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What they’re saying about Brown’s budget

We’ve included some reactions to Gov. Jerry Brown’s May budget revision in our main story, but here are some more.

From Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, D-San Diego:

Toni Atkins“The Governor’s revised budget provides a solid starting point for the final phase of our deliberations. I am particularly pleased the Governor has built upon the framework Assembly Democrats proposed for a STRS solution earlier this year. That, and the Rainy Day Fund we are poised to pass this week, are two great steps forward to ensure California’s economic stability. As we finalize the budget over the next few weeks, we will also look to expand opportunity by combatting child poverty, improving access to higher education, increasing funding for transportation projects, and taking strides to expand affordable housing. Based on the Governor’s May revision and the more than 50 hearings the Assembly has already held, I am confident we are on track for another on-time, balanced budget – one that will help solidify the state’s fiscal position for years to come.”

From State Senate Budget Committee Vice Chair Jim Nielsen, R-Chico:

Jim Nielsen“The Governor should be commended for proposing to set aside $1.6 billion for the Rainy Day fund; and to pay down $11 billion in debt but this is a mere 3 percent of the state’s $340 billion debt.

“Unfortunately, his budget also includes increased spending on permanent programs that will inevitably take us back to deficit spending.

“More money needs to be set aside for the Rainy Day Fund and for emergencies like wildfires, natural disasters and public safety.

“State revenues are forecast to increase by $2.4 billion. While this appears to be good news, this is a veneer generated by a temporary tax that was promised for education and public safety; and will expire in three years.

“The high speed rail from Merced to Bakersfield is a boondoggle not worthy of precious taxpayers’ dollars.

“In the coming months, the Legislature must rectify the Governor’s failure to help counties protect their citizens by providing more funding for realignment. Counties need money for rehabilitation, inmate housing and supervision, and court costs.

“The administration is releasing the second class of realignment prisoners, making our communities more dangerous. State leaders shouldn’t wait for a catastrophe before we fix this ill-conceived program.”

From state Senate Majority Leader Ellen Corbett, D-San Leandro:

Ellen Corbett“Coupled with last week’s bipartisan Rainy Day Fund agreement, today’s budget revision further sets California on track to fiscal health and economic growth so that all Californians may benefit from our state’s improving economy.”

“I praise the Governor’s short and long term commitment to supporting education at all levels, including career technical education at our state’s community colleges and high speed internet access at our K-12 schools that need it the most. California’s future depends largely on our continued investment in today’s students, so we must ensure that California’s education system is strong and offers students the needed preparatory tools to enter an increasingly global and technological job market.”

“I also thank the Governor for committing to help ensure the long term solvency of the teacher pension system. It is critical that we help secure the retirements of California’s educators.”

“I am pleased that the Governor’s revised budget also proposes significantly increased access to health care for millions of Californians through Medi-Cal and Covered California. We must certainly continue to restore the frayed safety net upon which many of my 10th State Senate District constituents rely during these still tough economic times.”

From State Board of Equalization member George Runner:

“The Governor is on the right track in proposing a budget that has no new taxes, contains ongoing expenses, pays down debt and begins to address the state’s growing pension costs.

“I just wish the Governor would repeal the fire tax and stop the bullet train.

“In addition, California continues to rank as the worst state to do business in an annual survey of business leaders.

“The next test for the Governor will be how he deals with legislators who want to raise taxes and spend billions more. Will he hold the line?”

More, after the jump…
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Posted on Tuesday, May 13th, 2014
Under: Assembly, Bob Wieckowski, California State Senate, Ellen Corbett, Gov. Jerry Brown, Jerry Brown, state budget, Toni Atkins | No Comments »

SD10: Of polls, endorsements and mailers

The war in the 10th State Senate District continues, with a poll by Mary Hayashi’s campaign that claims she’s in the lead; an endorsement for Bob Wieckowski that takes a swipe at Hayashi; and labor unions’ second attack mailer focusing on Hayashi’s shoplifting conviction.

Mary HayashiHayashi’s campaign on Friday issued a poll memo saying that a survey of 400 likely voters in the district found 21 percent support Hayashi, 18 percent support Wieckowski, 7 percent support Republican Peter Kuo, 5 percent support Democrat Roman Reed, 2 percent support independent Audie Bock and a whopping 47 percent are undecided. Hayashi’s lead is within the poll’s 4.9-percentage-point margin of error.

“Hayashi has the clearest path to victory of any candidate,” pollsters Celinda Lake and Liesl Newton wrote in the memo. “Furthermore, despite attacks against her, Mary Hayashi’s favorability ratings remain net positive.”

Lisa Tucker, Wieckowski’s campaign consultant, noted the poll was conducted after Hayashi sent out a series of mailers about herself, but while the first negative mailers went out against her (although Wieckowski did launch an attack website against Hayashi more than a week earlier).

“It seems that her investment in trying to rehabilitate herself after her shoplifting conviction, while still serving probation, is not paying off,” Tucker said. “We feel confident that character does matter to voters and that they will reject Mary Hayashi when they learn she was convicted of shoplifting and is seeking public office while still serving probation.”

Hayashi has insisted she was distracted and inadvertently left San Francisco’s Neiman Marcus store with $2,450 worth of clothes in a store-branded shopping bag she had brought with her that day in October 2011. In a deal with prosecutors, the felony grand theft charge against her was reduced to a misdemeanor, to which she pleaded no contest in early 2012.

Meanwhile, Democracy for America, the progressive group founded a decade ago by former Vermont governor and 2004 presidential candidate Howard Dean, announced its endorsement of Wieckowski on Monday.

Bob Wieckowski“Primaries can sometimes present tough decisions, especially since California adopted the top two primary. When looking at a choice between a convicted shoplifter and a strong progressive, however, the choice is clear,” DFA digital programs manager Andy Kelley wrote in a fundraising plea for Wieckowski. “Bob Wieckowski is up against a Republican who wants to return the state legislature to the bad old days of gridlock and cuts to the social safety net, and a former Democratic lawmaker who demonstrated her unfitness for office by stealing thousands of dollars of goods from a San Francisco store.”

“Bob Wieckowski will help push California’s politics in a more ethical direction and will stand on principle,” Kelley wrote. “The State Senate has had enough scandal. Bob Wieckowski will bring ethical, progressive leadership and a strong backbone — two things Sacramento needs right now.”

Also Monday, a group of labor unions supporting Wieckowski issued their second attack mailer against Hayashi within a week’s time.

Click to enlarge:
Second IE Hayashi mailer-page1

Second IE Hayashi mailer-page2

“If Mary Hayashi can’t go within 50 feet of a Neiman Marcus store … shouldn’t it be the same for the State Senate” the mailer asks, over a photo illustration of Hayashi separated from the State Capitol by what looks like police tape reading “MARY HAYASHI DO NOT ENTER.” On the other side, the mailer repeats the same alleged ethical transgressions as last week’s mailer.

The mailer comes from “Californians for Integrity in Government Opposed to Hayashi for Senate 2014, Sponsored by Peace Officers, Nurses and Labor Organizations.” The committee’s mailing address is that of the California Nurses Association, and the mailer discloses the committee receives “major funding by California State Council of Service Employees Political Committee.”

“Clearly this is in response to the polling that shows Mary is in the lead,” Josh Pulliam, Hayashi’s campaign manager, said Monday. “Apparently Bob and his backers think the only way to beat her is to bully her, to beat up on her” about the shoplifting in order to make voters forget about her lengthy, strong legislative record.

“They don’t want the voters to get a full view of all of the candidates because they know if voters do, they’re going to lose,” Pulliam said. “Bob still hasn’t given anybody a reason to vote for him.”

UPDATE @ 2:17 P.M.: Also, here’s the ad that Kuo’s campaign says it has been airing for several days:

Posted on Monday, May 12th, 2014
Under: 2014 primary, Bob Wieckowski, California State Senate, Mary Hayashi | 17 Comments »

An interview with Tim Donnelly

Republican gubernatorial candidate Tim Donnelly doesn’t believe he’s out of step with most Californians on a variety of issues, even if polls say he is – or he just doesn’t care.

Tim DonnellyI talked with the conservative Assemblyman from Twin Peaks early Wednesday afternoon, and asked how he feels about polls that show most California voters have different views than his on issues such as Common Core education standards, climate change, abortion rights, gun control, immigration and more.

He replied by citing a Gallup poll from December that found 72 percent of Americans believe big government is a greater threat to the U.S. in the future than big business or big labor, a record high in the nearly 50-year history of this question.

An honest candidate can succeed “if you tap into that and be the person who is articulating what is in people’s hearts” said Donnelly, whose campaign website is peppered with references to tyranny, freedom and liberty.

Donnelly said his priorities in the final weeks before June 3’s primary will be “raising money and getting out the vote, and there’s nothing better for getting out the vote than being there in person.” That means long days of phone calls and wearing out a lot of tire rubber and shoe leather. Then, after the primary, he expects to offer more specific policy proposals.

“It’s not a pivot away from principle, but it’s a pivot from more populist ideas to serious policy,” he said. “We’ve always had serious policy ideas in mind but we’ve been communicating them in sound bytes.”

Once the field has been narrowed to two candidates, it becomes a contest of “who has the better vision, who has the nuts and bolts of how we can turn this state around,” Donnelly said. “It’s a different campaign, it’s a much more serious kind of campaign.”

“I love the idea that Jerry Brown and his minions are not going to take me seriously, that they’re going to be laughing and dancing and celebrating in the streets” once it’s a one-on-one contest, he said. But that’s “largely how Jerry Brown has ruled the state,” and Donnelly is ready to argue that in a David-versus-Goliath fashion. “The people are going to be on the side of the underdog, they always are.”

More, after the jump…
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Posted on Wednesday, May 7th, 2014
Under: 2014 primary, Gov. Jerry Brown, Neel Kashkari, Tim Donnelly | No Comments »

SD10: Unions do IE attack mailer vs. Hayashi

A new attack mailer targeting Democrat Mary Hayashi, sent by a labor-backed independent expenditure committee, is hitting the mailboxes of the 10th State Senate District’s likely voters this week.

The mailer uses the former Assemblywoman’s 2012 shoplifting conviction as a jumping-off point for other ethical allegations including using campaign funds to pay her defense team, being warned by the state’s political watchdog agency for holding a political fundraiser in a lobbyist’s home, and seeming to hold three full-time jobs at once, according to tax records.

Click to enlarge:
Hayashi IE mailer 1

Hayashi IE mailer 2

The mailer comes from “Californians for Integrity in Government Opposed to Hayashi for Senate 2014, Sponsored by Peace Officers, Nurses and Labor Organizations.” The committee’s mailing address is that of the California Nurses Association, and the mailer discloses the committee receives “major funding by California State Council of Service Employees Political Committee.”

Another Democrat in this race, Assemblyman Bob Wieckowski, is a longtime labor ally.

“Mary Hayashi knows she made a mistake, accepted responsibility and apologized,” Josh Pulliam, her campaign manager, said Wednesday. “What this race is really coming down to is a choice between a true champion for working families and women for 26 years, or a bully who built his career on protecting the trial attorney agenda, even when that meant standing up for attorneys and convicted rapists instead of protecting victims.”

Hayashi has insisted she was distracted and inadvertently left San Francisco’s Neiman Marcus store with $2,450 worth of clothes in a store-branded shopping bag she had brought with her that day. In a deal with prosecutors, the felony grand theft charge against her was reduced to a misdemeanor; she’s still on probation now.

Wieckowski went negative recently by launching a MugShotMary.com website to remind voters of the details of Hayashi’s shoplifting incident.

Hayashi shot back late last week by launching BobProtectedRapists.com, which informs voters that Wieckowski was the lone vote against a bill – AB 1522 of 2012 – to protect people sexually assaulted by their spouses. The bill required that if a spouse is convicted of a violent sexual felony against the other spouse and the couple divorces within five years, the injured spouse can’t be made to pay any spousal support or attorney’s fees, and is entitled to keep all of his/her own retirement and pension benefits.

Legislative records show Wieckowski voted against the bill in the Assembly Judiciary Committee, but several months later voted for it in the final Assembly floor vote, after it had been amended. Gov. Jerry Brown signed the bill into law in September 2012.

“That website is way over the top,” Wieckowski campaign consultant Lisa Tucker said Wednesday. She said Wieckowski voted against the bill in committee because he had concerns about mixing criminal and civil court cases, but those concerns were addressed by the time of the final floor vote.

Also in the 10th State Senate District race are Republican Peter Kuo of Santa Clara, Democrat Roman Reed of Fremont and independent Audie Bock of Hayward.

Posted on Wednesday, May 7th, 2014
Under: 2014 primary, Bob Wieckowski, California State Senate, Mary Hayashi | 9 Comments »

Calling BS as Donnelly links Kashkari to Shariah

Republican gubernatorial candidate Tim Donnelly told me Monday that he sees “signs of desperation” from GOP rival Neel Kashkari, so it’s puzzling that Donnelly – ahead in recent polls – would resort to such a desperate-sounding tactic as this.

Tim DonnellySomebody within Donnelly’s campaign on Monday posted a Facebook item alleging that Kashkari “supported the United States submitting to the Islamic, Shariah banking code in 2008 when he ran TARP.”

“Shariah is ‘the seditious religio-political-legal code authoritative Islam seeks to impose worldwide under a global theocracy,’ ” the post said. “This revelation is spreading fast, as people like Anita Gunn refer to Mr. Kashkari’s support of Shariah an ‘October Surprise.’”

The post includes a link to a Tweet by Gunn, a conservative online columnist, which in turn links to a 2008 commentary by conservative pundit Frank Gaffney published by the Washington Times. And that’s where the BS begins in earnest.

Gaffney’s opinion piece is full of rhetorical leaps unsupported by facts or evidence – essentially surmising that the Treasury Department’s study of whether Islamic banking could be useful in combating the world’s financial crisis was a foothold for Shariah law that would have everyone in America bowing toward Mecca within a few years. Here’s the section that dealt with Kashkari, who at the time was in charge of Treasury’s Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) to prevent a banking-and-finance-sector meltdown:

Thanks to the extraordinary authority conferred on Treasury since September, backed by the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), the department is now in a position to impose its embrace of Shariah on the U.S. financial sector. The nationalization of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Treasury’s purchase of – at last count – 17 banks and the ability to provide, or withhold, funds from its new slush-fund can translate into unprecedented coercive power.

Concerns in this regard are only heightened by the prominent role Assistant Treasury Secretary Neel Kashkari will be playing in “Islamic Finance 101.” Mr. Kashkari, the official charged with administering the TARP fund, will provide welcoming remarks to participants. Presumably, in the process, he will convey the enthusiasm about Shariah-Compliant Finance that appears to be the current party line at Treasury.

Note the couching: “in a position to impose,” “can translate into,” and “presumably.” Even in 2008, it was a reach. And in 2014, with TARP not only having succeeded in stabilizing the financial sector but also having profited taxpayers to the tune of $13.6 billion, it’s clear that no creeping Shariah ever materialized.

Yet Donnelly told the Los Angeles Times he stands by the Facebook item: “Given the recent stories and protests about the outrage of the discriminatory nature of Sharia law, we’re horrified that Kashkari would support Sharia anything.”

Except that he didn’t. The only real question Donnelly’s insinuation raises is whether he’s trying to capitalize on Kashkari’s ethnic-sounding name – he’s actually Indo-American, and a Hindu – to score cheap points.

Posted on Tuesday, May 6th, 2014
Under: 2014 primary, Neel Kashkari, Tim Donnelly | 6 Comments »

Neel Kashkari goes on the offensive

Republican gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari, lagging in the polls, has launched his big pre-election push with his first TV ad, a $500,000 personal investment in his campaign, and an attack website targeting GOP rival Tim Donnelly.

The 30-second ad, which will air statewide, presents Kashkari “as a fiscal conservative with the right background and the right vision to turn the state around,” his news release says. Its launch coincides with today’s mailing of vote-by-mail ballots.

“Thanks to Gov. Brown’s failed leadership, California today ranks 46th in education, 47th in jobs and first in poverty, and millions of middle-class families are struggling as a result. It’s clearly time for new, fiscally conservative leadership in Sacramento that knows what it takes to unleash the private sector,” Kashkari campaign manager Pat Melton said in the release. “With this ad – along with our direct mail program and other ongoing voter outreach efforts – we’re introducing Neel Kashkari to voters as the candidate with the experience and the plan to turn California around and to help rebuild the Republican Party around an inclusive economic message.”

The ad comes on the heels of a week-long roll out of endorsements by big Republican names including former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, former California Gov. Pete Wilson and many others. The ad also comes alongside Kashkari’s announcement that he’s putting half a million of his own money into the campaign – a significant boost, given that he had only about $900,000 banked by mid-March, more than Donnelly but far behind Gov. Jerry Brown’s $19.7 million.

“Since launching his campaign in January, Neel has earned the support of many people who share his vision for California and for the Republican Party, and his contribution only adds to the momentum building behind his campaign,” Melton said. “As our campaign continues our voter outreach effort and as Californians get to know Neel better, we’re confident they’ll support his candidacy and cast their ballots for him.”

But in case positivity doesn’t work, Kashkari also is going heavily negative on Donnelly, who has been way ahead in the polls.

Kashkari’s campaign has launched a “Tim Donnelly: You Can’t Be Serious” website that takes the conservative Assemblyman to task for his 2012 gun conviction, for allegedly flip-flopping on property rights, for allegedly living high on the taxpayers’ hog, for having a tax lien against one of his former businesses, and more.

The GIF-laden site (seriously, guys, it’s an awful lot) claims Donnelly has zero chance of beating Brown, and so Democrats would be “partying in the streets” if he turns out to be the only challenger left standing after June’s top-two primary.

Posted on Monday, May 5th, 2014
Under: 2014 primary, Gov. Jerry Brown, Neel Kashkari, Tim Donnelly | No Comments »

Campaign roundup: Gov, CA15, SD10, AD16, AD20

NEEL KASHKARIGovernor: Republican candidate Neel Kashkari announced his endorsement Tuesday by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who describes the former Treasury Department official and asset manager as “a bold conservative Republican leader” and “a principled man of action – not someone who simply leads from behind.” Kashkari said he admires Bush “and the tremendous work he did as governor to improve Florida’s schools and transform the lives of millions of kids.” Kashkari will be speaking at the Alameda County GOP’s annual leadership dinner this Friday, May 2 in Pleasanton. Meanwhile, Laguna Hills Mayor Andrew Blount – who’d edged Kashkari in recent polls despite having barely campaigned and raising no money – dropped out of the race Tuesday, citing health problems.

Ellen Corbett15th Congressional District: State Senate Majority Leader Ellen Corbett, D-San Leandro, is holding a garden-party fundraiser this Sunday, May 4 to help bankroll her bid to unseat Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Dublin. Hosted by Winnie and Gerry Thompson of Castro Valley, the event seeks donations ranging from $35 for students or seniors and $50 for individuals up to $2,600 for sponsors. “We’ll be having a lively and exciting discussion about my run for Congress and what I plan to accomplish when elected as the 15 District’s new member of Congress,” Corbett wrote in an email to supporters.

Peter Kuo10th State Senate District: A snafu left Republican candidate Peter Kuo of Santa Clara without an invitation to the League of Women Voters candidate forum held this past Friday in Fremont. Co-president Sam Neeman issued a statement Tuesday saying “the League of Women Voters of Fremont, Newark and Union City is sorry for failing to include Peter Kuo,” and “to rectify this oversight, we have invited Mr. Kuo to an interview on May 3rd which will be taped and made available along with the Candidate Forum. We thank Mr. Kuo for generously making himself available for the interview.” Kuo issued a statement saying the League “provides a valuable service to the community, especially at election time. Honest oversights are made by professionals and volunteers alike, and clearly this was just that.” Kuo has fundraisers scheduled for tonight in Sunnyvale with Assemblywoman Shannon Grove, R-Bakersfield, and for next Thursday, May 8 in Fremont with state Senate Republican Leader Bob Huff, R-Brea.

Steve Glazer16th Assembly District: Steve Glazer is touting a poll he commissioned that shows him leading the other Democrats in the field. The poll of 350 likely voters, conducted April 18-23 by J. Moore Methods of Sacramento found Glazer, an Orinda councilman and former campaign advisor to Gov. Jerry Brown with 21 percent of the vote, Dublin Mayor Tim Sbranti with 17 percent and Danville Mayor Newell Arnerich with 6 percent, while Dublin attorney Catherine Baker – the only Republican in the race – takes 28 percent and 28 percent have no opinion or picked none of the above. But with a margin of error of 5.3 percentage points, this poll shows what most already knew it’s a death match between Glazer and Sbranti to finish with Baker in the top two. Huff is headlining a fundraising luncheon for Baker this Sunday, May 4 in Pleasanton.

20th Assembly District: Assemblyman Bill Quirk, D-Hayward, has his next fundraiser scheduled for the evening of Thursday, May 8 at Hayward’s Acqua e Farina Ristorante, with tickets starting at $100 and ranging up to $8,200 for co-host committee “superstars.”

Posted on Tuesday, April 29th, 2014
Under: 2014 primary, Bill Quirk, California State Senate, Ellen Corbett, Neel Kashkari, U.S. House | 8 Comments »

SD10: ‘Mug Shot Mary’ website targets Hayashi

The gloves are off in the 10th State Senate District race, where Assemblyman Bob Wieckowski has brought former Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi’s shoplifting conviction front and center.

A MugshotMary.com website created by Wieckowski’s campaign highlights Hayashi’s October 2011 arrest for shoplifting $2,450 worth of clothes at San Francisco’s Neiman Marcus store; she remains on probation still. “Character matters,” the website claims, offering the hashtag #DontVoteForCriminals.

MugshotMary website

Part of the website outlines criminal problems of three sitting state Senators. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, has been indicted for allegedly selling official favors and conspiring to traffic in firearms without a license and to illegally import firearms. Ron Calderon, D-Montebello, was indicted last month on bribery charges. Rod Wright, D-Inglewood, was convicted in January of voter fraud and perjury related to not living in the district he represents.

“Corruption in the California Senate is out of control. Three State Senators arrested or convicted in three months,” the website says. “Now, Mary Hayashi, who is on probation for shoplifting, wants to be your next State Senator. Do we really need another criminal representing us in Sacramento?”

Josh Pulliam, Hayashi’s campaign strategist, noted Monday that the website appeared right after Hayashi – who as of last month had four and a half times as much money banked for this campaign as Wieckowski – launched her first television ad and sent out three mailers to the district voters last week.

“So Bob’s opening salvo is an over-the-top personal attack against Mary Hayashi, and I think that says a lot about his character and the type of politician he is and why he hasn’t been able to be a very effective assemblyman,” he said. “And by attacking the institution of the state senate, it shows he wont be able to be a very effective state senator, either.”

Pulliam also said Wieckowski, D-Fremont, has skipped several forums and debates around the district, and when asked about ethics issues at a recent event he did attend, he didn’t say a word about Hayashi’s conviction. “He’s a big man when he hides behind a website.”

Wieckowski campaign strategist Lisa Tucker replied that he has the vast majority of endorsements in this race, indicating most “people and organizations think he’s going to be a very effective senator and like what he’s done in the Assembly.”

“If Mary was actually in the district and paying attention, she would know Bob has been talking to voters for months,” Tucker added, noting the campaign has made more than 50,000 door knocks or phone calls so far. “This is not the first thing to come out of the box from our campaign.”

Wieckowski’s campaign seems to have missed the mark with two details.

One, the website says Hayashi pleaded guilty; actually, she pleaded “no contest,” which means she neither admitted nor disputed the charge against her. While not technically the same as a guilty plea, it has the same legal effect: conviction.

And two, the website said she never apologized. In a July 2012 interview, Hayashi said she had been distracted by a phone call when she left with the unpaid items. “Of course, I intended to pay for them,” she said. “But I accept responsibility and offer apologies, not excuses.”

Hayashi in that 2012 interview also said that “my opponents may use the issue to try to smear me, but I trust the voters to be smarter than that.” She was speaking about the Alameda County Board of Supervisors seat she was seeking at that time – she later finished third out of four contenders – but she might as well have been talking about this race, too. So perhaps the website is Wieckowski’s bid to gauge just how smart the voters are.

Meanwhile, Republican candidate Peter Kuo – an insurance agent from Santa Clara – has been busy shoring up support and holding fundraising events. He’ll have a fundraiser Tuesday night in Sunnyvale with Assemblywoman Shannon Grove, R-Bakersfield, and then another on Thursday, May 8 in Fremont with state Senate Republican Leader Bob Huff, R-Brea.

Also seeking the 10th State Senate District seat are Democrat Roman Reed, a spinal-injury research advocate and planning commissioner from Fremont, and former Assemblywoman Audie Bock of Hayward, running as a nonpartisan.

Posted on Monday, April 28th, 2014
Under: 2014 primary, Bob Wieckowski, California State Senate, Mary Hayashi | 33 Comments »

SD10: Mary Hayashi airs first TV ad, sends mailers

Former Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi has launched her first television ad and sent her first mailers in her bid to win the 10th State Senate District seat, making use of the substantial fundraising lead she has amassed.

The 30-second spot was launched with “a robust ad buy” Thursday, her campaign said, and reportedly aired during the Golden State Warriors playoff game.

Also, district voters received two mailers from Hayashi this week. Here are the front and back of one of those mailers (click to enlarge):

Hayashi mailer 1

Hayashi mailer 2

One of the people depicted in the TV ad and in one of the mailers – Jessica Gutierrez, identified in the ad as a student – worked for Hayashi as a district-office field representative from January 2010 through the end of 2012, when Hayashi was term-limited out of office. Gutierrez is now a UC-Berkeley student. Asked whether Gutierrez’s former employment by Hayashi should’ve been disclosed, Roger Salazar, Hayashi’s campaign consultant, replied it’s “a BS question. She’s a student and a supporter and what she’s saying and how she is identified is true.”

Hayashi, a Democrat, represented what was then the 18th Assembly District from 2006 to 2012. She was convicted in early 2012 of shoplifting $2,450 worth of clothes from San Francisco’s Neiman Marcus; she was sentenced to three years of probation. She ran unsuccessfully for the Alameda County Board of Supervisors later in 2012, finishing third out of four.

Also seeking the 10th State Senate District seat are Assemblyman Bob Wieckowski, D-Fremont; Democrat Roman Reed, a spinal-injury research advocate and planning commissioner from Fremont; Republican Peter Kuo, an insurance agent from Santa Clara; and former Assemblywoman Audie Bock, running as a nonpartisan.

Posted on Friday, April 25th, 2014
Under: 2014 primary, Bob Wieckowski, California State Senate, Mary Hayashi | 20 Comments »

Brown calls special session on Rainy Day Fund

Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday called a special session of the Legislature to replace the “Rainy Day Fund” measure on November’s ballot with a dedicated reserve to let the state to pay down its debts and unfunded liabilities.

“We simply must prevent the massive deficits of the last decade and we can only do that by paying down our debts and creating a solid Rainy Day Fund,” Brown said in a news release, which accompanied a proclamation convening the special section next Thursday, April 24.

Voters enacted the current Rainy Day Fund in 2004 by approving Proposition 58, which directs 3 percent of annual revenues into the Budget Stabilization Account. The current system has no restriction on when funds can be withdrawn and requires deposits even in deficit years, unless the law is suspended.

Lawmakers in 2010 approved the proposal on the November 2014 ballot – ACA 4, which would raise the fund’s cap from 5 percent to 10 percent of the General Fund, among other things. But Brown said Wednesday it doesn’t address the volatility of capital gains revenue, doesn’t provide a reserve for schools to help cushion future downturns, and limits California’s ability to pay down long-term liabilities.

Brown in January proposed changes including increasing deposits when the state has spikes in capital gains revenue; allowing supplemental payments to speed up the state’s payoff of its debts and liabilities; limiting withdrawals to ensure the state doesn’t drain too much at the start of a downturn; and creating a Proposition 98 reserve, after school funding is fully restored to pre-recession levels, to smooth school spending and avoid future cuts.

UPDATE @ 11:15 A.M.: Assembly Speaker John Perez calls this “a welcome and helpful development.”

“Assembly Democrats first proposed a permanent rainy day fund last May, and we look forward to working with our Republican and Senate colleagues to build a reliable system that handles short-term revenue spikes differently than ongoing, stable revenue streams,” said Perez, D-Los Angeles. “We need to establish a solid system for saving money in good years, so that we can better weather the bad years. We need a mechanism that not only strengthens our constitutional reserve, but also gets us off the rollercoaster ride of revenue spikes and dips that has caused so much trouble in recent years.”

UPDATE @ 2:02 P.M.: State Senate Republican Leader Bob Huff, R-Brea, says he’s glad Brown is doing this, but doubts whether Democrats share the enthusiasm. “It’s just common sense for California to put away money during the ‘boom’ years to avoid future tax increases and spending reductions in the ‘bust’ years. However, we are mindful that legislative Democrats have undermined similar efforts in the recent past,” he said.

“Despite agreeing to, and voting for, the rainy day reserve fund in Assembly Constitutional Amendment 4 (ACA 4) as part of the 2010-11 budget agreement with Republicans, Senate Pro Tem Steinberg and Assembly Speaker Perez denied Californians the opportunity to vote for it on the ballot in 2012 as promised,” Huff continued. “Now they want to remove it from the 2014 election ballot, preventing the people of California from establishing strong protections against future budget crises. I think today’s announcement is a message to the Democrats that the Governor is serious about doing something.”

The California Chamber of Commerce supports Brown’s move, too. “Adopting an effective Rainy Day Reserve should be the state’s top fiscal policy. California’s budget crises were caused by the Legislature spending one-time revenues for ongoing programs,” said CalChamber President and CEO Allan Zaremberg. “A solid reserve requirement will remove the California budget from the fiscal roller coaster. It is crucial that the Legislature pass a consensus proposal that the Governor can support to get approval by voters in November.”

Posted on Wednesday, April 16th, 2014
Under: Assembly, California State Senate, Gov. Jerry Brown, Jerry Brown, John Perez, state budget | 4 Comments »