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THE NOONER for June 20, 2012

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TWEET DU JOUR: @HotlineReid - "Biden, on CA Gov. Jerry Brown: 'He was the smartest guy in American politics then. He’s still the smartest guy in American politics.'"

We have no budget news. Moving on...

Good morning from the Pasadena's peppy AD41, the home of the largest self-funder of the primary cycle, Victoria Rusnak. The head of the Rusnak Auto Group spent $330,000 of her own money for a fourth place finish, or about $34.78 per vote. After facing a stronger than expected Michael Cacciotti, Chris Holden succeeded in capturing the top spot with tea-party favorite Donna Lowe placing second. Holden, the son of sixteen-year Los Angeles councilmember (and one term state senator) Nate Holden, is the clear favorite in November.

It is noteworthy that, together with Shirley Weber in East San Diego's AD79 (who was born in a place called Hope), Holden comes to the Assembly as an African-American elected from a district without large black populations.

WATCH THE WATCHDOG: The initiative sponsored by California Watchdog to regulate health insurance rates is going to be a close call. With 56 counties reporting raw, the initiative filed 782,102 signatures. We can probably assume that San Joaquin and Tuolumne combine for an additional 15,000. That means that a random sample validity of 69.65% will be needed, and the measure currently stands at 70.07%. More importantly, by cutting it so close, every significant county will need to meet next Thursday's deadline to qualify for November. If not, if it qualifies but after June 28, the measure would get kicked to November 2014.

McPHERSON JUMPS SHIP: Likely with a serenade from Jon Fleischman of "good riddance," Bruce McPherson walked away from the Republican Party yesterday. The move comes as McPherson faces Democrat Eric Hammer in a November runoff for Santa Cruz County supe. McPherson fell 48 votes short of winning the supe race outright on June 5.

As state senator, McPherson was nominated as Secretary of State by Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2005 and conformed by the Senate, and defeated for election by Debra Bowen in 2006.

AD46: Republican Jay Stern lost a bit of ground, but still leads Democrat Brian Johnson by 30 votes for second place in the Burbank district.

TODAY'S READ: Independent Expenditures -- California's Super PACs [Tony Quinn @ Fox & Hounds]

RUMBLE IN REDLANDS: Following yesterday's video of the girls fighting in a Redlands Denny's, several readers propose putting Bob Dutton and Gary Miller in mini-skirts and have them settle CD31 like men. #WeDontNeedNoSuperPACs

REGISTER NOW: Register now for the post-election webinar at 10am on Wednesday, June 27. Paul Mitchell, Mike Madrid, Robb Korinke and I will take a look at the hottest races and lessons learned in the new top-two primary. The ninety-minute online event will also include a November election outlook and reviews of local bond and tax elections. The event is $99 per computer, and will be conducted using the Citrix GoToWebinar platform. Sit back in your jammies, listen to our analysis and interact with your questions and thoughts.



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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Same-day Voter Registration Bill Moves Forward In Legislature
Timm Herdt @
The Legislature on Tuesday moved closer toward embracing one way to help Californians seize that moment by allowing voter registration to take place through Election Day -- an approach that has sparked sharp partisan divisions in the past.

Exclusive Interview: Jerry Brown's State Budget Dream
Marc Cooper @
Governor Jerry Brown struggles to bridge California’s now perennial budget gap. In a rare, and candid, sit-down interview the governor outlines his pragmatic but uphill battle to strengthen the fragile Golden State

Vote Remains Close On Prop. 29 Tobacco Tax Ballot Initiative
Phil Willon @
The vote count for the June 5 tobacco tax ballot initiative remained tight Tuesday as elections officials across California continued tallying hundreds of thousands of uncounted ballots.

Vice President Joe Biden Raises Money At Sutter Club, Calls For Improved Obama Ground Game
David Siders @
Vice President Joe Biden leaves the Sutter Club in Sacramento after speaking at a fundraiser Tuesday about President Barack Obama’s campaign. Biden said efforts to raise money are necessary to counter an estimated $800 million that will be spent by independent spending committees against the president.

Assembly Panel Pursues College Success
Retiring Community College Chancellor Jack Scott watched his signature initiative move closer to becoming law. The Assembly Higher Education Committee yesterday unanimously passed SB 1456, the Student Success Act of 2012.

California Braces For Supreme Court Healthcare Ruling
As the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to hand down its ruling on the federal healthcare law championed by President Obama, advocates in California are bracing for the worst, and hoping that California might be able to forge its own path...

Prop. 29: California Tobacco Tax Measure Trails By Razor-thin Margin
Hannah Dreier @
The secretary of state reports that with 400,000 ballots outstanding, the measure that would add a $1-a-pack cigarette tax is trailing by 17,500 votes.

Bill To Protect Privacy Of Police Officers Stalls In Senate
A measure that would allow the home addresses of current and former law enforcement officers and judges to be redacted from public property records has stalled in the state Senate amid concerns that it would be abused. Assemblyman Mike Feuer...

It Was Past Time For On-time Budgets
Timm Herdt @
In November 2010, the voters said they were fed up with this annual foolishness. They approved Proposition 25, which said the budget could be approved with a simple majority vote — and hereafter if lawmakers missed their deadline, they would forfeit their pay until they actually did their jobs. That approach has now worked two years in a row — not without some hiccups, but it's worked.

Dan Lungren Defends Embattled Sacramento GOP Voter Drive
Torey Van Oot @
Rep. Dan Lungren has come to the defense of a Sacramento County Republican Party voter registration drive he supported but has come under fire for filing potentially fraudulent registration cards.

UC Berkeley Aims To Eliminate All Its Nonrecyclable Waste By 2020
The Pacific Oceans immense garbage patch has a new foe: UC Berkeley. The university is the first to join a coalition of companies and other organizations trying to cut down their "plastic footprint," the amount of plastic garbage that finds its way into oceans, waterways and landfills. A look inside UC Berkeleys garbage numbers

State Budget Is Still Pending
Judy Lin @
Democratic lawmakers say they balanced California's budget and passed it on time for the second year in a row - an achievement they say will begin to restore public confidence in the state Legislature. But is the budget really done? No.

California's Made-in-USA Bill Involves Small Parts, But It's No Small Matter
Dan Walters @
Superficially, Assembly Bill 858 is one of the legislative session's more mundane measures, one seemingly so innocuous that it's being carried by a freshman Republican assemblyman, Brian Jones of Santee, and didn't receive a single dissenting vote in the Assembly last year.

Senate Committee Refuses To Block Media Access To 911 Calls
Dan Walters @
California legislation that would have restricted -- and possibly eliminated -- news media access to recordings of 911 emergency calls died in the Senate Public Safety Committee on Tuesday.

Dan Lungren Defends GOP Voter Drive
The Sacramento County Republican Party's voter registration drive was credited with helping Republicans gain a slight advantage this spring in what will be a hotly contested race for the 7th Congressional District come fall.

Egypt may delay election results; Hosni Mubarak in a coma
Hamza Hendawi @
Egyptian authorities may delay the announcement of the winner in the presidential runoff, which had been expected on Thursday, because of a large number of complaints filed by the two candidates, a senior election commission official said. Adding to the potentially explosive dispute over the election is the latest health scare of the 84-year-old Hosni Mubarak, who was ousted in Egypt's uprising last year and is now serving a life sentence in prison.

California State Bar Argues For Law Licenses For The Undocumented
Maura Dolan @
In precedent-setting case, bar tells California Supreme Court an undocumented man should be granted a law license although his ability to work would be restricted.

Health Reform With A Mandate: The Massachusetts Story
Ezra Klein @
The Supreme Court could decide as soon as Thursday whether the federal government can require Americans to purchase private insurance coverage, a policy already in place in Massachusetts.

Monograph Parses Tom Bates And East Bay's Complex Politics
Dan Walters @
How did the East Bay - Oakland and Berkeley specifically - evolve from a conservative Republican bastion into a region with a global reputation for left-wing politics?

Obama campaign continues to hammer at Romney economic record
Michael A. Memoli @
WASHINGTON -- Mitt Romney's pledges from his gubernatorial campaign a decade ago are again the key sound bites in new attack ads from President Obama's reelection campaign, which aim to undermine the Republican nominee's economic credentials.

Dan Walters Daily: 'Two blows for open government'
Hannah Madans @
Dan Walters says California police unions and law enforcement groups usually get what they want in Sacramento -- but not this time.

House GOP Bill Would Block Obama's Immigration Policy Shift
Lisa Mascaro @
Opponents of President Obama's decision to allow young illegal immigrants a reprieve to stay in this country are trying to undo that move in Congress.