Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

December 9, 2013
Republican Susan Shelley abandons recount effort in AD 45


The Republican candidate who narrowly lost a special election in a Democratic-leaning district has abandoned a recount effort, according to the Los Angeles County clerk's office.

"She called it off," spokeswoman Elizabeth Knox said of Republican Susan Shelley.

Democrat Matt Dababneh, a former aide to U.S. Rep. Brad Sherman, on Nov. 19 prevailed by a few hundred votes in a race that saw Shelley stress that a Democratic win would reestablish a two-thirds supermajority for Assembly Democrats. Shelley surprised many observers by making it a close race in a district that skews heavily Democratic.

With Dababneh's win and a subsequent special election victory by Democrat Sebastian Ridley-Thomas in another Los Angeles area district, the Assembly will be operating at full capacity for the start of the legislative session in January. Democrats will have 55 of 80 seats, one more than two-thirds.

PHOTO: Matt Dababneh speaks to supporters on election night, Nov. 19, 2013 in Woodland Hills.. By Richard Salazar.

December 9, 2013
Brown administration to bid for Boeing facility in California

boeingc17.JPGCalifornia will be among states submitting bids to Boeing this week in an effort to land a production facility for the company's newest commercial jetliner.

An official for Gov. Jerry Brown's Office of Business and Economic Development, or GO-Biz, confirmed Monday that California will submit a proposal to Boeing ahead of the company's Tuesday deadline for states to submit proposals to host production of the 777X.

GO-Biz declined to say what incentives, if any, are included in the proposal, though Brown has significant latitude to negotiate.

In a controversial restructuring of California's enterprise zone program of hiring tax credits this year, the Legislature afforded Brown about $30 million this budget year for tax credits negotiated on a case-by-case basis with the state.

The tax credits, administered under a newly-formed California Competes Tax Committee, can increase to $150 million next budget year and $200 million annually in subsequent years.

The legislation, Assembly Bill 93, also provided a sales tax exemption for manufacturing and biotech research companies. The value of the exemption is potentially significant, applicable to up to $200 million in purchases annually.

December 9, 2013
Bill Emmerson to oversee hospital association lobbying


A month after announcing plans to step down in the middle of his term as state senator, Bill Emmerson has been named a senior vice president of the California Hospital Association.

State law forbids lawmakers from lobbying the Legislature for a year after leaving office. But it doesn't stop them from directing an organization's lobbying operation, which is what Emmerson will do for the hospital association based in Sacramento.

"In his new role, Emmerson will oversee CHA's state-level legislative advocacy efforts," says an announcement from the group.

The statement says Emmerson will supervise the hospital association's lobbyists and provide the group with "political analysis and strategic guidance."

The hospital association has been a consistent donor to Emmerson's campaigns in recent years. The Republican from the San Bernardino County city of Redlands was an orthodontist for many years before being elected to the Assembly in 2004.

He was re-elected to the Senate last year, and was one year into a four-year term when he announced last month that he would step down Dec. 1. At the time, Emmerson said his passion for legislating had waned.

Duane Dauner, president of the hospital association, described Emmerson as "a person of high integrity."

"His knowledge of health care and the political process will be invaluable to California's hospitals," Dauner said in a statement.

Emmerson fills the position left open in July when Marty Gallegos moved from the California Hospital Association to the Hospital Association of Southern California. He begins his new job on January 1.

PHOTO: Sen. Bill Emmerson, R-Redlands, listens to discussion on the main budget bill as senators prepared to vote on the state budget in June 2011. The Sacramento Bee/Hector Amezcua

December 9, 2013
Gray Davis, Robert Downey Jr. write checks to Jerry Brown

brownoaklandport.jpgFormer Gov. Gray Davis and actor Robert Downey Jr. are among the latest donors to Gov. Jerry Brown's re-election campaign, which reported raising another $556,600 in a filing over the weekend.

Nevada-based Station Casinos, which is backing a controversial casino project in Madera County, contributed $54,400, the maximum allowed. Opposition to a gambling compact Brown approved with the North Fork Rancheria Band of Mono Indians this year has sparked a referendum campaign, with a vote on the project set for November 2014.

Brown has not yet said if he will seek re-election but is widely expected to run. The third-term Democrat has raised more than $14 million for the effort and leads a field of Republican opponents by a huge margin both in fundraising and early polls.

Other donors contributing the maximum to Brown in his most recent filing include Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. and Southern California developers Majestic Realty Co. and Jeffrey Worthe.

Davis, Brown's chief of staff when he was governor before, donated $5,000, as did Downey Jr.

Brown received $10,000 from Illinois billionaire J. Christopher Reyes and $10,000 each from two other members of Reyes Holdings LLC, a major beer and food distribution company. NBC Universal contributed $27,200, while Anschutz Entertainment Group Inc. and The Anschutz Corp. contributed $25,000 each.

PHOTO: Gov. Jerry Brown speaks at an event in Oakland on Nov. 1, 2013. Associated Press/Marcio Jose Sanchez

December 9, 2013
Dan Walters Daily: Legislature's rising popularity not its own doing

The Legislature's once-dismal poll numbers are turning around, but that's simply a reflection of the state's economic health, Dan says.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

December 9, 2013
AM Alert: Delta water tunnels environmental report released

delta_aerial.JPGWhether the Bay Delta Conservation Plan is the solution to decades of conflict over California's water supply is heavily debated. But after seven years in the making, the environmental impact report for the project -- which proposes construction of two enormous tunnels to divert freshwater from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to the south state -- is finally ready for scrutiny.

The impact report was filed with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Friday and should be made available on the plan's website some time today. There will be opportunity for the public to comment on the report starting Friday and extending until April 14.

The implications for the project, which is backed by Gov. Jerry Brown but has faced intense political opposition, are considerable: It goes before state and federal wildlife agencies next year, who will consider the effects to the Delta's fragile ecosystem. If they approve the project, the state has said it will decide by the end of 2014 whether to proceed with building the tunnels and how to pay for them.

VIDEO: The Legislature's once-dismal poll numbers are turning around, but that's simply a reflection of the state's economic health, Dan Walters says.

RECOUNT BEGINS: Los Angeles County officials will begin a recount today of last month's whisker-thin special election in the 45th Assembly District. Republican candidate Susan Shelley requested the recount -- and is on the hook to pay for it -- after losing by 329 votes out of more than 29,000 cast in the Nov. 19 election. Shelley plans to make a statement on the status of the recount at about 4:45 p.m.

CAN WE TALK?: As Covered California pushes the gift of health care this holiday season, policymakers and residents continue to grapple with understanding the full effects of the Affordable Care Act. At noon, the California HealthCare Foundation sponsors a talk on price transparency at the California Chamber of Commerce at 1201 K Street. At 6:30, Emily Bazar, senior writer for USC Annenberg's Center for Health Care Reporting, answers audience questions on "Obamacare & You" at the Sacramento State Union Ballroom.

RICH MAN, POOR MAN: Less than half a percent of California households earn nearly a sixth of the state's income, according to new tax return figures from the Franchise Tax Board. The Sacramento Bee's Data Center has an interactive graphic exploring where that wealth is concentrated.

CELEBRATIONS: A belated happy birthday to Sen. Jim Beall, D-San Jose, who turned 62 on Saturday.

PHOTO: Aerial photos of the region to be affected by the Delta water tunnels and intakes in the Courtland area on April 10, 2013. Highway 160 and Randall Island Road are seen near the top of the frame. The Sacramento Bee/Randall Benton


Capitol Alert Staff

Jeremy White Jeremy B. White covers California politics and edits Capitol Alert's mobile Insider Edition. Twitter: @capitolalert

Amy Chance Amy Chance is political editor for The Sacramento Bee. Twitter: @Amy_Chance

Dan Smith Dan Smith is Capitol bureau chief for The Sacramento Bee.

Christopher Cadelago Christopher Cadelago covers California politics and health care. Twitter: @ccadelago

Micaela Massimino Micaela Massimino edits Capitol Alert.

Laurel Rosenhall Laurel Rosenhall covers the Legislature, the lobbying community and higher education. Twitter: @LaurelRosenhall

David Siders David Siders covers the Brown administration. Twitter: @davidsiders

Dan Walters Dan Walters is a columnist for The Sacramento Bee. Twitter: @WaltersBee

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