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Thursday, October 20, 2011


Premature Post Mortems?

UC Berkeley has now appropriately scrubbed from the “Brave New World” program any negative word about the state’s redistricting process, and any positive word about USC –and has after a few week’s time deemed the material appropriate for ITunes (a popular medium among the cultural elites). 

:: [iTunes Link] Commissioners Maria Blanco, Jodie Filkins Webber, and Michelle DiGuilio in conversation with John Myers, KQED and avoiding saying anything that would end up in a courtroom.

:: [iTunes Link] A teary-eyed proud father Charles T. Munger, Jr., Republican nay-sayer Matt Rexroad, Democratic hey-sayer Paul Mitchell all try to figure out which legislator dropped an F-bomb on Kathay Feng from California Common Cause.

:: [iTunes Link] The Real Justin Levitt of Loyola (Not the fake @roseinstitute one), Jeff Lewis and Iris Hui, of UCLA, Eric McGhee, from PPIC and attorney Pamela S. Karlan provide the Academic Analysis including charts and graphs and discussion of mathematical formulas for compactness – all which translate wonderfully to iTunes.

For the uber-nerds who attended, you can now relive the lively panels, and for those of you who had something to do in the middle of a Friday, you can witness it all for the first time.  Be careful not to listen while you’re driving or working heavy machinery.  That time should be dedicated to texting and tweeting.

In addition to the Berkeley program, other groups have been having their own exploration of the redistricting outcomes.  The most recent was last week’s CAUSE political institute event where Redistricting Partners provided the group with more data on Asians and the new district lines: What is their percentage of the population, Voting Age population, voters and turnout for the last ten elections?  These datasheets covering congressional, Senate and Assembly districts provide enough numbers to cause fellow panelist @billwongLLC to develop a little math anxiety.

But were these post-mortems a bit premature?  The Republican Party has announced a new infusion of $400,000 to help their struggling signature gathering campaign.  They claim that they have 400,000 signatures which sounds like they’re more than half way there with just a few weeks to go.

If they do get the thing before the voters that should precipitate a state redraw by the courts for the purpose of the 2012 Senate Contests.  Would they start from scratch, build from the current commission maps, or put out the commission maps just as they are.  Well, nobody really knows… but there is consensus that they will not use the old lines.  That whole one-person-one-vote principle would basically kill any proposal to use districts that are that out of whack.

State and Federal Redistricting

Six-figure GOP donation pumps life into California map fight
The Sacramento Bee
Bolstered by a new $400,000 donation from the California Republican Party, officials of a referendum campaign to overturn the state's newly drawn Senate districts say 400,000 voter signatures have been collected and a full-court-press has been launched for more. "I'm confident that we're going to do it," political strategist David Gilliard, who is running the campaign, said of prospects for gathering the required 504,760 valid voter signatures by Nov. 14 to place the issue before voters next year.

Senate Referendum Efforts Benefits From Over $1 Million In Donations To State GOP
The Flash Report
Our sources have confirmed that this week the California Republican Party has received over a million dollars in donations that will be used to super-charge the signature gathering process to refer to the voters the State Senate lines drawn by the California Redistricting Commission.   This is not “committed” funding — we have confirmed that these donations have already been put into the party’s bank account.

Redistricting Reflects The State’s Demographic and Economic New Realities
The Planning Report
Now that redistricting season is over, the focus is on the possible results—usually in the context of the partisan horse race:  how many seats will the Democrats and Republicans end up with in both houses of the Legislature and in California’s Congressional delegation in Washington?  Who loses their seats in the high stakes game of musical chairs?  Berman or Sherman? Osborne or Butler? It’s all part of the decennial ritual for political junkies across America and here in Southern California.

Paltry Fundraising Stirs Retirement Talk
Roll Call
Weak third-quarter fundraising is triggering increased speculation about potential House retirements, which are expected to begin trickling out soon. At the outset of retirement announcement season, the most recent reports filed with the Federal Election Commission signal the lack of intent to run or, in at least one case, the severe inability of some Members to raise money.

What redistricting could mean for Jews, Asian-Americans
The redistricting process going on at the state, county and city levels is a major signpost of changing power for Jews and Asian-Americans in the Southland. While nearly twice as many Asian-Americans as Jews live in the City and County of Los Angeles, Asian-Americans have had a much more difficult time gaining political representation. Jews have tended to win political seats out of proportion to their numbers, although they now find their base narrowing and their safe seats imperiled. As the state and county redistricting processes wind down, and the city’s advisory commission starts its work, how will Jews and Asian-Americans fare?

Eastside gentrification redraws the urban political map
The Eastsider LA
A story in the Planning Report newsletter describes how a slower growing or declining population in some urban portions of Southern California has been a big driver behind the redistricting at the federal, state and local level.  For example,  the population of Congressman Xavier Becerra’s old 31st Congressional District fell to 611,000 in the 2010 census from 640,000 a decade earlier.  The former 45th Assembly District  represented by Gil Cedillo reported a drop in population to 406,000 from 423,000.

State voting rights law reshapes local elections
“You see these things coming to a head,” said Democratic consultant Paul Mitchell of Redistricting Partners, who has worked with community college districts and other agencies around the state. “After redistricting is over, there are going to be a lot of people with line-drawing, demographic, and redistricting experience who are going to transition to working on these CVRA lawsuits.”

Redistricting Referendum Timeline Tight... or Impossible?
California's top elections official belives there won't be enough time for a court-appointed panel -- if one is chosen -- to redraw the state's political maps for the 2012 elections. That's the gist of a legal filing by Secretary of State Debra Bowen in the California Supreme Court fight over the maps drawn by the state's Citizens Redistricting Commission.

California GOP Blast Failure of U.S. House Delegates to Save State Seats
Human Events
The anger voiced at the Western Conservative Political Action Conference toward many Republican U.S. House members from California over their failure to attempt to thwart a new redistricting plan bad for the state GOP was seconded by some past leaders of the state party organization.  Three former California Republican chairmen—all of them solid conservatives—weighed in strongly against many in the Golden State GOP U.S. House delegation, all of whom opted against raising money to fight a plan stand that could spell defeat for six of the state’s 19 Republican House members.

Voting Rights Act Last Chance to Save Imperiled Calif. GOP House Seats
Human Events
Now that it seems a certainty Republicans will not raise the money needed for a petition drive that would have stopped a redistricting plan in California that endangers as many as six GOP House members, is the last hope of thwarting that plan a lawsuit that invokes the Voting Rights Act? This was a question posed increasingly on Saturday, as conservatives from throughout California gathered here for the Western Conservative Political Action Conference. 

New Maps, Big Changes for the Inland Empire
Rose Institute
Rep. David Drier (R-San Dimas), Chairman of the House Rules Committee cruised to a double-digit victory in California’s 26th Congressional District last November, trouncing his opponents with relative ease. Rep. Jerry Lewis, (R-Redlands) crushed his challenger by nearly 30 points last fall. Yet, come November 2012, both Congressmen may very well be out of a job. How could two popular and powerful Congressmen with more than 70 years of Congressional experience between them be in such political danger? It’s not a shocking scandal, a shortage of campaign cash, or any drastic ideological shift. The answer is redistricting, an esoteric yet tremendously important political procedure that shakes each and every level of the American political system every ten years.

Redistricting nightmare: Politics as usual
The Huey Report
The California Citizens Redistricting Commission (CCRC) was formed to provide fair, objective districts designed without gerrymandering, or a repeat of any past craziness—like dividing cities and areas with common interest. What we got are divided cities, broken promises—and politics as usual. This best describes the final district boundaries drawn by the CCRC. The result: Uncompetitive races, incumbents who never lose, districts that divide cities and boundaries that make no sense, especially from the viewpoint of “communities of interest” criteria specified by voters.

Local Redistricting

Solano Community College looks to redistrict after census
Daily Republic
After being presented with a couple of options Wednesday to align its areas more cohesively with new census data, trustees for Solano Community College opted to study the changes a bit more closely before sending it out for public perusal. Map options were presented at the board meeting by Paul Mitchell and Chris Chaffee, from the consulting firm Redistricting Partners They showed ways to carve up the areas to better reflect current demographics.

SVMH vulnerable to suit, says consultant
The Herald
Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System is vulnerable to a voting rights lawsuit because of racially polarized voting patterns — but a change to area or zone elections would likely cure it, said an electoral demographer. In a presentation to the Salinas Valley Memorial electoral advisory committee on Monday, demographer Matt Rexroad of Redistricting Partners said the public district hospital system's half-century-old method of electing its board members would likely be found in violation of the state's Voting Rights Act if it's challenged in court.

Santa Clara County school board considers redistricting proposals
For the first time in nearly 20 years, an electoral redistricting plan may change the areas represented by members of the Santa Clara County Board of Education. And a new map could end up pitting two longtime trustees against each other in next fall's elections. The seven trustees, elected to four-year terms, represent various areas of the county, from Gilroy to Palo Alto. Because of population growth and shifts, boundaries between their areas must be redrawn to equalize the number of people they represent -- roughly 255,000 per trustee. The lines haven't been redrawn since 1992.

High school district trustees agree to election change
North County Times
Trustees in the Escondido Union High School District adopted a resolution Tuesday to draw boundaries for new voting areas and change from at-large to by-trustee elections. The Escondido Union School District, which has related voting areas and the same demographics as the high school district, adopted a similar resolution last month.

Town Hall Meetings Coming to San Mateo
San Mateo Patch
Councilmember David Lim will help host two town hall meetings in San Mateo in an effort to engage the community in local issues, the first of which is scheduled to take place Thursday. Thursday's meeting, sponsored by the San Mateo Chapter of the Organization of Chinese Americans, will feature Assemblymembers Jerry Hill and Sally Lieber as they discuss “How Redistricting Affects You.”

PUSD Electorial Redistricting Plan Moves to Next Phase
Altadena Patch
The Pasadena Unified School Board voted Tuesday night to move to the next phase of its redistricting plan: drawing up a map of geographic sub-districts that would make board members accountable to specific geographic areas of Pasadena, Altadena, and Sierra Madre. The redistricting process has been underway since January, when the school board first authorized the creation of a nine-member task force to study the issue.

Salinas redistricting committee to meet
The Californian
Officials with the Salinas Redistricting Committee announced that the committee will next meet on Oct. 26. Committee Chairman Wayne Schapper said the committee has been meeting since June to consider changes to the six City Council districts in order to adjust boundaries so that each district has about the same number of voters.

American Canyon City Council may ask Napa County to revise plans for school redistricting
Daily Democrat
Council members will consider formally complaining about proposed new county school and college board district boundaries Tuesday. A resolution expressing American Canyon city leaders' concerns over proposed redistricting plans for the Napa Valley College Board and Napa County Board of Education asks those boards to have the plans revised. It reads, in part, that after a public hearing held in the city last month in which Registrar of Voters John Tuteur showed how the proposed adjustments split American Canyon into two districts, council members were unanimously dismayed.

SCC redistricting to impact board representation
The Benicia Herald
Like other governing bodies in California, Solano Community College is undergoing redistricting, drawing new electoral boundaries for its Governing Board of Trustees. And when the map redrawing is done next spring, the number of voting districts may expand from four to as many as seven, said Dr. Jowel Laguerre, SCC superintendent-president. “Currently we have four districts: Benicia, Suisun City and part of Vallejo; Vallejo proper; Fairfield; and Vacaville, Winters and Dixon,” Laguerre said.

City council districts redrawn in San Jose
Mercury News
Ten San Jose City Council districts simultaneously changed political boundaries this week in order to equally represent each citizen in a more than 950,600-person city. But District Four, covering much of North San Jose and considered the fastest-growing council district in the city by population, will see few boundary changes under a final redistricting map that became effective yesterday (Oct. 13).

Seal Beach sets its redistricting agenda
Sun Newspapers
The process of redrawing Seal Beach council districts began Monday night, Oct. 10.  The City Council introduced an amended ordinance that moved some residents from District 3 into District 1.  Council District 3 is represented by Councilman Gordon Shanks. District 1 is represented by Councilwoman Ellery Deaton.

Supervisors approve county redistricting
Ledger Dispatch
Supervisors have approved a redistricting plan made necessary by Amador County’s changing population numbers as reported by the 2010 U.S. Census. Deputy Registrar of Voters George Allen, who also holds the job of county surveyor, said the new lines were drawn in accordance with state and federal rules. Allen said he had received three requests for parcel adjustments from the board since the first public hearing on the redistricting plan held Sept. 13. “There was an area up by Pine Grove, between Pine Grove-Volcano Road, and Highway 88 there, that was in Supervisor (Brian) Oneto’s (district), I moved that back into District 4,” said Allen.


Gallegly's fundraising gives no hint of retirement plans; Steve Bennett to decide on Congress this week
Ventura County Star
Rep. Elton Gallegly, giving no indication of any thoughts of retiring, raised more than $82,000 during the summer, upping the balance in his congressional campaign account to $824,000. It was his most successful quarter of fundraising of the year and topped the amount he took in during summer 2010, when he was gearing up for his most recent re-election campaign.

State Senate Candidate (Current Assemblywoman) Bonnie Lowenthal To Face Challenge From Fellow Dem Assemblymember Ricardo Lara
Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal will face a challenge in her state Senate run from a fellow-Dem Assemblyman. Assemblyman Ricardo Lara, now in his first term in office, has announced that he's entering the race for the newly drawn 33rd state Senate district. More than half of the reconfigured district is in Long Beach, but it's now more north-south and in an Oct. 18 release, Assemblyman Lara announced the endorsement of Mayors of Huntington Park, Lynwood, South Gate, Bell Gardens and Paramount.

Incumbents outpace challengers in congressional races
The Press-Enterprise
Incumbents outpaced challengers in fundraising efforts in the third quarter , as candidates in the freshly redrawn set of Inland congressional districts amassed their war chests in advance of the 2012 elections, new campaign finance reports show.

But the strongest showing came from Democrat Mark Takano, who is vying against Republican John Tavaglione to represent Riverside County’s competitive open seat.

Hannah-Beth Jackson to run for state Senate seat
Daily Sound
After what she referred to as “much soul-searching,” former state assemblywoman and prominent Santa Barbara Democrat Hannah-Beth Jackson announced her candidacy for next year’s election to the state Senate, an election she lost over three years ago. The state’s 19th district, which will be represented by Republican Tony Strickland until his term expires next year, is different now, though, than what it was in 2008, when Strickland barely beat out Jackson for the seat.

San Rafael businesswoman running for Congress raises big bucks in a hurry
Marin Independent Journal
San Rafael businesswoman Stacey Lawson has vaulted into second place in the fundraising sweepstakes for the 2nd District congressional seat to be vacated next year by Rep. Lynn Woolsey. Reports filed with the Federal Election Commission show that Lawson raised $238,391 through Sept. 30. She entered the race in August. "I think people should be impressed by her efforts so far," said Brian Sobel, a Petaluma-based political analyst. "Any time somebody can raise real money, it makes them a contender."

Capitol Alert: Assemblyman Ricardo Lara announces run for state Senate
The Fresno Bee
Democratic Assemblyman Ricardo Lara has made plans to run for a Los Angeles County Senate seat official, setting the stage for a 2012 battle with fellow Assembly Democrat Bonnie Lowenthal. The Bell Gardens Democrat, who was elected to his first term in the state Assembly last year, plans to pass up another term in the Assembly to seek the newly drawn 33rd Senate District, which includes some communities covered by his current seat.

McEachron forms committee to run for Congress
Mayor Ryan McEachron has formed a campaign finance committee to run for Congress in 2012, according to documents filed with the Federal Election Commission. McEachron, whose first term on Victorville’s City Council expires in November 2012, is gearing up for a run for the newly formed 8th Congressional District representing the High Desert. “I’m laying the groundwork and getting myself ready,” McEachron said by phone Wednesday.

Fundraising signals hot political races in June
The Los Angeles Times
Many Southern California lawmakers in hot primary contests have been raising money at a brisk pace ahead of the June congressional races, reports filed with the Federal Election Commission show. Rep. Howard L. Berman (D-Valley Village) — who will face off against Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Sherman Oaks) in what many political experts believe could become the most expensive House race in history — brought in more than $800,000 between July 1 and Sept. 30, according to documents posted on the FEC website over the weekend.

Professor running for assembly
Daily 49er
Cal State Long Beach health and administration professor and local Democratic leader Gerrie Schipske will be running for office in the November 2012 election of the 70th district assembly. The nurse, lawyer and professor aim to make needed reform in the Long Beach community. Schipske said timing will play in her favor when running. "This is the best time to run as the seat is open and there will be no incumbent," Schipske said.

New election rules make a space for Baugh's candidacy
In other words, whether he's the right person for the Senate seat or not, his is the kind of candidacy Proposition 14 aimed to encourage. That's not to say he'll have an easy run. Sitting Sen. Ted Gaines, a Republican from Roseville, represents much of what will be the newly revised 1st Senate District and plans to run for re-election in it. (Ironically, he doesn't live in it today, but he says he plans to move.) Gaines served several terms in the Assembly before winning the Senate seat, and his wife, Beth, now serves in the Assembly too.

Capps leads in third-quarter fundraising`
Third-quarter contribution statements filed by two candidates vying for the 24th District congressional seat show incumbent Lois Capps, a Santa Barbara Democrat, raising the most money for the quarter from July 1 to Sept. 30, with $292,526. Republican Abel Maldonado of Santa Maria, who has been mayor, Assemblyman and state senator, and briefly lieutenant governor, raised $115,415 for the period.

Look Who's Funding the LB/OC Congressional Race
Belmont Shore-Naples Patch
The latest campaign spending reports have been made public for the newly created U.S. Congressional District that straddles Long Beach, Seal Beach and two neighboring communities. For some close political observers there was a bit of a surprise. State Senator Alan Lowenthal (D-Long Beach), a former California assemblyman who has been elected to state office four times after being elected twice to the Long Beach City Council, has only amassed about $40,000 for this congressional race.

Goodbye Congressman Dreier?
Claremont Portside
Last August, the commission approved the newly drawn districts. While there are many important changes, the most significant is the complete disregard for protecting the seats of long-serving incumbents. Under the new system, there are very few “safe” districts left in the state of California and many incumbents will be forced into highly competitive elections. As a result, California could be sending a very different group of representatives to Washington next year.

Monrovia and Claremont Mayors Endorse Chris Holden for Assembly
Monrovia Patch
Pasadena City Council Member and candidate for the California State Assembly Chris Holden has picked up two key local endorsements, with Monrovia Mayor Mary Ann Lutz and Claremont Mayor Sam Pedroza announcing their support on Wednesday, Oct. 19, according to a statement from the Holden campaign.

Assembly candidates tout backers
The Los Angeles Times
Supporters are busy lining up behind candidates in two already crowded contests in Assembly districts friendly to Democrats. They include those in the San Fernando Valley's newly drawn 46th District, where a four-way race among Democrats is in full swing. Businesswoman Laurette Healey added the backing of the California Black Chamber of Commerce and several  leaders of the gay and lesbian community, including, locally, West Hollywood Mayor John Duran and Mayor Pro Tem Jeffrey Prang.

S.F. sheriff's race: Distinct candidates competing
The San Francisco Chronicle
The three front-runners are Chris Cunnie, the former police union president and beat cop who served as board president of the drug treatment program Walden House; policy wonk Ross Mirkarimi, a liberal city lawmaker and police academy graduate who chairs the Board of Supervisors' Public Safety Committee; and Paul Miyamoto, a career Sheriff's Department employee who has risen through the ranks and now serves as a captain.

Campaigns build in Westside and South Bay Assembly races
The Los Angeles Times
Candidates who have already announced for next year's races for California Assembly are raising money and building support. In the newly drawn 66th Assembly District in the South Bay, several prominent Republicans have scheduled a Nov. 16 fundraiser for Nathan Mintz, who ran a hard-fought race against Assemblywoman Betsy Butler (D-Marina del Rey) last year.

'Private values will affect public policy'
Politics and Government
A California conservative says two openly homosexual Republicans running for mayor in San Diego remind voters that assessing a candidate's values should be more important than party affiliation. San Diego District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis and City Councilman Carl DeMaio are the leading contenders in the race for San Diego mayor. Although both candidates are homosexuals, their sexual orientation has not drawn a lot of attention from the media or from voters.

GOP's Ricky Gill going after Rep. Jerry McNerney
The San Francisco Chronicle
San Joaquin County - Ricky Gill won't be old enough to serve in Congress until next year, but the 24-year-old Stockton resident already has raised $725,000, according to his campaign - more than nearly every other Republican candidate in the country not serving in the House. Gill has never held elective office before. He's never even held a full-time job; he's currently in his final year of law school at UC Berkeley.

Cruzito Cruz Seeks to Increase ‘Americano’ Community Representation
At a recent candidate issues forum, Cruzito Herrera Cruz immediately distinguished himself from the other Santa Barbara City Council hopefuls during introductions: he opened with a conch shell tribute to the four directions, and acknowledged community elders at La Casa de la Raza who taught him the Aztec tradition. As a council candidate, Cruz seeks to give a voice to this community.

Steve Kuykendall Running for Congress in 67th District
Orange County Breeze
Combat Veterans for Congress, a national veterans organization, announced its endorsement of Republican businessman, and former Congressman Steve Kuykendall for the newly created 47th Congressional District. “Steve Kuykendall has everything we look for in a future leader in Congress — a battle tested combat veteran who will rein in the out of control debt and stop the endless borrowing and spending,” said Combat for Veterans Chairman Joseph John.

2012: The road to a House majority goes through California
On Election Night 2002, it became incredibly evident that the new “incumbent protection” remap of California (in the wake of the 2000 census) had neutered the Golden State as it related to competitive, exciting politics. Only one race out of the 53 House races in California was decided by a single-digit margin: Dennis Cardoza’s still decisive victory (51-43) over Republican Dick Monteith in the somewhat swing-y 18th district in the Central Valley. An eye-popping 49 of the 53 races were won by a candidate earning 60 percent or more of the vote.

Huntington Beach Councilman Harper Announces Run for Assembly District 72
Orange County Breeze
“Councilman Matthew Harper has an outstanding record as a defender of the taxpayer,” said Huntington Beach Mayor Pro Tem Don Hansen. Prior to his service on the Huntington Beach City Council, Matthew Harper served three terms on the Board of Trustees for the Huntington Beach Union High School District where he established himself as a consistent vote for fiscal responsibility.

Former California legislator, U.S. Senate hopeful moving to Texas
The Sacramento Bee
Now, one well-known GOP official got tired of pointing and has decided to pack up his bags and leave the Golden State. Former GOP Assemblyman and U.S. Senate hopeful Chuck DeVore has given up his Orange County supervisor bid to move his family to Texas. While caring for aging parents was one factor in the move, the Irvine Republican also blamed California's economic climate, writing in a statement on his website that he's "found it hard to earn enough to support my family" since leaving office last year.

Jose Hernandez, an immigrant's son, makes run at Congress
The Sacramento Bee
I drove to Modesto last Tuesday to watch a farmworker who became a NASA astronaut announce that he's running for Congress. His name is Jose Hernandez. On Twitter, nearly 208,000 followers know him as Astro Jose — the man who tweeted in English and Spanish as a crew member of the Space Shuttle Discovery in the summer of 2009.

Open downtown-midtown council seat lures serious candidates
The Sacramento Bee
In Sacramento, incumbent politicians have proven tough to beat – so Councilman Rob Fong's announcement last week that he would not seek re-election has set off a swift response from interest groups and political hopefuls. Fong's council district is arguably the choicest in Sacramento – even more so after a recent redistricting.

Merced Co. Sheriff Mark Pazin decides against congressional run
The Fresno Bee
Scratch Mark Pazin off the Republican congressional wish list. Pazin, who is currently serving his third term as Merced County Sheriff, was approached by several prominent Republicans to run for Congress in the newly created 16th District -- which includes half the City of Fresno, parts of Fresno and Madera counties and all of Merced County. He considered it, but decided against it. Pazin cited three major reasons that played into his decision:

Royce extends fundraising lead over Miller
The Orange County Register
In Orange County’s most competitive congressional race – which pits two incumbent Republicans against each other – Fullerton’s Ed Royce has extended his already significant fundraising lead over Diamond Bar’s Gary Miller. His just-filed campaign report shows that Royce raised $353,00 in the third quarter, bringing his campaign account to $3.05 million.

Morrell could face Dutton in 40th Assembly District race
Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
Freshman assemblyman Mike Morrell, R-Rancho Cucamonga, might be facing a fellow Rancho politician when he's up for re-election next year. His potential primary opponent is Senate minority leader and Sacramento veteran Bob Dutton, R-Rancho Cucamonga, who terms out of the Senate next year. Dutton on Tuesday said he wants to continue in public service and is eyeing a run the 40th Assembly District. "I want to continue on in public service if the people let me," Dutton said. "I've learned a lot and I think I have a lot to still provide. I can still do two more terms in the Assembly. That's currently what my plans are, but we'll have to wait and see."

Hansen throws his hat into the ring for District 4 Council seat
Sacramento Press
Local community activist Steve Hansen announced Thursday that he will run for City Council in 2012, seeking the District 4 council seat currently held by Councilman Rob Fong, who announced Wednesday that he will not seek another term. At the moment, he is the only horse on the track for District 4, but Hansen said he knows others may join the race. The lack of – or potential for – other candidates wasn’t part of his decision to run, however.

Who’s Going to Run Against Dianne Feinstein?
Fox and Hounds
The election is a little more than a year away and no major Republican candidate has announced a run against incumbent U. S. Senator Dianne Feinstein. Often cited as the most revered politician in the state, Feinstein has won four elections to the senate, and in a strong Democratic state, she would seem tough, if not impossible, to beat. Still, there have been signs that the challenge may not be hopeless. The last two Field Polls have her approval rating a scant four points and two points ahead of disapproval.

Third-Quarter Reports Show Member Donations to Howard Berman
Roll Call
At least four Members of Congress donated money last quarter to Rep. Howard Berman (Calif.), who is running against fellow Democratic Rep. Brad Sherman in a redrawn Los Angeles-area district. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Reps. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) and Jim Moran (D-Va.) were among his list of contributors, which also included big names in the entertainment industry.

Downey mayor to run for state Assembly again
The Downey Patriot
After months of speculation, Downey Mayor Luis Marquez formally announced on Tuesday that he will run for the California State Assembly in the newly-created 58th District. "This is a great opportunity to be able to represent Downey and other local cities in this brand new 58th Assembly District," Marquez said. "There are very few champions fighting for working families and these cities, I hope to bring the skills of what we've done in Downey, creating jobs, balancing the budget, and economic development, to Sacramento."

Denham acquires challenger
The Modesto Bee
San Joaquin County native and former astronaut Jose Hernandez will launch his political career today when he formally announces his candidacy in the 10th Congressional District. Hernandez will be vying for the chance to take on freshman Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Atwater, in a newly redrawn, Stanislaus-County focused district whose contours still face a potential legal challenge. "As an astronaut, I relied on thousands of people to do their job. As citizens, we rely on Congress to do their job, and they are failing miserably," Hernandez said in remarks prepared for delivery at his campaign kickoff.

Congressional Candidates Race to the Left at Debate
Novato Patch
If you’re looking for the arch, absolute, antipodal response to Tuesday’s Republican Party Presidential debate at Dartmouth College, look no further than last week's debate among eight candidates vying to represent the reapportioned 2nd Congressional District.  It was clear from the outset that Lynn Woolsey’s soon-to-be vacated Congressional seat has attracted politicos from across the geographically massive district, which stretches from the north anchorage of the Golden Gate Bridge and up the entire 286-mile California coastline to Crescent City and the Oregon border.

Seven candidates vie for three seats on Monrovia school board
Pasadena Star-News
Incumbents Ed Gililland and Bryan Wong will square off with five other candidates for three school board seats in a race focused on the district's financial challenges. The two incumbents are running against former mayor and businessman Rob Hammond, retiree David Crabtree, escrow officer Janeane Lechuga Covarrubias, businessman Ed McCarthy and entrepreneur Terrence G. Williams for seats on the Monrovia Unified School District Board of Education.

CA primary opponents Berman, Sherman split on trade votes
The Hill
Reps. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) and Howard Berman (D-Calif.), who will face off in a primary in a newly drawn Los Angeles-based district, split on a series of votes to ratify free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea Wednesday night, an issue that could emerge as a major policy difference between the two candidates, who have voted similarly over the many years they've shared in Congress. Berman voted for all three trade bills, while Sherman opposed them.

COUSD Candidate Q&A: What Do You Bring to the Board?
Glendora Patch
With school board elections coming up, it's important that voters know as much as they can about their candidates. At Glendora Patch, we'd like to offer voters an easily accessible and centralized place to meet each of their candidates in a weekly Q&A forum. There are three incumbents and two newcomers vying for two empty seats. With Election Day Nov. 8, we’re giving voters the opportunity to get to know their candidates for Charter Oak Unified School Board.

San Ramon council candidates have their say
Mercury News
Incumbents in the San Ramon council race vowed to maintain the city's quality of life and newcomers said they plan to bring a new voice to elected leadership during last week's mayoral and council candidates forum. On Nov. 8, San Ramon voters will select two council members and a new mayor. Running for council are incumbent Scott Perkins, termed-out mayor Abram Wilson and challenger Phil O'Loane, a former San Ramon planning commissioner. Voters will also chose a new mayor. Councilwoman Carol Rowley and Bill Clarkson, a former San Ramon Valley School Board trustee, are running for the spot.

Mayoral Candidate: John Marchand
Livermore Patch
What is the primary reason you are running for this office? I am running for this office for the same reason that I originally ran for public office twenty years ago; to make the community a better place to live.  That is why I served on the Zone 7 water Board.  My experience and leadership resulted in significant improvements to water quality that the region still enjoys to this day.

Mayoral Candidate: Barbara Hickman
Livermore Patch
What is the primary reason you are running for this office? My primary reason for running for office is that, as I was collecting signatures on the petition for Keep BART on 580, so many people commented that "We have to replace the current Council," or words to that effect, combined with the urging by former mayor Cathie Brown, former Dublin mayor Linda Jeffery Sailors, and former County Supervisor Valerie Raymond. After mulling it over, I realized that a win is possible, and with so much public opposition to the current Council, perhaps even probable.

Meet the candidates: Ventura City Council
The VCReporter continues its coverage of the Ventura City Council election this week by publishing two interviews per week. Three weeks in, we have featured six of the 11 candidates. This week, Ken Cozzens and Cheryl Heitmann. As many Ventura residents will vote by mail, all interviews will be online at vcreporter.com starting Thursday Oct. 13. If it isn’t on the homepage, search for, Meet the Candidates: Ventura City Council 2011. We will also do endorsements in the Oct. 20 issue while interviews will still be published over the next few weeks.

City Council Candidate Joe Buscaino Talks About Campaign
Janice Hahn's election to Congress has left an empty seat on the Los Angeles City Council. Eleven candidates are now vying for her vacant council district 15 seat in a special election to be held Nov. 8. Joe Buscaino, an LAPD officer, is one of those candidates. Buscaino says he is running for city council after being approached by several members of the community.

Sacramento Councilman Rob Fong says he won't run again
The Sacramento Bee
Sacramento Councilman Rob Fong, among the most well-known faces in local politics and a key figure in the city's ongoing struggle to build a new sports arena, says he will not seek re-election in the June primary. Fong told The Bee on Wednesday that after eight years on the City Council and six years on the Sacramento City Unified School District board, he will leave politics when his term ends in November 2012.

District Issues Take Center Stage At Council District 15 Candidate Forum
Around 100 people came out to hear what some of the candidates for the vacant 15th district city council seat had to say Wednesday night. The event, attended by eight of the 11 official candidates, was held at L.A. Harbor College. Former city council member Robert Farrell, now a write-in candidate, also joined the forum. The candidates sat according to the order their names will appear on the Nov. 8 ballot. The evening was more of a discussion than a debate, an aspect that surprised a few people in the crowd.

From the Twitterverse


@LivePaola- Redistricting in California: Wow! Read about it: http://www.gsb.stanford.edu/news/bmag/sbsm1109/dai_redistricting.html

@rozszelll shad- California: Why Redistricting Is Worrying Republicans - http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2083189,00.html?xid=rss-politics&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed: time/politics (TIME: Top Politics Stories)

@PacificPoliSci- Don't miss A Conversation About Redistricting with Michelle DiGuilio, Commissioner, California Citizens'... https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=10150346497953122&id=53476683121