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THE NOONER for August 23, 2012

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USC is out with a new poll on the education tax measures Proposition 30 (governor) and Proposition 38 (Munger). The poll was conducted online by M4 Strategies and Tulchin Research between August 3 and August 7, with a MOE of 3.0%.

Proposition 30: Temporary Taxes to Fund Education. Guaranteed Local Public Safety Funding. Initiative Constitutional Amendment.
Before arguments
Yes: 54.5% (22.8% Strongly, 31.7% Somewhat)
No: 35.9% (23.3% Strongly, 12.6% Somewhat)

After arguments
Yes: 52.3% (20.8% Strongly, 31.5% Somewhat)
No: 33.8% (21.8% Strongly, 12.0% Somewhat) 

Proposition 38: Tax for Education and Early Childhood Programs. Initiative Statute.
Yes: 39.7% (11.0% Strongly, 28.7% Somewhat)
No:  48.9% (30.4% Strongly, 18.5% Somewhat)

(after arguments not tested)

John Myers asks whether the governor's message of the "doomsday scenario" if Proposition 30 can defeat the conventional wisdom that voters need to positively inspired, rather than scared, into voting a ballot measure.

I know some political consultants that would swear that a ballot measure with 54.5% 75 days out has almost no chance of passage. However, I believe that voters have a greater deal of knowledge about the tax and spending issue. Sure, there's confusion, which will only increase, between the effects of Prop. 30 and 38. But, they get the tax and spend issue. 

At the end of the day, Prop. 30 will win or lose based on how much voters trust that state government needs the money and won't waste it. While there won't be a major funded campaign against it, that trust and sentiment will be driven by news articles and developments that nobody can predict. 




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MAKING S&*T UP: Yesterday, in a debate on whether the Assembly should adopt a resolution encouraging Congress to reinstate the 1990s assault weapons ban, Assemblymember Tim Donnelly made the claim "...a Prius kills more people than assault weapons, but it isn't the Prius that does it ..." [@ 3:04:50]

As a loyal Prius driver, I was shocked that I was as dangerous as a crazy person walking into a theatre with an AR-15. I think I may just leave it in the driveway, because you never know when I'll go homicidal and decide to plow through those downtown Davis intersections.

Well, this study found 124 deaths involving Priuses between 2001-2007, even if you assume the Prius was always at fault. Whether or not you support a "ban" on assault weapons, I'm willing to bet that there are more than 18 deaths per year from them.

NOT MAKING THIS S&*T UP: Texas judge says tells the local teevee station that if Obama is reelected, civil war could break out. [Mackenzie Weinger @ Poltiico]

Can I just say how happy I am we don't have partisan judicial elections in California?

LAUNDRY: Both parties pulled that newly cleaned big money out of the dryer to funnel into SD05 candidates yesterday. The Democratic State Central Committee sent $100,000 to Cathleen Galgiani, while the Stanislaus County Republican Party gave $45,000 to Bill Berryhill. Meanwhile, the San Luis Obispo County Republican Party doled out a little bit (or a lot bit) of lovin' to SD27 candidate Todd Zink.

Some people think I'm being critical of the parties for this maneuver, which gets around the $3,900 contribution limit per donor and effectively allows laundered $32,500 contributions from single donors. That's not the case. I think parties should do anything within the bounds of the law to maximize their chances of victory. That's what they are there for.

However, it does make a mockery of a system, and gives an unfair advantage to party-backed candidates. This is particularly true with top-two, in which we will see candidates unaffiliated with parties. In 2012, this is only the case in one state race--AD28.

Assemblymember Paul Fong (D) is being challenged by Chad Walsh (NPP). If the California Democratic Party became concerned that this seat was vulnerable, it could take the $32,400 it received last year from Napster/Facebook guru Sean Parker and give it to Paul Fong. Meanwhile, since Walsh does not have a party to run the money through, Chad Walsh could only receive $7,800 ($3,900 each for primary and general) from Sean Parker.

Indie candidates may actually have a legal case on this unfairness.

My thinking has evolved over the years on campaign finance. I think I'm at the point on both the state and federal fronts of eliminating all limits and requiring 24 hour online reporting of all contributions. It wouldn't fix all of the issues, but it would be better than a loophole-filled system that is unfair and encourages doing the laundry.

LAW AND ORDER: Defense Witness: Assemblyman's Blood Sample Was Compromised In Concord DUI Investigation [Malaika Fraley @ CC Times]

STORMY WEATHER: As the GOP convenes on Tampa, so does hurricane Isaac. As of this writing, the convention, scheduled to gavel into order on Monday, could be postponed.

WHEN HE WAS FUN: Young Barack Obama's Genuinely Hilarious Self Parody [Andrew Kaczynski @ BuzzFeed]

POINT WELL TAKEN: My characterization of the fight between doctors and health plans over the chemotherapy bill hides the story behind the story - the real backers are drug companies that want the oral drugs on their formularies.

FAREWELL MALOOFS: And let me be the first to tell them to kiss my ass. #FormerSeasonTicketHolder [Note: the proposal still has to be approved by NBA owners, despite the News10 headline.]


Can Brown Win Tax Vote With Doomsday Talk?
John Myers @
There's no mystery about the conventional path to getting voters to say yes to a ballot initiative: sell them on all the good things the measure does. Which is what makes Gov. Jerry Brown's still nascent campaign for his Proposition 30 so interesting: it seems focused not on what happens if they vote yes, but the impending doom if voters say no.

Bill Raising Fees For Legislative License Plates Sent To Jerry Brown
Jim Sanders @
Legislation to eliminate a perk of elective office by raising fees for legislative and congressional license plates was sent to the governor today.

Higher Lobbyist Fees Approved To Fix Campaign Finance Database
The state Senate voted to increase registration fees for lobbyists and political committees to repair and update the state's campaign finance database.

Lobbyists Face Fee Increase As Bill Is Sent To Governor
Laurel Rosenhall @
California lobbyists would see their registration fees double under a bill on its way to Gov. Jerry Brown.

Obama slams Romney on teachers in latest education push
Michael A. Memoli @
NORTH LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Continuing a back-to-school-timed campaign push on education, President Obama shifted Wednesday from the cost of higher education to the value of teachers, blasting rival Mitt Romney for portraying educators as “nameless bureaucrats.”

Bill To Revamp Teacher Evaluations In California Headed For Final Vote In State Senate | 89.3 Kpcc
A view of the California State Capitol in Sacramento.

Gov. Brown's Tax Measure Ahead In Poll, But Trouble Looms
Wyatt Buchanan @
Gov. Jerry Brown's tax-raising Proposition 30 is in positive but shaky territory while a rival tax measure, Proposition 38, is losing by a significant margin, according to a poll released Wednesday by the Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE)/USC Rossier School of Education.

California Democrats push to allow Election Day postmark
Kevin Yamamura @
In a last-minute bill moving through the Legislature, Democratic lawmakers are seeking to expand the number of mail ballots counted in elections by extending the deadline for submitting them.

Obama Promotes His Education Credentials, Putting Down Romney's
Speaking to a raucous rally at a high school here, Mr. Obama accused his Republican opponent of dismissing concerns about crowded classrooms. Mr. Romney, the president said, would impose deep cuts on education funding, as part of the favor-the-rich Republican budget drafted by his running mate, Representative Paul D. Ryan.

Regulatory Ban Is Approved For Phone Calls Via Internet
Laurel Rosenhall @
California lawmakers are sending Gov. Jerry Brown a bill to prohibit regulation of a type of phone service known as Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP.

Dems Try To Give Young Illegals Licenses
John Wildermuth @
Democratic legislators are working with Gov. Jerry Brown and Department of Motor Vehicles officials to provide driver's licenses to hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants now eligible to work under President Obama's new "deferred action" policy.

Defense Witness: Assemblyman's Blood Sample Was Compromised In Concord DUI Investigation
Malaika Fraley @
An independent forensic toxicologist testified Wednesday that a phlebotomist mishandled the blood sample taken from state Assemblyman Roger Hernandez after the West Covina Democrat was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving in Concord.

State Struggles With Limiting Felons In Home Health Care Jobs
Jennifer Gollan @
Three years after the state barred felons from serving as publicly funded home health caretakers, people with criminal histories in theft, prostitution and drug possession have continued to care for the state’s most vulnerable and frail residents.

Senate panel halts measure on how sales tax is split
A late-blooming proposal to intervene in a decades-long squabble among cities over allocation of sales taxes was turned back Wednesday by the Senate Governance and Finance Committee.

Jerry Brown Celebrates Space Day And His 'moonbeamship'
David Siders @
One of the prerogatives of the governor, Jerry Brown said at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory this afternoon, is to issue proclamations, even if most of them "don't mean a hell of a lot."

Democrat Ami Bera Calls On Lungren To Renounce Support Of Anti-abortion Bill
Torey Van Oot @
Democrats are working to make a Missouri congressman's controversial comment about rape an issue in the heated 7th Congressional District race.

Brown Struggling To Sell Prop 30 To Wary Voters
John Fensterwald @
Rework your talking points, Governor. You risk losing the message war over Proposition 30.

Democrats Make Akin Rape Remarks An Issue In Ca House Race
Torey Van Oot @
Democrats are working to make a Missouri congressman's controversial comment about rape an issue in the heated 7th Congressional District race.

State will audit Calif. mental health spending
The Associated Press @
The state auditor will review some of California's mental health spending to determine whether money from a 2004 ballot initiative is being spent the way voters intended.

Obama Rips Akin, GOP For Archaic Positions
Amie Parnes @
President Obama on Wednesday used Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) — the embattled candidate running for Senate — as an example of how the Republican Party is antiquated and "fight[s] fights that we thought were settled 20 or 30 years ago."

Dan Walters Daily: Why do Democrats support a tax loophole?
Amy Chance @
Dan Walters wonders why Democrats who decry tax loopholes are interested in extending one for the film industry.

L.A. Council Rejects Bid To Shorten Campaign Fundraising Season
Kate Linthicum @
The Ethics Commission proposal was designed to shift power from incumbents and curb spending in city races. The move draws complaints from reform advocates.