging on the Capitol to take the oath of office and legislative leaders signaling that the proposed University of California tuition hikes will be a pivotal policy battle in the coming term.

California Lawmakers Regroup In New Alignment
Jessica Calefati @
The state lawmakers who gathered in Sacramento Monday to see newly elected members sworn in had a different look from the group before November's election -- there were fewer Democrats.

Senate Republican Leader Bob Huff Welcomes New Senators, Says Next Year's Focus Must Be On Jobs, Economy & Education
Senate Republican Leader Bob Huff (R-Diamond Bar) said today that he is looking forward to working with the newly-elected Senators who were sworn into office today in a ceremony on the Senate Floor.

Five Takeaways From Obama's Police Militarization Report - Bloomberg Politics
Two weeks after police clashes with Ferguson protesters led questions about the federal government's program to send military equipment to state and local law enforcement departments, President Obama announced a formal review. Four months later, the White House released its findings. Here are five of the most important revelations:

The Bocanegra Conundrum :: Fox&hounds
The Bocanegra Conundrum is not a book title from the late thriller novelist Robert Ludlum — but there is mystery involved. Patty Lopez, a neophyte community activist concerned with education, knocked Raul Bocanegra, a respected up and coming one-term assembly member, from his post in the November election.

Senate Leader Kevin De Leon Proposes Slashing Rival's Key Program
Two days after lawmaker John Perez left office, longtime political rival and Senate leader Kevin De Leon proposed Tuesday to make deep cuts to a scholarship program seen as a key part of Perez's legacy as state Assembly speaker.

Senator Gaines Condemns University Of California Tuition Hike Vote
This committee approval will send the tuition increase proposal to the full Board of Regents for a vote tomorrow:

Legislature Convenes; Let The Battles Begin | Faultlines | Kqed News
Think of it as the biannual celebration in Sacramento of cognitive dissonance. Politically speaking, that is.

L.A. County Tallies About 1.5 Million Ballots -- Just A 33% Turnout
Los Angeles County officials have finished counting all 1,518,835 valid ballots from the Nov. 4 election. 

Boehner floats plan to fight Obama on immigration, avert shutdown
Hoping to prevent a government shutdown by GOP opponents of President Obama's immigration plan, House Speaker John A. Boehner floated a proposal Tuesday that would fund most of the government -- but not the immigration agencies -- through the end of the 2015 fiscal year.

GOP Leader Huff Welcomes New Senators, Says Next Year's Focus Must Be On Jobs, Economy & Education
Senate Republican Leader Bob Huff (R-Diamond Bar) said today that he is looking forward to working with the newly-elected Senators who were sworn into office today in a ceremony on the Senate Floor.

Los Angeles Teacher Sex Case Prompts Bill On Age Of Consent | The Sacramento Bee
Laurel Rosenhall @
The teacher, Elkis Hermida, was convicted in 2011 on criminal charges of lewd acts against a child and sentenced to three years in prison, according to the Los Angeles Times. Last year, the girl sued the school district in a civil case seeking compensation for the emotional trauma of the months-long sexual relationship with her math teacher. The school district argued that she was a willing participant in the affair, and a Los Angeles jury found the district was not liable for damages.

House G.O.P. May Cast Symbolic Vote on Immigration
s executive immigration action, before voting to fund the government.

Obama Seeks $263 Million For Training, Body Cameras For Local Police
President Obama is ordering up new rules for giving local police agencies access to surplus U.S. military equipment such as the armored vehicles, assault rifles and body armor that police in Ferguson, Mo., used in an unsuccessful attempt to quiet protests this summer.

New Session Offers Lawmakers A Chance To Set A Meaningful Agenda
California's two-year legislative session began Monday as incumbent and new members of the Assembly and state Senate took their oaths. But it seemed as if the Legislature was already off and running before Thanksgiving, because some lawmakers announced their first bills even before they were seated. They've become something like the retailers who move up their holiday opening hours earlier each year, from Black Friday to Thursday midnight to the pre-holiday Monday, to get a jump on the competition.

City Attorney Needs More Staff For 8,800 New Prop. 47 Misdemeanors
Because California voters reduced penalties for a number of drug and theft crimes by passing Prop. 47, Los Angeles City Atty. Mike Feuer asked the City Council Monday to let him to hire more employees to file roughly 8,800 more cases expected annually ¿ crimes that used to be handled by the district attorney as felonies but now are misdemeanors.

California Republicans Seek Cap-and-trade Exemption For Fuels | The Sacramento Bee
Jeremy B. White @
A sweeping 2006 law aimed at reducing carbon emissions launched a system requiring industries to purchase permits covering what they put into the air. Producers of transportation fuels have yet to be required to buy permits, but that will change on Jan. 1.