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THE Nooner for January 2, 2018


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  • Secretary of State: added retired nurse Gail Lightfoot (L)
  • BOE1 (Northeast): added attorney Tom Hallinan (D)
  • CA01 (Northeast): added learning designer Audrey Denney (D) 
  • CA32 (West Covina): removed El Monte mayor André Quintero (D)
  • CA50 (East San Diego County): added patent attorney Joshua Schoonover (R)
  • AD16 (Tri-Valley): updated analysis [available to subscribers]
  • AD53 (Downtown LA): added Michael A. Lewis (L)


Happy Tuesday. I hope you had a great New Year's celebration. If you wisely stepped away from your computer yesterday, I listed the top races I'll be watching this year.

HARASSMENT: On the eve of the Legislature's return, the AP's Kathleen Ronayne writes that members are preparing to confront the sexual harassment scandals that emerged after the Legislature had departed for the interim recess. While Democratic Assemblymembers Raul Bocanegra and Matt Dababneh have resigned, there is the issue of Tony Mendoza refusing to cede to Pro Tem Kevin de León's request that he take a leave of absence while the investigation into his interactions with a Senate fellow assigned to his office.

There's also the issue raised by former Assemblymember Linda Halderman's and two anonymous women who complained about Senator Bob Hertzberg's well known practice of hugging colleagues and friends, and allegations that they occasionally get a little to friendly. 

Nobody is expecting a motion for suspension to the claims about Hertzberg, as it wasn't an employer-employee relationship. However, there have been murmors about a paid suspension if Mendoza does not take a leave of absence. Of course, that would be akin to a political death penalty and members are very reticent to do to a colleague without full due process. 

But, the issue is not going away and many people are expecting more shoes to drop in 2018 and the allegations against Assemblymember Devon Mathis (R-Tulare) have yet to be resolved and are being investigated by the Sacramento Police.

Beyond the individual allegations is the question of the policies and procedures that will address the issue going forward.

Meanwhile lobbyist Paula Treat  shares her story of harassment by former powerful Assemblyman Lou Papan.

“You will sleep with me or all your bills will die,” Papan said.

I didn’t.

Sure enough, for the next year, the bills I was handling failed. Papan and I would see each other in the Capitol, and he’d bully me more. During one committee, he came in, saw me and said loudly: “You don't belong in here.”

THE PATH: As the midterms election year commeces, the Times's Sarah D. Wire looks at how California factors in to Democrats' hopes of returning to control of the House of Representatives. 

THE OTHER CAPITOL: Speaking of Congress, Senators are back on the Hilll today and have a very crazy January ahead while the House members have delayed their return for a week, report Melanie Zanona and Scott Wong at The Hill:

Before leaving town for the holidays, Congress passed a stopgap spending bill to keep the government’s lights on until Jan. 19. But GOP leaders punted contentious fights over immigration, health care, national security and disaster funding into the New Year, meaning they’re once again facing a potential crisis of their own making.

GOV: The LAT's Phil Willon writes that the governor's race will be decided by the turnout of the vote in Los Angeles:

Harnessing the county’s political power base is tricky, since it’s a mishmash of entrenched public employee unions, Westside wealth, Latino-led political bulwarks and grass-roots organizations, Hollywood glitterati and corporate titans.

“I don’t see a path to victory unless Villaraigosa or Chiang can dominate in Los Angeles,” said Democratic political consultant Rose Kapolczynski, who served as former Sen. Barbara Boxer’s chief campaign adviser.

And, the team at the Bee has a series of articles on the governor's race. 

SPEIER? As I wrote on Sunday, Willie Brown floated that Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-San Mateo) may be mulling a campaign for governor, including that she was meeting with her campaign advisors over the weekend to discuss it. She has championed the issue of sexual harassment in DC and may be looking to ferry that work to a trip to the California governor's office. 

Anyway, here's the map of CA14, with the overlays of SD13 (Hill), AD19 (Ting) and AD22 (Mullin). Click here or on the map and you can play with the overlays. Uncheck SD13, AD19, and AD22 and you'll have just the underlying CA14 and then you can add each of the others to see the overlap.

Ting doesn't live in the district--he lives in Pelosi's CA12--but of course, district residency is not required for congressional seats.


CA12 with overlays


A Speier entrance would likely most assist Antonio Villaraigosa, as she would be another Bay Area candidate. While John Chiang is from Los Angeles, he doesn't have the L.A. profile that the former mayor does. This works both ways, with local labor still unhappy with many of Villaraigosa's actions as governor, particularly for public charter schools and city budget cutting. 

2018: The MercNews's Casey Tolan looks at the biggest California political questions for the year ahead, including:

  • Who will step into Gov. Jerry Brown’s shoes?
  • Can Dianne Feinstein hold onto her U.S. Senate seat?
  • Will swing districts in California help Dems recapture the House?
  • How far will sexual harassment scandals reach in Sacramento?
  • Can Republicans gain a toehold in state government?
  • Will California’s Trump “resistance” movement grow or fizzle?
  • How will San Francisco’s mayor’s race shape the Bay Area’s tech boom?
  • Will voters support transportation and housing ballot measures?
  • Will California pass a single-payer health care plan?
  • Will a presidential contender from California emerge?

WHAT'S NEXT? For Fox & Hounds, Joel Fox asks what Jerry Brown will do with the $15 million cash he has on hand. "Will that campaign money be used to defeat a gas tax repeal and leave his successor with the whole budget—not a budget with a hole. Such an accomplishment would be meaningful to Brown."

EAR CANDY: David Axelrod's "The Axe Files" podcast has a great interview with the New York Times's Los Angeles Bureau Chief Adam Nagourney. If you're interested in journalism, it's definitely worth a listen. Nagourney is one of the best political reporters of our time.

UBER: "Uber is eager to put 2017 in the rear-view mirror after a year mired in controversies," reports Melanie Nanona in The Hill.


Probolsky Research



#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Roxanne Gould, Jay Hansen, and Adama Iwu!

#FAREWELL: Pollster Jim Moore (1951-2018).



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Prop. 57 Swings Pendulum From 'Warehousing' To Early Parole
Pauline Repard @
That fact is seen as a good thing by criminal defense attorneys, including San Diego lawyer Michael Crowley.

A Guide To Figuring Out If California Will Flip The House For Democrats This Fall
Sarah D. Wire @
As the California congressional contests take shape, watch these trends to get a sense of what the 2018 elections might bring.

Hollywood Women Promote Plan Against Sexual Harassment - San Francisco Chronicle
Cara Buckley @
Driven by outrage and a resolve to correct a power imbalance that seemed intractable just months ago, 300 prominent actresses and female agents, writers, directors, producers and entertainment executives have formed an ambitious, sprawling initiative to fight systemic sexual harassment in Hollywood and in blue-collar workplaces nationwide.

Longtime Users Line Up For Legal Weed In California
Brad Branan and Tony Bizjak @
Dispensary owners reported that customer lines were longer than usual, compared to when the industry could sell only to adults with recommendations from doctors. But some owners and customers expressed disappointment that more people didn’t show up to celebrate legalization.

For Moms Fighting Against Drug Policies, A New Year's Resolution
Peter Rowe @
While some drug laws are changing — witness Monday’s legalization of marijuana across California — attitudes toward habitual drug users are not, argues Gretchen Burns Bergman.

Trump Backs Protesters — As Long As They’re Not Protesting Him - Politico

President Donald Trump frequently called for violence against protesters at his campaign rallies, and has mocked those who marched in the wake of his election and inauguration. | Evan Vucci/AP Photo

California Governor's Race Is Likely To Be Decided In Los Angeles County
Phil Willon @
One in four of the state's voters live in this diverse, sprawling, county, which continually bedevils even the most adept campaigns.

Pakistan Summons U.S. Ambassador After Trump's Twitter Attack - Politico

The U.S. embassy in Islamabad confirmed to Reuters that the meeting had taken place.

After The Flames, Allegations Of Rent-gouging Fly In Devastated Wine Country Communities
Adam Elmahrek @
Scores of residents in fire-ravaged Northern California are alleging rent gouging after some have been evicted and rents have skyrocketed.

The Daily 202: Trumpâ

The tax bill wasn’t the only Christmas gift that the president gave billionaires and big business. Here are 10 important stories you might have missed while on vacation.

'big Time Operation' Busted As Sacramento Ramps Up Pot House Enforcement | The Sacramento Bee
Ryan Lillis And Nashelly Chavez @
News, insight and discussion on Sacramento and its neighborhoods

Inside The Fight Over How To Address San Francisco's 'state Of Emergency' For Black Student Achievement
Joy Resmovits @
The San Francisco Unified School District has acknowledged a state of educational emergency for low-income black students. As the city grows wealthier and better-off parents send their children to private schools, it has become one of the worst places in California for black students to learn.

Mass Shootings Are On The Rise. So Are Classes On How To Avoid Them - San Francisco Chronicle
First they tried it the old way. The crazed shooter burst into the room, and everyone tried to hide. Just about everyone got shot.

As Protests Rage In Iran, Trump Blames Obama For ‘foolishly’ Giving Funds To Iranian Government - Politico

In Tehran, the Iranian capital, 450 protesters have been arrested since demonstrations began, the AP reported.