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THE NOONER for September 21, 2015
REMINDER: For a limited time (before 10/1/2015), if you become a paid subscription now, you get a four-month extension to extend through election year 2016. Existing subscribers will also be getting a four-month extension. By becoming a subscriber, you get access to the exclusive election analysis on AroundTheCapitol.com, as well as back-end data (voter reg, candidate lists, and spreadsheets of state and federal campaign finance reports).
AD SPACE AVAILABLE: Several readers contacted me during the waning days of the legislative session about availability of the 300x250 display ads. I finally have a couple of slots available.
Good morning. Okay, I give, bring back the Niners black uniforms. That was ugly yesterday. Actually, to me it was just an ugly day of football. Fortunately, the Broncos won on Thursday night. And, at the Global Nooner Headquarters here in the 95811, the mercury is expected to hit triple-digits today. Stay cool, Sacramento. At least the day ended well with Veep grabbing four Emmys.
I dread the end of the legislative session, fearing the blank screen that starts each Noonerific day. Will there be anything to write about? I have great display and classified advertisers and 8,552 readers. I need content! And, there's always something...
DEAL OR NO DEAL?: The news of the weekend was the public airing of a showdown that many of us knew might be coming. Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins (D), who has had a campaign committee for SD39 in 2020, is running next year, challenging incumbent Marty Block (D).
The showdown goes back to 2011 after redistricting. Both Atkins and Block (both Assemblymembers at the time) ended up nested in the Senate seat then held by Christine Kehoe, who was termed out in 2012. With Block facing term limits in the Assembly in 2014 and Atkins facing them in 2016, both wanted to run for Kehoe's seat. Allegedly, they made a deal that Marty would serve one term and then yield the seat to Toni in 2016. Block says that it was a discussion and not binding, and Atkins says that Block is breaking a deal.
Both are reliable liberal votes and have a similar base in San Diego. As of the June 30 filing close, Atkins had $1.8 million in three committees (Atkins 2014, Atkins 2020, and Atkins ballot measure), although much of that money is likely from the same donors and can't all be transferred to the Senate campaign, which has the same contribution limits as the Assembly committees. Block had just under $79,000 for his re-election.
Endorsements are going to be interesting in this race. Block has largely put his head down to work on education in the State Senate, heading up the budget-writing subcommittee. However, with the strong support of Pro Tem Kevin de León, major organizations are going to have a hard time deciding between the two. de León will be the Senate leader for another couple of years, while Atkins passes the gavel to Anthony Rendon in January.
However, despite the financial advantage of Atkins, Block can run "Re-elect Senator Marty Block," a nice advantage. And, he has the support of de León and fellow members of the Democratic Caucus, who fear the precedent of Assemblymembers of the same party challenging them.
Sorry to the paid subscribers, who received this as a subscriber alert on Saturday, as this is a bit redundant. Subscribe today to get those type of alerts.
OUR FELLOW CALIFORNIANS: Northern California wildfire destroys another 162 homes [AP] - "The tally brought the total number of homes destroyed in two wildfires burning in Northern California the past two weeks to nearly 1,600, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said. Those fires killed five people, and on Sunday authorities announced that a body was found near the source of a new wildfire in Monterey County that destroyed or damaged 10 homes."
U.S. SENATE: Sanchez shows signs of progress in Senate race [Martin Wisckol @ OCR] - "Rep. Loretta Sanchez, D-Orange, continues to solidify Latino and Southern California support in her bid to replace retiring Sen. Barbara Boxer. But she’s still chasing Democratic state Attorney General Kamala Harris, who holds a 9-percentage point lead in the most recent polling."
REWRITE: Pension Initiative to be Re-filed? [Joel Fox @ Fox and Hounds] - "Over the weekend, two sources indicated to me that the Chuck Reed/Carl DeMaio pension reform initiative would be pulled, re-written, and re-submitted to the attorney general for a new title and summary. If it is to be re-filed, it is worth considering for which ballot it would be re-submitted."
DOUBLE-X FACTOR: Gov. Brown to sign expanded fair pay legislation [Janie Har @ AP] - "[T]he legislation expands what supporters call an outdated state equal pay law and goes further than federal law, placing the burden on the employer to prove a man's higher pay is based on factors other than gender and allowing workers to sue if they are paid less than someone with a different job title who does "substantially similar" work."
LET THERE BE LIGHT: Top Colleges Doing the Most for Low-Income Students [David Leonhardt @ NYT] - "It's based on the share of students who receive Pell grants (which typically go to families making less than $70,000); the graduation rate of those students; and the price that colleges charge both low- and middle-income students."
This is pretty amazing. The NYT released a series of college rankings this week, and California just dominates in upward mobility. I know many people have criticisms of UC, but this is something we all can be proud of. And, as an Aggie, argh that the Anteaters edged us out! The NYT's David Leonhardt talked about the findings with Michael Krasny on KQED's Forum this morning.
Hopefully you have images turned on:
RELIEF: State GOP to meet less often [David Siders @ SacBee] - ""Party activists approved reducing the number of state party conventions to two annually in odd-numbered years and one annually in even-numbered years, eliminating its convention closest to the general election."
Congratulations, Jimmy Brulte. I had 18 board meetings a year (three separate boards) when I was CEO of the Community College League, and can testify as to the toll it takes.
ALSO FROM ANAHEIM: Seeking distance from Trump, California GOP loosens immigration stance [Chris Megerian @ LAT] - "The changes say Republicans "hold diverse views" on "what to do with the millions of people who are currently here illegally." The wording of the amendment was tweaked after a Saturday committee meeting, which used the phrase "otherwise law-abiding folks" instead of "people." Although the new language emphasizes opposition to "amnesty," it removes the statement that "allowing illegal immigrants to remain in California undermines respect for the law.""
THE DEAN SPEAKETH: State GOP lost an asset when Fiorina left [George Skelton @ LAT] - "Watching Carly Fiorina shine in the Republican debate, I began thinking she should forget the presidency and run again in California for the U.S. Senate."
THE WAIT: Uber drivers having a 'field' day at airport [Tony Bizjak @ SacBee] - "To avoid congestion and jostling at the terminals, Uber drivers are not allowed to wait on the airport grounds to pick up a ride. They can only enter airport property when they get a ping on their cellphone telling them a flier is requesting a ride."
Interesting timing of this story. Since I'm not driving in this neck collar, Uber is how I get to Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op, which I did on Thursday. I was chatting with my driver about Uber and the airport, and he said that he doesn't bother, as there are just too many Uber drivers waiting for pings there.
The move is great, as the taxi monopoly at SMurF has gouged travelers forever. Over $30 for a 15 minute trip to the Capitol?
A BETTER JOB: The governor on Friday appointed Vito Imbasciani as Secretary of the Department of Veteran Affairs. You may recall that Dr. Vito ran for SD26 in 2014.
RANT: Did Ben Carson really suggest that these prominent Americans are unfit to be president because of their religion? Are we in Germany in the 1940s? Set aside partisanship, this anti-Muslim mania has to be of concern to people of all faiths and those that don't follow one. Remember when there were significant questions whether a Catholic could be President when John F. Kennedy was running? Would someone say that now? If so, goodbye Marco Rubio, Rick Santorum, George Pataki, Jeb Bush, Bobby Jindal, and Chris Christie. I guess that would create more elbow room on the debate stage.
Article XI: The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several state legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several states, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.
In between college football games on Saturday, I was watching the Democratic event in New Hampshire. Can someone check Lincoln Chafee's pulse? Hillary rocked it, and showed the benefit of using a teleprompter, which the campaign said was spontaneous (Uh, you don't order a teleprompter and load a speech at the last minute). Sanders was good as well, although reading your stump speech from paper doesn't look so good.
#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to political consultant Brian Brokaw, currently working for Kamala Harris's campaign and Disney's Efrain Fuentes!
TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
GOP Victories In California May Be Small, But They Still Count
The Republican presidential campaign came to California en masse last week for the debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, and when it ended the candidates largely beat it for more productive environs.
First Draft: Hillary Clinton, in Louisiana, Gets a Health Care Challenge From Bobby Jindal
Hillary Rodham Clinton has a campaign stop in Louisiana, where the governor there, the Republican presidential candidate Bobby Jindal, hopes to gain some attention with their differences on health care.
California Republicans Confront Long Odds In Race To Fill Sen. Barbara Boxer's Seat
For the three top California Republicans running for U.S. Senate, the poll numbers look bleak. The wallets of political donors are expected to be tough to pry open. And Republican voter registration in the state continues to trend toward inhospitable.
New CalPERS Dispute Over Private Equity Fees | Calpensions
After the CalPERS staff gave the board a correction last week for providing misinformation about private equity fees, the board member who has been grilling staff on the issue walked out of a private staff meeting because he was not allowed to record it.
California Gov. Brown To Sign Expanded Fair Pay Legislation | The Sacramento Bee
JANIE HAR @ sacbee.com
Female employees in California are poised to get new tools to challenge gender-based wage gaps and receive protection from discrimination and retaliation if they ask questions about how much other people earn.
Seeking Distance From Trump, California GOP Loosens Immigration Stance
The California Republican Party voted Sunday to soften its stance on immigration, responding to harsh rhetoric from presidential candidate Donald Trump.
California GOP Says It's 'pro-immigrant' In Response To 'trump Rhetoric' - The Orange County Register
ROXANA KOPETMAN @ ocregister.com
ANAHEIM – Looking to counter “the Donald Trump rhetoric,” the California Republican Party on Sunday softened its platform plank on immigration.
Teachers Union Holds Protest Outside Broad Museum On Opening Day
Before art aficionados could get their first look inside Eli Broad’s new museum Sunday morning, they got an angry earful on the outside from teachers who have long battled the billionaire philanthropist over charter schools.
A Sneak Peak Of President Trump's First State Of The Union Address
Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, members of Congress, my fellow Americans. The State of the Union is … winning! We are winning so much, we are winning everywhere. And where we're not winning, we're suing.
Will Aggrieved Workers Get Their Day In Court? Gov. Brown Must Decide Whether To Sign A Bill To End Mandatory Workplace Arbitration - The Orange County Register
MARGOT ROOSEVELT @ ocregister.com
AB 465, a California bill to end mandatory workplace arbitration, highlights the deep partisan divide over labor law.
2016 Election: Paul Ryan And Tim Scott To Host GOP Candidate Forum On Poverty - Politico
The forum is scheduled for Jan. 9, 2016 in Columbia, South Carolina at the Columbia Convention Center.
Statewide Tax Credits For Seismic Retrofitting Face A Hurdle On Gov. Brown's Desk
After decades of false starts and stumbling progress, California cities' efforts to strengthen buildings that could collapse in a massive earthquake may take a leap forward in coming weeks, as Gov. Jerry Brown considers legislation offering generous subsidies to property owners for seismic retrofitting.
How San Jose, San Diego Pension Measures Have Fared
Ramona Giwargis @ mercurynews.com
The two cities took very different approaches, and the debate continues over which city has had more success -- and whether either could serve as a model for statewide reform.
What A Difference A Debate Makes: Carly Fiorina Surges Into Second
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Application seeks to convert S.F. Tennis Club to office complex
The San Francisco Tennis Club at Fifth and Brannan streets, long a property coveted by developers, would be demolished to make way for an office development and smaller tennis facility and health club under a new plan filed with the City Planning Department. The property owner, the Bay Club, is working with developers TMG Partners and Alexandria Real Estate Equities on a plan that calls for a 370,000-square-foot, five-story office complex, a 25,000-square-foot sports club, and four tennis courts, according to planning documents. The current site has 24 tennis courts, 12 indoors and 12 on the rooftop, along with a sprawling club level that includes a gym, cafe and bar overlooking the indoor courts. Bay Club President and CEO Matthew Stevens said the âÂÂBay Club is proactively participating in the potential development of the 645 Fifth St. location including the addition of recreation facilities that incorporate fitness and tennis into the project for the SOMA neighborhood.âÂÂ For decades the club, built in 1974, seemed a natural fit in the patchwork of warehouses and artistsâÂÂ studios, auto garages and leather bars that made up the neighborhoodâÂÂs gradually gentrifying fabric. [...] as San FranciscoâÂÂs status as an international center of technological innovation picked up momentum, the revenue generated by a 24-court tennis club started to pale in comparison with what could be earned through denser uses like a large office complex or a condominium tower. Yet as several developers have found out over the past decade, tennis clubs and land-use politics have proved to be a combustive combination in San Francisco âÂÂ and thus far the tennis players, and not the developers, have had the upper hand. In a statement, Alexandria âÂÂ one of the largest developers of biotech space âÂÂ said the joint venture with local developer TMG Partners âÂÂleverages AlexandriaâÂÂs technology and life sciences work space platform by utilizing TMGâÂÂs best-in-class local expertise in entitlements, design, engineering and construction.âÂÂ âÂÂWe are pleased that the Bay Club will work with us to continue to operate a fitness and tennis facility at the property and offer us the opportunity to combine the recreation facility with modern work space,âÂÂ said Steve Richardson, AlexandriaâÂÂs chief operating officer.
L.A. Rolls Out Complex Care Teams For Chronically Ill Patients
Robin Urevich @ healthycal.org
Los Angeles Countyâs Department of Health Services is betting it can save money while radically improving the health of some of its sickest and most challenging patients. Last March, county health officials began targeting individuals in South and East Los Angeles who rely on emergency departments or hospitalizations for care and who struggle with more than one chronic disease.
Vietnamese Americans Stand Up For A New Cause: Syrian Refugees - The Orange County Register
TOM BERG @ ocregister.com
How to help
Fiorina Seizes The Moment After Poll Shows Her In Second Place In GOP Race
Carly Fiorina tried to extend her surge in the polls Sunday, portraying herself in a television interview as a tough negotiator and hard-nosed manager willing to winnow government inefficiency and bureaucracy.
Bipartisan Effort Fights Health Law Rule That Could Raise Premiums
Some lawmakers want to head off changes to the Affordable Care Act that could subject more small companies to greater insurance requirements.
Disaster Camp Napa Style: Hell's Angels And Dog Groomers
The Red Cross knows how to run a disaster shelter.
Have Donut Holes Gotten Smaller? This Compelling Vintage Chart Says Yes. - Vox
Phil Edwards @ vox.com
At first, it sounds like the plot of a wild pastry-based conspiracy theory: over the course of a couple of decades, our nation's donuts holes dramatically decreased in size. The very shape of the donut changed, in just two decades, from a ring of dough to the pinched dough vessel we know today.