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THE NOONER for March 14, 2012


TWEET DU JOUR: @sethdmichaels - "If when you quit your terrible job you get a NYT oped instead of a night of your friends buying you drinks at the bar, you might be the 1%."

BREAKING: The governor and CFT are now in negotiations on a possible compromise tax measure. The news started leaking late last night, and Anthony York broke it this morning in a LA Times blog post.

Anthony writes "It would contain a smaller sales tax increase than the half-cent hike Brown originally proposed, but would require upper income earners to pay more than the 1- to 3- percentage-point income-tax increase Brown had called for." CFT's measure calls for 3% for taxpayers over $1 million and 5% for those over $2 million. I'm hearing of a sales tax in the 0.25% (rather than 0.5%) range and dropping the 5% tax in favor of a flat 3% for million-dollar-earners. The governor's plan for income earners between $250,000 and $1m (scaled from 1% to 2%) would be included. The personal income taxes would be for 7 years, a compromise between the governor's 5-year plan and CFT's permanent increase, while sales taxes would be for four years.

CFT likely will pull its measure from the street. The governor's current measure will continue to collect signatures as security while the new initiative is drafted and given a title of summary. The unofficial practical deadline to qualify for the November ballot is early May. The compromise will be a constitutional amendment containing the realignment funding guarantee, requiring 807,615 valid signatures.

What's unclear is where business stands on the compromise and whether there are any spending commitments made. The education community has been so-so on the governor's plan, which was marketed as "Education Protection," but freed up money to be used for other General Fund programs.

Molly Munger kicked in another $300,000 to her initiative, bringing her total to $1.4 million. A compromise CFT/governor ballot measure would likely lead to an easier Yes on Prop X, No on Prop Y campaign, with support from labor and business. Munger may have money, but she may have a hard time hiring consultants. The LAT's Nicholas Riccardi reports that CTA pressured The Mellman Group out of future work for the Munger initiative.

Meanwhile, the Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Education Finance rejected another one of the governor's proposed cuts--$223.7 million in savings from eliminating transitional kindergarten.

CLOSING TIME: Filing in the 53 districts that don't have an incumbent officially closes at 5pm today. With help of lots of you, I'm working on getting all the candidates posted. Unfortunately, some counties don't have a candidate list posted, including from what I can tell Sacramento. Congrats to Yolo's Freddie Oakley, which has one of the easiest and detailed formats (party, county of residence, contact info).

Let's work to get a state process in place by 2014. There is absolutely no reason that we can't have one repository for candidate filings, instead of checking the web sites of up to 12 different counties (SD01). 


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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NO CAN DO: Adrin Nazarian, candidate for AD46, doesn't really want to say that he works for the L.A. City Council. His proposed ballot designation is "San Fernando Valley Council Deputy," which is not allowable under the Secretary of State's regulations. Geographic names count as only one word toward the three-word limit, although geographic names only include "cities, counties and states" under the Secretary of State's regulation 20714(f)(3).

SPLIT THE DIFFERENCE: As I guessed it would, the CalPERS Pension and Benefit Committee recommended that the full board lower its discount rate to 7.5% from 7.75% (rather than the staff recommendation of 7.25%). The action, expected to be ratified by the full board today, would increase state contributions by $167 million in the 2012-13 year and increase school employer rates from 10.923% of payroll to 12.123% of payroll beginning July 1--essentially another $137 million cut to schools. Other local agencies will see increases in 2013-14.

REDEVELOPMENT: Another redevelopment clean-up bill will be heard by the Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee today. AB 1585, authored by six members including Speaker John Perez, would clean up several issues related to the revelopment dissolution, particularly in the area of affordable housing.

OUCH: Hit by the Los Angeles Times paywall this morning. Now they want $16/month to read, which is twice as much as Netflix's unlimited streaming. The sign-up for the paywall highlights a $0.99/month trial and then you have to look to the very bottom in tiny font to discover the true price of $3.99/week. If you're in the delivery region, you can get it for $1.99/week, although that doesn't really work for the People's Republic of Davis.

Two options. 1) Command-Shift-N in Chrome to go incognito and skip the paywall or 2) pay. Thanks to The Nooner's paid subscribers, I'll pay. Anthony, I'm only doing it for you.

chs.html?pagewanted=all">call your company corrupt in the New York Times.



Gov. Jerry Brown seeks rewrite of tax initiative
Anthony York @
Bowing to pressure from liberal activists, Gov. Jerry Brown is negotiating an eleventh-hour compromise on a November tax initiative, according to multiple sources familiar with the talks.

California Teachers Union Pushed Pollster To Drop Jerry Brown's Tax Rival
Nicholas Riccardi @
A California Teachers Union ordered its pollster to stop working for proponents of a tax initiative that is competing with one proposed by Gov. Jerry Brown. The California Teachers Association made the demand of The Mellman Group after it did polls for civil rights attorney Molly Munger.

A New 'Cathie Wright' Will Be On Simi Valley Ballots
Timm Herdt @
Growing up the daughter of a woman who served 20 years in the California Legislature and was the Republican candidate for lieutenant governor in 1994, Victoria Catherine Wright said she learned a few things about politics from her mother.

Postal Cuts Could Force Change In Calif. Voting
Hannah Dreier @
California lawmakers and election officials worried about the effect of postal closures on elections are considering extending the voting period for mail-in-ballots, a move that could delay results by days or even weeks.

Transitional Kindergarten Could Be Spared Budget Cuts
A California Assembly education finance subcommittee voted to reject Gov. Jerry Brown's budget proposal to eliminate transitional kindergarten.

A 'Yes' In Assembly May Be 'No' In Reality
Juliet Williams @
By long- standing tradition, lawmakers in Californias Assembly who are running for re-election or are seeking a new seat this year will tout their yes or no votes on all manner of bills in the coming months. But that might not be a true reflection of the stand they took when the bill was being debated. California is one of 10 states in which lawmakers are allowed to change or add their votes after a bill has passed or failed. In all cases, the lawmaker's change cannot affect the fate of the legislation.

Jerry Brown, Teachers Finalizing Compromise Tax Initiative Today
Kevin Yamamura @
After weeks of battling in public and negotiating behind the scenes, Gov. Jerry Brown and the California Federation of Teachers have reached a tentative compromise on a November tax initiative, sources close to the deal said.

UC Davis Pepper-Spray Report Puts Spotlight On Police Officers' Rights
Sam Stanton @
Decades of debate over the public's right to know about police actions vs. officers' rights to privacy are coming to a head as a result of the pepper-spraying of students last November on the UC Davis campus.

UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau To Retire At End Of 2012
Larry Gordon @
UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert J. Birgeneau, who has led that prestigious campus for nearly eight years through a period of budget cuts, Nobel Prizes and campus protests, announced Tuesday that he would retire on Dec. 31. A Canadian-born physicist who...

Michael Reagan To Chair Initiative Drive For Part-time Legislature
Jim Sanders @
Michael Reagan, a talk-radio host and son of former President Ronald Reagan, will chair the initiative drive for a part-time Legislature.

Senators Demand Obama Tsunami Program Cuts Be Restored
Local @
Six senators, including Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, sign a letter seeking restoration of $4.6 million in proposed NOAA budget cuts to tsunami warning buoys and coastal preparedness programs

Cloudiness Over California School Funding Increases
Dan Walters @
The school finance picture is even cloudier than usual this year. It's the focal point of a contentious debate over raising taxes, and the Legislature is struggling with Gov. Jerry Brown's proposals to overhaul how school money is distributed.

UC Berkeley Chancellor Birgeneau To Step Down
Nanette Asimov,Will Kane @
Robert Birgeneau will step down as chancellor of UC Berkeley in December after eight years navigating the public university through massive budget cuts and raucous student protests, even as he maintained its status as...

What Split? ... School Groups Stress Unity On Some Key Issues
Jim Sanders @
At a time when California education groups are split on which tax measure to support in November, their leaders joined forces Tuesday to emphasize unity on bolstering school funding and avoiding deeper cuts.

California Survey Finds Small-business Pessimism
Darrell Smith @
A majority of small-business executives remain pessimistic about California's prospects, weighed down by concern about the economy, education and health care, a new survey found.

Republicans Unveil Bill Package Targeting Misbehaving Teachers
Jim Sanders @
Sparked by the case of a Los Angeles elementary school teacher accused of lewd conduct, Assembly and Senate Republicans unveiled a package of legislation today designed to hasten the removal of misbehaving teachers.

CalPERS lowers forecast for investment returns, will need more money from public agencies
Judy Lin @
SACRAMENTO -- California's largest public pension fund has voted to lower its estimate for annual investment returns, meaning it will need more money from the state, school districts and local governments to maintain its ability to fund promised retirement benefits.

Drinking Water At Risk From Ag Pollution, Study Finds: UC Davis Report Released Ahead Of Water Board's Scheduled Vote On New Rules For Farmers
Donna Jones @
A new UC Davis study pins most of the nitrate contamination of California groundwater on agriculture and says the problem is likely to get worse in coming decades.

CalPERS lowers forecast for investment returns
JUDY LIN, Associated Press @
California's largest public pension fund has voted to lower its estimate for annual investment returns, meaning it will need more money from the state, school districts and local governments to maintain its ability to fund promised retirement benefits.

Federal Grant Will Bring Healthcare Jobs To Long Beach
Ruben Vives @
A $2.8-million federal grant from the U.S. Department of Labor is expected to create 363 healthcare jobs over the next four years in Long Beach, officials said Tuesday.