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THE NOONER for December 8, 2014

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California Deserves Better


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Sorry about Friday's Nooner. I didn't hit the final "save" so we missed some stories. Also, many of you emailed about the Kevin de León story by Dan Walters. Well, we have a conundrum, as the Bee has moved lots of stories behind its paywall. I pay for a subscription, but know many of you don't. I'll try to do a reasonable excerpt when possible.

Well, here in Portland, the top news story aside from the Oregon Ducks win this weekend was Uber launching on Friday evening, to the deep consternation of the Portland City Council. The city maintains that the operation is illegal and was conducting sting operations on Friday. City transportation officials have gone so far as mentioning a possible regulation that would lock out Uber in favor of Lyft, which hasn't launched in the Rose City yet.

SD35 (Carson): Will Isadore Hall run away from field in 35th Senate District election? [Nick Green @ LBPT] - ". . . Hall, who has deluged voters with political mailers, will almost certainly win in Tuesday’s open primary. Few observers believe the other three candidates in the race will deny him more than 50 percent of the vote, which would force a Feb. 10 runoff."

WHEN IS A PAY HIKE A HIKE? Sacramento leaders get pay hikes [Chris Nichols @ UTSD] - "A two percent pay hike went into effect this week for state elected leaders, a boost that has been rejected by some San Diego area lawmakers in the past. . . . Legislators will also get a hike to their "per diem" payments, which they receive every day they attend legislative sessions, to compensate them for time away from home. The tax-free payments will rise to $168 from $163."

My problem with this story is that it doesn't mention that the pay raise was set by the California Citizens Compensation Commission, not the Legislature. Further, salaries and per diem are both lower than they were in 2009, when salaries were cut by 18% (from $116,208) and per diem by $31 per day in light of the state's budget problem. That also didn't make it into the article.

QUICK WORK: In a bipartisan holiday mood, legislators get down to (some) business [Marc Lifsher @ LAT] - With children in tow, state lawmakers gathered for a moment of bipartisan good cheer last week. Democrats and Republicans alike hugged and backslapped, got themselves sworn in and offered a few clues about the issues ahead. By the end of Day One, they managed to introduce 114 bills and resolutions in the Assembly and the Senate and reelect Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) and Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) before going home for the holidays. They are due back Monday, Jan. 5.

PAY FOR NAY: Economic interests drive defeat of propositions [Martin Wisckol @ LAT] - "Studies show that wealthy special interests have limited success supporting ballot measures that would benefit them economically – but they do a lot better when it comes to defeating ballot measures that could hurt their pocketbook."

DADDY WARBUCKS: Political donor Bill Bloomfield aims to be altruistic 'counterweight' [Jean Merl @ LAT] - "This election season, he opted not to run again and concentrated on another path for political players: supporting candidates. Bloomfield, 64, and his wife, Susan, see themselves as a "tiny counterweight" to special interests and spend part of their fortune on candidates they believe will help improve government by easing partisan gridlock, put public schools on a sounder footing, or both."

FPPC IN THE OC: Judge upholds ethics agency's subpoenas in probe of backers of Sen. Nguyen [Patrick McGreevy @ LAT] - "Superior Court judge on Friday ruled that the state’s ethics agency could subpoena financial records as part of an investigation into possible political money laundering involving 11 supporters of newly elected state Sen. Janet Nguyen (R-Garden Grove)."

BAG BAN: Mayor Kevin Johnson to propose plastic bag ban in Sacramento [Ryan Lillis @ SacBee] - "Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson will announce Monday a proposal to prohibit single-use plastic bags at stores in the city in the event that opponents of a newly adopted statewide ban are able to force a public vote on that legislation."

#CAKEDAY: Happy Birthday to Lance Lewis, John Lovell, and Michael Shaw!

 


 

**CLASSIFIEDS**

  • Board of Equalization Member-Elect Diane Harkey seeks: Exempt Legal Advisor ($8,805-$11,189) – to serve as legal advisor and assist in carrying out her constitutional responsibilities administering, formulating, and coordinating tax programs.  Position located in Sacramento. For questions contact Russell.Lowery@boe.ca.gov.  Details here.

  • HENRY WAXMAN (D - Los Angeles) looks back on 40 years in Congress in this exclusive exit interview: vimeo.com/111473947. 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: editor@bhweekly.com.
  • 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 evan.mclaughlin@asm.ca.gov.
  • 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: careers.peopleclick.com/careerscp/client_acs/external/gateway.do?functionName=viewFr

 

 

TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
For first time in years, S.F. departments donâ
sfgate.com
If that money is applied to next year’s $8.6 billion budget, the deficit for fiscal 2015-16 will be only $16 million, according to joint financial projections to be released Monday from the mayor’s office, city controller and Board of Supervisors’ budget analyst. Rather than cutting staff or scaling back programs, the mayor is proposing balancing the budget through about $5 million in additional revenue from unspecified taxes and fees and $11 million through other yet to be determined revenue or savings. [...] it’s exciting, said Trent Rhorer, who for 14 years has headed the city’s Human Services Agency, which manages public assistance programs to help low-income seniors, families and others, including foster children. Over the next five years, though, expenses are still projected to grow faster than revenue, including increases in salaries and benefits and new voter-mandated funding, like increasing the minimum wage to $15 and tying transportation money to population growth. The budget figures don’t include the city’s $3.9 billion unfunded pension liability or its separate $3.9 billion unfunded retiree health care liability. The deficits also don’t take into account a recession, which would drive down revenue and drive up costs by depressing the value of pension investments. The current economic expansion has lasted more than 64 months, while the average length of time between recessions since 1900 has been 46 months, according to the mayor’s budget office. Since 1960, though, periods of economic growth have lasted longer, including a 120-month boom from 1991 to 2001.

By The Numbers: Half Of The Senators Who Voted For Obamacare Will Be Gone In 2015 - Bloomberg Politics
bloomberg.com
Louisiana Republican Bill Cassidy's double-digit ousting of Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu on Saturday was, in the words of the senator-elect, an "exclamation mark" on a 2014 election that saw the Republicans win control of the Senate. With Landrieu's departure, only half of the Senators who voted to pass the Affordable Care Act will still be in office in 2015, when the new members are sworn in. 

Mayor Kevin Johnson To Propose Plastic Bag Ban In Sacramento | The Sacramento Bee
Ryan Lillis @
sacbee.com
Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson will announce Monday a proposal to prohibit single-use plastic bags at stores in the city in the event that opponents of a newly adopted statewide ban are able to force a public vote on that legislation.

Gavin Newsom And Kamala Harris: War Or Peace In Future Races? - Sfgate
Carla Marinucci @
sfgate.com
Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom trekked to a

2015 CA Special Elections: A Preview of State Senate Races
calnewsroom.com
Mark DeSaulnier, Steve Knight and Mimi Walters are all headed to Congress. Here is a preview of the upcoming special elections to fill their State Senate seats.

Seminar Will Discuss Climate Change And California Water Supplies | The Sacramento Bee
Matt Weiser @
sacbee.com
The public has a unique opportunity Tuesday to learn about how climate change may alter the availability of water in California and to offer ideas on adapting to those changes.

Many Want More Money; UC Should Get In Line
latimes.com
First of all, Californians think that raising university tuition again is a really bad idea. A non-starter.

New Chronicle award will honor top Bay Area visionary
Peter Fimrite @
sfgate.com
A dozen distinguished Bay Area residents have been nominated for The Chronicle’s inaugural Visionary of the Year award saluting leaders who have redefined their professions in ways that improve the community. The collaboration with St. Mary’s College will identify and salute leaders who strive to make the world a better place and drive social and economic change by employing new, innovative business models and practices. “This is a chance to single out a few people who have really distinguished themselves in their respective fields in ways that make this a better community and a better world.” said John Diaz, The Chronicle editorial page editor and the chairman of the nominating committee. The 12 finalists were selected by Laurene Powell Jobs, a business executive and widow of Steve Jobs; Daniel Lurie, founder of the poverty fighting organization Tipping Point; Ronnie Lott, the 49ers' Hall of Fame cornerback; Anne Wilson, the chief executive officer of United Way Bay Area; and Zhan Li, the dean of the business school at St. Mary’s. Aneel Bhusri, chief executive officer of Workday, a cloud-based human resources and finance software company. Zachary Bookman, chief executive officer of OpenGov.com, an online resource focused on government transparency. Rey Faustino, founder and chief executive officer of One Degree, an online support list for health care, housing, legal help and food services. Evan Marwell, the founder of EducationSuperHighway, which provides Internet access and digital learning at public schools.

San Jose Set To Legalize, Tax Airbnb Stays Like Hotel Rooms
contracostatimes.com
The San Jose City Council on Tuesday is set to approve a 10 percent tax on all Airbnb rentals in the city, the same rate already charged on hotel rooms. At the same time, the city would legalize what is technically now a prohibited practice of home-sharing -- though it hasn't stopped hundreds of residents from advertising spare rooms or even entire homes for rent on a nightly basis.

California Water At Risk From Abandoned Sierra Nevada Mines - Capradio.org
capradio.org
Along the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada, runoff pollution from abandoned mines in "Gold Country" could threaten California's primary water supply. A pilot project at one mine site is intended to prevent contaminated runoff from reaching the Yuba River. 

California Foodways: Native American Tribe Bets On Olive Oil | The California Report | Kqed News
ww2.kqed.org
McKay sits on the board of the UC Davis Foundation. He says that when the tribe started getting interested in agriculture, he visited the olive center at the nearby university.

California Copied As States Seek Retirement Plans | Calpensions
calpensions.com
A California plan to give private-sector workers a state-run retirement savings plan is nearing $1 million in contributions, the goal set to pay for a market analysis to help design the program.

The Buzz: Economic Interests Drive Defeat Of Propositions - The Orange County Register
MARTIN WISCKOL @
ocregister.com
BY MARTIN WISCKOL / STAFF COLUMNIST

L.A. Mayor Garcetti Set To Unveil Earthquake Safety Plan
latimes.com
Mayor Eric Garcetti on Monday is scheduled to unveil his long-awaited proposal to better protect buildings and other infrastructure in Los Angeles against a major earthquake.

Labor's New Reality -- It's Easier To Raise Wages For 100,000 Than To Unionize 4,000
latimes.com
Haltingly, with understandable ambivalence, the American labor movement is morphing into something new. Its most prominent organizing campaigns of recent years — of fast-food workers, domestics, taxi drivers and Wal-Mart employees — have prompted states and cities to raise their minimum wage and create more worker-friendly regulations. But what these campaigns haven't done is create more than a small number of new dues-paying union members. Nor, for the foreseeable future, do unions anticipate that they will.

Campaign Finance: The Special Powers of Super PACS, and Not Just for Federal Elections
rss.nytimes.com
Many political action committees are wielding their unlimited-donation power in state and local races instead of national ones.

Obama Calls For Persistence, Patience Amid 'deeply Rooted' Racism
latimes.com
President Obama, responding to the wave of protests and racial tensions across the country in recent days, appealed for patience and persistence in solving what he described as an issue "that is deeply rooted in our society ... our history."

Schools Work To Improve Vision Health | Edsource
edsource.org
Meet the StaffJohn Fensterwald | Editor-At-Large

G.O.P. Donors Seek to Narrow Field of Presidential Candidates to One
rss.nytimes.com
They fear being split into competing camps and raising hundreds of millions of dollars for a bloody primary that will injure the eventual nominee.