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THE NOONER for April 2, 2016

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Happy Final Four Saturday! Thank you for your patience yesterday. We have to take at least one day a year to satire California politics and policy, beyond just the usual snark.


With all of the attention on the caucuses and primaries leading up to June 7, when six states including California weigh in. After that, only the District of Columbia will be left, which votes on June 14.


The Republican Party's process in California is pretty straight-forward, unlike the Democrats'. There are 172 delegates total, and are allocated as such:

  • 159 district level districts, 3 delegates to each congressional district, allocated to the candidate with the most votes in the district (pledged)
  • 10 delegates to the candidate that wins the most statewide (pledged)
  • 3 state party leaders (National Committeeman, National Committee Woman, and Party Chair) (unpledged)

This system is interesting, as Nancy Pelosi's San Francisco district (the most Democratic in the state) receives the same number of delegates as Kevin McCarthy's district (the most Republican in the state). It makes projecting outcomes very difficult.

If there is still a battle between the Republican candidates leading up to June 7, a key campaign strategy will be whether to simply play the air war in California and spend ground time in the other remaining states (Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, and South Dakota), or to spend time working the congressional districts in California (both for voter contact and earned media). And, staffing 53 congressional districts for a winner-take all scenario is very expensive, particularly in a district like Barbara Lee's Oakand district, where only 7.1% of the voters are Republican. However, they get the same 3 delegates as Kevin McCarthy's Bakersfield district.

Meanwhile, California has some of the most expensive media markets in the country. Certainly, June is cheaper than November, but that's partially because viewership is down (rerun and vacation season). Oh, and the youth (and lots of others) aren't watching TV the traditional way. I watch the late shows in the morning on my laptop while still in bed. I watch the opening monologues and only continue watching if there is a guest I want to see. And, to my reporter friends, I'm sorry, but I can't remember the last time I've watched a local newscast. Their role is for local disasters.

Further, 69.4% of 2014 statewide primary voters voted by mail. This stretches the campaign out a couple of weeks before June 7, all that TV money is wasted on only 30.6% of the voters! That's a hard thing to keep track of with so many other moving parts in a presidential campaign. Fortunately for candidates, late May is pretty quiet on the primary calendar, with only Washington state voting for the Republicans between May 17 and June 7.

For all of these reasons, the Republican candidates need to hope that something gets settled before California. It will be very expensive to win, but is also the most delegate-rich state.


With 546 delegates, the Democratic primary in California dwarfs all the other states voting (or caucusing) on June 7 and June 14. 

Here's how the Democrats in California allocate their delegates:

  • 317 based on performance in each congressional district, with a minimum threshold of 15% (Pledged)
  • 105 based on performance statewide, with a minimum threshold of 15% (Pledged)
  • 71 superdelegates, which are party leaders adn elected officials (list) (Unpledged)
  • 53 PLEOs (party leaders and elected officials), awarded on performance statewide, elected by delegates from the congressional district level (Pledged)

Unlike the Republican process, the allocation of delegates to each congressional district vary based on Democratic voter registration. The minimum is 4 and the highest is 9, not suprisingly Nancy Pelosi's San Francisco district.

Both registered Democrats and registered No Party Preference voters can vote in the primary. This raises an interesting issue. The latest registration report shows 24% of voters are registered as No Party Preference, and I believe they tilt younger (Paul Mitchell?). Hillary Clinton is in a clear 11% lead (47-36%), although polling is very difficult, because of both the delegate allocation (same is true with Republicans), and predicting the turnout, particularly of new and No Party Preference voters is a challenge.

With voters eligible to register until 14 days before the election and doing so online, the electorate is highly unpredictable. This was the case with Proposition 30 (temporary tax extensions) that I worked on in my previous life with community colleges, as a surge of young voters registered at the last minute and voted for it and made all the polls wrong.

Clinton can not rest on her laurels and polls in California, particularly with the energy behind Sanders among young people. 

In summary:

If either party's nomination is not wrapped up by June 7, it's going to be a wild ride.

#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to political consultant Jerry Seedborg!

FAREWELL: Yoda, the second most famous dog in Sacramento (2001-2016)




  • Finance Assistant for Frontline Congressional Democrat: The Finance Assistant will be responsible for managing low dollar events, staffing Sacramento call time and assisting with the implementation of the fundraising plan, both in district and nationwide, for a top-targeted Frontline Democrat. Send resume and cover letter to
  • Consumer Watchdog is seeking an excellent writer and persuasive communicator to join our Santa Monica office as a Consumer Advocate. Comfort speaking to the public, opinion leaders, policymakers and the media required. Video and graphic skills a plus. Respond if you are passionate about working for justice.

  • Office Space for Rent

    Quiet location two blocks away from Capitol.  Share space with a
    professional services firm.  Up to three offices in six-office suite
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    kitchenette, janitorial, parking.  Terms are negotiable. 1510 14th
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  • 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:

  • Resource Media is seeking a California Program Director*​ with background in communications plus political campaigns or grassroots organizing for our San Francisco office. Advance social justice and harness the power of communications to create change. Competitive salary/benefits. Get details and apply.
  • Senator Steve Glazer seeks a Caseworker / Office Assistant for his Walnut Creek District Office.  Duties include tracking and responding to constituent communications and casework via phone, email and mail, acting as a liaison between state departments and constituents and between the office and local constituencies, answering phones, filing, and other duties as required. Successful candidates will have excellent interpersonal abilities, strong communications skills, critical thinking and creative problem solving capability, and be committed to a team approach. Please send cover letter, resume and reference list to (3/31)
  • 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


Hans-Dietrich Genscher, German reunification architect, dies
Widely viewed as one of the most influential voices in postwar Germany, he earned praise for his diplomatic vision and his tireless efforts to work toward a united Europe. Mr. Genscher was born in Reideburg, near Halle, in 1927, in what he called “the other part of our Fatherland,” the sector that was occupied by Soviet troops after World War II and that became communist East Germany in 1949. Mr. Genscher globe-trotted over the next few years to persuade allies and antagonists alike to take Gorbachev at his word about Soviet economic change, diplomacy, arms control, and later, as communism began to collapse across Eastern Europe in 1989, that German reunification would not pose a threat. Mr. Genscher was an opportunist, by nature and by virtue of leading a small West German pro-business, libertarian political party, the Free Democrats. A doughy, easily lampooned figure with a distinctly East German accent from Saxony that sounded funny to many in the western part of Germany, Mr. Genscher had a deadpan sense of humor. Some skeptical diplomatic colleagues in London during the government of Margaret Thatcher and in Ronald Reagan’s administration in Washington sometimes distrusted “Genscherism” as “slippery,” though former Secretary of State George P. Shultz later wrote that Mr. Genscher had been remarkably dependable. Later, his critics said his eager recognition of independence for Croatia and Slovenia as Yugoslavia began to break up in 1991, and his pressure on European allies to do the same, had done nothing to deter the Balkan wars that left hundreds of thousands dead. Drafted into the army in 1945, he was held as a prisoner of war by American and later British forces, but returned to Halle for his high school diploma and law studies, which he completed in Leipzig. The Free Democrats gave their support to Willy Brandt’s Social Democrats in parliament in 1969, and Mr. Genscher became Interior Minister in a coalition that started a long process that sought to balance detente with Moscow without weakening West German commitment to the NATO alliance. The security services under Mr. Genscher were blamed for letting an East German spy serve as a close personal aide to Brandt for so long that the spy’s unmasking, in the spring of 1974, caused the chancellor’s downfall. Six years later, he decided to leave parliament and returned to private legal practice and consulting, writing many commentaries on public affairs to European newspapers. In December 2013, that skill resulted in the release of Mikhail B. Khodorkovsky, formerly Russia’s wealthiest man, who spent a decade as President Vladimir Putin’s most prominent political prisoner, after more than two years of secret negotiations.

Donald Trump Is Now The Least Popular American Politician In Three Decades
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, shown speaking at a rally March 11 in St. Louis, is inspiring huge unfavorable ratings.

Gavin Newsom Draws Crowd To Gun-control Speech Near Rohnert Park | The Press Democrat
The subtle luxury that comes with being the second-highest politician in the state turned into a liability when Newsom walked into a drugstore and tried to buy Sudafed cold medicine.

Some California Farms Getting Full Water Supplies - The Orange County Register
FRESNO – Many California farmers expect to receive full deliveries of irrigation water this year from a vast system of canals and reservoirs run by the federal government, while some in the nation’s most productive farming region will receive a fraction as the state recovers from several years of drought, officials said Friday.

Ted Cruz To Speak At California Republican Party Convention | The Sacramento Bee
Christopher Cadelago @
Cruz to campaign ahead of June 7 primary

Us Senate Race Shaping Up As A Harris-sanchez Match | Kpbs
Amita Sharma @
Boxer, a Democrat, has held her seat for 24 years. She moved from committee to committee, climbing up the hierarchy and using her seniority to help California. She brought money home to build highways. She successfully sought refinancing help for homeowners during the mortgage crisis. And she secured funding for drought relief projects.

How California Awards Presidential Primary Delegates -
Ben Adler @
Capital Public Radio, Inc.7055 Folsom BoulevardSacramento, CA 95826

California Politics Updates: Dianne Feinstein Not Talking About Her 2018 Plans
Welcome to Essential Politics, our daily feed on California politics and government news. Here's what is going on today: Gov. Jerry Brown will sign the $15 per hour minimum wage bill Monday in Los Angeles. Here are eight ways Donald Trump could scramble the California primary You can find news...

Trump Ticker: Which Local Politicians Are In? |
Share Photo

California Sues Morgan Stanley Over Crisis-era Mortgage Bonds
California Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris has sued investment bank Morgan Stanley over mortgage-backed securities issued in the run-up to the financial crisis, saying the firm misrepresented the riskiness of those investments.

California Senate Committee Approves Drunken Driving Measure | Kpbs
Kenny Goldberg @
A bill to make California the 26th state to require all convicted drunken drivers to install an ignition interlock device on their vehicle has cleared its first hurdle in the state legislature.

State Report Slams Denti-cal -
Ben Bradford @
Capital Public Radio, Inc.7055 Folsom BoulevardSacramento, CA 95826

Google Ventures Won't Fund North Carolina Startups Till Anti-gay Law Is Gone
More than 80 high-profile executives, many from tech firms, signed a letter to North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory opposing the law and saying it “sanctioned discrimination.” The move by Google Ventures appears to be the first concrete step by a major company to stop doing business in the state because of the law.

Obama, Journalism And The Facts
President Barack Obama made a number of excellent points in his remarks at a Monday journalism award dinner honoring the late, great New York Times reporter Robin Toner, who died from complications of colon cancer at age 54 right after Obama’s 2008 election.

Open-air Urinal In San Francisco Park Has No Designs On Privacy
For 23 years, Patrick Sullivan has lived across the street from Mission Dolores Park, one of the most scenic patches of recreational space in this increasingly crowded town. From his kitchen window, at the southwest edge of the park, Sullivan, 63, a retired personal trainer, has a spectacular view...

Lawyers Reveal What Compton School Trauma Reforms May Look Like | 89.3 Kpcc
Southern California Public Radio @
Plaintiffs' lawyers said the details of the settlement talks are confidential. The lawsuit is on hold until June 13 of this year, but Eidmann would not say if a settlement would come before then. Lawyers could ask the judge hearing the case to extend that date.

Mountain bikers beware: Marin rangers to use radar guns
The long arm of the law is going to be holding a radar gun on the majestic mountain bike trails of Marin County, and the other hand is probably going to be holding a book full of citations. Beginning this month, park rangers will be staking out open space areas where mountain bikers, hikers, dog walkers and horseback riders have been known to speak words to one another that are less than bucolic. Bikers speeding along the dirt paths where modern mountain biking was born will be eligible for tickets as part of a campaign to reduce friction between trail users. The speed limit for a mountain bike on the Marin County Parks agency’s open space trails is 15 mph. “They’re going to ruin the sport if they make people go 15 miles an hour,” said Glenn Fiedler, a veteran biker who had come all the way from Austin, Texas, to take a spin on Mount Tamalpais. The county parks department said this week that it would assign its two sheriff’s deputies to occasional bike speed stakeouts, using two recently acquired radar guns. Exactly where the deputies will be assigned is top secret — it could be at any of the agency’s 34 open space areas, encompassing 16,000 acres. Maureen Pardi, who was taking her first mountain bike ride with her husband, Marco, said she was OK with the radar guns and the speed limit. Korten said the parks department’s idea is to “assist and educate folks about speeding” and that nothing has worked better, education-wise, than the 64 citations and warnings issued by radar-toting sheriff’s deputies over the past year on the popular Mill Valley-Sausalito trail that passes through wetlands and alongside a soccer field. The enforcement campaign on that trail worked so well, Korten said, that park directors decided to try it throughout the county. The open space campaign will begin with several weeks of radar speed checks that could lead, within weeks, to warnings and citations. In the East Bay, rangers also patrol popular off-road bike trails to monitor conduct and keep the peace, said East Bay Regional Parks spokeswoman Carolyn Jones. By law, a moving violation received by a bicyclist is similar to one received by an automobile driver, and counts against his or her driving record. Fines vary, but typically cost several hundred dollars, and citations can also increase the cost of vehicle insurance. The modern sport of mountain biking was born in 1977, when Mill Valley’s own Joe Breeze crafted the first lightweight, high-end bike and began riding it on Mount Tam. Bikers say they can be just as scared of dogs and horses as hikers, dog walkers and horseback riders can be of a fast-moving biker.

Air Regulators Weigh Return Of Full Operations At Exxon Mobil's Torrance Refinery
For a year, Los Angeles area motorists have seen their gasoline prices soar as high as $1.50 a gallon more than the rest of the nation following an explosion at Exxon Mobil's Torrance refinery that destroyed the plant's pollution control system and constrained California inventories. Angry neighbors...

Stanford Study: California Moving Towards More Extreme Weather
That means that while this year's El Niño-driven storms may have brought temporary relief to the Golden State's parched soil and depleted reservoirs, Californians can expect more frequent droughts in the decades to come, according to the study published by Science Advances.

Chamber: Trump's Trade Policy Would Cause U.S. Recession - Politico
The business group said a recession would set in during the first year under the Republican front-runner's proposed tariffs because China and Mexico...

Critically Injured Redlands Hostage Was Wounded By Police Gunfire
A woman who was held at gunpoint by her ex-boyfriend for more than two hours in Redlands last week was shot and critically injured by police officers who were trying to free her, authorities said.

Industry Consultant To Lead Socal Air Quality Agency | 89.3 Kpcc
Southern California Public Radio @
The downtown skyline is enveloped in smog shortly before sunset in Los Angeles, California. David McNew/Getty Images