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THE NOONER for June 21, 2011

It's finally summertime on both the calendar and thermometers here in the capital city, although things are a bit cool for Dianne Feinstein.  The Field Poll finds that voters are less inclined to reelect her next year:

Voter inclination to re-elect Dianne Feinstein to the U.S. Senate one year before her reelection year (among registered voters)
 InclinedNot
inclined
No
opinion
Total registered voters
June 2011 43% 39 18
March 2011 46% 42 12
Previous re-election bids (1 yr. prior)
June 2005 56% 37 7
March 1999 59% 37 5
June 1993 58% 29 13

Of course, the four-term senator has an ace in her pocket--the GOP field.  She hasn't had to rely on it as frequently as Barbara Boxer, but it could come particularly handy if the economic situation doesn't turn around.  I imagine that, if Arnold Schwarzenegger was still a going political concern in California, he'd be strongly looking at this race.

Nobody has started raising money to run against the senior senator, who had $4.3 million on hand on March 31.  So, who might we see jump in?  Could there be a deal between Abel Maldonado and Sam Blakeslee that lets Blakeslee take a shot at Lois Capps while Abel takes another statewide run?  Are there any Republicans with statewide recognition greater than Abel?  Would the party let a legitimate candidate like Abel take a run against Feinstein, or will a legislator unknown outside of his district get the nomination again?

That said, Maldo only received 3.2 million votes for Lite Gov in November 2010, whereas Carly Fiorina received 4.2 million against Boxer.   Perhaps we'll see iCarly return?  Unlikely, as she still has $780,000 debt from the last run.

10 Days To Go, Yes, But $10 Billion? - John Myers @ blogs.kqed.org
The historic veto of the state budget by Governor Jerry Brown may have set the stage for some drama in these final few days before the new fiscal year.

Q&A: Controller John Chiang Ponders Legislators' Pay - Kevin Yamamura @ sacbee.com
Controller John Chiang, who battled former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on state worker pay, is in the middle of another wage fight.

Vernon Disincorporation Strains Alliance Between Assembly Speaker John Perez And Labor - Sam Allen @ latimes.com
The Democrat, who is a former union political director, introduced the bill to disincorporate Vernon. Union leaders say disbanding the city to end corruption would lead to significant job losses.

Editorial: Governor needs to keep pledge at Battle Creek - sacbee.com
Jerry Brown campaigned for governor on a strong set of environmental planks. In one of these he promised "to take reasonable steps to ensure a healthier habitat for California's unique fish species by limiting sediment and other runoff entering streams." Brown now can deliver on that pledge at Battle Creek, one of the Sacramento River's most crucial tributaries for imperiled fish. But to do so, the governor may need to buck a timber billionaire who has contributed to his campaigns and one of his charter schools – A.A. "Red" Emmerson, owner of Sierra Pacific Industries.

Don't Split Capital To Create New Legislative Districts, Officials Say - Jim Sanders @ blogs.sacbee.com
Key Sacramento city officials are protesting a plan by California's fledgling redistricting commission to sever portions of eastern Sacramento from the central city in crafting new legislative districts.

Next CTA Pres Foresees Attacks On Union - John Fensterwald @ toped.svefoundation.org
Like floods and tornados, the attacks on collective bargaining and the imposition of test-score-based teacher evaluations that have swept through states in the Midwest and South this year have not been seen in California. But the incoming president of the 300,000-member California Teachers Association expects the state will not be immune for long.

New Ad Campaign Touts Preventive Care Benefits Of Health Reform Law - Noam Levey @ latimes.com
The Obama administration is kicking off a nationwide ad campaign urging seniors to take advantage of free preventive services such as cancer screenings made possible in Medicare by the new healthcare law.

New Redistricting Map Could Make California Less Golden On The Hill - washingtonpost.com
When it comes to clout on Capitol Hill, California has long reigned supreme, with its lawmakers routinely being placed in the upper ranks of key congressional committees.

Steinberg raises legal questions over pay issue - Steven Harmon @ ibabuzz.com
Senate Leader Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, made it clear that there are legal implications — lawsuit, anyone? — with the decision on legislative pay that state Controller John Chiang is expected to make Tuesday.

Hispanic Groups Dispute New Calif. Political Maps - GILLIAN FLACCUS and DON THOMPSON, Associated Press @ signonsandiego.com
Hispanic advocacy groups in California say new political maps that sketch proposed boundaries for congressional and state legislative districts will disenfranchise Hispanic voters.

Will Californians, Like The Spanish, Ride The Bullet Train? - Lance Williams @ californiawatch.org
Financial worries are driving the debate over California's bullet train project: Will the state find the tens of billions of dollars needed to build an 800-mile high-speed rail system?

Man Tased, Arrested After Punching Officer At Capitol, CHP Says - David Siders @ blogs.sacbee.com
A man who regularly sought out Gov. Jerry Brown or prayed outside his office was arrested at the Capitol this afternoon after punching a California Highway Patrol officer in his face and being tased, an official said.

Lawsuits Loom Over "Fantasy Island" - Alison Hawkes @ blogs.kqed.org
The massive redevelopment of Treasure Island in San Francisco Bay has cleared all regulatory hurdles and is now officially green-lighted for construction as early as next year. But the project's eco-credentials are still in dispute.

Viewpoints: Law aimed at Vernon is likely unconstitutional - Kathleen M. Sullivan @ sacbee.com
Imagine that members of the state Legislature don't like your city and decide one day to eliminate it. So they write a bill that says, "Your City is hereby disincorporated. Your businesses and jobs are gone. Game over. Thanks for playing." When the measure passes and gets the governor's signature, you wonder, "Can they do that?" Specifically, does the California Legislature have the power to wipe out your city with a majority vote and the stroke of a pen?

Politicians Writing History - Joel Fox @ foxandhoundsdaily.com
Legislators are making themselves into history professors again and that is probably not a good thing. Days before the Assembly Education Committee meets on SB 48, which would require school textbooks to include the role and contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender Americans, and persons with disabilities, the Department of Education released the 2010 National Assessment of Educational Progress, which reported that only 12% of high school seniors have a firm grasp of the nation's history.

Voters less enthused abou Sen. Dianne Feinstein's re-election - David Siders @ sacbee.com
Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein's public approval rating remains positive, but enthusiasm for re-electing her is far less than in previous years, according to a Field Poll released today.

Steinberg Raises Legal Questions About Withholding Pay - blogs.sacbee.com
It wasn't any legislator's favorite question Monday, but it was the one reporters kept asking: Should you continue receiving pay?

Is Lynn Woolsey Retiring? Is Gavin Newsom Interested In That Seat? - Joe Garofoli @ sfgate.com
We're getting the distinct feeling that something is up. Just got an "advisory" that Rep. Lynn Woolsey will hold a press conference at her home Monday in Petaluma "joined by Rep. Barbara Lee and friends and family."

Romney To Raise Money At Sacramento Luncheon - David Siders @ blogs.sacbee.com
Republican presidential frontrunner Mitt Romney will court donors in Sacramento on Tuesday, with a $1,000-a-plate lunch at the Sheraton Grand Hotel.

N.Y. Senate Stuck On Gay Marriage As Rallies Grow - Michael Gormley @ mercurynews.com
State Senate leader, governor remain locked in talks

EPA Budget Cuts Put States In Bind - washingtonpost.com
When congressional Republicans cut the Environmental Protection Agency's budget 16 percent as part of a deal with President Obama in April to keep the government running, they hailed it as a blow to a federal bureaucracy that had overreached in its size and ambition.

San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed Delays Fall Ballot Measure Aimed At Fiscal, Pension Reform - Local @ mercurynews.com
The mayors decision came after the citys police and firefighter unions on Monday agreed to a framework for negotiations through October on retirement reform and related ballot measures.

Chris Christie Would Be Poor Vp Choice, New Jersey Voters Say - Michael Muskal @ latimes.com
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie , who has repeatedly and vehemently denied that he has any immediate presidential plans, would not make a good vice presidential candidate, according to a Quinnipiac University poll of his state’s voters released Tuesday.