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THE NOONER for February 14, 2012

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  • CD26 (Ventura) - removed Steve Bennett (D)

TWEET DU JOUR: @pourmecoffee - "Get Ovr Yrslf #candyheartrejects"

Happy Valentine's Day, particularly to my valentine Kara, who puts up with very early mornings to allow me to put out The Nooner. Also Valentine's Day Nooner lovin' goes out to the paid subscribers who make The Nooner possible. It's another early morning from the Washington Marriott Wardman Park, where the Chinese delegation looks quite hungover, following the delivery of an unbelievable amount of Tsing Tao to the uber-secure 9th and 10th floors. 

NO WAY OUT? The response to my thoughts yesterday on the pressure on the governor to drop his initiative in favor of the Millionaire's Tax were interesting. Some well-connected people swear the governor is going to switch horses to the CFT-backed measure, and others contend that the budget is being re-written to give more dough to Prop. 98 funding for schools, which will get CFT to drop its initiative. In fairness, there are probably only three people--Jerry, Anne and Steve--that know the status du jour.

The real problem for the governor now is that all of the progressive passion is behind either Millionaires Tax or Mully Munger's initiative, and the passion continues to grow each day. None of the initiatives will have a problem qualifying, but there isn't an emotional connection to the governor's initiative, which is being funded by interest groups that see it as a practical solution to the state's budget problem, or in the case of oil and soda companies, better than alternatives.

There are two major problems for the governor -- organization politics and budget politics. 

At a certain point, we are past a point of no return because so much passion has built up within organizations, and we're at that point with the California Federation of Teachers and the California Nurses Association. The leadership simply is not in a position to walk away from their measure, no matter how much political pressure is poured on leaders by the governor and other interests. They have convinced the rank and file that Millionaires is more likely to pass, lasts longer, and isn't a regressive tax. As two of the state's most liberal labor organizations, you can't just turn around and say "just kidding."

On the budget politics front, the governor can tweak his budget/tax plan to make it more palatable to school groups and possibly (albeit unlikely), Molly Munger. However, doing so will upset SEIU and the nurses, as the only real places left to cut to shift money to schools are state workers and health and human services. SEIU is already committed to undoing many of the proposed health and services cuts that are part of the governor's budget plan.

I have heard many observers say "This is not 2009," referring to the failure of tax-extending measures on the May special election ballot. In that case, SEIU crossed with Governor Schwarzenegger and, while all the progressive interest groups would have been better off had the taxes passed, voters were left confused. November is a long ways away, but this is certainly shaping up more like 2009. I don't agree with Willie Brown that voters will be happy to have a menu of taxes to choose from, but time is running out for anything but.

DAN WALTERS: Jerry Brown has a big problem with tax measures

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MUST WATCH: The Sacramento Press Club is out with a great video on stuff Capitol insiders say. It's just too bad that they didn't get in a "nooner" over a live microphone.


  • AD47 - No endorsement
  • AD50 - Betsy Butler
  • AD51 - Jimmy Gomez
  • AD57 - Rudy Bermudez
  • AD69 - No endorsement
  • SD15 - No recommendation
  • SD31 - Steve Clute
  • CD26 - No recommendation
  • CD30 - No endorsement
  • CD35 - Joe Baca
  • CD52 - No endorsement

HELLUVA BENCH: Combine the recent press and for Gavin Newsom with today's lovin' granted Kamala Harris in the NYT, there is no guessing why party faithfuls were so excited in San Diego last weekend.

IE INFIGHTING: Jim Miller writes up endorsement fights for the contested and increasingly nasty Dem primaries in the Inland Empire.

BAD TO WORSE: Richardson's ethics woes mount [Jonathan Allen and John Bresnahan @ Politico]

REDISTRICTING REFER: Turning in a very impressive 79.9% validity in San Diego, the state senate redistricting referendum jumped up to 74.51% statewide validity in yesterday's update. The referendum needs 70.9% to qualify.

$$$ - The initiative campaign for a spending cap banked $200,000 from the New Majority California PAC


Steinberg Seeks State Review Of Sacramento Co. Dental Program
Torey Van Oot @
Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg is calling for a state review of a Sacramento County pilot program that provides state-funded dental coverage for low-income children.

Darrell Steinberg Wants Probe Of Sacramento County Dental Program
Torey Van Oot @
Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg is calling for a state review of a Sacramento County pilot program that provides state-funded dental coverage for low-income children.

Washington State Makes 7: Governor Signs Gay Marriage Law
Gay marriage: Washington becomes the seventh state to legalize gay marriage. Gov. Christine Gregoire signed the law legalizing same-sex marriage.

California's High-income Taxpayers Dropped Sharply
Gov. Jerry Brown wants to hit California's highest-income taxpayers with billions of dollars in new taxes, and is jousting with other groups with their own tax-the-rich measures over which, if any, will win voter approval.

Jerry Brown Has A Big Problem With Tax Measures
Dan Walters @
When Jerry Brown goes into his bunker – or monk's cell or man-cave – and issues cryptic messages, you know he's up to something.

California Lawmaker: Cap Public Pensions At $100,000
On politics in the Golden State

How Kamala Harris Finessed A Foreclosure Deal For California
Shaila Dewan @
Kamala D. Harris, the attorney general of California, could have derailed a nationwide settlement with big banks over home foreclosure abuses when she walked out of talks last September.

California's Political Watchdog Panel Eases Its Approach To Ethics Issues
Patrick McGreevy @
The Fair Political Practices Commission has eased restrictions on gifts to lawmakers, called fewer open meetings and stopped notifying the public of pending investigations. Some good-government advocates are angry.

George Soros Gives $500,000 To Effort To Narrow Three-strikes Law
George Soros gives $500,000 to effort to narrow California Three Strikes initiative. George Soros, a prominent supporter of liberal causes, donates $500,000 to initiative to narrow Three Strikes law.

Bus Funds Restored, But Some Schools Lose More
California schools will no longer lose $248 million in transportation funding under legislation Gov. Jerry Brown signed Friday – a move applauded by many education officials and school districts that had decried the loss as a disproportionate burden on rural schools.

Survey Shows Disconnect On End-of-life Health Care
Victoria Colliver @
Very few Californians have talked to their doctors about their end-of-life health care despite a desire to do so, according to a poll that revealed a wide disparity between how people want their final days to be handled...

Bill Puts $100,000 Cap On Future State And Local Pensions
Jon Ortiz @
The Irvine Republican's measure, AB 1633, would cap pensions for workers who don't participate in Social Security at $100,000 per year. Workers who do participate in the federal program couldn't receive more than $80,000 per year from a state or local pension.

Washington governor signs gay marriage bill into law
Rachel La Corte @
OLYMPIA, Wash. -- Gov. Chris Gregoire handed gay rights advocates a major victory, singing into law a measure that legalizes same-sex marriage in Washington state, making it the seventh in the nation to allow gay and lesbian couples to wed.

Obama Budget Contains Nearly $35 Billion For Passenger Rail
William Nottingham @
The Obama administration, which has been urging state leaders to push through growing opposition to the California High-Speed Rail project, asked Congress on Monday for nearly $35 billion in passenger rail funding over the next five years.

Democrats Say They're Being Shut Out Of California Water Bill Rewrite
WASHINGTON — Controlling California water can seem like a covert affair on Capitol Hill. If you're not in the club, you're left in the dark.

Supervisors Considering Changes To SF's Election System
accessing this site, you accept our @
Two dueling ballot measures to change San Francisco's election system will go in front of the city's Board of Supervisors on Tuesday.

House GOP Leaders To Propose Extension Of Payroll Tax Cut
Lisa Mascaro @
Hesitant to be seen as holding up a payroll tax break for American workers, House GOP leaders will put forward a new proposal to extend the tax cut ¿ giving up, for now, on the GOP-led requirement that it must be paid for, as talks on a compromise with Democrats have stalled.

California Faces Cuts In Obama Budget
California has a big stake in the debate begun Monday with release of the Obama administration's proposed Fiscal 2013 budget, even if the document has only a short lifespan.

Obama calls for continued pressure on Congress to extend tax break
Lisa Mascaro @
Flanked by supporters of the payroll tax holiday, President Obama called on Americans to keep the pressure on Congress to approve an extension of the tax break that expires this month – and not let up until they see him signing the legislation into law.

Obama targets key voters with budget
Carrie Budoff Brown @
His plan shows the practicalities of an election-year budget and his narrow political space.

With early voting underway, Romney courts Arizona primary voters
Seema Mehta @
Mitt Romney slammed President Obama’s budget proposal on Monday, arguing that the president has failed to keep campaign promises to reduce the nation’s deficit while at the same time jeopardizing the safety net for seniors.

The Caucus: Caucus Video: The President's Budget
President Obama unveils his election-year budget. Jonathan Weisman reports.

Mitt Romney bashes Obama budget
Mark Z. Barabak @
The budget that President Obama unveiled Monday is, at its heart, a political document, laying out his priorities and, not incidentally, reflecting the strategy he plans to pursue in his reelection bid.

Inmate On Hunger Strike Dies At California State Prison, Corcoran
Julie Small @
An inmate on a hunger strike at California State Prison, Corcoran has died after refusing food for four days.

Dan Walters: Jerry Brown has a big problem with tax measures
When Jerry Brown goes into his bunker – or monk's cell or man-cave – and issues cryptic messages, you know he's up to something.