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The AM Alert

It's Election Day again!

Voters in the Long Beach area head to the polls today to vote on a replacement for the late Rep. Juanita Millender-McDonald.

OK, more like one in five eligible voters - and that's if turnout's "good."

The two leading Democratic candidates are Assemblywoman Laura Richardson and Sen. Jenny Oropeza, who have battled it out in a shortened special-election campaign.

The biggest spender in the race, however, was neither Richardson nor Oropeza, but the Morongo Band of Mission Indians, which the Associated Press reported had spent $400,000 as of Sunday.

The money all went to help Oropeza, who just happened to have voted for the Southern California gambling tribe's compact.

Also, today the 29-member governing board of the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine meets.

Item No. 2 on the agenda is "consideration of CIRM presidential candidates and compensation."

What does that mean? It means the board, which is searching for a new leader following the departure of Zach Hall, is considering changing the salary of its president.

The assumption is that the next CIRM president's salary -- the current range is $275,000 to $412,500 -- will be higher, but CIRM spokesman Dale Carlson was mum on the possibility on Monday.

In the Legislature, the "flood fives" are up (that's AB 5 and SB 5, authored by Lois Wolk and Mike Machado, respectively) in each house's natural resource committees.

On the Senate side, Assemblyman Joel Anderson, a Republican, presents his AB 257 to provide lifetime state parks passes to disabled veterans and Congressional Medal of Honor recipients.

The Assembly Public Safety committee will take up Sen. Gloria Romero's SB 1019, the public access to police officers' files bill. Sen. Gil Cedillo will fight for his SB 275, the patient dumping bill, in Assembly Health.

In the evening, Assemblyman Lloyd Levine continues to rub salt in the wound of Assembly candidate and former chief of staff Stuart Waldman by co-hosting a fundraiser for Waldman's opponent, Bob Blumenfield.

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