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THE NOONER for February 23, 2012

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  • AD48 - added retired police officer Joe Gardner (N)
  • AD62 - removed Lynette Bigelow (D)

DEAL! Republicans jumped on board Jerry Brown's pension reform package yesterday, introducing bills to implement the governor's plan. Senate Republican Leader Bob Huff introduced SB 1176 and SCA 18 yesterday to tackle much of the governor's plan. Assembly Republican Leader Connie Conway and Cameron Smyth also introduced the constitutional amendment portion as ACA 22.

The constitutional amendments would require a 2/3 vote of the Legislature and would be placed on the statewide ballot, in November if acted on early enough in this year's session. Democrats haven't yet bought in to the governor's vision that pension reform on the November ballot helps the tax measures and hurts paycheck protection/deception, although you have to wonder if that was tested in the governor's poll over the weekend.

This will be interesting. You have to wonder if Republican candidates running for swing districts, such as David Valadao and Tony Strickland, really want to cast an "aye" vote on a measure that could turn into a mailer about attacking pensions for cops and firefighters. My bet still is that either there is a tinkering around the edges piece supported by labor or that the package gets kicked to 2014.

CASH GAME: John Myers looks at the budget impact if a tax measure other than the governor's prevails.

JACKPOT: Brad Sherman picked up the endorsement of the Association of Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs. Other biggies from ALADS include Rudy Bermudez, Laurette Healey, Ed Chau, Diane Martinez, and Tom Calderon.

THE RIVER: The bills are coming! The bills are coming! Lots of bills were introduced yesterday, with tomorrow's introduction deadline looming.

BIG BLIND: Assemblymember Tim Donnelly introduced AB 1881, which would eliminate campaign finance disclosure of contributions to non-candidate committees for donors who contribute less than $5,000. In an era of push for more disclosure, it may seem odd for a legislator to push a bill to cloak contributions. However, the bill comes from Donnelly's recent unsuccessful campaign for a referendum to overturn the state's Dream Act and allegations he made that proponents of the Dream Act were threatening retribution on donors making fundraising difficult.

Similarly, backers of Proposition 8 have felt harrassed, as many of them have asked me to take their names off ElectionTrack. Of course, I don't do any manual editing of the database, which reflects only the data in the Secretary of State's database. These social issue ballot measures are rare, and are among the only ones that capture a meaningful number of individual donors. In the Prop. 8 case, small donors were pushed by churches and other organizations, and, from what people told me, some felt retribution from co-workers and neighbors for supporting the gay marriage ban.

ALL-IN: California Professional Firefighters kicked in $450,000 to the committee to defeat paycheck protection/deception.

HIGH STAKES: The Capitol Morning Report has a backgrounder on FPPC chair Ann Ravel, with a discussion on why the commission's enforcement focus has shifted. After missing the Durkee issue for years, Ravel wants proactive, deeper investigations of big fish and not just wait around for ticky-tack complaints. "We should not just be relying on disgruntled people who want to tell something on their opponent."

ACES! Finally, I want to welcome the supporters of online poker as an advertiser on They're paying for my delicious calorically packed early morning breakfast at Brian's 24 in the Gaslamp. Goodbye, Sandy to the LBC.

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California's Barbara Boxer Tied For 5th Most Liberal U.S. Senator
California Democrat Barbara Boxer has long been considered one of the U.S. Senate's most liberal members, but according to the National Journal, she's in a five-way tie for being the 5th most liberal senator.

Simple Tax Initiatives, Not So Simple Impacts
John Myers @
When it comes to taxes and budgeting, nothing is simple.

California State University Faculty To Vote On Strike
Kevin Yamamura @
In the midst of a contract fight, the statewide union representing California State University professors will vote this spring on whether to impose a "rolling" strike at all 23 campuses.

A Retirement Plan For The Forgotten
George Skelton @
California Sen. Kevin De Leon is proposing legislation that would allow workers like his house-cleaner aunt to self-fund a modest pension that would be overseen by the state.

D.C. Lobbyist To Host Jerry Brown Fund-raiser
Gov. Jerry Brown, not known for his jet-setting ways since being elected to a third term as governor, is taking his first extended taxpayer-funded trip out of state. The governor is en route to Washington, where he will attend a meeting of the National Governors Assn. and meet with President Obama at the White House.

Obama campaign names seven Californians among co-chairs
Torey Van Oot @
President Barack Obama rolled out a list of national co-chairs for his re-election campaign that includes some familiar faces from both the political and entertainment worlds in the Golden State.

CSU Professors Plan A Spring Vote On 'Rolling' Strike At All Campuses
Kevin Yamamura @
In the midst of a contract fight, the statewide union representing California State University professors will vote this spring on whether to impose a "rolling" strike at all 23 campuses.

Torlakson, Brown Differ On Mandates
Once the Legislature mandates programs or requirements, the state must in turn fund them. In his 2012-13 budget, Brown proposes to drop two dozen mandates that he considers unnecessary, that are funded by the federal government, or that local districts are likely to provide on their own.

Sf Kids Don't Get Enough Physical Education
Most public elementary school students in San Francisco are not getting enough physical education to meet state standards, according to ...

UC Davis Student Sue Over Pepper Spray At Protest
Bob Egelko @
UC Davis students who were pepper-sprayed by campus police during a sit-down Occupy protest sued the officers and university administrators in federal court Wednesday, claiming excessive force and suppression of free...

Some Sacramento-area Schools Add Dinner To The Curriculum
Diana Lambert @
For years, schools have provided breakfast and lunch to low-income students, and now many are adding dinner to the menu – including Union House, an elementary school near Mack Road and Franklin Boulevard in the Elk Grove Unified School District.

CSU To Trade Ad Campaign For Cheaper Textbooks
Nanette Asimov @
An ad campaign for a certain textbook publisher will appear on California State University campuses this spring in the form of memos to faculty, notices in student newspapers, and posters at bookstore counters. But the...

GOP backs Jerry Brown's plan on pensions
Last year, Republicans in the state Legislature rejected Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown's offer to put public pension reform on a statewide ballot.

Weekly Jobless Claims Stay Low; More Voters Say Economy Improving
Jim Puzzanghera @
Initial claims for unemployment benefits continued to remain at a nearly four-year low low last week as a new poll showed that a majority of voters now say the economy has begun to recover, a sharp turnaround from five months ago.

California Tax Breaks Cost State Treasury $45 Billion A Year
Major "tax expenditures" - exceptions to general tax policy to benefit specific activities - cost the state treasury $45 billion a year in lost revenue, the Legislature's budget analyst says in a new report.

Report: Debt Will Swell Under Top GOP Hopefuls’ Tax Plans
The national debt is likely to balloon under tax policies championed by three of the four major Republican candidates for president, according to an independent analysis of tax and spending proposals so far offered by the candidates.

Defense Of Marriage Act Ruled Unconstitutional By Judge
Carol J. Williams @
Judge declares the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional and orders federal government to provide health benefits to the wife of a lesbian court worker.

Sacramento Republicans back Gov. Jerry Brown's pension proposal
Michael J. Mishak @
GOP legislators introduce a series of bills that mirror Brown's 12-point plan from last fall to overhaul public pensions. They challenge Democrats to step up.

Fighting Illness, Sen. Sharon Runner Will Not Seek Reelection
Patrick McGreevy @
A month after announcing health problems that put her on a waiting list for a lung transplant, state Sen. Sharon Runner (R-Lancaster) said Wednesday she will not run for reelection this year.

Lesbian federal worker wins health benefits case
The Associated Press @
A federal judge in San Francisco says the U.S. government cannot deny health benefits to the wife of lesbian court employee by relying on the 1996 law that bars government recognition of same-sex unions.

Republicans introduce Jerry Brown's pension reform plan
Jon Ortiz @
Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown's 12-point public pension reform plan has some new supporters: Republicans.

Sacramento Arena Talks Progressing, Council Hearing Pushed Back
Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson and NBA Commissioner David Stern issued upbeat, but terse statements in today's 1 p.m. news release.