Around The Capitol

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THE NOONER for March 13, 2012


  • AD23 (Fresno) - added former Fresno mayor Jim Patterson (R)
  • Lots of candidate changes continue on ATC. I think I have the Senate races done.

TWEET DU JOUR: @FlashReport - "'There is no such thing as bad publicity except your own obituary.' -- Brendan Behan"

DEPT OF CORRECTIONS: The California GOP did not endorse Chris Mitchum for CD24, although the Santa Barbara County GOP did. I really think I read that on the previous version of the endorsements sheet early yesterday. Anyway, the endorsement sheet file name was changed, ergo the broken link yesterday. At least my correction demands don't come via a cop knocking on my door at 1am.

WON'T BACK DOWN: While the governor was wooing the California Police Chiefs Association, the California Federation of Teachers dropped another $1.155 million for the Millionaires Tax, making it clear that the initiative has the money to qualify. Meanwhile, the California Chamber of Commerce sent its strongest message yet of non-opposition to the governor's tax measure by voting to oppose the Millionaire's Tax and Munger initiative. 

Meanwhile, Antonio Villaraigosa hints that he likes none of the measures, and will be staying on the sidelines for now.


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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PENSION POLITICS: CalPERS will consider today whether to change return assumptions from 7.75 to 7.25%, as staff suggests, or to 7.5% as a compromise. Oh, yeah, the change would only have a $425 million for the state in the 2012-13 budget. School budgets would see their employer-side contributions increase by 3.2-4.5% of payroll, while pension contributions for cops and firefighters would increase by 5.0-6.6% of payroll. The hit to the state and school budgets would be this year, while other public agencies would see contribution hikes in 2013-14.

Soberly, the CalPERS staff report sums up the debate. "[T]he adoption of new actuarial assumptions will result in cost increases at a time when employers can least afford it . . . If new actuarial assumptions are not adopted, there is a risk that the benefits will not be pre-funded adequately and could result in additional cost being passed to future generations unless higher returns are achieved in the future."

My bet is that they go to 7.5%...

I'M SURE YOU'VE BEEN WAITING FOR THIS: Dan Walters now will be talking to his laptop daily.

COMPLIMENT, I THINK? Jon Fleischman's FlashReport is Little-Read, but Much-Feared [James Rainey @ LAT]

SHOULD HE STAY OR SHOULD HE GO: SF top cop Ross Mirkarimi pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor charge of false imprisonment, and now it's up to Mayor Ed Lee whether misconduct charges wlll be filed that could cost Mirkarimi his job.

SWOON: Virgin America proposes San Francisco-D.C. National nonstops [Bob Mutzabaugh @ USA Today]

REALLY? Molson Coors to launch Coors Light Iced T.

Best idea since Zima. High school kids everywhere are anticipating its release.


California Lawmakers Under Fire In University Budget Battles
With anger bubbling on college campuses, spending on higher education is expected to remain a flash point as California lawmakers hash out this year's state budget.

Chamber Takes No Position On Gov. Jerry Brown's Tax Plan; Opposes Rivals
Kevin Yamamura @
The California Chamber of Commerce announced its opposition today to two of Gov. Jerry Brown's tax rivals but remained silent on the governor's own plan, tacitly giving his proposal a boost as he tries to thin the field.

Dan Walters: Proposition 13's 'Third Rail Of Politics' Touched In Capitol
Dan Walters @
Proposition 13, the landmark property tax limit voters enacted 34 years ago, has been termed the "third rail" of California politics – to touch it is to commit political suicide.

Villaraigosa Has Prop. 13 In His Sights
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on Monday told lawmakers that businesses are unfairly exploiting Proposition 13, the constitutional amendment limiting property tax increases.

California Losing $10 Billion A Year In Tax Underpayment
The state is losing an estimated $10 billion a year in revenue due to the underground economy, non-filing of tax returns, overstatement of deductions and other forms of tax evasion, a new study by the Franchise Tax Board staff estimates.

Brown Seeks Tax-hike Support From Police Chiefs | Deseret News
U @
Gov. Jerry Brown appealed Monday to chiefs of police for support of his November tax initiative, even as he conceded the ballot likely will be crowded with tax proposals.

CalPERS Could Boost Annual California Pension Bill By $425 Million
Dale Kasler @
The state's cost of supporting CalPERS could jump by as much as $425 million in the next fiscal year, generating more political heat on public pensions at a time of massive budget deficits.

Chamber neutral on Gov. Jerry Brown's tax plan, opposes rivals
Kevin Yamamura @
The California Chamber of Commerce announced its opposition today to two of Gov. Jerry Brown's tax rivals but remained silent on the governor's own plan, tacitly giving his proposal a boost as he tries to thin the field.

Ap Enterprise: Past Pension Boosts Deferred Costs
SACRAMENTO—The recent loss of tens of billions of dollars from Californias public pension funds may have raised awareness about the high cost of guaranteed benefits for public workers, but reform advocates say the unsustainable system has been years—or even decades—in the making.

Battle Escalates Over Ballot Measure On Health Premiums
Chad Terhune @
California’s doctors, hospitals and insurance companies launched their campaign Monday against a proposed ballot measure seeking tighter regulation of health insurance rates and proponents quickly returned fire.

Villaraigosa Declines To Back Any Of Three Competing Tax Initiatives
Nicholas Riccardi @
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa declines to back any of colliding tax hike initiatives. Pointedly, Villaraigosa avoided taking sides on the biggest battle in Sacramento, over which of three competing tax hike initiatives he favors.

It's Hard To Keep Politics Out Of Assembly Budget
Joe Piasecki @
Nonpartisan state Assembly workers earned far less than political staffers in 2011.

Michelle Obama To Raise Money In SF March 30
Josh Richman @
First Lady Michelle Obama will do a fundraiser for her husband’s campaign on Friday, March 30 at the California Academy of Science in San Francisco.

Candidate Filing Deadline Extended Through Wednesday In 53 Races
The candidate filing period has been extended through Wednesday in 53 California races. The extension occurred because these contests had no eligible incumbent seeking re-election.

California Chamber of Commerce mum on Gov. Jerry Brown's tax plan
The California Chamber of Commerce announced its opposition Monday to two of Gov. Jerry Brown's tax rivals but remained silent on the governor's own plan, tacitly giving his proposal a boost as he tries to thin the field.

Brown Appears Resigned To A Ballot Full Of Tax Proposals
Steven Harmon @
Gov. Jerry Brown sounded resigned to facing competition with his tax proposal on November’s ballot in comments he made Monday to the Police Chief’s Association and to reporters afterward.

CD-31 Dutton Says "Washington Gang" Responsible For GOP's Miller Endorsement
Jim Miller @
State Sen. Bob Dutton said Monday that he was disappointed, but not surprised, by the California Republican Party's endorsement of Rep. Gary Miller for San Bernardino County's 31st Congressional District.

Cash Flow Dips But California's Finances Secure, Controller Says
California issued more tax refunds than expected in February, the likely reason that revenues fell $146 million short of estimates, the state controller said Monday. Controller John Chiang said, however, that the state should be able to pay its bills...

Sweetwater H.S. district board approves budget cuts
To help offset a worst-case deficit of $27 million out of an approximate $320 million operating budget for the 2012-13 school year, the Sweetwater Union High School District school board voted Monday night to cut 203 full time equivalent employees in the coming school year.

Elizabeth Emken Gets California Republican Party Endorsement
Torey Van Oot @
U.S. Senate hopeful Elizabeth Emken won the backing of the California Republican Party over the weekend.

Suit: Nasa Specialist Axed Over Intelligent Design - Ap State Wire News - The Sacramento Bee
LOS ANGELES -- A computer specialist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory is going to court over allegations that he was wrongfully terminated because of his belief in intelligent design.

GOP Backers Of Citizens United Ruling Want To Ban Special-Interest Money
Lance Williams @
The Lincoln Club of Orange County had a big hand in the landmark Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which opened the floodgate of special-interest money in presidential politics.

Sacramento Group Sues To Pull Beetle From Endangered List
Matt Weiser @
A group of Sacramento-area property owners filed a federal lawsuit on Monday to force the government to remove a native beetle from the endangered species list.

California Lawmaker Proposes Reward For Reporting Drunk Drivers
California lawmaker proposes reward for reporting drunk drivers