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THE Nooner for December 16, 2016






Capitol Christmas

Happy Friday! You made it! Hope you had a good swim home last night. 

CA34 (Los Angeles): We have another candidate for the race to succeed Xavier Becerra--former LA Unified board member Yolie Flores, a Democrat. If the other candidates looking at the race all run, this increases the possibility that favorite Jimmy Gomez may face a runoff if he doesn't muster 50%+1 in the primary. Gomez comes with institutional endorsements (de León, Rendon, Garcetti, Harris, Cedillo and others), but each of the other potential candidates has niches that could add up to 50% in a jungle primary. 

Sorry about the Ed Reyes mistake yesterday (my fingers typed "Ed Gomez"). After an experiment of not drinking coffee, I'm halfway through a pot this morning.

AD51 (Los Angeles): Some of the names sent to me by readers about possible candidates should Jimmy Gomez win the congressional seat include:

  • LACCD trustee Mike Fong
  • Former LA councilmember Ed Reyes (brain-finger disconnect)
  • A few neighborhood councilmembers

None of these possible candidates have publicly said they are interested as to not to offend/jynx Gomez.

THERE'S SOMETHING TO SEE HERE FOLKS: After three Clovis West student suicides, parents demand more action [Rory Appleton @ Fresno Bee]

Three suicides in three months at one high school. This a huge issue at our high schools, and particularly because the suicides are often among students who are bullied or otherwise feel out of the mainstream, particularly LGBT youth. It's also a huge issue among the high pressure, high expectation schools.

The Legislature passed a bill this year, which the governor signed that requires junior high and high schools to adopt a policy to address student suicide. The Dept of Ed is charged with creating a model policy to make it easier on local districts. Inexplicably, 15 legislators either voted "no" (11) or did not vote (4).  No opposition was registered in the last policy hearing in Senate Education.

That probably doesn't go far enough. Schools are likely to receive billions of new dollars in the January proposed budget and, while I don't like mandates, we need champions of the bully pulpit to encourage districts to set aside some of this money for efforts to ensure students know of resources available. Darrell Steinberg was the champion of mental health issues while in the Legislature, but he has other things to do as mayor of Sacramento. A few years after he really started championing the issue, his family disclosed the journey of his daughter.

My family has been touched by serious mental illness and, while I have not personally been touched by a family suicide, I know the seriousiousness of mental illness. Mental illness is not just something that you see on K Street as you grab your lunch, it's found in the bedrooms of high school students and in our homes in general. And, while the vast majority of those afflicted with mental illness don't reach the ultimate point of suicide, those that are vulnerable (those being bullied, those under extreme academic pressure, and LGBTQ youth) are constantly walking along the edge of a cliff  

Sorry to be Debbie Downer as you enter a weekend of festive (and frantic) shopping, but there are many families across California who will be missing loved ones around their tree or present for the lighting of the menorah this year. 

Before we get to politics, here's a break to turn that frown upside down. (Colbert, Stipe, Franco) -- "It's the end of the year as we know it..." 

GOV: I errantly made the comment yesterday that Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin's announcement that she would not run was bad news for Gavin Newsom, as it increased the likelihood that it increased the likelihood that it would be Newsom against fellow Democrat Treasurer John Chiang. However, a reader pointed out that San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer (R) is likely to run as the only known GOP candidate. This would increase the chance that Chiang (or Newsom) would not make the general. Faulconer has not made any public statements about a 2018 bid, but he also just completed a campaign for mayor. It would have been uncouth (and damaging) to talk about a gubernatorial bid while mounting a mayoral bid.

Let's face it, and any objective Republican operative would acknowledge it. The goal for a Democrat running statewide is to see a Republican join that Democrat in top-two. The chance of the GOP capturing the corner office in a regular election cycle would require a scandal or a celebrity. Even Arnold Schwarzenegger would have a hard time winning a general in 2018. Remember, he was elected in the 2003 recall election with 48.6% of the vote, not enough to even win a special election for Assembly without a runoff.

BEST DEFENSE IS A GOOD OFFENSE: California is itching to take on Trump. Here are the prominent figures leading the charge [Melanie Mason @ LAT] - "Beyond the state’s representatives in Washington — including Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and U.S. Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris — the roster of Trump antagonists in California is a lengthy one. Here’s a field guide to the Californians on the front lines in the state’s brewing battle with the incoming president."

IT'S ALL ABOUT THE DRAFTING, THE DRAFTING: Assembly’s Proposition 54 rules punch a big loophole [Dan Walters @ SacBee] - "Without prior notice, Assembly leaders unveiled new operational rules for the session and Republicans objected that springing them suddenly violated the spirit of Proposition 54, although technically, rules changes are exempt from its provisions. . . The rules’ potential loophole is that they don’t require a 72-hour wait before a bill’s first floor vote in its first house by defining a bill’s “final form” – the words of Proposition 54 – as the version presented for a floor vote in the second house."

NUMBERS: Symbolic, superstitious or silly—legislators scramble for bill numbers [Laurel Rosenhall @ CALmatters] - "As the Legislature opened a new two-year session this month, staffers lined up before 9 a.m. to hand freshly-written bills to the clerk, who assigns them an all important number. Whether a bill lives or dies won’t be known for many months, but the work to nab the right bill number starts the minute the session opens."

THE 411 ON THE 420: Legalization is opening doors for new marijuana entrepreneurs. Are we about to see a pot gold rush? [Robin Abcarian @ LAT] - "Outside a Sonoma County Fairgrounds exhibition hall last weekend, hordes of happy pot lovers walked around the Emerald Cup harvest festival, already stoned or about to be. Inside the hall, a panel of entirely sober government officials discussed the ramifications of marijuana legalization, California’s complex and evolving regulatory structure, and tried to answer questions about the future of the cannabis industry that seem, at this point, unanswerable."

Regardless of how you feel about legalized pot, it's unfortunate that John Vasconcellos didn't live long enough to see the passage of Prop 64. The longtime and influential Assemblymember and State Senator from Santa Clara was a longtime advocate of legalization.

AUTO-PILOT: California, Uber still negotiating self-driving car legality [Justin Pritchard @ AP] - "Negotiations over whether Uber must stop its newly launched self-driving car service in San Francisco have concluded without a clear resolution, according to California transportation regulators."

PUTTING THE KIDS FIRST: California bill declares all children have a basic right to quality education, healthcare and social services [Jazmine Ulloa @ LAT] - "State Sen. Richard Pan on Monday said all California children should have a basic right to quality childcare, early education and health and dental services no matter where they live or the income of their parents."

SELECTIVE LISTENING? The Voters Speak, The Legislature Interprets–Not Always Correctly [Joel Fox @ Fox&Hounds] - "The voters speak, the legislature interprets—and sometimes the translation is not faithful to the original meaning. We saw that last week with resolutions and rules changes that seem to fly in the face of the newly passed Proposition 54 demanding a waiting period before any measure is passed and last session with SB 1107, which ignores the clear language contained in 1988’s Proposition 73. Now there is a lawsuit on the senate bill charging the new law is out of bounds and a violation of Prop 73. Perhaps a legal challenge will follow on the Proposition 54 issue."

MOVIN' ON UP: Former LA Times and Capitol Weekly reporter Shane Goldmacher has been promoted to Politico's Chief White House Correspondent. He joins NPR's Tamara Keith, a former reporter with Capitol Public Radio, in access to the press briefing room. Congrats Shane! Hopefully he has credentials for this morning's final press avail (most likely) by President Obama.

ABC, IT'S EASY AS 123: If your general law city has a March election, the Secretary of State has released the results of the random alphabetical drawing for ballot order.

WATER WAR! Two board members of the Newhall County Water District (former congressional candidate Maria Gutzeit and Daniel Mortensen) have been served "Notice of Intention to Circulate Recall Petition(s)," the first step under the state's recall law, for their efforts with the board behind closed doors to dissolve the district and merge it with the Castaic Lake Water Agency. A Brown Act complaint was filed by a fellow board member. The fight is over whether or not the Newhall ratepayers get to vote on it or whether its required to proceed without a vote based on a legal settlement.

OVERREACH? California assemblyman worries free expression under threat on college campuses [Alexei Koseff @ SacBee] - "Sacramento State – one of three campuses that Kiley noted received “red lights” – was dinged by [The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education] for its policies on student sexual misconduct, cyber bullying and harassment. The latter, for example, includes ten categories of potential harassment including “Verbal, non-verbal, or physical abuse,” “Intimidation or humiliation based on personal or group differences” and “Unsolicited, deliberate or repeated sexually derogatory statements, or gestures.” FIRE did not elaborate on which of these it finds objectionable."

The Foundation objects to the inclusion of bans on student sexual misconduct? I get words, but actual conduct? So, a campus can't punish a student for a date rape that a prosecutor never got around to prosecuting? So, grabbing someone's ass is "free speech"? And, sexual harrassment is a civil, not criminal offense. A faculty member may have funds to take action on a complaint, but many students do not. 

#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Adam Berkowitz and Brandon Roberts!




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  • As speculation mounts who will win the Xavier Becerra congressional seat, GLORIA MOLINA -- the first latina elected to the California legislature in an overlapping district -- discusses her trailblazing career in this exclusive interview:
  • The California Charter Schools Association welcomes back to session the 2017-2018 class of State Legislators and looks forward to working to ensure all kids have quality educational opportunities.  CCSA will work with the Legislature to block any federal efforts that undermine the rights of students or are fundamentally at odds with values held by the vast majority of Californians.  Read CCSA’s letter to Legislators here.
  • Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2) is hiring an Organizing Director in their San Francisco office. The E2 Organizing Director will operate in the nexus of advocacy and development. The position’s primary purpose is to grow and maintain E2’s membership and support its nine chapters and 850+ members throughout the U.S. in order to further our policy advocacy. S/he will also co-manage E2’s database with development staff and provide data and targeting services the advocacy team. S/he will also work closely with our Executive Director to cultivate membership donations. This is a mid-to-senior level position with a competitive compensation package. Full description and application instructions are here.
  • The Sacramento LGBT Center is searching for an Executive & Finance Assistant, which reports to the Executive Director and provides community engagement and administrative support. This position may be part or full-time and is non-exempt. High school diploma is required; associate’s or bachelor’s degree is preferred & 3 years or more in an executive, finance, or related assistant role. Full description.
  • 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
  • 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


California Bill Declares All Children Have A Basic Right To Quality Education, Healthcare And Social Services
Jazmine Ulloa @
Update on 'Essential Politics: Smoking ban proposed for public housing in California, Los Angeles congressional race jockeying continue...

Economic Summit Tackles Upward Mobility :: Fox&hounds
To provide workers with jobs that robots don’t steal is tricky business and educators at the Summit argued that funding education is the answer. University of California president Janet Napolitano said we must imagine and conceptualize what jobs will be available in ten years and steer education in that direction. The education establishment cannot turn as if controlled by a simple light switch, she said. By its nature, the education superstructure moves slowly. Napolitano urged more funding for higher ed, saying it is often put aside in the state budget to fund Medi-Cal and prisons.

California Assembly's Prop. 54 Notice Rule Has Big Loophole | The Sacramento Bee
Dan Walters @
Observations on California and its politics

California's Top Elections Officer Says It's Past Time To Revisit The Electoral College
John Myers @
Update on 'Essential Politics: Smoking ban proposed for public housing in California, Los Angeles congressional race jockeying continue...

Caltrans Union Wins 14 Percent Raises In Labor Deal | The Sacramento Bee
Adam Ashton @
Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

Fred D. Fletcher, newspaper union negotiator, dies
Fred D. Fletcher, who for many years was executive secretary of the San Francisco-Oakland Newspaper Guild, a union representing editorial and advertising employees, died Sunday after a long illness. “He was one of the most brilliant, dedicated, innovative and effective union professionals around,” said Larry D. Hatfield, a former San Francisco Examiner reporter who was president of the Guild local when Mr. Fletcher was executive secretary. Mr. Fletcher was born in San Francisco in 1920, graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with a major in philosophy and served in the U.S. Army in the South Pacific during World War II. In 1948, he became a reporter at the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, covering local government and the courts at a salary of $60 a week. Ten years later, he became a union professional as assistant executive secretary of the San Francisco-Oakland Newspaper Guild, and in 1962, he was elected executive secretary. In addition to his wife, he is survived by a daughter, Elizabeth Fletcher Cook; a son, Clyde Fletcher; two stepdaughters, Dawn Walker and Claudia Holland; his sister, Barbara Fletcher Barbour; and seven grandchildren.

Trump's Cabinet Picks Are Among The Most Conservative In History. What That Means For His Campaign Promises
Noah Bierman, Evan Halper @
Donald Trump promotes himself as a man divorced from party ideology, a president-elect just as open-minded to input from Al Gore as from Newt Gingrich.

G.O.P. Plans to Replace Health Care Law With â
Republicans said by repealing the Affordable Care Act, and then delaying the effective date, they hope to guarantee access to health care, not just to health insurance.

Sacramento Swears In Mayor Steinberg | The Sacramento Bee

Sf Mayor, Judges At Odds Over Quality-of-life Punishment - San Francisco Chronicle
The leaders of two of the most powerful governmental institutions in San Francisco are at odds over how to deal with one of the city’s most enduring problems, demonstrating how little agreement there is when it comes to tackling homelessness.

Bill That Protects Online Reviews Becomes Law - The San Diego Union-tribune
Joshua Stewart @

Sacramento Leaders Pitch City As Test Hub For Driverless Cars -
Julia Mitric @
Capital Public Radio, Inc.7055 Folsom BoulevardSacramento, CA 95826

Democrats Should Stop Chasing White Voters And Embrace The Future - San Francisco Chronicle
Democrats should stop their endless worrying about how to get working-class white people to vote for them and start talking about a bigger problem: the “near-apartheid state of the Democratic Party,” as Steve Phillips describes it.

Kerry Knocks Trump For Dismissing Evidence Of Russia Hacking - Politico
Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday pushed back against Donald Trump's refusal to accept that Russia was behind the hacking of Democratic targets, saying there is strong evidence the Russian government was trying to meddle in the U.S. election.

California, Uber Still Negotiating Self-driving Car Legality | The Sacramento Bee
Negotiations over whether Uber must stop its newly launched self-driving car service in San Francisco have concluded without a clear resolution, according to California transportation regulators.

Trump To Nominate Bankruptcy Lawyer As U.S. Ambassador To Israel - Politico
"He has been a long-time friend and trusted advisor to me," Donald Trump said of David Friedman. | AP Photo

Environmentalists Challenge Squaw Valley Expansion | The Sacramento Bee
Brad Branan @
By Brad Branan

Measure Halting L.A. 'mega-developments' Would Hurt Local Economy, Study Says
Dakota Smith @
A study finds the city would lose jobs and tax revenue if a measure cracking down on mega-developments is passed.

Twitterverse Accuses Trump Of Caring More About Bad Restaurant Review In 'vanity Fair' Than Aleppo - Sfgate
Twitter user: "The fact that Trump would rather troll Vanity Fair than get briefed on Aleppo is sociopathic."

Facebook Is Working To Stop Fake News From Spreading — And It Needs Your Help
David Pierson, Melissa Etehad @
Facebook revealed its plan to thwart the spread of fake news on its platform -- a strategy that relies more on human judgment than algorithms.

Trump Renews Complaints Of Russian Hacking Reports - Politico
President-elect Donald Trump once again complained about reports of Russian cyberattacks against the U.S. election that he won last month, recalling that one of those hacking efforts yielded an email showing Hillary Clinton had received a Democratic primary debate question in advance.

SF panels OK long-range plan for natural areas
SF panels OK long-range plan for natural areas After 6 ½ hours of public comment, a joint meeting between the Recreation and Park and Planning commissions ended with votes in favor of a comprehensive new plan for San Francisco’s natural areas. The plan — originally proposed in 2006 — will review the biology and geology of the Recreation and Park Department’s 32 natural areas and trails, including Twin Peaks, Bernal Heights and Mount Davidson. [...] Rec and Park Commission President Mark Buell reminded people that the plan provided a framework.

San Diego Advances Recreational Pot Shop Rules | Kpbs
Andrew Bowen @
The San Diego Planning Commission on Thursday forwarded new regulations on recreational marijuana sales to the City Council, but gave a cold reception to a proposed ban on the so-called marijuana supply chain.