Around The Capitol

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THE NOONER for February 7, 2012

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  • CD24 (Santa Barbara): removed Tom Watson (R) (endorses Mitchum)

TO THE SUPREMES: The Ninth Circuit has ruled that Proposition 8 violated the Equal Protection clause of the United States Constitution. I'll read the opinion tonight and have some thoughts tomorrow.

BALLOT BOONDOGGLE? Bouyed by new budget analysis from the Legislative Analyst's Office that argues that school funding doesn't increase appreciably in 2012-13, even with passage of the governor's tax measure, proponents of three other initiatives have accelerated their criticism of Brown's plan.

Molly Munger, whose $10 billion personal income tax hike would be dedicated almost entirely to P-12, spoke to the Parent Teachers Association conference in Sacramento and made it clear that she plans to take, and finance, her initiative to November. Meanwhile, the Restore California coalition including the California Federation of Teachers and the California Nurses Association launched its signature gathering drive.

Representatives of different campaigns, including the underfunded oil severance tax campaign, keep sending around spreadsheets of "my tax increase is bigger than your tax increase." There has been particular nastiness toward the California Teachers Association by others in the education community, and CTA has seemed to back off its energy for the governor's plan in the last few days. Notably, no money has been reported from CTA to the governor's campaign.

The day's activity led to lots of chatter and increasing hopes by the GOP, which had a pretty bad 2011, that 2012 could be an even worse year for Democrats in California. Some GOP strategists see that the amount of money that will be spent on the conflicting tax measures will distract from key legislative races and cross Democratic legislative candidates from their interest groups. Meanwhile, GOP leaders believe the governor's argument that three measures makes it more likely that they all go down. 

Of course, we have a long way to go to qualify all three measures, and even if they collect the signatures, there is no requirement to turn them in. The governor has time, although the last couple of weeks haven't gone as planned. And, this wasted time is distracting labor from the big dog--paycheck protection/deception.

Tweeting Ted Lieu served as Grand Central for the warring tweets about the ballot measures.

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THE BIRD: FlashReport's John Hrabe offers praise, criticism to the redistricting referendum campaign and points out that many of us were voting age when Rose Bird was on the California Supreme Court.

THE FIN: SF Chron: Group of shark fin suppliers sues state over ban The name of the association of shark fin suppliers is "Asian American Rights Committee of California." Just more proof that Bill Wong cares only about Jaws and hates Asians and civil rights.

BUDGET BLOCKER: The Obama administration blocked a plan to require Medi-Cal enrollees to make a co-payment when utilizing some services, blowing another $575 million hole in next year's state budget.

PART TIME LOVERS: Assemblymember Shannon Grove's initiative to make the Legislature part time, cut legislators' salary to $1,500/month, and require a two-year budget was cleared for circulation. That is likely to be the last you hear about the initiative...

FAREWELL: Longtime California Budget Project exec Jean Ross announces she's leaving for the Ford Foundation in NYC. Apparently, handing out money to organizations analyzing the budget is more fun than analyzing the budget. Can't blame her...

Jerry Brown's Tax-initiative Rivals Dismiss Governor's Concerns
California Gov. Jerry Brown's worry that there will be too many tax proposals on the November ballot was dismissed Monday by two rival efforts. The proponents of rival tax initiatives for California's November ballot said voters would approved their ideas and those of Gov. Jerry Brown.

Initiatives To Raise Taxes Could Crowd California's Ballot In November | The Tribune &
Proponents of a millionaire's tax said Monday they would immediately begin collecting signatures for a November ballot initiative to raise income taxes on California's wealthiest residents, even as Gov. Jerry Brown and another group push their own tax-hike campaigns.

$2.1 Million Redistricting Campaign Flips California the "Bird"
John Hrabe @
The redistricting reform campaign screwed up its message by communicating exclusively to Republicans. Everyone cares about political corruption. Republicans and Democrats. Liberals and conservatives. Instead of focusing on the commission’s serious flaws, the discussion became about how the State Senate maps undercut Republicans’ ability to block tax increases.

Ruling Expected On Constitutionality Of Gay Marriage Ban
Maura Dolan @
A three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is expected to decide Tuesday whether California's Proposition 8, which bans same-sex marriage, violates the federal Constitution.

Molly Munger Pledges To Put Her Money Into Qualifying Tax Hike
Torey Van Oot @
Molly Munger isn't backing down in her effort to qualify a ballot measure that would hike taxes to provide more money to schools and early education programs.

Jerry Brown Takes In More Cash For His Initiative To Hike Taxes
California Gov. Jerry Brown has reported another $485,000 for his tax-raising measure, bringing the total amount in his campaign account to more than $2.2 million. Brown is seeking to place a measure on the ballot that would raise taxes on...

Appeals court: California's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriages is unconstitutional...
The Associated Press @
Appeals court: California's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriages is unconstitutional

Jerry Brown's Tax Plan Takes A Double Hit
Dan Walters @
Gov. Jerry Brown's campaign to balance the state budget with new income and sales taxes took a double hit Monday.

Initiative Would Make Legislature Part Time, Slash Its Pay
Patrick McGreevy @
A proposal by Assemblywoman Shannon Grove (R-Bakersfield) probably won't make her many friends among her colleagues. She wants to reduce the Legislature to part-time status and cut its pay from $95,000 annually to $1,500 a month.

Chat live at noon with Dan Walters: Appeals court upholds gay marriage
Bee political columnist Dan Walters hosts a live chat at noon today on a federal appeals court ruling that California's same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional.

Court: CA gay marriage ban is (un)constitutional
LISA LEFF, Associated Press @
A federal appeals court has declared California's same-sex marriage ban to be unconstitutional, paving the way for a likely U.S. Supreme Court showdown on the voter-approved law.

AM Alert: Big day for Proposition 8
Amy Chance @
By 10 a.m. today, a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is expected to release its opinion on the constitutionality of Proposition 8, the measure California voters approved in 2008 banning same-sex marriage.

Tax Measures To Compete With Gov. Brown's Plan
Wyatt Buchanan @
Supporters of two ballot initiatives that would raise taxes to fund public education and other services said on Monday they will not back down from those efforts, upending Gov. Jerry Brown's crusade to clear the...

Report: Mixed Grades For Gov. Jerry Brown's School Proposals
Chris Megerian @
The state's top budget analyst praised several aspects of Gov. Jerry Brown's school funding proposals in a report released Monday, but he repeated his concerns about the tax plan the governor says will save education from billions in cuts.

CalPERS Vows To Push Giant Preservation Ranch Vineyard Project
CalPERS, the giant state workers pension fund, has ended several months of uncertainty by signaling to Sonoma County that it intends to move forward with a huge, controversial timber-to-vineyard conversion project near Annapolis.

Jerry Brown's Taxing Challenge
Joe Mathews @
At a political retreat last week in Santa Monica, Steve Glazer, a trusted political advisor to Gov. Jerry Brown, offered an assurance. "There will be only one tax measure" facing voters in November, Glazer asserted.

CalSTRS Funding Gap Widens, So Does Solution
Ed Mendel @
Closing a wider funding gap, the result of expecting less money from future investment earning, would require nearly doubling the current annual payments to CalSTRS if the goal is to reach full funding in the usual 30 years.

GOP Businessman Joins Field Challenging Sen. Dianne Feinstein
Conservative businessman Dan Hughes of Oceanside is joining the field of largely unknown Republicans challenging Sen. Dianne Feinstein's reelection bid this year.

Court ruling on Prop. 8 has far-reaching implications
Maura Dolan @
More than three years after California voters approved a ban on same-sex marriage, an appeals court on Tuesday is set to decide whether Proposition 8 violates the federal Constitution.

Romney Names Pete Wilson Honorary Ca Chair
Josh Richman @
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney today announced the endorsement of former California Gov. Pete Wilson, and named him the Romney campaign’s honorary California chairman.

Longtime Capitol Staff Member Jerry Mcfetridge Dies Suddenly
Dan Smith @
Word circulated early today at the Capitol that longtime staff member and consultant Britton "Jerry" McFetridge died suddenly over the weekend at his home in Clarksburg.

The Caucus: Obama Announces Education Initiatives at White House Science Fair
Jackie Calmes @
President Obama for a second time converted the White House public rooms into a science fair on Tuesday, and announced new federal and private-sector initiatives to encourage “a nation of tinkerers and dreamers” in so-called STEM education in science, technology, engineering and math.

Prop. 8: Gay-marriage Ban Unconstitutional, Court Rules
Kimi Yoshino @
A federal appeals court Tuesday struck down California's ban on same-sex marriage, clearing the way for the U.S. Supreme Court to rule on gay marriage as early as next year.