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THE Nooner for January 13, 2018


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Well, happy Saturday to you! As you take a stroll through the fog (at least here in the Nooner global headquarters), take a listen to the new podcast on California politics from Marisa Lagos and KQED.

It's a three-day weekend, and a disaster for Santa Barbara, where Angelenos wanted to be hanging out for the holiday. Highway 101 remains closed in both directions between Ventura and Santa Barbara because of the mudslides from the fire-torn hillsides above.

Lots of people are reviewing their hotel room cancellation policies right now and figuring out how to woo their loved one at home instead.

GOV: The Bee's Christopher Cadelago reports on a new independent expenditure committee aimed at buoying Antonio Villaraigosa's campaign for governor.

The inside: major business interests know that the next California governor will be a Democrat. They now fear Doug Ose's entrance and the broad Democratic field could lead to either a two-Democrat, or a Newsom-Ose general, with Newsom the clear favorite in either scenario.

Given this, business and moderate interests want to boost Villaraigosa to put him in the top two with Newsom to give Republicans have a chance to weigh in come with a "hold your nose" choice in November. It may seem strange politics for those of us who know Villaraigosa as a liberal Assembly Speaker, but his current CV is as the former mayor of Los Angeles, where he was quite friendly to business interests, public charter schools, and purse strings when it came to labor.

That's where this independent expenditure committee, to which contributions are unlimited, comes in. In particular, look for health care interests. Newsom is a strong advocate for single payer, and Villaraigosa is more tepid, although that is pretty hard to tell from his super-sexy website with little on issues.

A major realignment has been happening as GOP consultants and interests in the Golden State have thrown in the towel in electing a Republican governor in 2018, and are working to provide their best hope--Villaraigosa--a shot to defeat Newsom. The last Republican virgin regularly elected for was Pete Wilson in 1990.

Arnold Schwarzenegger was a complete political anomaly and this space would be filled for weeks by people trying to disown him from both sides of the political spectrum, and he certainly wasn't a virgin, so to speak. 

Republican interests still have a major stake in the state. As much as some like to make about fleet to other states, in California, it is mostly small businesses and retirees. There are few big businesses, like Carrier is doing from Indiana (after getting bug state tax concessions), leaving California.

Instead, we're seeing a huge increase in logistics after the warned demise of the Long Beach-Los Angeles port complex after the widening of the Panama Canal. This drives the economy not only in the port areas but also the inland empire where containers are sorted and transferred for delivery to states to the east. If you fly in to ONT, you know what I'm talking about. Enormous warehouses and huge trains and, as I wrote recently, it could get much bigger.

Former congressman Doug Ose entered the race too late and assumed the GOP business interests would run to him and applaud his entry. However, the anti-Newsom strategy had already been hatched for a couple of years and Villaraigosa was deemed the best chance.


As I have written before, I have zero professional interactions with Wilke Fleury and I know none from my amazing ex-wife, a partner at Best Best & Krieger.

From the firm's response:

Our firm is committed to equal rights for all, both at our workplace and throughout our society. Not only is the lobbyist at our law firm who supervised the person a women, but she is a decades-long advocate for women’s rights. The partners and other employees at our firm also fully support the #MeToo movement to address sexual harassment in the workplace.

Actually, John Hernandez  is the responsible officer over lobbying and I'm told did the firing of Lewis. Also, from a grammar perspective, "woman" and not "women." Totally understood, since you don't have any women as partners and now have only one as a lobbyist. There are zero women in the ranks of partner, unheard of in a mid-to-large Sacramento firm and completely unacceptable.
I may have more later...I've been under my desk for a reportedly false official "THIS IS NOT A TEXT" message about an incoming missile (no, I'm not in Hawaii right now). Somebody f'd up big time. I feel bad for him/her, but it signals where we are right now.



Probolsky Research



#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Bill Ainsworth, Scott Andrew, and Douglas White!

#FAREWELL: Former U.S. Senator from California John Tunney. (1934-2018)




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Villaraigosa Super Pac Forms In California Governor's Race | The Sacramento Bee
Christopher Cadelago @
The go-to source for news on California policy and politics

Villaraigosa Supporters Form Super Pac To Back His Gubernatorial Campaign
Seema Mehta @
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Environmental Group Urges Federal Prosecutors To Take Over CpUC Criminal Investigation - The San Diego Union-tribune
Jeff McDonald @
According to Shellenberger, Attorney General Xavier Becerra has a conflict of interest in the case because he was appointed to the job by Gov. Jerry Brown.

GOP Tax Law A One-two Punch To Charities — And American Giving - Politico

Back in 2011, when Republicans still talked about deficits, a bipartisan budget commission proposed to save tens of billions a year by revamping the charitable deduction for federal income taxes.

Jerry Brown Predicts Ca Pension Cuts In Next Recession | The Sacramento Bee
Adam Ashton @
Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

Gavin Newsom Calls On President Trump To Resign Over Vulgar Comment
Seema Mehta @
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Justices to Hear Cases on Voting Rights and Internet Taxes

The Supreme Court will decide whether voting districts in Texas were the product of race discrimination and whether online merchants must collect sales taxes.

New Oakland Bridge Expected To Be Two Years Late, Millions Over Budget - San Francisco Chronicle
A bridge in Oakland that was supposed to cost no more than $24 million could now come to well over $30 million, and the city says toxic dirt is mostly to blame.

The Same Elements That Made The Thomas Fire Such A Monster Also Created Deadly Debris Flows
Bettina Boxall @
Santa Barbara County crews worked through the holidays to defend coastal communities from the second half of Southern California's familiar cycle of fire and flood.

How Charlie Baker ditched Trump to become the most popular governor in America

Massachusetts' Republican governor is defying the laws of political gravity.

For Black Americans, Trump's 'shithole' Comment Was An Insult To Their Histories
Matt Pearce, Jenny Jarvie @
When President Trump asked why America allowed immigrants from "shithole countries" in Africa, he insulted the histories of African Americans.

Supreme Court To Hear Texas Case On Racial Gerrymandering - Politico

The Supreme Court also faces the prospects of making decisions on two additional redistricting cases, in North Carolina and Pennsylvania. | Win McNamee/Getty Images

Sonora Local News, Sports, Weather, And Lifestyle


Democrats have a narrow path to the majority in the Senate. The debate is over just how narrow, and whether the forces working against the GOP and President Trump are setting the stage for a wave election.

New State Contract Allows Northern California Fire Debris Removal To Proceed

Trump After Dark: Now It's A Hole Deal Edition - Politico

In the vaguest terms, President Donald Trump seemed to deny using an incendiary, profane term to describe African nations, Haiti and El Salvador.