Around The Capitol

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THE NOONER for March 5, 2015





US SENATE: Republican Rocky Chávez launches bid for Boxer seat {Christopher Cadelago @ SacBee] - "Assemblyman Rocky Chávez formally entered the contest to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer on Thursday, offering himself as a pragmatic leader focused on strengthening national security, educational opportunities and the state economy."

Assuming he stays in the race, the move opens up AD76 two years early. Sherry Hodges was the more conservative Republican in the race when Chávez won in 2012.

BLURRED VISION: Focus on Villaraigosa as the Latino candidate did a disservice to California [Joe Mathews @ SacBee] - "One downside to California's ethnic obsession is the degree to which it prevents us from embracing our shared origins as Californians. The majority of Californians, for the first time in modern history, have been born and raised in the state. So while it’s worth noting that Villaraigosa's parents and grandparents came from a different place than those of rival politicians, that fact should take a back seat to discussions of his record and ideas for the state."

As usual, great analysis by Joe.

AD30 (Watsonville): Assemblymember Luis Alejo's wife--Karina Cervantez Alejo, a Watsonville councilmember--has opened a committee to run to succeed Luis in 2016. Luis was a great law school classmate of mine at UC Davis's King Hall.

REDUX:A ghost of Prop. 46 eyed in the Capitol [Samantha Gallegos @ CapWeekly] - "[New legislation in the Capitol targets a slice of Proposition 46, the part dealing with the state's prescription drug database. And some rival forces that clashed over Proposition 46 may do battle again, although it's too early to tell."

LAW AND DISORDER: Former senator sued over loan from CalPERS bribery figure [Dale Kasler @ SacBee] - "[Richard] Polanco, the onetime chairman of the Legislature's Latino Caucus, is being sued by the court-appointed trustee overseeing [Alfred] Villalobos' bankruptcy case. The trustee, Christina Lovato, is demanding that Polanco return the $25,000 he borrowed from Villalobos in May 2008.

MONEY MATTERS: Don't Tax Independent Expenditures, Eliminate Candidate Donor Limits [Joel Fox @ Fox and Hounds]

BATSH!T CRAZY: Supervisors vote to place State of Jefferson matter on November 2016 ballot [Elizabeth Larson @ Lake County News]

WILL SEAWORLD FOLLOW? Ringling Bros. eliminating elephant acts - "The circus' parent company, Feld Entertainment, told The Associated Press exclusively that the acts will be phased out by 2018. Growing public concern about how the animals are treated led to the decision."

THE ORANGE CURTAIN: Girl Scout cookies in L.A. County are not the same as Orange County's [Rosanna Xia and Jon Schleuss @ LAT] - "Orange County gets the crunchier Thin Mints, while Los Angeles gets the smoother ones; Dallas gets Samoas, but Fort Worth gets Caramel deLites. Most of Florida eats Tagalongs, but Orlando gets Peanut Butter Patties."

PART DEUX: 75 Best Places to Eat in Orange County [OCR] - #13 El Farolito in Placentia is probably my favorite from the list.

THE NOONER: Lobbyists Can Legally Screw Politicians in North Carolina, Says Ethics Commission [Elizabeth Nolan Brown @] - "Sex acts provided to politicians "to lobby or to develop goodwill" do not violate state ethics policies, nor must this activity be disclosed, ruled the North Carolina Ethics Commission."




  • 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.

  • 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


Don Wagner campaigns against "Sacramento's luxurious lifestyle" after 3 consecutive years at Maui junket
John Hrabe @
For the third consecutive year, Asm. Don Wagner has attended the infamous Maui junket, hosted by special interest groups — including the state’s powerful labor unions. But, just because Wagner has attended the lavish Maui conference for three consecutive years hasn’t stopped him from campaigning against Sacramento’s "lavish lifestyle" in his special election campaign for State Senate.

L.A. Election's Biggest Winner? City Council President Herb Wesson
In the Los Angeles election, City Council President Herb Wesson was a big winner

The Definitive Guide to San Diego's Political Musical Chairs
John Hrabe @
San Diego lawmakers are playing another round of musical chairs. State Sen. Joel Anderson, who just won re-election in November, is challenging fellow Republican County Supervisor Dianne Jacob in 2016. After just one term in the Assembly, Rocky Chavez is looking to advance to the U.S. Senate. And Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins has filed paperwork for a state Senate campaign – five years from now.

John Mockler Dies At 73; Architect Of California School Funding Law
John Mockler, a leading education advisor for four decades who was a principal author of Proposition 98, the law that guarantees California's public schools a sizable share of the state budget, died Tuesday in Sacramento. He was 73.

Lee on the stump? New taxi rules and a message for the archbishop
John Wildermuth, Michael Cabanatuan, Emily Green @
Mayor Ed Lee gave what sounded an awful lot like a preview of his re-election stump speech Wednesday to 900 or so local movers and shakers at the Chamber of Commerce’s annual breakfast. Caught after the event at the Marriott Marquis hotel, the mayor quickly dismissed any suggestion that he had the November election in mind, saying only that he was talking about things important to him and to the city. Lee started out by reminding the crowd of business leaders that San Francisco is growing faster than any other major city in the country, arguing that with a 3.8 percent unemployment rate and more than 76,000 jobs created from 2010 and 2013, “we know that our economic policies are working.” He also noted that that the new jobs aren’t just in high tech, but also in blue-collar sectors like construction and hospitality. [...] with a higher minimum wage that the mayor described as the most progressive in the country, “even more of our residents will be in a better position to benefit from our city’s success.” Lee also promised to stop speculators from buying buildings and evicting residents to turn a quick profit and talked about putting a new affordable housing bond on the November ballot. The mayor talked about plans to ease poverty in the city, but also gave a shout-out to the huge corporations, mega-rich businesspeople and the new, younger philanthropists who are putting up money for many city projects. [...] the best news for Lee’s re-election effort is that it looks to be more a coronation than a campaign, with nary a whisper of a high-profile opponent jumping in. In the latest attempt to help save the city’s taxi industry from ride services like Uber and Lyft — and itself — the Municipal Transportation Agency board has approved a series of changes in taxi regulations. The changes aim to make it easier to attract more people to driving cabs and to make it more convenient and attractive for folks in need of a ride to take a taxi. The Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a resolution Tuesday urging San Francisco’s conservative Catholic leader to respect the rights of teachers and administrators. The measure was in response to Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone including morality clauses in a new handbook and proposed changes to the labor contract of teachers at four Bay Area Catholic high schools. The morality clauses include language against homosexuality, same-sex marriage, abortion, contraceptives and artificial insemination. Roughly a dozen teachers and students from the affected high schools appeared during the public comment period at the meeting to express their opposition to the morality clauses. [...] in the first formal and public accounting of their overwhelming opposition to the archbishop’s efforts, more than 80 percent of the teachers and staff from the four high schools issued a statement on Tuesday rejecting the archbishop’s proposed language for the faculty handbook. “We believe the recently proposed handbook language is harmful to our community and creates an atmosphere of mistrust and fear,” according to the statement signed by 355 teachers and staff members.

UC Executive Salary Caps Proposed In New Bill
Katy Murphy @
The union-sponsored Assembly Bill 837 would cap executive compensation at $500,000, a limit its author claims will save $80 million per year and further the reforms sought by Gov. Jerry Brown.

L.A. Voters Want Company :: Fox&hounds
So another election experiment is now in place in California. Certainly, turnout will be higher compared to the paltry numbers produced by this and recent city elections in Los Angeles. But will the voters be more aware of the city candidates and measures, which will have to compete for attention with many other national and state candidates and state ballot issues?

Lawmakers Announce Renewed Push For Medi-cal Funding
California lawmakers and advocates are gearing up for a new chapter in the battle over the state's healthcare program for the poor.

Changing election dates is the first step to engaging voters
Editorial @
At this point, it's not even a surprise anymore: A measly 10% or so of voters cast ballots in Tuesday's elections, which included half the seats on the City Council, several school board and community college board seats and two ballot measures.

Darrell Steinberg Lands UC Davis Post
David Siders @
Steinberg, a Sacramento Democrat, will become director of policy and advocacy for the new UC Davis Behavioral Health Center of Excellence, the school announced Wednesday. The position is unpaid.

L.A. Election Demonstrates The Power Of The Few
Los Angeles City Council members each represent districts of about 250,000 people. But three incumbents on Tuesday reclaimed their seats with what could end up being fewer than 10,000 votes apiece.

Doctors Medical Center remains in near-death state
Doctors Medical Center in San Pablo remains in a near-death state, with a plan to infuse short-term cash in limbo and residents yet again appearing reluctant to tax themselves to keep the hospital open. The board of West Contra Costa Healthcare District, which governs the struggling hospital, had hoped on Wednesday to approve the sale of several real estate properties to the city of San Pablo for $7.5 million in a stop-gap measure to extend the hospital’s survival by a few weeks, possibly longer. The situation became dire last spring when voters in the district failed to approve a $200 parcel tax, which would have raised $20 million to keep the hospital open. Some say the combination of being a stand-alone public hospital in a low-income area makes it unsustainable. About 80 percent of its patients are covered by Medi-Cal and Medicare — which doesn’t come near covering the cost of services — and less than 10 percent have private health insurance. At Wednesday’s meeting, board members said they need to know within days whether San Pablo could give the medical center at least $1.7 million of the $7.5 million sale of a parking lot, two medical office buildings and a condominium owned by the hospital. “People don’t realize how seriously this is going to affect everyone, not just the people who use this hospital as their safety net,” said Gail Eierweiss, of Richmond, a retired UCSF Medical Center financial manager. In a telephone survey of 600 residents conducted Feb. 23 to March 1 about half the respondents supported the tax, but support at every level failed to reach the two-thirds required to pass. “If you can’t win a one-sided conversation, that gives you a sense of what a difficult situation you’re in,” said Alex Evans, president of EMC Research, a national market and opinion research firm in Oakland, which conducted the poll. Officials from Venturata, a venture capital firm, spoke publicly about plans to keep the hospital open but have yet to submit a formal proposal.

Jerry Brown Finds Democrat To Fill Riverside Seat
David Siders @
Riverside is one of the few big California counties where Republicans outnumber Democrats. But Gov. Jerry Brown has found one of his own, announcing Wednesday the appointment of a Democratic Temecula city councilman to the Riverside County Board of Supervisors.

Backers of Carson NFL stadium plan to file ballot initiative as first step
Backers of a proposed NFL stadium for the San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders filed a ballot initiative in Carson on Wednesday afternoon that is the first step in clearing the way for the $1.7-billion project.

CSU Faculty Says Wage Increase Needed -
Faculty members at California State University say administrators have failed to invest in professor salaries. The California Faculty Association released a report today showing its member's salaries have essentially remained flat, while compensation at the University of California and in the community college system has gone up.

California Republicans Announce Teacher Evaluation, Employment Overhaul | The Sacramento Bee The Sacramento Bee
Jeremy B. White @
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.

Senate Fails To Override Obama's Veto Of Keystone Xl Pipeline
The Senate failed Wednesday to override President Obama 's veto of Keystone XL pipeline legislation, ending for now attempts by Congress to speed up approval of the controversial energy project.

Law student files suit against University of San Diego
A law student at the University of San Diego has filed a lawsuit against two students she says raped her, and against the university for allegedly discouraging her from reporting the assault to police and then doing a poor job of investigating the incident during an administrative hearing.

Government Dna Collection Under Microscope In California
Jeremy B. White @
In 2015, genes have many uses. Soon after every baby in California is born, a hospital worker extracts and logs its genetic information. It will be tested for diseases and then stashed permanently in a warehouse containing a generation of Californians’ DNA.

GOP Pulse Detected :: Fox&hounds
GOP gains among Asian-American voters and the election of Republican Asian-American candidates were highlighted.