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THE NOONER for January 15, 2015



Who will be California's next U.S. senator, replacing the retiring Democrat Barbara Boxer?

It'll be another Democrat, bet on that.

State Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris, 50, is the early front-runner. But we'll have to see how she performs running for a big-time office.

Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, 61, is sounding like a candidate. And he probably should be. He desires higher office, and this is likely his best shot.

Billionaire climate-change activist Tom Steyer, 57, probably won't run. And he probably shouldn't. There's a long history of failure in California for mega-rich political neophytes trying to start their elective careers at the top.

PERSONAL PRIVILEGE:  Must read from Tom Hanks. Props to community college, where I met some of the best people in California politics.


#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Patty Lopez




  • Join Emerge California’s 2015 Beverly Hills Reception on Saturday, January 24 from 6:30pm to 8:30pm at Avalon Hotel located at 9400 W. Olympic Blvd in Beverly Hills. To join the Host Committee, please contact Nazneen Rydhan-Foster at or visit the event page here.

  • 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:

A Racial Battle For The Us Senate :: Fox&hounds
For some time the rumor has floated around Sacramento of a plan to send Attorney General Kamala Harris, the African American, to the US Senate in 2016; run Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, a white Democrat, for governor in 2018, and then let Treasurer John Chiang, Controller Betty Yee and Secretary of State Alex Padilla fight in 2018 over the seat that Sen. Dianne Feinstein currently holds.

Senators Back Harris For Senate; Villaraigosa 'very Likely' To Run
One by one, three U.S. senators took turns tweeting Wednesday that they were “excited” by California Atty. Gen. Kamala D. Harris ' run for Sen. Barbara Boxer 's seat.

Kamala Harris campaign continues to control news cycle with Elizabeth Warren endorsement
Attorney General Kamala Harris' campaign for US Senate continues to control the news cycle. The Harris campaign rolled out an endorsement from liberal U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren Wednesday in an email blast to her nationwide network of progressive activists.

Carly Fiorina, No Longer Deadbeat Candidate - Debra J. Saunders
    This just in: Carly Fiorina paid off the debt from her losing 2010 Senate campaign against Sen. Barbara Boxer. As I wrote last month, the former HP head is mulling over a 2016 preside...

San Jose Councilman Gets Early Start In Campaign For State Assembly
Kalra, a two-term councilman representing the southeast San Jose District 2, announced Wednesday that he will run in the November 2016 election to replace Nora Campos, who by will be termed out of Assembly District 27, which includes most of San Jose. It was hardly unexpected, as political insiders have long been pointing to the seat as a likely next step for Kalra, who is also termed out at the end of 2016.

Kamala Harris Is Front-runner For Boxer's Seat — For The Moment
Who will be California's next U.S. senator, replacing the retiring Democrat Barbara Boxer ?

In world of S.F. politics, Scott Wiener is a serious player
C.W. Nevius @
Just to be clear, it is not true that every piece of legislation that comes out of City Hall is drafted by second-term supervisor Scott Wiener. “I think there may be about three Scott Wieners running around,” jokes new Board of Supervisors President London Breed. Who would have thought that a tall (6-foot-7), nerdy (his word), gay, Jewish guy would become such a political force? [...] when he proposed legislation to stop the “nude guys” from parading around naked in the city, he also provided the irresistible punch line. [...] typically, he took a dispassionate, pragmatic approach and considered the political implications. During the 2010 campaign (his first for supervisor), apparently kids were obsessed with my campaign signs because of the name. Aide Jeff Cretan, who joined Wiener’s staff just before that 2010 campaign, immediately realized his candidate was not going to be outworked. To this day, people will call with a problem and say: I know this is going to get done because Scott was the first politician ever to knock on my door. [...] when a bill to add a tax on sugary beverages seemed stalled, Wiener simply introduced his own, infuriating colleagues Malia Cohen and Eric Mar, who had been crafting an initiative for months. Tim Redmond, a proudly progressive journalist who has made a career of sniping at those who disagree with him, speaks to Wiener on a regular basis. “We disagree on a tremendous number of things,” said Redmond, the former editor of the far-left Bay Guardian newspaper. [...] there is a private Wiener who has an 18-year-old cat, Tabitha, practices yoga and travels with a close-knit circle of friends. “I’m not the life of the party or anything,” he says in his trademark monotone.

Democrats Who Grew Up Poor Pledge To Expand Social Services | The Sacramento Bee
Two Democratic leaders who rose up from poverty pitted themselves against Jerry Brown on Wednesday by pledging to expand social services despite the governor's call for resisting new spending.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein Resolute In Opposition To Legalizing Pot
 As the majority of California voters grow comfortable with the idea of pot legalization, their senior senator in Washington is making it clear that she most certainly is not.

Capitol Alert News | The Sacramento Bee &

Steven Brill's 'america's Bitter Pill' Tackles Healthcare Mess
In 'America's Bitter Pill,' Steven Brill explores the politics and policies of U.S. healthcare, including the Affordable Care Act

Businessman accused of bribery in pension scandal dies
Melody Gutierrez @
Sacramento — Reno police say they are investigating the apparent suicide of Nevada businessman Alfred Villalobos, who was facing decades in prison if found guilty in a pending bribery case that rocked the California public workers’ pension system. Villalobos, 71, was accused of bribing the chief executive of the California Public Employees Retirement System in order to steer investments to his clients’ private equity firms. Villalobos, a former CalPERS board member, was schedule to stand trial Feb. 23 in U.S. District Court in San Francisco. The case had been pushed back due to Villalobos’ failing health and on Wednesday, his attorney Bruce Funk initially planned to seek another delay so that the court could evaluate his client’s “mental and physical health.” Fred Buenrostro, a former CEO at CalPERS, pleaded guilty last year to conspiracy to commit bribery and fraud and agreed to testify against Villalobos in the multimillion-dollar pay-to-play scandal. Buenrostro admitted to receiving cash - including paper bags and a shoe box containing $200,000 — and other gifts from Villalobos in exchange for confidential information and help influencing investments at CalPERS.

Tom Steyer Looks Good In His Own Senate 2016 Poll
Josh Richman @
Hedge fund billionaire and environmental activist Tom Steyer said Tuesday he’s considering whether to run for California’s U.S. Senate seat in 2016, but apparently he’s been mulling this for a while: A polling memo shows he commissioned a survey on his chances in mid-December.

Is California’s Declining Voter Turnout Connected To Higher Poverty Rates? ‹ The Grizzly Bear Project
Anthony York @
The following report was produced by Grassroots Lab and Grizzly Bear Media

Republicans Valadao, Denham Vote Against Immigration Bill
Michael Doyle and Andrea Castillo @
Get Fresno State sports news wherever you are with The Bee's free Bulldog Buzz app.

Alfred Villalobos, Fixture In CalPERS Corruption Scandal, Apparently Commits Suicide | The Sacramento Bee
In failing health and facing up to 30 years in prison for his role in the CalPERS bribery scandal, Alfred Villalobos apparently committed suicide Tuesday, weeks before he was scheduled to go on trial.

Senators back Harris for Senate; Villaraigosa 'very likely' to run
California Atty. Gen. Kamala D. Harris' run for Sen. Barbara Boxer's seat.

John Moorlach Enters State Senate Race For Seat Vacated By Mimi Walters- Total Buzz Blog: Orange County Register
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California Using Hydraulic Fracturing In Up To Half Of New Wells: State Study | The Sacramento Bee
Jeremy B. White @
Hydraulic fracturing unlocked oil at around one-half of the new wells launched in California over the last decade, and the practice will likely expand in a chunk of the San Joaquin Valley, according to a new study required by the 2013 law to regulate the practice.

Judge Says Michigan Must Recognize 300 Same-sex Marriages
A federal judge ruled Thursday that Michigan must validate nearly 300 same-sex marriages , although the decision will not take effect until next month and could be appealed by the state.