Around The Capitol

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THE NOONER for January 16, 2015




OOPS: California 25th Senate Candidate Anthony Portantino Fabricated Endorsements On His Campaign Website [Brian Hews @ HMG] - "A Hews Media Group-Community News investigation has revealed that a website created and paid for by California 25th Senatorial District candidate and former 44th assemblyman Anthony Portantino, contains false endorsements and false statements from several high ranking California politicians, city council members, unions and other organizations."

MOJO RISING: Hillary Clinton successor and New York senator Kirstin Gillebrand sent out a fundraising appeal this morning for Kamala Harris.

Tom Steyer subjected himself yesterday to a Reddit Ask Me Anything.

DA BEAR: Anthony York has posted new items on his Grizzly Bear Project website.

The Hertzberg Plan: Tax Reform at a Cost? [Joel Fox]

SPLIT: State of Jefferson brings three more California counties on board [Alexei Kosoff @ SacBee] - "The petitions from Tehama, Glenn and Yuba counties, expressing their desire to withdraw from California because of a perceived lack of representation in the Legislature, bring the total number of breakaway counties to five. Jeffersonians rallied at the Capitol last August after presenting their initial declarations from Siskiyou and Modoc counties."


LA CITY: Molina gains endorsements from Boxer, Villaraigosa in council race [David Zahniser @ LAT] - Oh, yes, we've got an election in La-La Land this spring.

NOPE: California rejects UnitedHealth's bid to sell Obamacare statewide [Chad Terhune @ LAT] - "Peter Lee, executive director of Covered California, said established insurers shouldn't be free to come in right away. Those insurers, he said, should not be allowed to undercut rivals who stepped up at the start and made significant investments to sign up 1.2 million Californians during the first open enrollment."

SAVE THE DATE: The Cordial Caucus back to session karaoke event is scheduled for January 21st, 2015 at Simon’s Bar and Café (1415 16th Street in Sacramento from7-10pm). The Cordial Caucus is a bi-partisan group of legislators, staff and others in the capitol community who meet in the spirit of camaraderie and cooperation. No host bar. 

Confirmed legislators to date include: Board of Equalization Member Fiona Ma, Assembly Speaker Toni G. Atkins, Assembly Members Marc Steinorth and Kevin Mullin and Senators Tom Berryhill and Anthony Cannella.

Just for S and Gs, write me in for this contest!




  • 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.

  • 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:

Ben Carson, Looking At 2016 Presidential Race, Urges GOP To Adhere To Beliefs
Ben Carson, the retired neurosurgeon flirting with a run for president in 2016, warned party leaders Thursday that Republicans must avoid being cowed by political correctness, and said he stood by controversial statements about same-sex marriage , Obamacare, the “Gestapo” tactics of the federal  government and the Veterans Affairs scandal.

Governor's Proposed Budget Called "A Gift"To Adult Education
Susan Frey @
The governor’s proposed budget, unveiled last week, allocates $500 million for an Adult Education Block Grant, with a provision that existing K-12 adult ed programs be funded for another year.

Effort Would Consolidate L.A. Elections With State And Federal Voting
Hoping to reverse years of dismal voter turnout for Los Angeles city and school board elections, advocates recently kicked off what they say will be a “robust” campaign supporting two ballot measures to change when residents go to the polls.

It was bad form for Contra Costa County supes to hike pay 33%
Chip Johnson @
A salary adjustment. That’s what one Contra Costa County supervisor called the $32,000-a-year raise she and her colleagues voted to give themselves in October.

Molina Gains Endorsements From Boxer, Villaraigosa In Council Race
Former Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina said Thursday she has landed several high-profile endorsements in her race for Los Angeles City Council: U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer, former Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Councilman Gil Cedillo.

Washington: On Immigration, Denham, Valadao Zig Where GOP Zags | National Politics |
Michael Doyle and William Douglas @
Each month The Bee’s entertainment staff puts together a guide to entertainment, including ...

The Hertzberg Plan: Tax Reform At A Cost? :: Fox&hounds
One goal Senator Robert Hertzberg hopes to accomplish with his major tax reform legislation, SB 8, is to improve business conditions in the state. The obvious question: Does that objective have to come with a $10 billion price tag?

Ex-CalPERS Official Villalobos Commits Suicide
A former state pension board member at the center of a long-running influence-peddling scandal that rocked state government committed suicide Tuesday, just weeks before the start of his federal trial on bribery and fraud charges.

The Riggs Report: California's Senate Scramble
It's a fascinating confrontation taking shape between Governor Jerry Brown and University of California President Janet Napolitano, a former governor of Arizona. And what's at stake in this pending showdown is what some believe is a shakedown involving University of California students, their families, and the tuition they are required to pay.

Hedge-Fund Riches Challenged As Steyer Weighs Senate Bid
Michael Finnegas @
San Francisco billionaire Tom Steyer got a pungent sample Thursday of what awaits him if he runs for U.S. Senate as he fielded questions in an “Ask Me Anything” chat with an online audience.

Mayor gets close to vegetables â
Half a bag of frozen peas or frozen corn. [...] when the mayor was beginning his State of the City address Thursday flanked by boxes of fresh produce at the San Francisco Wholesale Produce Market, he couldn’t resist a quip to his wife in the front row, who has always encouraged him to eat healthier. The mayor’s wife, meanwhile, apparently feels the same way about Lee’s signature dish, the self-titled Poongaloong, which he came up with during his low-budget law school days, his godson, Edwin Sun, wrote in the biography. “His wife refuses to eat it,” according to the notes in the “No-Longer Secret” Poongaloong recipe included in the book. The San Francisco school board welcomed its newest member, Shamann Walton, earlier this week and unanimously voted in veteran board member Emily Murase as its new president. Matt Haney will take the vice president’s seat. The job of board president, however, offers her a chance to wield the gavel during what are frequently five-hour board meetings and long lines of public speakers. Murase thanked her Stanford mentors, her third-grade teacher and her high school French and English teachers. “We will look to all of you, our families, guardians, parents, teachers, paraprofessionals, nurses, counselors, administrators, central office staff, community, city and corporate partners, and most definitely our students, to help shape education with us,” she said.

State Of Jefferson Brings Three More California Counties On Board | The Sacramento Bee
Alexei Koseff @
The petitions from Tehama, Glenn and Yuba counties, expressing their desire to withdraw from California because of a perceived lack of representation in the Legislature, bring the total to five. Jeffersonians rallied at the Capitol last August after presenting their initial declarations from Siskiyou and Modoc counties.

Candlestick Park will go out with a wrecking ball, not a bang
Matier and Ross @
Plans for a pyrotechnic implosion of Candlestick Park have fizzled in favor of the wrecking ball — with health fears and political pressure playing a big part in the decision. The 54-year-old stadium is being demolished to make way for a shopping center, hotel and housing complex.

Latino Obamacare Enrollment Keeping Pace | State Of Health Blog From Kqed News
April Dembosky @
By April Dembosky

California Agency Releasing More State Water After Storms
Recent storms will allow California to provide more water to local agencies and farms even as drought conditions stretch into a fourth year, officials announced Thursday.

California's Senate Vacancy: There's More To It Than Just Wanting The Seat
We had a little public do-si-do this week over whether California Atty. Gen.  Kamala D. Harris or Lt. Gov.  Gavin Newsom , both Democrats, would run to succeed Sen. Barbara Boxer, who announced last week that she would not run for reelection next year.

Drought fears return with signs of fourth straight dry year
Kurtis Alexander @
“Californians should brace themselves for a fourth year of drought,” said Mark Cowin, director of the state Department of Water Resources. State drinking water supplies remain far below normal. [...] Mother Nature doesn’t seem to want to cooperate as forecasters raised the possibility this week that parts of the state, including San Francisco, could see a January without rain for the first time in recorded history. On Thursday, state and federal water officials gathered in the capital to sound the alarm, noting that they’ve taken steps to combat three dry years — emergency conservation mandates and money for new water projects, for example — but that more action will be needed. The early December rain put the state in a slightly better position than last year and prompted many communities, at least temporarily, to feel a bit more secure about their water supplies. The East Bay Municipal Utility District this week tabled a proposal to buy additional water — and pass the expense on to customers in the form of rate hikes. On Thursday, the State Water Project, which provides water for two thirds of California residents, followed suit. The statewide mandates on outdoor watering, including bans on spraying down driveways and overwatering lawns, remain in effect until April, and will likely be renewed, state officials say. State leaders have also begun allocating money from last year’s voter-approved Proposition 1, the $7 billion measure that will go to boosting recycled water use, cleaning up contaminated watersheds and increasing water storage. While California rainfall totals remain mostly above average for the season because of December, the state and federal reservoirs that hold much of California’s potable water remain very low as does the amount of snow in the Sierra that fills those reservoirs.

Opinion: Pete Chacon Paved Way For Latinos
Dan Walters @
There are two dozen Latinos in the California Legislature today, including Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León, but when Pete Chacon unexpectedly won a seat in the state Assembly 44 years ago, he became one of only two.

Giant Insurer Unitedhealth Wants To Join California's Obamacare Market
Two years after spurning the state, insurance giant UnitedHealth Group Inc. wants to sell Obamacare coverage in California’s exchange for 2016.

GOP Taps Joni Ernst To Deliver State Of The Union Response
Joni Ernst, a newly elected senator from Iowa, will give the Republican response to President Obama's State of the Union address.

New PUC Chief Michael Picker Vows Openness, Focus On Safety
Taking over amid scandal, the new president of the state's powerful Public Utilities Commission vowed Thursday to forge a more open and safety-conscious era at the agency.

New CPUC President Promises Reforms
Jeff McDonald @
The new president of the California Public Utilities Commission issued a public pledge on Thursday to repair damage done by his predecessor, Michael Peevey.