Around The Capitol

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THE NOONER for April 3, 2012

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I'm going to be a bit short this morning. I had a server error over night and worked the early morning hours fixing it from my Los Angeles hotel room. Actually, you are all so cool with all your ideas and such, that I had a disk space issue on one of my partitions. Anyway, all seems groovy now. Back to loading as much information as possible on ATC and ElectionTrack.

Dem: 43.3%
Rep: 26.5%
NPP: 26.6%

In our final look at districts with serious independent districts, today we look at AD28. This district is currently represented by Paul Fong, and is home to the world's most valuable company, which "designs" lots of stuff here that is made in Shenzhen. The newly drawn district shifted south to a more affluent and independent area than Fong's current district, which includes north San Jose.

Challenging Fong is West Valley-Mission CCD trustee and attorney Chad Walsh. With nobody else in the race, June will be batting practice for the showdown in November. Walsh seeded his committee with $28,000 and is taking the race quite seriously. Still, it will be an uphill battle in a district that has no problems casting Democratic ballots -- Obama received 67% of the vote here and Brown received 57%. And, remember, Brown's victory was against Meg Whitman who likely had the best potential of drawing crossover votes from Democrats and indies in this district. 

We'll be watching Walsh's fundraising and endorsements. Fong can't treat this as a cakewalk, but is a favorite for reelection.

[personal note: Fong and Walsh are former and current community college trustees and friends.]

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In legal news, Assemblymember Beth Gaines gets to call herself a "small business owner," while I can call myself a "brilliant computer programmer."


SEIU Local 1000, Business Interests Prep For Ballot Initiative Battle
Jon Ortiz @
Cash is beginning to flow into campaign war chests as labor and business interests prepare for an all-out brawl over a ballot measure that will ask Californians whether employee payroll deductions should fund political action committees.

Snapshot: CSU Has Lost $1 Billion In State Funding In 4 Years; Tuition Doubled
Southern California Public Radio @
The California State University system has been hit with about $1 billion in state funding cuts since 2007-8. At that time, state funding accounted for about 67 percent of the overall $4.5 billion operating budget, said CSU spokesman Mike Uhlenkampf. Fast forward to 2011-12, and the state provides about 50 percent of the nearly $4 billion budget.

Sen. Feinstein Calls On State To Curb 'abusive Lawsuits' Over Ada
Senator Feinstein demands state action on abusive lawsuits

Feds Target One Of California's Most Famous Marijuana Advocates
Officers arrest a pro-marijuana protester Monday outside Oakland's Oaksterdam University. Scores of demonstrators gathered nearby after a raid by agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. Marshals Service.

Obama: Overturning Healthcare Law Would Be 'extraordinary Step'
Michael A. Memoli @
President Obama says he remains confident that the Supreme Court will uphold his healthcare reform law, warning Monday that overturning it would be an "unprecedented, extraordinary step."

The Caucus: Obama Remains Confident That Court Will Uphold Health Care Law
Weighing in for the first time on the Supreme Court arguments on the constitutionality of his 2010 health care law, President Obama said he was confident that the act would be upheld by the court.

'occupy' California Capitol Rally Cost State $166,000 In Chp Overtime
Torey Van Oot @
The California Highway Patrol shelled out an additional $166,000 in overtime costs to monitor last month's rally and "Occupy" demonstration at the state Capitol to protest cuts to higher education, the department said today.

Gov. Brown Looks To Global Warming Fees To Pay For High-speed Rail
Traffic @
With a lower price tag and speedier plan to start zipping bullet trains up and down California, Gov. Jerry Browns ambitious new high-speed rail proposal is still wobbly on one vital ingredient: billions and billions of dollars.

Judge Allows Beth Gaines To Call Herself 'Small Business Owner'
Torey Van Oot @
Assemblywoman Beth Gaines gets to continue calling herself a "small business owner" on the ballot.

Mayoral candidates dive into education
Maureen Magee @
The politicians competing for City Hall's top post have given new attention to local schools, leaving many to wonder if 2012 will deliver San Diego's first education mayor.

Mayor Villaraigosa Defends L.A. Anti-gang Program
Ian Duncan, Washington Bureau @
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa disputes an Urban Institute study that said there is no evidence a multimillion-dollar anti-gang program has reduced crime. He says L.A. is safer than any time since the 1950s.

Pelosi: Health Care Is Obama's 'crown Jewel'
Jake Sherman @
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi dubbed health care as her and President Barack Obama’s “crown jewel” and his “greatest achievement,” one week after the Supreme Court debated its constitutionality.

California's Water Supplies Below Average Despite March Storms - Environment - The Sacramento Bee
Frank Gehrke, chief of snow surveys for the Department of Water Resources, checks the weight of a snow sample during the snow survey at Echo Summit Calif., Monday, April 2, 2012. The survey showed the snow pack to to be 31 inches deep with a water content of 11 inches, which is 39 percent of normal for this site at this time of year.

Oakland-based Solar Millennium Files For Bankruptcy In Collapse Of Bay Area Firm
Oakland-based Solar Millennium, Solar Trust of America and a group of affiliates filed for bankruptcy on Monday to reorganize their finances, in another meltdown of a Bay Area solar company.

Ca Attack Suspect Upset About Expulsion, Teasing - Wire Nation/world - The Sacramento Bee
Map locates Oikos University in Oakland California, where five people are shot.

Longtime Coastal Commission Director Peter Douglas Dies
Torey Van Oot @
Longtime California Coastal Commission Executive Director Peter Douglas has died. Douglas, 69, had battled lung and throat cancer in recent years.

Latest Obama campaign ad defends president's energy policy
Michael A. Memoli @
President Obama's reelection effort just launched its first television ad specifically mentioning their likely GOP foe, Mitt Romney (see ad below).

Health Care Reform: Obama, The Left Take On Supreme Court
Carrie Budoff Brown and Jennifer Epstein @
Obama made an unusual pre-emptive strike Monday. | AP Photo, John Shinkle/POLITICO

Budget Cuts Hit Tb Clinics At The Border
Dan @
By Julissa McKinnon California Health Report

California Controller Says Probing City Of Stockton| Reuters
Jim Christie @
California's state controller said on Monday his office will investigate the financial practices of the city of Stockton which is holding talks with its creditors as part of a plan to avoid filing for bankruptcy.

Education chief saddened by school shootings
The Associated Press, None @
Education Secretary Arne Duncan says he is saddened by the deadly shooting attack at a small Christian university in Oakland, Calif.

High Speed Rail’s New Math: $30 Billion Less For A Train To L.A. | Speed, High, Rail

FiveThirtyEight: Counterintuitive Theories on Obama and Supreme Court Run Against Polling Evidence
Some political aides and pundits say that if the Supreme Court declares President Obama's health care bill to be unconstitutional, it would be good news for him politically, but there are problems with that argument.

California Capitol Occupy protest cost CHP $166,000 in overtime
The California Highway Patrol shelled out an additional $166,000 in overtime costs to monitor last month's rally and Occupy demonstration at the state Capitol that protested cuts to higher education, the department said Monday.