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THE NOONER for February 14, 2016

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Happy VDay. My Valentine today is Bill Maher, who is bringing his shtick to the Sacramento Community Center tonight. I am ready for some profanity and perhaps a light up of a joint tonight. He has a medical marijuana card, you know.

Wow, that was a contentious debate last night. Donald Trump just kept interrupting the other candidates. You can see highlights here.

The political world is still obsessed with the news of Supreme Court associate justice Antonin Scalia's death. Beyond the condolences to his family, the timing could not have been worse. The Court's current term ends in June, although cases still on the docket are continued until the next term, which begins in October. Opinions require 5 votes, and with 4 right of center and 4 left of center make decisions on controversial cases unlikely.

The presidential election has Washington even more hyperpoliticized than normal and makes a confirmation by the Senate before a new president assumes office even less likely. The highest court in the land is now divided equally between Republican and Democratic appointees.

President Obama perhaps might be able make a recess appointment before February 22, when the U.S. Senate reconvenes. Oddly, it's up to a decision by the Senate and perhaps the Supreme Court as to whether the current recess is a legal recess pursuant to the U.S. Constitution. The legal world is talking mostly about Sri Srinivasan, who was appointed to the DC Court of Appeals in 2013. He is a joint MBA/JD graduate of Stanford University, served as a law clerk to Sandra Day O'Conner, was the principal deputy Solicitor General of the United States, and won confirmation on a unanimous, 97-0 vote. He would be the first Asian-American (Indo-American) on the Court.

Of course, if the Senate declares that it is in session and two Senators show up to do something miniscule, it is technically in session. As Borat would say, "What a Country!"

Supreme Court appointments from the DC Circuit are particularly popular (Scalia was one), as that Court of Appeals handles most of the country's decisions on federal law. They are often hyper-technical matters of regulatory law and require the best legal minds. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has already indicated that there would be no confirmation until after the November election. Interestingly, the odds are about 50-50 between a Democratic and Republican majority after next term, which makes things very interesting.

Funny aside. Sri played high school basketball in Lawrence, Kansas at Lawrence High School with future NBA star Danny Manning. 

Many of my readers didn't like my condolences message yesterday. However, when the father of 9 children and 28 grandchildren dies, we pay respect. And, he served our country for 36 years, mostly on the bench. I disagree with most of his decisions and won't miss him on the Court, but from the Earth. Nevertheless, as a highly accomplished lawyer, he could have made far more money as a private sector lawyer. For that, I am thankful for his service.

His best friend on the Court was Ruth Bader Ginsburg, after all.

For California, perhaps the biggest impact is on the case of Freidrichs v. California Teachers Association. That's the case challenging "fair share" union fees to cover the mandatory "non-political" costs of representing union-organized employees. The case was won for CTA at the Ninth Circuit level. Thus, if the Supreme Court is deadlocked at 4-4, the Ninth Circuit decision remains as law.

Similarly, there is a Texas affirmative action case accusing the University of Texas of unlawful use of affirmative action, which was allowed under a lower court ruling. Of course, in California, Proposition 209 takes precidence and race can't be used in admissions. Justice Elena Kagan, as former Solicitor General, has recused herself from the case, so there would still be a conservative 4-3 majority. On the Supreme Court, however, recusal is self-determined as an ethical practice rather than a legal practice, so she could change her mind, albeit unlikely. 


AWESOME SAUCE: Best dunks from an incredible NBA slam dunk competition [SFChron]

#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Right On Daily blog's Aaron Park, California Community Colleges' Dan Troy, and California Federation of Labor's Angie Wei!


  • California Life Sciences Association (formerly CHI) seeks Senior Director—State Government Relations. The position, reporting to the Vice President—State Government Affairs, will conduct strategic lobbying activities in Sacramento on behalf of the biomedical industry and CLSA. The Senior Director functions both as a lobbyist to secure legislation and regulation to advance the interest of CLSA’s members, and as an organizer to engage legislators and staff to support CLSA’s advocacy goals. Excellent lobbying skills desired, association or capitol experience, superior communication skills, B.A./B.S. required, salary DOE, bonus and competitive benefits. For full job description visit ( Submit resumes with salary history to HR and Administration, Cheryl St. Cyr, via

  • SEIU United Healthcare Workers-West seeks Political Capacity Organizer (Oakland or Sacramento).  85,000 member California healthcare union seeks strategic, progressive, motivated Political Capacity Organizer – to grow the union’s activist base and political action fund; proven track record in fundraising a must.  Excellent salary, benefits, career ladder. Resume, letter, references to:
  • The Hispanic Association of Colleges & Universities (HACU) is currently seeking an Executive Director of Western States Legislative Affairs: This position has overall responsibility for the functioning of the Western Regional Office.  S/he works in developing and advancing HACU's legislative agenda with respect to state government issues in California, Arizona, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington. S/he will coordinate activities for legislative relations, and track state policy in operation or under development.  Go to job opportunities for complete position description.  Salary DOE (Located in Sacramento, CA) EOE.

  • The James Irvine Foundation 2016 Leadership Awards Luncheon. Join Irvine and state policymakers in honoring California leaders and their innovative solutions to critical state issues. Meet the leaders. Hear their solutions. February 18, 12:00-1:30 p.m., Sheraton Grand, complimentary lunch. Contact 916-288-2245.

    Children Now – Senior Policy Associate, responsible for developing, directing and implementing a portion of Children Now’s education policy plan for California. More information. Details here

  • CalDesal, a 501(c)6 nonprofit corporation, wishes to contract with an individual or firm for the position of Executive Director. CalDesal is seeking an Executive Director who will continue the success of the organization. The ideal candidate will have strong public outreach, communication, and administrative skills to successfully implement and manage the organization. The Executive Director will be the externally identifiable staff person in charge of the organization and will arrange the staff functions and advocacy support necessary to fulfill the organization's goals.

    For more information go to

    Proposals due by Monday, February 29, 2016 at 5:00 P.M.

  • California Partnership to End Domestic Violence seeks experienced Prevention & Education Policy Specialist. College degree required. Responsible for leading and implementing the Partnership’s Adolescent Dating Abuse Policy Project and related strategies. Please send resume and cover letter to
  • Thinking about Graduate School?  Sacramento State’s master’s degree in Public Policy and Administration is the region’s most affordable program, offering a rigorous education in both public policy and administration, nested in the political context. More than 400 alumni work in California state and local government as well as private and non-profit organizations. Applications are due March 1, 

  • TBW Media/TBWB Strategies is interviewing experienced campaign managers and campaign staffers at all levels for potential campaign positions with our client campaigns this year throughout California. If interested please send a cover letter, resume, salary history, writing sample and 3 references to Barry Barnes ( No phone calls please.
  • Capital Fellows Program - There is only a bit over a week left to apply for the Capital Fellows program. The deadline is February 6, and I strongly encourage you to consider it if you are looking at work in the Capitol or as a bridge between undergrad and grad school, as some of the best legislative staff (and even legislators) started as fellows. Get more info here.
  • Fiona Hutton & Associates, one of California’s largest independent public affairs agencies, is seeking an Account Supervisor to join the firm’s growing Los Angeles office. FHA is an established leader in managing high-profile and controversial issues for a diverse client base. We’re looking for the best of the best. The candidate that thrives in a fast-paced, entrepreneurial environment, working on high stakes situations, and demonstrates a commitment to excellence. The Account Supervisor is responsible for tactical implementation of client programs and plans, oversight of communications materials, ensuring quality control and managing a team.

    Please see link for additional details and how to apply:

  • Subscribe to the Capitol Morning Report and closely follow who’s doing what each day in California government and politics. We list news conferences, legislative hearings, state board meetings and other events. Plus we add in community news and announcements from political campaigns. More info at

  • 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.



Fact Check: When Is A Tax Hike Really A Tax Hike? | The Sacramento Bee
Jim Miller @
Lawmakers could vote soon on health plan tax package

Obama Vows To Fill Vacancy On Supreme Court, Setting Up Clash With Republicans
President Obama said he would make his third nomination to the Supreme Court to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia, and called for a ¿timely vote¿ in a Senate led by Republicans who have said the choice should be left for the next president.

Investors, Celebs Rush To Desert City Adelanto For Marijuana Cultivation - The Orange County Register
The ordinance that allows commercial cultivation of medical marijuana in Adelanto requires growers to make every effort to hire at least half of their workers in the city.

Paranoid Wave Hits The Coast | The Sacramento Bee
Dan Walters @
Coastal Commission fires executive director

UC Says The Cost Of Its Secret Snooping System Is Secret - San Francisco Chronicle
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Concord: Investigation Finds Improper Lobbying In Weapons Station Developer Selection
Lisa P. White @
Lennar Urban and its competitor, Catellus Development Corp., agreed to a no-lobbying clause in May when the firms began negotiating with the city for the rights to develop part of the former base. In September, when Concord pulled the recommendation for Catellus from the staff report, the company demanded that the city investigate whether Lennar and its associates had lobbied council members in violation of the negotiating agreement and whether the lobbying led to the omission of a recommendation.

Scalia’s Death Spotlights Essential Issue Of 2016 « Calbuzz
Dickerson began the spirited, if ignorant, event properly, by asking each of the still-standing GOP wannabes whether they thought President Obama should nominate a replacement for the late Mr. Scalia, or leave that decision to his predecessor.

GOP Candidates Spar Over Chief Justice Roberts - Politico
The senators say any Obama nominee should be blocked, while the governors are leaving a little more room.

San Jose: New Pharmacy Offers Free Meds
Barbara Feder Ostrov @
Tucked away in a spartan government building, the Better Health Pharmacy is staffed by volunteer pharmacists and run by the Santa Clara County Public Health Department. The drugs it dispenses are donated, mostly by nursing homes, and intended for people who can't afford their prescribed medications.

Mcconnell: Senate Should Not Confirm Scalia's Replacement Until After Election - Politico
Obama is expected to face fierce resistance to any nominee to replace the conservative justice.

Donald Trump Attacks Jeb Bush In Personal Terms, As Death Of Scalia Hangs Over GOP Debate
The six Republicans running for president called one another liars 22 times, insulted each other's families and even screamed at one another in Spanish as the party's fierce battle over its identity crescendoed in their latest debate Saturday night.

Leahy: ‘let’s Have A Vote’ On Scalia Successor - Politico
Democratic strategist Doug Sosnik was a close adviser to President Bill Clinton, and he's famed in Washington circles for his closely held, big-think memos...

'disgrace' Isn't A Strong Enough Word To Describe Coastal Commission Meeting
Essential California Newsletter

Exclusive: O.C. Jail Escapee Denies Kidnapping, Torture Allegations - The Orange County Register
ORANGE – Hossein Nayeri says his eight-day stint as the nation’s most-wanted man was as tense as it was fleeting.

Letter from Washington: Staying the Course in an Unnerving Presidential Race
The task for the candidates, the interest groups and the news media is to focus on real challenges that would confront the next president.

In Nevada, Clinton Hits Sanders' Campaign Promises - Politico
His challenges to GOP orthodoxy spur soul-searching among party elites about how to snag working-class voters.

Recovery On Cobb Mountain

First Draft: Hillary Clinton Calls Mitch McConnellâ
Hillary Clinton called Senator Mitch McConnell’s statement that the next president, not President Obama, should appoint a successor to Justice Scalia “disappointing” and “totally out of step with our history and our constitutional principle.”

Services and transit schedules for Presidents Day
San Francisco Chronicle Presidents Day Holiday transit and services Monday: Banks and other financial institutions Closed. Post offices Closed, no mail delivery. BART Saturday schedule. Muni Sunday schedule. Golden Gate Transit Sunday schedule for buses, weekend schedule for ferries. SamTrans Weekday schedule, no school-bus routes. Caltrain Saturday schedule. AC Transit Sunday schedule. San Francisco parking Meters enforced. Commuter tow-away zones, residential parking and Monday-Friday street sweeping not enforced.

Rubio Reaches Out To Christie - Politico
Schumer and Warren brand the Senate Republican leader as an obstructionist.