California Policy & Politics This Morning   

Outside spending explodes in California schools chief race -- Groups supporting Tuck and Torlakson have now spent just over $10 million, mostly on radio and television ads, and all but a few thousand of that in the last three weeks. Alexei Koseff in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 10/25/14

State schools chief race may reverberate beyond California -- The race to be California's schools chief is typically sleepy: Incumbents have little power but usually waltz to reelection. Seema Mehta in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/25/14

Doug Ose adds another $700K in tight House race -- Republican Doug Ose has loaned his congressional campaign another $700,000, as the businessman works to keep pace with the barrage of spending in the closely contested race. Christopher Cadelago in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 10/25/14

Ad Watch: Main Street veers off course with Bera attack piece -- Defending Main Street SuperPac, an outside group spending money to support Rep. Doug Ose’s campaign against freshman Rep. Ami Bera, has produced a door hanger carrying deceptive messages about the incumbent’s position on water and his decade-old title while working for Sacramento County. Christopher Cadelago in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 10/25/14

Spending hits the millions in hottest races for Congress in state -- Candidates in the hottest House races in the state are spending millions on their campaigns. But in some cases, groups outside the campaigns are laying out even more, campaign finance reports show. Jean Merl in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/25/14

Democrat Betty Yee has cash advantage in controller race -- Betty Yee, the Democratic candidate for state controller, has a solid fundraising advantage heading into the home stretch of her campaign, according to new reports. Chris Megerian in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/25/14

Wacky San Francisco election mailers entertain, even if truth suffers -- Herewith we offer awards to some of the wildest and weirdest mailers arriving in the lead-up to election day on Nov. 4 — and point out where, shockingly, some are straying pretty far from the truth. Heather Knight in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 10/25/14

Yes on Proposition 45 going to the airwaves -- With just over a week until election day, backers of Proposition 45, the health insurance rate regulation initiative, are finally putting ads on television. Marc Lifsher in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/25/14

CA17: Khanna won’t refund wage-theft CEO’s $$$ -- Congressional candidate Ro Khanna won’t refund a contribution from the CEO of a company fined this week for labor abuses, as the Alameda Labor Council – which solidly supports seven-term incumbent Rep. Mike Honda – has demanded. Josh Richman Political Blotter -- 10/25/14

CA17: PCCC aids Honda, Newsom aids Khanna -- It was a battle of the proxies Friday in the 17th Congressional District as a national liberal grassroots group came to Rep. Mike Honda’s aid while Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom made a plea on Democratic challenger Ro Khanna’s behalf. Josh Richman Political Blotter -- 10/25/14

L.A. County supervisorial race a money battle between labor, business -- The pivotal race to replace retiring Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky has become a money battle between labor unions and business interests, with fundraising approaching $8.4 million. Catherine Saillant, Maloy Moore and Anthony Pesce in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/25/14

Sheila Kuehl backers launch TV ad criticizing rival Bobby Shriver -- After weeks of upbeat advertising, backers of former state lawmaker Sheila Kuehl have taken a confrontational turn, with a new TV ad criticizing her rival, former Santa Monica council member Bobby Shriver, for missing meetings and votes. Catherine Saillant in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/25/14

Senate race to decide Democrats' Capitol muscle -- When you get past the nasty ads, a key issue in the state Senate race between Janet Nguyen and Jose Solorio is whether the district would be better represented by a member of the Legislature’s Democrat majority or by a Republican who would give the minority party a stronger position. Martin Wisckol in the Orange County Register$ -- 10/25/14

Who’s rich and not rich in Bay Area delegation -- No surprise that Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., married to private equity magnate Richard Blum, clocked in at #9 with minimum assets of $43.7 million, or that House minority leader Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco, whose stock investor husband Paul’s assets grew significantly this year, came in at #14, with minimum assets of $42.3 million. Carolyn Lochhead in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 10/25/14

Bullet train path looking smoother -- California’s $67.5 billion bullet train has been described as “off-track” so long that some thought it was permanently derailed. Dorothy Mills-Gregg Capitol Weekly -- 10/25/14

Mayor Garcetti is becoming a regular in Washington -- Many Californians may be happy never to set foot in Washington, with its humid weather and lack of fresh produce. But one of the state's most high-profile residents can't seem to stay away. Evan Halper in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/25/14

In South Bay Assembly race, state ethics agency fuels campaign fodder -- Most of the back-and-forth in a hotly-contested state Assembly race in the South Bay has been on typical political fare: taxes, education, local jobs. But recently, the race between incumbent Democrat Al Muratsuchi and his Republican challenger, David Hadley, has also featured several cameos by the state's ethics agency. Melanie Mason in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/25/14

Ex-NYC Mayor Bloomberg buys World Series ad to push Berkeley soda tax -- Michael Bloomberg is jumping into Berkeley’s battle over a proposed soda tax by funding a baseball-themed TV ad that will run throughout the Bay Area during this weekend’s World Series games. Joe Garofoli in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 10/25/14

De León says ‘green jobs’ will be priority as Senate leader -- In his first policy speech as California’s Senate leader, Kevin de León said one of his key priorities will be combating climate change by setting policies that promote energy efficiency. Laurel Rosenhall in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 10/25/14

New $2 million flows into anti-casino effort -- Two tribes have put $1 million each into the campaign to block another tribe from opening a casino-hotel off Highway 99 near Madera. John Howard Capitol Weekly -- 10/25/14

Taxes, Fees, Rates, Tolls    

Golden Gate Bridge board keeps sidewalk toll on table, OKs study -- Golden Gate Bridge district officials voted Friday to study charging a toll for pedestrians and bicyclists to cross the iconic span, despite strong opposition from cyclists and an effort by the San Francisco delegation to shelve the proposals. John Coté in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 10/25/14

Economy, Employers, Jobs, Pensions   

L.A. wage hikes spark fierce debate -- Los Angeles has thrust itself into the center of one of the most contentious debates in modern economics — what happens when you raise the minimum wage? — as city leaders consider mandating $13.25 an hour. Chris Kirkham, Tiffany Hsu in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/25/14

Congestion worsens at L.A.-Long Beach ports as holidays near -- The twin ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are experiencing a logistical nightmare as they struggle to ease a bottleneck that could undermine retailers' all-important holiday shopping season and threaten the competitiveness of the region's economic engine. Andrew Khouri in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/25/14

Education

L.A. Unified students could take iPads home soon -- Los Angeles Unified students could take school-issued iPads home as soon as next month under a new plan that officials say has dealt with security concerns. Howard Blume in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/25/14

Charters plan for future growth outside state -- Four of California’s largest charter school organizations received three-quarters of the $36 million in competitive grants that the federal Department of Education awarded this month to help charter schools expand their operations. John Fensterwald EdSource -- 10/25/14

Drought  

A parched farm town is sinking, and so are its residents' hearts -- Going into the fourth year of drought, farmers have pumped so much water that the water table below Stratford fell 100 feet in two years. Land in some spots in the Central Valley has dropped a foot a year. Diana Marcum in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/25/14

A dry winter could mean tougher restrictions -- What will happen with water restrictions if California doesn't get significant rain and snow this winter? The item is in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/25/14

Health

UCLA, 4 other UC hospitals ready to treat California Ebola patients -- The hospitals will coordinate with the state and local health departments to manage preparedness, as well as with the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health to make sure facilities maintain safety standards for healthcare workers, according to the statement, which also noted that other hospitals are likely to join the list of "priority hospitals" for Ebola treatment. Eryn Brown in the Los Angeles Times$ Chris Rauber Sacramento Business Journal Greta Kaul in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 10/25/14

Doctor accused of issuing thousands of illegal drug prescriptions -- San Gabriel Valley doctor pleaded not guilty Thursday to writing thousands of illegal prescriptions for powerful painkillers during late-night weekend visits and then laundering the money he received in exchange. Veronica Rocha in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/25/14

Ebola scare on LAX shuttle briefly closes Union Station bus plaza -- Los Angeles Union Station's bus plaza was shut down for an hour and a half Friday afternoon after a man who had recently traveled to Nigeria said he felt feverish and nauseous, but officials cautioned that he did not have Ebola. Laura J. Nelson in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/25/14

To Get More Doctors to Africa, Paul Allen Pledges to Fly Sick Ones Home -- To contain the spread of the Ebola virus, organizations working in West Africa need more medical professionals to join that effort. Yet, if those doctors and nurses get sick, many of them want to be flown back home for medical treatment, but medical evacuation isn’t easy or cheap—flights can cost $250,000 or more. Justin Bachman Bloomberg Businessweek -- 10/25/14

Also . . .

Giant gold 'Butte Nugget’ sells to secret Bay Area buyer -- Just one day after it was unveiled to awed crowds in San Francisco, the whopping 'Butte Nugget’ of gold sold Friday to a “prominent Bay Area collector” for an undisclosed amount of money, according to the company brokering the deal. Kevin Fagan in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 10/25/14

LAPD officer allegedly beat, kicked restrained suspect in the head -- The altercation was captured by a private company’s security camera. Several police officials who saw the video told The Times that the officer delivered a powerful kick to the suspect’s head. One said the officer resembled “a football player kicking a field goal.” Joel Rubin in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 10/25/14

CHP Nude Photos Case: Law enforcement agency's top cop says allegations 'anger and disgust me' -- In response to reports by this newspaper on allegations that CHP officers across the state have been secretly trading nude and explicit photos of female arrestees, CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow released a statement late Friday: Matthias Gafni in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 10/25/14

POTUS 44    

Obama embraces Ebola nurse -- President Obama embraced Nina Pham, the Dallas-area nurse declared free of Ebola earlier Friday, with a big hug on Friday, as the White House seeks to calm fears over the spread of the deadly virus. Justin Sink The Hill -- 10/25/14

Beltway

What happened to that GOP lawsuit? -- It takes about 10 minutes to walk from the Capitol to the federal courthouse just down the hill, but House Republicans haven’t managed to make that trip in the four months since they announced they’d be suing the president. Josh Gerstein Politico -- 10/25/14