Around The Capitol

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THE NOONER for March 12, 2012


  • Lots of candidate additions and removals! It'll be a few more days before all of the final filings are updated. Why can't we have a state repository for the candidate filing status instead of 58 different lists in different formats?

Friday's deadline for candidate filings in districts without incumbents created a bit of drama. Most notable was a 12pm radio show appearance by surgeon and frosh Assemblywoman Linda Halderman (R-Fresno) who announced that she prefers the operating room to the committee room and would not be running for reelection in AD23.

Meanwhile, Huntington Beach councilmember Matthew Harper bowed out of AD72. Harper's candidacy was threatened by Los Alamitos councilmember Troy Edgar, who jumped to the race from CD47, along with $405,000 of his own money. (Travis Allen also jumped in to AD72, setting Jon Fleischman on the warpath for the candidate's financial support of Democrats in the past.)

The Secretary of State has extended the deadline for 53 congressional, senate and assembly races, finding that anyone who is currently elected to a chamber is an "incumbent."

The white smoke arose from Burbank on Saturday, as the 23-member board of directors of the California Republican Party made endorsements in the upcoming election. The party endorsed all incumbents (although it took Dan Logue a big of a fight), although there are a few that I found particularly interesting:

  • CD24 (Santa Barbara) - Chris Mitchum (over Abel Maldonado)
  • CD47 (Long Beach) - Gary DeLong (over former Congressman Steve Kuykendall)
  • San Diego mayor: Carl DeMaio over Assemblymember Nathan Fletcher


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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Proponents of the Millionaires Tax released a poll last week arguing that, even with all three measures on the November ballot, they are best positioned to win among likely voters in November. Here are their numbers:

Millionaires: 69-27%
Governor: 56-38%
Munger: 40-53%

Millionaires: 64-32%
Governor: 46-50%
Munger: 17-77% 

[Benenson Strategy Group, n=498-502, +/- 4.4%, likely voters, 2/23-29]

The best analogy to date of the competing measures comes from Friday's Capital Notes Podcast. Either John or Anthony (I was listening at the gym) likened it to the knife fight in Michael Jackson's "Beat It" video. Although, our fight has more attitude, worse dancing, and it's unclear who our Michael that solves the fight will be.

On Friday, the state's unemployment rate for January was announced as dropping to 10.9% (-0.3%). A net of 28,000 jobs were created, which not a great monthly number, is good for January.


ELECTIONTRACK: We are now in the period of 90-Day Cycle Election Reports, so contributions over $1,000 are reported within 24 hours

ICYMI: Last week's This American Life featuring Grover Norquist and the story of Colorado Springs brings great aural pleasure.

PANDER BEAR: "I like grits."

WE ARE THE 1%: Americans Elect has now shifted its fundraising to repay its billionaire founders. #FAIL

BOOMERANG BICYCLE: Yesterday, California Watch web guru Suzanne Yada tweeted her bike adventure in San Francisco. Within two hours, her bike was stolen off the 38 Muni bus, and after reporting it stolen and getting a Twitter tip on where it might end up, it arrived on the front of a 9 MUNI bus. 

ONE MORE TRY: The history of animated GIFs. [h/t]

Two Tales Of Pension Accounting
Dan Walters @
are asking Congress to lower their pension trust fund contributions because, they say, extraordinarily low interest rates force them to sock away too much. Therein lie two tales.

Borenstein: Martinez Pension Spike Costing Other Local Governments
In yet another gaming of a California public employee retirement system, Martinez City Council members have preserved a lucrative police pension spike by sticking hundreds of other local governments with much of the cost.

Editorial: Prop. 13 must be part of the tax reform debate
No single politician is going to change Proposition 13, the iconic 1978 initiative that slashed property taxes, anytime soon.

The Redistricting Report for 03-12-12
When not live-blogging Assembly Candidates on the Train, the editors of California Watch are checking out Mexican Booties for roundness and local cities for racially polarized voting.

Student anger over education cuts puts heat on lawmakers
Chris Megerian @
As protests increase, and with more tuition and fee increases due this fall, legislators are under pressure to provide relief by restoring some money for higher education.

An Escalating War Over Taxes
George Skelton @
Gov. Brown saw it coming a year ago. The loser, he said, 'will be the people of California.'

AM Alert: Can California Change its Third Rail of Taxation?
Kevin Yamamura @
That sizzle you hear today may come from Room 126 in the Capitol, where elected leaders and tax experts will touch the third rail of California politics, Proposition 13.

Newton: Refighting California's Water War
Jim Newton @
How to maximize California's water supply and allocate it fairly has been debated often without producing a solution. But it now looks as if Gov. Jerry Brown intends to finish up this piece of unresolved business.

Jerry Brown's talk to police chiefs recalls earlier political dilemma
Gov. Jerry Brown's speech to California Police Chiefs Association today at Sacramento's Sheraton Hotel recalls one of the odder incidents in his first governorship 30-plus years ago.

Ranking Of Washington Lawmakers Shows Centrists Are Dying Breed
What do Democrat Mike Honda and House Republican Whip Kevin McCarthy have in common? Both California representatives rank among the most ideological members of their parties, according to a newly released report by the National Journal, a nonpartisan Washington publication. The rankings highlight the divisive politics gripping Washington, where the ideological overlap between the two largest parties is increasingly diminishing.

Political Empire: Feinstein Uses Traffic To Tout 91 Project
On a recent visit to the Inland area, Feinstein took a trip down Highway 91, along a stretch local transportation officials hope to widen — with federal help, of course.

Water War Gets 'clock People' Ticking
Ashley Powers @
A San Francisco group with a goal to build a clock that will mark time for 10,000 years has attached itself to Spring Valley, a rural patch of Nevada. Now it's fighting for its water rights.

Endorsement Watch: GOP Backs Miller Over Dutton
The California Republican Party has endorsed Rep. Gary Miller for San Bernardino County's 31st Congressional District, in a major institutional boost for Miller's quest to continue his congressional career in all-new territory.

California Tribal Casino Leader Richard Milanovich Dies
Richard Milanovich, who as the longtime chairman of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians was a major figure in creating California's multi-billion-dollar tribal casino gambling industry, died Sunday in Rancho Mirage.

Rick Orlov's Tipoff: L.A. Residents Endorse City Salary Freezes
Rick Orlov @
It's getting to be budget time for the city and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's annual budget survey offers a clear-if-difficult message: Don't reduce services from police or fire and hold the line on spending.

The Caucus: Obama's Plans Align With Swing State Needs for Election
Too much focus on official duties can isolate an incumbent from voters; too much electioneering risks the appearance that the candidate is losing focus on the nation's problems.

Sf Not Alone In Dui Test Flaw, Dropped Convictions
Vivian Ho @
In facing the possible loss of hundreds of drunken-driving convictions because of a testing controversy, San Francisco is not alone.

Dan Walters: Two tales of pension accounting
Major corporations that still maintain traditional defined-benefit pension plans are asking Congress to lower their pension trust fund contributions because, they say, extraordinarily low interest rates force them to sock away too much.

Was General David Baldwin Completely Candid with the California Senate?
Commander of the California National Guard Tries to Hang on to His Job During Senate Hearing, but was He Completely Forthright with the Senate? What Were All Those Documents Being Hastily Brought into the Hearing Room by Senate Staffers During the Hearing?

Ppic Poll Shows How GOP Is Out Of Touch In Ca « Calbuzz
Simply put, the problem is this: On almost any significant issue, the sentiments of those who say they are registered Republican voters are at odds with mainstream opinion in California.

Obama campaign ad features praise from Bill Clinton [video]
Kathleen Hennessey @
Continuing to promote its a new extended campaign ad, the Obama campaign on Monday released a second trailer for the 17-minute video, this one featuring Bill Clinton praising the president’s handling of the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound.

On health care, Supreme Court's final word may not be final
Jennifer Haberkorn @
The political fight will go on for years -- if it ever really ends.

California revenues 3.2 percent shy in February
Kevin Yamamura @
California revenues missed the mark in February by 3.2 percent, or $146.3 million, state Controller John Chiang said Monday.