Around The Capitol

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THE NOONER for March 8, 2012


  • SD01 (Northeast) - added businessman Bogdan Ambrozewicz (N)
  • SD17 (Monterey) - added Scotts Valley USD trustee Larry Beaman (R)
  • SD27 (Ventura) - added deputy district attorney Todd Zink (R)
  • AD36 (Palmdale) - added Lancaster palmdale Ron Smith (R)
  • AD60 (Corona) - added businessman Eric Linder (R)

Morning from the delightful Hilton LAX, which was seemingly last upgraded during Jerry Brown 1.0. If today's Nooner falls below expectations, blame it on the awful hotel coffee.

PPIC is out with a new statewide poll today, which is likely to fuel the continued debates about tax initiatives and budget priorities.

Governor Brown's tax measure (likely voters)
52% Yes
40% No
8% Don't know 

If measure fails, do you support trigger cuts to K-12 schools?
23% Yes
72% No
5% Don't know

Job Approval (approve-disapprove-don't know)
Jerry Brown: 46%-38-16
Legislature: 21%-66%-14%

[PPIC, n=2,001, +/- 3.4%, 2/21-28/2012]

John Myers blogs on why the polling results for the tax measure look so different than January's 72% and talks to PPIC president and CEO Mark Baldassare. It gets back to the initial poll being all about education funding, and voters seem to catch on that the governor's plan, while threatening education funding if it fails, actually creates room for funding other programs and not just schools.

Myers gets key quotes from Baldassare:

"The title and summary adds a whole other layer of complexity," says Baldassare.

"People sense there's a disagreement," says Baldassare. And perhaps, goes the thinking, they're no longer convinced that Brown's proposal is the best way forward... even if they're not asked about alternative ideas by a pollster.

As Baldassare puts it, "Whenever there are competing ideas, they don't have to even be on the ballot."

I was wrong yesterday...the new poll from backers of the Millionaires Tax is being released this afternoon. Expect them to use PPIC to argue the governor's plan is doomed. Big question for Millionaires is whether they can get over 60% to withstand an opposition campaign.

FEEL GOOD, FOR NOW: An Assembly budget subcommittee yesterday rejected most of the governor's proposed $372 million in cuts to Cal Grant student scholarships, a week after another subcommittee nixed $946 million in CalWORKs cuts.


Consumer Watchdog -- or Lapdog for Special Interests?

Watch the new video exposing the grandstanding "consumer" group that's funded by special interest groups to do its dirty work, collects millions in state fees through a self-serving provision, and pays its founder more than $600,000 per year.

Click here for the video

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WHO'S AN INCUMBENT? The P-E's Jim Miller looks at the complicated issue of who is an incumbent and gets the non-answer from the Riverside registrar that it will be decided after Friday's filing deadline... 

The Los Angeles county registrar lists Joe Baca as not an incumbent for CD35 and Fresno does the same with Jim Costa for CD16.

The LA Times comes out against Bill Monning's AB 1678, the "food trucks as sex offenders" bill that I went on a rant about on February 17.

INFIGHTING IS NOT JUST FOR DEMOCRATS: Following the high profile endorsement fights in the Democratic Party, Aaron Park writes that neither Beth nor Ted Gaines could capture the endorsement of the Placer County Republican Central Committee.

LA-LA LAND POLITICS: The redistricting fight in Los Angeles continues. LAT's David Zahniser reporte on the effort of Koreatown leaders to get their community out of Herb Wesson's district. The goal of community leaders is to combine K-town with Thai Town and Filipinotown to increase the likelihood of the first Asian since Mike Woo (who was the first) to be elected to the city council.

In other Southland fights, the Rudy Bermudez-Ian Calderon battle for AD57 continues, with the latest development a complaint to the FPPC by a Whittier resident alleging that Ian posts pictures of his shoes on his Facebook page while on the public payroll. Oh, and that he updated his campaign website on state time too. 

MICROWAVE ON HIGH: "A giant blast of plasma spat from the sun at as much as 4 million miles per hour Tuesday -- by some measures the largest solar event since late 2006 -- and it could lead to serious issues on Earth, forcing some planes to reroute, knocking out power grids, and blacking out radios."

Survey: Likely Voters Back Tax Increase, Oppose High-speed Rail
With most Californians worried about the state budget and opposed to trigger cuts to education, a slim majority would support Gov. Jerry Brown's plan to increase taxes, according to a survey released yesterday by the Public Policy Institute of California.

Poll: Slim Majority Support Jerry Brown's Tax Plan
Judy Lin @
Even though most Californians think the budget remains a big problem, just a slim majority of likely voters say they support Gov. Jerry Brown's proposed tax initiative for the November ballot, according to a survey released Wednesday by the Public Policy Institute of California.

Will State Agencies Derail Local Pension Reforms?
Ed Mendel @
A legislative committee yesterday approved a request by Assemblyman Jim Beall and a half dozen other San Francisco Bay area Democratic legislators to have the state auditor probe San Jose pension costs.

Brown's Tax Is Ahead, But Why Not By More?
John Myers @
A brand new statewide poll shows Governor Jerry Brown's temporary tax increase initiative slightly ahead with voters. And that's no doubt a good thing if you're the governor.

Jerry Brown: 'It's Good We Have Old Politicians Around'
David Siders @
Gov. Jerry Brown, who will turn 74 next month, found himself last night in the company of an older politician, a rare enough occurrence Brown's thoughts turned to age.

State Lawmakers Order San Jose Pension Audit
Local @
San Jose officials say their pension system already has been extensively audited and cited fears that the state audit sought by Democratic lawmakers with ties to public worker unions would be politically motivated.

Assembly Panel Rejects Brown's Cuts In College Aid
Chris Megerian @
An Assembly subcommittee on Wednesday rejected Gov. Jerry Brown's plan to trim state-funded college scholarships known as CalGrants, two days after thousands protested budget cuts at the Capitol.

Groups Sue Bowen Over Inmate Voting Rights
Josh Richman @
Three groups sued California Secretary of State Debra Bowen and San Francisco’s elections director Wednesday, asking the court to ensure that more than 85,000 people sent to county jails instead of state prisons under the recent “realignment” can vote.

Redevelopment's Demise Leaves CA Housing Money In Limbo
Dan Walters @
When more than 400 local redevelopment agencies in California went out of business this year, thanks to state legislation and a Supreme Court decision, it stranded as much as $2 billion in funds that had been set aside for low- and moderate-income housing.

Lawsuit: Some Convicted Felons Should Be Allowed To Vote - The Bay Citizen
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Convicted felons serving time in county jails should be allowed to vote, lawyers for the California League of Women Voters and two other nonprofit groups argued in a lawsuit filed Wednesday.

California Enforces Death Penalty Without Penalty
Debra J. Saunders @
While running for governor in 2010, Jerry Brown admitted he would "rather have a society where we didn't have to use death as a punishment." But because the Legislature and California voters approved capital punishment,...

LAO Says Marina Loan Program Should Be Eliminated
Boating clubs throughout the state are organizing opposition to Gov. Jerry Brown's proposal to fold the Department of Boating and Waterways into the Department of Parks and Recreation.

Town Hall meeting on education Thursday night at Pleasant Hill City Hall
Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla will join a moderated discussion about state budget and education reform

No Action Yet On NCLB Waiver
John Fensterwald @
An unconvinced State Board of Education took no action Wednesday on a request for a wavier from the No Child Left Behind law being pushed by Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson.

A Fish And Game Faux Pas
George Skelton @
In flaunting his killing of a mountain lion in Idaho, Commission President Dan Richards forgot whom he represents.

Vote on city water service expansion at UC Santa Cruz faces delays
J.M. Brown @
SANTA CRUZ -- The Local Agency Formation Commission delayed approval Wednesday of expanding city water service to an undeveloped northern sector of UC Santa Cruz to consider setting a lower baseline for university water use and requiring a fisheries habitat plan be completed.

Obama campaign: Romney in 'death march' to nomination
Seema Mehta @
As the Republican presidential candidates savage one another in the GOP nominating contest, advisers to President Obama said Wednesday his campaign is busy laying the groundwork for their fall campaign, registering voters, opening field offices and recruiting volunteers.

Lawsuit would let thousands of CA criminals vote
DON THOMPSON, Associated Press @
The nonpartisan League of Women Voters and two prisoners' rights groups are suing California elections officials, claiming that tens of thousands of criminals being shifted to county jails and community supervision should be eligible to vote.

CalPERS Should Cut Assumed Return To 7.25% From 7.75%, Actuary Recommends
Michael B. Marois @
Actuary Alan Milligan recommended trimming the annual return estimate yesterday to 7.25 percent from 7.75 percent, potentially driving up what the fund, known as Calpers, requires from taxpayers to provide benefits for more than 1.6 million employees, retirees and their families.

With Two Days To Spare, GOP Fields Candidates In County Senate Districts » Ventura County Star
Ventura County Star and Ventura County Star @
© 2012 Ventura County Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Mirkarimi Case May Rest On Lawyer-client Law
Bob Egelko @
The fate of San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi's domestic-violence prosecution may depend on the meaning of a single provision of California law on the confidentiality of communications between attorneys and their...

Lausd Prepares To Issue 11,000 Preliminary Pink Slips; Other Districts To Follow | 89.3 Kpcc
Southern California Public Radio @
Teachers, parents and supporters rally as the Los Angeles Unified School District board meets to consider budget cuts and layoffs, which include adult education, preschool and elementary school arts programs, in Los Angeles on Feb. 14.

California legislative committee approves audit of water rates
Hector Becerra @
After complaints about rising bills, a state legislative committee agrees to audit several L.A.-area water agencies, examining how they set rates and how they spend public funds.

CalPERS urged to cut its annual profit forecast
CalPERS is considering making a significant cut in its investment forecast next week, which would likely force the state and local governments to increase their annual contributions to the big pension funds.