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THE NOONER for April 20, 2012

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It seems like I picked a good day to take a vacation day...

BOTTLE BUMBLE: Critics of Betsy Butler are ridiculing her walk piece distributed in the district last weekend, which included a plastic baby bottle manufactured in Mexico. The deliveries were meant to highlight her role in banning BPA from the bottles, although instead people are talking about the waste involved. 

CROWDED BALLOT: The initiatives to repeal the death penalty and to increase penalties for human trafficking are both going to easily qualify without requiring a full check of signatures.

MEH: California unemployment rate up, jobs up.

COUNTING CASH: We are supposed to collect $9.1 billion in personal income tax revenue this month. Through the first fourteen business days, $5.3 billion has come in, with $3.8 billion more needed in the remaining eight business days to hit the target.


Raul Bocanegra for Assembly

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BLOGGER PAYOLA? The Bee's Jim Sanders writes that FPPC chair Ann Ravel is looking at forcing more disclosure of payments bloggers receive from candidate and initiative campaigns. I have mixed emotions on this. First, any payment that has come to me is either included as an advertisement in The Nooner or on Around the Capitol. If it's from a campaign, it'll be reported as an expenditure on their periodic reports.

I don't write about races while an ad is running for that race, and have not been accused of skewing my analysis based on any advertising. In the end, advertising and subscriptions covers the cost of my coffee, server and software. If it's a good year, I might get a MacBook Air. Anyway, I just think it's unnecessary to require us to fill out FPPC forms on things that I believe should and are being disclosed. And, where does the line between journalism and blogging fall? 

I would love to hear your thoughts.

WELCOME BACK, MYERS: John Myers, now at News10 Sacramento, is back in the blogosphere. And, that's "capitol" with an "o" for you old timers. 

DEPT OF CORRECTIONS: SD15 has 25.5% Asian CVAP, not black.

TAIWANESE TAKE: Who better to recap the Secret Service story than our Taiwanese animation studio.

You made it...get out of there. Just watch out for the Causeway.


Steinberg Wants To Put Initiative Process Changes On 2014 Ballot
Torey Van Oot @
Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg pledged today to put forward for the 2014 election a package of major changes to California's initiative process, including a provision to make it easier for legislators to place tax measures on the ballot.

State Prison Healthcare Still Needs Independent Oversight, Report Says
California should allow independent oversight of inmate healthcare when the prison medical system is released from federal control, according to a report released Thursday by the Legislative Analyst's Office.

California Looks To Crack Down On Political Bloggers Paid By Campaigns
Jim Sanders @
Paid political attack dogs always have found safe haven in the free-wheeling anonymity of the Internet, but California is set to challenge that.

Independent Candidates To Highlight New Top-two Election System
Several independent candidates in the June 5 primary are scheduled to speak at a late afternoon news conference in San Diego Thursday to highlight the state's new open pirmary system. Voters who are not affiliated with a political party now make up more than 21% of the state's registration.

Senate Leader Wants Initiative Process Changed - Total Buzz - The Orange County Register : The Orange County Register
The leader of the state Senate announced Thursday that he wants to put a measure on the November 2014 ballot to amend California’s initiative system.

Shannon Grove Says Dems Hijacked Her 'good Government' Bill
Jim Sanders @
Republican Assemblywoman Shannon Grove, who is spearheading an initiative drive for a part-time Legislature, accused Democrats of hijacking one of her "good government" bills at a committee hearing Wednesday.

New UC Davis Police Chief Matt Carmichael Pledges Personal Approach
Darrell Smith @
Almost as soon as he stepped to the lectern Thursday, new UC Davis Police Chief Matt Carmichael seemed set on showing that change is coming to his Police Department.

Social Media Protections For Job, College Applicants Advances
Torey Van Oot @
A Senate committee gave the green light today to legislation that would block public and private universities and employers from seeking access to applicants' social media accounts.

State Ethics Czar Wants Disclosure When Campaigns Pay Bloggers
Ann Ravel of the California Fair Political Practices Commission wants disclosure when political groups pay bloggers and Internet websites to promote or attack candidates.

Dan Walters: Hearings On California's High-speed Rail Project Are A Study In Contrasts - Dan Walters - The Sacramento Bee
Dan Walters

California Lottery Swaps Ad Amid Controversy Over Slap Scene
Torey Van Oot @
The California Lottery is taking down a new television ad that the California Legislative Women's Caucus said inappropriately "glamorizes violence."

Public Disclosure Is Next Frontier In Campaign Finance Reform
After recent court rulings struck down significant campaign finance limits, the next frontier in the debate over money in politics appears to be public disclosure – whether there should be more or less of it.

Mortgage proposals bypass California GOP
The Senate moved Thursday to direct mortgage overhaul proposals sponsored by Attorney General Kamala Harris to a joint legislative conference committee, passing placeholder legislation over objections from Republican lawmakers who said the upper house was manipulating the legislative process.

Reports Reveal Two New Scandals In The Pepper-spraying At UC Davis - Conor Friedersdorf - Politics - The Atlantic
politics @

Early OK For Sd County Redistricting Reform |

Dan Walters: Hearings on California's high-speed rail project are a study in contrasts
Budget subcommittees in both legislative houses conducted hearings this week on whether to appropriate money for Gov. Jerry Brown's plan to link the northern and southern halves of the state with a high-speed bullet train.

The Caucus: Romney Begins to Bulk Up Campaign Team for General Election
A look at some of the new staff members Mitt Romney is bringing to his campaign to prepare for a general election contest against President Obama.

Gsa's Jeffrey Neely Mired In 'culture Of Waste'
Carla Marinucci @
Jeffrey Neely of Mill Valley was just another faceless government bureaucrat until he and his wife, Deborah, catapulted to the role of star players in a scandalous drama involving a federal agency's lavish spending at...

Senate Hearing Today Will Address Seismic Safety Reforms
Prompted by a scathing audit and proposed legislation, the state's top construction administrators are scheduled today to discuss ways to improve the seismic safety and oversight of public school building projects.

Californians Rank 11th In Per Capita Taxes - Total Buzz - The Orange County Register : The Orange County Register
Friday, the average Californian will have earned enough this year to pay all his taxes, according to the @
By Friday, the average Californian will have earned enough this year to pay all his taxes, according to the Tax Foundation. That puts the state 11th in per capita taxes. Connecticut tops the list, followed by New York, New Jersey, and Washington.

Mitt Romney Follows President Obama To Ohio With A Different Vision
Maeve Reston @
Mitt Romney, following President Obama to Ohio, argues that the administration's economic policies have failed to revive the economy. Obama's campaign accuses Romney of distorting the facts.