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THE NOONER for March 2, 2015




POLL POSITION: L.A. Times poll: Voters give Legislature, Gov. Jerry Brown high marks [Melanie Mason @ LAT] [link to poll]:

"The latest survey shows:

  • Kamala Harris has early lead in U.S. Senate contest
  • Senate candidate Kamala Harris unknown to more than 50% of voters
  • Voters strongly oppose UC tuition hike
  • Californians side with Brown in UC tuition dispute
  • What’s the California Dream? Sunshine
  • Despite some nightmares, poll finds voters still California Dreamin'
  • Jerry Brown's popularity as governor doesn't extend to a presidential race"

ELECTION DAY: Tomorrow is Election Day in Los Angeles (yeah, most people say WTF? when hearing that). Here are the endorsements of the LA Times and the Daily News.

HIGH HOPES: Facing long odds, Rocky Chávez marches toward Senate run [Christopher Cadelago @ SacBee]:

He served for 28 years in the Marines and spent seven years on the Oceanside City Council. In previewing an emerging debate, he used the violence breaking out around the world to question [Kamala] Harris' command of foreign affairs.

"If it gets worse, who do you want to send to the Senate?" he asked. "A liberal lawyer from San Francisco or a Marine colonel?"

Ashley Swearengin announced that she will not seek the seat.

PAUL MITCHELL IS SALIVATING: Supreme Court considers constitutionality of independent redistricting [Tarini Parti @ Politico] - "The Supreme Court on Monday will hear arguments that it's unconstitutional for a state to isolate its legislature from the redistricting process, citing the federal constitution's Election Clause. And if the court sides with the plaintiffs, it could upend political districts and election laws from coast to coast before 2016."

DOUBLE-X FACTOR: Women Gaining Leadership In California Legislature [Katie Orr @ CapPubRad] - "In November state Senator Jean Fuller will become Senate Minority Leader. She’ll be the Senate’s first woman Republican leader. And she'll be joining Democratic Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins and Assembly Minority Leader Kristin Olsen on the "big five," which also includes the governor and the Senate president pro tem. Fuller says she’s looking forward to her new role."

A majority of women in the Big 5 is pretty awesome...

SD11 (San Francisco): Kim-Wiener Senate Showdown Takes Shape [Randy Shaw @ BeyondChron] - "With Mayor Lee facing no serious re-election opposition, the next big San Francisco political showdown is the expected 2016 State Senate fight between Supervisors Jane Kim and Scott Wiener. Both have hit the ground running since easily winning re-election last November. And both are working hard to broaden and strengthen political alliances that they will need to win in 2016."

TENT ENLARGING: California Republicans charter gay GOP group - "The recognition comes years after Log Cabin California first sought to become an officially recognized volunteer group. Supporters called the measure an overdue sign of inclusiveness."

Also at the GOP confab this weekend, Jim Brulte was re-elected as party chairman, surprising noone.

ABANDONED: Inside the foster care system: A bleak last stop for lost youths [Garrett Therolf @ LAT]

#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Joel Bridgeman, Todd Flora, Joe Garofoli, Chris Marsh, Libby Sanchez, and Katie Villegas!



Public Retirement Journal


Join your colleagues from around the state for a day of in-depth discussion on current and future issues facing public retirement in California at the 26th Annual Southern California Public Retirement Seminar.
February 24, 2015 - 9AM-4PM - Registration: 8AM; The Centre at Sycamore Plaza (5000 Clark Ave, Lakewood)
Keynote Speaker: Gregory Totten, Ventura County District Attorney
Registration Fee: $200.00 - includes breakfast & lunch and seminar materials.
Register online or contact us directly @ 916-341-0848

Seminar registration:

reserve this space | subscribe to the ad-free version for $29.99/year




  • Executive Assistant for Progressive Organizations - Full or Part Time - Two progressive and very pragmatic political non-profit organizations (Progressive Kick and Progressive Punch) are seeking a joint executive assistant for a very small office. One of the organizations deals with informing people about Congressional voting records, the other, running issue messaging campaigns designed to get more progressives elected to Congress and state legislatures around the country. Our ideal candidate for this position would have a progressive perspective, a commitment to social change efforts and a personal interest in the worlds of government and politics. View the full job description at

  • Legislators and staff are invited to attend the launch of the The Copia Institute at the San Jose Tech Museum on March 12th and 13th. Copia is a network of future-focused innovators dedicated to addressing some of the most consequential and intriguing issues of our time, from health data ethics and 3D printing, to intellectual property, privacy, surveillance, broadband, drones and autonomous vehicles.  To RSVP for the conference or for the Thursday evening reception, please call Tricia Lipper@gralying.comFor more information about Copia, please visit

  • Join us for a free health policy briefing sponsored by the University of California that will provide an opportunity for California policymakers, researchers, and other stakeholders to learn from the experiences of Massachusetts – the state that led the country in health care reform.  Health care leaders from Massachusetts and California will share insights and answer questions from the audience. March 6th, at the UC Sacramento Center (9:00-11:30 am). For information and to register, please click here.

  • Thinking about Graduate School? Sacramento State’s master’s degree in Public Policy and Administration is the region's most affordable program, offering a rigorous education in both public policy and administration, nested in the political context. Celebrating our 25th year, more than 400 alumni work in California state and local government as well as private and non-profit organizations. Applications are due March 2, 2015.
  • Join Emerge California for their Women’s History Month Celebration on Saturday, March 7 from 6:30pm to 8:30pm at SP2 Communal Bar + Restaurant located at 72 N. Almaden Ave in San Jose. To join the Host Committee, please contact Nazneen Rydhan-Foster at or visit the event page here.

  • Open Position:  Senior Program Officer, California Democracy Program, James Irvine Foundation. Position can be based in San Francisco or Los Angeles.  Initial grantmaking focus will be on Voter & Civic Engagement and Immigrant Integration. Minimum of eight years of work experience in policy-making institutions or nonprofit organizations, including five years of experience in a senior leadership role; substantive experience on key California policy issues and processes; and the ability to work across the political spectrum. Master’s degree is preferred. More information:

  • Gonzalez, Quintana & Hunter, LLC seeks a part-time, student-intern to work Tuesday/Thursdays. Applicants must be detail-oriented and comfortable managing multiple tasks in a fast-paced office. Interest in state government, politics, and the legislative process required. Send resume and cover letter to

  • California Council on Science and Technology is now hiring an Executive Assistant for our Sacramento Office.  This position will act as administrative support for Sacramento senior staff members and their designees, as well as office manager, coordinating all aspects of the Sacramento office, and meeting coordinator/planner for all CCST Board and Council meetings. Will provide project support for program managers.  $36,600 minimum salary.  Looking for a highly organized self-starter with strong communication and technical skills.  Must apply through UC Merced.  See more at


Women Gaining Leadership In California Legislature -
In November state Senator Jean Fuller will become Senate Minority Leader. She’ll be the Senate’s first woman Republican leader. And she’ll be joining Democratic Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins and Assembly Minority Leader Kristin Olsen on the "big five," which also includes the governor and the Senate president pro tem. Fuller says she’s looking forward to her new role.

L.A. Times Poll: Voters Give Legislature, Gov. Jerry Brown High Marks
Melanie Mason @
California voters appear to be bullish on their state government, giving Gov. Jerry Brown and lawmakers their highest approval ratings in years, according to a new USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll.

Potential Water Contamination From Oil-Drilling Waste Spurs Legislative Action
Timm Herdt @
As state regulators conduct a review of oil disposal wells drilled near aquifers that could potentially be used for drinking water, two county lawmakers are pushing legislation to strengthen oil-drilling regulations.

Ex-interns Defend City Council Candidate Accused Of Misusing Nonprofit
Emily Alpert Reyes @
In reaction to allegations that Los Angeles City Council candidate Tomas O'Grady blurred the lines between his nonprofit and his campaign, several former interns and current contractors said they have not personally seen any improper mixing between the two organizations.

Am Alert: California Senators Introduce Fewest Bills In More Than 25 Years
Alexei Koseff @
Last Friday was the deadline for bills to be introduced this legislative year – which doesn’t mean, of course, that we won’t see any more new proposals before lawmakers recess Sept. 11, but it does give us a sense of what they’ll have on their plate before then.

California Legislature Hits A Lull
Marc Lifsher @
It's quiet at the California Capitol. While activity traditionally lags in the first few months of a legislative session, it's downright sleepy at the statehouse.

Nebraska's Same-sex Marriage Ban Struck Down; Appeal Pending
A federal judge on Monday blocked Nebraska's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage, though the ruling will not take effect immediately.

Supreme Court Ruling Could Affect Congressional Districts In California
David G. Savage @
An old statehouse joke has it that the once-a-decade process of redrawing election districts gives politicians a right to pick their voters, rather than the other way around.

Jim Brulte Reelected California Republican Party Chairman | 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.

Nebraska Ban On Same-sex Marriage Struck Down By Federal Judge
Kurtis Lee @
A federal judge blocked Nebraska's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage Monday, though the decision will not take effect until next week pending an appeal. 

After Decade Of Struggle, Log Cabin Republicans Finally Win CaGOP Recognition
Carla Marinucci @
After 15 years of struggle to be allowed into the California Republican Party’s “big tent,” the LGBT group known as the Log Cabin Republicans Sunday won their battle to be chartered as an official volunteer party organization.

Tax Breaks Mostly Help The Masses
Dan Walters @
Critiquing California’s state and local tax structure – which generates more than $200 billion a year – has become something of a cottage industry.

Federal judge rules Nebraska same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional
Same-sex couples will be allowed to marry beginning at 8 a.m. on March 9.

Daniel Borenstein: Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf Faces Tough Choices Fixing The Fiscal Mess Jean Quan Left Behind
Even with increasing tax revenues from an improving economy, Oakland faces an annual shortfall of $39 million next fiscal year that will rise to $58 million by 2020 largely because of rising pension costs and deferred debt payments that will start coming due.

High court hears redistricting case
The case claims that isolating the legislature violates the federal constitution's Election Clause.

When Health Care Is Far From Home
Daniela Hernandez @
It’s Tuesday morning, half past eight and already hot, when the small bus pulls up to the community clinic. Most of the passengers are waiting in front — an old man with a cane, two mothers with four kids between them, packed lunches in hand.

In Four-Word Phrase, Challenger Spied Health Care Lawâ
An employment benefits lawyer from Greenville, S.C., made the discovery that fueled a case that will be heard by the Supreme Court on Wednesday.

Cardinal Health To Buy J&J Unit For About $1.94 Billion
Cardinal Health is offering to buy a unit of Johnson & Johnson that makes heart devices for approximately $1.94 billion.

Central Valley, Delta Water Rights Under Scrutiny | The Sacramento Bee The Sacramento Bee
Matt Weiser @
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.

Chewing Over A Proposal To Ban Ballpark Chaw
George Skelton @
When a rookie legislator introduced a bill to ban big leaguers from chewing tobacco at ballparks, my immediate reaction was: How silly!

Cardinal Health to buy J&J unit for about $1.94 billion
Cardinal Health is offering to buy a unit of Johnson & Johnson that makes heart devices for approximately $1.94 billion.

Marijuana Quality Testing Going Mainstream
Lisa M. Krieger @
Now a cadre of Bay Area laboratories can tell you exactly what you're getting for your money -- creating reliability, safety and standardization in a business that long relied on the casual assurances of a skanky friend from Stonerville.

DNA Should Not Be Collected In Misdemeanor Cases
Editorial @
Less than three months ago, California voters adopted Proposition 47, an initiative that reduced six felonies to misdemeanors. By far, most of the affected crimes are for drug possession.

Bay Bridge leaks: Toll payers on hook for Caltransâ
A Caltrans decision to scrap a drainage feature on the new Bay Bridge eastern span led to hundreds of leaks that threaten to spread corrosion through the landmark structure, documents reviewed by The Chronicle show. “What’s going on right now is not acceptable to us, and we’re going to fix it,” said Brian Maroney, the bridge project’s chief engineer, who said he had only recently learned about the change that eliminated a key element of the planned drainage system. The leaks are just one of a series of construction problems for which Caltrans has taken the blame and transferred the cost to toll payers rather than trying to hold the bridge’s contractors accountable, according to documents obtained under the state Public Records Act. Caltrans officials never provided a detailed explanation last year of what went wrong after 900 leaks developed in what were supposed to be watertight structures supporting the road decks on the $6.4 billion bridge. [...] contract-change-order documents show that the root cause was Caltrans’ 2011 decision to abandon a piece of the drainage system for the westbound side of the span. [...] in 2010, the bridge’s main contractor, the joint venture American Bridge/Fluor, asked Caltrans if it could scrap the plates and fill in the holes that had already been drilled to attach them to the deck. “It’s too bad some people at Caltrans don’t or didn’t own sailboats in the bay,” said Bob Bea, a civil engineering professor emeritus at UC Berkeley who has studied what goes wrong on infrastructure projects. Bill Casey, the resident engineer on the project, told The Chronicle that one advantage with doing away with the backup plates was that fewer holes would be drilled in the deck, meaning there would be fewer places for the span to leak. Rainwater poured through the gap at the base of the guardrails and down into the holes where the barriers are attached to the road deck, into the cavernous steel support structures that are supposed to be watertight. Caltrans officials have denied there is any active corrosion on the span, saying the brown sludge and white powdery residue shown in photos are signs of corrosion on steel shavings left behind from construction. Early last year, after The Chronicle reported that leaks on the span posed a corrosion danger, Caltrans officials promised to get to the bottom of what happened. In accepting blame for the problem that caused the leaks, Caltrans acknowledged in the memorandum that without the drainage plates, storm water would “no longer (be) channeled away and out of the barrier,” and would pool in unprotected areas and inevitably flow into the vulnerable steel structures. The money paid for caulking the interior of the guardrail and installing a rubber seal to try to keep water from flowing over the 2-inch diverter fence. Caltrans officials admitted they never told the company that built the sections that holes in reinforcement ribs were intended for drainage. Caltrans agreed to spend $300,000 to bore out the plugged drainage holes and plug other potential leak spots. Officials are struggling with more than 60 high-strength steel rods holding down the bridge tower that became flooded because they were not well-protected with grout. Caltrans took responsibility for that problem as well, paying the contractor $80,000 to drain water from the rods’ sleeves and clean out the debris from the area.