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THE NOONER for February 10, 2012

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  • AD03 (Butte-Tehama-Yuba) - added Tehama supervisor Bob Williams (R)

TWEET DU JOUR: @BorowitzReport - "It takes a lot of nerve to speak out against gay anything while wearing a sweater vest. #CPAC"

Democrats convene at the Hilton Bayfront in San Diego this weekend for their annual convention and, unlike many party gatherings, there is a lot to watch. Unfortunately, I'm heading to the other capital city to bang some heads on Pell Grants and other issues, but I'll be keeping close watch, and I'll be counting on those of you attending to send me everything you see to

CalBuzz has three questions for the confab:

  1. Will Jerry Brown go negative on Molly Munger and the California Federation of Teachers?
  2. Will Howard Berman keep Brad Sherman from getting the state party endorsement in the 30th Congressional District?
  3. Will John Burton’s head explode when we ask him if his alleged ballot measure for an oil extraction tax is just a pipe dream?

The best part of the weekend is 4:45-6:45 tomorrow evening, when the endorsing caucuses meet. These caucuses are held for districts in which a candidate had more than 50% and less than 70% at the regional conferences held in January.

Generally, candidates need 60% vote in tomorrow's caucuses to get on the "consent calendar" for state party ratification on Sunday. However, an incumbent only needs 50%+1, which is rubbing some activists wrong. In particular, Assemblymembers Betsy Butler and Congressman Joe Baca are "incumbents," even though they are running in districts other than those in which they currently reside. (For state officials, that means moving, but members of Congress don't have to reside in their district.)

Thus, for Richard Bloom or Torie Osborn to get the endorsement, she would need 60%, even though they live in the district. Betsy Butler, who is moving into the district, only needs 50%. Thus, the goal of Bloom and Osborn is to block the endorsement, although most people expect Betsy to get it anyway.

Also, tomorrow's caucuses or more insider than the regional conferences, as many club members that could vote regionally in January don't have a vote at the convention.

In districts where there are two incumbents (CD30 - Berman/Sherman), a candidate needs 60%.

Below are the major caucuses. The candidate that received >50% in January is identified with an asterisk and "incumbents" have an (I) after their names.

  • AD47 - Joe Baca, Jr.*, Cheryl Brown
  • AD50 - Richard Bloom, Betsy Butler* (I), Torie Osborn
  • AD51 - Arturo Chavez, Jimmy Gomez*, Luis Lopez
  • AD57 - Rudy Bermudez*, Ian Calderon, Kevin Perez-Allen
  • AD69 - Tom Daly, Michele Martinez, Julio Perez*
  • SD15 - Jim Beall*, Joe Coto
  • SD31 - Steve Clute*, Richard Roth
  • CD26 - Steve Bennett*, Jess Herrera, David Pollock, David Cruz Thayne
  • CD30 - Howard Berman (I), Brad Sherman* (I)
  • CD35 - Joe Baca* (I), Gloria Negrete McLeod
  • CD52 - Scott Peters, Lori Saldana*

E-mail me at or text me (916-213-2232) with results and we'll get the results in Monday's Nooner.

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STEINBERG ON PENSIONS: "We think we can deal with the hybrid issue, we think we can deal with the retirement age issue," [Senate President Pro Tem Darrell] Steinberg said, without elaborating. "We're going to move forward and get that done." [Jim Sanders @ SacBee]

TENACITY: The Bee's Torey Van Oot profiles Molly Munger and why her $10 billion tax for schools is likely going to be on the ballot.

TAX FOR TUITION: Assembly Speaker John Perez has introduced two bills to raise corporate sales taxes by $1 billion to lower fees/tuition at CSU and UC for students from families with income below $150,000. By moving to the single sales factor, corporations would have to pay taxes based on their sales in California rather than choosing between sales and facilities and employees, as is currently allowed. [AB 1500 | AB 1501]

OVERSTATEMENT: "California will determine whether Republicans retain majority in the House." [California News Service @ Record Gazette]

AURAL PLEASURE: The Capital Notes Podcast is up early with John Myers and Anthony York giving a preview of the weekend's state Democratic Convention in San Diego.

MAYBE THIS COULD GET PEOPLE TO KINGS GAMES: Will Farrell does player introductions at Eighties night at the Bulls @ Hornets game.

NOT JUST JINXY: 16 Cats Who Can Use The Toilet [Buzzfeed]

You have made it. On Monday, the concept of Friday was only a dream. You're now like the little engine that could...just a couple more hours... Have a great weekend!


GOP Lawmaker Takes Aim At Democrats' State Budget Power
A Republican assemblyman announced Thursday that he will propose a constitutional amendment to require a supermajority vote by the Legislature to pass budget bills and to require the state controller to withhold lawmakers' pay if an approved budget is not balanced.

The Buzz: California Senate leader Darrell Steinberg 'committed' to passing pension reform before budget
Jim Sanders @
Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg says he isn't letting a nonprofit's decision to scrap a proposed ballot initiative targeting public employee pensions change his commitment to tackle that issue.

Steinberg 'committed' To Passing Pension Reform Before Budget
Jim Sanders @
Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg said today that a nonprofit group's decision to scrap a proposed ballot initiative targeting public employee pensions does not alter his commitment to tackle that issue.

Molly Munger's Tax Proposal Makes Her A Major Player In California Ballot Wars
Torey Van Oot @
Molly Munger, attorney and civil rights advocate, has been described as ferocious in her efforts to get increased funding for schools.

Kamala Harris Has Key Role In Mortgage Settlement
Andrew S. Ross @
There were two people without whom the $26 billion mortgage settlement would not have been done. One is the attorney general of California. The other is the president of Wells Fargo 's home mortgage division. Four...

Legislative Leaders Back Atty. Gen Harris On Mortgage Settlement
Atty. Gen. Kamala D. Harris faced criticism from Occupy L.A. protesters but support from state legislative leaders on Thursday for her agreement to have California participate in a multi-state mortgage abuse settlement with banks that could provide billions of dollars...

California Supreme Court's Chief Justice Blasts Budget Politics
Dan Smith @
California Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye has assailed the Assembly for passing a bill that would strip power from the Judicial Council she controls, prompting opponents to suggest her tone is inappropriate for the state's top judge.

Are Democrats In Sacramento Off The Hook On Pension Reform?
Steven Harmon @
Initiative groups decision to withdraw could take pressure off legislative fixes

Some states stay with education law, cite politics
KEVIN BEGOS, Associated Press @
Some of the nation's largest states are questioning whether the Obama administration's offer to let them escape certain mandates under the No Child Left Behind law is a helping hand to improve education or a means to impose more federal control.

Will Pension Reform Come From The Legislature? :: Fox&hounds
Joel Fox @
California Pension Reform announced that it will not move forward to qualify one of the two initiatives it filed this year, blaming a “false and misleading” title and summary from the Attorney General that stunted fundraising and made it doubtful an initiative would pass.

California Cap-and-trade Money Should Be Spent Carefully, Analyst Says
California cap-and-trade money can't be spent easily, a report warns. California Gov. Jerry Brown's proposal to spend cap-and-trade money on budget issues may be complicated by the report.

Obama Accommodates Religious Groups With Change To Birth Control Rule
President Obama said new changes to a health insurance mandate will accommodate concerns about religious freedom without compromising healthcare access for women, even as he complained that critics had turned the mandate into a “political football.”

First Round Of NCLB Waivers
John Fensterwald @
In early March, the State Board of Education will decide whether California will apply for the waiver from the No Child Left Behind law that the federal Department of Education awarded to an initial 10 states on Thursday. While not ruling out that possibility, Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson hinted strongly Thursday that he remains inclined not to go there.

Podcast: America's Finest Podcast
John Myers @
Okay, maybe that's an overstatement. But as California Democrats flock to the sunny environs of San Diego for their annual convention, it was hard to resist a borrowing of the city's famous moniker.

Democrats Optimistic Heading Into State Convention
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- It looks like a good year to be a Democrat in California: The party swept every statewide office in 2010, has continued to widen its voter registration edge over Republicans and has a chance to gain a two-thirds majority in the state Senate this November.

Inmate Advocates Question State's Commitment To Prison Healthcare
Chris Megerian @
The judge who called California's medical care of inmates cruel and unusual punishment says most goals of the receivership have been met. But inmates question if improvements will continue without U.S. supervision.

Pension alternative won't be considered
Hopes for placing a second pension initiative before San Diego voters in June were dashed Thursday when City Council President Tony Young said he wouldn’t docket the proposal for council consideration.

California To Get $18 Billion In Mortgage Deal
accessing this site, you accept our @
California Attorney General Kamala Harris announced Thursday morning that she had secured up to $18 billion as part of a ...

Dan Walters: Has California killed redevelopment ... or not?
Redevelopment is dead after more than six decades as a multibillion-dollar government economic development tool.

Transportation Proposal Clears a Hurdle In the Senate
A proposal for $109 billion in new transportation spending easily cleared a crucial hurdle on Thursday when the Senate voted 85 to 11 to allow it to proceed to debate.

Obama Administration Reiterates Support For California High-Speed Rail
Brian Joseph @
Continuing his push for the California High-Speed Rail, Gov. Jerry Brown met Thursday with U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, who said President Obama remains committed to the project.

Viewpoints: Vision plans should be included in proposed health care exchanges
National health care reform is scheduled to begin offering benefits through state insurance exchanges in 24 months. The insurance exchanges that are being set up in each state will act as a marketplace for health benefits and will initially be offered to individuals, small employers and the uninsured. The way things are currently defined, only qualified health plans and stand-alone dental plans will be able to offer coverage through the state exchanges. Other than dental, all other stand-alone plans – benefit companies that are not directly tied to a health plan – are excluded from the exchanges.

State worker criticizes SEIU's decision to settle furlough cases
Jon Ortiz @
Local 1000 President Yvonne Walker has said that the union's legal team advised that broader litigation wasn't likely to win, so the union cut its losses and took what it could get from a settlement.

Two Occupy L.A. Protesters Arrested At Foreclosure Event
Abby Sewell @
Two Occupy L.A. protestors were arrested Thursday outside a state building where California Attorney General Kamala Harris held a news conference to celebrate the state's share of a settlement with banks involved in the foreclosure crisis.

Officials Say $25-billion Foreclosure Deal Will Help Heal Market
Jim Puzzanghera @
In unveiling a settlement of foreclosure abuses, officials said they were holding mortgage servicers accountable for the problems while also providing help to up to 2 million homeowners affected by the collapse of the housing market.