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THE NOONER for August 29, 2011

[jump to the headlines]

DISTRICT UPDATES

  • CD01 - Added attorney Jim Reed (D)
  • AD08 - Added legislative consultant Doug Haaland (R)
  • AD57 - Added Norwalk-La Mirada USD trustee Ana Valencia (D)
  • AD58 - Added former Assemblymember Tom Calderon (D)

HAPPY HOUR DROP:  The Assembly and the Senate dropped their operating budgets for each member and committeeoffice at 4pm on Friday, in a bid to end the nagging of news organizations and Assemblymember Anthony Portantino.  You can find the Assembly's in the impossible-to-read red-on-green Christmas font on the bottom left of the Assembly's home page, while the Senate's is under "What's New."

Portantino didn't accept the release, yelling "LIAR LIAR PANTS ON FIRE" to anyone who would listen.   Portantino's beef is that committee and leadership salaries are separated from personal offices, making it look like Portantino has the largest office salary.

"If these documents were not posted on the Assembly’s web page, I would think they were an April fool’s joke," Portantino told Judy Lin at the AP.

A CONGRESSIONAL REFERENDUM? The LAT's Richard Simon writes: David "Dreier supports a petition drive to overturn the new congressional district lines. But his California House Republican colleagues are divided over a petition.

"'I'm going to take a wait-and-see attitude,' Dreier said in a recent interview. 'Anybody who has come to the conclusion that these are the final lines that people will run in in June of next year may have another think coming.'"

The clock is ticking...

On Friday, Senator Mark Wyland kicked in $25,000 for the effort to refer the State Senate redistricting map.  Now that the petitions are in the street, the money needs to start coming in a bit faster.

CALIFORNIA DREAMIN': Both CalBuzz and Jon Fleischman have their arms around a rumor that there may be end-of-session push by labor and some Democrats to kick ballot measures from June to November, by reclassifying the June primary election as something other than a "general election" or "statewide special election."  The rationale is to move the vote on a pending "paycheck protection" initiative to the friendlier November electorate.

However, as Fleischman notes, it would also move the Amazon initiative, if qualified.  What neither mentions is that it would also delay the referendum on the State Senate districts (or any other redistricting referendum), although it won't really matter since, if qualified, the referendum would have court-drawn districts in effect throughout next year.  However, the more friendly electorate could make a difference.

Anyway, expect the governor to poo-poo this idea before the week is over...

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Speaking of Redistricting Partners, Paul Mitchell writes this gem in today's Redistricting Report today:

"The Calderotti now have Ron running for Congress, next generation Ian Calderon running for the neighboring 58th AD, and possibly more on the hoizon.  The Bacas have the possibliity of three candidates on the ballot with Joe, Joe Jr. and Jeremy all running for office, the Sanchez Sisters could have Congressional triplets with Linda, Loretta and cousin Norma Macias running for Congress, but a Calderotti Quartet could take the cake.

"I'm sure this is exactly what the authors of Prop 11 were going for."

On to the headines...

New Audacious Effort To Eliminate Ballot Initiatives From June Statewide Elections? - Jon Fleischman @ flashreport.org
It is hardly a secret that at a statewide level the voters of California have been inconvenient to the special interest groups that control the State Capitol.. You need look no further for proof of this than California Democrat Party Chairman and former State Senate President John Burton’s recent screed in the Sacramento Bee, railing against the ballot initiative process. Just last week there was an article in the Los Angeles Times, Democrats propose measures to rein in California initiative process. Without going on at length with a great many example of ballot measures passed by the California electorate, suffice it to say that while the Capitol is dominated by politicians with an ultra-liberal ideology, the results of various high profile initiative contests demonstrate that voters are pretty centrist and center-right when it comes to fiscal issues.

Hot Rumor: Labor Scheme To Push Initiatives To Nov. - calbuzz.com
Calbuzz has picked up rumblings that California union leaders, their consultants and loyal Democratic retainers are quietly planning to jam a bill through the Legislature before the end of the session that would push onto the November ballot any initiatives that have or would otherwise qualify for the June election.

The Redistricting Report for 08-29-11 - Paul Mitchell @ aroundthecapitol.com
The Redistricting Referendum has ticked off a couple more procedural steps, but may also be facing its first step backwards. If hot rumors are correct, the eventual ballot measure would be pushed from the June ballot to November.

California Legislature Sprinting To The Finish Line - Dan Walters @ sacbee.com
The Legislature begins its sprint to adjournment with hundreds of bills still pending, with lawmakers maneuvering for positions to campaign on in much-changed districts next year, with lobbyists for moneyed interests packing Capitol hallways, and with dozens of fundraising events on tap to extract campaign cash from those interests.

Pension Reform: Easier Said Than Done - Ed Mendel @ calpensions.com
A bill for a public pension reform advocated by Gov. Brown, and a commission appointed by former Gov. Schwarzenegger, has a labor sponsor, no formal opposition and therefore smooth sailing in the Legislature, right?

CalPERS drops Moody's from lawsuit against ratings firms - sacbee.com
CalPERS said today it has dropped Fitch Ratings from a lawsuit over a botched $1 billion investment, but the California pension fund will continue to pursue claims against the other two Wall Street credit rating firms, Moody's and Standard & Poor's.

Redistricting Could Cost California Some Clout In Washington - Richard Simon @ latimes.com
New political maps eliminate safe districts for some powerful senior House members of both parties.

California Taxpayers Association issues guide on taxes versus fees - Kevin Yamamura @ blogs.sacbee.com
As lawmakers head into the final two weeks of session, the California Taxpayers Association has issued a 20-page guide delineating taxes and fees under a new voter-approved law.

Much On Legislators' Plates As Final Two Weeks Of Session Loom - Timm Herdt @ vcstar.com
There are too many citations and variations on the theme to state its origin with certainty, but it is a phrase that likely dates back to an 1866 court decision in New York: "No man's life, liberty or property are safe while the Legislature is in session." If that is true, Californians have two weeks remaining this year to feel insecure.

Editorial: Controlling costs must be paramount in health care reform - sacbee.com
This is a critical time for the Affordable Care Act, the health care reform law passed by Congress last year. There is much at stake – for businesses, for consumers and for our economy.

California Legislature Under Pressure Over Secrecy - Juliet Williams Associated Press @ contracostatimes.com
Task force investigates whether public entitled to broader disclosure

CA court to mull unsealing Prop. 8 trial videos - The Associated Press @ signonsandiego.com
The legal sparring over California's same-sex marriage ban, known as Proposition 8, is set to return to a San Francisco courtroom.

The Pointlessness Of Redistricting Reform - Robert Cruickshank @ calitics.com
While most of the Calitics editorial board is conventioning in Denver this week I'm holding down the fort back here in California. I love the Mile High City, but with the onset of Monterey's summer I don't think I'm going to miss much. Which gives me time to focus on one of the ongoing arguments over this fall's ballot, specifically over Proposition 11 - redistricting reform. Over at the California Progress Report Frank Russo has been hosting a running debate on the topic, with Democratic redistricting expert Bill Cavala taking on all challengers in his effort to explain why Prop 11 is a bad idea.

Brown Appointments Favor Democrats - By MICHAEL R. BLOOD, AP Political Writer @ sfgate.com
Gov. Jerry Brown is a quirky Democrat known to break from convention, but in one way his young administration looks all too predictable: He is seeding state government with fellow Democrats, political supporters and appointees linked to powerful labor groups that helped install him in office, an Associated Press review found.

IRS Investigates $419-million Vernon Bond Deal - Sam Allen and Hector Becerra @ latimes.com
The IRS is auditing more than $400 million in tax-exempt bonds issued by the city of Vernon in 2009. The investigation marks the third major probe of the troubled city in the past year.

Dem Snub For Mayor Rouses Asians - Heather Knight @ sfgate.com
The Asian media and some leaders in the Chinese community have not taken kindly to the San Francisco Democrats spurning all of the Asian American candidates for mayor - and are calling it a wake-up call that claiming Room 200 for the first time isn't a given.

After Adult Day Care Cut, State Turns To Troubled Firms - californiawatch.org
California Medi-Cal officials are planning to rely on a second firm that has drawn scrutiny from the U.S. Justice Department to coordinate care for those who will no longer be served by the Adult Day Health Care program, which was eliminated in this year’s state budget.

Fort Bragg City Councilman Gunned Down - sacbee.com
Fort Bragg was thrown into shock after a veteran city councilman was shot to death Saturday while searching for a squatter who was supposedly growing marijuana in nearby timber country, the mayor said.

Newton: It's Legacy Time For Villaraigosa - Jim Newton @ latimes.com
The mayor has long shown the ability to think big. Now he has two years left to improve Los Angeles.

State has adjusted taxes for inflation - sacbee.com
The Franchise Tax Board announced Thursday that state income tax brackets, credits and deductions for 2011 have been adjusted, as state law requires, for a 2.7 percent inflationary factor, three times as large as last year's adjustment.