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THE NOONER for November 12, 2015

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  • CA20 (Monterey): removed Congressman Sam Farr (D)
  • AD16 (Tri-Valley): added former Pleasanton councilmember Cheryl Cook-Kallio (D)

Buenos muy frio dias!

I was going to write yesterday, but figured you probably wanted the day truly off. Let me say a belated thank you to all who have served our country. In particular, thank you dad for your service in the Navy and continued service as a volunteer member of the Coast Guard Reserve.

Puzzling to think about the Chargers and Raiders sharing a stadium in LA, particularly since their fans hate each other. In other shocking sports news, the Kings won last night. DeMarcus Cousins needs to cuss out George Karl more often. The Kings are now 100% better than the Lakers, with 2 wins.

THE GOOD HAIR FIGHT: Opening political rift, Senate leader De León slashes staff of Lt. Gov. Newsom [Patrick McGreevy @ LAT] - "Opening a political rift, Senate leader Kevin de León has acted to slash the staff of Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom by one-third just weeks after Newsom introduced a 2016 ballot initiative that includes one of De Leon's pet policy proposals. De León aides notified Newsom's office that they are reassigning two Senate employees who had been on loan to the lieutenant governor's office. That would leave Newsom with four staffers."

DOUBLE-X FACTOR: Some prominent feminists warn Steve Westly not to run for governor again [Patrick McGreevy @ LAT] - "Possible California gubernatorial candidate Steve Westly was warned Tuesday not to run for the office again by some women's rights activists, including Gloria Steinem and Eve Ensler, who alleged he sought leniency for a colleague accused of domestic violence."

CA17 (Milpitas): Honda listed as vulnerable incumbent — but how vulnerable is he? [John Wildermuth @ SFChron] - "Honda says there’s nothing to the congressional probe and that any concerns about links between his congressional staff and his campaign efforts have long since been addressed. He’s also confident that he’ll once again raise the millions needed for his re-election run."

CA Democratic Party chair John Burton is appearing at a fundraiser tonight for Honda.

CA20 (Monterey): Whoa! Sam Farr is not running for re-election next year. It's a very safe Democratic district (Obama received 70.9% in 2012). Who runs? Area electeds/former electeds include Assemblymember Luis Alejo, outgoing Secretary of Business, Consumer Services, and Housing Agency Anna Caballero, Secretary for Natural Resources John Laird, State Senator Bill Monning, Deputy DA and son of the beloved Leon Jimmy Panetta, and Assemblymember Mark Stone. I'm sure there are more...this news just broke.

HOWEVER LONG IT TAKES: California death penalty: legal obstacle to executions removed [Howard Mintz @ MercNews] - "In a unanimous ruling, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a federal judge's sweeping decision last year finding California's death penalty system unconstitutional because of decades-long delays in the handling of death row inmates' appeals. The ruling did not address the centerpiece of the case, instead concluding that there are procedural obstacles that bar condemned killer Earnest Dewayne Jones from raising the delay issue at this late stage in his federal appeals."

THE DEAN SPEAKETH: 'Recreational' Marijuana Proponents Are Pushing A False Narrative [George Skelton @ LAT] - "[S]top insulting our intelligence by claiming that stoners routinely get busted."



BLACKFISH: Will SeaWorld's Phasing Out Killer Whale Shows Make a Difference? [Kate Goldbaum @ Scientific American] "SeaWorld said it is aiming to promote marine education and will implement a more natural setting for the killer whales. Phillips agrees that firsthand experience is one of the best ways to garner interest in conservation."

Then, this gem in the SDUT: "But this natural look probably won’t include 'Blue World,' the company’s expensive project to build bigger tanks for the killer whales. 'I'm not comfortable putting $100 million into a market when there is a regulatory question,' the chief executive said."

So, there is going to be a more "natural setting" in the existing bathtubs?

THE SLOPES: Another storm to hit Tahoe — Kirkwood latest to announce opening [Kurtis Alexander @ SFChron] - "Tahoe ski resorts are forecast to get up to a foot of fresh powder at their summits late Saturday or early Sunday, adding to a two-foot base already on the ground in some places — and more where snow machines are operating." (Another good story in The Bee.)

Basically, all major Tahoe resorts will be open this weekend, with some opening a month earlier than planned. I'm not a skier, but it's fantastic news for California's economy, as well as the drought. Tahoe is the second largest ski area in the country behind Colorado, accounting for over 7 million visitors in good years. For some resorts, this would be the earliest season ever.

Let's cross our fingers for our mountain (and down mountain) businesses, the state's general fund, and the salmon.

LAW AND ORDER: Sex offenders sue California, claim Megan's Law website puts them in danger [Jeremy B. White @ SacBee] - "Two registered sex offenders are suing California for alleged lax management of an online sex offender database, saying a lack of timely information prompted vigilantes to attack them for past crimes."

THE GRIM: Last night's episode of "This is Life with Lisa Ling" on CNN profiled the Los Angeles County Coroner's office. It was riveting. If you're not familiar with Lisa Ling, she grew up in Sacramento and now lives in Santa Monica with her physican husband Paul Song, who is also the executive chairman of the liberal Courage Campaign. Sad how many people die alone in Los Angeles.

BROTHER, CAN YOU SPARE A DIME? The Making of the Most Expensive Mansion in History [Christopher Bagley @ Details] - "On a hilltop in Bel Air, a 100,000-square-foot gigamansion is under construction, for no one in particular. The asking price—$500 million—would shatter records, but, as ridiculous as it sounds, in L.A.'s unbridled real-estate bubble, this house could be billed as a bargain."

Finally, this doesn't pertain to California politics and policy, but I'm so proud of my friend Lisa Pruitt, who is featured in a new documentary on her work for rape as a war crime in Rwanda (now a major news item again with the proliferation of ISIS. UC Davis professor plays role in Rwandan justice [Carla Meyer @ SacBee]

I never had Lisa as a professor, as she arrived at King Hall during my 3L year and started teaching first year classes, but befriended her and she was part of a great new class of faculty at King Hall.

#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to the Bee's Marcos Breton, West Sac mayor Christopher Cabaldon, consultant Deborah Howard and lobbyist Karen Keesler! Yesterday's holiday birthdays included UC's Jenny Kao and Senator Fran Pavley!

DEPT OF CORRECTIONS: On Tuesday, I wished a 230th #CAKEDAY greeting to the U.S. Marine Corps. Typo, it was the 240th. Also, Robbie Abelon is no longer with Jim Cooper's office, but rather is now Sr. Vice President of Sacramento's Region Business (formerly Region Builders).

Sacramento Councilman Jay Schenirer To Seek Marijuana Tax Measure | The Sacramento Bee
Ryan Lillis @
Councilman Jay Schenirer seeks 2016 ballot measure to tax recreational, medical pot

GOP Debate Gives New Life To Struggling Candidates
A Republican debate that was supposed to focus on the presidential candidates' economic policies demonstrated their close agreement on the fiscal front but underscored foreign policy rifts that are likely to play out through the 2016 campaign — and gave renewed life to candidates struggling to find their footing in a persistently unpredictable contest.

Rancho Santa Fe Has Top Water User
Morgan Cook @
U-T Watchdog surveyed San Diego County water districts for the 12 months ending Sept. 30 and found an even bigger water user in Rancho Santa Fe. The home’s 13.8 million gallons of water was enough to supply more than 110 typical single-family homes or fill 21 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

'Recreational' Marijuana Proponents Are Pushing A False Narrative
George Skelton @
The weed warriors are back, peddling pot for the California ballot. And one old tale they're spinning is pure bunk.

Road to 2016: The G.O.P. Tax Debate: Low or Lower; Flat or Flatter?
A closer look at the Republican presidential candidates and their tax proposals.

Environmentalists Sue Over Sacramento River Water, Fish Perils | The Sacramento Bee
Dale Kasler @
Legal action is latest skirmish amid drought

UCLA Researchers Find Health Differences Within Ethnic Groups
David Gorn @
There are major differences in health care status among different types of Asians and Latinos in California — and yet the state so far has resisted treating those subgroups differently, according to UCLA researchers who released an updated version of health survey data last month.

Honda Listed As Vulnerable Incumbent -- But How Vulnerable Is He?
John Wildermuth @
San Jose Rep. Mike Honda is back on Roll Call’s “10 Most Vulnerable House Members” list, but he’s likely telling his supporters not to worry.

UC Davis Breaks Ground On New $50 Million Nursing School | The Sacramento Bee
Claudia Buck @
The Betty Irene Moore Hall will open in fall 2017

Santa Monica Council Votes To Fund Restoration Of Late Cartoonist's Anti-nuclear War Sculpture
The Santa Monica City Council has approved funds to help restore Paul Conrad's "Chain Reaction" sculpture and surround it with landscaping. 

How 100,000 Californians Are Changing Health Care - California Health Report
Fran Kritz @
By Fran Kritz

Immigration: G.O.P. Fight Now a Battle Over What Defines a Conservative
The debate opened a new season of the campaign shaped by the glaring policy fissures that are dividing Republicans, from immigration and bank regulation to taxes and national security.

Brown Is Mum On Gushing Oil Scandal
Steven Greenhut @
Gov. Jerry Brown is one of the more interesting politicians to cover given his forthrightness. Agree or disagree with what he says – the world has “gone over the edge” because of global warming, for instance – but there’s little doubt he says what’s on his mind. Brown’s press conferences evoke laughter because of his “no BS” words and weird historical references.

Following Gov. Brown, Californians Seek Oil Records On Their Land - San Francisco Chronicle
David R. Baker @
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Obama Congratulates Aung San Suu Kyi Before Final Election Results In Myanmar - Politico
"The President commended her for her tireless efforts and sacrifice over so many years to promote a more inclusive, peaceful, and democratic Burma,"...

David Geffen Gives $100 Million To Build A School For The Children Of UCLA Staff And Others
Entertainment industry billionaire David Geffen, who previously gave $300 million to support UCLA's medical school, is donating $100 million to establish a private middle and high school on the Westwood campus partly for the children of faculty and staff.

Republican Voters Slowly Begin to Rally Around Candidates
s debate suggested that more and more voters were coming off the fence.

Uber And Lyft Donating Rides To Work Or Interviews For Veterans - Sfgate
Uber and Lyft are donating thousands of rides to homeless veterans who need transportation to jobs, interviews and employment events.

Hilllary Clinton 2016 Campaign Coal Energy Platform: She Proposes $30 Billion Aid Plan For Coal Communities - Politico
"You would think that a paper like The Wall Street Journal would call for a clarification," Trump says.

Jack Yufe Dies At 82; He Was Raised Jewish, His Identical Twin As A Nazi
Jack Yufe, left, and his identical twin brother, Oskar.

News Analysis: More Than Friends? | Calmatters
by Laurel Rosenhall

San Jose Taxi Drivers End Strike
Ramona Giwargis and Mark Gomez @
They called off the strike, which began Monday morning, saying there's "hope for leveling the playing field" with competing ride-booking companies.