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THE NOONER for January 12, 2016

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  • AD09 (South Sacramento): added Michael Horne (NPP)
  • AD34 (Bakersfield): added Congressman McCarthy's district director Vince Fong (R)
  • AD38 (Santa Clarita): added Newhall School Board member Christy Smith (D)

LEADERHIP: Anthony Rendon was elected Speaker of the State Assembly yesterday and, when he assumes the office in March, there will be Latino leaders of both houses for the first time. Rendon and Senate Preside Pro Tem Kevin de León also have districts that nearly touch, but for a few miles.

SOTU: How early do you think Loretta Sanchez will be in the House chamber today to secure a railing spot for a photo up of her shaking Obama's hand at tonight's State of the Union. Joe Baca will be sitting at home, longing for those days of rail wrestling.

The speech is at 6pm PST.



SUPERMAJORITY: There has been a lot of talk about the Dems need to recapture supermajorities in both houses in order to fulfill their goals of the managed care tax expansion, possible bonds for infrastructure, and the like.

Here's the landscape:

In the State Senate, the current split is 26 Democratss and 14 Republicans. Dems would need a net pickup of 1 for a subermajority. There are really only two districts in interparty play--SD25 (Liu - D, La Canada-Flintridge) and SD29 (Huff - R, Walnut). Both are unlike to switch parties. There are several other interesting Senate races, but there in Safe D or Safe R seats.

In the Assembly, the current make-up is 51 Dems and  29 Republicans, thus requiring the Dems to pick up a net three seats. There are four seats that reasonably could change parties, all of which are held by Republicans. There are AD40 (Steinhold), AD60 (Linder), AD65 (Kim), and AD66 (Hadley). It's going to require a Dem sweep like 2012 for three of those to be captured by the Dems. And, don't mean to be a Debbie Downer to my friends on the Dem side, that certainly doesn't look likely in this environment, whether it's Hillary or Trump. 

Certainly, California will stay in the Democratic column for presidential votes and deliver 55 electoral votes for the Dem nominee, but to keep voters in the booth to vote down ballot is hard enough, and to keep them voting consistently for a Democrat for President all the way to the Assembly can even harder. 

Demographically, young Democratic voters appear to find an appeal from Bernie Sanders, while, generally speaking, Latinos would be more comfortable with Hillary Clinton. These two groups are most attributable to the change in turnout that we see from cycle to cycle. 

The Trump factor: will he be nominee and, if not, who will be? Trump is clearly alienating Latinos (and women and the disabled) and if interest groups went to the air with his quotes that could drive up turnout for Dems. If Cruz is the nominee, do non-Cuban Latinos cross-over and vote for him because of his Hispanic heritage.

We're in pre-season and lots of things are likely to change, and it's going to be an interesting ball game.

FIRST LOOK: The Legislative Analyst's Office yesterday released its preliminary review of the governor's proposed 2016-17 budget, and is quite positive about the plan. However, it also reminds the Legislature that the California Constitution provides the Legislature with the role of crafting the budget. Of course, it's up to the governor as to whether he signs the budget or uses his line-item veto authority broadly to pare back spending.

FAIR OR UNFAIR SHARE? California labor unions react to Supreme Court dues debate [Jon Ortiz @ SacBee] - "The high court on Monday heard debate over Friedrichs, which challenges a fee CTA charges non-members for “non-political” activities such a collective bargaining. The appellants claim everything a government union does is political, so the fees violate employees’ constitutional free speech protections. They also claim that requiring annual opt-out from paying full dues instead of opting in also violates the Constitution."

SCOTUS: Supreme Court could hit unions in wallets [Dan Walters @ SacBee] - "if the court rules as expected, it could make a big dent in the future political power of California’s public unions.

The big unknown is how much unions’ membership would drop if their dues become voluntary, rather than mandatory."

LAW AND ORDER: Former Sen. Strickland faces allegations he violated campaign finance rules [Patrick McGreevy @ LAT] - "The state ethics agency reported Monday that probable cause has been found to believe that former state Sen. Tony Strickland aided three supporters in disguising that they were the true source of $65,000 in contributions to his campaign for state controller in 2010.

. . .

The allegation is that supporters gave the money to the Ventura County Republican Party and the Stanislaus Republican Central Committee and it was improperly earmarked to be passed on to Strickland’s campaign, a process that disguised the original contributors."



FIELD POLL: Californians’ views on gun control unchanged by San Bernardino attack [David Siders @ SacBee] - "The terrorist attacks in San Bernardino last month had little, if any, effect on Californians’ views on gun control, with the electorate continuing to favor stricter measures by about the same margin they’ve held for more than a decade, according to a new poll.

. . .

Fifty-seven percent of California voters say greater controls on gun ownership are more important than protecting gun rights, in line with three Field Poll measures between 1999 and 2002. Support for stricter gun controls ticked up slightly, to 61 percent, in the months after the school shooting in Newtown, Conn., in 2012."

THE NUCLEAR OPTION: Legislators: No interest in overriding gov [Steven Greemhut @ SDUT] - "There was an effort on Thursday to override a bill that passed with zero “no” votes in either house, but it never had any real chance of success. State Sen. Joel Anderson, the El Cajon Republican with a reputation for stirring the pot to make a point, wanted to override a veto of SB 333, by Sen. Cathleen Galgiani, D-Stockton."

BUNK BEDS? NFL consensus builds for a Rams-Chargers stadium project in Inglewood [Sean Parker and Nathan Fenno @ LAT] - "Multiple league officials and owners not involved with the Inglewood project, or the competing proposal in Carson, say there is momentum to pair the two franchises in what one owner describes as a "transformational" project backed by the Rams.

. , ,

It would mean striking a bargain that keeps the Raiders out of L.A. but doesn't leave them empty-handed. Such a maneuver could mean that the Raiders return to Oakland in the short term, but can explore relocating to other cities, among them San Diego, St. Louis or joining the San Francisco 49ers in their new stadium in Santa Clara."

LET THERE BE LIGHT: University of California applications top 200,000 for first time [Alexei Koseff @ SacBee] - “Among the 206,339 students who applied to at least one of UC’s nine undergraduate campuses for admission in fall 2016, 166,380 are freshman and 39,959 are transfers.

The increase was once again driven largely by a surge in nonresidents. While 4.4 percent more Californians sought admission than last year, the number of applications was up by 10.9 percent among out-of-state students and 10.6 percent among international students.”




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  • Planned Parenthood Affiliates of CA seeks two experienced Senior Campaign Organizers to work with the seven California Planned Parenthood affiliates through November 2016. Salary (DOE) and reimbursement of healthcare up to a cap. Details here.
  • THERE'S MUCH MORE TO EFFECTIVE LOBBYING THAN LEGISLATIVE ADVOCACY. Get the total picture of lobbying in California with Capitol veteran Ray LeBov's introductory Lobbying 101 and advanced Lobbying 201 seminars January 28-29. $250 each. Lobbying 101 covers the Legislative process and Legislative advocacy; Lobbying 201 explores time-tested principles / best practices in the equally critical areas of Budget, Regulatory Agency and Executive Branch advocacy plus Media Relations. Essential for lobbying firm principals / staff, organizations / agencies that employ lobbyists, newcomers to the profession. Information / registration: or 916 442 5009.
  • SEIU United Healthcare Workers-West Regional Political Organizers (Los Angeles and Bay Area). 85,000 member California healthcare union seeks strategic, progressive, motivated political organizers, 3-5 yrs political/union experience. Competitive salary and benefits package. Resume, letter, 3 references:

  • Planned Parenthood Affiliates of CA seeks two experienced Senior Campaign Organizers to work with the seven California Planned Parenthood affiliates  on campus  and electoral organizing through the November 2016. Three to five years and two election cycles experience as full time campaign staff required. Prior management experience preferred. Excellent salary (DOE) and cellphone/laptop stipend and reimbursement of healthcare up to a cap. Positions located in the south and north. Details here.


Ballot Manipulation :: Fox&hounds
The California Supreme Court decision to allow an advisory measure on the statewide ballot may appear to promote democracy. However, there is little doubt that the proposed ballot measure is another in a line of maneuvers by the Democratic majority in the legislature to manipulate the ballot.

Healthcare Regulator's Move To Kaiser Under Investigation - Latimes
Chris Megerian @
SACRAMENTO - California authorities are investigating whether laws were broken when a government regulator went to work for healthcare giant Kaiser Permanente, a company she spent years

Kamala Harris, Loretta Sanchez Shop For Democratic Party Endorsement For Senate | The Sacramento Bee
Christopher Cadelago @
Top candidates are already working delegates for party nod

S. F. supervisor wants junk food out of vending machines
Supervisor Mark Farrell on Tuesday will introduce legislation that would ban sugary and fatty items from the approximately 150 vending machines on city property — including at City Hall and the airport — and would also require city meetings to feature healthier food. The legislation, written with the help of the American Heart Association, would make San Francisco’s laws surrounding vending machines “one of the most robust in the country,” according to Brittni Chicuata, government relations director for the association’s Bay Area chapter. Previous actions have restricted smoking in huge swaths of the city, halted the sale of cigarettes in drugstores, banned chewing tobacco at ballparks and taken the free toys out of Happy Meals. While a tax on sodas and other sugary drinks failed at the ballot in November 2014, city officials have since required health warning labels on soda advertising on city property and banned spending city money on soda. Farrell disputed the oft-repeated claim that San Francisco is a nanny state, saying city officials should do everything in their power to curb skyrocketing rates of obesity and diabetes. The machines could still sell fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, hummus, guacamole, pesto, low-fat cheese, diet soda, low-fat milk and unsweetened coffee and tea, according to the very specific legislation. There are four vending machines in the basement of City Hall, just outside the popular Mint Cafe. Mike Nasra, a partner at Mint Cafe, runs the vending machines and said passage of Farrell’s legislation would probably cut into his sales. City Administrator Naomi Kelly bought a fairly healthy lunch of salad, fruit and a cookie at the cafe Monday afternoon and said her two boys, ages 6 and 9, would miss venturing to the vending machines for Doritos on their visits to City Hall. Food and drinks purchased with city money that are served at city meetings or city-sponsored events would have to meet the same nutritional guidelines as the vending machines. Restaurants on city property would be “encouraged” to meet the same nutritional guidelines as the vending machines and generally to make their menus healthier, but Farrell said there would be no punishment for not doing so. Chris Tsakalakis is the chairman of the board for the Bay Area chapter of the American Heart Association, former president of StubHub and CEO of the startup Open Garden. The city of San Francisco employs 28,000 people, and 60 percent of its health costs are driven by the 24 percent of the city’s health plan members who have chronic health conditions, the legislation states.

Ballot Selfies Are Illegal, But This Bay Area Legislator Says They Shouldn't Be
Bobby Shriver and his family pose for a selfie after he and his wife cast thier ballots in the November 2014 election in Santa Monica.

Will San Bernardino Shooting Shape State Of The Union Address? - The Orange County Register
President Barack Obama will give his final State of the Union address in the House of Representatives chamber at the U.S. Capitol.

State Senator Wants Older Aliso Canyon Gas Wells Shut Until They Are Inspected
State Senators Fran Pavley, center, Bob Huff, left, and Kevin De Leon, right, hold a press conference outside Southern California Gas Co.'s Aliso Canyon gate in Porter Ranch on Monday morning, where they announced a state Senate legislative bill package connected to the continuing gas leak.

Supreme Court Signals It's Ready To Hand CTA, Public Unions Big Setback
John Fensterwald @
Conservative U.S. Supreme Court justices were what news reports called hostile in their questioning of union lawyers Monday during arguments in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, a case that could undercut the financial stability and the political clout of public employee unions in California and nearly two dozen states.

John Edwards Joins Vw Lawsuit - Politico
Former U.S. senator and vice presidential and presidential candidate John Edwards is competing with more than 140 plaintiffs' lawyers to lead litigation...

These Californians All Have Tickets To The State Of The Union Address
Several members of the San Bernardino community will watch from the House gallery on Tuesday night as President Obama gives his final State of the Union speech. With the aid of two California colleagues, Rep. Pete Aguilar invited San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan, San Bernardino County...

Legislation to Allow Tax Agency to Honor Divorce Agreements Passes Assembly Committee
The Board of Equalization often hears income tax appeals from taxpayers whose divorce agreement states the other party is responsible for a joint tax liability incurred during marriage. They believe they are protected from liability by a court approved divorce agreement only to discover they must return to court to enforce the agreement or pay the tax liability owed by an ex-spouse. Most of these cases involve women. By giving the FTB broader authority to consider a divorce agreement when determining tax liability, SB 526 will help ease the financial burden of spouses who have no legal obligation to pay the tax, as stipulated by their divorce agreement.

California Could See New Political Party With Independence Goal | The Sacramento Bee
Jim Miller @
The go-to source for news on California policy and politics

Assembly Elects Anthony Rendon To Serve As Next Speaker
Members of the state Assembly tapped Assemblyman Anthony Rendon, a Lakewood Democrat, to be the next leader of the chamber Monday, signaling--but not fully ushering in--the ascent of a new generation of lawmakers in the Capitol.

University Of California Applications Top 200,000 For First Time | The Sacramento Bee
Alexei Koseff @
Freshman and transfer applications to UC break record for 12th consecutive year

Moveon Endorses Bernie Sanders - Politico
Former U.S. senator and vice presidential and presidential candidate John Edwards is competing with more than 140 plaintiffs' lawyers to lead litigation...

Former California Health Regulator Agrees To A Fine For Helping Kaiser
A former top regulator for the state who was involved in an audit of Kaiser Permanente before going to work for the HMO has admitted she acted improperly and has agreed to pay a fine, according to documents released Monday.

High Court Seems Ready To Scrap Mandatory Public Union Fees - Us News
SAM HANANEL, Associated Press @
By SAM HANANEL, Associated Press

First Draft: Hillary Clinton Gets Backing of Food Services Union
The United Food and Commercial Workers Union will endorse Hillary Clinton, giving the Democratic candidate a welcome boost as polls in Iowa and New Hampshire show Senator Bernie Sanders gaining ground.

9 moments from Obama's State of the Union addresses that made you wish you were there
Yes, it’s true that there’s not a lot of excitement to be found at the president’s annual State of the Union address. (Why else would party supporters rise to their feet in applause every few minutes other than the fact that it’s what keeps them awake?) But it’s also true that there’s always a little something special at each address that is remembered long after the president has delivered his missive. POLITICO takes a look at President Barack Obama’s past addresses and some of the memories that have endured.

On Washington: President Obama to Focus on American Potential in 2016
Instead of listing initiatives that are likely to fail, the president will use his last State of the Union address to focus on American potential and the need to take on long-term challenges, aides said.