Around The Capitol

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THE NOONER for January 13, 2012

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SAN BERDOO: With Bob Dutton and Gary Miller both in, I have updated the analysis of the race. It is still a blue seat, but Miller's money and Dutton's experience representing most of the seat move it from "Safe" to "Lean" Democrat.

SWM SEEKING DISTRICT: With Boehner reportedly backing Miller for CD31 and CD08 a difficult leapfrog, the tea leaves certainly look like David Dreier has nowhere to run, nowhere to hide (except K Street).

"RUN, HERTZY, RUN": Joe Mathews gives five reasons for a Bob Hertzberg run in SD27.

With the addition of a second "very" to "very interested," Hertzberg is now considered a probably candidate.

AURAL PLEASURE: John Myers is joined by Marisa Lagos and Anthony York for the Capital Notes Podcast, which covers budget, redistricting and title and summaries.

THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA? UC freshmen application stats (apps, not admits): California residents +9.8%, Out-of-State: +49.9%, International: +66.4%. Meanwhile, the university is going smoke-free.

RAH-ROH: PG&E diverted safety money for profit, bonuses [Eric Nalder @ SFChron]

APOLOGY: To the Bee's Torey Van Oot. The Dan Logue quote yesterday was from her story and I meant to link. 

SHOUT-OUTS: Muchas gracias to the major Capitol insider who saw me in Chicory, dropped me a Lincoln, which covered my coffee for the day, and to my new favorite Assembly Republican.

Folks. It's been a long week. I'm speaking right now to a couple of hundred college budget geeks. Let's read The Nooner, finish work, enjoy happy hour, and call it a week. But first, the Taiwanese take on the Twinkie bankruptcy.

Special Report: Jerry Brown's California Budget Nightmare | Reuters
1 of 9. California Governor Jerry Brown introduces his state budget proposal at the State Capitol in Sacramento in this January 5, 2012 file photo. Brown pledged to cut the Gordian Knot of California government and reform the hopelessly overextended state, where the mortgage crisis lingers and unemployment is stuck in the double-digits; but has found it more difficult task than first thought.

Capitol Ponders Post-redevelopment World | Capital Notes -- From Kqed's John Myers
Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg told reporters this morning that he's not closing the door on pleas to postpone the dissolution of local redevelopment agencies.

Former Assembly Speaker 'Very Interested' In Entering Senate Race
Timm Herdt @
A potentially bruising primary fight among Democrats may be in store for the new state Senate district that covers eastern Ventura County, as a former speaker of the Assembly says he is "very, very interested" in running in a contest that includes incumbent Sen. Fran Pavley of Agoura Hills.

Brown To Welfare Clients: Work, Or Else
Daniel Weintraub @
Gov. Jerry Brown is proposing the most far-reaching changes to welfare since former President Bill Clinton and Congress overhauled the program 15 years ago.

Jerry Brown's Tax Increase Is A Big Risk
Dan Walters @
"Soak the rich" has a populist ring that resonates in a period of economic uncertainty, and making the rich pay their "fair share" of taxes has become a rallying cry for those on the political left with no small appeal to those in the middle.

Lawmakers propose extending redevelopment agencies
JUDY LIN, Associated Press @
California lawmakers are introducing legislation to extend the life of community redevelopment agencies, but it's not certain if they have backing from legislative leaders or Gov. Jerry Brown.

Welfare Cut Relies On Shifting Money To Scholarships
Kevin Yamamura @
One of the best examples of the complexity in California budgeting is how Gov. Jerry Brown has proposed saving $1 billion through deep welfare-to-work cuts.

U.S. Postal Service Sued For Allegedly Blocking Probe Of Campaign Mailings- Bloomberg
Joel Rosenblatt @
The U.S. Postal Service was accused by a political watchdog group of improperly blocking a freedom- of-information request seeking the source of negative campaign mailings in a California school-board recall election.

State Report Says PG&E Collected Millions From Ratepayers For Improvements It Never Made
Local @
PG&E could face hundreds of millions of dollars in fines stemming from the 2010 San Bruno catastrophe, after a new report Thursday from state regulators accused the company of violating numerous laws governing its natural gas operations.

Dan Walters: Jerry Brown's tax increase is a big risk
of taxes has become a rallying cry for those on the political left with no small appeal to those in the middle.

Berman-sherman Battle Stirs Embers Of 1980 Speakership Fight
The political shootout of the year, at least in Southern California, is the duel between two veteran Democratic congressmen who were thrown into the same district by the independent redistricting commission, Howard Berman and Brad Sherman.

Judge Refuses To Dismiss CalPERS Suit Against Moody's, S&p
A judge has refused to dismiss a CalPERS lawsuit against Wall Street's leading credit-rating firms over a $1 billion investment loss.

UC Sees 13 Percent Jump In Undergrad Applications
Terence Chea @
SAN FRANCISCO -- The University of California on Thursday reported a 13 percent increase in the number of students applying for undergraduate admission, fueled by a surge in applications from out-of-state students and a new policy aimed at expanding the applicant pool.

Stephen Colbert Ponders 2012 Presidential Campaign
MJ Lee @
Colbert has promised a special announcement on Thursday night. | AP Photo

Welfare cut relies on shifting money to scholarships
Kevin Yamamura @
One of the best examples of the complexity in California budgeting is how Gov. Jerry Brown has proposed saving $1 billion through deep welfare-to-work cuts.

More House Seats In California Up For Grabs
Richard Simon and Phil Willon @
Rep. Jerry Lewis is the latest California congressman to depart as a new redistricting process spurs political upheaval.

Editorial: Double-dipping in pensions needs to sunset
taking a job with Sacramento County, which has its own retirement system not affiliated with CalPERS, Hudson is able to earn @
Sacramento County Executive Brad Hudson assumed his new job with ambitions of attacting economic development and shoring up the county's shaky financial house. We hope he achieves those goals, but it won't be easy, given his emerging status as a poster child for what is wrong with the pension system for governmental managers and public employees in California.

Legislators Seek To Help Cities Losing Redevelopment Agencies
Patrick McGreevy and Nicholas Riccardi @
With the agencies set to end Feb. 1, California lawmakers are looking for ways cities could still subsidize private development to promote economic growth.

UC Campuses Will Ban Smoking
Rick Rojas @
UC President Mark Yudof announces plan to make University of California system smoke-free over next two years.

Viewpoints: Gingrich's revenge aided by campaign finance law ruling
As Republican leaders watch with horror Newt Gingrich's one-man campaign to bring down the party's likely presidential nominee, they should remind themselves of this: Gingrich is a monster of their own making.

Gary Miller Switches California Districts To Avoid Battle With Ed Royce : Roll Call Politics
California Rep. Gary Miller is switching districts, the latest fallout from a string of Golden State Republican retirements.

Press Clips: What Does Mittens Have To Hide?
But the broader controversy is likely the reason why Romney has yet to release his personal income tax returns, which every candidate since the Nixon era has done.

Pension gains reduce San Diego deficit to $12M
Craig Gustafson @
The city's lingering budget woes that San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders has pledged to resolve before he leaves office just got a whole lot more manageable. An actuarial analysis of the city's pension system released Friday shows the deficit inching closer to $2.2 billion, but the required annual payment to tackle that debt didn't increase as much as previous projections.

East Contra Costa Fire District sets meetings on parcel tax
Rowena Coetsee @
East Contra Costa Fire District has scheduled another round of meetings to answer property owners' questions about the $197 annual parcel tax it's proposing on the June ballot.

Rick Santorum: Sweater vests 'gave me this power'
Alana Semuels @
Voters posed many questions to Rick Santorum during an event at the Beaufort Yacht & Sailing Club, where Spanish moss hung from trees and white boats bobbed on still water. But the one that made the audience sit up and listen wasn't about health care or defense or taxes. It was about sweater vests.