4

House freshmen get more committee assignments

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi announced a new round of committee assignments today, following up the initial assignments made last month.

In the Bay Area, it looks as if Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Dublin, won’t be getting that Transportation and Infrastructure seat he wanted; instead, Pelosi assigned him today to Homeland Security. She had named him last month to Science, Space and Technology, which makes sense given that his district includes the Lawrence Livermore National Lab, but neither that assignment nor this one is likely to have the influence – and the ability to bring federal dollars home to the district – that T&I would’ve offered. Still, Swalwell sounds unruffled and eager.

“From protecting ports like San Francisco, to keeping the Internet secure, to safeguarding mass transit such as BART, the House Committee on Homeland Security plays a vital role in making sure the American homeland is safe,” Swalwell said in a news release today. “I look forward to serving on that committee in the 113th Congress. I want to thank Leader Pelosi, Steering and Policy Co-Chairs DeLauro and Andrews, and the entire Democratic Steering and Policy Committee for this tremendous opportunity.”

Elsewhere in the Bay Area, Pelosi named Rep. Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael, to the Budget Committee – a much-coveted assignment for any House member. She had named him last month to the Natural Resources Committee, for which he’d hoped.

Here are all the California assignments Pelosi announced today:

    Rep. Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael – Budget
    Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Dublin – Homeland Security
    Rep. Scott Peters, D-San Diego – Science, Space and Technology
    Rep. Ami Bera, D-Elk Grove – Science, Space and Technology
    Rep. Mark Takano, D-Riverside – Science, Space and Technology
    Rep. Raul Ruiz, D-Coachella – Veterans’ Affairs
9

Jane Harman may be out, but who’ll be in?

This morning’s big California political news is that Rep. Jane Harman, D-Los Angeles, might be resigning from Congress to take over as head of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, a renowned foreign policy think tank. And this morning’s big California political speculation is about who might run in a special election to succeed her – the first Congressional vote under the state’s new top-two primary scheme, and the last before district lines are redrawn by the independent Citizens Redistricing Commission for the first time.

Several potential candidates’ names have already emerged from the hubbub:

Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn, who’d looked like a lock for the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor last year until Gavin Newsom jumped into the race, will run, Politico reports.

Secretary of State Debra Bowen Tweeted this morning that she is giving it “very serious thought.”

Marcy Winograd, president of the Progressive Democrats of Los Angeles who got 38 percent 40.9 percent of the vote when she ran against Harman in last year’s Democratic primary, is getting some social media buzz, but has not Tweeted today herself.

I’ve also seen some insinuations that former Assemblyman Ted Lieu, D-Torrance, already fully embroiled in a special election for the 28th State Senate District left vacant by Jenny Oropeza’s death, may now be having buyers’ remorse.

Harman’s 36th Congressional District seat is registered 45.3 percent Democrat to 27.6 percent Republican with 22.2 percent of voters declining to state a party affiliation – in other words, a pretty safe Democratic seat.

UPDATE @ 2:40 P.M.: Janice Hahn is indeed in the race, and her campaign website from last year apparently is being revamped for it right now. Meanwhile, some progressives have launched an online petition urging Bowen to run.

UPDATE @ 7:25 A.M. TUESDAY: Winograd Tweeted thricely this morning:

With Harman resigning, I am considering a run — though interested in speaking with Bowen about forging a new economy for the 36th.

Hahn called me to say she was running for Harman’s seat, assured me she was anti-war, also a “friend of Israel.”

We need a progressive voice in DC, someone to challenge expanded wars, be they sponsored by the GOP or Dems. Harman resigns; Free the 36th.

3

Hahn concedes Lt.Gov. race to Gavin Newsom

Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn, the scion of a political dynasty in her city, had seemed to have the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor wrapped up by early this year, standing well ahead of state Sen. Dean Florez, D-Shafter, in the polls. That is, until San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom jumped into the race, only months after having scoffed at the idea of doing so.

At this hour, with about a quarter of the state’s precincts having reported in, Newsom leads Hahn by almost 23 percentage points, and Hahn just issued this statement:

The last several months of campaigning for Lieutenant Governor have been an amazing experience. I have traveled up and down the state and met so many new people and heard so many great ideas. And I learned that all of us really want the same thing – a better California.

I was so humbled by all the support I received. And I really enjoyed using this experience to educate people about the role of the Lieutenant Governor in California. Together, we focused on how the Lieutenant Governor can really transform our state. We can make higher education affordable and accessible to every young person. We can continue to protect the environment, but also focus on creating new jobs and getting every Californian back to work.

At the end of this hard fought campaign, I think we have made a difference – thanks to you.

I want to congratulate Gavin Newsom on running a good, clean campaign. He has done some groundbreaking work as mayor of San Francisco and I know that he will bring that experience to Sacramento to shake things up. I will be supporting him in November, and I hope that you will join me.

November is pivotal for Democrats. We must work together to elect Barbara Boxer, Jerry Brown, Gavin Newsom and the entire Democratic ticket. This is our year. Let’s make California great again.

1

Lt.Gov.: Newsom holds lead, Hahn goes on TV

With a week to go before the election, the Democratic primary for lieutenant governor has San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom asserting a lead and Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn taking to the airwaves.

Newsom’s campaign issued a statement today saying its pollster, Tulchin Research, has found Newsom holds a 17-point lead over Hahn – 46 percent to 29 percent, with 21 percent still undecided. The phone survey of 600 likely Democratic primary voters was conducted May 20-24 and has a four-percentage-point margin of error.

From the report prepared by pollsters Ben Tulchin and Julie Lein:

Since entering the race for Lieutenant Governor in March, Gavin Newsom has consistently led Janice Hahn by double-digits. With Election Day approaching, Hahn has been unable to close the gap with the Mayor. Even more encouraging for the San Francisco Mayor and troubling for his opponents is that Newsom leads by a wider margin among voters who have already cast their ballots as he garners a solid majority (53%) support compared to only 30% for Hahn.

Given Newsom’s consistently strong poll results among Democratic primary voters, his wide lead among voters who have already cast their ballots, superior name recognition and fundraising, the San Francisco Mayor is poised to win the party nomination for Lieutenant Governor.

Remember, that’s according to a pollster on the Newsom campaign’s payroll. However, the question asked apparently wasn’t leading or otherwise biased in Newsom’s favor: “In thinking about the Democratic Primary Election for Lieutenant Governor, if the election were held today and the candidates were San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn [the names’ order are randomly flipped], for whom would you vote?”

Meanwhile, Hahn announced today that she’s launching her first television ad:

Michael Trujillo, Hahn’s campaign manager, didn’t immediately return an e-mail and a voice-mail inquiring as to the ad buy’s dollar size and geographic scope.

UPDATE @ 3:56 P.M. TUESDAY: Newsom’s campaign just announced it’s going on the air, too:

No word yet on how much they’re spending on the ad buy, or where it’s airing.

7

Beware of paid slate mailers

A copy of the “COPS Voter Guide,” a slate mailer urging votes for certain candidates and ballot measures, recently landed on my desk, reminding me how wary voters should be of such things.

Use of the word “COPS” in big print, and the badge logo that accompanies it, seem to imply that law enforcement is endorsing these candidates and measures. That’s not true.

The COPS Voter Guide is a business: It sells endorsements. Its online “endorsement form” simply asks a candidate check a box to “agree that public safety is a top priority for public service. As an elected official, I will uphold the laws and work with California Law Enforcement on issues of mutual concern. This pledge does not commit me to any issue positions, nor does it mean that the COPS VOTER GUIDE agrees with me by endorsing all of my issue positions.”

It’s run by Moran & Associates, a Folsom-based political consulting firm; I left messages for company President Kelley Moran, but haven’t heard back from him.

This one – designed for Democratic voters – looks to me as if Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown is the only candidate who didn’t pay to be on it, as he’s the only one without an asterisk next to his name; the mailer’s fine print says “Appearance is paid for and authorized by each candidate and ballot measure which is designated by an *”

So the mailer urges the recipient to vote for Gavin Newsom for Lieutenant Governor. Yet when I look at Newsom’s endorsement page under the heading “public safety,” I see three firefighters’ organizations but not a single police group. His rival, however – Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn – has been endorsed by the Peace Officers Research Association of California (PORAC), Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca and several LA-area police groups.

Similarly, Democratic candidate for Attorney General Pedro Nava, an Assemblyman from Santa Barbara, is on the mailer. The only law enforcement endorsements he lists on his website are Ventura County Deputy Sheriff’s Association and the Ventura County Peace Officers Association, plus a few local sheriffs and police chiefs. Yet Ted Lieu, the Assemblyman from Torrance and one of Nava’s six rivals for the Democratic nomination, actually has the endorsements of the California Peace Officers Association, the California Police Chiefs Association and nine other law enforcement groups.

It’s not illegal for a candidate to pay a slate mailer for an endorsement, or for a mailer to solicit such payments. But voters should read the fine print and discern the endorsements that a candidate has bought from the endorsements that a candidate has earned.

1

More campaign finance fun: Lt.Gov. and AG

In the Democratic primary for Lieutenant Governor, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom far outpaced Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn in fundraising during this period from March 18 to May 22. Newsom raised $792,311 and spent $453,291, finishing the period with $770,776 cash on hand; Hahn raised $336,331 and spent $316,670, finishing the period with $315,430 cash on hand.

Mike Trujillo, Hahn’s campaign adviser, called me tonight to note that the two candidates are more evenly matched if you look at contributions since their campaigns began – it looks to me as if Newsom’s at about $1.06 million to Hahn’s $898,000, by that measure – and that about $200,000 of Newsom’s cash on hand is earmarked for November’s general election, while all but $9,000 of Hahn’s stash can be spent in the next 10 days.

In the GOP primary for Lieutenant Governor, appointed incumbent and former state Sen. Abel Maldonado smoked his more conservative rival, state Sen. Sam Aanestad, R-Grass Valley. Maldonado raised $318,898 during this period and spent $121,872, leaving him with $139,060 cash on hand; Aanestad raised $44,470 during this period and spent $44,441, leaving him with $43,297 cash on hand.

In the Republican primary for Attorney General, Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley trumped the fundraising during this period, with $916,066 in contributions compared to $295,302 for former Chapman University Law School Dean John Eastman – including the $25,000 he loaned his own campaign – and $150,294 for state Sen. Tom Harman, R-Huntington Beach. Cooley finished with the most cash on hand, too: $222,280 compared to Eastman’s $158,444 and Harman’s $112,644.

In the Democratic primary for Attorney General, former Facebook Chief Privacy Officer Chris Kelly rules the campaign cash roost only because he put $5.6 million into his own campaign during this period (atop the $4 million he’d put in earlier). His new investment accounted for all but $79,679 of his contributions in this period and he spent $8,953,697, leaving him with cash on hand of $102,984.

San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris raised $810,884 during this period and spent $1,546,812, finishing with $636,471 cash on hand; former Los Angeles City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo raised $268,995 and spent $1,251,446, finishing with $149,762 cash on hand; Assemblyman Ted Lieu, D-Torrance, raised $239,162 and spent $671,100, finishing with $577,002 cash on hand; and Assemblyman Pedro Nava, D-Santa Barbara, raised $17,532 and spent $86,956, finishing with $24,534 cash on hand. Assembly Majority Leader Alberto Torrico, D-Newark, had $1,029,186 cash on hand as of March 17, the close of the last reporting period, but hasn’t yet filed this period’s report as of this time; Emeryville attorney Mike Schmier didn’t raise enough to require a report.

UPDATE @ 10:33 A.M. FRIDAY: Torrico raised $180,371.79 in this period, spent $676,560.78 and finished with $522,334.73 cash on hand.

UPDATE @ 9:30 A.M. TUESDAY 6/1: Sorry, my bad: Schmier says he has raised $12,450 to date and has $3,166.88 cash on hand remaining.