Around The Capitol

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THE Nooner for October 30, 2017


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QUICK QUESTION: In light of the discussion around the harassment situation, is it time to change the name of The Nooner? I polled folks on this a couple of years ago and the response was overwhelmingly to keep it, but I'll leave it up to you.


  • CA04 (Foothills): added Richard Martin (D)
  • CA08 (SB High Desert): added registered nurse Marge Doyle (D)
  • CA12 (San Francisco): added Commissioner/law student Ryan Khojasteh (D)
  • CA17 (San Jose/Milpitas): added Alum Rock USD trustee Khanh Tran (D)
  • CA28 (Hollywood): added Payam Mark Shayani (N)
  • CA35 (Ontario): added Christian Leonel Valiente (R)
  • CA36 (Coachella Valley): added attorney Stephan Wolkowicz (R)
  • CA39 (Fullerton): added contractor Ted Rusk (D)
  • CA52 (San Diego): added Former CEO, So. Cal. Gas Co. Michael Allman (R)
  • CA53 (La Mesa): added retiree Matthew James Mendoza (R)

  • AD39 (East SF Valley): The buzz in Los Angeles is whether Raul Bocanegra will stay in the race for re-election next year or whether someone like former Assemblymember Patty Lopez will again challenge him following the LA Times stories about harassment. Bocanegra is eligible for three more terms in the Assembly, which likely will affect his decision-making.

    It's unlikely that the cadre of electeds in the district that includes LAUSD board member Kelly Gonez and LA councilmembers Nury Martinez and Monica Rodriquez would challenge him in the very safe Democratic district. Also in the district is Gabriela Marquez, who is the district director for Congressman Tony Cardenas. Marquez was the subject of a grand jury interview following the 2014 election, although the exact subject was not disclosed and charges were not filed. Supervisor Sheila Kuehl's Valley District Director Benita Trujillo also lives in AD39. 

    It's fair to say AD39 has a strong bench. None of the Los Angeles Community College District trustees live in AD39.

    Currently, only Republican Ricardo Benitez have filed an intent to run against Bocanegra.

    I'm working on a long-form analysis for subscribers. Waiting to hear back from some folks.



Well, that was a helluva World Series game last night. Dodgers will be back home tomorrow. 

#WESAIDENOUGH: In the Times, George Skelton looks at why the women coming forward in unity to highlight the sexual harassment problems of the Capitol and political scene are gaining traction.

They're feeling more empowered. There are more of them. They rank higher generally on the career ladder and aren't as intimidated. And they have unlimited access to social media. It's no longer just whispers over coffee. It's telling mass audiences. 

In the Times, Melanie Mason looks at why ethics reform following the scandals that led to criminal convictions of Ron Calderon, Rod Wright, and Leland Yee didn't go as far as Richard Roth--then-chair of the Senate Legislative Ethics Committee--wanted.

The NYT's team of Jess Bidgood, Miriam Jordan, and Adam Nagourney also report on today's front page above the fold, left. Headline: "A statehouse where lechery finds a haven"

GARCETTI: The LAT's Dakota Smith and Seema Mehta report that Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti tweeted yesterday that he will not be running for governor next year, although that didn't end the speculation of his next political step. Meanwhile, Politicos's Edward-Isaac Dovere writes that Garcetti is launching a nonprofit--Accelerator for America--"with other mayors, union leaders and business executives to fund what they call innovation investments around the country."

"They begin with $1 million in funding, half of which comes from the United Brotherhood of Carpenters. More money is expected."

As Garcetti continues to make efforts to raise his national profile, there is increasing speculation that he will run for president in 2020.  

JERRY'S DOUGH: Governor Brown tells Politico California's team of David Siders, Carla Marinucci, and Candice Norwood that he does not plan to run an initiative in 2018. despite the $15 million he holds in his campaign account.

PUMP PRICE: The SDUT's Rob Nikolewski reports on Wednesday's 12 cent/gallon increase in California's gas tax



Probolsky Research


THE HOUSE: The LAT's Christine Mai-Duc writes that the money flowing in to Democratic challengers to House Republicans in California may portend a difficult 2018 landscape.

The $14.9 million the 80 challengers have raised to date is the highest amount of any similar period since 2003, according to data from the nonpartisan Campaign Finance Institute The closest California congressional challengers came to raising this much the year before an election was $7.2 million, back in 2011. (Campaign finance data before 2003 is not comparable because of a landmark campaign finance law that went into effect that year.)

KQED's Scott Shafer looks at the high hopes of Democrats in Orange County of flipping congressional districts next year.

Democrats have plenty of obstacles to overcome before they can defeat Royce and the other three Orange County Republicans they’re targeting — Mimi Walters, Dana Rohrabacher and Darrell Issa.

Of the four, Issa is widely considered to be most vulnerable, given his razor-thin re-election margin in November. Royce coasted to victory, although Democrats put their organizing efforts elsewhere.

STEYER: TIME's Katy Steinmetz writes that billionaire activist Tom Steyer is keeping his name in the mix for a possible 2018 bid for governor or U.S. Senate with his effort to put pressure on Congress to impeach President Trump.



HEALTH CARE: The MercNews's Tracy Seipel reports that Covered California, California's state-run health care exchange, is trying to clear up confusion with the upcoming enrollment period, which has more options than the federal exchange. "If you want your plan to kick in Jan. 1, you must purchase a plan by Dec. 15. For a Feb. 1 start date, you must buy a plan by Jan. 15. Any plan purchased after that date will become effective March 1."

MARIJUANA MYSTERIES: AP/KPCC reports on the uncertainty around recreational marijuana sales, which takes effect January 1.

Industry experts say there are gaps in the supply chain. Moving cannabis from the field to distribution centers, then to testing labs and eventually retail shops isn't as easy as it might seem.

Then there are the security issues.

On Saturday night, a group of men tried to rob a marijuana dispensary in South Los Angeles but were stopped when a security guard opened fire. . . 

DACA: The LADN's Brenda Gazzar writes that the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) could come with a financial price to the United States, as foreign investors become uneasy about the nation's changing immigration laws.

IN COMPARISON: Dan Walters writes for CALmatters that the comparison between the Bay Area and the Sacramento region doesn't just rely on beautiful vistas but also the cooperation among regional business and government leaders who have seen working together for economic growth beats internecine competition.

WE DIDN'T GET TWD: For KQED, Guy Marzorati reports on the effectiveness of the state's film tax credit, last reauthorized in 2014. 

The extension and expansion of California’s film and TV tax credit was chaptered in Assembly Bill 1839, which grew the program from $100 million to $330 million annually through 2020. . . 

The solution offers greater incentives to production companies than the original film tax credit program did and changed a number of features of the earlier program.

Reportedly, The Walking Dead originally wanted to film in Los Angeles (although exec. producer Robert Kirkman now denies that. The special effects studio of Greg Nicotero is in Chatsworth and many of the actors are from Los Angeles, along with show-runner Scott M. Gimple. But, Georgia stepped up with much richer tax credits, which can cover up to 30% of eligible production costs, but only if the Georgia peach is shown in closing credits (otherwise it's 20%). Now that the show is intricately tied to Atlanta, there is little hope of wooing it here, even as Negan wears that leather jacket in the Georgia heat. 

The Netflix hit Stranger Things is also shot in Georgia.

Fear The Walking Dead is now shot in Baja California, Mexico, after the pilot was filmed in L.A. and subsequent early episodes were in Vancouver, BC. The sea scenes were shot in the tanks at Baja Film Studios, where Titanic and Pearl Harbor were also filmed. The studio near Rosarito was actually built for Titanic.

It's not just tax credits, however. Availability of land for set construction is also a big challenge. James Cameron's life-sized Titanic ship couldn't really have been built in a ocean-front tank as it was in Rosarito, given California's strict coastal development laws. Clearing out parts of downtown LA in the daylight would have been very difficult.

OPIODS: In CALmatters, Elizabeth Aguilera looks at the state's response to the opioid crisis:

The opioid crisis has not gripped California in the same way it has other states. Overdose deaths peaked in 2009 and have since dropped 15 percent, according to health officials. Still, nearly 4,100 people were hospitalized for overdoses in the state last year. Nearly 2,000 people died. According to the California Department of Public Health, 70 percent of the deaths involved prescription opioids. And there remain several hot spots of addiction, mostly in rural California counties. In addition, deaths from street heroin, often a cheaper alternative for those whose addiction begins with costly pills, have risen 57 percent since 2012, according to the state.



#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Assemblywoman Monique Limón!



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California's Capitol Always Has Been A Sexual Playground With Bullies From Both Parties. Now, Empowered Women Could Change Things
George Skelton @
Sexual harassment at the state Capitol seems about the same now as it was decades ago. Sexual bullies of both parties have always plagued politics. but now more women are boldly speaking out.

CalSTRS Exec Bonuses Swell On Stock Market | The Sacramento Bee
Adam Ashton @
The go-to source for news on California policy and politics

California's Senate Culture Doesn't Encourage Women To File Complaints. Here's How That Could Change
Melanie Mason @
The recent allegations of widespread sexual harassment in the state Capitol has sparked calls for better ways to report wrongdoing and protect whistleblowers. But in 2014, the Senate missed opportunity to enact stronger protocols.

Fires Destroy Sonoma County Marijuana Crop; Millions In Taxes At Risk | The Press Democrat -

Manafort Indicted In Probe Of Russian Meddling Into 2016 Presidential Election; Manafort Is Former Trump Campaign Chair | The Sacramento Bee
Scott Berson @
By Scott Berson

Garcetti, Possible 2020 Hopeful, Launches Innovation Group - Politico

Prospective presidential candidates tend to launch PACs to pump money into campaigns of people who might prove helpful. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is starting a nonprofit with other mayors, union leaders and business executives to fund what they call innovation investments around the country.

Sf Supervisors To Vote On Moving Offices From Squalid Hall Of Justice - San Francisco Chronicle
For decades, the complaints have piled up. Mice. Cockroaches. Asbestos. Sewage dripping down into offices from clogged toilets in the seventh-floor jail.

Could The End Of Daca Hurt Foreign Investment In Southern California? – Daily News
As he met with business leaders recently in downtown Los Angeles, Stephen Cheung listened carefully as a Mexican official expressed financial concerns about President Donald Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, also known as DACA.

Former Trump Campaign Adviser Pleads Guilty To Lying To FBI About Russia Contacts - Politico

Unlike the just-unsealed indictment against Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and adviser Rick Gates for money laundering and other charges, the single felony count against Papadopolous directly relates to 2016 presidential campaign activity.

Could The End Of Daca Hurt Foreign Investment In Southern California? – Press Enterprise
As he met with business leaders recently in downtown Los Angeles, Stephen Cheung listened carefully as a Mexican official expressed financial concerns about President Donald Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, also known as DACA.

Property-tax Deduction Could Help GOP Reform Bill - Politico

House tax writers' decision to allow an itemized deduction for state and local property taxes in their reform plan could be a step toward quelling a revolt against the plan by Republican lawmakers from high-tax states.

Daughter Says The Truck Driver Who Fatally Hit Her Mom Moved The Body. Now, She Wants Justice
Matt Hamilton @
A graduate student from China enrolled at Pepperdine University, Yijing Chen has begun a quest for justice for her late mother.

Watchdog Urges Probe Of Whether Zinke Campaign Benefited Friend, Family - Politico

The call for an FEC investigation adds to the scrutiny Ryan Zinke is facing over his political activity. | Mark Wilson/Getty Images

2 Navy Seals Under Suspicion In Strangling Of Green Beret In Mali – Daily News
WASHINGTON — Navy criminal authorities are investigating whether two members of the elite SEAL Team 6 strangled an Army Green Beret in June while they were in Mali on a secret assignment, military officials say.

Trump On Manafort Indictment: ‘there Is No Collusion' - Politico

President Donald Trump has repeatedly denied allegations of collusion with Russian government officials. | Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Firefighters Have Effectively Contained Wine Country Blazes
Wine Country fires nearly contained

Poll: President Donald Trump's Approval Rating At New Low | The Sacramento Bee
Noel Harris @
By Noel Harris

Scofflaw Political Groups Are Ignoring FEC Fines

Wait long enough, many are finding, and the federal government usually gives up.

Out-of-town Looters Busted In Ravaged Santa Rosa Fire Zone, Police Say - San Francisco Chronicle
Search and Rescue personnel look for human remains in the Journey's End Mobile Home park following the damage caused by the Tubbs Fire on Oct. 13, 2017 in Santa Rosa. Twenty four people have died in wildfires

Is Compassion Giving Way To Anger Over Homelessness In Southern California? – Orange County Register
For Andrea Tabor, running the Neighborhood Watch program at her 332-unit condominium complex means constant vigilance, mostly because of threats — real or otherwise — posed by the area’s homeless.