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THE NOONER for January 30, 2012

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  • AD08 (East Sacto) - removed Jon Bagatelos (R) (expected to run for Sacto city council instead)

#WINNING: This was a big weekend for Governor Jerry Brown's tax plan, as the California Teachers Association endorsed the proposal. While this may sound like a no-brainer, it was not an easy feat for CTA president Dean Vogel to accomplish. Within the union, there are members who are joint members with the California Federation of Teachers, and they strongly support CFT's "millionaire's tax," which would fund schools and other public services without the "regressive" sales tax. Others support Molly Munger's initiative, which would raise personal income taxes only for schools. The key of both of these is that the money for schools would be on top of the existing Proposition 98 funding guarantee, while the governor's supplants it.

In other words, CTA walked away from two measures that would provide significantly more money for schools, last for longer, and that arguably poll better in favor of one that helps solve the overall state budget problem. Mark one in the history book as CTA's leaders convinced state council members to take one for the team. As Kevin Yamamura reports, SEIU has also settled on the governor's measure, albeit not publicly yet.

CTA still wants changes to the governor's budget, particularly related to what happens if the tax measure fails. CTA doesn't like that most of the cuts fall on K-12 and particularly doesn't like the recharacterization of $2.8 billion in debt payments on general obligation bond debt from being a non-Prop. 98 expenditure to counting toward the guarantee, enabling an equal amount of additional cuts to schools.

CFT doesn't have the separate money for its initiative, which is expected to receive a title and summary on Thursday. It will likely float, like most initiatives, without a serious signature gathering campaign and go away quietly. In contrast, Munger doesn't appear willing to back down and sees her initiative as separate from the state budget fight. I hear from insiders that she sees it as the only plan to end decades of the state walking away from K-12 and early childhood education and points out that the governor's plan does nothing for either of these causes in 2012-13 budget year. On Friday, the campaign reported that she kicked another $300,000 into the campaign, bringing her campaign total to $800,000. The daughter of Charles Munger, Warren Buffett's chief business partner, has plenty more where that came from. The title and summary is expected from the attorney general next Tuesday.

Nevertheless, the governor has to be walking Sutter with an additional pep in his step this morning. Calls for business opposition by Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association and the Nat'l Federation of Independent Business haven't yielded anything significant, and he has won the support of the state's two largest unions, which are the biggest players in California politics.


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POLL POSITION: A polling memo on SD19 conducted by Garin-Hart-Yang for Jason Hodge made the rounds this weekend. While it suspiciously doesn't include wording and other critical details, the headline is that either Hodge or Hannah-Beth Jackson could have trouble beating former Santa Barbara supervisor Mike Stoker (R). Here are the general election matchups:

Stoker  47%
Jackson  42%

Stoker  42%
Hodge  41%

Hodge 39%
Jackson 35%

Whoa? This is a seat that Obama won by 23 points and Brown won by 6.2%. 

This race will not send two Dems to the general. In the three-way primary, the poll found:

Hodge 30%
Stoker 30%
Jackson 24% 

Again, the polling language isn't out, which is critical in one that tested the candidates "after positive statements." However, Hodge supporters are hoping it drives the message that Jackson's negatives are two high and that she's the bigger risk for Dems in this important seat.

Interestingly, the poll was released to coordinate with a Sacramento fundraiser tonight with Speaker John Perez. Hodge is sending a message that he has a chance to win, while capitalizing on some of Jackson's significant negatives in the Capitol community.

REDIST REFER: With low validity rates in Kern and Solano, the state senate redistricting referendum dropped to 71.72% on Friday. Backers need a 70.96% statewide validity in the full count to qualify. As of now, 20 counties report validity above the statewide required, while 6 fell below. It will most likely come down to validity in Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino and San Diego. Based on previous full checks, this one could easily go either way.

OUCH: "Instead of blaming, suing and wasting its donors' money, the GOP should recruit candidates who can win." [SacBee editorial]

TO THE DRIVER'S SEAT: The Capitol Morning Report has a profile of Paul McIntosh, the executive director from the California State Association of Counties. After years of sitting in the back seat in the sedan of the League of Cities, CSAC is now driving the local government bus. However, the coolest part of the profile is the photo McIntosh, a hobbyist photographer, took of my favorite spot in California--Mendocino.

PITTER PATTER: Tomorrow is the campaign finance deadline at both the state and federal level. The true test of your political geekness is how much this raises your heart rate. #NEEDVALIUM

AYATOLLAH'S ADVICE: "A warning to Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi: Get rid of the case before Gloria Allred arrives." [Willie Brown @ SF Chron]

SHAMELESS PLUG: You'll note today's advertisement some folks that are doing new maps. For awhile, I've wanted a better state legislative maps, and these fit the bill perfectly--and are cheaper! I've already ordered mine, and strongly advise you to take a look.

DEPT OF CORRECTIONS: Just making sure that you saw my correction that Tony Strickland was endorsed by the county Republican Party and not the Dems as my caffeine-deficient fingers typed on Friday. Hell hath not freezeth over.


California Teachers Association Backs Gov. Jerry Brown's Tax Plan
Kevin Yamamura @
The California Teachers Association officially agreed Sunday to back Gov. Jerry Brown's multibillion-dollar tax plan, which should provide the governor hefty financial support for his fall campaign.

Political Empire: Baca Works His Way Into Position
They don’t call him “Working Joe” for nothing. For at least the fourth consecutive year, U.S. Rep. Joe Baca outmaneuvered a host of his Democratic colleagues and worked himself into a coveted center aisle seat at last week’s State of the Union address. Baca, who was already in position several hours before the speech, again nabbed a primo spot and fought through the scrum of lawmakers to greet President Barack Obama on his way to the podium.

The Redistricting Report for 01-30-12
Paul Mitchell @
The State Supremes decided on Friday to not redraw the Senate maps, no matter how "likely" the referendum was to qualify. This brings to a close for 2012 all of the efforts of the CA Republican Party to undo the maps in time for the June election. We won't say we told you so, but Joe Mathews will.

Mayor Villaraigosa Says Divisive GOP Rhetoric Turning Off Latinos
Carlos Lozano @
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa faced off Sunday with former U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez about what both Democrats and Republicans need to do to win over Latino voters in the presidential election.

California Teachers Association backs Brown's tax plan
The California Teachers Association officially agreed Sunday to back Gov. Jerry Brown's multibillion-dollar tax plan, which should provide the governor hefty financial support for his fall campaign.

Jerry Brown Says Cap-and-trade Fees Will Fund High-speed Rail
David Siders @
Gov. Jerry Brown said in an interview airing in Los Angeles today that California's high-speed rail project will cost far less than the state's current estimate of nearly $100 billion and that environmental fees paid by carbon producers will be a source of funding.

Dan Walters: California Politicans Use Power To Fix The Ballot Game
Dan Walters

California Teachers Association backs Gov. Jerry Brown's tax plan
Kevin Yamamura @
The California Teachers Association officially agreed Sunday to back Gov. Jerry Brown's multibillion-dollar tax plan, which should provide the governor hefty financial support for his fall campaign. The union represents 325,000 teachers and education workers, and it is a heavy hitter in state politics. Brown is gathering signatures for a November initiative to raise sales taxes by a half-cent and income taxes on high income earners. He has structured his budget so that schools would face a $2.4 billion program cut in 2012-13 if voters reject his proposal, which he says is equal to three weeks off the school year.

Gov. Brown's Plan On Shelter Law Stirs Backlash
Marisa Lagos @
Californians love their pets, so it's no surprise that Gov. Jerry Brown's proposal to roll back major portions of a state law aimed at protecting stray and abandoned animals from death has sparked outrage. The fury...

Water Systems Need Fixes, Badly; Customers Don't Want To Fund Them
Ryan Lillis and Matt Weiser @
From mountain hamlets to Sacramento City Hall, governments are asking taxpayers to dig deeper into their pockets to improve sewer and water systems. And people are pushing back.

California has spent $277,000 fighting prison officers' union
Jon Ortiz @
The Department of Personnel Administration has spent more than a quarter-million dollars on outside attorneys to fight the long-running union paid leave battle with the California Correctional Peace Officers Association, spokeswoman Lynelle Jolley said in an email to The State Worker.

On Redistricting: The Court Gets It Half Right
Peter Schrag @
The California Supreme Court last Friday decisively rebuffed the Republican attack on the new state Senate maps drawn by California’s new independent Citizens Redistricting Commission. But the way it was done could invite as many future problems as it solved.

High-stakes Labor Battle Coming To California
Steven Harmon @
The states powerful labor groups have anxiously witnessed union rights and benefits being gutted in Wisconsin, Ohio and Indiana, and now unions in California are girding for an all-out war over a ballot initiative that would curb their ability to raise political cash. More political news

Showdown Over California Courts Coming To A Head
Local @
The yearlong battle over control of the court system's $3 billion budget reached a boiling point this week as Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye began a campaign to kill the legislation sponsored by Charles Calderon, D-Whittier, the Assembly's ranking Democrat.

Dan Walters: California politicans use power to fix the ballot game
When a political party achieves dominance of any government, one expects that it would use its hegemony to enact its public policy agenda.

Jerry Brown says cap-and-trade fees will fund high-speed rail
David Siders @
Gov. Jerry Brown said in an interview airing in Los Angeles today that California's high-speed rail project will cost far less than the state's current estimate of nearly $100 billion and that environmental fees paid by carbon producers will be a source of funding.

California Republican voters still waiting for presidential inspiration
Jon Fleischman, the conservative blogger, was brooding the other day on Facebook, underwhelmed by the presidential candidates he has left to choose from.

The Capitol Morning Report - Monday, January 30, 2012
  Paul McIntosh

Oakland To Assess Damage After Occupy Protests
OAKLAND, Calif. -- Oakland officials assessed damage to City Hall caused by Occupy protesters while leaders of the movement claimed Sunday that police acted illegally in arresting hundreds of demonstrators and could face a lawsuit.

Law Fuels Contraception Controversy on Catholic Campuses
Denise Grady @
Many Catholic colleges are pushing back against a ruling by the Obama administration that the new health care law requires insurance plans at Catholic institutions to cover birth control.

Pension Earnings Dip Amid Gloomy Forecasts « Calpensions
While CalPERS reported weak earnings in 2011, a prominent private-sector investment manager, Robert Arnott of Research Affiliates, told the board last week he thinks the most they can expect from stocks and bonds next decade is 4 percent.

By Any Name, It's Lobbying
George Skelton @
Gingrich bristled at Romney's L-word tag, but it's all semantics.