Around The Capitol

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THE NOONER for June 2, 2015




There's a brewing controversy on 16th Street. The corridor, which has undergone a significant transformation as state buildings and condo towers are erected. One of the last spots not currently under development is the home to Simon's restaurant and Enterprise car rental. But, the Capital Area Development Authority has plans to develop it, according to an article in the Bee over the weekend. 

Simon's has long been not just a cheap Chinese restaurant--the yin to Frank Fat's yang if you will--but also home to many informal gatherings, such as the occasional "Cordial Caucus." Based on emails I am getting, people are not happy about the loss of the watering hole where you can pair up chow mein with your favorite libation.

However, as the great UC Davis law professor Joel Dobris said over and over, "land will rise to its highest and best use." In ten years, I bet there won't be any single story buildings left in the core of the grid...

LAW AND DISORDER: Opinion: The rules of politics are in flux [Dan Walters @ SacBee] - "Currently, California’s political class is all atwitter over two pending U.S. Supreme Court cases."

SD25 (Pasadena):  Senator Connie Leyva, who represents the adjacent SD20 has also endorsed Phlante' Riddle.

SD27 (Ventura): Also likely to run for the seat currently held by Fran Pavley is Moorpark councilmember David Pollock, and Jim Dantona--LA councilmember Nury Martinez's chief of staff--is reportedly sniffing around. 

MONEY MATTERS: Lawmakers air differences in budget debate in Capitol [Chris Megerian @ LAT] - "Lawmakers began hashing out the final version of California's budget on Monday, and they were careful to downplay any disagreements over spending. After all, the debate is centered around just 2% of the general fund. Nonetheless, it was clear during the first hearing of the joint budget committee that significant differences remain between Democrats in the Senate and the Assembly.

HIKE! California Senate approves $13 minimum wage bill [Melody Gutierrez] - "Lawmakers approved a bill Monday to increase the state’s minimum wage to $13 by 2017 and add cost of living increases starting in 2019."

SMOKIN! Keeping the pot market cornered in the Emerald Triangle [Erika D. Smith @ SacBee] - "There was the bald guy with a gray, frayed ponytail. The woman in the tie-dye shirt. The guy with a hemp sombrero. The dude who smelled like he hadn’t showered in a week, and the guy who looked and smelled like he’d been smoking weed for about that long. And then there was Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom.

PRIDE: LGBT Capitol Staff would like to remind the greater Capitol community that this Friday is a "First Friday." Please join us for this special Pride Month First Friday at Three Fires Lounge (1501 L St) at 5:15 PM this Friday for a no-host mixer. For more information contact

Saturday is the Sacramento Pride parade and festival, with the parade beginning at 11am. More info.

GOLLLLLLLLLLL! Soccer fans have to see this goal by Lionel Messi from a match over the weekend. [h/t]

DEPT OF CORRECTIONS: Mike Spence is a councilmember in West Covina, not Walnut.

#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Katcho Achadjian and Chris Lehane!





  • LEARN THE LEGISLATIVE PROCESS AND BEST PRACTICES FOR EFFECTIVE LOBBYING. Capitol veteran Ray LeBov's "Lobbying 101" / "Lobbying 201" seminars cover Legislative, Budget, Executive Branch and Regulatory Agency advocacy plus Media Relations. June 18-19, $250 each. Essential for lobbying firm principals / support staff, organizations / public agencies that employ lobbyists. Complete information / registration: or 916 442 5009.
  • Please join Capitol Network for our 2nd Annual Chiefs of Staff luncheon. June 26, from 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM at CalChamber, 1215 K Street, Suite 1400. This event is open only to Capitol Network members. Register here. Become a member here.
  • The Center for Responsible Lending has an opening for a Policy and Government Affairs Associate/Counsel in Oakland, CA.  The associate will work with stakeholders in California and other Western states to develop and advance strategies for legislative and regulatory reform at the state level to prevent predatory lending practices.   If you would like to know more about this opportunity, please visit  If you are interested in applying for this position, please submit your resume and cover letter describing why you are a fit for this position to

  • Job Seeker, Taylor Bazley
    Soon to be alumnus of the Coro Fellowship in Public Affairs is seeking challenging full time opportunities for employment based out of the Los Angeles area in the sectors of electoral campaigns, non-profits, advocacy, government, consulting, labor, or business. Please email; past experience can be viewed at
  • Job Opening: Associate for Political Consulting Firm

    San Francisco political consulting firm, specializing in revenue measures for public agencies including, school districts, community colleges, cities and other special districts, seeks a qualified Associate to support our firm’s client services consulting team. Interested candidates: please submit a cover letter, resume and writing sample to
  • Vice President.  Fiona Hutton & Associates Inc., a Los Angeles-based strategic communications and public affairs firm representing corporate, trade association, government, non-profit and political clients involved in complex and often controversial issues, is expanding its team and immediately hiring a Vice President to manage the agency’s high-profile and often complex clients. More info:



California Senate OKs Scaled-down Travel Disclosure Bill | The Sacramento Bee
California state senators on Monday advanced a scaled-down version of a political ethics bill after the initial proposal was vetoed by Gov. Jerry Brown, who said it would complicate campaign disclosure rather than reduce influence.

Lawmakers Air Differences In Budget Debate In Capitol
Chris Megarian @
Lawmakers began hashing out the final version of California's budget on Monday, and they were careful to downplay any disagreements over spending. After all, the debate is centered around just 2% of the general fund.

Holly Mitchell Unhappy With Teacher Union Criticism Of Child Care Proposal | The Sacramento Bee
Jim Miller @
Budget committee began work today to reconcile legislative proposals

Prison Overseer Says Inmate Medical Care Lacking In Private Lockups
Paige St. John @
Though healthcare within the state's 34 prisons continues to improve, problems persist in contract prisons where the state pays to house its overflow inmate population.

Bill Seeks To Dilute Power Of Utility Regulator President
Powers wielded by the president of the state's top utility regulator would be diluted under a bill moving through the California Legislature.

Legislature Faces House Of Origin Deadline -
June 5 is the House of Origin deadline in the Legislature. That’s the day bills must be passed out of the house where they started or die. The Senate has 218 bills to consider. The Assembly has 329.

Opinion: The Rules Of Politics Are In Flux
Dan Walters @
Rules governing elections can change their outcomeaIt’s natural, one supposes, that politicians are preoccupied with election rules since they are huge factors in who wins and loses. Currently, California’s political class is all atwitter over two pending U.S. Supreme Court cases

S.F. supervisors take Muni challenge seriously: ride it daily
Supervisor Jane Kim waited 21 minutes for a 19-Polk Muni bus to show up and take her three stops — a distance she usually walks in 15 minutes. [...] he walked to the Balboa Park BART Station to hop on a J-Church, but accidentally boarded a K-Ingleside because Next Muni gave him confusing information. The challenge dares the city’s top elected officials to ride the much-maligned public transportation system daily for the first 22 days in June. The challenge began Monday, and was accepted by the mayor and supervisors Kim, Avalos, London Breed, David Campos, Julie Christensen, Mark Farrell, Eric Mar and Scott Wiener, said Thea Selby, Transit Riders Union president. At an afternoon rally on the steps of City Hall, Selby praised the participants and said she hoped it would increase the supervisors’ understanding of what it’s like to rely on Muni. The more familiar elected officials become with Muni, she said, the more likely they are to understand its needs and challenges, which she said require as much as $10 billion in investments. The November bond measure Proposition A steered $500 million to the Municipal Transportation Agency. Wiener, who described himself as a daily Muni rider for the past 18 years, cited November’s passage of Proposition A as well as B, which increases Muni’s budget to keep pace with inflation, as evidence that Muni is starting to get the attention it needs after years — or decades — of neglect.

Readers react to Elon Musk's $4.9 billion in government subsidies
Times story this weekend reporting that Los Angeles entrepreneur Elon Musk's companies -- Tesla, SolarCity and SpaceX -- have benefited from an estimated $4.9 billion in government support.

Assemblywoman And Congressman Push STEM Bills In Legislature And Congress
Theresa Harrington @
Two East Bay politicians have introduced bills to help bolster science, technology, engineering and math -- or STEM -- education in California and the country.

Mariana Pfaelzer, judge who threw out anti-immigrant law, dies
Mariana Pfaelzer, the federal judge who overturned a 1994 California initiative that would have denied health and welfare benefits and public schooling to undocumented immigrants, has died at age 89. Judge Pfaelzer had a 57-year legal career, the first 20 years as a business litigator and trial lawyer after graduating first in her class at UCLA law school. Pete Wilson argued that the state was merely trying to preserve benefits for legal residents rather than regulating immigration, but Judge Pfaelzer said federal law governs both immigration and immigrants’ access to government services. [...] Judge Pfaelzer’s decision paved the way for other federal court rulings striking down state and local laws denying housing and other benefits to undocumented immigrants and allowing police to arrest those suspected of being present illegally. In 2013, she approved a record $500 million settlement for investors who accused Countrywide Financial Corp. of misleading them into buying mortgage-backed securities by overstating their value.

California Lawmakers Advance 'Wage Theft' Bill For Workers
California lawmakers have advanced a "wage theft" bill in an effort to crack down on employers that shortchange workers.

Jane Kim says she'll challenge Giants' development plans
Emily Green @
Supervisor Jane Kim said she will introduce a measure on Tuesday for the November ballot that strikes at the heart of the Giants’ well-calibrated plan. The measure would cut in half the height of some of the proposed buildings and require the Giants to dedicate much more of its housing to low-income residents.

Attorney General Supports Policy Outlined in Huff Body Camera Bill
The policy spelled out in law enforcement body camera legislation authored by Senate Minority Leader Bob Huff (R-San Dimas), SB 175, has received support from California Attorney General Kamala Harris. The Attorney General (AG) was quoted in the Los Angeles Times on May 28th saying that law enforcement agencies should

California Bill Prohibits Crackdown On Sleeping In Cars
The California Assembly is advancing legislation to protect homeless people who live in their cars from fines and vehicle impounds.

Teen and childrenâ
11 a.m. Amy Spalding — Klssing Ted Callahan (and Other Guys): “Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist” meets “Easy A” in this hilariously realistic story of sneaking out, making out, and playing in a band. Spalding is the author of “The Reece Malcolm List, Ink Is Thicker than Water” and the forthcoming “The New Guy (and Other Senior Year Distractions).” Find out in this riveting companion to “The Program” and the New York Times best-selling “The Treatment.” Set in an alternate, present day America, Linka’s novels follow teenage heroine Avie who must decide whether to submit to a forced marriage or run for freedom. Given the way love turned her heart in the best-selling “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before,” it’s no surprise that Lara Jean still has letters to write. Jenny Han is the New York Times best-selling author of “The Summer I Turned Pretty” series, “Shug” and the “Burn for Burn” trilogy, co-written with Siobhan Vivian. For fans of Jennifer Holm (“Penny from Heaven,” Turtle in Paradise), “Nest” is a stunning debut novel for middle grades about a girl, her family, tragic change and the healing power of love and friendship. 2 p.m. Lauren Oliver — Vanishing Girls: “My Sister’s Keeper” meets “Gone Girl” in this story of two sisters inexorably altered by a terrible accident, a missing nine-year-old girl, and the shocking connection between them. Lauren Oliver is the New York Times best-selling author of the Delirium trilogy, translated into more than 30 languages. Frank Portman takes no prisoners as he captures the realities of being a high school loser with deadly accuracy. Portman’s portrayal of life as a high-school student is wickedly funny, sometimes painful and always entertaining. Debut author Lance Rubin takes us on a fast, furious and outrageously funny ride through the last hours of a teenager’s life as he searches for love, meaning, answers and (just maybe) a way to live on. Come hear fresh local voices share their stories through a lyrical medium that will get your blood pumping. Seventeen-year-old Carter Moon is planning a low-key summer of stargazing with her best friends and working at her parent’s restaurant — and avoiding thinking about life after her senior year. [...] when Hollywood arrives to film a movie starring former child star turned public relations mess Adam Jakes, everything changes. The magic and suspense of Graceling meet the political intrigue and unrest of Game of Thrones in this riveting fantasy debut, inspired by the real-life 17th century English witch hunter general, Matthew Hopkins. In a riveting story of self-doubt, true friendship, and finding your voice, critically acclaimed author Tamara Ireland Stone introduces complex characters facing real-life issues. Greg Weisman is the author of the fantasy “Rain of the Ghosts” series, which includes “Rain of the Ghosts” and “Spirits of Ash and Foam.” Weisman is also the creator of “Gargoyles” and the supervising producer of “The Spectacular Spider-Man.” In this dark, high-octane sequel to the New York Times best-seller “Dorothy Must Die,” Amy Gumm must do everything in her power to kill Dorothy and make Oz a free land once more. [...] when her father dies, her bewitching unstable mother returns and will stop at nothing, not even black magic, to gain control of her daughter’s heart. Secrets of the Town, a play featuring students from Oakland's Skyline High School. Author and illustrator Bob Barner makes waves with his signature rhyming text and colorful illustrations in this lush picture book about the sea. Filled with incredible fishy facts about vertebrates, invertebrates, endoskeletons and exoskeletons, plus an underwater informational chart! 10:30 a.m. Arree Chung — Ninja! A ninja must be strong, courageous — and silent! A little boy flexes his ninja chops as he creeps through the house on a secret mission in this hilarious adventure. Zoe’s Jungle is the latest companion to the adorable picture books “Zoe Gets Ready” and “Zoe’s Room (No Sisters Allowed)!” Plucky heroine Zoe and little sister Addie use their imagination to turn their neighborhood playground into a wild jungle in the rain forest. Compost will never be the same after readers have seen the amazing transformation of Jack from grinning pumpkin to mold-mottled wreckage to hopeful green shoot. Mac Barnett is a crowd favorite and the author of many excellent and award-winning books for children. Christian Robinson has taken skills honed at Pixar Studios and Sesame Street Workshop to writing award-winning picture books. The Judy Moody series, the Stink books, and the Sisters Club trilogy are wildly popular. Megan McDonald has penned more than 60 books for children and young readers, and these hilarious books have won numerous awards. [...] by popular demand, Moody’s little brother, Stink, gets to shine in his own adventures. Recipient of three Newbery Honors and with more than 2 million books sold, Holm is here to present the latest in her graphic-novel series packed with humor and kid appeal: “Babymouse!” Twelve-year-old Vincent and his fellow members of the Captain Stupendous Fan Club help out when someone new becomes Earth's most famous superhero, without knowing anything about him, just as evil Professor Mayhem and his robot arrive in Copperplate City. Christie Matheson again shows us the true interactivity of turning a page — and this time the magic is in the gorgeous nighttime sky, complete with sunsets, fireflies, stars, comets and more. [...] as soon as his teacher points out what a palindrome is, Bob realizes there are palindromes everywhere: his pup Otto, his little sis, Nan ... even Mom and Dad! Dive into stories, try some crafts, play games from China, learn some Chinese songs. Allison Branscombe is a founding board member of Families with Children from China in Northern California.

Daniel Borenstein: Fire District Of Infamous Pension-spiking Chief Faces $79 Million Of Retirement Debt
This is what happens when top administrators enjoy the same benefits they're supposed to oversee and elected board members are ignorant of the details, turn a blind eye for political expediency or even enable abuse. No one protects taxpayers.

Senate Republicans Vote in Support for Victims of Violent Crimes
SACRAMENTO - Following a full day of session on Monday, Senate Bill 518 passed on the Senate Floor. SB 518 is known as the Victims of Violent Crimes: Trauma Recovery Centers. All 14 Senate Republicans unanimously voted to support SB 518.

Senate Republican Budget Priorities
As legislative budget conference committee members discuss the state budget, Senate Republicans outlined their priorities to create a bi-partisan budget that is sustainable.

Elon Musk Defends His Firms' Government Subsidies
Jerry Hirsch @
Elon Musk says his companies don't need the estimated $4.9 billion they enjoy in government support, but the money will help them move faster to transform the dirty business of energy.