Around The Capitol

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THE NOONER for April 16, 2012

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TWEET DU JOUR: @mattrexroad - "@scottlay sends me a little note every night at midnight during election season telling me to got to sleep. Thanks Mom."

You're welcome Matt. For those of you not receiving the daily ElectionTrack lullaby, sign up at

MASTER OF DECEPTION: JobsPAC, the business coalition that is a major force in independent expenditures, has changed the name of its political action committee to "California Now Independent Expenditure Committee." The same is true with JobsPAC's ballot measure committee. Of course, there will be no confusion with the Californa NOW Political Action Committee, which is actually sponsored by California NOW.

MASTER OF DISASTER: Chris Lehane: "'As their bizarre press conference (on Friday in New York) laid bare for all to see, dealing with the Maloofs is like dealing with the North Koreans -- except they are less competent,' Chris Lehane said in a statement released to USA Today. 'In Maloof-world, facts are fiction; truths are half-truths; and promises are broken promises. The City of Sacramento deserves better.'" [ESPN]

Several readers are asking about the results of the investigation into the March 30 DUI arrest of Roger Hernandez. I have no info...

FAREWELL: Former State Senator Cathie Wright died at age 82. [Santa Clarita Valley Signal]

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Not all the data files have been updated for federal campaign finance reports filed by midnight last night. The latest is on AroundTheCapitol, but you'll notice that lots of candidate filings are as of December 31, 2011.

Please note that, unlike the state reports, the data displayed is the total contributions and expenditures for the cycle, not just the most recent filing period. Let me know which is more helpful...

I have also linked all federal candidates to their FEC pages, which can get you through to their April quarterly reports.

A few points:

  • CD09: Republican Ricky Gill (R) outraised Congressman Jerry McNerney (D) again, getting within $50,000 of the incumbent's $987k cash on hand.
  • CD24: Can anyone explain what is going on with Abel Maldonado? He repaid a $250,000 loan to himself, spent hardly any money, and only raised $152k for a top tier race. Lois Capps raised $524k and has $1.3m on hand.
  • In the Democratic death match [CD30], Howard Berman raised $577k and has 2.5m on hand, while Brad Sherman raised $202k and has $4.1m on hand. 
  • In CD26, Julia Brownley picks up $256k and has $254k on hand, Tony Strickland raised $782k with $732k on hand, and David Cruz Thayne collected $39k and has $62k on hand.

Anyway, lots to keep us busy in this week's Nooner.


County Legacy: Court-ordered Pension "Spiking"
Ed Mendel @
The California Public Employees Retirement System, which covers about half of the non-federal government employees in the state, sponsored anti-spiking legislation in 1993 making it more difficult to manipulate final pay used to determine pension amounts.

Stockton Not Only California Government In Financial Distress
Dan Walters @
It's easy - justifiably so - to beat up on Stockton for spending itself into a fiscal hole so deep that bankruptcy may be its only course.

The Buffet Rule, Reagan, JFK, And Tax Fairness
President Obama quoted former President Ronald Reagan, a Republican icon, in fighting for his tax plan.

Paycheck initiative gets $250,000 donation, faculty union trumps it
Jon Ortiz @
Former Univision CEO Jerry Perenchio gave $250,000 last month to support a ballot measure that would ban payroll deductions for raising money for political purposes, according to documents filed with the state.

Mcmanus: The Bottom Line On Taxes
Doyle McManus @
When President Obama and Mitt Romney talk of 'tax reform,' they really mean something else. Neither seems truly ready to fix our maddening tax code.

State Assembly Races: Primaries Are Just A Warmup
Rick Orlov @
In two state Assembly races based in the San Fernando Valley, the June 5 primary election will serve as the launch of a six-month-long campaign for two incumbents.

Marco Rubio: 'I'm not going to be the vice president'
Morgan Little @
A few developments over the weekend muddied the waters of the Republican vice presidential search, particularly in regard to the chances of Florida Senator Marco Rubio. Beginning on Friday, as he sat down with CNN en Espanol’s Ismael Cala, the Tea Party favorite denied that he would be riding shotgun on the Republican ticket.

Brown Takes A Page From The Opposition Playbook
George Skelton @
The governor takes a page from the GOP playbook and mails ballot petitions to California voters.

High-stakes Oracle-google Trial Has Tough Veteran Federal Judge At Helm
Howard Mintz @
William Alsup to umpire in case he calls the World Series of intellectual property trials

Obama campaign, Democrats raised $53 million in March
Melanie Mason @
President Obama pulled in $53 million in March for his reelection effort, his campaign announced today.

Cal State faculty holds vote to authorize strike
CHRISTINA HOAG, Associated Press @
Some 24,000 California State University employees are beginning a two-weeklong vote on whether to authorize their union to declare a strike after 22 months of negotiations failed to yield a new contract.

Man Uses Physics To Fight $400 Traffic Ticket | Nbc San Diego
Uncategorized @
Rock Stars: Then and Now

California Schools Harness Sunshine To Cut Energy Costs
Bob Pool @
More schools are installing solar panels to tap California's plentiful sunshine and reduce energy costs. But their efforts have hit some snags: predictable complaints about aesthetics and even an unexpected directional mixup.

Why Watching Fox News Will, In Fact, Rot Your Brain
There are two reasons for this: Fox News actively and intentionally transmits false and misleading information, as exemplified in the 2009 internal staff memo from Fox Washington managing editor Bill Sammon, exposed by MediaMatters, ordering correspondents to:

Dan Walters Daily
Dan Smith @
Dan Walters says Jerry Brown sees Molly Munger in his rear-view mirror.

Plan To Track Quake Threat Near Nuclear Plant Is Questioned
accessing this site, you accept our @
A hulking research vessel would haul air guns, echo sounders and other instruments along the California coast day and night ...

Preview of dueling tax votes
Seung Min Kim @
The GOP touts its tax cut, while the Dems bring forward a tax on the wealthy.

Romney offers possible policy details in Florida fundraiser
Morgan Little @
WASHINGTON -- Federal cutbacks and changes to the Department of Education were on the table during a fundraiser for Mitt Romney on Sunday, during which the presumptive Republican presidential nominee provided a more candid preview of what his presidency might be like.

AM Alert
Micaela Massimino @
The Legislature has floor sessions today, with the Senate meeting at 2 p.m. and the Assembly at 10 a.m. The lower house is also holding a special event at 11 a.m. -- a Holocaust memorial.