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THE NOONER for October 27, 2011

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THE RESPONSE: Jerry Brown's pension reform proposal will "undermine retirement security for public employees" says Dave Low, chair of the union-backed coalition Californians for Retirement Security. [h/t John Myers]

REJECTED: The California Supreme Court unanimously turned down the legal challenges to the senate and congressional redistricting plans, bringing a bit more certainty to the 2012 elections. The last remaining active challenge is the referendum on the state senate maps, leaving the commission's congressional and state assembly plans almost certain to be used.

The finality of the congressional districts creates a ". . . or get off the pot" moment for Republican Congressmen David Dreier and Jerry Lewis, who were both hoping for more favorable redraws. In Dreier's case, he must move to a non-adjacent district to find one friendly enough for his voting record. Jerry Lewis could run in the district in which he currently lives (CD31), although it was won by Jerry Brown and Barack Obama by 7% and 15% respectively.

The only solid open GOP seat is CD08, the high desert seat that stretches up nearly half of the state's eastern border. There is a strong bench of Republicans (Imus, McEachron, Valles) ready to carry the party banner, but it is widely speculated that either Lewis or Dreier will move and run. Even if that happens, it's possible that one of the "locals" will stay in the race and challenge the "carpetbagger." This is seen more likely if it's Dreier, who would be coming from "Los Angeles" and, while with a high rank in congressional leadership, doesn't always rank highly with local GOP activists. In the end, David Dreier was the biggest loser in the Supreme Court's decision not to take up the maps and he now finds his options quite limited.

This also creates finality in the hottest incumbent challenges:

FAIR consultant Dave Gilliard now says the committee will "definitely" turn in the valid signatures by the November 13 deadline. [h/t Capitol Morning Report]

MEANWHILE, REPUBLICANS DEMAND MORE LATINO ELECTEDS: "A Republican-backed coalition that failed to persuade the California Supreme Court to kill the state's newly drawn Senate maps is now asking the federal government to reject the lines as a dilution of Latino voting power." [Jim Sanders @ Sac Bee]

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RUNAWAY-AND-HIDE TRAIN: The Sacramento Press Club is being stood up for a second time by the California High Speed Rail Authority, which cancelled an appearance at today's lunch.

DON'T YOU (FORGET ABOUT ME): While Jerry Brown is talking pensions, Lite Gov Gavin Newsom is calling for a "pattern interrupt" in higher education. If we had gone to private university, we'd understand what that means.

RUN OUR SCHOOLS LIKE A BUSINESS: Michelle Rhee, former DC Schools Superintendent and wife of Sac Mayor Kevin Johnson, charged a Kent State branch campus $35,000 for a recent speech, with an additional $5,000 for first-class airfare, a hotel suite, and a town car and driver.

FEELING LIBERALLY GENEROUS? Occupy Oakland has an Amazon wishlist

ON THE OTHER SIDE? Oakland Police Activities League

And, we have the headlines...

TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
California High Court Rejects Challenges To Redistricting
Maura Dolan and Anthony York @
latimes.com
The California Supreme Court rejects legal challenges brought by Republicans seeking to overturn congressional and state Senate voting district maps drawn by a citizens commission.

California Lawmakers Discuss Pensions Ahead Of Brown's Plan
Kevin Yamamura @
blogs.sacbee.com
It took less than 10 minutes of Wednesday's legislative hearing on public pensions to understand the differences between Democrats and Republicans on the issue.

It's Time To Raise California's Gas Tax
George Skelton @
latimes.com
California urgently needs more money to rebuild its public facilities. Increasing the gas tax, last boosted 21 years ago, would let the state pay for much-needed transportation projects without costly borrowing.

Labor balks at Jerry Brown's pension plan
David Siders @
blogs.sacbee.com
Less than 24 hours after Gov. Jerry Brown briefed labor leaders on the major pension changes he will propose this morning, labor interests that helped elect the Democratic governor suggested he is in for a fight.

Dianne Feinstein says Obama infrastructure plan won't pass Senate
Jean Merl @
latimes.com
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said Wednesday that the next provision up for a vote from President Obama's jobs package is urgently needed but gave it long odds for passage in the Senate next week, citing Congress' highly politically polarized atmosphere.

Ca Supreme Court Denies 2 Redistricting Challenges
By JUDY LIN, Associated Press @
sfgate.com
The California Supreme Court on Wednesday unanimously rejected two Republican challenges to the state's new electoral maps, dealing a blow to GOP efforts to halt new district boundaries that could diminish their political clout.

GOP fights Senate maps on a new front -- federal government
Jim Sanders @
blogs.sacbee.com
A Republican-backed coalition that failed to persuade the California Supreme Court to kill the state's newly drawn Senate maps is now asking the federal government to reject the lines as a dilution of Latino voting power.

Jerry Brown to propose higher retirement age, lower pension benefits for new state workers
sacbee.com
Gov. Jerry Brown will propose a higher retirement age and less-generous pension benefits for newly hired state employees, sources familiar with Brown's pension plan said Wednesday.

Jerry Brown to propose less generous pensions, higher retirement age
David Siders @
blogs.sacbee.com
Gov. Jerry Brown will propose a higher retirement age and a less generous pension system for newly-hired state workers, sources familiar with Brown's pension plan said this afternoon.

Gov. Jerry Brown to unveil 12-point pension overhaul
Anthony York and Michael J. Mishak @
latimes.com
Brown will propose benefits for new state workers that combine elements of traditional pensions with a 401(k)-style savings plan. He says the state can no longer afford its current retirement system.

Gavin Newsom wants 'pattern interrupt' on California higher education, jobs
sacbee.com
for higher education by the end of the year.

House votes to repeal 3% tax on contractors
Kathleen Hennessey @
latimes.com
The House of Representatives voted Thursday to repeal a tax on government contractors, easily advancing a small slice of President’s Obama jobs bill in a move hailed as rare bipartisan cooperation.

Map critics look to ballot after California Supreme Court rejects lawsuits
sacbee.com
The California Supreme Court rejected lawsuits Wednesday challenging the state's newly drawn state Senate and congressional districts as unconstitutional.

John Edwards' lawyers ask judge to toss campaign finance case
James Oliphant @
latimes.com
Disgraced former presidential candidate John Edwards was back in a federal courtroom in Greensboro, N.C. Wednesday, with his lawyers arguing that the criminal case against him should be tossed out.

Calif. proposes hybrid pension plan for new hires
signonsandiego.com
Gov. Jerry Brown will provide details of his pension proposal Thursday that seeks to move new California state workers to a hybrid system where guaranteed benefits are combined with a 401(k)-style plan.

California high court rejects challenges to redistricting
Maura Dolan and Anthony York @
latimes.com
The legal challenges were brought by Republicans seeking to overturn congressional and state Senate voting district maps drawn by a citizens commission.

California lawmakers discuss pensions ahead of Brown's plan
Kevin Yamamura @
blogs.sacbee.com
It took less than 10 minutes of Wednesday's legislative hearing on public pensions to understand the differences between Democrats and Republicans on the issue.

It's time to raise California's gas tax
George Skelton @
latimes.com
California urgently needs more money to rebuild its public facilities. Increasing the gas tax, last boosted 21 years ago, would let the state pay for much-needed transportation projects without costly borrowing.

Gov. Jerry Brown To Propose Pension Changes
Anthony York and Michael J. Mishak @
latimesblogs.latimes.com
Gov. Jerry Brown will unveil a 12-point plan to overhaul the state public retirement system Thursday, proposing a payout for new state workers that combines elements of traditional guaranteed government pensions with a 401(k)-style savings plan, according to people who were briefed on his plan.