Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

February 5, 2014
Southern California leads in nation's domestic migration

trafficlosangeles.jpgCalifornia's population boomed in the two decades after World War II due to a high birthrate and massive migration from other states.

Population growth cooled off in the 1970s, then surged again in the 1980s with a wave of immigration from other nations, followed by a second baby boom among new immigrants.

More recently, the birthrate has been falling, foreign immigration has slowed to a trickle and the state loses more people to other states than it gains.

However, as a new Census Bureau report illustrates, the state - particularly Southern California - has been seeing a lot of movement, some to and from other states but also much within the state.

Between 2007 and 2011, as a severe recession hit California, Southern California counties were the nation's most active in terms of human movement.

The nearly 42,000 people who moved from Los Angeles County to adjacent San Bernardino County during the period was the largest county-to-county migration in the country. It was followed by the nearly 41,000 who moved from Los Angeles to Orange County and, interestingly, the more than 35,000 who moved to Los Angeles from Asia, the nearly 31,000 who moved from Orange to Los Angeles, and the more than 27,000 who moved from Los Angeles to Riverside County.

So the nation's five top relocations all involved Los Angeles County. Other Southern California population shifts are to be found in the nation's top 25, such as the nearly 20,000 who moved from Riverside to San Bernardino.

The report reveals that Los Angeles and San Diego counties were two of just five counties in the nation that lost population to at least 1,000 other counties. And it indicates that Southern California's shifts of population within the region were high at all income and education levels.

While Los Angeles was a net loser in the migration of residents to other nearby counties and other states, it was a net gainer in foreign immigration, particularly from Asia. It also attracted a high percentage of domestic and foreign migrants with advanced degrees, but was among the leaders in losing highly educated residents to other locales.

PHOTO: Rush-hour commuters line up on the 110 freeway, Dec. 14, 2000, in Los Angeles. Associated Press/Damian Dovarganes

February 5, 2014
Neel Kashkari raises more than $900,000 in two weeks for California governor's race

kashkarisits.jpgNeel Kashkari raised more than $900,000 in the first two weeks of his gubernatorial campaign, the first significant fundraising burst from any Republican bidding to unseat Gov. Jerry Brown.

The sum is only a fraction of the roughly $17 million Brown had on hand as of Dec. 31. But it is more than twice what Tim Donnelly, the other Republican in the race, raised all of last year.

Kashkari's campaign announced Wednesday that the former U.S. Treasury Department official had raised $976,000 since announcing his candidacy last month. Kashkari has filed campaign statements showing contributions of just under $915,000. The campaign said the balance consists of checks less than $5,000 that are not yet required to be reported.

Former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and his wife, Wendy, each contributed $27,200, as did billionaire Robert Day, chairman of Trust Company of the West, and each of Kashkari's parents, Chaman and Sheila. Slightly more than two-thirds of the total amount raised came from California donors. Many of the contributors are members of the financial industry, including employees of Goldman Sachs, where Kashkari previously worked.

Kashkari raised fundraising expectations by saying before he announced his candidacy that he had met with hundreds of potential donors, and his campaign promoted his earnings in a news release just before filing contribution reports with the state.

In an online video, Kashkari said the contributions reflect an "outpouring of support."

Donnelly, a Twin Peaks assemblyman, raised less than $375,000 in 2013 and ended the year with only $54,299 in cash on hand. Former Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado dropped out of the race last month after raising just $517,772 last year.

Brown has not yet said if he will seek re-election, but he is widely expected to run.

The Bee's Jim Miller contributed to this report.

PHOTO: Neel Kashkari speaks at an interview with The Associated Press in Sacramento on Dec. 4, 2013. AP Photo/ Rich Pedroncelli

February 5, 2014
Jerry Brown says longer living state workers will drive pension costs up $1.2 billion a year

jerrybrownprisons.jpgGov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday urged CalPERS, the massive public employee pension fund, to move more quickly to address the increasing life expectancy of state employees, saying longer-lived retirees will drive pension costs up $1.2 billion a year.

In a letter to Rob Feckner, president of CalPERS' board, Brown called "unacceptable" a CalPERS staff recommendation he said would have the board "wait two full years before taking action." Fund staff previously raised concerns about the cost of raising contribution rates, recommending increases not take effect until 2016.

"Since CalPERS last faced this issue in 2010, there have been dramatic changes in life expectancy: by 2028, men retiring at age 55 are projected to live an average of 2.1 years longer and women 1.6 years longer," Brown said in his letter. "For the state, these changes mean that pension costs will be much greater than previously thought and state costs will increase $1.2 billion annually - about 32 percent greater than today."

The Democratic governor called on the board to "fully phase in the increased costs within three years."

"No one likes to pay more for pensions," he said, "but ignoring their true costs for two more years will only burden the system and cost more in the long run."

CalPERS said in a prepared statement Wednesday that board members "must balance a number of factors in their decision making including the state of our financial markets, our economy and the ability of our members and employer partners to pay increased pension costs."

It said CalPERS staff will make its final recommendation about actuarial assumptions available next week.

PHOTO: Gov. Jerry Brown speaks to reporters at a news conference at the Capitol on Sept. 9, 2013. The Sacramento Bee/Hector Amezcua

February 5, 2014
VIDEO: Tim Donnelly seeking campaign donations, prayer

donnellyroseville.jpgAs he re-commissioned a borrowed RV and touched off a 10-day push through central and northern California on Tuesday, Tim Donnelly suggested at his first stop, in Roseville, what he needs badly at this point in the campaign.

"If you can write an additional check," the Republican candidate for governor said, "please search out your heart and do everything you can."

Donnelly, a Twin Peaks assemblyman and tea party favorite, reported Friday that he raised only about $374,000 last year and was left by the end of December with just $54,299 on hand. Jerry Brown, the third-term governor Donnelly is bidding to unseat, held about $17 million.

In three speeches Tuesday - at a fundraiser, a rally and a meeting of Republicans at an Old Spaghetti Factory - Donnelly acknowledged many of his supporters will not write the kind of high-dollar checks that fill Brown's filings.

But the Legislature's most outspoken anti-illegal immigration and gun-rights advocate told several dozen supporters at a glass and window business, "You might know somebody who can write me a larger check than you can - a thousand dollars, or five or ten. Introduce me to them. Hey, I will make the phone calls."

It is unclear how Donnelly's fundraising will stand up against the other Republican in the race, who only entered the contest last month. Neel Kashkari, a former U.S. Treasury Department official, reported the first contribution of his campaign - a $5,000 check from Woodside money manager Paul Edwards - just moments before Donnelly began speaking in Roseville. The contribution reflects Kashkari's efforts for less than a full day after he announced his candidacy, and it does not account for contributions that were not immediately received.

Donnelly told Republicans in Roseville that big government is the "greatest threat to your future." He criticized Brown's handling of the ongoing drought and promised broadly to ease California's regulatory climate if elected.

Donnelly said supporters who can't donate more can do other things: volunteer, help campaign videos go viral, "like" him on Facebook.

"Most important," he said at the Old Spaghetti Factory, "I'm going to ask you to pray."

Editor's note: This post was updated at 12:30 p.m. Thursday to correct the description of issues on which Donnelly is outspoken. He is the Legislature's most outspoken anti-illegal immigration and gun-rights advocate.

PHOTO: Republican gubernatorial candidate Tim Donnelly speaks at a campaign rally at The Glass Guru in Roseville on Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014. The Sacramento Bee/David Siders

February 5, 2014
Sandra Fluke to run for California Legislature

FLUKE.jpg

Sandra Fluke, the women's rights activist weighing a congressional bid, said Wednesday she will instead mount a campaign for the California Legislature.

Fluke's surprise candidacy for the state's 26th Senate district comes amid persistent calls for more women to challenge for the Legislature. In a statement, the Democrat said she was moved by the outpouring of local and national support since announcing she was considering running for public office.

"My entire career has been devoted to the public interest, whether representing victims of human trafficking or advocating for working families," Fluke said Wednesday. "I am committed to continuing that fight in Sacramento, working to protect our environment, ensure our access to health care, and create the jobs that are desperately needed. While I strongly considered offering my candidacy for Congress, I feel there is better way for me to advance the causes that are important to our community."

The 26th Senate District, stretching along the coast of Los Angeles County -- from the Westside to south of Torrance -- came open when Democratic Sen. Ted Lieu decided to forgo a final term in favor of getting in the race to succeed veteran Democratic Rep. Henry Waxman.

26th Senate District

Other potential candidates for the state Senate seat include Democrats Vito Imbasciani, an Army National Guard State Surgeon, former Assemblywoman Betsy Butler and Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi.

Fluke this week sought to remain eligible for the California Democratic Party endorsement had she run for Congress. It's unclear whether she qualified for the party's backing in the state Senate race, though her announcement includes endorsements from Democratic Rep. Janice Hahn and state Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara.

Fluke is no stranger to the campaign trail having appeared with everyone from President Barack Obama to a handful of California Democrats running for targeted congressional seats.

As a Georgetown University law student, Fluke became a household name after her congressional testimony advocating for birth control coverage inspired a viral rant by conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh. He later apologized for deriding her as a "slut" and "prostitute."

Last month, Fluke was flanked by several state lawmakers as she spoke to a women's policy summit in Sacramento.

PHOTO: Activist Sandra Fluke campaigns for Rep. Ami Bera, D-Elk Grove, then a candidate for Congress. The news conference on women's health issues was held in October 2012. The Sacramento Bee/Lezlie Sterling

February 5, 2014
AM Alert: State considers expanding historic fishing ban

fishing.JPGInterest in the drought around the Capitol has focused on the implications for farmers, but they're not the only ones squeezed out by the lack of water: Last week, state officials prohibited recreational fishing in dozens of streams across California because of concern over the impact of low flows on the spawning season of threatened salmon and steelhead trout.

Today the California Fish and Game Commission considers whether to extend that ban, already the broadest in state history. At the urging of the Department of Fish and Wildlife, the agency may vote to close several more bodies of water to fishing through April 30, including a section of the American River near Folsom and Rancho Cordova.

Fishing groups have largely supported the bans in order to preserve vulnerable species for future fishing. The meeting takes place at 8:30 a.m. at the Resources Building on 9th Street.

VIDEO: California lobbyists are making more than ever, but it's just a drop in the bucket compared to the public funds at stake, Dan Walters says.

HANGING OUT: All is quiet on the legislative front as the Democratic and Republican caucuses hold off-campus retreats this week to discuss policy priorities and political strategies. Yesterday, Assembly Democrats got a visit from Robert Reich, former labor secretary under Bill Clinton, while Gov. Jerry Brown dropped in on Senate Dems.

THERE AND BACK AGAIN: Former congressman Doug Ose is seeking a return to the House this November in the 7th District. One of three Republican challengers to freshman Rep. Ami Bera, D-Elk Grove, who narrowly won in 2012, Ose opens his campaign headquarters in Fair Oaks with a celebration tonight at 6 p.m. The party simultaneously commemorates late President Ronald Reagan's birthday, which is Thursday; former Reagan spokesman Doug Elmets will welcome guests. Jelly beans will be served.

INSIDER EXCLUSIVE: Subscribers to the Capitol Alert Insider Edition can get veteran political analyst Tony Quinn's take on key legislative races, as Republicans seek to cut into Democrats' supermajority status this year. In the second of five parts released this week, Quinn and reporter Christopher Cadelago looks at key Assembly races in Central California. You can subscribe to the Insider Edition app for iPad and iPhone.

PHOTO: Tom Fox of south Natomas prepares to cast his line while fishing for salmon at the confluence of the Sacramento and American rivers on October 7, 2013. The Sacramento Bee/Randy Pench

February 5, 2014
Dan Walters Daily: Millions spent on lobbying is just a drop in the bucket

JD_CAPITOL_LOBBYISTS_02.JPGWith hundreds of billions of dollars on the line in California's budget, interest groups will spend big to reap even bigger rewards, Dan says.

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

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

PHOTO: Lobbyists crowd the halls outside of Assembly and Senate committee rooms on the fourth floor of the Capitol on August 18, 2003. The Sacramento Bee/John Decker



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Capitol Alert Staff


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

Dan Smith Dan Smith is Capitol bureau chief for The Sacramento Bee. smith@sacbee.com. Twitter: @DanielSnowSmith

Jim Miller Jim Miller covers California policy and politics and edits Capitol Alert. jmiller@sacbee.com. Twitter: @jimmiller2

David Siders David Siders covers the Brown administration. dsiders@sacbee.com. Twitter: @davidsiders

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

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

Jeremy White Jeremy B. White covers the Legislature. jwhite@sacbee.com. Twitter: @capitolalert

Koseff Alexei Koseff edits Capitol Alert's mobile Insider Edition. akoseff@sacbee.com. Twitter: @akoseff

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

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