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THE NOONER for September 16, 2011

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¡FELIZ COMPLEANOS ESTADOS UNIDOS MEXICANOS!

CAMBIOS DE DISTRICTO

  • CD02 - Added businesswoman Stacey Lawson (D)
  • AD11 - Added Suisun councilmember Mike Hudson
  • AD29 - Removed Santa Cruz councilmember Lynn Robinson (D)
  • AD66 - Added Torrance school board member Al Muratsuchi

TWEETS DEL DIA:

  • @JimMiller2- RT @duanegang: FBI and IRS are searching the Riverside offices of O'Reilly Public Relations. I am on scene.
  • @JimMiller2 - RT @duanegang: Federal agents served warrants on 9 addresses associated with Jeff Burum, Paul Biane, Mark Kirk, Jim Erwin and Jim Brulte.

And, here's the story, via Duane Gang and Imran Ghori:

"It is unclear exactly what the FBI and IRS agents sought, since the affidavits in support of the search warrants remain under seal.

"But the locations searched all have ties to people involved in the state and local investigation of San Bernardino County's $102 million settlement with developer Colonies Partners. Local prosecutors say the settlement was obtained through a conspiracy of bribery and extortion. The defendants face more than 20 charges in total."

EL HEFE SKELTON VS. LOS ANGELES TIMES: Re: SB 202 -
George Skelton: "If we're going to have direct democracy, it should be exercised by the most voters possible, not by a small minority."
vs.
Editorial Board: "Democrats in the Legislature are as good as their word. And their word, it turns out, means nothing."

"TWO JEWS, ONE DISTRICT": The Jewish Journal has launched a blog covering the Berman-Sherman race. 

DONDE ESTA EL GRUPO DE COMERCIO?: If you believe the proponents of the State Senate redistricting referendum, it's all about keeping Dems from achieving two-thirds majority in the upper house. The red meat message is that Democrats will pass taxes from the time you get up to the time you go to bed if they have a supermajority. This message emboldens the base and helps raise small money. However, the big money in Republican campaigns comes from business interests. And, so far, they are sitting this one out.

Thus far, no political action committees of the reliable GOP interest groups have kicked in, leaving contributions to a few wealthy individuals, the California Republican Party and a handful of current and former (Jim Brulte) State Senate Republicans.

What's going on? It may simply be that that business is holding off until after the governor's signing period on legislative bills.  However, it may also that business is less sold on the referendum, which may or may not appreciably help the Senate GOP.

Several of you have written and asked why the Senate GOP feels so threatened by the redistricting plan, since there is no foreseeable way that Assembly Dems get 54. Heck, it's very possible that they even lose seats from their 52 next year.

The gem in the State Senate for the minority is the ability to hold up gubernatorial appointments. Many appointments (anyone want to count?) require two-thirds votes, and this is used to manipulate policy (good or bad, according to your perspective) across the board. As the participant in fights over appointees to the relatively obscure Community College Board of Governors, I know this first hand. Of course, there is no tit-for-tat, as that would be illegal. But, we all know the stories of completely unrelated issues getting tied together over the years.

¡ATENCION! FAIR asked the California Supreme Court Thursday to throw out the Commission's Senate districts, alleging the maps violated four provisions of Proposition 11.

"'It is very important that these legal questions go before the court now, so they can examine the full scope of constitutional issues and be prepared to draw new maps once we finish gathering signatures on the referendum,' said FAIR consultant Dave Gilliard."

Google Translate: "It's damn hard getting 504,760 valid signatures with less than $500,000."

Anyway, you have to love that, in the petition, the GOP argues for a Latino Senate district in Monterey and Santa Clara counties (to save Sam Blakeslee), while ignoring the vaporization of a Latino seat in Orange County.

Meanwhile, it appears the referendum against the congressional maps is dead.

RUMOR DEL DIA: John Burton, the progressive's progressive, is not happy with the California Democratic Party's Progressive Caucus, and may be seeking ways to dissolve it. At E-board in August, the caucus adopted a resolution blasting, and suggesting a primary challenge to, Barack Obama.

DEPARTAMENTO DE CORRECCIONES: Paul Mitchell corrected me on yesterday's comment that candidates need to move by November 6, 2011 to run in a district in which they don't live. While the constitution indeed provides a one-year residency requirement, the provision was found federally unconstitutional by the California Supreme Court in the 1970s. The court found that the rules had been used to discriminate against protected classes.  However, based on more recent federal jurisprudence, there is a believe that the California requirement is indeed constitutional, and might be upheld on a new review.

Long story short, if you're eyeing a district in which you do not live, start shopping now and get moved by November 6 (or at least sign a lease). That's the rock-solid way to ensure compliance.  For more, read Paul's article earlier this year in Capitol Weekly.

Have a great weekend.  Heading south on the Riviera Maya...

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On to the hottest headines on atc...

Denham Adds $25,000 To Redistrict Challenge - Michael Doyle @ modbee.com
Republican Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Atwater, has broken new ground in the campaign to overturn newly drawn state Senate districts, with a hefty $25,000 contribution to the redistricting challenge.

Dramatic Turn In Quest For A Spending Limit - Joel Fox @ foxandhoundsdaily.com
An unexpected consequence for the legislators who voted for SB 202 may arise from the decision to move the rainy day fund/spending limitation, if the governor signs it. A segment of the business community felt that the ACA 4 type spending amendment was the best budget spending reform method. The legislative gimmick would undercut them. The result could be the business groups that supported ACA 4 might well join forces with those supporting a stricter spending limit and help get it on the November 2012 ballot. While legislators and their public union allies are trying to avoid the proposed rainy day fund/spending limit measure with their shenanigans, the irony is they may face an even tougher spending limit initiative in November 2012 that has wider and stronger support behind it.

Two-tiered Mental-health System - Amy Yannello @ newsreview.com
Seven years after voters went to the polls saying they were tired of substandard community mental-health care, there is tarnish on the promise of Proposition 63.

Republicans File Legal Challenge To Redistricting Plan - Patrick McGreevy @ latimesblogs.latimes.com
Republican leaders filed a lawsuit Thursday in the state Supreme Court seeking to repeal new legislative district boundaries drawn by a citizens panel for the state Senate.

The Buzz: Jon Coupal says Jarvis group open to negotiating with Jerry Brown - David Siders @ sacbee.com
Gov. Jerry Brown used to accuse GOP lawmakers of taking their cues from anti-tax activist Grover Norquist or Los Angeles radio hosts John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou. But when Brown said Wednesday that the Republicans' real master was the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, his aim fell closer to the Capitol.

UC Tuition Could Nearly Double Under Budget Plan - TERENCE CHEA @ pe.com
University of California officials are proposing a budget that could lead to steep tuition hikes if the state doesn't boost funding to the 10-campus system.

Howard Jarvis Group Calls Jerry Brown's Attack A 'Stretch' - David Siders @ blogs.sacbee.com
Gov. Jerry Brown used to accuse Republican lawmakers of taking their cues from anti-tax activist Grover Norquist or Los Angeles radio hosts John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou.

Residents To Be Polled About Regional Gas Tax - Michael Cabanatuan @ sfgate.com
With a struggling economy, high and unstable gasoline prices and a cranky electorate, this would not seem the ideal time to propose a Bay Area gas tax of up to 10 cents per gallon. But regional transportation officials,...

Sen. Lieu: Durkee Failed To Deposit Donations - totalbuzz.ocregister.com
An audit by the state Franchise Tax Board has discovered that Democratic treasurer Kinde Durkee failed to deposit at least $160,000 in contributions to one of State Sen. Ted Lieu‘s accounts for about a year, the senator told the Orange County Register on Thursday.

GOP Group Sues To Block New State Senate Maps - sacbee.com
Arguing that California's newly drawn Senate districts are unconstitutional, a Republican Party-backed group filed a lawsuit Thursday asking the California Supreme Court to kill the new maps.

Feinstein Weak In Poll, But No GOP Challenger Yet - Joe Garofoli @ sfgate.com
Two years ago, two major Republican campaigns swarmed the California GOP fall convention, confident that they could drum up the support to beat three-term incumbent Democrat Sen. Barbara Boxer , who was considered...

Board Chief Reflects On His Time On State Board Of Education -- Then and Now - edsource.org
Michael Kirst, president of the State Board of Education, says the process that resulted in his confirmation, which involved getting a two-thirds vote in the state Senate, was “useful” in getting to know Republicans in the Legislature and has laid the groundwork for cooperation on a number of issues in the future.

MTC to poll Bay Area voters on possible gas tax ballot measure - mercurynews.com
Poll to help agency decide whether to seek 10 cents per gallon jump in gas tax

Lawsuit Asks Court To Kill New California Senate Districts - Jim Sanders @ blogs.sacbee.com
Arguing that California's newly drawn Senate districts are unconstitutional, a Republican Party-backed group says it is filing a lawsuit today asking the California Supreme Court to kill the new maps.

Charities Hit By Widening Campaign Finance Fraud Scandal - californiawatch.org
The political treasurer accused of fraud in a growing campaign finance scandal also kept the books for a slew of California nonprofit organizations, some of which are now scrambling to figure out what happened to their money.

UC Approves Raises For Hospital Executives - Laurel Rosenhall @ blogs.sacbee.com
University of California Regents approved raises for two top UC Davis Medical Center executives today. Chief Executive Officer Ann Madden Rice was granted a raise of nearly $259,000, bringing her compensation to $960,000 a year. UC officials said Rice was being recruited by another academic hospital that was offering her a salary of $1.5 million. The raise UC is giving her is contingent on Rice withdrawing her application from the other hospital.

Republicans file legal challenge to redistricting plan - Patrick McGreevy @ latimes.com
Republican leaders filed a lawsuit Thursday in the state Supreme Court seeking to repeal new legislative district boundaries drawn by a citizens panel for the state Senate.

Lawsuit asks court to kill new California Senate districts - Jim Sanders @ blogs.sacbee.com
Arguing that California's newly drawn Senate districts are unconstitutional, a Republican Party-backed group says it is filing a lawsuit today asking the California Supreme Court to kill the new maps.

Obama signs patent overhaul law, pushes jobs act - Michael A. Memoli and Peter Nicholas @ latimes.com
President Obama traveled to vote-rich Northern Virginia to sign legislation overhauling the nation's patent laws, a step he's long touted as a common-sense step to boost the economy and one that he sought to link Friday with his pitch for his new jobs plan.

UC Regents Recoil At Idea Of 16% Tuition Increase - Larry Gordon @ latimes.com
The University of California regents were so divided over a proposal that could raise tuition by up to 16% a year in 2015-16 that a vote on the plan is now expected to be delayed until next year.

An Overhaul Of California Boards Is Long Overdue - Dan Walters @ sacbee.com
Juan Vargas is right about abolishing the state's Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board – for all the wrong reasons.