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THE Nooner for December 14, 2017


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  • TREASURERadded Kevin Akin (PF)
  • CA49 (Carlsbad): changed district from Toss-up to Leans Democratic
  • CA49 (Carlsbad): updated analysis [available to subscribers
  • AD08 (East Sacramento County): changed district rating from Safe Democratic to Likely Democratic
  • AD08 (East Sacramento County): updated analysis [available to subscribers
  • AD34 (Bakersfield): added Nicholas Nicita (D)
  • AD39 (East San Fernando Valley): added Martha Medrano (D)
  • AD45 (West San Fernando Valley): added Justin Clark (R)
  • AD74 (Huntington Beach): added marketing consultant Cottie Petrie-Norris (D)


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Mayor Ed Lee

Lying in state in rotunda of San Francisco City Hall: Friday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Service in rotunda of San Francisco City Hall: Sunday at 3 p.m. (open to public as building's capacity allows)


SF CORRECTION: After conferring with our resident legislative historian Alex Vassar, it appears that Assemblymember David Chiu could run for both a special election for SF Mayor on June 5, 2018 as well as in the primary for a reelection to his Assembly district since they are not both municipal offices.

FIRE: The Thomas fire grew slowly yesterday, but the winds shift back to Santa Anas on Saturday, which could be bad news for the coastal communities from Camarillo toward Santa Barbara. Homes destroyed: 729, damaged 175. Cost to fight to date: $74.8 million.

Good morning, and happy anti-Net Neutrality day. The FCC, after a clearing the room after a bomb threat, voted today to eliminate the Obama-era regulation that requires internet service providers to treat traffic the same.

I agree with my friend Matt Rexroad, who tweeted this morning "I am a free market advocate yet support net neutrality."

Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) announced this morning that he plans to introduce legislation to require net neutrality in California.

Of course, that would be a huge question of the Interstate Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution. Clearly, most internet service providers are huge national corporations that work across state lines (such as Comcast NBCUniversal, Time Warner (possibly Time Warner-AT&T), and Verizon). However, to the extent they are wired connections, they do so under franchise agreements, which are local.

That would be a legal case for the the Con Law casebooks.

SOFA DEGREE: Above #CAKEDAY as you prepare for some holiday time off (or quiet days in the office) or are buying gifts for California poligeeks, we return with the SOFA DEGREE today. Which Top 30 books would you read to get a university-quality education that would prepare you for a career in California politics or policy?

One addition today:

TIME TO MOVE ON? Politico's @davidsiders - "@SenKamalaHarris tells us @realDonaldTrump should resign over sex harassment accusations ‘in the best interest of the country’" - 

CA49 (Carlsbad): Anti-Issa effort discloses donors: Leo DiCaprio, Jane Fonda, Ted Danson and more [Joshua Stewart @ SDUT] - Jane "Fonda gave $100,000 to Flip the 49th! Neighbors in Action, which recently registered as a political committee to get Issa, R-Vista, out of office. Comedian Bill Maher gave $15,000 to the group, a rebuke of a politician who has twice appeared on his talk show. Former California Sen. Barbara Boxer gave $2,500, as did Academy Award recipient Leonardo DiCaprio. Actor Ted Danson gave $1,500."

ELECTION OUTLOOK: The SCNG team of Kevin Modesti, Jeff Horseman, and Martin Wisckol look at what the Alabama Senate victory for Doug Jones could portend for Southern California races in 2018.

ALMOST BUDGET TIME: As the Department of Finance, as tradition, works into the holiday period finalizing the governor's January 10 budget proposal, Assembly Budget chair Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) shared his caucus's priorities for next year's budget, report's KQED's Katie Orr. "His committee’s budget proposal uses projections from the Legislative Analyst’s Office, which assumes $7.5 billion in discretionary funds for the 2018-2019 fiscal year. Of that, Ting proposes putting $3.2 billion in a reserve fund and using $4.3 billion to pay down debts and fund various projects. He says many of the priorities listed in his plan could be phased in and out as needed."

[priorities package]

HARASSMENT: For CALmatters, Laurel Rosenhall reports how the resignations in the State Assembly and U.S. Congress have something in common--peer pressure. "The degree of peer pressure varied in each case. Still, the resignations point to a major difference between public office and private-sector employment. In movie studios, television networks and some other corporate workplaces, executives have moved swiftly in recent weeks to fire men accused of misconduct. In politics, however, it takes more time for consequences to kick in. And that’s largely because of the collegial dynamics of a legislative body."

But, the zinger in the article is:

What remains to be seen in Sacramento is whether peer pressure will lead to a resignation in the state Senate the way it has in the Assembly. Sen. Tony Mendoza has been accused of harassing young female employees by inviting them to come home with him and sending flirtatious text messages. One staff member said Mendoza brought her to a hotel room when she was a 19-year-old intern and gave her alcohol.

. . .

This week, however, one Democratic state senator said for the first time that she thinks Mendoza should resign. Sen. Connie Leyva said she’s heard from other senators who feel the same way.

“I don’t know if there is a movement necessarily, but I have definitely heard it from some colleagues,” said Leyva, a Democrat from Chino.

Senator Andy Vidak (D-Hanford) called on his colleagues to join him in expelling Mendoza from the chamber, which would require a two-thirds vote. He plans to introduce a resolution on the first day back, he tweets.

The LAT's Melanie Mason reports that Senate Republican Leader has called for her Democratic colleagues to release whistleblowers in harassment cases from non-disclosure agreements so they can, if they choose, come forward.

The Republican senator also laid out suggestions to improve the Legislature’s handling of sexual harassment complaints, such as jointly convening both houses’ rules committees — which act as the chambers’ human resources departments — to have a “comprehensive, bicameral and bipartisan review.”

Bates wrote that the Joint Rules Committee “should consider the assigning of an outside entity for assuming responsibility for all issues regarding sexual harassment.” She said the California Highway Patrol or an inspector general could serve that function.

HUG OR NOT TO HUG, IT'S YOUR CHOICE: After the Bee's story by Alexei Koseff and Taryn Luna was posted mid-afternoon, it became a hot topic on social media. They report that at least one named former lawmaker and two unnamed current lawmakers are uncomfortable with Senator Bob Hertzberg's longstanding habit/tradition of greeting both men and women with hugs. Most people who have "grown up" around Bob said they liked it and willingly joined his open arms for an embrace.

However, former one-term Assemblymember Linda Halderman, M.D. (R-Fresno) found it uncomfortable and alleges that she told him so and that he continued to seek out hugs each time they'd pass in the hallway. Unlike most staffers and lobbyists who have known Hertzberg--many since their college years--Halderman arrived in the Assembly not knowing the now-senator.

It's been a bad week for Hertzberg after losing the Pro Tem fight to Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) and now this story. Let's be clear--this is nothing like the other offenses that have led to the departure of two member of the Assembly and have Senator Tony Mendoza on the edge of a political cliff. Nevertheless, he's certainly going to make double-sure that the hugs are welcome. Just open arms and a slight tilt of the head with raised eyebrows is giving the other party a chance for a slight "no" shake of the head.

Better yet, for those that like the tradition and can use a hug, including a lot of men, be the first to open your arms.

TAXING ISSUES: If you are used to functioning conference committees, that's where the a bipartisan group (adjusted based on representation in the legislative house) work through the conflicting issues of two different versions of bills. Much of the decisions have already been made behind the scenes, but there are votes to decide each conflicting issue. If you watched the conference committee reconciling the House and U.S. Senate tax plans yesterday, it was an odd scene, even for Congress.

Each member of the conference committee made an opening statement of their perceptions of what was in the bill or to state their frustration with the process. Then, Thomas Barthold, the chief of staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation, sat as the lone witness and walked through provisions in the two different versions before taking questions. While many issues of the secret GOP compromise have been by staff, Barthold did not share any outcomes unless they were items that were mirrored between the two versions. In the California budget process, we call that "not in conference," or NIC. 

For example, Barthold did answer that the "orphan drug credit," which gives pharmaceutical companies a tax credit for FDA-approved clinical testing and marketing of drugs that help people afflicted by rare diseases (fewer than 200,000 afflicted) would be sharply cut, although the Senate's version is about half the cut of House's elimination.

This is one that makes me particularly angry. I've shared in the past in this space that I had really crappy lungs growing up and spent way too much time in the hospital, which is why I didn't graduate high school. Because of those years, I befriended many kids with cystic fibrosis, a rare genetic disease. Most of them died in the time my lungs/immune system matured.

I went on to work at the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and Childrens Hospital of Orange County. By the time I transferred to UC Davis, life expectency nearly of folks with CF nearly doubled. I have a friend who is 45 now and, while she has required double lung and kidney transplants, she made it that far because of "orphan drugs." These aren't initially developed by the super-pharmaceuticals, but rather by small biotech firms. Further, because CF is caused by different genetic mutations, it often takes micro-targeted drugs for clinical effectiveness. One repository lists 77 approved orphan drugs for CF.

These drugs aren't advertised on TV and there's no way to tell how many would make it to patients without the federal assistance for clinical testing. 

For this reason, I say "screw you" to whoever came up with this birdbrained idea. You have likely deaths of children on your hands who will suffocate.


Probolsky Research



">Sofa Degree

Which Top 30 books would you read to get a university-quality education that would prepare you for a career in California politics or policy?

NOONER readers were asked, and this is what we came up with. The list is constantly evolving, as some are added and others are deleted. Feel free to weigh in.

Suggest more books 


#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Patrick McCallum and Alex Hilke



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What Will GOP Tax Plan Mean For Jerry Brown's 2018 Budget? | The Sacramento Bee
Alexei Koseff @
The go-to source for news on California policy and politics

What The Alabama Senate Upset Means For Southern California Elections – Daily News
Rarely does an election result in the Deep South mean as much to politicians in Southern California as a Democrat’s upset victory for the U.S. Senate in Alabama did this week.

Senators react to Alabama election from Capitol Hill

United States senators responded to the results of Alabama's special election from Capitol Hill, on the day after Democratic candidate Doug Jones defeated Republican Roy Moore.

Jerry Brown On Republican Tax Overhaul | The Sacramento Bee
Adam Ashton @
The go-to source for news on California policy and politics

Gov. Jerry Brown Warns Climate Change Has Us 'on The Road To Hell.' California's Wildfires Show He's On To Something
George Skelton @
Essential Politics

Senate-house Tax Bill Deal Raises Concerns In California - San Francisco Chronicle
WASHINGTON — Republican congressional leaders said Wednesday they have a tentative agreement on a $1.5 trillion tax overhaul that President Trump heralded in an afternoon national address as “a giant tax cut for Christmas,” but one that could raise taxes on many Californians.

Pence delays Middle East trip in case his vote is needed on tax bill

Republicans hold a narrow majority in the Senate, and are desperate to push through their tax plan â€” which, if successful, would mark President Trump’s only major legislative achievement this year — before the holiday break.

San Diego City Council Votes To Join Lawsuits Over Trump's End To Daca Program | Kpbs
City News Service @
The San Diego City Council voted Wednesday to join three lawsuits designed to nullify President Donald Trump's decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

Pence Delays Israel Trip To Stay For Possible Senate Tiebreaker - Politico

Vice President Mike Pence could be needed to break a tie in the Senate to get the legislation through at all. | Chris Kleponis/Getty Images

Oroville Dam Claims Rejected By State Of California | The Sacramento Bee
Dale Kasler @
By Dale Kasler

Putin: Accusations Russia Colluded With Trump Damages U.S. Politics - Politico

While Putin and other Russian officials have contended that their government did not seek to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election, the U.S. intelligence community has been emphatic in laying blame for the interference campaign on the Kremlin.

Advice For California On Single-payer Health Care | The Sacramento Bee
Angela Hart @
The go-to source for news on California policy and politics

Congressional Republican Tax Deal Changes Key Deduction For Californians -
Ben Adler @
Capital Public Radio, Inc.7055 Folsom BoulevardSacramento, CA 95826

Man Charged In Charlottesville Car Attack Due In Court - San Francisco Chronicle
Senate-House tax bill deal raises concerns in California

Anti-issa Effort Discloses Donors: Leo Dicaprio, Jane Fonda, Ted Danson And More - The San Diego Union-tribune
Joshua Stewart @

Voices From Alabama: Black Women Who Voted for Doug Jones

Exit polling shows 98 percent of female African-American voters supported Doug Jones in the Senate election in Alabama. We spoke to some of them to learn what was so important to them in this election.

Republicans Lose Key Leadership Roles On San Diego City Council - The San Diego Union-tribune
David Garrick @

Pg&e Customers Face Higher Bills Under PUC Battery Plan
PG&E customers may be forced to confront higher monthly bills under a regulatory proposal directing PG&E to seek new sources, including batteries, to replace three plants -- including one in San Jose.

What Is Congress Doing To Help California Wildfire Victims? – Daily News
The wildfires that ravaged California have thawed partisanship among the state’s congressional delegation as lawmakers from both parties work to secure billions of federal dollars in disaster aid and tax relief for wildfire victims.

Fcc Votes To Repeal Net Neutrality Rules - Politico

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai listens during a meeting where the commission voted on a proposal to repeal net-neutrality. | Alex Wong/Getty Images

Feinstein Asks Ice To Investigate Alleged Abuses At Richmond Jail - San Francisco Chronicle
U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein is asking the acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement to investigate the West Contra Costa County jail in Richmond where multiple federal detainees have complained that they’re not allowed to use the restrooms.

Anti-issa Effort Discloses Donors: Leo Dicaprio, Jane Fonda, Ted Danson And More
Joshua Stewart @
Fonda gave $100,000 to Flip the 49th! Neighbors in Action, which recently registered as a political committee to get Issa, R-Vista, out of office. Comedian Bill Maher gave $15,000 to the group, a rebuke of a politician who has twice appeared on his talk show. Former California Sen. Barbara Boxer gave $2,500, as did Academy Award recipient Leonardo DiCaprio. Actor Ted Danson gave $1,500.