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THE NOONER for January 28, 2015




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US SENATE: Loretta Sanchez to take "several months" to decide on whether to run for Barbara Boxer's Senate seat. Meanwhile, Kamala Harris is picking up a significant endorsement daily and raising dough. [Loretta Sanchez sets timeline for U.S. Senate decision [Christopher Cadelago @ SacBee]

PLUNGE: Kern County Declares A Fiscal Emergency Amid Plunging Oil Prices [Tiffany Hsu @ LAT] 

While the drop in oil prices has been great at the pump (of course, just as I get an electric vehicle), it's putting pressure on Kern County and we'll see that hit the state budget as school property taxes drop and the requirement for additional general fund dollars under Proposition 98.

OC BOS: Another Orange County Nail-Biter! Andrew Do takes 2-vote lead over Lou Correa [John Hrabe] - In all likelihood, Correa wins this, as late VBM and provisional ballots have consistently favored Democrats.

Coincidentally, as John Hrabe pointed out in an email, this is the first election to be affected by a new law that took effect January 1. That law allows vote by mail ballots to be counted if postmarked by election day and received within three days after the election. Previously, ballots had to be received by election day. Typically, those late ballots would lean heavily Democratic. The author of that new law, none other than Lou Correa.

29 YEARS: On January 28, 1986, the Challenger shuttle exploded 74 seconds after take-off. I remember my science teacher breaking out in tears as she delivered us the news. That night, Ronald Reagan skipped the State of the Union speech and instead gave one of the best speeches of all time, written by Peggy Noonan. Video of the speech.

"We will never forget them nor the last time we saw they prepared for their journey and waved goodbye...and slipped the surly bonds of Earth to touch the face of God." [h/t Chris Cillizza @ WaPo]

DOLLARS AND SENSE: The Congressional Budget Office provided testimony today on the federal budget and economic outlook through 2025. A few points that I saw in a quick read:

  • At 2.6 percent of GDP, this year's deficit is projected to be the smallest relative to the nation's output since 2007 but close to the 2.7 percent that deficits have averaged over the past 50 years. The deficit in 2025 is projected to be $1.1 trillion, or 4.0 percent of GDP, and cumulative deficits over the 2016–2025 period are projected to total $7.6 trillion.
  • CBO expects that federal debt held by the public will amount to 74 percent of GDP at the end of this fiscal year—more than twice what it was at the end of 2007 and higher than in any year since 1950. By 2025, in CBO’s baseline projections, federal debt rises to nearly 79 percent of GDP.
  • CBO anticipates that, under current law, economic activity will expand at a solid pace in 2015 and over the next few years—reducing the amount of underused resources, or "slack," in the economy. 
  • Potential output [GDP] is expected to grow much more slowly than it did during the 1980s and 1990s primarily because the labor force is anticipated to expand more slowly than it did then. 

CONGRATS! WaPo's The Fix is out with its annual listing of best political reporters. Here are the Californians who made the list:

There are of course others that I would have on the list, but I'm not going to start naming names! 




  • One year ago, Sergio C. Garcia, the nation's first undocumented lawyer was sworn in as a lawyer licensed to practice in California. On Saturday, Jan. 31,
     The Sergio C. Garcia Foundation brings a fundraiser celebration to  Sacramento, "Bringing Justice Forward." The Library Galleria, 828 I
     Street, 5:00 to 9:00 PM, $50.00 per person, dinner, music, the funds going to youth scholarships., or 530 899 7373. 
  • FORMER CALIFORNIA CHIEF JUSTICE RONALD GEORGE discusses changes to California's judiciary and his career 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
  • Join us February 18 & 19 at the Sacramento Convention Center for the Future of California Elections 2015 Conference “Working Together for a More Inclusive Democracy" Space is limited. Register today!
  • The James Irvine Foundation 2015 Leadership Awards Luncheon. Join Irvine and state policymakers in honoring California leaders and their breakthrough solutions to critical state issues. Presentations followed by a roundtable on leadership led by KQED’s John Myers. February 5, 12:00-1:30 p.m., Sheraton Grand. Contact Tamara Torlakson - 916-288-2245.

  • Interested in learning more about health insurance in California, and about a key contributor to the Legislature's review of health insurance-related legislation? Great! Legislators, staff, advocates, and the public are warmly invited to the California Health Benefits Review Program (CHBRP)'s annual legislative briefing on 1/29/2015 from 10:30 – 11:30 am. The briefing will provide information about CHBRP and the bills we analyze, how we do our work and the information we provide. Please RSVP to this free event online – 

  • The California Charter Schools Association hosts its 5th Annual Back to Session Reception on Monday, February 2 from 5 p.m – 7 p.m. at Ella Dining Room & Bar, 1131 K Street, Sacramento. Legislators and staff are welcome to attend. Please RSVP to
  • 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.


UC Doctors Stage One-day Strike At Student-health Clinics
About 125 doctors and dentists staged a one-day strike Tuesday at student health clinics at 10 UC campuses as part of a contract dispute between the union and the university system.

A Fatal Flaw In State Tax Reform
Timm Herdt @
Periodically, whenever state government revenues are riding high or falling fast, big thinkers in California begin earnestly arguing for major tax reform.

Vietnamese Split Vote, give Lou Correa slim lead in OC Supervisor's Special Election
Former State Senator Lou Correa is clinging to a 149-vote lead over Andrew Do in the special election to fill Janet Nguyen's seat on the Orange County Board of Supervisors. Correa likely won white voters by a 2-to-1 margin.

Loretta Sanchez Sets Timeline For U.S. Senate Decision | The Sacramento Bee The Sacramento Bee
Christopher Cadelago @
Be sure to include your name, daytime phone number, address, name and phone number of legal next-of-kin, method of payment, and the name of the funeral home/crematory to contact for verification of death.

U.S. Settles Suit Over Misuse Of West L.A. Veterans Campus
The federal government has agreed to settle a lawsuit accusing the Department of Veterans Affairs of misusing its sprawling West Los Angeles health campus while veterans with brain injuries and mental impairment slept in the streets, people familiar with the agreement said Tuesday.

Sacramentans Cut Water Use To Lowest Level Per Person In 100 Years -
The City of Sacramento says water customers in 2014 "cut water use to the lowest level per person per day in 100 years."

Airbnb under more pressure to pay S.F. back taxes
The San Francisco Democratic County Central Committee on Wednesday night is set to vote on a resolution authored by state Sen. Mark Leno, Supervisor David Campos and committee member Meagan Levitan demanding that Airbnb immediately pay its back taxes, estimated at $25 million. Written by former Supervisor David Chiu, the law allows permanent residents to offer short-term rentals, establishes a city registry for hosts, limits the rental of entire homes to 90 days per year, requires listings to carry $500,000 in liability insurance — and mandates the collection of the hotel tax. [...] among a number of complaints from housing advocates, the law didn’t require the company to pay all the hotel taxes it should have been forking over before the agreement. Carlson is working with housing activist Calvin Welch and former Planning Commissioner Doug Engmann to write the ballot measure and said it’ll be ready to hit the streets for voter signatures in April. In addition to requiring the back taxes be collected, Carlson said the ballot measure will probably set a stricter limit on how many days each year a place can be rented (probably limiting it to 30 days) and create a stronger mechanism for enforcing the law. Nick Papas, a spokesman for Airbnb, said in a written statement, We are collecting and remitting taxes in San Francisco on behalf of our hosts, we are already engaged in a formal process with the treasurer’s office regarding back taxes and we are eager to discuss a resolution. Buoyed by what Supervisor Jane Kim called “outstanding” results, the Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to spend $203,200 to extend and expand a pilot project that provides the homeless with a place to go — specially outfitted portable toilets on flat-bed trailers staffed by attendants. For six months, the city paid $150,000 to a nonprofit to provide a pair toilets at each of three locations in the Tenderloin, the neighborhood with the worst human feces problem. Requests for steam cleaning in the area — almost always for human excrement — have dropped by one-third, from 27 a day to 15, said Rachel Gordon, a Public Works spokeswoman. With the new round of funding, which comes primarily from the Public Works operating budget, the Tenderloin Pit Stop program will be able to operate through June 30, the end of the current fiscal year.

Do by Dos: Andrew Do takes 2 vote lead over Lou Correa
John Hrabe @
Get ready for another Orange County nail-biter! With 41,521 ballots counted and all 101 precincts reporting, Andrew Do has a 2 vote lead over Lou Correa. Yes, two votes!

Feinstein Hosts 7 California Reps In Closed-door Water Bill Talk
Michael Doyle @
Do you need the perfect Valentine's Day date?

CSU Commits To 100,000 More Degrees Earned By 2025 | The Sacramento Bee The Sacramento Bee
Alexei Koseff @
Be sure to include your name, daytime phone number, address, name and phone number of legal next-of-kin, method of payment, and the name of the funeral home/crematory to contact for verification of death.

Hey, Gop: Using Carly Fiorina To Attack Hillary Clinton Could Backfire
If Carly Fiorina is unleashed as GOP's attack dog against Hillary Clinton, expect to hear more about her stormy corporate career

Keep immigration riders off DHS bill, all Senate Dems say
The united demand for a clean bill is critical: At least half a dozen Democratic votes are needed to advance any legislation in the Senate.

Kern County Declares A Fiscal Emergency Amid Plunging Oil Prices
Tiffany Hsu @
Kern County supervisors declared a state of fiscal emergency at their weekly meeting Tuesday in response to predictions of a massive shortfall in property tax revenues because of tanking oil prices.

Sis Boom Bah: Law Would Label Cheer As School Sport
Kimberly Beltran @
State Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez thinks it’s time cheerleaders get the same respect and support as other high school athletes who play on more traditional sports teams such as basketball, football and soccer.

Poll: Most Say Restore Health Aid If Court Kills Subsidies
More than 6 in 10 Americans would want Congress to restore federal financial assistance for millions buying health care coverage under President Barack Obama's health care law if the Supreme Court invalidates some of those government subsidies, a poll said Wednesday.

Afghanistan Lawmakers OK Only Nine Cabinet Members, Go On Break
Afghan lawmakers approved only nine of President Ashraf Ghani's Cabinet nominations in secret balloting Wednesday before going on a six-week recess.

Poll: Majority of Va. voters support easing marijuana laws
The results come one day after a bill was introduced to decriminalize some possession of marijuana.

California Officials Preparing For Rise In New Teacher Jobs | 89.3 Kpcc
Southern California Public Radio @
Felipe Golez, California State University education professor, talks to student teachers about future job prospects. Adolfo Guzman-Lopez/KPCC