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THE NOONER for March 8, 2016
Good morning! It's International Women's Day. The Google Doodle today for the day is awesome. While we have made a lot of progress in the United States, genital mutilation occurs here as well as around the world, women are killed abroad in "honor killings" for being raped, and women are forbidden to drive. One of the worst is still our "ally" Saudi Arabia. Oil over women.
Speaking of women, the state's Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye will be giving the State of the Judiciary address today to a joint session of the Legislature at 3:45pm [view here].
Wow. The Nooner readership passed 9,000 yesterday, and over two-thirds of you open it up each day. (Don't worry, I'm not tracking you individually and I will never disclose my subscribers.) It's a great pleasure putting this message together each day and it's now been five years since I started this project with a focus on the deciennial redistricting.
Today is "Super Tuesday 2," with Hawaii, Idaho, Michigan, and Mississippi voting for GOP candidates today, while Michigan and Mississippi vote for the Dems. It's a big day for all the remaining candidates, particularly for John Kasich and Ted Cruz. It is so weird that other states have different voting days for the different parties, since we in California always vote on the same day.
I have to admit that I still get teary eyed with the swearing-in ceremonies of Assembly Speakers, particularly because so many have grown up poor and truly recognize the California Dream. From Willie L. Brown, Jr., who grew up in Minneola, Texas, to Toni Atkins, who grew up in Wythe County, Virginia to the several Speakers--including new Speaker Anthony Rendon--from the Los Angeles area--it's just inspiring. And, most of them attended community colleges, which as you know I am very passionate about. Rendon went from being a bad high school student to going to community college and eventually getting a Ph.D. That's a true story, and is very similar to mine (although I got a J.D.).
I feel old now that I have witnessed 11 Speakers sworn in, although a few of those (Setencich, Allen, and Pringle) were very short speakerships.
I didn't realize Rendon's wife, Annie Lam, was also the child of immigrant parents and grew up picking fruit. I've known her as a legislative staffer and now as the executive director of the League of California Cities API caucus. Regardless of party, you have to be inspired in the California Dream, which Rendon made the focus of his speech. He talked extensively about how the state's support shaped his life and that of his wife's. You can watch the ceremony and Rendon's speech here.
The swearing-in of Rendon means that both houses are being led for the first time by Latinos, and very rare in recent decades, are both from the Los Angeles area, with Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León being from a district adjacent to Rendon's.
Governor Jerry Brown sat next to Rendon on the rostrum, but did not speak. Most other constitutional officers were also in attendance, as were both the parents of Rendon and Lam. Being immigrants and watching your children up on that rostrum must be incredibly inspiring.
It was also a great day for my alma mater UC Davis's Martin Luther King, Jr. Hall's School of Law, as fellow alums Luis Alejo (D-Watsonville)--chair of the Latino Legislative Caucus--gave the main introductory speech (in both English and an abbreviated version in Spanish), and Jim Gallagher (R-Plumas Lake) translated the entire ceremony into American Sign Language, which was broadcast on CalChannel. Alejo was my classmate and Gallagher followed a few years later. Both actions showed a bipartisan message of inclusiveness, something that was instilled in us at King Hall.
In a competing event across the street from the Capitol, House Speaker Paul Ryan and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy held a funder in the California ATM. While billed as raising money for the CA24 race following Lois Capps's retirement, it's likely the money will be spread across the country. The only other real California race in play is CA26, currently held by Julia Brownley, although that's even a bigger longshot than CA24.
MR. NICE GUY: Can a nice guy like Rendon run California’s Assembly? [Dan Walters @ SacBee] - “While [Anthony] Rendon talks of clawing back power from the governor – and inferentially the Senate – it’s uncertain whether he has the stomach for confrontation. Can a genuinely nice, quiet guy make it as Assembly speaker? We’ll see.”
Actually, I know Toni Atkins, and think that she is a "nice, quiet woman" and did a great job as Speaker and will be the same in the State Senate. The partisanship has dropped significantly, although legislators continue to advocate for their constituents, which is their job. A legislator from downtown Los Angeles isn't expected to advocate for constituents from San Juan Capistrano, and vice-versa.
On statewide issues, they have united, such as on the water bond, which voters approved. Republicans don't vote for the state budget, but there is a "wink-and-nod" agreement where they give their approval without having to cast a vote. Nobody is happier about the reduction in the required votes for a budget from 2/3 to 55% than Republicans. They don't want to stay in Sacramento all summer and wonder who Dems are going to peel off to support a budget that includes a few things objectionable. That was former Assemblymember Tim Donnelly's arena, and he is now complaining about the fact that the federal government owns the Yosemite National Park on a low-profile radio show.
There is meant to be a separation and some tension between the Legislature and the governor.
CA46 (Santa Ana): Report: O.C. House candidate's firing was justified [Martin Wisckol @ OCR] - “A recently released report claims that Orange County congressional candidate Joe Dunn’s 2014 firing from his job as executive director of the State Bar of California was justified because he misled board members and failed to provide them with key information. Dunn’s campaign denied the allegations Monday.”
AD39 (East San Fernando Valley): Assemblywoman Lopez faces fines for campaign, personal finance disclosure violations [Patrick McGreevy @ LAT] - “Assemblywoman Patty Lopez (D-San Fernando) has agreed to pay $7,500 in fines for violating campaign and personal finance disclosure laws during her 2014 election, according to documents released Monday.”
The Stanislaus County Republican Central Committee was also fined $10,000 for playing the laundering game to Tony Strickland, in his unsuccessful bid for SD27 in 2014. Thank you, FPPC for cracking down on this process, used by both parties. The rules are that party committees can give unlimited dough, but they can't be "directed" contributions, meaning that the donors can't be told that their money will go to a specific candidate.
WATER! Storms Boost Sierra Nevada Snowpack, Reservoirs [Ed Joyce @ CapPubRad] - “March storms are building the Sierra Nevada snowpack and helping to fill key reservoirs that are tapped in the spring and summer for water supply. The recent series of storms brought more snow to the Sierra Nevada - mostly in the northern Sierra.”
State officials are already releasing more water from Folsom Lake to make room for the snowpack melt and avoid flooding. That's good news for salmon and the Delta, which are in need of a good water flow to recover from the drought. For those of you that were in Sactown in 1997 during the floods, you understand the importance of this. While the state relies on a slow snowmelt that releases water, a warm storm could melt the snow much faster and overwhelm the reservoirs.
BART: SF’s huge towing fees can be devastating to the poor [Emily Green and Lizzie Jounson @ SFChron] - “The cost of being towed in San Francisco has nearly tripled over the last five years, to $491.25, driven by a 432 percent increase in the administrative fees the Municipal Transportation Agency charges. The MTA says that fee is necessary to ensure full “cost recovery.”
FROM DROUGHT TO FRIGHT: Mudslide eyed in East Bay train derailment [SFChron] - “An Altamont Corridor Express train that derailed Monday evening northeast of Fremont, sending nine people to local hospitals, left the tracks because of a mudslide near the rails, officials said Tuesday morning, as crews worked to pull one of the cars from a creek where it came to rest.”
If you rely on ACE, you're probably stuck in traffic today, as the line isn't running. Hopefully, it'll be back tomorrow.
WHOOPS: Assemblywoman amends disclosure to cut cost of Taiwan trip [Alexei Koseff @ SacBee] - “Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia announced Monday that she accidentally overstated the value of travel she listed on economic interest disclosure forms filed last week. . . . Garcia said that through a clerical error the cost of her trip to Taiwan, paid by the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Los Angeles, had been listed at $17,000, twice the $8,500 actual cost. The amendment means she disclosed $25,606 worth of sponsored travel in 2015, not $34,106.”
SCREW THE POOR: Huntington Beach council says 'no' to adding low-income and high-density housing [Greg Mellen] - “On Monday, more than 200 residents filled City Hall’s auditorium and an overflow room to once again voice their disapproval of a proposal to amend the housing plan to add state-required high-density and low-income housing. The council heard the message, voting 7-0 to scrap the latest plan to meet the state requirements and lay the groundwork to fight the number of low-income housing units the city must have.”
COMMISSION, BABY: Super PAC consultant who spent $100 million on Jeb Bush is unapologetic [Seema Mehta @ LAT] - “Rumpled, stout and gregarious, the 53-year-old [Mike] Murphy has defended himself and Right to Rise, which spent most of the $119 million it raised to boost Bush's candidacy.”
#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Karina Cervantez Alejo, Watsonville councilmember and Assembly candidate.
#FAREWELL: Former Fair Political Practices Commission member and Cornell President Elizabeth Garrett. (1963-2016)
Cost of admission is $10. Sponsorships are available to help support the Dept. of Public Policy & Administration . To RSVP or for more information: hsacstateppa.app.rsvpify.com/
TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
Should California Parties Decide Who Votes In Presidential Elections? | The Sacramento Bee
Christopher Cadelago @ sacbee.com
Symbolic effort would allow non-Republicans to vote for GOP
California Drought: Storms Send Billions Of Gallons Of Water Into State Reservoirs
With rain totals reaching 10 inches or more in some mountain areas, 46 of the largest reservoirs in California, closely tracked by the state Department of Water Resources, collectively added 391 billion gallons of water between Friday and Monday morning -- enough for the needs of 6 million people for a year.
Anthony Rendon Sworn In As California Assembly Speaker, Praises State Aid | The Sacramento Bee
Jeremy B. White @ sacbee.com
Lakewood Democrat could lead lower chamber for nearly a decade
Looking Back At Nancy Reagan's Sacramento Years | 89.3 Kpcc
Southern California Public Radio @ scpr.org
Even before Nancy Reagan stepped onto the national stage as wife of the 40th president, she had left her stamp as the first lady of California.
Big Drop In Chemical Levels In Girls Who Switched Cosmetics | State Of Health | Kqed News
Teenage girls who switched cosmetics for just three days had a big drop in certain chemicals in their bodies, according to a new study from researchers at UC Berkeley and Clinica de Salud del Valle de Salinas.
As First Lady, Nancy Reagan Sought To Protect The President's Legacy
Ronald and Nancy Reagan were arguably the best president-first lady team in history. Certainly they were in our lifetimes.
First Draft: Seeing Slim Chance of Accord, Senate Republicans Table Budget Discussions
With the budget stalled in the House, Senator Michael B. Enzi, the Wyoming Republican who leads the Budget Committee, announced on Monday that his panel would be putting off any action on a budget for at least this month and probably beyond.
Folsom Lake Water Releases Rise As Rain Continues | The Sacramento Bee
Dale Kasler @ sacbee.com
As rain pounds region, reservoir level increases
Dem Lawmakers Back Brief Supporting Obama's Immigration Action - Politico
"People are interested in Pluto, I guess," Kasich said matter-of-factly. "But he's not going anywhere."
Nancy Reagan Funeral Is Friday; Public Viewing Is Wednesday And Thursday
Nancy Reagan will be buried next to her husband Friday during a private funeral at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, officials announced Monday.
Campaign Endorsements - Politico
Sanders' wealthiest contributors don't care much about the delegate deficit. What matters to them is the senator's ability to reshape the Democratic Party...
Delta Smelt Populations Plummet 2nd Year In A Row - Capradio.org
Amy Quinton @ capradio.org
Capital Public Radio, Inc.7055 Folsom BoulevardSacramento, CA 95826
Wait…what? I have two little kids, and my family drinks the tap water. And it might cause cancer? I decided to fork out $200 to get mine tested. And to start digging into how 1,2,3-TCP got into the water.
How An Emergency Declaration Over L.A.'s Homeless Became A Game Of 'hot-potato Keep-away'
In November, as a forecast of severe winter weather seemed to threaten Los Angeles' homeless population, activists clamoring for Mayor Eric Garcetti to declare a citywide state of emergency had little luck.
First Draft: Bill Clinton Has Tough Words for Bernie Sanders in North Carolina
The former president said that Mr. Sanders was ducking arguments over his health care plan and other domestic proposals with his tirades against the âÂÂestablishment.âÂÂ
Senate Republican Leader Fuller Congratulates Assembly Speaker Rendon
House Budget Committee To Consider Budget Next Week - Politico
Much as Trump has excoriated immigrants, trashed his competitors and blasted the media, the bombastic, Twitter-wielding billionaire has unleashed a steady...
San Diego To Have Sporadic Showers Through The Day | Sandiegouniontribune.com
Garrett Anderson puts on tire chains along Sunrise Highway on Mt. Laguna after a winter storm dumped several inches of snow on Monday. — K.C. Alfred
Supervisor pushes S.F. to speed building of homeless shelters
In what could prompt a dramatic shake-up in the way San Francisco handles its persistent homeless problem, Supervisor David Campos on Tuesday will ask the Board of Supervisors to declare a shelter crisis to make it easier to turn city land into homeless shelters. The first, highly praised center opened in the Mission, in CamposâÂÂ district, a year ago and allows entire encampments of homeless people to move inside with their pets, belongings and partners. Perhaps most controversially, CamposâÂÂ legislation would require that one of the six new Navigation Centers be a âÂÂwet houseâÂÂ âÂÂ or a shelter that allows homeless alcoholics to keep drinking inside. Another one of the six would be required to include a safe injection site where intravenous drug users could shoot up legally. Campos said the slow pace of LeeâÂÂs administration in dealing with the homeless problem does not match the immediate and growing crisis on the streets. Under a California law dating to the late 1980s, a municipality may declare a shelter crisis if âÂÂa significant numberâÂÂ of people in the community are unable to find shelter, resulting in âÂÂa threat to the health and safety of those persons.âÂÂ Declaring a crisis allows the city to turn public land into shelter sites far more quickly than under the traditional regulatory process and to expose itself to less liability than normal. Lee also announced the creation of the Navigation Partnership Fund and said he wanted local businesses and the philanthropic community to at least match the cityâÂÂs $3 million pledge. The Division Street camp âÂÂ which included more than 100 tents and even wooden structures âÂÂ had been declared a health hazard because of used needles, rats and piles of trash. ResidentsâÂÂ complaints, though, have soared as homeless people have become more visible, pushed out of hidden-away areas by construction and gentrification. Last night I phoned in a homeless person leaving a shopping cart and throwing trash all over the street. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and City Council members announced in September they would declare a state of emergency around homelessness, though local press there has dinged the administration for not actually following through. âÂÂItâÂÂs a trend thatâÂÂs happening in cities across the country,âÂÂ said Paul Boden, who has worked on homeless issues in San Francisco since 1983 and is the director of the Western Regional Advocacy Project, a nonprofit that advocates for the homeless.
When Chinese Consumers Want Western Goods, They Turn To These U.S. Intermediaries
Jennifer Zhong's phone buzzes with a message from one of her 4,000 followers on Weibo, a Chinese service similar to Twitter. A client in China wants to buy a gold Baublebar necklace, but it's expensive and inconvenient to order products from U.S. websites. Zhong taps over to another Chinese social...