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THE NOONER for February 15, 2012

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DISTRICT UPDATES

  • SD27 (Ventura) - removed Cameron Smyth (R)

The decision yesterday by Cameron Smyth (R) to bow out of the race for SD27 against Senator Fran Pavley (D) came as a surprise to many observers, including Republican Party leaders who are left scrambling to find a candidate in this must-win seat to keep Democrats from getting two-thirds. Observers that caught Smyth's endorsement of Scott Wilk for Wilk's race against Pat McKeon (wife of Congressman Buck McKeon) in AD58 earlier in the week knew the decision was coming.

The news for Senate Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg offsets his frustrating weekend at the Democratic Convention, where he twisted arms to no avail in the caucus for SD31. Steinberg pushed for an endorsement of Riverside attorney and retired air force officer Richard Roth over former Assemblymember Steve Clute. However, local delegates balked at giving the party's seal of approval to Roth, as he has financially supported Republicans including John McCain and Congressman Ken Calvert. (Spreading his wild oats, he also gave to Hillary and Obama in 2008.)

Democrats need a net gain of two seats to capture a two-thirds majority. One seat is a certain pick-up for Dems (SD17-Blakeslee), while three are in play for pick-ups (SD05SD19, and SD31). 

CLOAK FREE: Change in top 2 primary law: Candidates must run as registered [Timm Herdt @ VC Star]

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THE OTHER CAPITAL: Conventional wisdom from what I've gotten this week in DC, for what it's worth E-265. President wins re-election, Dems pick up 15 House seats (10 short of majority), lose 3-4 Senate seats, for either a 50-50 split or a +1 Rep majority. But, CW also agrees that it's all about the economy, and Dems have the mo' right now, as evidenced by the quiet resolution of the payroll tax/unemployment/doc fix trifecta yesterday that had been planned as a showdown. More time on the Hill today and tomorrow so I'll see what I can pick up.

TIMEOUT: Nadia Lockyer being treated for chemical dependency [Matier and Ross @ SFChron]

TIME OUT: Warren Furutani announced that he is taking a break from politics, avoiding a showdown with fellow Assemblymember Isadore Hall for a final term in the lower house.  [Jean Merl @ LAT]

$$$: The initiative campaign to require the labeling of genetically engineered crops received $500,000 from health site Mercola.com, bringing the cash for the initiative to $680,000. This is one that will likely be on the November ballot.

NOTHING TO SEE HERE: @HotlineReid - "Rep. Pete Stark (D-CA) latest lawmaker to bar TV camera from taxpayer-funded town hall meeting. Kicked KTVU out on Saturday #HotlineSort"

TANI'S TORMENTERS: Tony Quinn updates us on the continuing fight between legislators and SupCt Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye over court administration. [Fox & Hounds]

The SacBee says it's time for a "can't we all get along" moment between Tani and dissident judges.

OUGHTA BE A LAW: With nine days left to introduce bills in the second year of the legislative session, the firehose of introductions is opening.

DEPT OF CORRECTIONS: Julio Perez did not receive the endorsement of the California Democratic Party for AD69. [full list of pre-primary endorsements]

TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
Getting On Ballot Only Half The Battle
John Myers @
blogs.kqed.org
As every smart politico knows, there are two distinct stages of direct democracy in California: getting your proposition on the ballot and then getting voters to actually ratify your proposition. And so in a few cases this season, the real question may be not whether a measure qualifies for the November 6 statewide election... but rather will there'll be enough money to get it over the goal line.

Facebook's Sandberg for SF State President: Cal State's Phony Pay Cap
John Hrabe @
flashreport.org
The Cal State University Board of Trustees has been busy. When they aren’t raising student fees or blaming the State Legislature for budget cuts, the board is searching for a new president of San Francisco State University. Earlier this month, the Trustees formed a search committee to find a replacement for outgoing president Robert Corrigan, who has led the college since 1988.

California Assembly Decision To Fight Budget Release Cost Nearly $200,000
sacbee.com
The California Assembly spent nearly $200,000 in public funds fighting against release of member-by-member budgets allocating tens of millions in public funds, records show.

Lance Armstrong charity gives $1.5 million to support state tobacco tax initiative
Judy Lin @
mercurynews.com
SACRAMENTO -- Supporters of an initiative on California's June ballot that would raise cigarette taxes to fund cancer research got a boost Wednesday from Lance Armstrong's Livestrong charity as the cycling champion announced a $1.

CalPERS Will Look Again At Adjusting Forecast
sacbee.com
CalPERS is going to look again at adjusting its investment forecast, a move that could increase taxpayer contributions while ramping up the political heat on public pension funds in California.

Warren Furutani Says He Won't Seek Reelection To Assembly
Jean Merl @
latimesblogs.latimes.com
State Assemblyman Warren Furutani (D-Gardena) says he's taking a break from politics and won't seek another term in the state's lower house.

High Schools Predict Community College Transfers
toped.svefoundation.org
President Obama has long been a champion of community colleges and he demonstrated that commitment Monday, when he traveled to Northern Virginia Community College to release his 2012-13 budget proposal, which calls for an $8 billion program to train students for jobs in high-demand industries.

Misplaced budget priorities abound in California
Dan Walters @
sacbee.com
The Save Mart supermarket chain unveiled a plan Tuesday to keep Sacramento's public swimming pools open this summer and thus provide recreation for thousands of youngsters whose families can't afford backyard pools.

L.A. School Board Delays Vote On Massive Budget Cuts
Stephen Ceasar @
latimes.com
The superintendent, however, is allowed to begin preparing layoff notices to thousands of teachers and support staff while talks continue to find a way to save adult and early education programs.

The Not So Civil War Between The Legislature And The California Supreme Court
Tony Quinn @
foxandhoundsdaily.com
It has never happened before. The Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court, Tani Cantil Sakauye, accusing the Speaker of the California Assembly John Perez of lying while a prominent Assembly member compares the chief justice to a rookie legislator who does not understand the process.

Villaraigosa Will Chair Democratic National Convention
Mark Z. Barabak and John Hoeffel @
latimes.com
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has been selected chairman of this summer's Democratic National Convention, elevating his role as a surrogate in the Latino community and raising his national profile at a time Villaraigosa considers his political future.

SF's Voting System Won't Change, For Now
accessing this site, you accept our @
baycitizen.org
Neither of two dueling proposals to change San Francisco's ranked-choice voting system will go on the June ballot, the city's Board of Supervisors decided today.

Change In Top 2 Primary Law: Candidates Must Run As Registered
Timm Herdt @
blogs.venturacountystar.com
With little fanfare on Friday afternoon, Gov. Jerry Brown signed urgency legislation that will have the effect of making Supervisor Linda Parks' decision about how to position herself in the upcoming congressional campaign a little tougher.

Supervisor Nadia Lockyer, Wife Of California Treasurer, Acknowledges Substance Abuse, Affair
Local @
insidebayarea.com
The announcement marked a sharp turn in the career of a woman who at 40 had been seen as a rising star in California politics. The scandal is also an ugly footnote on her husband's nearly four-decade-long career, which made him one of California's most influential politicians.

Emotional Redistricting For California Lawmakers On Both Sides Of The Aisle
Jesse Helfrich @
thehill.com
A source close to McCarthy told The Hill that the No. 3-ranked House Republican did not urge Dutton to jump in.

Health Care Mandate Was First Backed by Conservatives
nytimes.com
s health care law that individuals buy insurance was first proposed by conservative economists and backed by Republicans, who now shun it.

SF supervisors reject voting ballot measure
The Associated Press @
utsandiego.com
San Francisco supervisors have rejected a proposed ballot measure to end ranked-choice voting.

California's Sales Tax Rate Not The Nation's Highest, Report Says
latimesblogs.latimes.com
California does not actually have highest sales tax rate in nation, report says. Contrary to conventional wisdom, California's sales tax rate is not the highest in the country.

Armstrong charity gives $1.5M to Calif tobacco tax
JUDY LIN, Associated Press @
utsandiego.com
Supporters of a tobacco tax initiative on California's June ballot are getting a boost from cycling champion Lance Armstrong's Livestrong charity.

Smyth won't challenge Pavley in east county Senate district
Ventura County Star and Ventura County Star @
vcstar.com
Strickland should pull out of the congressional race and run for the Senate seat. He's going to lose the congressional seat to Linda Parks but he may stand a chance for the Senate seat.

Two California agencies extend furlough back pay to all staff
Jon Ortiz @
blogs.sacbee.com
The California Prison Industry Authority and the First 5 California Commission will pay furlough back wages to all their employees.

Whitman, Former Finance Chair For Romney, Gives Little Funding This Time
californiawatch.org
Back in the 1980s at Boston’s Bain & Co. business consulting firm, partner Mitt Romney mentored a promising young executive named Meg Whitman.