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THE NOONER for September 14, 2011

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Good morning...another miserable day in paradise. I'm watching 15 guys sweeping seaweed off a 25-yard section of beach. Now, that's a Jobs Bill we can all believe in.

DISTRICT UPDATES

  • AD38 - Added Patricia McKeon (R) (wife of Buck McKeon)

ICYMI: California Members ‘at War’ Over Redistricting (Roll Call)

MOJO RISING: Resident and beloved curmudgeon Dan Walters blasts the Legislature for the session wrap, and argues that the Legislature should have to play by the same rules as everyone else. While there was a lot to dislike, he misses out on the comeback story of the end-of-session, in which Speaker John Perez got his mojo back. 

In the waning weeks of the legislative session, Perez had an open fight with Anthony Portantino and the press corps over Assembly expenditures. He had to deal with some ugly conflicts among his members (and members' favorite successors) who wanted to run for the newly drawn Assembly seats. And, he lost his highest profile bill of the year, the Vernon disincorporation. Speakers are meant to get their main bills through.

However, Perez seemed to regroup after dropping the Vernon bill. He could have used his authority to jam it through by bottling up Senate bills, but he didn't.

While few of us know what happened in those closed-door meetings with members about redistricting, the only outstanding conflict among current members is Roger Dickinson and Richard Pan in AD07. He then delivered votes on lots of bills that his caucus wasn't crazy about. I wrote yesterday about SB 202, the ballot bumper. Let's not overlook Jerry Brown's tax package. Lots of Dems weren't crazy about voting for it, as it resulted in a net reduction of taxes over the next three years at a time they believe the state needs more revenue. And, then there's that film tax credit, on which he got 49 of the 52 caucus votes.

Let's face it. There is a lot of conflict in the caucus and few speakers have had so much conflict. The brother of the Majority Floor Leader seems to be running against a sitting member in AD58, while another brother is running against a sitting congresswoman in CD38. Julia Brownley's chosen successor, Torie Osborn, is being challenged by Betsy Butler, who is moving north to do so. And, there have to be some hard feelings about the Allen-Yamada debacle. While those are the main ones my tequila-influenced brain can spin, there are undoubtedly others.

Keeping the caucus together in casting tough or personally distasteful votes is job numero uno of the Speaker, and he in the most part succeeded.  As the gavel came down Saturday morning, John A. Perez had his mojo back.

Now, will someone draw this guy a supe seat?

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On to the hottest headines on atc...

Jerry Brown Calls For 'War On Unemployment' - David Siders @ blogs.sacbee.com
Gov. Jerry Brown said this morning that the powerful California Public Utilities Commission, which is controlled by Brown appointees, could reclaim some of what Brown lost when the Legislature last week sunk his bid to reauthorize an energy surcharge known as the public goods charge.

California Legislature Enshrines Sneakiness - Dan Walters @ sacbee.com
Not only did the Legislature fail to produce a genuinely balanced budget this year, thus continuing a sorry tradition, but it also dropped the ball on other issues facing a large, economically troubled state.

More Candidates Choose Races In Post-redistricting Scramble - Jean Merl @ latimesblogs.latimes.com
The search for seats to run for next year continues in the aftermath of the state's recently completed drawing of new political districts following the 2010 census.

Field Poll: Californians Sour On Obama - David Siders @ sacbee.com
Even in heavily Democratic California, President Barack Obama's job approval rating has plummeted among voters, largely on his handling of the economy, according to a new Field Poll.

DeMaio, unions continue tough talk over initiative - signonsandiego.com
The war of words between labor unions and San Diego City Councilman Carl DeMaio continues unabated as a mid-October deadline looms for the politician and supporters to collect enough signatures to place a proposed pension initiative on the June ballot.

The Caucus: N.C. Puts Same-Sex Marriage Ban on Ballot - nytimes.com
The state General Assembly votes to put a same-sex marriage ban on the primary ballot in May.

Court: Carl Lewis back on ballot in NJ Senate race - GEOFF MULVIHILL, Associated Press @ signonsandiego.com
Nine-time Olympic gold medalist Carl Lewis was ordered back on the ballot in a state Senate election by a federal appeals court Tuesday in possibly the final word over whether the celebrity political newcomer would meet a four-year residency requirement for state senators.

Another Interesting Twist With Sb 202 - Joel Fox @ foxandhoundsdaily.com
We know that SB 202 was a gut-and-amend bill that was introduced the last day of the legislative session to move initiatives from the June ballot to November largely at the behest of the public employee unions who believe they have a better chance of defeating the Stop Special Interest Money Initiative.

Chamber Of Commerce Wins Big On Its 'Job Killer' List - blogs.sacbee.com
The Legislature may be dominated by liberal Democrats, but the California Chamber of Commerce emerged from the 2011 session as a big winner in its annual "job killer" duel with labor unions, trial lawyers and environmental and consumer groups.

California Special Exemption For NFL Stadium Plan Not So Special - Michael Hiltzik @ latimes.com
Back in 2009, the California Legislature enacted a special exemption from state environmental laws for billionaire developer Ed Roski's proposed NFL stadium in the City of Industry. Just this once, we were assured. Not so, as the case with AEG's stadium push shows.

Brown Looks To Utilities Panel To Continue Clean-energy Projects - sacbee.com
Gov. Jerry Brown and clean-energy advocates are looking to the Public Utilities Commission to fund projects following the Legislature's rejection late Friday of bills that would have extended a long-standing fee on utility bills known as the public goods charge.

North Carolina Voters to Decide on Same-Sex Marriage - nytimes.com
North Carolina has taken a big step toward losing its status as the last state in the Southeast without a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

County Hires Lawyers To Go After $48 Million - Kimberly Edds @ totalbuzz.ocregister.com
Outside lawyers are being called in by the County of Orange to see if lawmakers have any legal recourse to grab back $48 million taken by the state in June to help fix its own budget issues.

Gov. Jerry Brown And 3 Telling Bills - Debra J. Saunders @ sfgate.com
Gov. Jerry Brown scored a victory for common sense last week when he vetoed a bill that would have imposed criminal penalties on minors - or their parents - who ski or snowboard without a helmet. "While I appreciate the...

Cease Activities, California Orders Firm Implicated In Looting Of Politicians' Funds - Michael R. Blood @ mercurynews.com
California regulators Tuesday ordered a company tied to hundreds of thousands of dollars in missing political funds to stop providing accounting services, after authorities discovered the firm is not licensed and has no certified accountants on staff.

California's Poverty Rate Highest In More Than A Decade - sacbee.com
Kevin Ferrari of Sacramento, shown with his dog Pocky, lost his gas station job and had to drop out of CSUS. He said he's applied for 100 jobs since. At McDonald's, he said, the competition included an applicant who claimed to have a master's in psychology.

Obama Fundraisers: Star Power, Marketing Prowess - Carla Marinucci @ sfgate.com
President Obama's re-election campaign, aiming to compete for cash from Northern California's political ATM, is testing an innovative fundraising pitch - one that offers donors of $5,000 or more a pass to meet star...

Valley Leaders Praise Cleantech, Worry About About Unemployment - Local @ mercurynews.com
Silicon Valley business leaders bubbled with optimism about the valleys cleantech future at a conference Tuesday, but there were worries about non-tech unemployment and a troubled education system.

Board releases ruling in CalPERS sexual harassment case - Jon Ortiz @ blogs.sacbee.com
A week after upholding a sexual harassment reprimand that CalPERS issued to one of its board members, the State Personnel Board has released the ruling issued by the administrative law judge that upheld the fund's action.

Sacramento Delivers A Mixed Bag Of Film Tax Credits - Richard Verrier @ latimesblogs.latimes.com
Faced with the prospect of the curtain falling on California’s film tax credits, Hollywood breathed a collective sigh of relief after lawmakers approved a bill for a one-year extension of the program. But the mood was far from celebratory because the legislation, which is awaiting Gov. Jerry Brown's signature, included a much shorter extension than industry advocates had hoped for.

After City Scandals, Lawmakers Crackdown On Car Impounds - californiawatch.org
Bills written to shield illegal immigrants in California from losing their cars to impound have been stalled, vetoed or voted down for years.

Turner requests impound of ballots in New York special election - Kim Geiger @ latimes.com
Citing reports that at least a handful of absentee ballots had been mailed to voters who are now deceased, Republican Bob Turner obtained a court order impounding absentee ballots cast in the special election for New York's 9th congressional district.

California Approves Pay-as-you-drive 'Green' Insurance Program - latimesblogs.latimes.com
"This environmentally conscious program unites economic savings with emissions reduction in an effort to reduce traffic congestion and greenhouse gases," said California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. "I encourage more insurance companies to start offering pay-drive options to policyholders."