Around The Capitol

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THE NOONER for August 13, 2012

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TWEET DU JOUR:  @daveweigel - "Campaign travel is one long lesson in learning not to trust Google maps."

The Republican Party met in Burbank over the weekend and, despite the recent negative press about the party's finances and long-term prospects, attendees were buoyed by the Paul Ryan veep pick and better-than-expected primary showings (and Democratic missteps) in June.

The party took positions on the eleven ballot measures facing voters in November, joining the Democratic Party on only two measures--Proposition 35 (Human Trafficking) and Proposition 40 (Redistricting Referendum). A full comparison of the positions of the two parties is below.

On Saturday, Dan Walters took a look at the party's reversal on Proposition 40, on which it spent $1.7 million to qualify. Walters writes Bob "Huff and [Mimi] Walters told the committee that the referendum was pushed not so much to get voters to overturn the new districts, but as the basis for a plea to the state Supreme Court to use the previous districts for the 2012 elections."

Of course, the back story is that the main goal was to keep Dems from getting two-thirds and preserving a seat for Sam Blakeslee. Since the SupCt refused to stay the new districts, the party is better off not gambling that a redraw would leave Dems a seat in Orange County.

I hear that there were some tense discussions at the board meeting that followed the general session yesterday and that changes to the board structure and the authority of chair Tom Del Beccaro were made. Working on getting details . . .


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




Join your colleagues from around the state for a day of in-depth discussion on current and future issues facing public retirement in California at the 22nd Annual Northern California Public Retirement Seminar.

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012 - 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM; CalPERS Auditorium

Registration Fee: $190

Register online or contact us directly


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Particularly toward the end of session or leading up to a deadline week, I like to watch the site analytics on the bill pages on Around The Capitol. Sixty-seven percent of Around The Capitol visitors arrive via search engine, including an overwhelming share of the visitors on bill pages. Here are the top five bills last week, part of the 15,062 unique visitors who viewed 31,216 pages.

  1. SB 249 (Yee): Assault Weapons - 6,208 views
  2. SB 1221 (Lieu): Mammals: use of dogs to pursue bears and bobcats. - 477
  3. AB 1595 (Cook): Vehicles: recreational off-highway vehicles. - 356 (chaptered)
  4. AB 1616 (Gatto): Food safety: cottage food operations. - 246
  5. SB 1315 (De Leon): Imitation firearms: regulation: County of Los Angeles- 223

$$$: Now that we're within 90 days of the November 6 election, committees have to report any contribution over $1,000 within 24 hours. Thus, electionTrack is quite busy. You can get the daily roundup of all contributions by e-mail by signing up on the home page. Also, all contributions of $2,500 are tweeted by the account @electiontrack.

AURAL-VISUAL PLEASURE: John Myers, Anthony York and Marisa Lagos return with the Capitol Connection podcast

Meanwhile, John Myers catches Sarah Palin blasting California on her Facebook page in her praise of the Ryan pick:

"Obama's vision for America will make the rest of the country look like California, minus the beautiful scenery and warm weather," she writes.


Business Interests Wary Of Tangling With Labor Over California's Proposition 32
Jon Ortiz @
Sacramento boasts a cottage industry of political message massagers, but when a chance to become the spokesman for a controversial initiative on the coming November ballot surfaced last year, none of the local firms stepped up.

Newsom Touts Efforts That Benefit Donors
Matt Smith and Lance Williams @
In seeking to sharpen the traditionally ambiguous role of state lieutenant governor, Gavin Newsom has posited himself as a Mr. Fix-It for local good-government measures under threat from out-of-towners. But as Newsom has thrown his weight behind efforts to reclaim for pedestrians a plaza in San Diego and a plan to fight blight in San Bernardino County, he has done double duty advancing the interests of major campaign donors.

ARB Looks At Reducing 'Cap And Trade' Burden On Businesses
Dale Kasler @
Big business sees California's global-warming law as a job killer, a $1 billion tax that could force some of the state's heaviest industries to flee.

Dan Walters Daily
Micaela Massimino @
Dan Walters says the California state parks scandal isn't going to help Gov. Jerry Brown's ballot tax measure.

Campaign Over Richmond Soda Tax Bubbles Up
This working-class city northeast of San Francisco has emerged as the next battleground between business and health advocates over a municipal tax on sugar-sweetened drinks.

Legal Pension Hikes: Air Time, Golden Handshake
Ed Mendel @
Some regard air time as an abuse, even though employees make a payment that is supposed to cover the cost. There is the question of fairness, a benefit not available to all citizens, and of taxpayer risk if long-term investment earnings are below the forecast.

Rick Orlov's Tipoff: Mayor Villaraigosa Says He Wants 'time To Reflect'
Rick Orlov @
So, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, if you were a tree, the sardonic Dan Schnur asked the mayor last week as he channeled his inner Barbara Walters, what Cabinet post would you take in a second Obama administration?

Supervisor Hopefuls Seek Public Financing
Rachel Gordon, John Coté @
San Francisco taxpayers, open your wallets: The races for district supervisor are starting to ramp up, and several candidates already have signed up for public financing, with more requests expected.

Obama campaign trip aims to link Romney to Paul Ryan's budget
Christi Parsons @
President Obama plans to carry a new message on his road trip across Iowa this week, aimed at linking the Republican candidate for president with the budgetary views of his new running mate.

Big Court Battle For Potential Deportee
Shoshana Walter, Bay Citizen @
Enrique Candia lives a quiet life in Oakland. When he's not working, he takes care of his ailing wife and his three grandchildren and makes sure his son is on track to finish college. Now, although he has no criminal record, the 56-year-old is facing a court battle that could take him away from his family for years.

Rep. Howard Berman Takes Gloves Off In Race Against Brad Sherman
Jean Merl @
An underdog in the race for a Valley congressional seat, Berman takes the offensive in an attempt to gain ground on fellow Democrat Sherman.

Outside Prison Walls, Ex-inmates Meet, Eat And Offer Support
Trey Bundy @
The men were among seven former residents of San Quentin State Prison attending a picnic at Golden Gate Park earlier this month. The picnic was organized by the Alliance for CHANGE, or Creating Hope And New Goals Ethically, a rehabilitation and re-entry program at the prison started by a small group of inmates, academics and volunteers.

Bloomberg to Press Obama and Romney Campaigns on Immigration
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg plans to visit Chicago and Boston, the respective homes of the Obama and Romney campaigns, to press for an overhaul of immigration policies.

Court Backs Union, Sends LAUSD Layoffs Case Back To Judge
John Fensterwald @
Handing United Teachers Los Angeles a significant procedural victory, a state appeals court has overturned a landmark ruling challenging the contractual rights of teachers in Los Angeles Unified.

Campaigning in Iowa, Obama blames Paul Ryan for blocking farm bill
Steve Peoples and Ken Thomas @
Targeting Paul Ryan, President Barack Obama blamed the GOP vice presidential candidate on Monday for blocking a farm bill that could help the hurting heartland, marking a fresh attack on the new Republican ticket as both sides vied for votes in Iowa.

The Long Run: Family, Faith and Politics Describe Life of Paul Ryan
Representative Paul D. Ryan’s childhood home here was not overtly partisan. His parents were enthusiastic supporters of Representative Les Aspin, a Democrat, yet adored President Ronald Reagan from their glimpses of him on the evening news. But the death of his father when Mr. Ryan was only 16 punctured his life of math tests and bike riding, and in that fissure, the seeds of his worldview were planted.

Would Paul Ryan's budget give Mitt Romney zero taxes?
David Lauter @
Democrats have homed in on a new line of attack against the Republican ticket – asserting that the budget plan written by Rep. Paul Ryan would all-but zero out Mitt Romney’s taxes.

After Bankruptcy, Vallejo Is A City Of Both Dreams And Struggles
Maria L. La Ganga @
A number of businesses have opened in recent months, and municipal finances have reached a degree of stability. But there are still many empty storefronts.

Sister city vote is not forum for Mideast politics
Supporters of the Palestinian cause plan to parade Tuesday before the City Council to stop Ashkelon in Israel from becoming Sacramento's 10th sister city.

Egypt's president orders two top military officials to retire
Reem Abdellatif @
President Mohamed Morsi on Sunday ordered two of Egypt's top military officials to retire and canceled a declaration by the military that had given the country's generals sweeping legislative and budgetary powers.

Efforts Under Way To Make Nixon's White House Tapes Accessible
G.W. Schulz @
Archivists are working to better code hundreds of hours of secret audio tape recorded by former President Richard Nixon in hopes that researchers will have an easier time searching, listening to and following along with the material in a simpler web interface.  

LAUSD Rolls Out New Batch Of Healthy Menus - La Daily News
Barbara Jones @
Breakfast in the classroom, more appetizing lunch choices, eco-friendly meal trays and higher cafeteria prices will greet Los Angeles Unified students when they return to school on Tuesday.

The Caucus: Tea Party Hopes to Gain Larger Stage in Election With Romney's Pick
Paul D. Ryan is now unquestionably the face of the Tea Party caucus in Washington, and his success is certain to embolden House lawmakers whose proudly unyielding approach to governance has contributed to legislative gridlock.