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THE NOONER for January 19, 2012

jump to the headlines


  • SD25 (Pasadena) - removed Assemblymember Anthony Portantino (D)
  • AD01 (Northeast) - added Lassen supe Brian Dahle (R)
  • AD54 (Culver City) - added builder Ed Nicoletti (D)


  • LA Daily News edit: "People who ask questions about high-speed rail haven't given up on Brown's quintessentially Californian optimism. They are embracing another point in his speech - that 'it makes no sense to spend more than we have,' that 'digging ourselves into a deep financial hole, to do good, is a bad idea.'"
  • LA Times edit: "As in his younger days, Brown has little problem with vision. To get Californians to follow, he will need to explain further -- and to keep explaining -- that he's got the proper destination in mind."
  • Merc News edit: "We just hope that note of optimism doesn't undercut our new moniker of dystopian declinists. We sort of like it."
  • OC Register edit: "'California has problems but rumors of its demise are greatly exaggerated,' he said. It might not be such an exaggeration after a few more years of the governor's remedies for what ails the state."
  • SacBee edit: "The public and even 'dystopian journalists' shouldn't be shy about seeking transparency and engagement from the governor, who quite rightly said that his role 'is to listen, to engage and to lead.'"
  • Santa Rosa PD edit: "If he can deliver on his reform proposals, voters will have reason to say yes, proving Brown right when he said, 'California has problems, but rumors of its demise are greatly exaggerated.'"
  • Ventura County Star edit: "Mercifully absent from the speech by the 73-year-old governor were any trendy trivialities, perhaps reflecting septuagenarian wisdom or at least the seriousness of the continuing fiscal squeeze on the state government and many of its taxpayers and residents."
  • Morain: "Brown could have killed the project, as many politicians and pundits urge. But instead, he wrapped himself around high-speed rail. If it fails, he will be tarnished. That's a risk. But high speed rail system would be quite a legacy. We have plenty of lanes on Highway 99. We really ought to try something new."
  • Skelton: "This Jerry Brown may be less exciting than the first version. But he's more attentive, wiser and preferable."
  • Walters: "If he pulls [the green economy, including high-speed rail] off, he'll go down as a visionary. If it fails, he'll go down as a narcissistic daydreamer."

Full text of the 20-minute speech [Capitol Morning Report - free]

Legislator, hack and flack responses [Capitol Morning Report - free]

ON SECOND THOUGHT: Assemblymember Anthony Portantino has decided not to challenge Senator Carol Liu for SD25. Portantino had plenty of cash for the bid, however, donors started raising the issue that they kicked in cash to take on David Dreier rather than Liu. Well, Dreier was defeated by demographics and the citizens' redistrict commission, and Portantino's congressional choices quickly diminished. Don't expect this to be the end of Portantino's political career. He will likely report between $750k-$1m in his combined accounts later this month and will be ready to pounce when the time is ready.

TO THE STREETS! The governor's ballot measure to raise taxes was officially cleared for circulation yesterday. The measure's title is "Temporary Taxes to Fund Education. Guaranteed Local Public Safety Funding. Initiative Constitutional Amendment." As a constitutional amendment, 807,615 valid signatures will be required, meaning supporters will be looking for about 1.2 million signatures. While the official circulation deadline in June 18, the practical deadline will actually be around the first week of May. To appear on the November ballot, measures must be certified 131 days in advance, which is June 28. Factor in time for the raw count (8 working days) and random sample (30 working days), and my 4am math says the real deadline is May 4.

QUALIFIED: The Mercury Insurance initiative to allow favorable rates for drivers with continuous insurance coverage qualified yesterday for the November 2012 ballot.


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END THE SUSPENSE! The Senate and Assembly Appropriations committees will hold hearings today to clear their suspense files, which are the parking lots for bills costing more than $50,000. Bills introduced last year have until January 31 to make it out of their house of origin.

ALL POLITICS IS LOCAL: Osborn torches opposition for Santa Monica Dems endorsement [Ashley Archibald @ Santa Monica Daily Press]

BIDEN'S OOPS: Biden speaks in San Francisco and proclaims that the Giants are "on their way to the Super Bowl." [Carla Marinucci @ SFChron]

SEPARATED AT BIRTH: Newt Gingrich and Dwight Shrute [Fishbowl DC h/t @fixaaron]

Kamala Harris Gives Jerry Brown Go-ahead On California Tax Initiative
Kevin Yamamura @
Gov. Jerry Brown can begin collecting signatures on his tax initiative thanks to a timely release by state Attorney General Kamala Harris today.

Jerry Brown Pitches Higher Taxes, Budget Cuts And And More Public Works Spending
David Siders @
Gov. Jerry Brown passes lawmakers in the Assembly chamber Wednesday ahead of the second State of the State speech of his third term. He said tax increases will bolster public schools, which he called the "most basic of public services."

San Diego Mayor To Lead Campaign For Same-sex Marriage
Tony Perry @
San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders is set to appear at a Friday news conference in Washington with other mayors to announce the Mayors for Freedom to Marry campaign to win support for same-sex marriage nationwide.

Gov. Jerry Brown Asks Calif To Dream Big, Approve Taxes - La Daily News
SACRAMENTO - Gov. Jerry Brown outlined his plan Wednesday to raise taxes to pull the state out of its financial malaise, casting his proposals as an investment in the future of California like those of the visionaries and achievers whose big dreams made the state the envy of the nation during economic boom times.

One Public Pension Initiative Dies; More Face Looming Deadlines
Jon Ortiz @
The herd of public pay and pension reform ballot measures is thinning out.

Gov. Brown Pitches Higher Taxes In Annual State Of State Address
Gov. Jerry Brown gave Californians a choice between higher taxes and deeper cuts to public schools and other core functions of government during his State of the State address Wednesday, essentially beginning his campaign for a planned November ballot initiative seeking to raise taxes.

State Supreme Court To Weigh In On Medical Marijuana Laws
The Justices agree to review lower court rulings on powers of local governments to ban or regulate medical pot dispensaries.

Actress Geena Davis Has Supporting Role In State Budget Drama
Actress Geena Davis once played the president of the United States on TV, but now she is testing her powers of persuasion in the real political arena. Davis, an Academy Award winner, joined a group of lawmakers Wednesday in arguing...

Auto Rate Initiative Qualifies For California Ballot
Torey Van Oot @
Auto insurance companies will get a second shot at asking California voters to allow them to use a motorist's coverage history when setting rates.

Key Villaraigosa Aide Emerges As Possible City Council Candidate
Rich Connell @
Los Angeles Mayor Antonion Villaraigosa's deputy chief of staff Matt Szabo is being viewed as a possible City Council contender. He says he hasn't ruled anything out, but is not focused on a possible City Council bid at this time.

No Longer On National Stage, Jerry Brown Addresses California's Needs
George Skelton @
Jerry Brown's State of the State speech shows that he's a full-time governor without ambitions for higher political office. But the old 'Gov. Moonbeam' emerges to back the bullet train.

Governor's School Plans Could Help, Hurt Valley
Heather Somerville and Marc Benjamin @
Education changes laid out in Gov. Jerry Brown's State of the State address Wednesday could jeopardize programs that limit class sizes and help students prepare for college.

Jerry Brown says public pension 'arithmetic doesn't add up'
Jon Ortiz @
In this morning's State of the State address to the Legislature, Gov. Jerry Brown said a little about public pensions and his proposal to change them at the state and local level. Here's what he said, reading from his prepared text:

Gov. Jerry Brown's State Of State Speech Puts Focus On Big Projects
Michael J. Mishak and Anthony York @
After years of economic pain and deep budget cuts, Gov. Jerry Brown declared California to be "on the mend," saying the state is emerging from financial turmoil and proclaiming his dedication to a string of ambitious public projects.

Brown Urges Action, Vision In State Of The State
John Myers @
The governor's roughly 20 minute speech before a joint session of the Legislature was a creative cocktail that blended a defense of his tax plan, the state's need for big thinking, and -- at times, it seemed -- the very reputation of his native California.

What Republicans say about Jerry Brown's public pension plan
Jon Ortiz @
Republicans have briefly addressed Gov. Jerry Brown's call for public pension reform in a web video featuring Assembly Republican leader Connie Conway and Senate Republican leader Bob Huff.

Jerry Brown pitches higher taxes, budget cuts and more public works spending
on Wednesday launched his campaign for higher taxes and urged billions in spending on infrastructure and schools.

Jerry Brown Repeats Speech, Says He'll Be In Los Angeles More
David Siders @
Hours after delivering his State of the State address to the Legislature this morning, Gov. Jerry Brown arrived this afternoon in Los Angeles, where he essentially read it again.

Dan Walters: Jerry Brown Puts His Contradictions On Display
Dan Walters @
Jerry Brown devoted much of Wednesday's State of the State speech to dissing "declinists" who portray California as failing because they don't understand that "California is turbulent, less predictable and, well, different."

Assemblyman Anthony Portantino Will Not Seek Office This Year
Jim Sanders @
Assemblyman Anthony Portantino, perhaps best known for pushing the Assembly to release member budgets after leaders threatened to furlough his staff last year, has decided not to run for state or federal office this year.

Philanthropist Eli Broad Endorses Brown's Call To Raise Taxes
William Nottingham @
As he brought his State of the State message to Los Angeles on Wednesday, Gov. Jerry Brown found at least one person in the audience at City Hall to endorse his plan for raising taxes: billionaire philanthropist Eli Broad.

Speech Hitches Brown To California High-speed Rail Plan
SACRAMENTO — Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday threw his unequivocal support behind a $100 billion high-speed rail line that has come under fire here in California and across the country, embracing it in a strikingly optimistic State of the State speech in which he asserted that government should pursue ambitious ventures even during times of economic strife.