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THE NOONER for April 10, 2012

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Good morning from Tom Ammiano's Assembly district, which he will win easily before being termed out in 2014. The Senate seat, which no longer splits SF won't open until 2016, leading Assemblywoman Fiona Ma to set her eyes on Board of Equalization in 2014 after completing her final term this year. 

The AD19 seat Ma leaves open, which stretches from the Richmond district to Daly City, is the second most Asian/Pacific Islander Assembly district in the state. It's a residential district, whether you're a temporary resident or staying on for many more years via a plot in Colma. The district seemed to be a perfect fit for SF Assessor Phil Ting, who was the only announced candidate throughout last year when many other names were floated. When virtually all electeds passed, Ting was considered a shoe-in, and gobbled up the endorsements.

And, then Michael Breyer jumped in. 


Michael Breyer is the son U.S. Supreme Court justice Stephen Breyer, and was active in (some say founder of) the "Draft Ed Lee" campaign for mayor. He is an entrepreneur and Stanford Business School graduate. 

Apparently, the focus of Ting's mayoral campaign--increasing property taxes on commercial properties--gained him more enemies than votes. Breyer thus steps into the traditional (and growing) tension between the business and high tech community and progressives. Breyer has hired Michael Terris, who has worked for Fiona Ma and Ma's candidate for mayor, Bevan Dufty.

After seeding his campaign with $100,000, Breyer is an instantly credible candidate. Promising a friendlier business climate and education reform, he's tapping into the SF-Silicon Valley political money network. Ting, meanwhile, can count on labor support to fill his campaign chest, although labor really isn't crazy about spending money in west San Francisco in such an important year.

Whether or not Breyer can overcome Ting's name recognition, union support, and ability to capture a significant share of the formidable API vote is unclear. Ting didn't get much of the API vote last November, although there were six API candidates. Altogether, Breyer's entrance makes for an exciting race in a district that was expected to be as sleepy as a sunny afternoon in Golden Gate Park.

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CH-CH-CH-CHANGES: Dan Walters finds part of state government he likes -- the DMV.

GEOGRAPHY LESSON: Where can you find California's Alamo? Apparently with Spike in Needles. [Ben Goad @ PE]

$$$: What was that cash register sound? Oh, Friday was a good day...



Campaign Against Gov. Jerry Brown's Tax Proposal Opens Fire
Campaign launches against California Gov. Jerry Brown's proposed tax hike. Opponents of California Gov. Jerry Brown's proposed tax hike launch campaign

Jarvis Group Launches 'don't Sign The Petition' Anti-tax Campaign
David Siders @
Less than a week after Gov. Jerry Brown started using robotic telephone calls and mailers to gather signatures for his ballot initiative to raise taxes, the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association plans to launch its anti-tax campaign today on the conservative "John and Ken" talk radio show.

Pension Reform Panel Looking At Alternative Hybrid Plan
State lawmakers considering pension reform are taking their show on the road to Chino on Friday and say they are looking at a hybrid pension plan offered by the state teachers retirement system as a possible model. Gov. Jerry Brown...

Jerry Brown, unions agree to delay contract talks until after tax vote
Gov. Jerry Brown has agreed to extend the labor contracts of four state worker unions, pushing aside a potential obstacle to his quest for a tax increase later this year.

2012 Elections: Imus Dubs CD 8 'California's Alamo'
Ben Goad @
Republican Gregg Imus, one of 13 candidates vying to represent California's new 8th Congressional District, wants voters to remember the Alamo on Election Day.

California Senate President Darrell Steinberg says public pension reform still on track
Jon Ortiz @
State lawmakers are still considering public pension changes, including a hybrid plan that would allow for a defined benefit component capped at a certain salary level.

L.A. County could receive far less than expected in property taxes, estimates show
Jason Song @
Last year, Assessor John Noguez estimated that the county property tax base would grow by almost $18.7 billion for the next fiscal year. But he revised that figure to $5.1 billion last week. The drop could lead to cuts in law enforcement, education and other services.

California To Get Millions For Public Lands
Matt Weiser @
California will get more than $8 million in federal funds to protect and manage public lands and sensitive habitats.

Tea Party Lawmaker's Agenda Suffers Another Blow
For Tim Donnelly, the revolution is no tea party. The outspoken Republican from San Bernardino was elected to the Legislature two years ago on a pledge to rein in regulations and shrink the bureaucracy that he said was strangling the...

Special Fund On Santa Clara County Property Tax Bill Pays For Employee Pensions
Local @
For decades, unusual property tax has helped to subsidize employees retirement benefits

DMV Shows How An Agency Should Work
Dan Walters @
The Department of Motor Vehicles probably touches more Californians than any other state agency, and therefore has become the bureaucracy that everyone loves to hate.

California Unions Get Contract Extensions
On politics in the Golden State

Plan Calls For Major Cuts To La County Juvenile Courts System
Tami Abdullah @
All 13 Informal Juvenile and Traffic Courts will be closed and four Delinquency Courts shuttered under the latest Los Angeles County Superior Court plan to deal with millions in proposed state budget cuts, according to an email sent last week by Juvenile Court Presiding Judge Michael Nash to L.A. County officials.

Carmichael Billboard Targets Rep. Dan Lungren On Medicare
Torey Van Oot @
National Democrats are taking their campaign against Rep. Dan Lungren to, well, above, the streets.

11 Calif. Lawmakers Support Contentious Cybersecurity Bill
Eleven California lawmakers are among the more than 100 co-sponsors of an increasingly controversial cybersecurity bill that would make it easier for private companies to swap information with the federal government on threats against computer systems.

Poll On L.A. Mayor's Race Shows Front-runners Locked In Dead Heat
Kate Linthicum @
City Councilman Eric Garcetti, City Controller Wendy Greuel and County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky would be locked in a dead heat if the 2013 L.A. mayoral election were held today, according to a new poll due to be released this week.

Judge Poised To Nix Attack On 'Top-two' Primary
Josh Richman @
California can proceed with its new “top-two” primary system, an East Bay judge tentatively ruled today, sustaining the state’s objection to a lawsuit filed by a group of minor parties and their voters.

Poll: Swing voters lean to Obama but identify closer with Romney
Kim Geiger @
WASHINGTON -- Independent voters in battleground states lean slightly in President Barack Obama's favor at this early stage in the campaign, but a new poll shows that the same voters who like Obama better also tilt more toward Mitt Romney on the political spectrum, particularly on economic

The Buzz: As Jerry Brown seeks tax signatures, the opposition emerges
Anti-tax activist takes radio jab at Brown's ballot plan

The Caucus: The Campaign Shifts to the General Election
With Mitt Romney now more than halfway toward the 1,144 delegates needed for the Republican nomination, and President Obama directly engaging him, the battle lines for the general election are coming into view.

Health care matchmaker site to post first requests
HOLLY RAMER, Associated Press @
A website that serves as a matchmaker between self-insured businesses and health care providers expects to post its first 30 requests from employers next week.

CalPERS selling $1.5 billion in private equity investments
CalPERS is trying to sell $1.5 billion in private equity investments as it adjusts its portfolio.