Around The Capitol

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THE NOONER for July 2, 2015




REMINDER: A handful of paid subscribers haven't sent me a copy of an old Early-Bird Nooner that had their expiration date in it. As I start providing the exclusive Election Analysis for Nooner paid subscribers, I need to get your account updated following the database crash so that you have access.

AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM district pages - The 728x90 banner ads are starting to go, first-come, first-served. The ads are $250 per district page through June 7, 2016.

Some days, I wake up and wonder what the heck will take this space. And, then, California wites itself. After the jump . . .



Happy Thursday! Today the Senate and Assembly have floor session before taking off for a three-day weekend in observation of the Fourth of July holiday. The month-long summer recess doesn't start until July 17 this year, so we still have a ways to go.    

We're starting to see the press releases announcing the end of the second quarter (federal)/semi-annual (state) fundraising. As always, beware until we see the actual reports, as candidates frequently announced "amount raised" that includes personal loans that the candidate has no intention of spending. Also, "amount raised"/"cash on hand" has to be discounted by the "Outstanding Debts."

After all, Laura Richardson has $0 on hand and $546,260 in debt. What's interesting in politics is the reluctance of creditors to pursue candidate debtors. Of course, campaign committees are usually illiquid entities and not the candidate themselves unless explicitly guaranteed, and enforcement of debts is nearly impossible. 

I remember running to my dad for money after my 1996 failed campaign for Davis City Council to maintain good relations with a sign vendor, but it's more political goodwill than a real contract. That's just the way of doing business for the big vendors dealing in campaigns, and the cost of such leniency is built into the pricing model.

Official federal reports are due July 15, while state reports are due July 31. Until then, my advice is to ignore the press releases. 

Meanwhile, The biggest supporters of the nomination of Donald Trump in 2016? California Democrats. On KQED's Forum this morning, GOP consultant Ruben Barahas stated he was looking into ordering pinatas for Trump.

UNCLE LELAND: Former state Sen. Leland Yee pleads guilty in corruption case [Bob Egelko and Evan Sernoffsky @ SFChron] - "Former state Sen. Leland Yee faces years in federal prison after admitting Wednesday that he took bribes from undercover FBI agents in exchange for promises to vote on legislation, arrange meetings for his purported donors, and illegally smuggle guns from the Philippines."

And, with the aforementioned campaign finance schema discussed, the creditors of the $28,882 in debt of Leland Yee have to be asking if the Fed PoPo will seize all cash on hand of the committee for restitution. The biggest creditor is David Binder Research, which is owed $25,000.

Advice: creditors, just take the write-off. And, Leland's wife Maxine, owed less than $400, just don't say a word.

GOVERNOR DONNELLY: Tim Donnelly files referendum to overturn California vaccine bill [Rebecca Plevin @ KPCC] - "Donnelly submitted his proposed referendum in a July 1 letter. The secretary of state will deliver a title and summary of the referendum by July 13; backers will then have 90 days to collect more than 365,000 valid referendum signatures, according to the Sacramento Bee. If they succeed in collecting enough signatures, the referendum will be placed on the Nov. 1, 2016 ballot."

PAGING DR. CARREY: Jim Carrey, Please Shut Up About Vaccines [Jeffrey Kluger @ Time]



KILL THE GAYS PART DEUX: Kamala Harris rejects second gay murder measure [Christopher Cadelago and Dan Walters @ SacBee]:

"What I'm proposing is not murder," [Matt] McLaughlin said in a telephone interview with The Sacramento Bee. "I'm proposing the laws as they’ve ever been. The Bible doesn't change."

McLaughlin said he purposely didn’t defend his first ballot proposal, a statute law, when Harris asked a judge for permission to keep it from the ballot. He said he devised his second as a constitutional amendment, which he thought she would have to clear for signature gathering.

CTA v. SCOTUS: Political Fate of California Teachers Association Now Rests With High Court [John Myers @ KQED] - "But the real stakes in this court fight are over the money that fuels the broad influence of the CTA, an influence that's felt in campaigns, lobbying and local contract negotiations. One former leader of the California Legislature went so far as to characterize the CTA's self-image as the "co-equal fourth branch of government" in a 2012 newspaper story."

Will Union Members Stay if Friedrichs Wins Case against CTA? [Joel Fox @ Fox and Hounds] - "If the case is successful – something that is far from certain – there is no telling how many union members will call it quits. CTA is certainly concerned with the outcome. Last year, CTA prepared a working paper titled, "Not if, but when: Living in a World without Fair Share." The document predicted loss of revenue and membership if the system titled "Fair Share" requiring mandatory dues was overturned by a court."

CALIFORNIA LOVE: Justice Scalia Is Right. California Isn’t the Real West [Joe Mathews @ Zocalo Public Square] - "[M]uch as we might hate to admit it, Scalia was right when, in the same dissent, he argued that California isn't part of the American West. And in so doing, he raised—almost certainly unwittingly—an important question about California's future."

DISSENT: With July 4th Near, Is California Land of the Free? [Carson Bruno @] - "Overall, California ranks 49th in the nation, which is concerning given California's importance both in the nation's economy and in the direction of national policy-making. Hopefully, as the state legislature prepares to go on its summer recess and to celebrate the July 4th holiday, they can reflect on whether California is sticking true to the "life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness" ideals that the signers of the Declaration of Independence aimed to fulfil when they bravely decided to revolt against tyranny in the name of freedom."OUCH: England scores on itself in stoppage time, sending Japan to face the USA on Sunday."

Of course, "Free" doesn't mention economic freedom, aside from taxes. You could be a billionaire with an apartment purchased for $100 million on Park Avenue in Manhatten, but could care less about the taxes while considering same-sex marriage or abortion "rights." The same is true for a group of politically progressive, wealthy folks in California. When I grew up in The OC, the wealth generation in California was largely from the defense industry, and Reagan was therefore G-O-D. It had little to do with politics, but a lot to do with who was putting food on the table. Sorry Mondale, you were not. Yeah, Dukakis, even with your headgear, you were not. (NOTE: I was an early Dukakis supporter, after college-day waivering of Perot v. Dukakis as the best outsider.)

And now wealth (and thus collateral) creation is from technology and whatever the latest fad is in Silicon Valley, Silicon Beach, or Silicon Sandy Eggo. These areas are libertarian/leaning liberal (by measuring election results), libertarian on same-sex marriage and abortion, but also libertarian on abortion and same-sex marriage. Major business interests don't look to their internal politics, but rather their business interests.

If you're an anti-abortion, anti-same-sex-marriage business in Silicon Valley or SF, good luck staffing up. This may explain the Salt Lake Silicon Valley. Are we sensing a change, or a splinter?

Those are our biggest swing groups. The question among Democrats and Republicans is not who they can capture, but who they can capture while holding on to the other 33% of blue-or-red dogs."

#CAKEDAY: Light those candles for DGS's Joanna Gin and Nossaman's Richard Harris and Perea COS Minnie Santillan!



  • The California Craft Brewers Association is seeking candidates for the open position of Association Assistant. This positions is a great opportunity to engage with and support the craft beer community. If you’re interested, please contact Scott Marks at

  • "Understanding Californias Voter Turnout Crisis" The Leadership California Institute is hosting a forum on Thursday, July 9th, at the Citizen Hotel in Sacramento. This forum will convene key opinion leaders and experts across the state to discuss the root causes and address potential solutions to the 20 year downward trend in voter turnout. Registration is free and lunch will be provided at no cost. For a full list of speakers and to register:
  • Office Space for Rent
    Quiet location two blocks away from Capitol.  Share space with a professional services firm.  Up to three offices in six-office suite (2,300 sqft).  Conference room, copy/printer room, reception, kitchenette, janitorial, parking.  Terms are negotiable. 1510 14th Street, Sacramento. (916) 444-7158.

  • 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. July 30-31, $250 each. Essential for lobbying firm principals / staff, organizations / agencies that employ lobbyists, newcomers to the profession. Information / registration: or 916 442 5009.
  • Energy Efficiency Program Manager (Electricity Markets and Policy Group)
    This position interacts with research scientists, project team members, and external customers to achieve program success. The position requires general knowledge of program management principles and skills, such as program planning, budgeting, and scheduling and computer-based spreadsheet and report generation tools to perform the work.

    To Apply:

    Equal Employment Opportunity: Berkeley Lab is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, or protected veteran status. Click here to view the poster:Equal Employment Opportunity is the Law.
  • ASSEMBLYMEMBER MATT DABABNEH discusses chairing the powerful Assembly banking committee in this exclusive interview:
    California Fire Fighter Joint Apprenticeship Committee is seeking a Manager to assist with expanding the business and programs of its for-profit video production studio, FireStar Studios. The Manager will oversee the daily operations of the Studio, manage production and administrative staff, identify and market new business and oversee client estimates, billings and cash flow.

    Qualifications: bachelor's degree; outstanding written and oral communication and organizational skills; creativity and ability to positively lead under tight deadlines.  To learn more about the position visit our website at


Ex-california Lawmaker Tim Donnelly Pushes For Referendum On New Vaccination Law
Former Assemblyman and Republican gubernatorial candidate Tim Donnelly wants California voters to overturn the tough new childhood vaccination requirements signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday.

Assembly Committee Approves Huff Education Reform Measures
Two education measures authored by Senate Minority Leader Bob Huff (R-San Dimas) received unanimous support during a vote of the Assembly Education Committee today and next face the Assembly Appropriations Committee. The measures extend the School District of Choice program and remove antiquated laws from the California Education Code that were rendered obsolete due to the adoption of the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF).

John Wildermuth, Emily Green @
Take, for example, Supervisor Scott Wiener’s long-planned bid for the state Senate seat Mark Leno will surrender next year when he terms out. Sure, Wiener on Wednesday said all the things expected of any Democratic candidate in San Francisco, vowing to make tough decisions and fight for more affordable housing, better transportation, additional open space, etc., etc. etc. With only a few chances to move up the political ladder in San Francisco, an open seat in the Legislature is a shining beacon for ambitious local Democrats. [...] there are all five supervisors from San Mateo County, which makes up a 10th of the state Senate district, the local police and fire unions, a bunch of other labor groups and a list of other backers that includes former 49ers President Carmen Policy, former Ambassador James Hormel, Pius Lee of the Chinatown Neighborhood Association and civic leaders Anne Halsted and Mark Buell. [...] none of the names on the list have much if any connection to San Francisco’s progressive community, where Kim, Campos and Ammiano would draw their support, but they do show that the area’s more moderate power structure is united behind Wiener. Given the progressives’ recent track record in high-profile city races, that leaves a question for the supervisor’s would-be opponents: Muni will boost its light rail fleet of 161 train cars by 64, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency has announced. “The additional trains helps us to meet the expanding demand in the short term and the long term,” MTA spokesman Paul Rose said. The trains cars will be in service beginning in 2017 and are part of a bigger overhaul MTA is making to its light rail trains. The new train cars will have a new seat configuration, and new interior color schemes and exterior design. “These additional vehicles will bring a once-in-a-generation improvement for people riding Muni,” agency director Ed Reiskin said in a statement. Ten spots are reserved for people drawn in general from the city and region; another five are assigned to one representative each from advisory groups that already have been established. The remaining 13 appointees are expected to embody various “waterfront perspectives,” from public access and maritime commerce to urban design, tourism and all manners of transportation.

Insurers Predict Hepatitis C Drugs To Take Huge Toll On California Budget | State Of Health | Kqed News
The new hepatitis C medications are a vast improvement over previous treatments and can cure patients. But their staggering cost has prompted a national debate about their outsized bite into health care budgets. The estimated costs have led to policy changes, hearings, lawsuits and ethical debates about who should receive the treatments.

Lawsuit: Lausd Misappropriated Funds For High-need Students | The Sacramento Bee
Civil rights groups filed a lawsuit against the Los Angeles Unified School District Wednesday alleging that millions of dollars intended to help low income, foster care and English-learner students were diverted to special education services.

How Will Business Approach Road Taxes In Special Session? :: Fox&hounds
Governor Jerry Brown called special sessions to find permanent revenue sources to fund transportation infrastructure and Medi-Cal. The issue of keeping up with deteriorating roads has been a special concern to the business community and Brown is counting on business help to support a revenue solution for the roads. But is business willing to use its influence with Republican legislators to pass a transportation tax or fee increase of some kind?

Historic Mansion Could House California Governors Once Again
David Siders @
Brown spokesman Evan Westrup told The San Diego Union-Tribune, which first reported his remarks, that the administration now considers the mansion a “possible residence” for Brown and future governors. In an email to The Sacramento Bee on Wednesday, Westrup said the renovation will include “security and habitability improvements,” among other work.

Put Aside Politics And Improve Healthcare, Obama Says
President Obama , fresh from a victory before the U.S. Supreme Court last week that preserved the Affordable Care Act , called for an end to the political fighting over the health law and for more effort to improve it.

New School Board Members Face Immediate Challenges
Two new members will join the Los Angeles Board of Education on Wednesday amid shifting political alliances and a pressing need to choose a superintendent of schools.

Leland Yee Pleads Guilty In Corruption Case
Howard Mintz @
Under a plea deal with federal prosecutors, Yee faces a likely prison term for his felony conviction for using his political influence to accept bribes. The plea deal was presented in court here to U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer, who will sentence the former Democratic state senator from San Francisco on Oct. 21.

Jim Carrey Calls Gov. Brown A 'fascist' For Signing New Vaccination Law
Jim Carrey has come out swinging against Gov. Jerry Brown for signing one of the nation’s toughest vaccination laws this week, barring religious and other personal-belief exemptions for schoolchildren.

Obama Takes Health Care Momentum Into G.O.P. Territory
In a visit to Tennessee, the president called for expanding health care access in mostly Republican-controlled states that have previously resisted parts of the law.

Kamala Harris Rejects Second Gay Murder Measure | The Sacramento Bee
Christopher Cadelago @
Proponent Matt McLaughlin says Harris not in position to decide its fate

Republican Presidential Candidate Carly Fiorina Winning Over Skeptics
When it was Carly Fiorina’s turn to take the stage at a presidential forum in Oklahoma City, Noah Wolff was thinking of heading outside for a break.

Californians Cut Water Use 29 Percent In May | The Sacramento Bee
Dale Kasler @
In final month of voluntary program, urban residents responded

Trump: NBC, Macy's 'support illegal immigration'
Hadas Gold @
Trump claimed that NBC and Macy's "support illegal immigration" after they decided to cut business ties with the billionaire Republican presidential candidate over his comments.

Airbnb To Start Collecting Tourist Taxes |
The growth of the popular home-sharing site Airbnb has led to increasing numbers of short term vacation rentals in San Diego, prompting calls for more regulation. / Bloomberg

Doctors, Hospitals Get $6.5 Billion From Drug, Medical Device Firms Last Year
Doctors and teaching hospitals received $6.5 billion last year from drug companies and medical device firms for research, consulting and other reasons, new federal data show.

Californians Shoot Past Gov. Jerry's Brown's Water Conservation Targets
Lisa M. Krieger and Sophie Mattson @
New numbers, released Wednesday, show that the state's ambitious conservation campaign is working, with statewide residential water use declining 28.9 percent in May from its baseline 2013 levels. The figures surpassed Brown's order in April to cut water use statewide by 25 percent.

Woodland Hills-based Health Net To Be Acquired For $6.8 Billion
Woodland Hills insurer Health Net Inc. has agreed to be acquired for $6.8 billion by a St. Louis rival in what may be the start of an industrywide merger wave.

Donald Trump's Comments On Immigration Complicate Gop's 'latino Problem'
When Donald Trump disparaged Mexican immigrants as “rapists” and drug-runners during his presidential announcement speech, the slurs were initially dismissed as just another outrageous pronouncement from the blustery billionaire.

Iconic Marin tunnel to be named after Robin Williams
The state Senate voted last week to name the tunnel after the late comedian and Marin resident — who got his big break wearing rainbow suspenders on “Mork & Mindy” — following approval by the Assembly in April. Assemblyman Marc Levine, D-San Rafael, introduced the legislation after a petition garnered thousands of signatures in support of the name change. The tunnel is also sometimes called the Rainbow Tunnel because of the rainbows painted on the tunnel arches on the southern side. Signs are being made at a cost of about $3,000, which is being paid from private donations, said Caltrans spokesman Steve Williams. [...] Bay Area traffic reporters may have to practice calling the tunnel by its new name. California Highway Patrol officers, though, will likely still call it the Rainbow Tunnel or Waldo Tunnel, said Officer Daniel Hill, an agency spokesman. “We’ll accept whatever callers will use for it, but it’s really hard to break a CHP officer out of a habit,” Hill said. “He was my neighbor — I often saw him running errands, walking the dog, performing at the local theater, working at the coffee shop,” she wrote on the page.

Bp Reaches $18.7-billion Agreement To Settle Gulf Of Mexico Oil Spill
BP has reached an $18.7-billion settlement with federal, state and local governments that resolves years of litigation over the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.