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THE NOONER for December 16, 2011

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TWEET DU JOUR: @danielmorain - Whether California voters will approve tax hikes could turn on stories like this @MichaelMarois www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-12-16/million-dollar-nurses-show-california-s-struggle-to-reduce-payroll-costs.html #CaGov

MUTUALLY ASSURED DESTRUCTION: Now that "Paycheck Protection" has qualified for the November 2012 ballot, a "Corporate Political Accountability Act" was submitted yesterday. The measure would require shareholder approval of overall contributions made by corporations and limit spending to the share of votes supporting the spending plan.

BEE ON BOWEN: Editorial: "She has three years left in her term. That's a long time. If she is going to continue collecting her pay of $130,490 a year, she needs to do more than occupy the position."

I do want to applaud the posting of PDF versions of all reports that have been filed since the November 30 crash. I'm going through the PDFs and posting them on ElectionTrack. Here's what you've missed:

Contributions Reported Manually During Cal-Access Outage
Transaction Date Recipient Donor Amount
2011-11-17 Re-elect Attorney General Kamala Harris 2014 United Auburn Indian Community of the Auburn Rancheria
$6,500
2011-11-21 Re-elect Attorney General Kamala Harris 2014 Keith Brackpool (Manhattan Beach, CA)
$6,500
2011-11-23 Kevin Mullen for Assembly 2012 Plumbers and Steamfitters Local #467
$7,800
2011-11-23 Felipe Fuentes Reform CA Ballot Measure Committee California State Association of Electrical Workers
$10,000
2011-11-30 Ian Calderon for Assembly 2012 Blue Shield of California
$7,800
2011-11-30 Marty Block for State Senate 2012 California Federation of Teachers Cope
$5,000
2011-12-02 California Opportunity and Prosperity Act Committee Felipe Fuentes Reform CA Ballot Measure Committee
$15,000
2011-12-07 Padilla for Secretary of State 2014 Golden State Water Company
$6,500
2011-12-08 California Republican Party Stanislaus County Republican Central Committee
$40,000
2011-12-12 Building California's Future Committee Personal Insurance Federation of CA Agents & Employees PAC
$7,500
2011-12-12 Bill Monning for State Senate 2012 California League of Conservation Voters
$7,800
Source: California Secretary of State

 

"MILLIONAIRES TAX": Suggesting they are not ready to shelve their plan in favor of the governor's proposal, proponents of the hike of personal income taxes on the wealthy to restore funding for a variety of services released a poll yesterday arguing that the plan has the most support of voters.

Definitely yes: 37%
Probably yes: 26%
Lean yes: 4%
Lean no: 2%
Probably no: 7%
Definitely no: 15%
Don't know: 8%

[Tulchin Research, N=2400, +/- 2%]

THE DURKEE DECEPTION: "In hindsight, there were plenty of clues that all was not right with Kinde Durkee's work." [Gene Maddus @ LA Weekly]

AURAL PLEASURE: The Capital Notes podcast features John Myers and the Bee's Kevin Yamamura, who talk about triggers and taxes.

FAREWELL: Writer Christopher Hitchens (1949-2011)

Have a great weekend!

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TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
California lobbyists write checks to legislators running for Congress
sacbee.com
When Anthony Portantino ran for state Assembly in 2006, Sacramento lobbyists were forbidden from contributing to his campaign. But now that Portantino is considering a run for Congress, the lobbyists he has worked with since joining the Legislature are free to help him seek federal office.

City Beat: Mayor Johnson Proposes 'strong Mayor,' Other Charter Changes For June Ballot
Ryan Lillis @
blogs.sacbee.com
Mayor Kevin Johnson is proposing a June ballot measure to overhaul the city's constitution, a plan that is expected to include a strong mayor initiative and a proposal to create an independent redistricting commission.

New SD school board leader announces health care pact
signonsandiego.com
Kicking off his term as president of the San Diego city school board Thursday, John Lee Evans promised new collaboration with unions and announced a health care initiative that could save the district $2 million a year.

GOP Lawmakers Critical Of Calif. Rail Proposal
sacbee.com
WASHINGTON -- Republican lawmakers expressed doubts Thursday about the viability of California's high-speed rail project, indicating that it will be extremely difficult for supporters to generate the tens of billions of dollars in federal investment that will be needed to complete the proposed 800-mile line.

LAUSD Teachers Union Approves Landmark Deal
Barbara Jones @
dailynews.com
The Los Angeles Unified teachers union has overwhelmingly ratified a historic agreement that gives individual campuses the freedom of charter schools but also holds them accountable for how well students perform.

Kevin Johnson Proposes 2012 Sacramento Ballot Measure Including 'Strong Mayor' Plan
Ryan Lillis @
sacbee.com
After weeks of debate among his top aides, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson has proposed a June 2012 ballot measure to overhaul the city constitution – a plan that will include his twice-failed "strong-mayor" plan.

Feinstein plan would preserve UI benefits for hardest-hit states
Lisa Mascaro @
latimes.com
As negotiations continue over President Obama's payroll tax holiday, Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein is floating a proposal to preserve long-term unemployment benefits for residents of California and other hard-hit states that are being targeted for reductions by Republicans.

Gingrich's Health Care Policy History at Odds With G.O.P.
Jim Rutenberg and Mike McIntire @
nytimes.com
As a candidate for president, Newt Gingrich is criticizing some of the same health care programs that he supported as a consultant.

California Finally Grabs School Money From Race To The Top
blogs.sacbee.com
California shot and finally scored in the competition for more federal education dollars, as the state was one of nine winners named Friday in the Education Department's Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge grant program.

Podcast: Trigger Blues
John Myers @
blogs.kqed.org
Chances are when you sing one the holiday season's most familiar songs, it doesn't start out this way: "On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me, $980 million in budget cuts."

Contra Costa Pension System Sues County Over Wage, Benefit Cuts
Lisa Vorderbrueggen @
contracostatimes.com
Contra Costa Countys $5 billion pension system filed a civil suit Thursday against the county in an intergovernmental power struggle over the pay and benefits of the retirement agencys staff.

Governor Jerry Brown Kicks Off California Climate Change Conference With Attack On 'Deniers'
Dana Hull @
mercurynews.com
Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown kicked off his climate conference Thursday with a blistering attack on libertarians, the Republican party and others who deny that climate change is happening, despite overwhelming scientific consensus that sea levels are rising and the earth is warming.

Campaign To Repeal Financial Aid For Immigrants | Signonsandiego.com
signonsandiego.com
Local news stories from The San Diego Union-Tribune; breaking news, business and technology, local and national sports coverage, entertainment neww and reviews, classifieds, auto sales, jobs, and more.

Lawmakers have tentative deal to avert government shutdown
Lisa Mascaro, Washington Bureau @
latimes.com
Weary of one last round of brinkmanship before the holidays, Congress reached a tentative deal late Thursday on a $1 trillion spending bill that would avert a government shutdown as both parties continued talks to extend President Obama's payroll tax break for workers.

U.S. Stands By California Bullet Train Project Despite Critics
Ralph Vartabedian @
latimes.com
'We are not going to flinch' on support, an official says at a House committee meeting. The opposition alleges political corruption in the granting of federal funds for the Central Valley segment.

CalPERS investing in underwater power line
Jon Ortiz @
sacbee.com
The California Public Employees' Retirement System said Thursday that it is buying a stake in a 65-mile underwater high-voltage line that runs between New Jersey and Long Island, N.Y.

UC Berkeley Cuts Price For Shrinking Middle Class
Nanette Asimov @
sfgate.com
It takes not only brains but money to attend UC Berkeley, and that means one unlikely group is increasingly unable to enroll: the middle class. Alarmed that many qualified students from families earning incomes of...

CalPERS Vendor Cvs Caremark Agrees To Pay $19.9 Million To Settle Claims Of Fraud
sacbee.com
Customers enter a Longs Drug store in Palo Alto, Calif., Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2008. Drug store chain CVS Caremark Corp. owns Walnut Creek, Calif.-based Longs Drug Stores Corp.

Harassment Claim Against Legislator Settled In Secret, Records Show
Patrick McGreevy @
latimes.com
State Senate leaders privately approved a $120,000 settlement with a legislative aide who accused Sen. Roderick Wright of making inappropriate comments. The Times obtained the document through a public records request.

Viewpoints: Pension plans should assume realistic returns
Joe Nation @
sacbee.com
Earlier this week, we issued a report identifying the shortfalls at CalPERS, CalSTRS and the University of California retirement plan. The report shows cumulative shortfalls that vary depending on assumptions about investment rates of return.

Calif gets $52M to boost early childhood education
The Associated Press @
signonsandiego.com
California has won a $52.6 million federal grant to improve the state's early childhood education programs.