Around The Capitol

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THE NOONER for June 11, 2012

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PAYCHECK PROTECTION: The Legislature has 60 hours to approve a budget. Yamamura looks at the challenge facing Dems and the guv. The birdies in the Capitol this weekend didn't note any significant meetings of the mind between legislative leaders and the governor.

THE GLUE: The Field poll is out with a look at the dueling tax measures on the November ballot. The poll is among registered voters, which is approximately three times the number of voters who turned out last Tuesday.

Governor's Compromise Plan (high personal income + sales tax)

52% Yes
35% No
13% Undecided 

Munger "Our Children, Our Future" (personal income)

42% Yes
43% No
15% Undecided 

[n=710, May 21-29, 2012, +/- 3.8%]

AD46: In a late afternoon update from Los Angeles County, Republican Jay Stern moved into second place ahead of Brian Johnson in the hot Democratic showdown over charter schools. Stern currently has a two vote lead over Johnson, so this one is certainly not final. Andrew Lachman is in fourth place 258 votes behind, so it's likely either Stern or Johnson that lands in second.

CD26: Ventura County Star's great political reporter Timm Herdt challenges my assertion that Tuesday's results for CD26 looked bad for Julia Brownley and the Dems:

"All the 9,500 other Dem votes plus half of Parks' votes for Brownley, plus half of Parks' votes for Strickland would make it about 48k-42k in Strickland's favor. That split from a heavily skewed GOP primary turnout is actually not all that great for Strickland.

"Your initial analysis, and that of Rothenberg yesterday, seemed to have forgotten the dynamic that made Parks competitive in the first place, which was the fact that there were four Democrats on the ballot."

As usual, Herdt provides great, and accurate, analysis. I guess the question we need answered is the intent of voters for Linda Parks and whether Brownley can capture half of them this fall. It looks that about $120,000 was spent by House Majority PAC on negative mail against Parks. I've been told it was targetted at swing voters to tell them that Parks was a Republican. Clearly, they either 1) liked Parks, 2) disliked Brownley, or 3) disliked Tony Strickland (or a combination of above).

Without knowing that, we can't really guess where they will break in November. That, plus getting a better sense of November turnout will determine whether this is a true "swing" seat or one that is now leaning, even if by the slightest, to the GOP. I'll revisit the Leans Republican rating after the remaining 22,000 ballots in Ventura are counted.

CD31: Jim Miller looks at turnout as the main cause of the Democrats' debacle in Riverside.

UNPROCESSED BALLOTS: 1,045,154 total (844,805 unprocessed absentees, 168,916 provisionals, 31,433 damaged, etc.)

  • Los Angeles: 176,287
  • San Diego: 135,000 
  • Sacramento: 84,000
  • Orange: 55,631
  • Riverside: 49,200

Notably, San Bernardino reports 0 outstanding ballots and 5,014 provisionals. For those watching the very close CD08, where second place Paul Cook is 233 votes over third-place Phil Liberatore, it's unlikely to change. Cook and Gregg Imus are likely advancing to November.

DEFERRED COMP: CHP officers negotiated a day-a-month furlough and a corresponding 5% salary reduction for the 2012-13 fiscal year. In exchange, the twelve furlough days will be banked and can be used in lieu of banked vacation. For those that already haven't banked the maximum of 102 days, those additional vacation days can be paid out and added as a 5% bump to compensation used to base the pension entitlement (90% at age 55).

ATTENTION AIRLINE LOBBYISTS: Here's a little unsolicited PR advice: get AP's Judy Lin home from Hartsfield home soon.

CONTEST UPDATE: Brian Johnson falls to third in AD46 and an error was caught in scoring of three statewide races. Updated scoreboard.



The 2012 American Association of Political Consultants Conference in Sacramento June 27-28 provides key networking opportunities with those that have been in the trenches as well as topical and relevant information related to what is going on in California this year, including open primary, redistricting, ballot initiatives and how top consultants are utilizing all the tools available to them to reach and engage voters. Register today!

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CD-31: Election Was A Turnout Disaster For Democrats
Jim Miller @
There have been many explanations for Democrats' CD-31 fiasco and the fact that the party won't have a November candidate in what had been a prime pickup opportunity. High on the list, though, has to be turnout.

California legislative leaders huddle before budget vote
Kevin Yamamura @
Legislative Democrats will vote by Friday's deadline on a state budget that has a "very substantial reserve" and is free of gimmicks to erase a $15.7 billion deficit, Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg said this morning.

California Budget Process Has Reverted To Secrecy
Dan Walters @
As the Capitol churns toward Friday's deadline for a new state budget, the macro-issues are well known, such as whether health, welfare and child care services should be slashed by billions of dollars to close the deficit.

Unions fire Internet blast at California ballot measure
Jon Ortiz @
The organized labor coalition fighting a November ballot measure that would end payroll-deducted money for political spending -- the channel through which unions raise funds to play in politics -- has launched a new video blasting the proposal.

New Education Standards End Rote Learning, Cursive
Jill Tucker @
Like fashion, trends in public education come and go. What's in vogue depends on the decade and often reflects which way the political wind blows and what shiny gadgets have hit the market.

Political Blotter: A few primary post-mortems
Josh Richman @
I spent yesterday starting to unpack what the new top-two system hath wrought upon California's state legislative and House races -- something we'll be unpacking for years, I suspect -- but today I have some time to dissect the still-unofficial results in a few interesting Bay Area races.

California Deficit Drives Shift In State's Welfare Philosophy
Christina Hoag @
Pressured by a $16 billion budget deficit, Gov. Jerry Brown is proposing a major overhaul of the state's welfare-to-work program with the strategy of slashing people's benefits to motivate them to get jobs faster.

San Jose, San Diego Pension Reforms Go To Court
Ed Mendel @
Two California cities attracting national attention for big pension-reform votes look like they are on the same path — court filings last week to speed up legal decisions, and city council meetings this week to consider plans for new hires.

State Results Dim Dems' Hopes For House Takeover
Carolyn Lochhead @
California voters threw a wrench Tuesday into fellow Californian Nancy Pelosi's plans.

Gov. Jerry Brown, Democratic Leaders Seek Common Ground On Budget Cuts
Kevin Yamamura @
Democratic lawmakers have vowed all spring to fight spending cuts to programs that serve the poorest Californians, including welfare-to-work and Cal Grant scholarships.

Obama's Report Card On Education Policy
Jennifer Epstein @
President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign boasts in a recent TV spot that his national education policy borrows from his personal academic success: It can be chalked up to hard work and student aid.

Top-two Fallout: Is This Goodbye to the Little Guy?
Amy Wong @
Key selling points for California’s new two-two primary were that it would get centrists and moderates into the state Legislature, bridge the gap between polarized Democrats and Republicans and even heal a fractured electorate.

CSU Schools Spend $1m On Presidential Home Maintenance
Erica Perez @
The California State University system has spent an average of $21,880 per year, per home on maintenance of 10 presidential homes over five years, much more than virtually all American homeowners who responded to a national housing survey.

UnitedHealth to Offer Protections in Health Law Even if It Is Struck Down
UnitedHealth says it will continue offering some of the popular consumer protections required by the federal health care law, even if the Supreme Court strikes down the entire law later this month.

The June Primary: This Is Democracy?
Peter Schrag @
Contrary to first impressions, there were a few signs of sanity in last week's Top Two primary election results.

UC, CSU Pushed To Cut Low-enrollment Programs
Nanette Asimov @
It sounds like an obesity epidemic in higher education: program bloat. But rather than some sort of elephantine curriculum, the phrase refers to the hundreds of degree programs at California's public universities with fewer than 10 graduates in a given year - at a time when many students are turned away from more popular programs because of budget cuts.

UC Irvine vice chancellor picked to lead University of Oregon
PORTLAND, Ore. -- The Oregon University System said Monday that Michael Gottfredson is the choice to be the next president of the University of Oregon.

Obama's report card on education
Jennifer Epstein @
Even conservatives can't find too much fault with the administration's education record.

The Caucus: Positive Ad Push in Massachusetts Senate Race
Both candidates in the fierce Senate race in Massachusetts released positive, family-themed ads this week, with incumbent Senator Scott P. Brown looking to reach out to women voters and his Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren attempting to move on from weeks of controversy over her heritage.

Staking claims to the education vote
Ginger Gibson @
The issue may now get some traction in the presidential race.

Adult Ed Falls To Flexibility
This is the first of two articles on the state of adult education in California. The second piece will run on Wednesday, June 13.

Undocumented Chico Man Passed The Bar, But Can He Practice Law?
Paloma Esquivel @
Sergio C. Garcia's case is pending before the California Supreme Court. It could be precedent-setting for other undocumented students who want to be lawyers.

The Swarm: Regional Parks will get a forum in county budget hearings
Foon Rhee @
Another department will get its own platform at Sacramento County's budget hearings after all.

UnitedHealth plans to keep overhaul elements
Tom Murphy @
Insurer UnitedHealth Group Inc. sees some parts of the health care overhaul as sound medicine and plans to keep them even if the law fails to survive an upcoming Supreme Court ruling.