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THE NOONER for March 4, 2015




US SENATE: Kamala Harris picks up a big endorsement in John A. Pérez, who comes on board as a campaign co-chair.  


This race could easily change, with third place candidate Tom O'Grady only 61 votes behind Ryu. Ryu could be the first Asian-American to serve on the council since Mike Woo left the council in 1993 in an unsuccessful bid for mayor. The issue has been particularly hot as Koreatown residents felt that the 2011 redistricting split the Asian neighborhoods in favor of Herb Wesson. Wesson easily edged Koreatown activist Grace Yoo.

Nury Martinez easily beat Cindy Montañez in the rematch from 2011 in district 6. And, Gloria Molina's effort to unseat Jose Huizar fell far short in a move from a termed-out position on the Board of Supervisors to the City Council. 

The charter amendments to move City Council and LAUSD elections to even-numbered years easily passed with 76% of the vote.

Results page

LET THERE BE PLIGHT: UC to freeze California enrollment, cap UCLA, Berkeley non-residents [Larry Gordon @ LAT] - "The UC system will not expand enrollment of California freshmen and transfer students in the fall unless more state revenues are appropriated and will cap enrollment of out-of-state students at UCLA and UC Berkeley, UC President Janet Napolitano said Tuesday."

The Bee's editorial board writes "Tuesday’s debate is just another step in a long negotiating process, but it would be nice to see both sides show some sign of movement. Out there beyond the hearing rooms and legislative offices, a couple hundred thousand families are worrying and waiting."

BLURRED LINES: KQED's Forum discussed the U.S. Supreme Court's arguments on Monday on whether citizens can take over congressional redistricting, with great analysis by our friend John Myers. It should be available online shortly here.

GROUNDED: California lawmakers took less free travel in 2014 [Jeremy B. White and Christopher Cadelago @ SacBee] - "Journeys funded by foreign governments and industry-backed nonprofits afforded California lawmakers abundant opportunities to get out of Sacramento last year, but they accepted less in free travel in 2014 than the previous year, according to an analysis by The Sacramento Bee."

UBERIFIC: 'It should be a free market': Uber, Lyft pickups get OK at John Wayne Airport [Meghann M. Cuniff @ OCR] - "Uber, Lyft and other Internet-based ride services can now legally operate at John Wayne Airport under an agreement approved Tuesday by the Orange County Board of Supervisors."

BORN IN THE USA: Birth tourism: Irvine company makes $2 million in 2013 enticing foreign women to give birth to 400 babies in O.C., feds say [Scott Schwebke And Roxana Kopetman @ OCR] - "Federal and local law enforcement officials served search warrants and seized computers and documents at homes across Orange, Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties. They also interviewed pregnant women who investigators say paid tens of thousands of dollars to companies that seek mostly Chinese clients, touting American citizenship, free education and other perks for their U.S.-born babies."

LOVE MY NISSAN LEAF!: In one month, gas prices in state have surged about $1 a gallon [Tiffany Hsu @ LAT] - "California gas prices have shot up about $1 a gallon in the last month as oil refineries have been idled by a labor strike and an explosion."

#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Anthony Rendon and Jason Troia!

FAREWELL: Education finance expert John Mockler (1941-2015).



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




  • Learn about the Pacific McGeorge Master of Science in Law (M.S.L.) program for working professionals who seek the benefits of advanced training in legal reasoning and analysis but who do not require the J.D. degree at an upcoming evening information session. Register for March 17 at the State Capitol or April 22 on campus (3200 Fifth Ave.) today at

  • 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 For 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:

  • 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


Napolitano will cap UC enrollment unless state pays up
Competition for California students hoping to enroll at the University of California next fall just got tougher: UC President Janet Napolitano said Tuesday she will cap enrollment at current levels unless the state increases UC’s funding by $218 million. Napolitano told state lawmakers that she will also cap out-of-state student enrollment at UC Berkeley and UCLA, where non-Californians make up more than one in five undergraduates, whether the additional money comes through or not. Out-of-state students pay nearly three times the tuition and fees that Californians pay, but the rise of non-resident students is sore point for many who believe seats in the exceptional public university should be reserved for residents of the state. Napolitano’s decision to limit UC’s enrollment of Californians while allowing most out-of-state enrollments to grow escalates a major budget fight over UC funding that has been brewing since November. By capping enrollment, Napolitano is sending a message to the state that if lawmakers don’t pay up, they will harm Californians — and Latinos in particular. “Applications by California students to UC have grown for the 11th consecutive year,” Napolitano told the Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Education Finance. “I am frustrated over UC’s latest attempt to use students as bargaining chips by agreeing to admit 2,000 new out-of-state students, but threatening to limit the enrollment of new California students,” said state Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, who has proposed eliminating the tuition increase by giving UC more state funds, raising out-of-state tuition, and limiting out-of-state enrollments. The speaker also accused UC of failing to keep its own spending in check, despite Napolitano’s claim that UC has saved more than $660 million by reining in pension expenses and other costs.

Kamala Harris Speaks About U.S. Senate Bid -- In Washington, D.C.
Democratic Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris, the sole major candidate thus far in the 2016 U.S. Senate race to replace the retiring Barbara Boxer , made her first public remarks about her bid at a campaign-style event Tuesday night – 2,300 miles away, in Washington, D.C.

Alabama Supreme Court Halts Same-sex Marriage Once More
Alabama's highest court once again ordered judges not to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, defying a federal judge who struck down the state's ban on such unions as unconstitutional and ignoring the U.S. Supreme Court's refusal to intervene. 

Legislators Pressure CPUC Officials Over PG&E E-mails
Jaxon Van Derbeken @
This Dec. 18, 2014 photo shows California Public Utilities Commissioner Michael Picker during a meeting of the five-member commission in San Francisco.

Four California Legislative Leaders Report $48,000 In Gifts
California lawmakers reported Tuesday that they accepted tens of thousands of dollars in gifts last year, including concert and sports tickets, golf games, expensive dinners and overseas trips.

Supreme Court Arguments To Begin In Major Challenge To Healthcare Law
The U.S. Supreme Court is hearing oral arguments Wednesday morning in the latest legal challenge to the Affordable Care Act , a lawsuit that threatens to strip away federal insurance subsidies from millions of Americans and critically undermine the law’s program for expanding health coverage nationwide.

L.A. Measures To Shift Elections Forge Big Lead
In a campaign where the issue of voter participation was front and center, two measures to bolster turnout by combining Los Angeles elections with state and federal contests sailed toward passage Tuesday, early results showed.

California Lawmakers Took Less Free Travel In 2014
Jeremy B. White and Christopher Cadelago @
Journeys funded by foreign governments and industry-backed nonprofits afforded California lawmakers abundant opportunities to get out of Sacramento last year, but they accepted less in free travel in 2014 than the previous year, according to an analysis by The Sacramento Bee.

California Steps Up Prison Drug Screening For Visitors And Staff
California prison officials say they expect to have drug-sniffing dogs and ion scanners at 11 prisons by this spring, an effort to put a damper on a behind-bars drug trade that had one out of four inmates testing positive for illegal substances last year.

Obamacare case began when conservative lawyer saw possible flaw in law
The case that comes before the Supreme Court on Wednesday with the potential to unravel President Obama's landmark healthcare law began in a conference room at the American Enterprise Institute, a few blocks from the White House and the K Street corridor.

California Lawmakers Show Wide Discrepancy In Missed Votes | 89.3 Kpcc
Southern California Public Radio @
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy had the best attendance record among the members of the California delegation in the last session of Congress. He missed only one vote out of 1,204 cast.

Poll: Voters say Graham shouldn't run for president
South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham may be testing the waters for a possible presidential run.

One thing the University of California really doesn't need
Now and again, a piece of legislation crops up in Sacramento that seems to say: Our lawmakers have too much time on their hands.

Likely voters in S.F. poll give thumbs-up on city services
Muni, San Francisco’s long-reviled public transit system, is making some converts, according to a new poll that shows more people than ever believe the bus and streetcar service is getting better. Details of the poll will be made public Wednesday at the chamber’s annual City Beat breakfast, but the numbers show that voters are generally pleased with the direction of the city, said Jim Lazarus, senior vice president of the business-oriented organization. With the local economy improving, more money is available to government and people are seeing the results, he said. By a 44 percent to 16 percent margin, voters said the condition of the city’s parks is improving and 71 percent had a favorable impression of the Recreation and Park Department. While only 19 percent of those surveyed believe city schools are getting better, compared with 22 percent who are convinced they are getting worse, that’s the highest favorable number and the lowest unfavorable figure found in polls dating back at least to 2007. The latest survey shows that housing costs and quality-of-life issues like homelessness and panhandling are ahead of jobs and the economy on the list of San Franciscans’ concerns. The 10 percent who view jobs and the economy as major city issues is dwarfed by 43 percent who have rental costs on the top of their lists, the 35 percent worried about homelessness and the 28 percent concerned about the soaring cost of buying a home. People appear to like what they see where they live, with the 37 percent of voters saying the quality of life is improving in their neighborhood, marking the highest number since at least 2007.

California Drought: Water Conservation Weakening As Drought Worsens
Paul Rogers @
Statewide, Californians cut water use 8.8 percent in January, compared to the previous January, according to new data released Tuesday by the State Water Resources Control Board.

Supreme Court Hears Arguments in Test of Health Care Law
s decision, expected by late June, will determine whether roughly seven million people in some three dozen states will continue to receive subsidies to help them buy health insurance.

Eric Garcetti's Mayor's Fund Lets Companies Give Big
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti's Mayor's Fund can offer a discreet destination for special-interest money that is not subject to campaign finance restrictions.

Number Crunch Defines First Part Of The LCAP Rubric
Kimberly Beltran @
The much anticipated evaluation tool, set to be reviewed for the first time next week by the California State Board of Education, is intended to measure district success in meeting the state’s eight educational priorities as detailed in the new Local Control Accountability Plans.

Santa Barbara Working To Reactivate Mothballed Desalination Plant
California's four-year drought created the statewide mantra: "Conserve, conserve, conserve." But this coastal city can soon add another word to its water-related lexicon: desalinate.