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THE Nooner for December 28, 2017


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  • AD54 (Culver City): added legislative staff member Joey Hill (D)
  • AD54 (Culver City): added LACCD trustee Sydney Kamlager (D)


Good day, Noonerites.

SPORTS PAGE: Stanford v. TCU (Alamo Bowl, San Antonio - 6pm PST on ESPN)

HOMELESS: I just got back from my mid-Nooner walk. Damn, it's cold out there at 44 degrees, while it's 14 in Chicago (2 hours later CST). A homeless man in a wheelchair that I know from the neighborhood (the only one who never bothers anybody) asked me if I would be going by a store.

I figured he'd ask me to buy him booze, which I wouldn't do. It took a few times for him to articulate his actual request through his chattering mouth. He wanted two Tootsie Rolls. He tried to give me money to pay for them, as navigating even the ADA-compliant in a wheelchair in stores is difficult for him. I bought them. He was gone when I got back from my 1 mile walk, so I left it for them. 

Eff us. We have to solve this crisis.

NEXT UP: My investigation this afternoon. There is an organization called the Firearms Policy Coalition in California that has sent out fundraising emails daily to many of us as to how Sacramento is going to confiscate our guns, including questionably legal "raffles" for semi-automatic weapons.

Good luck alleged Sacramento officials finding my family's licensed firearms in a gun safe at my father's house down south or at the family's ranch in Texas. I'm not big in to hunting, but I appreciate my family's legacy of farm-to-fork. My dad reported this week that there are now 32 longhorn cattle, as well as plentiful wild boar and deer on the open-range ranch of my grandfather.

The "Firearms Policy Organization" has spent no money lobbying this year, despite all of its fundraising appeals. Its last public Form 990 shows payment to only one executive at $9,000 for the year.

AD54 (Culver City):  Sebastian Ridley-Thomas's resignation was not really unexpected. Many in the Capitol scene have known that he has had chronic health problems. However, even if he didn't show up for sessions, he had a salary of $8,677 per month and health insurance. As long as a majority excused his absences for health reasons, this would continue until a successor is named on December 3, 2018. 

I hate writing about individual legislators or candidates, but it has to be done, particularly in this Capitol atmosphere of scrutiny. Everyone is innocent until proven guilty, but eyebrows must be raised considering all the factors. 

Frankly, this impending resignation has been rumored for awhile.

THE SUPERMAJORITY: While the seats are waiting to be filled, the new supermarity is 52, failling short by 1 of the now current composition. That only really matters in fiscal bills (other than the budget) and proposed ballot measures that amend the constitution. That affects the thought that the Legislature was going to propose abolishing the state Board of Equalization, affecting many candidates in three districts and Diane Harkey, a former member of the Assembly. The board has largely been stripped of its responsibilities, but the offices (and paychecks) keep flowing. 

RED ALARM: Either the California Bar or the American Bar Association's accredition process has a big problem. We can't have students spending $200,000 (school plus living) for an accredited education with a 50% chance of passing the bar. I passed the first time, and law school in 2000 was only $11,000 a year (in tuition). It's now over $50,000/year. Fortunately, there is additional financial aid from a law school ballot measured authored by Kara Ueda and me as well as funds for recruitment to low-income undergrads. Big credz also go to Candice Chung, LSA vice-president at the time who helped steward it through. We replaced a huge grab by undergrads against law school students, current and prospective.



Probolsky Research


CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Laura Fink, Ann Garten, Karri Hammerstrom, Danny Lasterman, and Michael Trujillo!



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Assemblyman Sebastian Ridley-thomas Is Resigning
John Myers and Melanie Mason @
Assemblyman Sebastian Ridley-Thomas abruptly announced his resignation from the California Legislature on Wednesday, citing health reas...

Cop With Ptsd Wins Fight To Rejoin Chp | The Sacramento Bee
Adam Ashton @
Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

Roy Moore Files Lawsuit To Block Alabama Senate Result - Politico

Republican Roy Moore has not conceded the race and has sent several fundraising emails to supporters asking for donations to investigate claims of voter fraud. | Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

Federal Judge Blocks Arizona From Banning Mexican American Studies Classes
Jaweed Kaleem @
A federal judge issued an injunction Wednesday that said Arizona could not enforce its ban on Mexican American studies classes. The judge said the law discriminated against Latinos.

New State Workplace Laws Will Help Ex-offenders, Women, New Parents - San Francisco Chronicle
Starting Monday, California employers can no longer ask most job applicants about their criminal records until a conditional offer has been made, and can’t ask any job seekers about their salary history unless the applicant volunteers this information.

California Among 23 States With Widespread Flu Activity | The Sacramento Bee
Noel Harris @
By Noel Harris

Trump Falsely Claims He Broke A Legislative Record - Politico

Donald Trump has signed the fewest number of bills into law of any first-year president dating back to Dwight Eisenhower. | Saul Loeb/Getty Images

Battles Over Single-payer Healthcare, Drug Pricing And Medicaid Loom For California In 2018
Melanie Mason @
A proposal for a statewide single-payer system fractured California's Democratic party in 2017 and is poised to deepen those divisions.

Study: Some Bay Area Coastal Communities Face High Risk Of Cliff Collapse - San Francisco Chronicle
California’s coastal communities have long battled the roiling sea over claim to the shoreline, fighting to keep pristine beaches, towering bluffs and million-dollar homes from washing away as if they never existed.

5 ways to try to lower your tax bill before Jan. 1

With the Republicans' new tax law slated to go into effect on Jan. 1, 2018, there's a short window to take certain steps to lower your tax bill.

An Explosive Wildfire Season Drives Firefighting Costs To Record Levels
Bettina Boxall @
California and the U.S. Forest Service broke spending records fighting wildfires that blackened more than 9.5 million acres across the country in 2017, including about 1.2 million acres in California.

Marcus Raskin â
Matt Schudel @
Marcus Raskin, an author and advocate who helped shape left-leaning thought for decades as a founder of one of Washington’s most prominent liberal think tanks, the Institute for Policy Studies — and who, as a college student, gave piano lessons to composer Philip Glass — died Dec. 24 at his home in Washington, D.C. He was 83. The cause was a heart-related ailment, said son Jamie Raskin, a Democratic member of the U.S. House from Maryland. Raskin, a child prodigy on piano and a University of Chicago Law School graduate, joined President John F. Kennedy’s administration while still in his 20s.

Trump After Dark: Back To The Future Edition - Politico

LVIV AND LET LVIV: Secretary of State Rex Tillerson asked Moscow to reduce the level of violence in eastern Ukraine, where Russian troops have been siding with separatists in skirmishes against the Ukrainian government.

Accountants Say Middle-class Couples More Likely To Benefit From Prepaying Property Taxes | The Sacramento Bee
Hudson Sangree And Phillip Reese @
By Hudson Sangree And Phillip Reese

2017 Was The Year When North Korea Became A Threat To The U.S. Mainland
Matt Stiles @
In 2017, North Korea under Kim Jong Un overcame technological hurdles to its long quest to build a modern nuclear weapons program, conducting a large underground detonation and test launching at least 17 ballistic missiles.

Alabama Certifies Jones’ Senate Victory - Politico

Doug Jones speaks at a news conference Dec. 13 in Birmingham, Ala. | John Bazemore/AP Photo

Sacramento puppy with muscular syndrome learns to walk by playing tug-of-war
A sweet black Labrador puppy born with a muscular condition that left him unable to walk has taken his first steps after vets and a foster family harnessed his love of tug-of-war to create a custom physical therapy program for him, according to the Sacramento SPCA.

Trump Taunts Vanity Fair Over Clinton Apology - Politico

President Donald Trump mocked Vanity Fair on Thursday for expressing regret over a controversial Hillary Clinton video it posted over the weekend.