Around The Capitol

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THE NOONER for July 26, 2012

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Good morning. This is going to be another short Nooner today, as I spent my Nooner hours this morning finishing a complete rewrite of the Around The Capitol elections pages. I'll eventually get to the rest of the site, but the elections pages were really bugging me. So, stop by, take a look around, kick the tires, and let me know what you think.

Also, I encourage the new Nooner subscribers to fill out the super-short Nooner survey.

QUOTE DU JOUR: "I want to get shit done." -- Jerry Brown, unveiling his Delta water plan [John Howard @ Capitol Weekly]

Robert Speer asks in the Sacto News and Review whether the bond binge from Jerry's big thinking could hurt the tax measure.


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WHY DEMOCRATS SHOULD BE SCARED: As the California Democratic Party gathers in Anaheim for an Executive Board meetingGallup finds Democratic voter enthusiasm at 39%, a dramatic drop from 61% in 2008 and 68% in 2004. GOP enthusiasm is at 51%, a rebound from a low 35% in 2008 to the same level as 2004. 

With voter enthusiasm down significantly from 2004 and 2008 levels, it is reasonable to expect that turnout will be lower this presidential election than in the last two elections, both of which had above-average turnout from a historical perspective.

Republicans' greater enthusiasm about voting is a troubling sign for the Obama campaign, especially given the fact that registered voters are essentially tied in their presidential voting preferences and that Republicans historically vote at higher rates than Democrats do.

Lower Democratic enthusiasm at this point could also indicate that Democrats have not fully tuned in to the campaign, which is possible, given the lack of a Democratic nomination contest this year as there was on the Republican side. If that indeed is a factor, Democrats' enthusiasm may pick up steam in the fall after the Democratic convention. But if Democrats do not close the enthusiasm gap between now and Election Day, it would put Obama's re-election chances in serious jeopardy.

[full poll results]

If Democrats remain disaffected, it will be a huge problem not just for the down-ballot legislative races, but also for the tax measure Proposition 30 and increases the likelihood that Proposition 32 (paycheck) could pass. 

FINALLY: CD21 Democratic candidate John Hernandez yesterday turned in his quarterly filing report that was due ten days ago. Democrats can't be happy seeing that he only raised $7,411 in the second quarter and is $1,641 in debt. Blong Xiong raised $156,248 in the same May 17-June 30 period.

This district started as a toss-up, was moved to Leans Republican after the June primary, and is close to going Likely Republican.

IN DA CLUB: Joe Baca (D) and Gary Miller (R) are working together as they face intra-party challengers. [Ben Goad @ PE] 

Expect to see Ben's article extensively quoted in mail from Bob Dutton and Gloria McLeod.

$$$: PORAC antes up with $450,000 against Proposition 32.

The Taiwanese animators take on the battle between same-sex marriage proponents and Chick-fil-A.

Analysis: Brown Dives Deep Into State's Water Saga
John Myers @
Even for a man who has a long reputation of just saying what's on his mind, Wednesday's quip on his new quest for a state water supply project was, well, classic Jerry Brown. "I just want to get s**t done. And I want to get this thing done the best I can, alright?"

Worries Grow As Healthcare Firms Send Jobs Overseas
Don Lee @
Some healthcare companies are starting to shift clinical services and decision-making on medical care overseas, primarily to India and the Philippines.

SF Mayor Signs 2-year, $14.9 Billion Budget
John Cote @
Mayor Ed Lee on Wednesday signed the city's first two-year budget after it won unanimous final approval from the board on Tuesday. It was a largely pain-free approval process despite the city's spending plan topping $7 billion for the first time.

The Lesson Of Aurora: California Is Right About Gun Control
George Skelton @
Forget the NRA's thoughts and prayers — we need solutions like those California has adopted, not the same old, deadly excuses.

Political Odd Couple Or Bipartisan Partners?
Ben Goad @
They differ on health care, tax issues and other major issues of the day. But this election season, Democratic Rep. Joe Baca and Republican Rep. Gary Miller have forged an unlikely alliance as they attempt to fend off challenges from members of their own parties.

Senate narrowly approves Obama's tax proposal
Lisa Mascaro @
WASHINGTON – In a political gamble that will reverberate through the November campaigns, the Senate, over the objection of Republicans, approved President Obama’s plan to give tax breaks to all but the top 2% of American taxpayers.

Romney Campaign In Hot Water For Alleged 'anglo-saxon' Remark
Seema Mehta @
As Mitt Romney landed in London Wednesday morning to kick-off a three-country overseas trip, controversy was brewing over a comment allegedly made by one of his advisors that President Obama's White House did not sufficiently appreciate the shared "Anglo-Saxon" heritage of the United States and the United Kingdom.

Gov. Jerry Brown Fires First Shot In New Water War
Steven Harmon @
Against the backdrop of loud and vociferous opposition from environmentalists and Northern California Democrats, Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday embarked on what could only be likened to a ride through the white rapids of water politics.

What Next For Brown's School Finance Reform?
John Fensterwald @
A termed-out state senator who's been a leader on education issues offered advice Wednesday to Gov. Jerry Brown on how to get the Legislature to pass significant school finance reform: Don't try to jam lawmakers; ally yourself with a respected legislator who’s got more than a couple years left to serve; and implement the reforms gradually, for more buy-in from 1,000 districts that will be asking, "What’s in it for me?"

Gov. Brown pushes $23-billion plan to tunnel under delta
Bettina Boxall and Anthony York @
Brown plans to pursue a massive project to move water from the Sacramento area into the Central Valley and Southland and help restore the ravaged delta habitat.

A feisty Brown unveils water plan
John Howard @
An impatient and feisty Gov. Jerry Brown unveiled an extraordinary plan to bore two tunnels beneath the vast delta east of San Francisco to shift millions of acre-feet of water from northern California south to the state’s farm belt and the thirsty population of southern California.

Jerry Brown
David Siders @
Gov. Jerry Brown, announcing a controversial, $14 billion plan this morning to build a pair of tunnels to move water through the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta to the south, said he will not be hindered by "analysis paralysis."

State Schools Superintendent Says Districts Should Upgrade And Replace Old Schools
Theresa Harrington @
Tom Torlakson touted new report by UC Berkeley Center for Cities and Schools that says bond money is better spent to rehab and replace older campuses rather than building brand new schools.

Senate Passes Tax Measure With Election in Mind
The Senate narrowly approved legislation to extend Bush-era tax cuts for the middle class but to let them lapse on more affluent households.

A New Water War In California?
Kevin Riggs @
For Jerry Brown, who has engaged in a series of thorny fights since taking the helm as governor for the second time, you would think enough is enough.

Death Penalty Repeal Pits Mayor Villaraigosa Vs. Former Gov. Wilson
L.A. Mayor disagrees with former governor over death penalty measure

Latino voters' enthusiasm rises, but still lags behind 2008
David Lauter @
Latino voters’ interest in the election has begun to rise, but still lags behind the levels of four years ago, according to a new survey which offers mixed news for President Obama’s reelection campaign.

Bankrupt San Bernardino Must Cut Spending By A Third
Phil Willon @
Widespread layoffs or pay reductions for city workers are expected. The city is preparing to file for bankruptcy protection.

San Jose Proposes Half-cent Sales Tax
Local @
San Jose will consider putting an additional half-cent sales tax on the November ballot that if passed would generate up to $64 million annually for 15 years and give the city the highest sales tax rate in the county and among major Bay Area cities.

Los Angeles To Study Tax Breaks For Studios - La Daily News
Fearful that Los Angeles will lose more television pilots to New York, the City Council on Wednesday called for studies on how to reduce or eliminate city taxes on film and TV production.

New backer of SD pension overhaul: Bob Filner
Proponents of San Diego’s voter-mandated pension overhaul have an unlikely new ally: Mayoral candidate and Democratic Rep. Bob Filner.

Biden to attend Senate tax votes
Seung Min Kim,Manu Raju @
His appearance injects some extra drama, giving lawmakers talking points for the fall campaigns.

Divided Richmond council approves major campaign finance reforms
Robert Rogers @
Richmond passed two ordinances Tuesday aimed at reducing the influence of money in local politics. The first law prohibits candidates who receive public matching funds from accepting campaign contributions of more than $40,000.

Berman Goes Negative On Sherman With New Website
Rep. Howard Berman on Tuesday launched a campaign website slamming fall election rival and fellow Democratic Rep. Brad Sherman. Berman also recently made some changes at the top of his campaign staff.

The Buzz: West Sacramento firm's website tracks California Capitol fundraising
The final weeks of this year's legislative session are almost upon us, and for influence peddlers in the Capitol, that means a calendar full of fundraising events.