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THE NOONER for July 31, 2012

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QUOTE DU JOUR: Republican operative Ed Rogers - "Let's face it, Romney can’t win, but Obama can lose." [Chris Cillizza & Aaron Blake @ WaPo]

E-98

Good morning. I'm watching a beautiful sunrise over the Caribbean as we count down the days before the Legislature returns. That's three more workdays, home gamers. Sure would be nice if we could delay the start of session until after the Olympics are over. I'm not sure the Capitol bandwidth can accommodate both hearings and all that streaming of the Games.

GET READY TO RUMBLE: End-of-session bill would designate money for 49ers stadium [Laurel Rosenhall @ SacBee]

This will be an interesting fight. The gist is that the oversight committee charged with winding down Santa Clara's redevelopment agency decided that $30 million earmarked for the 49ers stadium under construction was not an enforceable obligation, redirecting the money to schools instead.

Now, in most parts of the state, the money that school districts are getting from the redirected redevelopment money is fully offset by a reduction in state general fund dollars (thus helping the state balance its books). However, the Santa Clara Unified School District is "basic aid," meaning it collects more in property taxes than the per-student funding provided as a revenue limit from the state. Any extra property tax, redevelopment or otherwise, is gravy. Thus, this really is a choice of funds for schools vs. football.

Disclosure: My day job has me involved in redevelopment, although we have only argued that community colleges be held harmless. We don't have a position on this particular issue and the local community college district there is not basic aid.

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I think I did this last year after the district maps came out, but there are plenty of new Nooner readers and we have updated voter registration stats. Here are the top and bottom 10 Assembly districts ranked by the percentage of "no party preference" voters. 

"MOST INDEPENDENT" ASSEMBLY DISTRICTS

  1. AD19 (West San Francisco) - 31.45%
  2. AD25 (Fremont-Santa Clara) - 30.51%
  3. AD49 (Monterey Park) - 29.49%
  4. AD17 (East San Francisco) - 29.45%
  5. AD27 (San Jose) - 28.87%
  6. AD78 (Coastal San Diego) - 27.35%
  7. AD24 (Palo Alto-Mountain View) - 27.32%
  8. AD28 (Campbell-Saratoga) - 27.10%
  9. AD77 (North San Diego) - 26.51%
  10. AD80 (South San Diego) - 26.09%

"LEAST INDEPENDENT" ASSEMBLY DISTRICTS

  1. AD13 (Stockton) - 15.47%
  2. AD23 (Fresno) - 15.53%
  3. AD21 (Merced) - 15.74%
  4. AD12 (Modesto) - 16.08%
  5. AD31 (W. Fresno) - 16.33%
  6. AD32 (Kings) - 16.98%
  7. AD56 (Imperial County) - 17.00%
  8. AD64 (Carson) - 17.07%
  9. AD61 (Riverside) - 17.32%
  10. AD26 (Tulare) - 17.37%

WAR ROOM GAMES: Obama Campaign Releases iPhone App for Canvassing [Michael D. Shear @ NYT]

The app, which is available on Tuesday, will allow supporters of Mr. Obama’s to download a list of names in their neighborhood from the campaign’s central database. No longer will they have to stop by the local campaign headquarters to get started.

And once they knock on a door, the response — positive, negative, on-the-fence — can be wirelessly slung back to the campaign’s computer system instantly.

Mitt Romney’s campaign released an iPhone app at the end of May. But it serves largely as a photo-sharing tool that allows users to add pro-Romney phrases — like "I'm a mom for Mitt" — to a picture before posting it to Twitter or sharing it on Facebook.

Meanwhile, Mitt Romney's campaign releases an app to let you be among the first to know who is Veep pick is. Seriously. [h/t Mike Allen @ Politico]

THE VEGAS ECONOMY: Jerry Brown speaks to the California School Employees Association conference today at the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas.

SANDY EGGO: Bob Filner offers Nathan Fletcher a job; Carl DeMaio hires Dem activist Art Castaneras [Craig Gustafson @ SDUT]

ANOTHER? Duarte blames redevelopment grab, plans "fiscal emergency," and uses the B word. [Randy Economy @ Los Cerritos Community News]

 

TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
Jarvis Group Highlights High-speed Rail In Anti-tax Ad
David Siders @
blogs.sacbee.com
The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association has released a radio advertisement aimed at undermining Gov. Jerry Brown's November ballot initiative to raise taxes, attacking "Sacramento politicians" for their approval of California's $68 billion high-speed rail project.

Jerry Brown May Be The Issue In California's Tax Initiative Duel
Dan Walters @
sacbee.com
Brown appears eager to make himself, not taxes, the issue, exploiting minute gestures of frugality, such as reducing bureaucrats' cellphone use, and his veto of the Legislature's 2011-12 budget, to persuade voters to follow him on Proposition 30. That is a risky strategy, since Proposition 30's chances are no better than 50-50 and his popularity is well below 50 percent.

Jerry Brown raises $6.3 million for November tax campaign
David Siders @
blogs.sacbee.com
Gov. Jerry Brown's November ballot initiative to raise taxes collected $6.3 million in the first half of the year, with $5 million in cash hand at the end of June, the campaign reported today.

Same-sex Marriage In Democratic Party Platform
Wyatt Buchanan, Michael Collier, Richard Dunham, Bob Egelko, Joe Garofoli, Marisa Lagos, Carolyn Lochhead, Carla Marinucci, @
blog.sfgate.com
Same-sex marriage in Democratic Party platform

Duarte Calls For Declaring Fiscal Emergency, Seeks New Taxes
Abby Sewell @
latimesblogs.latimes.com
Citing the loss of redevelopment as a crippling blow to the city's finances, officials in Duarte will consider declaring a fiscal emergency to allow the council to place a sales tax increase before voters. The proposed tax increase, which would...

Struggling Calif. Cities Looking To Tax Hikes - Wire National News - The Sacramento Bee
sacbee.com
In this photo taken Friday, July 27, 2012, a sign reads "PARK CLOSED DUE TO BUDGET CUTS - NO TRESPASSING ALLOWED” on the chain-link fence of Hollenbeck Park in Stanton, Calif. Hollenbeck Park is just one casualty of the budget crisis in the Orange County city of Stanton, which warned residents earlier this year that it could face bankruptcy without an additional $1.2 million in sorely needed revenue. The city of 38,000 people tried to get residents to approve a utility tax hike in June, but the measure failed. Since then, Stanton has slashed $1.1 million from its police budget, losing five of its 24 sworn officers, and agreed to reduce its fire service level to save another $700,000.

For-profit Colleges Slammed In Democratic Senate Staff Report
Jamie Goldberg, Washington Bureau @
latimes.com
For-profit colleges fail their students and saddle taxpayers with an enormous bill, an investigation by the Senate education panel's Democratic staff concludes. Republicans say the report is biased.

California Gov. Jerry Brown Upsets Environmentalist Friends With His CEQA Critique
David Siders @
sacbee.com
If the full extent of Gov. Jerry Brown's frustration with the California Environmental Quality Act was not already clear, it became so last week, when he said, "I've never seen a CEQA exemption that I don't like."

San Mateo Student Transfers Probed
Bob Egelko @
sfgate.com
Advocates say they know of at least a dozen similar cases in which the district barred Chinese American students from their local high school because they couldn't prove they lived in the neighborhood - their parents' names weren't on the home deed or rental agreement, or the head of household wasn't legally registered as the student's guardian.

Prop. 39 backers suggest California end contracts with tax foes
Kevin Yamamura @
blogs.sacbee.com
Backers of a November initiative to raise taxes on out-of-state firms suggested Monday that the state stop doing business with four companies that officially opposed a similar tax change in the Capitol this year.

In-store Clinics Look To Be A Remedy For Healthcare Law Influx
Chad Terhune @
latimes.com
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.

CSU Freezes Spring Enrollment Again
Susan Frey and Monique Smith @
edsource.org
California State University is once again severely limiting spring enrollment due to state budget cutbacks and the fear of more reductions.

Both Parties Heap Praise On Bill Clinton
Debra Saunders @
sfgate.com
It doesn't matter who wins in November, Bill Clinton will end this year on top. The former president will introduce Barack Obama on the penultimate night of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C. That's prime placement for the man who dismissed Obama's campaign as "a fairy tale" four years ago.

Insurance rebates soften up some who doubt health care law
Abby Goodnough @
mercurynews.com
Lucia Harkenreader's check landed in her mailbox last week: a rebate of $456.15 from her health insurance company, with a letter dryly explaining that the money came courtesy of the federal health care law.

Lawsuit says voter guide statements incorrect
The Associated Press @
utsandiego.com
Proponents of the vehicle insurance discount initiative on the November ballot say California's voter guide statements on Proposition 33 are inaccurate.

End-of-session Bill Would Designate Money For 49ers Stadium
Laurel Rosenhall @
blogs.sacbee.com
Sen. Elaine Alquist of Santa Clara is jumping into a fight between the 49ers football team and education leaders in her Bay Area community by writing a bill that would allocate $30 million in disputed redevelopment funds toward building a new NFL stadium.

Lawmakers seek audit of mental health spending
HANNAH DREIER, Associated Press @
utsandiego.com
Two lawmakers say the state needs to change how mental health funding from a 2004 ballot initiative is spent to ensure the money serves those who need it most.

Small businesses endorse California measure affecting union dues
Hannah Madans @
blogs.sacbee.com
The National Federation of Independent Business/California, a group that represents small businesses, has endorsed Proposition 32. The ballot measure would ban union and corporations from contributing money directly to candidates.

State Attorney General Urged To Probe Anaheim Police Shootings
Matthew Stevens @
latimesblogs.latimes.com
A day after hundreds of people gathered outside Anaheim police headquarters to protest fatal officer-involved shootings, community organizers called on state Attorney General Kamala Harris to conduct an investigation of the Anaheim Police Department.

Same-sex marriage one step closer to being on Democratic platform
Morgan Little @
latimes.com
WASHINGTON -- The Democratic National Committee is closer to adopting same-sex marriage rights as part of the party’s platform after a drafting committee voted to move a measure endorsing it to the next round of voting.

Tax Rules On Horses Far From Simple - Sfgate
sfgate.com
On their 2010 tax return, they reported a $77,731 passive loss from Rob Rom Enterprises LLC, which owns Rafalca, a mare that will be competing in a dressage event Thursday. Various news reports have erroneously referred to this sum as a tax deduction, tax credit and a hobby loss, generating a fair amount of outrage about why U.S. taxpayers are subsidizing the Romneys' dancing horse. Because their passive activity losses - from Rob Rom and other passive investments - far exceeded their passive activity income in 2010, the Romneys were able to deduct only $49 worth of Rob Rom losses on their 2010 tax return. "Any unused suspended losses are allowed in full when the taxpayer disposes of his or her entire interest in the activity in a fully taxable transaction," says Mark Luscombe, a principal tax analyst with publishing firm CCH. The IRS could retroactively disallow all of the losses in this investment, which could eliminate some or all of the losses, depending on the statute of limitations, says Steven Bankler, a certified public accountant in San Antonio. "If you think what you are doing is a business, and you are conducting it like a business, you can treat it like a business on your tax return until the IRS comes to you and argues, this is not a business," says Lee Sheppard, a contributing editor to the journal Tax Notes.

Jerry Brown Aide Pushing Separate Tax Measure For November
latimesblogs.latimes.com
On politics in the Golden State

Republicans in Close Race Vie for Senate Runoff Vote
nytimes.com
The runoff vote for the Republican Senate nomination has pitted a magnetic Tea-Party conservative with no elective experience against the lieutenant governor, backed by Gov. Rick Perry.

Millions Of Dollars May Lie Dormant In California's Special Funds
Chris Megerian and Paige St. John @
latimes.com
As the governor and lawmakers make ever-deeper cuts, accounting discrepancies mean that large sums, such as $113 million in a recycling program, may be untapped.