Around The Capitol

Having trouble viewing this email? Click here

Receive this as a forward? Sign up here

THE NOONER for August 3, 2012

Happy Friday! Well, less than happy Friday, as this is my last dispatch from Cancun (until next month), and the Legislature returns on Monday. Anyway, enjoy the rest of the day!


Some readers took exception to my characterization on Tuesday on the fight over the redevelopment money between Santa Clara Unified School District and proponents of the new 49ers stadium. Specifically, my use of the word "gravy" to characterize the money they'd get if the money is not deemed an enforceable obligation. After all, the Santa Clara Unified, like school districts across the state, has taken deep cuts.

I was trying to differentiate why the district has skin in the game in the redevelopment fight, whereas most school districts are agnostic. Again, for most school districts, any money that is received from either liquidation of assets or from the redirection of property tax increment results in reduced state general fund apportionment payments for the per-student funding the district receives.

Since Santa Clara Unified and other basic aid districts don't receive general fund apportionment payments, there is nothing to offset, and the district gets to keep the extra money. In the end, the extra money likely doesn't offset other cuts the district has had since 2009-10, so it may be gravy, but it doesn't necessarily make the overcooked turkey taste much better.

Anyway, this will be a fascinating end-of-session fight. My understanding is that the delegation from Santa Clara/Silicon Valley is split, and I'm guessing influential senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) is in no mood to assist the 49ers leave their geographic namesake. The governor's Department of Finance has been very strict on most "enforceable obligation" requests from former redevelopment agencies, yet the governor has made it clear that he is willing to move mountains for economic development. Gravy or not, get your popcorn, folks.

ADDED: The district pages now have a "mentions" section. As of right now, it's just mentions in The Nooner, although I plan to incorporate additional sources shortly.

DATA GEEKERY: Cool one-pager on today's job numbers from Hamilton Place Strategies. Big number: "Jobs needed for unemployment rate to be below 8% on Election Day if current participation rate holds steady: 279,000"

FOUND: The fascinating story of NYT columnist David Pogue's lost iPhone.

GOLDEN: Amazing picture of Gabby Douglas in mid-air.

That's it. The Internet is being quite uncooperative here this morning. Go ahead, get out of there…hit the golf course. I won't tell.

Jerry Brown Invokes New Testament In Prop. 30 Tax Campaign
David Siders @
Gov. Jerry Brown this afternoon offered a biblical foundation for his November ballot measure to raise taxes, saying the wealthiest Californians have been blessed with an increasing share of the population's income and can afford to pay more.

Nurses' Union Gives $1 Million To Support Gov. Jerry Brown's Tax Measure
Local @
A $1 million check from the nurses union is a shot in the arm for Gov. Jerry Browns tax measure, which is sagging beneath lackluster poll numbers, public relations problems and a well-funded competitor.

Outside Counsel For Rep. Waters Case May Cost Taxpayers $1.3m
Ian Swanson @
The House Ethics Committee could end up spending more than $1 million on an outside counsel’s investigation of Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) and the panel itself.

California Lawmaker Seeks To Punish Firms That Don't Pay Higher Tax
Kevin Yamamura @
A Democratic lawmaker is writing legislation to ban state contracts with out-of-state firms that use a method of calculating taxes his party opposes.

Lawsuits Seek Do-over Of Two Initiative Analyses
John Myers @
Three separate lawsuits have just been filed seeking changes in the information materials mailed to voters for two initiatives on the November 6 statewide ballot.

Mayor To Write Argument Against Sacramento Sales Tax Hike
Ryan Lillis @
How much does Mayor Kevin Johnson dislike the idea of a sales tax hike in the city? He's volunteered to write the opposition argument against the proposal.

Nurses Union Pledges $1 Million To Jerry Brown's Tax Initiative
On politics in the Golden State

California's 'Wall Of Debt' Has Risen Even Higher
Dan Walters @
Brown declared that reducing the "wall of debt" would be his "top priority" if taxes were increased. "The wall of debt has to be brought down," he told reporters. So now that Brown is asking voters for new taxes, is it still his "top priority?" Well, yes and no.

Facebook Prices May Alter Calif. Budget
Marisa Lagos and Casey Newton @
Facebook's disappointing stock performance could punch a hole in the state budget if share prices don't recover by the end of the year, according to the state's legislative analyst.

Bond Insurer Blasts Stockton For Favoring Pensions Over Other Debtors
Dale Kasler @
Wall Street lenders say they're getting a raw deal in Stockton's bankruptcy, losing millions while the city continues to fund pricey employee pensions. The city says too bad.

Calif. nurses union gives Brown tax initiative $1M
JULIET WILLIAMS, Associated Press @
The politically influential California Nurses Association is backing Gov. Jerry Brown's November tax initiative with a $1 million contribution.

The Caucus: Senate Panel Passes Extension of Wind Energy Tax Credit
Senate Republicans rebuffed their presidential nominee and won Senate Finance Committee passage of a one-year extension of the tax credit for wind energy, just four days after Mitt Romney's campaign announced it wanted the credit to die.

California Reaches Deep Into Special Funds To Pay For Schools, Prisons, Social Services
Kevin Yamamura @
California has 560 funds deemed "special" because in theory they're walled off from general state expenditures. In the face of two recessions, however, California reached deeper into those funds for purposes that fee payers never intended. The state now owes $4.3 billion to special funds, more than five times the amount owed in 2008.

Jerry Brown to Antonio Villaraigosa
David Siders @
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa caused a stir when he told Yahoo News the other day that he'd like to be governor.

Central Valley Farmers Want To End Protection For Killer Whales - Agriculture - The Sacramento Bee
Killer whales from the Pacific Northwest migrate as far south as California's Central Coast. Federal laws treat the "southern resident" population as endangered.

Special Interests Win In Senate Panel’s Attempt At Tax Reform
It was supposed to be a first step toward tax reform. But as lawmakers tackled a list of 75 special-interest tax breaks, the special interests repeatedly won.

Dan Walters: California's 'wall of debt' has risen even higher
Jerry Brown devoted the first months of his second governorship last year to dickering with Republicans on placing a multibillion-dollar tax increase before voters.

Obama: Romney's Economic Plan Is Return To Bush Failures
Amie Parnes @
President Obama said the country would be "setting our sights low" and "settling for something less" if voters choose his opponent Mitt Romney-- and Romney's proposed economic plan-- in November.

Wind Industry Wins Senate Panel’s Support for a Tax Break
A Senate committee passed a bill in favor of a tax break for the wind industry on a bipartisan vote on Thursday, helped by Republicans from states where wind power is common.

Texas And California: Trading Places | Nbc Southern California
Uncategorized @
Follow Prop Zero | California and Los Angeles Political Coverage

Poll Numbers Respond To Outside Events And Ballot Labels :: Fox&hounds
Since the issuing of the first poll, the tragedy in Aurora, Colorado occurred, with the death of 12 victims and the wounding of scores more. Proposition 34 to repeal the death penalty saw its numbers drop from 45.5% support to 35.9% support.

Congress lags behind public in support for same-sex marriage
Kim Geiger @
WASHINGTON – The American public increasingly favors allowing same-sex marriage, but most of the country’s representatives in Congress are not convinced.

Despite Tough Times For Education, Construction And Renovation Projects Continue
For Pomona Unified, it was a double-whammy of the state's financial crisis and declining enrollment: Nearly all of a public school district's revenue comes in money from the state, based on how many students attend class on an average day.

Peter Schrag: Who Will Save The State GOP From Itself?
Peter Schrag @
Last month, shortly before the New York Times ran a front-page story recognizing the obvious – "Republican Party in California Is Caught in Cycle of Decline," said the headline – the party's directors authorized a wave of deep cutbacks in staffing and other austerity measures.