,, Around The Capitol
Around The Capitol
Around The Capitol

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THE NOONER for November 9, 2011

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PROBAB-LEE: Following the first round of voting, iMayor Ed Lee leads the pack of 16 candidates with a 13% lead. Today, elections officials will work the ranked-choice magic, starting by dropping the last-place candidate, adding their second-choice votes to candidates and moving up until someone receives 50%. Lee (31.4%) and John Avalos (18.7%) are likely the only candidates with a shot, and Lee's margin is probably unbeatable.

Thus, Leland Yee (7.5%) will be representing the conservative foothills in the new SD08 until 2014. Yes, Kristin Olsen and Yee will be technically representing the same constituents.

Voters in the City by the Bay also adopted Ed Lee's pension reform plan (over a measure with more significant reform), approved bonds for schools and potholes, but rejected a 0.5% sales tax increase by an overwhelming margin.

RUNOFF: Political novice and police officer Steve Buscaino will face Assemblymember Warren Furutani in a January 17 runoff election for the Los Angeles city council seat vacated by now-Congresswoman Janice Hahn. With turnout of 16.10%, Buscaino polled 29.10% while Furutani captured 22.32% of the vote.

Hahn showed up at Buscaino's election night party, while Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa showed up at Furutani's.

BUCKEYES BUCK KASICH: In Ohio, the push to rewrite labor rules for public employees was crushed with 61% of voters to repeal the law passed by the Ohio legislature and signed by Governor John Kasich. This morning, the Cleveland Plain-Dealer asks whether this gives Obama hope in an important swing state next year.

Mississippi's ballot measure to define life as beginning at fertilization failed.

HARD TIMES: Giving a post-departure gift to Shane Goldmacher as well as to Patrick McGreevy, the State Senate Rules Committee voted yesterday to bill members $2,000/year for the cost of providing food and coffee in the upper house. Critics argued that senators were double-dipping, since they are paid a $143/day tax-free per diem. After voting "no" to cut meals to legislators yesterday, Senator Tom Harman will be joining fellow Republicans to call for a special session to cut public employee pensions today.

BIG ENDORSEMENT: The Democratic Party of San Fernando Valley endorsed Brad Sherman over Howard Berman. [Jean Merl @ LA Times]

$$$: The big money is starting to flow in AD50. Yesterday, Betsy Butler reported $12,800 from the Plumbers and IBEW, while Torie Osborn reported $7,800 from the California Nurses Association.

BETTER THAN DR. OZ: CalChannel will be carrying California Redevelopment Association v. Matasantos tomorrow at 9am.

SEEN ON THE STREET: Redistricting referenda petition gatherers, following up with a pitch to sign the marijuana legalization initiative.

SERIOUSLY? We need a government board to promote Christmas trees? What's next, the "Peeps Promotions Panel"?

and, we have headlines...

California Legislators Head To Maui For Retreat Funded By Special Interests
Patrick McGreevy @
About 15 legislators are scheduled to attend the five-day event at the Fairmont Kea Lani hotel on the tab of the Independent Voter Project, a nonprofit policy group largely funded by business and labor interests.

Why Labor Should Resist Gov. Brown's Pension Envy
Steve Maviglio @
After arguing last week that labor would be crazy to fight Gov. Jerry Brown's proposals for pension reform, we invited Steve Maviglio, consultant to the union-backed Californians for Retirement Security, to respond to our brilliant, well-reasoned and responsible points. Here’s his offering.

San Diego pension initiative qualifies for June ballot
A proposal that represents the most dramatic change ever to San Diego's public employee pension system has qualified for the ballot after election officials deemed supporters collected enough signatures to put it before city voters next June.

Federal Court Backs Healthcare Law
Noam N. Levey, Washington Bureau @
The conservative-leaning U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia rules that the new healthcare law's requirement that most Americans get health insurance is constitutional. The Supreme Court is now considering the issue.

Brown Risks Legal 'Minefield' With Rollbacks To Current Employees' Pensions
Local @
California's top government analyst dealt a blow to Gov. Jerry Brown's proposed pension reforms Tuesday, suggesting that making substantial changes to the benefits of current workers is almost certainly illegal.

Mayor Villaraigosa Urges End To Business Tax On New Car Dealers
Kimi Yoshino @
At a news conference to announce that Beverly Hills Porsche will move to Los Angeles, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa plans to call for an end to business taxes on new car dealers, hoping to lure more to the city.

Voters Approve Ed Lee's Pension Reform
John Wildermuth @
San Francisco voters gave Mayor Ed Lee's pension reform plan a resounding victory Tuesday night, while rejecting a competing measure by Public Defender Jeff Adachi . Both measures were designed to trim the amount the...

New California Senate Maps Still Not Settled
Dan Walters @
It's been nearly three months since the state redistricting commission released its maps for 177 congressional, legislative and Board of Equalization districts. They're not quite final. A Republican-backed referendum to overturn state Senate maps is still pending, with signatures to qualify for next year's ballot being submitted this week.

Elections May Signal A Pause In Conservative Trend
Paul West, Washington Bureau @
Ohio voters overturn a law affecting public employee unions while Mississippi voters reject an antiabortion initiative. Arizona recalls state Republican Senate President Russell Pearce, architect of the state's strict immigration law.

Drive To Kill New California Senate Districts To Submit Signatures
Jim Sanders @
A Republican-backed referendum campaign to overturn the state's new Senate districts is vowing to submit more than 700,000 signatures Thursday to place the issue before voters next November.

In a surprise, D.C. appeals court upholds health care law
Noam N. Levey @
Giving a surprise boost to the new health care law, one of the nation's most closely watched federal courts ruled Tuesday that law's requirement that most Americans get health insurance is constitutional.

Elections may signal a pause in conservative trend
Paul West, Washington Bureau @
Ohio overturns a law affecting public employee unions while Mississippi votes down a stringent antiabortion measure. Arizona recalls state Senate President Russell Pearce, architect of the controversial immigration law.

Analyst: Take A Pass On Tinkering With Current Worker Pensions | Capital Notes -- From Kqed's John Myers
While referring to Governor Jerry Brown's proposal for changes in public employee pensions as a "bold, excellent starting point," the state's independent fiscal analyst's office nonetheless concludes that neither Brown's proposal -- nor any other -- that seeks to rejigger the terms of the deal for current workers is likely to work.

UC To Seek State Funds To Avoid Tuition Hike Next Year
Larry Gordon @
President Mark G. Yudof proposes asking the state for $411 million more in 2012-13 while adding classes and hiring professors.

Herdt: Some Grown-ups Weigh In On Pension Reform
Timm Herdt @
The labor unions dig in their heels to fight any substantial changes to an unsustainable status quo and the reformers often seem driven by an irrational denial of the simple fact that people who provide public services actually perform jobs that have economic value. That being the case, it was a delight on Tuesday to read a rational report on the issue put out by the levelheaded grown-ups at the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst's Office.

CSU Tuition Could Go Up Again Without State Aid
Nanette Asimov @
The price of a year at California State University could rise by more than 9 percent next year - about $500 a person - unless state lawmakers give CSU far more money than it got this year. That's the plan CSU Chancellor...

Appeals Court Backs Health Care Law
Of four appellate court rulings on the health care law so far, this is the third to deal with the law on the merits, and the second that upholds it.

Court To Hear California Animal Welfare Law
Carolyn Lochhead @
California's law banning the slaughter of animals that can't walk, enacted in 2008 after a gruesome undercover video showed lame cows being waterboarded and jabbed with forklifts at a meat plant in San Bernardino County,...

California cities watch SF pension reform measure
JASON DEAREN, Associated Press @
San Francisco voters on Tuesday had two choices for overhauling the city's pension plan for local government and public safety workers in an election that other California cities with looming retirement commitments of their own were watching closely.