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THE NOONER for July 5, 2012

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TWEET DU JOUR: @jboren4507 - "Consider today Monday of a two-day work week."

Welcome to the 5,500th Nooner reader. Thanks for your readership...you can stock my coffee can by becoming a subscriber for only $2.99/month.

In case you had your interwebs turned off for the red, white, and blue, yesterday's Nooner included the first round of Field Poll results.

Today, we have more from the recent Field Poll:

  • Governor's tax measure: 54%-38% (Yes +2, No +3 since May)
  • Molly Munger Our Children, Our Future tax measure: 46%-46% (Yes +4, No+3 since May)
  • Steyer single sales factor for clean energy: 44%-43

But, the big number is 21%--the share of "yes" voters on the governor's tax measure who say they are less likely to support it if the Legislature approves funds for high speed rail. That'll be on the minds of the governor and Legislature when it is decided by tomorrow whether to appropriate funds to move the project forward.

SLO HEARTS IE: On Sunday, the Republican Party of San Luis Obispo County gave Assembly candidate Bill Batey $100,000. What's newsworthy is that Batey is running in AD61, which is in Riverside and Moreno Valley, and most members of the local party have probably never met him. The SLO party is one of the biggest launderers of campaign money, using the Prop. 34 loophole to collect large contributions and pass them on to state candidates. 

The money came from the California Republican Leadership Fund, which collects money from the biggest interest groups through events like a "Leadership Conference" in Del Mar. Check out the following language from the Del Mar flyer:

Contributions to CALIFORNIA REPUBLICAN LEADERSHIP FUND are not deductible as charitable contributions for federal income-tax purposes. CALIFORNIA REPUBLICAN LEADERSHIP FUND is not a committee but acts as an "intermediary" and joint fundraising agent for the participating Republican Central Committees. The first $35,000 given by a contributor will be allocated first to STANISLAUS REPUBLICAN CENTRAL COMMITTEE, the next $35,000 from a contributor will be given to TULARE COUNTY REPUBLICAN CENTRAL COMMITTEE, the balance of the contribution will be allocated to SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY REPUBLICAN CENTRAL COMMITTEE in compliance with STATE limits. For each Committee receiving contributions, contributions of up to $32,500 will be deposited in each of the participating Republican Central Committees "Legislative Restricted Accounts." Contributions in excess of $32,500 per donor per calendar year per committee will be in each Committee’s "Legislative All Purpose Account." Currently, an individual, business entity, or any other organization or group of persons may contribute $32,500 in state candidate support to each county committee per year. This fund does not solicit and cannot accept contributions in excess of applicable limits or from prohibited sources. Corporate and general PAC contributions are permissible. Foreign nationals are prohibited from making contributions to this committee, unless they have permanent residency status in the United States of America (a Green Card).

The FPPC approved the arrangement in an advice letter last September. By going through a county central committee, an individual or corporation can give $32,500 per calendar year, rather than the $7,800 allowable per election cycle if given directly. 

The GOP is playing within the law, and Democrats use these maneuvers as well. However, it makes a mockery out of Prop. 34 limits.

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FOIE YOU: http://www.aroundthecapitol.com/r.html?s=n&l=http://eater.com/archives/2012/07/03/ca-restaurant-defies-foie-gras-ban-serves-sixcourse-foie-dinner.php

FURLOUGHS FAIL: San Carlos school board president writes that shortening the school year is wrong, even with budget cuts.

FOR NOW: Democrats Lead House Ad Spending [Reid Wilson @ National Journal]

VIP TREATMENT: Darrell Issa's Oversight committee releases report "How Countrywide Used its VIP Loan Program To Influence Washington Policymakers." The report names Californians Buck McKeon, Elton Gallegly, and Tom Campbell. Lots of records also appear to be missing.  In summary: "The foremost benefit of being a Countrywide VIP was access to discounted loans in the form of waived points. The standard reduction was 0.5 points. Countrywide routinely waived junk fees typically ranging from $350 to $400 for VIP borrowers."

FIREWORKS FAIL: San Diego's "Big Bay Boom" 18-minute fireworks show was set off all at once, ending in 15 seconds.

TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
Rail Project Could Knock Tax Vote Off Track
John Wildermuth @
sfgate.com
A wide range of California voters are willing to give Gov. Jerry Brown's tax initiative the support it needs in November, but that could change in a hurry if the Legislature approves billions of dollars for the proposed high-speed rail project later this week, a new Field Poll shows.

Rail vote potential pitfall for Gov. Jerry Brown's tax initiative, Field Poll finds
David Siders @
sacbee.com
Gov. Jerry Brown is a big proponent of high-speed rail, but if the Legislature votes this week to fund the project, it could hurt him in the fall.

Bullet Train Could Shoot Down Brown's Tax Initiative
George Skelton @
latimes.com
California voters may not be inclined to support higher taxes if the governor pumps money into the unpopular rail project.

The Myth That Only Furloughs Can Balance School Budgets
Seth Rosenblatt @
edsource.org
With the continued uncertainty around public school financing in California once again (and the possibility of “trigger cuts” to education if the governor’s tax measure fails in November), California school children face the possibility of a school year that is shorter by as much as four weeks. An article in the Sacramento Beeoutlines the choices that many districts are facing. It states: “The Legislative Analyst’s Office has estimated that eliminating a school week statewide would save $1 billion.” The LAO is wrong – eliminating a week of school actually saves no money at all.

S.F. Insider: Chamber Scorecard On Supes
Rachel Gordon @
sfgate.com
No surprises in the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce's midyear report card for the Board of Supervisors that the business group issues every six months to showcase which city lawmakers back - or buck - the policies it holds near and dear.

Obama in Ohio: Ignore relentless negative healthcare ads
Christi Parsons @
latimes.com
MAUMEE, Ohio — President Obama today declared that his health care law is “here to stay” and urged supporters to spread the word about how it will help middle-class families.

Soda Tax Debate Pushes Richmond Into National Spotlight
Robert Rogers @
mercurynews.com
Richmond voters could become the first in the nation to approve tax on sugar-sweetened beverages, sparking fierce battle ahead of November election.

For California Unions Accepting Cuts, What Will Next Year Bring?
Jon Ortiz @
sacbee.com
There's been plenty of attention given to how state workers will be taking another round of furloughs for the next 12 months, but here's the really intriguing question: What happens after that?

Buy Here Pay Here Bills Advance
Ken Bensinger @
latimes.com
Legislation aiming to regulate the Buy Here Pay Here used car industry has survived key committee votes in Sacramento, bringing it significantly closer to final passage.

Peel The Politics, Find The Health
Timm Herdt @
vcstar.com
Perhaps it's not the best time and place to contemplate mortality, but as you wait to board a flight at the airport in Sacramento you are likely to see an advertisement on the wall that will make you stop to think about exactly that.

We have a winner in our Capitol Alert election quiz
Torey Van Oot @
blogs.sacbee.com
Steve Kamp has a pretty good track record when it comes to California elections. The Sacramento resident is a two-time winner ... of Capitol Alert's election contest, that is.

California lawmakers set to vote on bullet train
utsandiego.com
State lawmakers plan to begin taking up Gov. Jerry Brown's top infrastructure initiative for a California bullet train.

The Caucus: Romney Sees 'Political Consideration' in Chief Justice's Health Care Vote
MICHAEL BARBARO @
nytimes.com
rather than a legal judgment.

Romney criticizes his one-time model, Chief Justice John Roberts
Maeve Reston @
latimes.com
Emphasizing his disagreement with the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold President Obama’s health care law, Mitt Romney criticized Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. on Wednesday, stating that Roberts reached a conclusion that was inappropriate and “took a departure” from sound reasoning.

With New Money Pledged For Caltrain, State's Bullet Train Likely To Pass Friday, Officials Say
Traffic @
mercurynews.com
California lawmakers will finally vote Friday on the plan to start building the states high-speed rail project, and in a surprise twist, money for the polarizing bullet train will be tied to a deal that would save the popular Caltrain commuter service.

Viewpoints: Wrong lessons drawn from health care ruling
sacbee.com
Last week's U.S. Supreme Court decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act was quite an eye-opener. I don't mean Chief Justice John Roberts' convoluted majority opinion, bad as that was, which found Obamacare's individual mandate constitutional under Congress's taxing power.

Romney, in Shift, Says Health Care Mandate Is a Tax
nytimes.com
s characterization of the law and aligning himself with conservatives in his party.

Federal Lawsuit Challenges Foie Gras Ban
ibabuzz.com
By Josh Richman Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012 at 8:02 pm in Uncategorized.

Water Agencies See Bond Vote Delayed Again
sgvtribune.com
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Tax or penalty? Romney's evolving statements irritate conservatives
Mitchell Landsberg @
latimes.com
GILFORD, N.H. --If Mitt Romney was trying to soothe restless conservatives with his July 4th declaration that the Obama healthcare mandate amounts to a tax, he might want to give it another shot.

Los Angeles Unified Cuts Adult School By Half: That’s Good News | Edsource Today
edsource.org
“I’m very, very happy,” said Michael Romero, executive director of Adult and Career Education for LAUSD.

The Buzz: Sacramento resident wins Capitol Alert's election contest ... again
sacbee.com
Steve Kamp

Wait For Hp Turnaround Could Test Shareholders' Patience
Steve Johnson @
latimes.com
Hewlett-Packard, now led by Meg Whitman, needs to start showing marked advances soon to appease shareholders, some analysts say.