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THE NOONER for January 3, 2012

jump to the headlines


  • CD21 - removed State Senator Michael Rubio (D)
  • CD44 - removed Assemblymember Isadore Hall (D)
  • AD20 - added New Haven USD board member Sarabjit Cheema (D)
  • AD29 - added former San Lorenzo Valley USD board member Bob Fultz (D)

TWEET DU JOUR: @jasonkinney - "Who's engaged in greater self-loathing tonight - Stanford's kicker or the 25 contestants on #TheBachelor?"

Well, it could be worse...


  • RUBIO OUT: State Senator Michael Rubio ducked out of the race for the open CD21, citing the need to attend to his family following his newborn daughter's diagnosis of Down's Syndrome. The decision takes out one of the hottest Democratic prospects in the country, and observers are now waiting to see if Dean Florez is willing to take Rubio's place in a tough race against Assemblymember David Valadao. Rubio, first elected in 2010, intends to continue serving in the State Senate.
  • HALL OUT: Assemblymember Isadore Hall opted out of running in a three-way Democratic fight for CD44 against Janice Hahn and Laura Richardson. While some jumped to say he did it to avoid splitting the black vote, I wouldn't be shocked if he sits on the sidelines to see if Richarson is able to gain any momentum before jumping behind her. Hahn is wrapping up significant endorsements and is expected to have a huge financial advantage when the fourth quarter FEC reports come in at the end of the month.
  • REDEVELOPMENT OUT: The California Supreme Court delivered a double-blow to the League of California Cities and its constituents. The court unanimously upheld the right of the state to dissolve redevelopment agencies and, to add insult to injury, ruled that the League's Prop. 22 forbade the alternative redevelopment scheme approved by the Legislature.
  • CAL-ACCESS BACK:The state's campaign finance database came back up in the afternoon of 12/31, in time for the new year and the beginning of the critical semi-annual reporting period.

365 days ago, Jerry Brown was sworn in as the 39th governor of California and gave an inaugural address promising that his decisionmaking would be guided by the following three principles:

  • First, speak the truth. No more smoke and mirrors on the budget. No empty promises.
  • Second, no new taxes unless the people vote for them.
  • Third, return—as much as possible—decisions and authority to cities, counties and schools, closer to the people.

The governor released his accomplishments on December 30, and I'm guessing people either passionately agree or resoundingly disagree that he upheld his principles.


  • Liu for Senate 2012: $100,000 from Carol Liu
  • Garrick for Senate 2014: $100,000 from Martin Garrick
  • Oller for Assembly 2012: $100,000 from Rico Oller
  • Mike Morell for Assembly 2012: $67,000 from Mike Morrell
  • Maienschein for Assembly 2012: $50,000 from Brian Maienschein

THE DEAN'S RESOS: George Skelton provides New Year's resolutions for Jerry Brown:

  • Not be such a stay-at-home.
  • Hold more formal news conferences.
  • Meet minimal goals besides the tax hike.
  • Spend more quality time with fellow Democrats in the Legislature.
  • Be more hospitable.
  • Finally break the old, annoying habit of eating food -- nachos, fries, veggies -- off other people's plates.

Skelton also gives resolutions to legislators, phone-answerers, "most Capitol politicians," voters and journalists.

MYERS'S MOMENTS: If you missed KQED's John Myers's tweets from 8am-12pm on New Year's Eve, he sent out a top ten list of California political stories of 2011:

10. #CALeg balks, then relents, on release of spending records. A win 4 govt transparency.
9. Sticker shock over new $98 bil cost for high speed rail. Tees up big fight for 2012.
8. CA SupCt's split decision kills redevelopment as it's existed for 50yrs. Future uncertain.
7. #CALeg GOP's 53 Demands" list 2 vote 4 tax election. Sure, prob not 53, but gridlock symbol
6. Controller Chiang cancels legislator paychecks over fuzzily balanced budget. Precedent?
5. Redistricting changes/lawsuits/accusations. Citizens panel redraw rattles Sacto nerves.
4. @JerryBrownGov vetoes the budget. First such veto in CA history. Ruffles Dem feathers.
3. Prop25 changes #cabudget dynamics. But in lean yrs, still may not ensure quick deals.
2. SB 202. Brown OKs union-backed initiatives change, long term impact on elections unclear.
1. Gov. Brown's quest for additional #cabudget tax $ comes up short. Guv now takes case 2 voters

[Storify version]

Meanwhile, Myers released a Capital Notes podcast year in review with Marisa Lagos and Kevin Yamamura and blogged on stories to watch in 2012 [John Myers @ KQED]

HEDGING HIS BET: Dan Walters proclaims that 2012 may or may not be a big year in California politics. Meanwhile, I proclaim that either LSU or 'Bama will win the BCS Championship.

REBRAND: Under new ownership, the San Diego Union-Tribune is not U-T San Diego. Rick Perry is proud to claim another team to beat Cal in a bowl game next year.

WHERE THERE'S SMOKE: A three-alarm fire hit yesterday the office building housing offices of Congresswoman Jackie Speier and Senator Leland Yee. [San Mateo Daily Journal] 

IOWA CAUCUSES: C-SPAN begins Iowa caucus coverage today at 4pm PST. C-SPAN will show a caucus in Urbandale at 4:45pm PST, while C-SPAN2 will be in Council Bluffs. [Alternatives: Kings v. Memphis @ 5pm or Michigan v. Virginia Tech @ 5:30pm]

YOUR FIFTEEN MINUTES ARE UP: Herman Cain says he'd like to serve as Secretary of Defense. [CNN]

CONDOLENCES: Marcella Calderon, wife of former Assemblymember and AD58 candidate Tom Calderon, passed away on New Year's Day after a long battle with cancer.


Majority Supports Jerry Brown's Tax Plan, Poll Finds
David Siders @
A new poll shows 60 percent of California voters, weary of state spending cuts and unsettled by the prospect of more, are ready to support Gov. Jerry Brown's plan to raise taxes.

Challenges To State Senate Redistricting Moving Forward
Neil Nisperos, Staff Writer @
The California Supreme Court will hear arguments on Jan. 10 about redistricting lines that will be used in 2012's state Senate elections.

Redevelopment Decree Will Touch Off Political Frenzy
The Supreme Court's decree that Gov. Jerry Brown and the Legislature legally abolished redevelopment will touch off a political feeding frenzy.

Call For One Tax On November Ballot
Later this week, Gov. Jerry Brown will get a letter from education and business leaders worried about the prospect of multiple tax initiatives in November. Their message: The only hope for addition to revenue is subtraction on the ballot.

Pension Initiatives: Could Costs Go Up Not Down?
An official analysis of two public pension reform initiatives last week raised an issue quickly seized by opponents — a potential cost increase of $1 billion or more a year for state and local governments during the next two or three decades.

Jerry Brown builds political operation to win tax vote, re-election
For 11 months Gov. Jerry Brown raised almost no money and conducted few political exercises outside the Capitol.

Campaign 2012 Lends New Urgency To Economic Debates
Mark Z. Barabak @
Deeply divided, the country faces a presidential election of unusual significance this year, as candidates sort through the causes and consequences of the Great Recession and fight over how best to stoke the recovery.

Redevelopment decree will touch off political frenzy
The Supreme Court's decree that Gov. Jerry Brown and the Legislature legally abolished redevelopment will touch off a political feeding frenzy.

California gambling tribes give $275,000 for Jerry Brown's tax proposal
California gambling tribes have given $275,000 toward Gov. Jerry Brown's new 2012 ballot initiative to raise taxes on sales and the wealthy, the first known major contribution to his effort.

Wife Of Former California Assemblyman Tom Calderon Dies
Jim Sanders @
The wife of former Assemblyman Tom Calderon died on New Year's Day after a long bout with cancer. She was 52.

Senate funding vote delayed as parties trade barbs over competing proposals
After delaying a planned Tuesday vote on the federal spending bill, Senate leaders traded accusations over the motives behind their competing proposals to keep the government from shutting down later this month.

Jerry Brown's Cuts To California Schools Less Than Feared
Kevin Yamamura @
Gov. Jerry Brown will slash higher education, child care and school bus service, but he will largely spare K-12 classrooms from mid-year cuts under a revised budget forecast released today.

Dan Walters: Jerry Brown tries inside game at the Capitol to no avail
When Jerry Brown began his first term as governor 37 years ago, his ambition to quickly vacate the office soon became obvious.