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THE NOONER for October 20, 2011
HEADLINE DU JOUR: "Jerry Brown As Writer: Pithy, acerbic, droll, concise & brusque" [Greg Lucas @ Capitol Weekly]
TWEET DU JOUR: @JasonKinney: "FINALLY sweet voices of freedom fighting for my right to wear camel-toe at Crepeville. @latimes Restaurant nudity to be debated in SF."
MEME DU JOUR: Oh, no, he didn't. Brilliant.
REFER RELOAD: Six-figure GOP donation pumps life into California map fight [Jim Sanders @ sacbee.com]
"Bolstered by a new $400,000 donation from the California Republican Party, officials of a referendum campaign to overturn the state's newly drawn Senate districts say 400,000 voter signatures have been collected and a full-court-press has been launched for more.
"'I'm confident that we're going to do it,' political strategist David Gilliard, who is running the campaign, said of prospects for gathering the required 504,760 valid voter signatures by Nov. 14 to place the issue before voters next year."
The California Republican Party filed a flurry of contribution reports last night related to both cash and in-kind expenditures on the redistricting referendum. They don't show up on ElectionTrack, as FAIR hasn't reported receiving them yet.
On Friday, I noted Jon Fleischman wrote that the party received $1 million for this effort, so this doesn't come as a complete surprise. But, who really cares about State Senate districts, as evidenced by the difficult time the FAIR committee has had raising money?
It's very likely that this money came in one large check from one very interested person. By channeling it through the party, it obscures the person's identity until January 31 when the party's semi-annual report is due. Of course, if the money was given directly to the campaign, we would all know within ten days. Someone is very interested in either saving a Senate district, qualifying refererenda in general, or simply buying the favor of an otherwise broke party. I have some pretty strong ideas as to who it is, but we'll wait to see if the party is forthcoming. Here's a hint...don't be shocked if some money is used to kick off the SB 202 referendum to reinstate a June vote on ballot measures.
Perhaps this is something the tweeting @FPPC_Chair can take on, as she promises a greater focus on big money. This week's Field Poll found 84% of voters supporting greater disclosure for major donors to ballot measures. Unless this party obfuscation maneuver (along with the county central committee dance) is closed, there continues to be a gaping hole exploited by interests on all sides.
Meanwhile, congratulations to Team Gilliard. It was looking pretty ugly there for a bit and now, and while it'll be close, 504,760 valids by November 18 seems achievable. Then, it will just be interesting to see whether the lines the court gives voters as an alternative are materially better for the GOP.
AWARDS OMISSIONS: Some of the best comments were left out of yesterday's awards:
OUTSPOKEN: "President Obama learns perils of roiling Maxine Waters" [Joseph Williams @ Politico]
BALLOT BREAK BLUES: "After 15 Years, A Breathing Space In Statewide Elections" [John Howard @ Capitol Weekly]
"And it hasn’t been easy on consultants -- especially Republican consultants – who rely on political campaigns to pay their bills, noted one strategist.
"'I think this is an unprecedented time for a lot of consultants, especially Republican consultants,' said Tim Hart of Sacramento-based Premier Strategies, a campaign strategy firm whose clientele include GOP candidates. 'It is a difficult time. We’ve gone through something of a metamorphosis because of Whitman spending $174 million and still not winning. That impacted a lot of donors in California, making it more difficult to raise money,' said Hart in a telephone interview from Guatemala."
Not to mention the lack of political advertising...
On to the headlines...TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
Solyndra Tax Break Not Going Away
Aaron Glantz @ baycitizen.org
State Treasurer Bill Lockyer told lawmakers Wednesday that he continued to support a law that grants large tax breaks to alternative-energy companies â even though the bankrupt solar-panel manufacturer Solyndra was its first and largest recipient.
CalPERS & CalSTRS: Cracking Down On 'Spiking'
Ed Mendel @ calpensions.com
In a settlement of a wrongful firing, a suburban San Diego water district agreed six years later to put its former general counsel back on the payroll for one year at $222,000, with a leave of absence that left him free to take another job.
After 15 Years, A Breathing Space In Statewide Elections
John Howard @ capitolweekly.net
For the first time since the 1996 election cycle, California is experiencing what once was a familiar hiatus between elections â a traditional 20-month span between the November general election and the next primary election in June of the following even-numbered year.
California Supreme Court Sets Date For Oral Arguments In Redevelopment Lawsuit
Local @ mercurynews.com
Oral arguments will be heard on Nov. 10 on a lawsuit that challenges the constitutionality of the states plan to eliminate Californias 398 active redevelopment agencies unless they agree to pay $1.
The Buzz: California Republican Party Sinks $400,000 Into Effort To Nix Senate Maps
Bolstered by a new $400,000 donation from the California Republican Party, officials of a referendum campaign to overturn the state's new Senate districts say 400,000 voter signatures have been collected and a full-court press has been launched for more.
Campaign Treasurer Scandal: "It's Quite A Mess"
John Myers @ blogs.kqed.org
This morning on The California Report, we take a look at the complexity of what lies ahead of dozens of Democratic candidates now looking at campaign funds that are missing, frozen, or both. Durkee was originally scheduled to make her first court appearance on Wednesday; that hearing has now been rescheduled for December 9, in large part because attorneys say the investigation is far from over into the workings of Durkee and her firm.
Obama administration pushes forward on healthcare partnership effort
Noam N. Levey @ latimes.com
Working to salvage a much-touted initiative in the new healthcare law aimed at controlling costs, the Obama administration issued revised regulations Thursday to encourage doctors, clinics and hospitals to take greater responsibility for improving patients’ care.
Redevelopment: Inland Counties Sign On To Lawsuit
Jim Miller @ pe.com
Riverside and San Bernardino counties have gotten behind a lawsuit seeking to overturn state legislation that would eliminate local redevelopment agencies as a way to save the state $1.7 billion.
Romney, Perry Vie For California Campaign Cash
Republican presidential frontrunner Mitt Romney is dominating the money race in California, but Texas Gov. Rick Perry also has mined millions out of the Golden State in just a few months, according to new campaign finance data released this week.
Advocates push education reforms for foster kids
KELLI KENNEDY, Associated Press Writer @ signonsandiego.com
Federal lawmakers said during a national town hall Wednesday that they are working to improve education outcomes for foster children, citing dismal statistics including a 50 percent graduation rate among foster youths.
Doctors' Stance On Pot Is Sick
George Skelton @ latimes.com
The California Medical Assn. is putting the cart before the horse in urging legalization of marijuana so its risks and benefits can be studied.
CA lawmakers decry federal crackdown on pot clubs
The Associated Press @ signonsandiego.com
Two California lawmakers want to know why the Obama administration is cracking down on the state's medical marijuana dispensaries so they can craft legislation to address the federal government's concerns.
Many In GOP Waiting To Commit In Presidential Race
Carla Marinucci @ sfgate.com
While Western Republican activists say they're more determined than ever to dump President Obama, many are at a loss to explain the real mystery of the 2012 election: why so many of them are still pining to fall in love...
The Caucus: Ron Paul Launches New Ad Campaign
Ron Paul has started a multimillion dollar television ad campaign, the first serious push by a presidential candidate this year to influence primary voters.
Jerry Brown: California economy has 'tremendous dynamism'
David Siders @ blogs.sacbee.com
It was only a ribbon-cutting, but in a flagging economy and with statewide unemployment above 12 percent, even a minor victory can get a politician to show up.
California Supreme Court sets date for oral arguments in redevelopment lawsuit
Oral arguments will be heard on Nov. 10 on a lawsuit that challenges the constitutionality of the state's plan to eliminate California's 398 active redevelopment agencies unless they agree to pay $1.
Brown Shapes, Signs Race To Top Entry
California became an early-childhood education leader 13 years ago, when voters dedicated a 50-cent tax on cigarettes and tobacco products to create First 5 California, distributing $650 million per year to First 5 commissions in 58 counties. Burr said that Race to the Top will focus on improving the quality of early-learning programs, with the goal that every student will be ready for kindergarten.
President Obama Learns Perils Of Roiling Maxine Waters
Joseph Williams @ politico.com
Racial equality warrior, advocate for the poor and a no-holds-barred antagonist to her fourth president, California Rep. Maxine Waters wears controversy like a badge of honor.
Mayoral candidates debate after Fletcher gets key endorsement
The San Diego mayoral race and union politics come together Wednesday in an unusual confluence of events as a pair of top-tier candidates to lead the city faced-off in a free-flowing debate at the downtown Balboa Theatre.
Villaraigosa Signs Law Giving L.A. Firms A Bidding Advantage
John Hoeffel @ latimesblogs.latimes.com
The independently run Los Angeles city departments that spend hundreds of millions a year on contracts are likely to adopt an initiative to give local businesses a significant advantage in bidding.
Sacramento Suspends Permit Process For Medical Pot Stores
The city of Sacramento, unnerved by a federal crackdown on marijuana dispensaries, has abruptly suspended its process for issuing permits to medical pot stores.
The Caucus: Biden Visits Capitol Hill to Rally Support for Jobs Legislation
The vice president works to corral support for legislation that Democrats say would put thousands of laid-off teachers and public safety workers back on the job.
Biden takes jobs pitch to Capitol Hill
Lisa Mascaro @ latimes.com
Vice President Joe Biden stumped for the administration’s jobs bills Wednesday on Capitol Hill as the White House tries to rally support in advance of congressional votes.
Former lawmaker Hector De La Torre named to state air board
Jim Sanders @ blogs.sacbee.com
Former Assemblyman Hector De La Torre was appointed by Gov. Jerry Brown today to the state air resources board, a part-time job paying $40,699.