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THE NOONER for January 12, 2015




Guten tag from the Nooner's home base in Sacramento. It was a precarious trip back last night as the snow piled up during an unplanned two-hour stop in Chicago because of rain in Vegas. Rain, really?  

Anyway, the story of Jerry Brown on CBS Sunday Morning is a must watch.

And, then, Barabak writes "Why Jerry Brown will probably never make a fourth try at White House - "If Brown were, say, 10 or more years younger, he would doubtless be in the thick of speculation over the 2016 contest and a serious contender for the Democratic nomination. It's not hard imagining Monday's speech serving as his opening salvo. (Instead of live-streaming to eager political insiders in the early-voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire, however, Brown had to settle for national coverage on C-SPAN.)"

Oh, yeah, we have a Senate race to talk about.

Here's what I know as of this morning:

  • Kamala Harris: Leaning toward
  • Tom Steyer: Leaning toward
  • Loretta Sanchez: Leaning toward
  • Antonio Villaraigosa: Leaning toward
  • Gavin Newsom: Not running
  • Eric Garcetti: Not running

Good read: Billionaire Tom Steyer mulls run for Sen. Boxer's seat [Seema Mehta & Michael Finnegan @ LAT] - "The former hedge fund titan has been huddling with advisors, polling California voters, buying website addresses and meeting with political and labor leaders as he weighs a bid, the sources said."

To think that I was inspired in junior high school to the song "How to Be a Millionaire." Now the ambition is multplied by 1,000.




  • NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION?  Build a stronger career.  Sacramento State offers the only local masters degree that combines both public policy and administration (MPPA).  Come talk to us downtown on Wednesday, January 14, either 10-11 a.m. or 4:30-5:30 p.m., 500 Capitol Mall, Suite 1400.

  • Join CA Women Lead and Honorary Co-Hosts Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins and Minority Leader Kristin Olsen in honoring the Women's Legislative Caucus and women serving in statewide office. Sponsor today | View our sponsors here
  • TRAINING FOR GRASSROOTS OUTREACH TO LEGISLATORS.  Experienced grassroots organizer Mark Wirth provides training and guidance for organizing the members of your organization for grassroots outreach to legislators.  Training on site at your location and designed to fit the needs of your organization.

  • Learn the legislative process and best practices for effective lobbying. Cover the complete spectrum of governmental advocacy in two days. Veteran lobbyist Ray LeBov presents "Lobbying 101" and "Lobbying 201" seminars January 29-30. $250 each. Essential for lobbying firm principals / support staff, organizations / public agencies that employ lobbyists. Complete info / registration: or 916 442 5009.
  • University of California Office of the President
    The Executive Director to represent the University of California in Sacramento on the University's long range/annual budget, capital resource acquisition/allocation plans, and other finance-related topics including investments, procurement, risk management, and accounting. Salary: Commensurate with Experience.

  • Small, downtown Los Angeles boutique law firm is looking for a full-time political and election attorney.

    Qualifications: Two to five years of relevant experience; demonstrated interest in political and election law; strong writing skills, flexibility, attention to detail, excellent academic credentials; law review or journal experience preferred.

    Contact: Email resumes to Ana Simeonova, Office Manager,

  • FORMER LOS ANGELES MAYOR RICHARD RIORDAN discusses his new memoir "The Mayor" in this exclusive interview:

    Know a current or former elected official in Southern California we should interview? Our TV program reaches California's #1 zip code for campaign contributions. Send suggestions to:

Brown Plan To Eliminate Retiree Health Care Debt | Calpensions
Gov. Brown wants state workers to begin paying half the cost of their future retiree health care — a big change for workers making no payments for coverage that can pay 100 percent of the premium for a retiree and 90 percent for their dependents.

Budget Leaves Facilities Crisis For Another Day :: Si&a Cabinet Report :: The Essential Resource For Superintendents And The Cabinet
Tom Chorneau @
Brown’s education budget, buoyed by billions of dollars in tax revenue tied to Wall Street profits, would increase K-14 spending by $7.8 billion over what was provided last year while directing millions of additional dollars to support career technical education, adult services and expenses tied to the Common Core State Standards.

Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris Mum About Potential Senate Bid
California Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris demurred Sunday when asked about a potential run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Barbara Boxer , saying she was focused on her current job as she held a swearing-in celebration in downtown Los Angeles.

Supervisor Wiener calls for tweaks to S.F. initiative process
Marisa Lagos @
San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener wants to take a cue from state leaders who last year approved major changes aimed at improving the state’s sometimes unwieldy ballot initiative process. Like the state bill, Wiener’s legislation would allow for a public airing of proposed ballot measures after they are submitted to election officials but before they are taken to voters for their signatures. The city — with its oversize interest in politics and penchant for putting multiple ballot measures before voters in any given election — is ripe for reform, said Wiener. “The initiative process is incredibly important — it’s the only way that people can take power into their own hands and act in the place of elected officials, and it’s important for people to retain the full power to enact policy on their own,” said Wiener, who stressed that both the state law and his proposal keep full control of a measure in the hands of its authors. “But it’s also important for there to be dialogue between people and elected officials about what’s on the ballot … and that’s really fundamentally what were are going to try to do,” he said. In both San Francisco and at the state level, any citizen can put a ballot measure before voters if they collect a certain number of signatures from registered voters. Currently, it’s based on 5 percent of voter turnout during the last mayoral election. Steinberg, who left office because of term limits last year, said he fought hard to push the state measure through the Legislature and is thrilled to see the idea spreading to the local level. “It was a very tough bill, because there has always been significant resistance to changing the initiative process, but this particular reform, made at state level and in my view at the local level, makes a lot of sense,” he said.

Villaraigosa Would Add Dynamic New Element In Race To Succeed Boxer
Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa 's announcement that he is seriously weighing a bid for the U.S. Senate seat that will be vacated by fellow Democrat Barbara Boxer added a dynamic new element to what is likely to be a crowded and expensive race.

California Legislature Seeks To Curb Police Violence | The Sacramento Bee
Jeremy B. White @
After a year in which the use of lethal force by police officers spurred nationwide protests and bared outrage about the intersection of race and law enforcement in America, California legislators have returned to Sacramento determined to pass laws blunting police violence.

Brown's Budget Is A Skinny, Homely Thing, But It's Got Brains
Gov. Jerry Brown 's new budget proposal is really boring. It's bare-bones — for a Democrat — and hardly bold. But mostly it's smart.

Lt. Gov. Newsom Passes On Senate Run For Boxer Seat
Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday morning that he will not run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Barbara Boxer .

After Tough Win, Rep. Ami Bera Looks To Second Term | The Sacramento Bee
Curtis Tate @
Rep. Ami Bera was sworn in Tuesday for a second term in the House of Representatives, but only a few months ago, his return to the Capitol was anything but certain.

Lenny Mendonca: Real Answers About Real Issues For California - Sfgate
Carla Marinucci @
Lenny Mendonca, Visionary of the Year nominee 2014 and pioneering political reformer.

House Lawmakers Introduce Bill To Ban Internet Taxes Forever -
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Supreme Court coy on same-sex marriage
Josh Gerstein @
Justices quiet on four key same-sex marriage petitions

Seniors can count on a bevy of sweet deals
Kevin Fagan @
Or you haven’t been paying attention. Because not only do these implausible windfalls of commerce exist — their number is growing every day. The Baby Boom generation has moved into its golden years with its typically outsized roar, and in response retailers and government agencies are jacking up the number of discounts being offered to senior citizens., another leading resource site, lists more than 250,000 deals for the elderly on everything from computers to golf — up from 160,000 in 2008. The business boons range from a 10 percent discount at Best Western Hotels and 30 percent off for Avis rental cars to markdowns at hundreds of eating spots, including Krispy Kreme and Sweet Tomatoes outlets. Next up, locally: free rides on Muni for low-income seniors, expected to be approved Jan. 20 by San Francisco’s Municipal Transportation Agency. Free senior bus rides aren’t unique — they’re offered in various forms in Contra Costa County, Houston and Philadelphia, for instance — but steep fare discounts are more common. Muni’s proposal to knock the existing reduced price down to zero comes from a desire to help “some of our most vulnerable residents,” said Muni spokesman Paul Rose. “The motivation for senior discounts is simple — businesses want their business,” said Mark Beach, a spokesman for AARP, the lobbying group for people over 50 that also brokers many discounts. Back then, more than half of all seniors were impoverished, but when Social Security came in, it lifted their fortunes, giving them just enough disposable income to turn many of them into more robust customers. According to the Public Policy Institute of California and the Census Bureau, the median household income in California in 2013 was $60,190, but for those over 65, that figure was $43,495, 28 percent smaller. A silver lining in that cloud is that with so much of that money coming from steady sources like government checks, pensions and lifetime savings, elderly people’s income tends to stay static or rise ever so slightly even during economic downturns, such as the recession of recent years. When adjusted for inflation, for instance, seniors’ median income in California grew 6 percent from 2006 to 2013, while the general population’s dropped 8 percent. “The thing that comparison never shows is that even though they didn’t suffer as much as other groups during the recession, senior income overall is significantly lower than other age groups,” said Hans Johnson, senior policy fellow at the policy institute. Jeff Hogan, manager of Lunardi’s grocery in Walnut Creek, says he can see the tactic pay off in his cash registers, as well as in the smiles from his older patrons. The Lunardi’s chain of Bay Area stores offers a 5 percent discount on many items to anyone 60 or older. “Obviously that discount comes off our bottom line, but we make it back through customer loyalty,” he said. Eighty-three-year-old Hubert Lewis of San Francisco, whose retirement budget is so tight he plans lunch at McDonald’s for $1 pies and a $1.49 burger, is hoping free low-income senior rides on Muni are approved. “Not having to pay for the bus pass would make a big difference, really help a lot,” he said. The price breaks got no push-back from 16-year-old Raymond Cassidy and his friends as they waited in line for “The Woman in Black 2” at AMC theaters at San Franciso’s Metreon to pay $1 per ticket more than those around them who were 60 or older.

Hundreds In L.A. Hold Rally For Victims Of Terror Attacks In France
Hundreds gathered Sunday outside Los Angeles City Hall to show solidarity against last week's terrorist attacks in France and to pay tribute to the 17 people killed.

Silicon Valley Is Trying To Diversify, But Strategies Still Lag - Sfgate
Kristen V. Brown @
On the Washington, D.C., campus of Howard University, Silicon Valley is an ever-growing presence.

Former Lausd Board President Will Run Troubled Charter School Group
A local charter school group that is battling for survival has turned to a well-known and sometimes controversial education figure to take charge. Magnolia Public Schools, under fire for money management and other issues, has hired former L.A. school board President Caprice Young as its new chief executive.

UC San Diego Hires Star Biologist. |
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A Better Line To The Oval Office
With Republicans in control of the House and Senate , many are calling for Congress to seek legislative common ground with President Obama . My suggestion is an inexpensive "infrastructure" project: repairing the presidential line of succession, whose current design is shoddy, constitutionally troubling and risky.

Newsom won't run for Boxer seat
With the decision, all eyes will now be on California Attorney General Kamala Harris.

Americans Go Online For Art, Skip Museums, Theater | The Sacramento Bee
Edward Ortiz @
A growing number of Americans are listening to classical music, viewing art and otherwise sampling creative work on electronic devices rather than experiencing them in person, according to national research being unveiled Monday in Sacramento.

Kaiser Mental Health Workers Launch 7-day Strike | State Of Health Blog From Kqed News
April Dembosky @
By April Dembosky

New National Monument Proposed For Santa Cruz Coast
Paul Rogers @
Now Bay Area conservation groups want to raise its profile. They are launching an effort to have President Obama declare the property a new national monument this year.