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THE NOONER for April 6, 2012

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At the gym this morning, I finally got around to listening to last weekend's This American Life episode about money and politics. It's good aural pleasure, even for those of us jaded folks who have seen it all (or most of it). And, for those of us who dreamt of running for office when we were in diapers, it's a nice reminder why there are other parts of the biz without the downside of spending much of your life raising dough.

Meanwhile, the headline across the Bee this morning "National GOP back to fiscal fitness" reminded me that we haven't checked in with our state parties lately, with all the focus on candidate committees. Because parties are playing in the primary elections, they had to report for the period closing March 17 like candidates.

California Republican Party

Beginning Balance (01/01/12): 
Cash Receipts: $762,564
Expenditures: $890,122
Outstanding Loans: $100,000 (to Fairness and Accountability in Redistricting)
Ending Balance (03/17/12): $324,324
Debt/Obligations: $141,697

California Democratic Party

Beginning Balance (01/01/12): $9,267,112
Cash Receipts: $4,011,158
Expenditures: $2.163,234
Ending Balance (03/17/12): $11,115,035
Debt/Obligations: $47,470

Meanwhile, in what may be the worst launch of a political party, former California Forwarder Ash Roughani rips off the Clint Eastwood "Halftime in America" advertisement. In the ad, Ambrosia is a "special interest," talks nothing about issues other than "the answers are out there," and it's all about him. 

SMOKIN': Big tobacco came in big yesterday in opposition to Proposition 29 on the June ballot. News10's John Myers has the story.

BTW, it's just not Friday without the Capital Notes Podcast.

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TEXTS FROM HILLARY: If you're anywhere near social media, you've already seen this. However, it's constantly being updated . . . 

EGG MEET FACE: Yesterday, I made fun of Rick Santorum (primarily because of his stupid comment about our public universities), and used Stephen Colbert's phrase "Santorum Math." I then went on to refer to the 31 days in the month of April.

Have a great weekend. Rest up. The Legislature is back on Monday.


Jerry Brown appeals in robo calls, mailer for tax initiative
David Siders @
Gov. Jerry Brown is turning to robotic telephone calls and mailers in his race to qualify a tax initiative for the November ballot.

Assemblyman Chris Norby Cleared Of Alleged Campaign Fund Misuse
Patrick McGreevy @
The state's ethics watchdog agency on Thursday dismissed allegations against Assemblyman Chris Norby (R-Fullerton) that he misused campaign funds to pay for a motel stay in Orange County for personal benefit.

Vernon Election Blends Traditional Politics With The Surreal
Sam Allen @
The tiny city with a history of scandals is holding its first competitive council election in years. But some its 74 voters resent the commotion.

Chuck Devore: Why An Oil Company Backs Jerry Brown's Tax Plan
The investment in diverting elsewhere California government’s thirst for revenue is already  paying off.

Aetna Proceeds With Health Insurance Hike For Small Businesses
Claudia Buck @
Despite criticism from the state insurance commissioner and several statewide consumer groups, Aetna said Thursday it's going ahead with a recent hike in health care premiums for small businesses.

Republican Presidential Candidate Ron Paul Draws Crowd At UC Berkeley
Local @
Paul said he is different from the other candidates because he is outside the liberal and conservative paradigm.

Political Landmark For Nancy Pelosi: She Marks 25 Years In Elected Politics This Week
Jerry Roberts, Chronicle political editor @
Political landmark for Nancy Pelosi: She marks 25 years in elected politics this week

California's Tough Gun Laws Could Not Prevent East Oakland Tragedy
Steven Harmon @
Californias gun laws are the toughest of any state in the nation, but they could not prevent this weeks East Oakland shooting that left seven people dead. And short of banning semi-automatic weapons, its unlikely that any new laws could prevent someone from going on a shooting spree with the weapon that One L. Goh allegedly used to kill former classmates and other students at Oikos University.

Prosecution Of UC Davis Protesters Sparks Anger, Occupation
Darrell Smith @
Several dozen UC Davis students planned to camp at the campus's administration building Thursday night to protest the upcoming court date of the "Bankers' Dozen," the 12 students linked to demonstrations in January and February that shuttered an on-campus U.S. Bank branch.

Silicon Valley Likes Law Easing Financial Rules
Carolyn Lochhead @
President Obama on Thursday signed a Republican-crafted bill to loosen securities regulations, including several that were established after the dot-com crash of 2000 and the Enron scandal of 2001, and make it easier...

Oakley votes no on clean water initiative
Rowena Coetsee @
Oakley city council members on Thursday registered their dislike of increasingly stringent water quality regulations by unanimously voting against a countywide parcel fee intended to help them comply with those rules.

Mitt Romney Starts His Tack Back Toward Center In Pennsylvania
Robin Abcarian @
Mitt Romney, campaigning in Pennsylvania, keeps up his assault on President Obama but also signals the start of his effort to appeal to voters in the middle of the political spectrum as a bruising Republican primary appears to be nearing its end.

California sues Orange County over $73.5 million in taxes
Kevin Yamamura @
California state officials sued Orange County today to recoup $73.5 million in property taxes, the latest development in a feud stemming from last year's state budget.

Obama respects Supreme Court's power, attorney general writes
Kathleen Hennessey, Washington Bureau @
A letter to a federal judge aims to settle an uproar over the president's remarks about the healthcare law, but questions remain.

State sues Orange County over education funding
The Associated Press @
The state has filed a lawsuit against Orange County, accusing it of illegally diverting money from schools and community colleges to balance its budget.

State Sues Orange County To Protect School Money
On politics in the Golden State

Press Clips: The Princess DiFi Vs. Orly The Taitz Show
At first glance, the specter of GOP voters stumbling into nominating Orange County Orly to challenge the Senior Senator from California seems a mildly amusing scenario that would generate some laughs for Leno and Letterman for a week or so before quickly becoming a stale ho-hum.

New Reports Highlight Climate Challenges To State Water Supplies | Kqed's Climate Watch
Good news, bad news for California: we’re well-prepared but still vulnerable

Happy Meal Lawsuit Dismissed By Calif. Judge - Wire Business News - The Sacramento Bee
The suit against McDonald's and dismissed by a judge in San Francisco today sought to stop the restaurant chain from using toys to market meals to children.

Big Tobacco Goes All In Against Prop 29
John Myers @
If there was any uncertainty whether Big Tobacco -- the nation's leading makers of cigarettes -- would let this June's statewide campaign for a tax hike slip by without an all out war... the question was answered quite definitively late Thursday.

Surprise: Eval Law Requires Student Data
Two briefs filed this week in Los Angeles County Superior Court argue that Los Angeles Unified is violating a state law requiring that student progress, including results of standardized test scores, be included in teacher evaluations.