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THE NOONER for November 28, 2011

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DISTRICT UPDATES

  • AD29 - added Pacific Grove councilmember Carmelita Garcia (D)
  • AD49 - added retired teacher David Siegrist (D)

POTOMAC PONDERING: Since I'm in the other Capitol building this week, The Nooner may have a congressional bent this week. 

FRIENDS OF DAVID DREIER: George Radanovich and company filed their promised federal lawsuit on Wednesday, providing one last hope for the GOP. As expected, the suit challenges the three seats drawn for the three black members of Congress in LA (Bass, Richardson, and Waters), arguing that black voters should have been "packed" into two districts, which would have created a Latino district. Of course, as stated in the complaint, any change in LA would have a "ripple effect" that, in the hopes of the plaintiffs, could help David Dreier, Jerry Lewis, Gary Miller and Ed Royce.

Anyway, I wrote extensively about what the suit aims to do in September 30th's Nooner. My personal belief is that the court will hear the case but will not grant injunctive relief and that the 2012 elections will be conducted using the Commission's lines.

GONNA BE CLOSE: As expected, the referendum of the state senate plan met the raw count requirement. With 51 counties reporting, 697,392 signatures were counted. Now, counties have until January 10 to conduct and report a random sample for validity. If fewer than 95% of the 504,760 required signatures are projected to be valid, the referendum fails. If the projection exceeds 110% of the required signatures, it qualifies. In between, it proceeds to a full count.

This will be a nail-biter, with the validity of the 209,163 signatures from Los Angeles likely being make-or-break. In contrast, paycheck protection/deception is on track to qualify with 920,569 signatures and a 70% validity rate (before Los Angeles has reported). Carrying forward the trend, it will have 648,000 signatures and won't need a full count. To avoid failure, redistricting petitions need 67.6% validity in the random sample. With 78.3% validity, a full count will be avoided. If a full count occurs, actual validity of 71.2% would be needed.

Here are some validity rates from measures that qualified in the 2010 cycle:

  • PG&E's initiative to limit public power growth (constititional amendment): 70.19% (Los Angeles 71.5%)
  • Mercury's auto insurance rate initiative: 76.39% (Los Angeles 72.9%)
  • Marijuana legalization: 75.41% (Los Angeles 73.4%)
  • Congressional redistricting to commission (constitutional amendment): 71.82% (Los Angeles 69.4%)
  • Elimination of redistricting commission (constitutional amendment): 72.11% (Los Angeles 70.3%)
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WELCOME BACK: What Jerry Brown Should Have Said About UC Davis [CalBuzz]

HALLELUJAH: Amtrak's Capitol Corridor trains launched free wi-fi today [Michael Cabanatuan @ SFChron]

HORSE RACE: With Gingrich surging, it's time to revisit Slate's animation of the campaign for the GOP nomination.

JUST ASKIN': Is this a website for a referendum or one for a game show hosted by Tim Donnelly

GREAT MOMENTS IN CONGRESS: Don Young (R-Alaska) vs. Rice University historian Douglas Brinkley [YouTube]

Headlines!

TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
Court Strengthens Public Retiree Health Rights
Ed Mendel @
calpensions.com
A state Supreme Court ruling last week could make it more difficult for state and local governments to cut spending on health care for their retired employees, one of the fastest-growing costs.

'3 Strikes': Proposed Law Tries To Restore Intent
Marisa Lagos @
sfgate.com
As California braces for more budget cuts and moves forward with a plan to reduce its prison population by 33,000 inmates, opponents of the state's "three strikes and you're out" law are preparing to ask voters to make...

Education Aimed At Specific Skills Begins A Comeback In California
Dan Walters @
sacbee.com
As Californians worry – with good reason – whether the state will ever truly recover from recession and re-emerge as a global powerhouse, they know that education is one major factor.

What Jerry Brown Should Have Said About UC Davis
calbuzz.com
You still could if you just man up, governor. It’s not too late to demonstrate that the actual Office of the Governor encourages students to take direct, peaceful action in support of their convictions and expects California’s universities to cherish exactly this kind of informed engagement.

Dan Walters: Education aimed at specific skills begins a comeback in California
sacbee.com
As Californians worry – with good reason – whether the state will ever truly recover from recession and re-emerge as a global powerhouse, they know that education is one major factor.

Senator Questions Extension Of Tax Cut
nytimes.com
WASHINGTON — The No. 2 Senate Republican, Jon Kyl, expressed concern on Sunday about President Obama’s proposal to continue a reduction in the Social Security payroll tax and questioned whether the tax cut had fostered the creation of jobs, as Democrats say.

Cash-strapped Cities Want Workers To Contribute More To Pensions
Catherine Saillant @
latimes.com
Getting a handle on pension costs in Santa Ana is a must, city officials say. Santa Ana is facing a $30-million deficit, has only $300,000 in reserve and is jettisoning jobs to keep its head above water. Last year it paid out about $11.3 million for employee pension costs.

The Buzz: California ballot proposal aims to boost access to online education
sacbee.com
David Haglund, principal of an online independent study program run by the Riverside Unified School District, introduced a statewide ballot initiative that would give students unrestricted access to publicly funded courses – wherever they are.

Wesson's Election As Council President Faces A Challenge
Rick Orlov @
dailynews.com
The rise of Council President-elect Herb Wesson came with all the intrigue of a castle coup.

Rep. Barney Frank won't seek re-election
James Oliphant and Lisa Mascaro @
latimes.com
Rep. Barney Frank, the longtime Democratic congressman from Massachusetts and a favorite GOP target for crafting legislation to reform Wall Street business practices, is expected to announce Monday that he will not seek reelection next year.

Understanding The 'Why' Behind Teacher Evaluations Is Critical To Their Success
Judy Burton @
toped.svefoundation.org
A poll released last week by USC and the LA Times tells us that the public approves of measuring teacher effectiveness through a combination of indicators including the academic growth of their students. The U.S. Department of Education has made measuring and improving teaching effectiveness a fundamental component of its reform efforts and requires it for many of its grant recipients. In California, Assemblyman Felipe Fuentes has introduced AB 5, legislation requiring school districts to use multiple measures to determine teaching effectiveness, and a group of education reform advocates is suing LAUSD to require the district to develop meaningful evaluations of teacher effectiveness.

Bay Area Couple At Center Of Federal Gay Rights Showdown
Local @
contracostatimes.com
San Franciscos Karen Golinski and Amy Cunninghis, married in 2008, are challenging a 1996 federal law that denies benefits to same-sex couples.

New Initiative: $10b For K-12, Preschools
pollster Mar @
toped.svefoundation.org
Last week the Think Long Committee for California, a tax reform group led by billionaire Nicolas Berggruen, also floated a plan to raise an additional $10 billion, but only $5 billion would go to K-12 schools, and it would do so primarily by extending the sales tax to services, from car washes to attorney fees, while lowering the personal and corporate income tax rates.

Union Leader Makes Case Against Mitt
Alexander Burns @
politico.com
In a 354-word, front-page editorial Sunday, the New Hampshire Union Leader finally did what no Republican presidential candidate has yet been able to accomplish: make the case against Mitt Romney.

Taking Healthcare To Students
Anna Gorman @
latimes.com
Clinics at schools are becoming a key part of the nation's medical safety net.

Protesters gather at UCLA for UC Regents meeting
Larry Gordon @
latimes.com
Student protesters upset over budget cuts and police action against Occupy campers plan to demonstrate at four University of California campuses where the university’s Board of Regents is meeting by teleconference Monday.

UC Students To Protest At Regents Meeting
Local @
insidebayarea.com
The meeting, rescheduled after cancellation earlier this month because of threats of violence and vandalism, now includes a one-hour slot for student voices and other public comments, increased from the usual 20 minutes. The regents will be spread out in four locations -- San Francisco, Davis, Los Angeles and Merced -- and conduct the meeting by teleconference.

Occupy Claremont First General Assembly Draws Enthusiastic Crowd
dailybulletin.com
The group of about 75 people ranging from college-aged students to senior citizens stood outside City Hall for a couple hours voicing their opinions and reasons for attending.

Recession May Be Over But Many Silicon Valley Residents Feel Left Out Of Recovery
Patrick May @
mercurynews.com
While economists say the recession is technically over, many in Silicon Valley certainly dont see it that way. Despite a recent hiring boom, 44 percent of those polled in the Fall 2011 Silicon Valley Pulse survey said they felt left out of any recovery that might be going on.

Political Notebook: Issa Tops Congressional Wealth List
pe.com
Once again, Inland Rep. Darrell Issa has been placed atop a list of the richest members of Congress.

Texas asks Supreme Court for help in redistricting flap
David G. Savage @
latimes.com
The Supreme Court was asked Monday to intervene in a partisan political dispute from Texas and to block the use of a new judge-drawn map of its congressional districts that could cost the Republicans four or more seats in the House of Representatives.

Sexy Pot Ads Provoke Debate Over Medical Marijuana Goals - Marijuana - Sacbee.com
sacbee.com
Leslie Henck, a Bay Area go-go dancer, greets customers at the HempCon medical marijuana trade show earlier this month.

Cash-strapped cities want workers to contribute more to pensions
Catherine Saillant @
latimes.com
As Gov. Jerry Brown calls for sweeping reforms in public-employee pensions, cities such as Santa Ana demand concessions from their employee unions.

Senate Dems seek to extend tax cut
Seung Min Kim @
politico.com
They plan to pay for a payroll tax cut extension with a 3.25 percent surtax on income over $1 million.