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THE NOONER for July 30, 2012

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Buenos días desde Cancún. There are now 99 days until Election Day.

The California Democratic Party's Executive Board met over the weekend, taking positions on ballot measures facing voters in November:

  • YES: Proposition 30: Temporary Taxes to Fund Education. Guaranteed Local Public Safety Funding. Initiative Constitutional Amendment.
  • NO: Proposition 31: State Budget. State and Local Government. Initiative Constitutional Amendment and Statute.
  • NO: Proposition 32: Prohibits Political Contributions by Payroll Deduction. Prohibitions on Contributions to Candidates. Initiative Statute.
  • NO: Proposition 33: Changes Law to Allow Auto Insurance Companies to Set Prices Based on a Driver's History of Insurance Coverage. Initiative Statute.
  • YES: Proposition 34: Death Penalty Repeal. Initiative Statute.
  • YES: Proposition 35: Human Trafficking. Penalties. Sex Offender Registration. Initiative Statute.
  • YES: Proposition 36: Three Strikes Law. Sentencing for Repeat Felony Offenders. Initiative Statute.
  • YES: Proposition 37: Genetically Engineered Foods. Mandatory Labeling. Initiative Statute.
  • NO: Proposition 38: Tax for Education and Early Childhood Programs. Initiative Statute.
  • NEUTRAL: Proposition 39: Tax Treatment for Multistate Businesses. Clean Energy and Energy Efficiency Funding. Initiative Statute.
  • YES: Proposition 40: Redistricting. State Senate Districts. Referendum.

The only suspense was really over Propositions 38 and 39. While it was very unlikely the party was going to endorse a "yes" vote on Molly Munger's initiative, she has plenty of allies in the grassroots and K-12 organizations have been unwilling to come out against it. The "No" position was a big win for Jerry Brown in his effort to focus the ballot on his measure.

I would normally downplay the impact of party endorsements, but their impact is magnified in low-turnout elections. The parties are more likely to mail to high propensity voters and those most connected to a party are most likely to look to the party on ballot measures on which they don't have a strong inclination one way or another. 

Joe Mathews likens the Jerry v. Molly conflict as an off-year Democratic primary. With Prop. 32 polling in the mid-30s, this is actually reminiscent of the 2010 primary, although mutually assured destruction is a possibility this time around.


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MUST READ: 40% of national voters may cast early ballots [Naureen Khan @ National Journal]

In California, it will be much higher. In 2008, it was 41.64%, while it was only 32.61% in 2004 and 24.58% in 2000. In June, 65.15% of voters were VBM voters, and prediciting 50-60% of voters casting ballots by mail is not unreasonable. This continues the dramatic change in the GOTV game that we've seen over the last fifteen years.

MUST READ 2: NRA clout rooted more in its tacticts than in its election spending [Matea Gold, Joseph Tanfani and Lisa Mascaro @ LAT]

MUST READ 3: Senate race could be definitive [Paul Burka @ Texas Monthly]

CD30: Trounstine looks at the to and fro on the -erman race.

SLO ♥ RIVERSIDE - The San Luis Obispo County Republican Party delivered $40,000 to Jeff Miller, who is running in the toss-up SD31.

$$$: The governor's tax campaign had a good day Friday, reporting a total of $450,000 from carpenters, prison guards, and the Fox Group (as in Rupert).


California Democratic Party Endorses Jerry Brown Tax Initiative
Torey Van Oot @
The California Democratic Party has made its support of Gov. Jerry Brown's tax initiative official.

Are Public Pensions Following IRS Tax-delay Rules?
Ed Mendel @
Taxes on employer-employee contributions to pension systems and their investment earnings can be avoided until retirees are paid. But if the rules are not followed, the IRS can change the tax status and impose fines and penalties.

California Voters To Decide Unusual Measure On Sex Trafficking
Kinley O'Sullivan @
California voters, no strangers to taxes, political districts and the clash of special interests, are in for a surprise in November when they get to a proposition that deals with a topic rarely listed on a ballot – human sex trafficking.

Cost Of Water Tunnel Plan Not Yet Clear
Phillip Matier and Andrew Ross @
Gov. Jerry Brown's ambitious plan to drill two 35-mile-long tunnels 150 feet under the delta to move Sacramento River water south could cost $14 billion, as the governor has stated. If environmental hurdles are cleared, money raised and likely lawsuits thwarted - huge ifs - the digging could start in 2015.

Jerry Brown's Water Plan Is More Than Policy
George Skelton @
In unveiling the latest version of the Peripheral Canal, the California governor is trying to finish what his father, Gov. Pat Brown, had started.

California Needs More Than Proposition 31 To Fix What Ails It
Dan Walters @
California's chronic budget deficits – even in times of economic expansion – testify to its political dysfunction, which is reason to wonder whether a November ballot measure on budget procedures, if enacted, would have much positive effect.

Cheney Calls Palin Selection For Vice President In 2008 ‘a Mistake’
Johnny Hanson/AP - Sarah Palin speaks to a crowd of about 1,000 Ted Cruz supporters on Friday in The Woodlands, Texas. The former Alaska governor and 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee addressed more than 1,000 sweating, enthusiastic supporters of tea party favorite and Republican U.S. Senate candidate Ted Cruz.

Dan Walters Daily
Hannah Madans @
Dan Walters says Gov. Jerry Brown's use of the S-word was out of character for a governor more known for throwing around "snippets of Latin."

Educational Differences Run Deep By Race, Ethnicity, And Income In New Report
Kathryn Baron @
California fared little better in its overall score, coming in at 41 based on its performance in all four categories scored by Kids Count. In addition to education, the report examined economic well-being, health, and family and community.

Ad war breaks out over tax debate on Capitol Hill
Lisa Mascaro @
WASHINGTON -- A political ad war has broken out as Congress prepares to vote this week on a Republican proposal that allows tax breaks across all income levels, even for the wealthy – an approach that President Obama has vowed to veto.

More Uninsured In San Mateo County To Receive Health Care
accessing this site, you accept our @
In an apparent about-face, the Peninsula Health Care District has approved $4.6 million in funding for a San Mateo County program that ...

California Democratic Party takes 'no' stance on union dues measure
Torey Van Oot @
The California Democratic Party formalized its position on Proposition 32, voting at a weekend executive board meeting to oppose the November initiative.

Electricity Trading Probed
Dale Kasler @
It's been a decade since companies like Enron Corp. manipulated California's electricity market to generate billions in excess profits.

In-store clinics look to be a remedy for healthcare law influx
Chad Terhune @
More consumers may be getting checkups and other care at stores and pharmacies as the Affordable Care Act extends health insurance to 30 million people.

California Spends More On Prisons, Less On Health, Than Other Big States
Teri Sforza @
California spent three percent of its general fund on health programs for its citizenry. New York, in contrast, spent twice as much of its budget – six percent – on health programs for its citizenry. California spent four percent of its budget locking people up in prisons. New York, in contrast, spen5 half as much — only two percent – locking people up.

Political Blotter: House candidate Ricky Gill, running against Jerry McNerney, cancels fundraiser in marijuana flap
Josh Richman @
Republican House candidate Ricky Gill canceled a fundraiser that was to have been co-hosted by a businessman whose son was just indicted on federal marijuana charges -- but in the Bay Area, that's not always a liability.

Rick Orlov's Tipoff: Ex-SEIU Tyrone Freeman Leader Expects To Be Indicted - La Daily News
World @
He brought together all the different chapters of the SEIU into one umbrella organization to broaden its base and power as he was being groomed for a national leadership position.

Joe Biden: Mitt Romney Distrusts Teachers
Associated Press @
Vice President Joe Biden, in a speech Sunday to the nation’s second largest teachers unions, said Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney doesn’t treat public education as a priority and distrusts the hardworking teachers who struggle to create opportunity for the nation’s young people.

Bay Area To Sin City? Las Vegas Bullet Train Backers Gamble On Record Loan
Traffic @
Private developers are wagering on the XpressWest Las Vegas bullet train, hoping President Barack Obamas administration in coming weeks provides a record rail loan to kick-start construction on the $8 billion-plus train line that could someday connect to Californias much-debated high-speed rail line near Los Angeles.

President Clinton given key role at Democratic convention
AP Member Choice Complete @
He'll speak to the crowd and place President Obama's name in nomination, sources say. The campaign says it wants to remind voters that when the economy was last thriving, a Democrat was in the White House.

Caltrans: LA Freeway Expansion Project Could Improve Public Health
Bernice Yeung @
Expanding a major Los Angeles freeway in an area known for traffic-related air pollution could improve public health, according to a draft environmental impact report issued last month by the California Department of Transportation.

OC city says Obama campaign hasn't paid its bill
The Associated Press @
Newport Beach may call the bill collectors on President Obama's reelection campaign.

California's Newest City Withering On Fiscal Vine
Phil Willon @
Jurupa Valley in Riverside County lost millions when lawmakers tapped funds earmarked for cities last year. 'Our survival is at stake,' the mayor says.