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THE NOONER for May 31, 2012
ELECTION NIGHT LIVEBLOG: I will be live blogging Election Night beginning at 8pm PDT at www.aroundthecapitol.com/live/, hope to have some special guests that can comment as the returns come in, and look forward to your interactive comments. Visit www.aroundthecapitol.com/live/ now to sign up for an e-mail reminder before the event. Finally, paid subscribers will get an ad free page.
CRAZY TRAIN: No, not, HSR. Me. Because the response to paid subscriptions to The Nooner exceeded my expectations and is meeting my server and coffee costs, I am dropping the ad-free subscription price to $2.99/month or $29.99/year. I'd like to thank my eighty paid subscribers, who will be getting an e-mail tonight explaining options to convert their pre-paid subscriptions to the new lower price, and invite you to subscribe today!
Speaking of "Crazy Train," my niece said "Ay, Ay, Ay" in perfect Ozzy tone at the wedding reception in Dallas on Sunday evening. I looked at my sister and said, "Is she singing Crazy Train?" My sister responds, "Well, actually, the Honda commercial." My brother-in-law proceeded to show my niece the Ozzy video on his iPhone. Yuto rocks!
FIELD POLL [n=608 likely, 5/21-29/2012, +/- 4.1%]
While cities aren't winning on the redevelopment efforts, it appears that they will successfully stop Bob Wieckowski's effort to reopen last year's deal on the city bankruptcy process.
ZOMBIES: The California Labor Federation gets creative with a ZombieLoophills.com website targeting corporate tax breaks.
MEMO TO CAL CHANNEL: Nathan Fletcher is now an Independent -- "District 75, San Diego -I."
ME CAN READ: Last Friday, I wrote about the slate card from "Election Digest, A Project of Coalition for Literacy." The slate features the mug of former Assemblymember Lloyd Levine and paid spots from Yes on 28 (term limits) and No on 29 (tobacco). It's primarily a Dem slate and features legislative and local candidates, tailored to local voters. The return address--1954 West Carson, Torrance--is for Cory's Liquor Store. Actually, I assume that while not listed, it's for Suite B, which is JenLax Political Consultants, although no payments to that entity have been reported.
Funny, while all of Election Digest's filings list the above/behind the liquor store address, committees that are paying for the slate report sending the money to Sherman Oaks, which of course is the location of Larry Levine & Associates. The only name I have found for JenLax is LeeAnn Fitzgerald, who works/worked for Levine's California Voter Guide.
I wrote that No on 29 had paid $17,500 of the $341k collected for the slate, No on 29 added $8,750 last Thursday and another $8,750 yesterday. Thus, the total is now $35,000 from the anti-tobacco tax crew.
I received mine yesterday, and it features a couple of local candidates and lots of white space. However, I had to read the "Coalition for Literacy Newsletter" that appears on the reverse of endorsements. I enjoyed the misspelling of the word "illiterate" (correctly spelled later) as well as the typo reading "economichealth." Some readers ask how the Coalition for Literacy can sport a "nonprofit tax identification" number on its website. Well, several sections of the tax-exempt part of the Internal Revenue Code allow candidate endorsements and expenditures, including the oft-used section 527. Although, people rarely use the word "nonprofit."
Although I like Lloyd and Larry, I've never been a fan of slates. I know they are part of the business and I have far more adoration for the First Amendment than animus for slates. Nevertheless, when fictitious organizations are created in the guise of literacy or puppies or rainbows, let's proofread the copy, and maybe the return address should be where the money is being banked.
DOING THE LAUNDRY: PG&E gives $35,000 to the Stanislaus County Republican Central Committee, along with $15,000 to the Tulare party and $14,500 to the Sacto GOP. Outgoing Assemblymember Linda Halderman gave $35,000 to the San Luis Obispo Republican Central Committee, joining fellow Assemblymember Jeff Gorell, who gave $10,000.
Last week, Oracle gave the SLO county $32,500 and Assemblymember Diane Harkey gave $20,000. The committee had $1.3 million on hand as of May 19. Now that it has been processed through the local party spin cycle, it can be given in unlimited amounts to state candidates anywhere in the state. I highly doubt the money is being set-aside by the powers that be for Mike Stoker's uphill battle in SD19 or Katcho Achadjian, who will easily win reelection in AD35. On the Dem side, Mark Leno turned $30,000 over to the California Democratic Party.
If you're new to the laundromat, I wrote about the process on May 7.
EASY VOTE, HARD VOTE: Yesterday, four Republicans (Achadjian, Gorell, Olsen, Smyth) crossed over and joined Democrats to pass AB 1500, Speaker Perez's Middle Class Scholarship bill. This is despite Tim Donnelly's effort (video at 2:00) to get a YouTube spot next to Illinois's Mike Bost. However, will those same four Republicans be there for the accompanying AB 1501, the single sales factor tax bill aimed at raising $1b for the scholarship plan? Unlikely.
The two-bill package may not make it to the governor's desk this year (particularly since the governor's budget proposes a $900m General Fund cut to Cal Grants for poor students), but it's a perfect political play by the Speaker. There are few things more popular and nonpartisan than college affordability. And, if there is one tax measure where Dems can create a little unease among Republicans, it is the tax on "out of state businesses" created by single sales factor. Nevertheless, it is a "pledge breaker," and I don't see any Rep votes for it.
John Myers looks at the tricky politics involved.
ABSENTEE BALLOT REPORTS by Political Data Inc. and Redistricting Partners
RUNDOWN: 1,549,563 ballots in; 20% of absentees have voted; 32% of likely absentees (3/4+new) are in.
TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
California Pay Commission To Vote On Cutting Lawmaker's Salaries
Jim Sanders @ sacbee.com
California's compensation commission will vote today on a 5 percent pay cut for Gov. Jerry Brown, legislators, and state constitutional officers from controller to treasurer to Board of Equalization member.
California Assembly District 50 Race: Torie Osborn Mailer Rips Into Rival Betsy Butler's Commitment To Education - Los Angeles News - The Informer
Patrick Range McDonald @ blogs.laweekly.com
Osborn mailer, with Betsy Butler in power blue suitThere's only a week until Election Day, and the contentious California Assembly District 50 race has ramped up several notches, with candidate Torie Osborn sending out a mailer that questions rival and Assemblywoman Betsy Butler's commitment to education. Butler's supporters are now aggressively coming to her defense.
Judge Says State Will Slowly Regain Control Of Prison Healthcare
A federal judge has shot down the state's request to take back control of inmate healthcare within 30 days.
California voters favor tobacco tax, less sure on term limits
Anthony York @ latimes.com
Prop. 29, which would add a $1 tax to every pack of cigarettes to help fund cancer research, is backed by 62% of state voters. Just 49% support Prop. 28, which would extend the time state lawmakers could serve in the Assembly or Senate.
Commissioner Set To Unveil Plan To Cut Lawmaker Pay 5 Percent
Jim Sanders @ blogs.sacbee.com
It's official: The proposal is in writing and set for a vote -- a 5 percent pay cut for Gov. Jerry Brown, legislators, and for state constitutional officers from controller to treasurer to Board of Equalization member.
Prop. 8's Author Challenges GOP Assemblywoman In New District
Michael J. Mishak @ latimes.com
Andy Pugno is running against Assemblywoman Beth Gaines. Their stands are similar, but Pugno says a Bay Area billionaire is trying to buy the election for her.
English Learners Lawsuit Could Affect California School Districts
Howard Blume @ latimesblogs.latimes.com
State officials are neglecting their legal obligation to ensure English learners are receiving an adequate and equal education, says a lawsuit filed Wednesday by advocates that include the ACLU of Southern California.
Cities Lose In Court Battle Over Redevelopment Funds
Jessica Garrison @ latimes.com
A Sacramento County Superior Court judge Wednesday afternoon refused to side with a group of California cities in their battle with the state over hundreds of millions of property tax dollars that used to flow to local redevelopment agencies.
Senate Ok's Measure Aimed At Increasing Flu Vaccination Rates
Torey Van Oot @ blogs.sacbee.com
Legislation to require nurses, doctors and other hospital staff who decline to get a flu shot to wear a mask while working passed 23-9 in the California Senate today.
Defense Of Marriage Act Unconstitutional, Appeals Court Rules
BOSTON -- A federal appeals court Thursday declared that the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutionally denies federal benefits to married gay couples, a ruling all but certain to wind up before the U.
Voters Back Tobacco Tax But Split On Term-limits Change
On politics in the Golden State
'Middle-class Scholarship' Passes Assembly; Funding Unclear
Jim Sanders @ blogs.sacbee.com
Legislation to provide nearly a billion dollars in middle-class college and university scholarships passed the Assembly on Wednesday, but lawmakers have not yet taken up a companion bill to provide funding.
State Lawmakers Advance Medical Release For County Jail Inmates
The state Senate on Wednesday approved a request by Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca to allow jails to release terminally ill and medically incapacitated inmates before their sentences are complete.
Barbara Ortega Campaign Boosted By Big-money Donor -- Herself
Jim Sanders @ blogs.sacbee.com
Barbara Ortega is putting her money where her mouth is in her race for a Sacramento County Assembly seat.
Governor's Budget Proposal Could Be 'Catastrophic' For SB County
Joe Nelson @ sbsun.com
According to a memo from the county Department of Legislative Affairs, Brown's revision earlier this month to the 2012-13 state budget - the May Revise - could mean for the county a $126-million reduction in program and administrative funding, a $1.7-million revenue shortfall and a potential reduction of 275 county positions.
Tricky Politics In Assembly Speaker's Middle Class Scholarships
John Myers @ news10.net
It was a rare moment of bipartisanship Wednesday afternoon in the California Assembly -- an agreement to create $1 billion in new scholarships for college students from middle-class families. Trouble is... there's no such deal on how to pay for it. And therein lies the strange politics ahead, especially in an election year.
Heart of gay marriage law unconstitutional, appeals court rules
AP Member Choice Complete @ latimes.com
An appeals court ruled Thursday that the heart of a law that denies a host of federal benefits to gay married couples is unconstitutional.