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THE Nooner for November 29, 2016



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UNPROCESSED BALLOT STATUS (as of 11/28/16 @ 4:37 p.m.):

  • Vote-by-mail: 233,400
  • Provisional: 682,780
  • Other (damaged, non-machine readable): 45,528
  • Total: 961,708


CA49 (n. San Diego/S. Orange County): The Associated Press called the one outstanding congressional race yesterday, giving Republican Darrell Issa the win. Issa has been a divisive figure because of his former role as chair of the House Government Oversight Committee, leading controversial investigations. Issa is currently receiving 2,346 more votes than challenger Doug Applegate.

SD29 (Fullerton/Diamond Bar): Also yesterday, Democrat Josh Newman was deemed to have won his challenge against Republican Ling-Ling Chang, which I current margin of 2,136. Newman outpollled chang in both Los Angeles and Orange Counties. Chang won in San Bernardino County, but relatively small number of votes from SB weren't enough to close the gap.

The Assembly regained a Democratic supermajority with the wins by Sharon Quirk-Silva over Young Kim in Orange County and Sabrina Cervantes over Eric Linder in Riverside County.

The win by Newman cements the return of supermajorities for Democrats in both houses since the 2013-14 session. What does that mean? For many years, it meant that the supermajority was needed for a single party to approve the state budget. That changed in 2010 by Proposition 25, allowing the majority party to approve the state budget and associated "trailer" bills. 

This year's Proposition 54 also curtailed "gut amends" at legislative deadlines, instead requiring bill language to be posted on the internet 72 hours before a vote. Thus, the end of session rule waivers will no longer work. The effort was led by billionaire Stanford physicist Charles Munger, Jr., the son of Berkshire Hathaway vice-chairman Charles Munger. (Notably, his politiics are very different  from his sister, Molly Munger, who led the campaign for an early childhood education tax in Proposition 38 in 2012, which faiiled.) Opponents of Proposition 54, mostly the California Democratic Party, raised $27,330, almost all in-kind contributions for slate cards.

With the budget supermajority provided and gut-and-amend taken off the table, that leaves the big whammy--taxes and fees. The state constitution still requires a two-thirds vote for such fiscal changes, but now Democrats have it and some are already looking how to use it.

Oddly, Governor Jerry Brown may be Republicans best defense. As the state's coffers are relatively plush with the robust state economy and with the passage the tax extension for education and health care in Proposition 58, there is no appetite for a general tax increase.  However, many Democrats are eyeing the flexibility to craft a transportation infrastructure proposal. What it looks like is still being thought through, but it might be a politically acceptable approach that would be popular of voters. 

Alternatively, the supermajorities also might be used to place a transportation measure, such as a per mile tax or a general obligation bond, on the ballot in June or November of 2018, but that would be a significant delay.

While demographic changes are certainly assisting California Democrats, most are quite aware that overreaching could cost them the supermajorities in 2018. While Hillary Clinton currently has a 62.2% majority in the general election, over 14 million ballots will have been cast in the race when the unprocessed ballots are tallied. Contrast that with the 7,513,972 total ballots cast in November 2014. That's a huge difference favoring Democrats in presidential year versus the midterms.

In 2018, expect the same battlegrounds--those taken over by Democrats (AD60, AD65, AD66, SD29) and those where Republicans held off Democratic challengers (AD16, AD40) to be on the table. Nobody can predict what it will the cycle will be like, and with the bold (in some people's view) or crazy (in others') proposals in Washington, there could be a huge impact on these state legislative races.

LAW AND DISORDER: California’s legal system beset by scandal, conflict [Dan Walters @ SacBee] - "While other, more pejorative, terms could be used to describe California’s massive legal system these days, let’s just say it’s in disarray, and count the ways."

TOP-TWO: Is CA Better Off Under the Top-Two System? [Joel Fox @ Fox&Hounds] - "For the business community, the top two primary has altered strategy as independent committees funded by business groups focus on helping to elect business friendly Democrats. Has the top two strategy affected the type of legislators elected to office? Marginally among the Democrats in the many legislative races, Eric McGhee of the Public Policy Institute told John Myers of the Los Angeles Times. Is marginally enough of a gain for the business community?"

RELIEF? California university leaders urge Trump to embrace students who are in the U.S. illegally [Rosanna Via and Teresa Watanabe @ LAT] - "Leaders of California’s three systems of public higher education sent a joint letter to President-elect Donald Trump on Tuesday urging him to allow students who are in the country illegally to continue their educations without fear of deportation."

#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Barry Brokaw and Cally Wong!


THE AG LIST: Here's the current list based on conversations with many insiders:

  • Joe Cotchett, attorney
  • Rocky Delgadillo, former LA City Attorney
  • Katherine Feinstein, retired judge and daughter of Dianne Feinstein
  • Mike Feuer, LA City Attorney
  • Dario Frommer, former assemblymember and my fellow UCD law grad, who I later followed in his footsteps as president of the LSA
  • Leticia Perez, Kern County Supervisor and member, California Board of State and Community Corrections
  • Clark Kelso, professor of law at McGeorge and a Republican nominee appointed to insurance commish in 2000 when the vacancy arose after Chuck Quackenbush was compelled to resign and moved to serve as the state's chief information officer under both Davis and Schwarenegger. Easy confirmation. 
  • Nancy McFadden, executive secretary to Jerry Brown, and a key part of his inner circle
  • Nancy O'Malley, Alameda County DA
  • Ann Ravel, FEC commissioner 
  • Jeff Rosen, Santa Clara County DA
  • Jackie Speier, Member of Congress
  • Phillip A. Talbert, US attorney for the Eastern District of California



  • SEIU-UHW is seeking a Political Capacity Organizer, which is responsible for a range of program objectives to build and strengthen our infrastructure and engage our members to be a powerful force at their worksites, in the legislative process, in the community and at the ballot box. Please submit cover letter, resume and at least 3 references to our candidate portal at

  • SEIU-UHW is seeking a Regional Political Organize, which reports to the Political Director, and is responsible for a broad range of program objectives to build and strengthen our infrastructure and engage our members to be a powerful force at their worksites, in the legislative process, in the community and at the ballot box. Please submit cover letter, resume and at least 3 references to our candidate portal at

  • The Office of Assemblymember Elect Phillip Chen is looking to hire talented and dedicated individuals to join its Capitol and District team in Brea, CA. The following positions are looking to be filled -- District Director, Scheduler, Legislative Assistant, Field Representative/Caseworker. For more information, please visit
  • LOBBYING SUCCESS BEGINS HERE. Capitol veteran Ray LeBov's Lobbying 101 and 201 seminars give you a comprehensive, real-world picture of lobbying in California -- the people, processes and best practices critical to your success. December 8-9, $275 each / $500 for both. Lobbying 101 covers the Legislative process and Legislative advocacy. Lobbying 201 explores the equally critical areas of Budget Advocacy, Regulatory Agency Advocacy, Lobbying the Administration and Media Relations. Essential for lobbying firm principals / staff, organizations / agencies that employ lobbyists, newcomers to the profession. Information / registration: or 916 442 5009.
  • Thinking about Graduate School?  Sacramento State’s Department of Public Policy and Administration is now accepting applications for graduate studies in Public Policy & Administration and Urban Land Development. Highly affordable, we offer a rigorous education in a political context with more than 400 alumni working in California State and local government as well as private and non-profit organizations. Priority deadline is December 1; final deadline is March 1 for Fall 2017 admissions.
  • 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


Pants On Fire For Trump's Claim About 'serious Voter Fraud' In California | Politifact California
subject @
Grabbing the attention of the Golden State, President-Elect Donald Trump claimed in a recent tweet there was "serious voter fraud" in three states won by Hillary Clinton during the General Election, including California.

State Supreme Court Won't Take Up San Onofre Email Lawsuit - The San Diego Union-tribune
Jeff McDonald @
The California Supreme Court has declined to take up a lawsuit seeking release of dozens of emails to and from the Governor’s Office regarding the San Onofre nuclear plant failure.

California Officials, Trump Team, War Of Words Over Vote Fraud | The Sacramento Bee
Jim Miller @
The go-to source for news on California policy and politics

Presidential Election Sparks A Rise In Campus Unrest - The Orange County Register
The day after Donald Trump was elected president, students at UC Irvine organized a “cry-in.”

Sf Voting Security Group Urges Recount Of Ballots In Swing States - San Francisco Chronicle
A voting security group, active in San Francisco for more than a decade, called Monday for a full recount, audit and investigation into the election results of four swing states that helped carry GOP businessman Donald Trump to victory in the Nov. 8 presidential election.

$6.3 Billion Measure Aims to Cure Ailing Health Care Policies
Congress will vote this week on a measure that is the product of years of debate over health care policy issues, including the unwieldy mental health care system and opioid abuse.

Republican Assemblyman Marc Steinorth Hangs On To His Seat, Beating Democrat Abigail Medina
Update on 'Essential Politics: Ballot counting could wrap up in California this week, mayors have a message for Trump about the border'

Sf Programs At Risk Under Sanctuary City Defunding - San Francisco Chronicle
President-elect Donald Trump’s threat to cut all federal funding to sanctuary cities could touch just about every facet of San Francisco government — from the airport to the courts to the Public Health Department.

El Cajon Takes Urgent Stance On Marijuana - The San Diego Union-tribune
Karen Pearlman @
El Cajon has joined several other cities in the county in passing an emergency ordinance that would temporarily prohibit the cultivation and sale of marijuana within its borders.

State Senator Blasts Wells Fargo For 'bad Faith' As Bank Skips Hearing
James Rufus Koren @
State senators hold a hearing about Wells Fargo Monday and chided the bank for failing to send a representative.

Sf Supervisor Campos To Seek Funding To Block Deportations - San Francisco Chronicle
Supervisor David Campos on Tuesday plans to propose spending $5 million to provide legal representation to immigrants living in the country without documentation who face deportation. It’s the first test of whether San Francisco officials will stick to their pledge to remain a sanctuary city when Donald Trump becomes president.

Pg&e Announces $85m Deal Over Diablo Canyon Closure | The Sacramento Bee
Pacific Gas & Electric has agreed to pay $85 million to neighboring cities and a school district affected by the closure of the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant, the California utility announced Monday.

Democrats Clinch A Supermajority In Both Houses Of The California Legislature After Josh Newman Wins State Senate Seat
Update on 'Essential Politics: Ballot counting could wrap up in California this week, mayors have a message for Trump about the border'

Campus Scientists Contribute To Study Showing Potential Of Plant Gene Manipulation To Combat Hunger | The Daily Californian
UC Berkeley and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign scientists collaborated on a study published earlier this month examining the potential of genetic manipulation in plants to combat world hunger.

Senate To Offer Bipartisan Tributes To Biden - Politico
The vice president served 36 years in the Senate.

Bay Area Homicide Being Investigated As Possible Hate Crime | The Sacramento Bee
Authorities in the San Francisco Bay Area are investigating the slaying of a young black man as a possible hate crime amid growing concern over racially motivated incidents and attacks nationwide.

Mysterious Willow Die-off At Escondido Creek - The San Diego Union-tribune
Deborah Sullivan Brennan @
A mysterious pest has damaged willows along the Escondido Creek Watershed.

California Rainy Season Off To Wet Start, But Drought Not Over | The Sacramento Bee
Dale Kasler and Ryan Sabalow @
By Dale Kasler and Ryan Sabalow

Graham Challenges Trump To Prove Claims Of Voter Fraud - Politico
One of Donald Trump's top congressional GOP critics on Tuesday challenged him to back up his unsubstantiated claims of widespread voter fraud.

California Targets Dairy Cows To Combat Global Warming | The Sacramento Bee
California is taking its fight against global warming to the farm. The nation's leading agricultural state is now targeting greenhouse gases produced by dairy cows and other livestock.