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THE NOONER for March 1, 2012

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  • CD24 (Central Coast) - added law student Matt Boutte (N)
  • CD25 (Santa Clarita) - added Catherine Wright (R)
  • CD26 (Ventura) - changed Linda Parks registration/candidacy from (R) to (N)
  • CD38 (Whittier) - added certified public accountant Benjamin Campos (R)
  • AD03 (Butte-Tehama-Yuba) - added farmer Charles Rouse (D)
  • AD16 (Tri-Valley) - added construction superintendent Al Phillips (R)
  • AD37 (Santa Barbara) - added attorney Rob Walter (N)
  • AD53 (Downtown LA) - added Jose Aguilar (R)
  • AD58 (Downey) - added financial consultant Sam Ahmad (D)
  • AD58 (Downey) - added Bell Gardens councilmember Daniel Crespo (D)
  • AD80 (South San Diego) - added licensed investigator Derrick Roach (R)

TWEET DU JOUR: @paulmitche11 - "@tedlieu [Santa Monica] won't have a Senator from Dec 2012 to Dec 2014, maybe they could date you in the interim."

FROM A NEW SUBSCRIBER: "It was my pleasure. At my age, I never thought I'd enjoy a Nooner again."

AURAL/VISUAL PLEASURE? Apparently recognizing that the best California political stories involve visuals, California Report/KQED reporter John Myers announced yesterday that he was setting aside his recorder to spend some time in front of the camera as political director at News10 Sacramento. Capitol Weekly accurately stated this about John in 2009:

"We defy you to find another reporter - print or broadcast - who has had a greater impact within the Capitol community about how state government is covered."

Does this mean I have to watch local teevee? I haven't watched local news since Vlade Divac was the center for the Kings.

PERSONAL TOUCH: Nicholas Riccardi and Anthony York look at the personal appeal the governor has made to get CFT to drop the Millionaires Tax, including a visit to CFT President Joshua Pechthalt's home and assistance with his daughter's homework. The rumors of the governor mowing Pechthalt's lawn are unconfirmed.

Meanwhile, the campaign announces that 94% of members support the Millionaires tax.

NOW WHAT? As Kevin Yamamura writes, Assembly Budget Sub 1 rejected the governor's $946m in cuts to CalWORKs. Even with the tax proposal, the governor proposed $2b in cuts to CalWORKs, IHSS and Medi-Cal, and Dems are having a hard time swallowing the cuts. However, with the LAO coming out with a significantly lower revenue number, the Legislature is running out of options. Senate Budget looks at the CalWORKs and child cuts this morning.

I've lobbied/watched 17 state budgets and this is shaping up as the most difficult to put together, whether or not taxes are included. Given election year dynamics, Republican unwillingness to suspend Prop. 98, court decisions, and state contracts prohibiting furloughts, there are few options and a growing hole. To go back to the governor's characterization last year, everywhere I look I see bears in the woods, although they are now joined by lions and tigers.


The Engineering & Utility Contractors Association is now UNITED CONTRACTORS.

California’s best union-affiliated contractors association just got better. Effective March 1, EUCA will become United Contractors. With more than four decades of service, United Contractors will maintain their position as the largest union-affiliated contractors association west of the Mississippi, continuing to provide the same tradition of excellence in industry representation and advocacy and leading the way for California’s union-affiliated contractors.

Contact: Emily Cohen, United Contractors Director of Government Relations at 925-855-7900 or Kevin Pedrotti, United Contractors Government Advocate at 916-441-3111.

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ANOTHER CATHY WRIGHT: Catherine Wright, daughter of former Assemblywoman Cathy Wright, has announced a bid against Buck McKeon for CD25. She takes aim at both Buck and Patricia McKeon, who is running for AD38:

 "'All the time my mom ran for office, I would help with the campaign. But my mom would never have paid me for it' . . . (Buck McKeon) is paying his wife,' Wright said. 'His wife wins by his winning.'"

$$$: Chris Kelly, the former Facebook exec turned attorney general candidate, kicked in another $100,000 to the anti-sex trafficking initiative campaign, bringing his total contribution to $900,000.

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! Proponents of an initiative to repeal the death penalty plan to submit signatures today.

UNFRIEND: Capitol Morning Report reports that Facebook, Inc. is no longer using superstar firm Lang Hansen O'Malley and Miller Governmental Relations.

DON'T KNOW HOW TO ANSWER: From a reader, "What does cougar taste like?"

KUDOS: . . . to Hudson Sangree at the Sacramento Bee, for covering the best coffee--pedal roasted and pedal delivered in Davis. There would be no Nooner without it. Pepper Peddler announced in the article that they begin delivering to Sacramento tomorrow--via train and bike.

WORST MESSAGE EVER: From Gmail: "95% full - Using 7306 MB of your 7685 MB." #HateDeleteKey

FAREWELL: Conservative columnist Andrew Breitbart (1969-2012) has died.

DEPT OF CORRECTIONS: AD58 is the race between Tom Calderon, Cristina Garcia, and Luis Marquez.


Jerry Brown Pitches Tax Plan, Hails Charter School 'Insurgents'
David Siders @
Gov. Jerry Brown urged charter school supporters at the Capitol this afternoon to back his ballot initiative to raise taxes, as he continues to try pushing the proponents of competing tax initiatives to step aside.

Kinde Durkee Sued By Congresswomen, State Senator
Lawsuits were filed Wednesday by three members of congress and a state senator alleging that campaign treasurer Kinde Durkee stole more than $1 million from political accounts and that the bank they used aided and abetted the scheme. Following the...

Gavin Newsom, A Lieutenant Who Thinks He's General
Debra J. Saunders @
Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom began a Chronicle editorial board meeting last week by complaining about his job. In states such as Texas and Maryland, gubernatorial nominees choose their lieutenant governors. Those officers,...

Brown Steps Up Efforts To Squelch Competing Tax Hike Proposals
Nicholas Riccardi and Anthony York @
Two proposals in addition to the governor's would raise levies, but experts say multiple tax measures on the ballot could cause voters to reject them all.

In California Prisons, 301 Lifers From Juvenile Crimes
Chris Megerian @
As lawmakers consider loosening life sentences for juvenile criminals, a new report released Wednesday said 301 California inmates are locked up for life after committing crimes when they were younger than 18.

California Bills Aim To End Foreclosure Abuses
Rick Daysog @
Attorney General Kamala Harris joined Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg and Assembly Speaker John A. Perez on Wednesday to unveil a package of bills designed to curb foreclosure abuses.

Memorial planned after death of former lawmaker Norm Waters
Jim Sanders @
Former Democratic Assemblyman Norman Waters, who served 14 years as a legislator, died at his Amador County home this week at age 86.

California's Political Purple Reign
John Myers @
Which is where a new academic study comes in, one that shows just how politically complicated we Californians really are. The report from the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California concludes, both in data and in vivid color, that the state is much more in the political middle... and even leans more conservative... than many people assume.

Bills aim to curb unfair foreclosure practices
California Attorney General Kamala Harris joined state Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg and Assembly Speaker John Perez to unveil a package of bills designed to curb unfair foreclosure practices.

Stockton: Work Month, Get Lifetime Health Care?
Ed Mendel @
One of a long list of missteps said to be pushing Stockton toward becoming the biggest U.S. city to declare bankruptcy is a promise of free lifetime health care for some workers, estimated to cost $417 million over the next 30 years.

GOP Senate Leader Proposes Funding Fix: School-bus Advertising
Tough times call for creativity. So as California's cash-strapped schools look for ways to balance their books, GOP Senate leader Bob Huff wants to give them a new option: school-bus advertising. The Diamond Bar Republican has introduced a bill that...

Cougar Hunter Target Of Try To Oust Him From Post
Marisa Lagos @
Democratic lawmakers may attempt to oust California Fish and Game Commission President Daniel Richards as early as next week following outrage over his legal killing of a mountain lion on a recent Idaho hunting trip.

California Bundlers Give More To Obama This Time
With more than eight months to go before Election Day, California bundlers already might have rounded up more money for President Barack Obama's re-election bid than they did during the entire 2008 campaign, according to data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics.

KQED Radio's John Myers moving to Sacramento television gig
The dean of the Capitol radio press corps, KQED's John Myers, announced today that he will move to television and become political editor for Sacramento's KXTV News 10.

Senate halts measure aimed at reversing new contraceptive mandate
Lisa Mascaro @
A GOP-led attempt to rollback new rules requiring insurance companies to provide free contraceptive care was dismissed by the Senate -- a rejection of Republican pivot toward conservative social issues and a victory for President Obama's health care law.

President Can't Put Lid On Gas Prices, Experts Say
David R. Baker @
Soaring gasoline prices tempt politicians in a way that many can't resist.

College students rally to protest education cuts
The Associated Press @
California college students are planning protests on campuses statewide to call on lawmakers to restore funding to higher education.

Foreclosed Home Sales At Deep Discounts Soar In Sacramento Metro Area In 2011
Rick Daysog @
The number of foreclosure sales in the Sacramento area jumped more than 13 percent in 2011, according to a new report.

California voters will be asked to abolish death penalty in November
California voters will have their first opportunity in more than three decades to consider whether to keep the death penalty. During news conferences Thursday morning in San Francisco and three other cities across the state, backers of a proposed ballot initiative to abolish the death penalty announced they've gathered more than enough signatures to put the explosive question on the November ballot. More than 800,000 signatures were gathered, exceeding the 500,000 required.

Group Seeking To Repeal California Death Penalty To Turn In Signatures
Torey Van Oot @
Supporters of a proposed initiative to repeal the death penalty in California plan to begin turning in nearly 800,000 voter signatures today in hopes of qualifying for the November ballot.

Assembly committee rejects Jerry Brown's welfare-to-work cuts
Kevin Yamamura @
In a hearing that included testimony from children as young as 6 years old, an Assembly budget panel on Wednesday rejected Gov. Jerry Brown's welfare-to-work cuts.