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THE NOONER for August 8, 2011

Today's significant updates to ATC districts:

  • CD07 (E. Sac Co): is Dan Lungren beatable?
  • CD39 (Fullerton): new analysis of the Gary Miller/Ed Royce showdown
  • AD04 (Napa/Yolo/Dixon): revised analysis of the Michael Allen/Mariko Yamada situation

It's now easy to monitor analysis changes on the main page listing all candidates.

GOP TO CHALLENGE SENATE MAP: SCPR's Julie Small and Kitty Felde report that the state GOP is very likely to challenge the redistricting map for the state Senate, which is the only map likely resulting in a two-thirds majority for Dems.  Of course, with the state's GOP only having $219,834 on hand, Democrats aren't exactly disappointed that the Reps want to embark on a $1-1.5 million signature effort to gather 504,760 signatures.

if the signatures are collected, the state Supreme Court could modify the lines drawn by the commission, order those modified lines (or the commission's) to be used in the 2012 elections, and then voters would consider the maps in June.  If the voters reject the maps, the state Supreme Court would draw them anyway.

Republicans think they can move one Swing seat (SD27) to Lean Republican and one Lean Democrat (SD31) to Swing by forcing the Senate plan to follow a nesting scheme whereby each Senate district contains two Assembly districts.  Proposition 11 called for the commission, if practicable, to use nesting, but the commission made a finding that it would lead to more violations of community of interest.  The CRP's strategy is risky, as a nesting plan could actually make things worse for the GOP.

BOTTOM LINE: This is as much as about running against Democratic control of state and federal government in 2012 as it is whether Dems control one house of the Legislature.  Although the Citizens Commission was pushed through by Schwarzenegger and had balanced partisan membership, it will be framed as a "sham process controlled by liberal Democrats and their special interests."

HOME OF THE WORLD CHAMPS: Interim Mayor Ed Lee flipped and now is running for a full-term as elected mayor of San Francisco.  Lee is expected to be supported by DiFi, W.L. Brown, Jr., and Lite Gov Newsom.  It doesn't change Leland Yee's hard charge to be the candidate of labor and the left, but it will split the Chinese community (once more, with Supe David Chiu already in the race) and can't be good news for Senator Yee. If Yee loses, however, he'll get the consolation prize of representing the city's water in Hetch Hetchy until 2014.

HEADLINE THAT WILL BE SUBJECT OF CAUCUS MEETINGS NEXT WEEK: "White voters will dominate in California's redrawn political district" (Jim Sanders, Sacbee)

TIELESS COUNTDOWN: 4 more days before the Legislature is back.

CALIFORNIA LOVE: Finally, we all go all negative on California on occasion.  Bookmark this video and watch it whenever you've got the Golden State Blues.  It's amazing work by Ryan and Sherri Killackey.

Jerry Brown Credits Schwarzenegger For 'Bold Ideas' - David Siders @ blogs.sacbee.com
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's public approval rating already was in the tank when he left office, and that was before it came out that he had kept secret for more than a decade the fact he fathered a child with a member of his household staff.

Report Suggests More Legislator Involvement On Prison Overcrowding - californiawatch.org
The Legislative Analyst’s Office is calling on state lawmakers to get more involved in reducing the number of inmates in California’s overcrowded prisons.

California GOP 'likely' to challenge new political districts at the ballot - Julie Small and Kitty Felde @ scpr.org
The California Republican Party is busy getting its signature collecting machine up and running because it's upset about the new legislative district maps from the California Citizens Redistricting Commission. Those maps could give Democrats a tighter grip in the state legislature, and the Republicans are planning to ask the voters to stop it.

Why CA Will Or Won't Matter To GOP Pres Candidates - calbuzz.com
Before we see and hear a lot of hyperventilating about how important California is in deciding who gets elected president of the United States -- mostly from political writers hoping to justify their travel budgets and expense accounts -- let's consider some of the facts of life.

Jerry Brown's Charter Schools In Oakland Reap Big Donations - Anthony York @ latimes.com
Energy companies, telecommunication interests and Indian tribes, as well as unions and lobbyists, are lining up to write checks. 'This is definitely the new fad in influence peddling,' one watchdog says,

Should Brown Have Taken His Own Advice? - John Myers @ blogs.kqed.org
It's impossible to resist taking Governor Jerry Brown's Sunday network news interview, and the advice he offered a fellow Democrat in the White House, and viewing it through the prism of the campaign he ran for governor in 2010.

Fire Fee Law Needs Repairs - George Skelton @ latimes.com
On the surface, the new state fire fee passed by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Jerry Brown seems prudent and fair. It requires people who live in woodsy and brushy terrain, being soothed by nature, to pay a larger share of their fire protection costs. But this legislation was written in such haste, without public scrutiny or Capitol vetting, that no one really is sure how it's going to work. It was cobbled together at the last moment before the Legislature's June 15 budget deadline in order to help balance the deficit-ridden general fund.

Vallejo Exits Bankruptcy Paying More For Pensions - Ed Mendel @ calpensions.com
Vallejo got court approval to exit from bankruptcy last week with a plan that includes a sharp increase in pension payments to CalPERS -- the opposite of what many expected when the city declared bankruptcy in May 2008.

White Voters Will Dominate In California's Redrawn Political Districts - sacbee.com
Most of California's legislators and congressional representatives will be elected over the next decade from districts dominated by white voters, the state's new political maps show.

Legislature Has Long Exempted Itself From Open-records Laws - Michael J. Mishak @ latimes.com
Assemblyman accuses legislative leaders of using budgets, offices and perks to consolidate power. Newspapers and government watchdogs agree, suing for the release of such spending and challenging the Legislature's exemption from transparency rules.

California’s Budget Woes Hit Neediest Students The Hardest - The @ toped.svefoundation.org
Many organizations, including my own, have complained that rules adopted by the California Department of Education associated with flex categorical funding make it very difficult to track and analyze state K-12 funding. Following the shift to flex categorical funding, the Public Policy Institute of California observes that revenue codes for flexed programs were terminated and the RAND report further found that some districts no longer track spending for individual programs. Therefore, a full understanding of the disproportionate effects of flex categorical funding may not be possible.

If History's A Guide, Hearing Over Hospital Sale Could Be Contentious - californiawatch.org
Next week, the attorney general's office will hold a hearing over the proposed sale of Victor Valley Community Hospital to Prime Healthcare Services, the controversial and growing chain of 14 hospitals.

Critics Take Aim At State Budget Plan - Steve Harmon @ mercurynews.com
Amid growing fears of a double-dip recession -- punctuated by the stock market's harrowing plunge -- Gov. Jerry Brown's bet on a $4 billion tax surge to bolster the state's coffers is looking illusory at best, economists say.

'46% In U.S. Don't Pay Taxes' Only Half The Story - Joe Garofoli @ sfgate.com
For some California Tea Party conservatives, it has become a favorite statistic: Nearly half of Americans - 46 percent - don't pay taxes. The number is used to back up their claim that if that many people don't pay...

Student Debt Rises; Graduation Rates Flat - Erica Perez @ californiawatch.org
A new report finds that it's taking increasingly more student debt to produce a degree in this country – meaning that while students are collectively paying more for an education, the nation's colleges and universities aren't producing a proportionate increase in degrees and certificates.

Is This Really What Hiram Johnson Had In Mind? - Peter Schrag @ californiaprogressreport.com
We probably don't need a lot more evidence that what passes for democracy in America has gone badly awry. But a quick look at the 16 measures that have been proposed so far for next year's California ballot should strengthen the case just a bit more.

Poll: Ed Lee Popular, But Short Of Majority To Win - Phillip Matier,Andrew Ross @ sfgate.com
If, as expected, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee takes out papers today to run for a full term, he will be the instant front-runner. According to a recent CBS 5-SurveyUSA poll of 528 San Francisco voters, Lee would get 35...

Mayor Not Out To Shut Down Medical Marijuana Shops - Christopher Cadelago @ signonsandiego.com
Mayor Jerry Sanders will not increase efforts to shutter medical marijuana dispensaries, instead opting to preserve the status quo while collective operators look to forge their own path to legitimacy.

SF Mayor Ed Lee Changes Mind, Will Seek Full Term - sfgate.com
Ed Lee will announce today that he is running for a full four-year term as San Francisco mayor, vaulting himself to the top of a crowded field of candidates while breaking a promise not to run that sealed his...

L.A. County May Pull Its Own Handoff When State Inmates Arrive - Robert Faturechi @ latimes.com
Officials say that rather than releasing inmates early or risking hitting capacity at county jails, they would consider contracting out their share of state inmates to a San Joaquin Valley lockup.

Obama's Bus Trip Could Hit Potholes - Carrie Budoff Brown and Glenn Thrush @ politico.com
Nothing says “I’m not from Washington” like a bus ride through the heartland, but President Barack Obama’s mid-month Midwestern caravan will have to dodge its share of political potholes.

Appellate Justices Bar Class-action Status In Lake-poisoning Cases - sacbee.com
The state's Herculean effort to wipe the northern pike out of Lake Davis in Plumas County wreaked havoc on the economy in and around Portola, but the city and owners and operators of businesses and property may not proceed in court against the state as a class, an appellate court has ruled.

Farmers Angle For Guest Worker Program Amid Immigration Debate - Robert Rodriguez @ fresnobee.com
As Congress debates a bill to crack down on undocumented immigrants, California farmers are angling for a way to bring foreign guest workers into the U.S., saying it may be the only way they can stay in business.