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Around The Capitol
Around The Capitol

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THE NOONER for December 23, 2011

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  • AD07 - added teacher Jeff Randall (R)

I'll probably take next week off, as I'll be in the Middle of Nowhere, Texas with family. Have an amazing holiday and rest up for a very exciting 2012.

SIREN: Jon Fleischman features the original ProPublica story and a piece by GOP Chairman Tom Del Baccero:

"However, the corruption of the process went far beyond what was disclosed in the ProPublica investigation. No fair minded person can now say the process or the result was fair. I am calling for an immediate and thorough investigation, by Congressional and State authorities, to get to the bottom of this obviously corrupted process. Beyond that, the Congressional and Senate lines as drawn by the Commission should not be used in any way for the upcoming elections. Enough should be enough."

PANNING PROPUBLICA: However, ProPublica isn't finding much support for its story beyond Fleischman and Tom Del Baccero. Instead, the story is turning into ridicule of the California Republican Party's handling of the redistricting commission it championed. I have heard from several highly creditentialed Republican thinkers and consultants and they are flat out embarrassed. 

Today, Dan Walters dumps on the story and CalBuzz flushes it.

The Redding Record-Searchlight shares my thoughts in today's editorial:

"Are these dirty, underhanded machinations? Or just the rough rules of hardball politics? Take your pick. Either way, though, the Republicans' pose as innocent victims of a terrible deceit doesn't pass the laugh test."

Charles Mahtesian writes on Politico:

There's still one big question that hasn't been adequately answered in the wake of the ProPublica article: What the heck were the Republicans thinking? Sure the California GOP isn't in the best of shape, but was there no one paying attention at the state or national levels? California is, after all, the biggest delegation in Congress.

Whatever the answer, it looks like the GOP will have the next decade to think about the consequences of getting played by a party that came well-prepared and fully understood the high stakes.

And, conservative columnist John Wildermuth's column posted Tuesday (before ProPublica) on Fox and Hounds praising the commissioners as "Californians of the Year" doesn't help the conspiracy theorists.

Here's Paul Mitchell's take in his Redistricting Report.

Does the whole thing help the legal challenge to the congressional districts? Perhaps. Although, that doesn't mean that things get any brighter for the GOP. The complaint filed by Radanovich and co. criticizes the drawing of lines in Los Angeles, arguing that both black and Latino voters were disenfranchised by the drawing of seats for three incumbent African-American congressmembers (one of whom, Laura Richardson, is almost certain to lose to Janice Hahn). They are hoping that a court redraws lines in a way that will have a ripple effect to save David Dreier. That would require a magnitude 7.0 ripple. 

That said, this is all great red meat for the California GOP and Del Bacerro. I sure hope they're capitalizing on the fundraising opportunity.

JUXTOPOSITION: It's a little strange that Democrats are blasting ProPublica and Republicans are praising it.

#RANKEDCHOICEFAIL: The SFChron sits down with Oakland Mayor Jean Quan, who gives plenty of reasons for the editorial board to excoriate her:

"At the meeting, Quan expressed frustration at negative stereotypes about Oakland, and bemoaned what she perceived as shrinking local news coverage. But she acknowledged that she may have missed some stories, because she reads the local newspapers' online versions: She subscribes only to the New York Times print edition."

NO GO: Don Perata will not run for Contra Costa supe. [Lisa Vorderbrueggen @ Contra Costa Times]

AURAL PLEASURE: The Capital Notes podcast - Jason Kinney and Julie Soderlund join John Myers to look back at the year as it sunsets.

SEASONS COMPLAININGS: Los Angeles's channel 5 weatherman Henry DiCarlo threw a fit on camera earlier this week, and it wasn't because he had to interview Richard Katz.

JUST SAYIN': I feel bad for John Boehner. Running that caucus is like trying to coach five-year-olds playing soccer. "No, the other goal!"

Have a wonderful holiday,

California Democrats Didn't Cheat On Redistricting, But They Played Politics Well
Dan Walters @
California political junkies are all atwitter about an article on the website ProPublica about a clandestine campaign by Democratic apparatchiks to influence the state's redistricting commission congressional map-drawing.

The Redistricting Report for 12-22-11
Paul Mitchell @
Everyone in Sacramento was atwitter, blogging, emailing, texting and calling yesterday in a big pre-xmas spazz-out. What was the hubbub? Well, of course it was everyone gabbing about their new iPhone covers with the new district maps they bought using this link. Serious nerd cred, delivered to your doorstep by Redistricting Partners.

Perata Says 'No Thanks' To Supe Bid
Lisa Vorderbrueggen @
After weeks of discussions with local leaders and eyeballing poll results, former Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata has opted out of a 2012 Contra Costa County supervisor bid.

CA Redistricting Commissioner: Dem Manipulation Charges"Dead Wrong"
Carla Marinucci @
At least one member of the California Citizens Redistricting Commission is strongly refuting allegations that the Democratic Party manipulated the outcome, saying that the recent ProPublica account of state redistricting ”just doesn’t match the process we went through.”

Senate GOP Leader Urges House To Break Impasse On Payroll Tax Cut
Local @
WASHINGTON -- The Senates top Republican on Thursday urged the GOP-led House to pass a short-term renewal of payroll tax cuts and break an impasse that threatens 160 million workers with a 2 percentage point tax increase on Jan.

Podcast: The Political Pros
John Myers @
While we political reporters like to think we live and breathe the goings-on under the state Capitol dome and on the campaign trail, we've got nothing on political consultants and strategists.

Chicago News Cooperative: Chicago Democrats Obeyed Law During Redistricting, Court Says
A court decision declares the redistricting of the congressional map, which favors Democrats, a blatant political move but quite legal.

Charter Schools Group Urges Closure Of Four Sacramento-area Campuses
A list of 10 schools the California Charter Schools Association would like to see closed – including four in the Sacramento area – has caused an uproar within the charter school movement.

California Senate Republican leader to step down in January
Kevin Yamamura @
Senate Republican Leader Bob Dutton said today he will step down in January, and Sen. Bob Huff expects to replace him as the legislative session kicks back into gear.

Seven states win federal education competition
The Associated Press @
Seven states won a share of $200 million in federal "Race to the Top" money to improve K-12 education programs, the Education Department announced Thursday.

Appeals Court Tosses Obama Birthplace Challenge
Paul Elias @
A federal appeals court in San Francisco has tossed out a lawsuit challenging President Barack Obamas U.

Republicans to change leadership in state Senate
The Associated Press @
Republicans in the state Senate will vote for a new leader when they return to the Capitol.

Relatives star in new wave of campaign ads [video]
Kim Geiger @
As the Christmas holiday approaches, Republican presidential candidates are putting a warm and fuzzy spin on their campaign ads, breaking out wives and children to attest to their faith and personal character.

Obama’s Surprisingly Good 2011
Politically, this has been, in many ways, a bad year for the White House, as a quick look at the polls will show. Economically, it’s been rough, as a look at the jobs numbers will show. But so far as the administration’s bitter, high-stakes negotiations with the Republicans in Congress go, it’s really been a surprisingly good year for the White House.

On Payroll Tax Cut, GOP Ready To Cave
Jonathan Allen and Seung Min Kim and Scott Wong @
House Republicans are on the verge of agreeing to a two-month extension. | AP Photo

Why The Propublica Remap Yarn Is Nonsense
The pseudo investigation by Olga Pierce and Jeff Larson of New York-based ProPublica, purporting to expose “How Democrats Fooled California’s Redistricting Commission,” is misleading at best, dishonest at worst and fatally flawed in any case.

Fox And Hounds Daily Black Bart Award For 2011 :: Fox&hounds
Chiang influence in state politics will continue to grow.

Obama’s Signature Puts Quick End to Payoll Tax Fight
On Friday, the House and Senate dispensed with weeks of partisan bickering and extended the measure. President Obama signed the legislation hours later.

Key Consumer Confidence Index Up For Fourth Straight Month
This post has been corrected. See note at the bottom for details. A leading consumer confidence index rose in December, the fourth straight monthly increase, but the stalemate in Washington over extending the payroll tax cut could cut into those...

City Makes Progress But Misses Homeless Family Goal
A City Hall effort to house 75 homeless San Francisco families by Christmas will fall far short of that goal. It's going to take a little bit longer, but with city workers and outside agencies hustling to open vacant...

Lawmakers reach tentative deal on payroll tax cut; House action Friday
Kathleen Hennessey and Michael A. Memoli @
Congressional negotiators have reached a tentative deal to extend the payroll tax holiday for two months, with the House set to act on Friday.

Homeless Boy In A Better Place, But Still Not Home
Rudy Nguyen, 10, still doesn't have a real home. But after spending two months sleeping with his parents and 3-year-old brother in a San Francisco bus station, or on a park bench, or on the linoleum floor of a crowded...

Congress agrees to payroll tax deal; Obama will sign it
Michael A. Memoli @
Congress on Friday swiftly approved a two-month extension of the payroll tax holiday, ending for the moment a contentious three-month battle over one of President Obama's top legislative priorities.