Around The Capitol

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THE NOONER for January 9, 2012

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  • CD25 - removed Congressman Elton Gallegly (R)
  • CD26- added State Senator Tony Strickland (R)
  • CD26 - added retired longshoreman Zeke Ruelas (D)
  • SD27 - added Assemblymember Cameron Smyth (R)

Unless you took off early Friday to grab a pint, you already know that Assemblymember Mary Hayashi pleaded no contest to misdemeanor shoplifting charges, and her attorney attributed the incident to a benign brain tumor.

Republicans argued this morning in the United States Supreme Court that federal judges unfairly intervened in Texas redistricting to draw Latino congressional seats. Tomorrow, Republicans will argue in the California Supreme Court that state judges need to intervene and draw new seats because the State Senate redistricting referendum is "likely" to qualify. Jon Fleischman makes the case for qualification, while Jason Kinney argues it is unlikely to qualify. John Myers takes the nonpartisan look on the word "likely."

Don't forget that you can watch the state Supreme Court's hearing tomorrow on CalChannel at 9am, and that nasty budget release won't get in the way.

In the US SupCt's other case today, it will decide whether bad words can be said on the boob tube.

$$$: More end-of-year gifts to self by candidates:

SKELTON SAYS STOP!: Hit the brakes on the bullet train [LA Times]


IN MEMORIAM: Former state senator Ruben Ayala (1922-2012) [LA Times]

Gov. Brown's Release Of Budget A Prelude To A Wild Political Year
Steven Harmon @
The slapdash way that Gov. Jerry Brown unveiled his budget last week -- and the raucous response to it -- was symbolic of what promises to be a tumultuous political season for California.

CalPERS Role In Preventing Vallejo Pension Cuts
Ed Mendel @
Were Vallejo officials pushed away from trying to cut pensions during bankruptcy by fear of a long and costly legal battle with deep-pocketed CalPERS, promised by attorneys representing the giant pension fund?

'Tort War' Could Hit The Callifornia Capitol
Dan Walters @
Last year, the state Supreme Court interjected itself – in a big way – into the perennial "tort war" that pits personal injury lawyers against insurance companies and business groups over the arcane rules of liability lawsuits.

Salinas' Redevelopment Agency Down But May Not Be Out
While the Salinas City Council is poised to begin the court-ordered dismantling of the city's redevelopment agency at its meeting Tuesday, a proposed bill by a Los Angeles-area state senator may give the city some breathing room.

Region: Gov.'s Budget Proposal Threatens Transitional Kindergarten Plan
A proposed state budget released last week could derail a two-year kindergarten program for younger students that school districts in North County and throughout the state had been preparing to start this fall.

The Buzz: How big is Jerry Brown's proposed California budget, really?
Gov. Jerry Brown's proposed budget for California has touched off not only the annual wrangle over what to spend on what, but also the annual debate over how big the state budget really is.

Healthcare Plan For Low-income Adults Includes Mental Health Benefit
Tim Moran @
Mental health care for low-income adults in California is haphazard. There is no state mandate for mental health treatment, and individual counties set their own standards.

Congress: Lawmakers To Look Local In Election Year
Entering a contentious 2012 election season, Congress isn’t expected to tackle many of the nation’s most divisive issues.

Gov. Brown's release of budget a prelude to a wild political year
Steven Harmon @
The slapdash way that Gov. Jerry Brown unveiled his budget last week -- and the raucous response to it -- was symbolic of what promises to be a tumultuous political season for California.

Meet Carl Paladino, N.H. voters
Maggie Haberman @
The former GOP gubernatorial candidate made his presidential campaign trail debut.

State Convicts Arrive In L.A. County With Costly Mental Illnesses
Anna Gorman @
As California begins shifting supervision of thousands of newly released state prisoners to local probation agencies, ex-convicts are arriving with incomplete medical records and more serious mental illnesses than anticipated.

A Conversation with Condoleezza Rice
Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice speaks at the unveiling of a statue in honor of the late U.S. President Ronald Reagan in Hungary. Rice recently said she has not endorsed any of the candidates in the Republican primary but will vote for the Republican nominee.

Pension election rhetoric to ramp up
After a decade of hand-wringing over public employee pensions in San Diego, city voters will likely have an opportunity on the June ballot to eliminate the benefit for most new hires in favor of a 401(k)-style plan.

Calbuzz Panel: Stick A Fork In The Republican Race
When the dust settles in New Hampshire, the 2012 Republican nomination for president will be written in granite and the name will be Willard Mitt Romney, according to the Calbuzz Advisory Board of Leading Authorities on Practically Everything, the greatest assemblage of political minds since Thorstein Veblen dined alone.

Todd Palin -- not Sarah -- endorses Newt Gingrich for president
Paul West @
One day ahead of the New Hampshire primary, Newt Gingrich announced that he has received the coveted endorsement of Alaska's Palin -- not Sarah, the former governor and 2008 vice presidential candidate, though.

California Republicans Resign Themselves To Irrelevancy In The GOP Presidential Race
Jeff Miller, Texas Gov. Rick Perry's presidential campaign chairman in California, was in Iowa with a handful of California lawmakers for last week's caucuses. He may find himself in South Carolina when the race arrives there later this month.

Leaders Wrestle With Shuttering CRA While Not Losing Its Benefits
Dakota Smith @
With the Community Redevelopment Agency of Los Angeles facing dissolution, local and state leaders are scrambling to understand how to shut down the multi-million-dollar agency while still preserving some of its blight-fighting powers.

Rose Pak's Power Surges
Phillip Matier,Andrew Ross @
Rose Pak is back and bigger than ever. As a prime mover behind the appointment and election of San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee , the Chinatown Chamber of Commerce consultant, activist and confidante of former Mayors Art...

Redevelopment: Court Decision Just The First Step
California redevelopment agencies have started the dissolution process after their disastrous legal defeat last week, even as supporters mount a last-ditch effort to maintain the community-improvement program in some form.

As time runs out, Huntsman steps up attacks on Romney
Seema Mehta @
Jon Huntsman, showing more aggression to front-runner Mitt Romney than he has throughout much of the campaign, on Monday hit the former Massachusetts governor for saying that he liked to fire people, and for criticizing Huntsman's service as President Obama’s ambassador to China.

Judge dismisses suit to keep Obama off Ala ballot
JAY REEVES, Associated Press @
A state judge agreed with Democrats on Monday and dismissed a lawsuit aimed at keeping President Barack Obama off the ballot in Alabama this year, joining other jurists who have thrown out cases arguing Obama isn't a natural-born U.S. citizen and can't legally hold the office.

Politics Up Close and Almost Personal
The candidate-consumer transaction on the presidential campaign trail remains sufficiently close-in so people can ask questions of the hopefuls and survey their mannerisms.

State Targets Property-Tax Payers - Handling Hard Times
Mary Ann Milbourn @
As many as 5 million California property-tax payers who have been taking the entire amount they pay off their state income taxes could see a major cut in their deductions when they file next year.