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THE NOONER for September 7, 2012

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As editors make the tough decision on how to frame this morning's ugly jobs report (the reduction in the unemployment rate was consequence of disaffected workers leaving workforce), it's important to note how headlines drive the political cycle. 

I'll be candid that I usually only lay my hands on fishwrap on Sundays--generally the Bee, NYT and Davis Enterprise. Thus, I really don't know where the articles that I read online are placed in the physical newspaper. Frequently, I don't even remember which news source items are in. I often find myself asking on conversations "Did you see that chart in that article that was tweeted by so-and-so?" 

However, even amidst declining newsprint circulation, the voters that will decide November's races will be persuaded by print and electronic news stories that they encounter. In particular, I strongly believe that Proposition 30's fate will be directly tied to the gut feeling of the state and nation's economy, as well as whether government has cut down on fraud, waste and abuse.

Here's an interesting comparison. A trending Sacramento Bee article this morning on AroundTheCapitol has the headline "California saves $85M under Jerry Brown travel ban." My thought: good day for Jerry Brown.

But, when I went out to pick up my fishwrap before the sprinklers turned it to mush, I noticed the above-the-fold headline in the Bee is "Travel spending rises for city staff." My thought: bad day for Jerry Brown.

I turned the pages to see if the "good" story was on A3, where state stories frequently land near Dan Walters's mug. Nope. It turns out that the "good" story was an Associated Press story and was just used for website content and didn't make the cut for the paper. Instead, column inches went to two LA Times reprints and a story about Texas green-lighting an 85-mph speed limit for a highway.

That's the challenge for Jerry Brown's Prop. 30, Molly Munger's Prop. 38, and Tom Steyer's Prop. 39. Headlines matter, and editors are pushing writers to find the negative stories about government and politicians. The "good" stories may find a place online, but the fact that Sacramento's city manager spent $9,000 traveling to save the Kings is above-the-fold material.

A slight majority of voters are willing to approve new taxes. However, they want to be absolutely sure that it's necessary. Far more than television ads or newspaper endorsements or campaign organization, it will be the headlines that determine the results on November 6.



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SD31: Democrat Steve Clute endorses Jeff Miller [Jim Miller @ PE]

$$$: CTA comes in with $6.9 million against Prop. 32.

PROP 29 CONT'D: Smoke Me, Tax Me, King Me, or How to Make Sense of a California Recount [Brian Frank @ KQED]

ON THE AIR: The DCCC has taken to the air in CD10 against Jeff Denham and in CD52 against Brian Bilbray.

OUGHTA BE A LAW: Owners Lose Possessions After Home Near Twentynine Palms Is Mistakenly Foreclosed [CBS LA]


  • Measure A - County of San Mateo - Transaction and Use Tax (0.5% sales tax)
  • Measure B - County of San Mateo - Amending the Charter concerning election of its members (moving from at-large to district elections)
  • Measure C - County of San Mateo - Charter amendment for appointed controller
  • Measure D - Burlingame Unified School District - $56m GO bond (55% required)
  • Measure E - Jefferson Union High School District - $41.9m GO bond (55% required)
  • Measure F - City of Atherton - Library Construction
  • Measure G - San Bruno Park School District - $199/year parcel tax (66.7% required)
  • Measure H - San Carlos School District - $72m GO bond (55% required)
  • Measure I - Jefferson Elementary School District - $67.5m GO bond (55% required)
  • Measure J - City of Half Moon Bay - Transaction and Use Tax (0.5% sales tax)
  • Measure K - City of Menlo Park - Transit Occupancy Tax (from 10% to 12%)
  • Measure L - City of Atherton - New Town Center
  • Measure M - City of Atherton - Little League Proposal

THE OTHER GAME: With 25 games to go, the Giants are up 4 games over Dodgers, and a three-game stand between the two begins at ATT Park tonight at 7:30pm.

DEPT OF CORRECTIONS: Indeed, Gavin Newsom is still white, and two of the three likely Dems in the next gubernatorial are not. 

ONE DEGREE OF SEPARATION: The nexus to the gubernatorial candidate trio is Willie Brown. Antonio Villaraigosa succeeded him (four speakers later) as Speaker of the Assembly; Gavin Newsom was his chosen successor of mayor of San Francisco, and Kamala Harris dated him.

Have a great weekend. I'm off to Mexico, and will be writing you from the Nooner's Cancun office next week.


Gov. Jerry Brown Sees 'Fear In The Eyes Of Republicans' On Taxes
Kevin Yamamura @
Gov. Jerry Brown dismissed notions today that he can go back to GOP lawmakers for higher taxes if his November initiative fails, saying "there is fear in the eyes of Republicans when the tax word is uttered in their presence."

Campaigns Against Prop. 8 Fined $80,000 For Reporting Violations
Campaigns against Proposition 8 hit with $80,000 in fines

Busloads Protest Plan To Expand Jail
Chip Johnson @
The very idea that Contra Costa County residents would support a $6 million county jail expansion with funds from a state law mandating counties to provide alternatives to incarceration was met with stiff opposition at a meeting Thursday in Martinez.

Smoke Me, Tax Me, King Me, Or How To Make Sense Of A California Recount
Brian Frank @
The words "I demand a recount!" may rattle around in our collective pop consciousness like a TV jingle, but they're not uttered very often in earnest, at least not in the same breath as the word "proposition."

California Redevelopment Is Dead; Long Live Redevelopment
Dan Walters @
Redevelopment is dead – or so proclaimed Gov. Jerry Brown and legislators last year when they canceled the legal authorization for the six- decade-old urban renewal program and seized its assets to close the state's budget deficit.

Correa Blamed For Defeat Of Scholarship Act - Total Buzz - The Orange County Register : The Orange County Register
An intense final day of the legislative session concluded last week with the defeat of Assembly Speaker John A. Perez‘s Middle Class Scholarship Act, legislation that he had identified as his top priority for the year. When the dust settled, the speaker’s office put out a press release blaming Senate Republicans and Santa Ana Democratic Sen. Lou Correa in particular for the proposal’s failure.

John Chiang: Democrats want 'this hotel to work'
David Siders @
The scalding showers, stuck elevators and crumbling stucco at The Blake Hotel have been a source of frustration - and more than a few jokes - for California Democrats in town for the Democratic National Convention. But perhaps no one tried harder to make a policy point about it than the state controller, John Chiang.

Ethical Questions On CCSF Board Campaign
Lance Williams @
A former City College of San Francisco official who pleaded guilty in a political fundraising scandal now is raising money for a City College trustee's re-election campaign.

Editorial: State must nail down off-road vehicle funds
California lawmakers and the governor need to immediately get to the bottom of funding within the Off-Highway Vehicle Trust Fund. If they don't, it will only further the public's doubts about the ability of state leaders to manage and track public funds. And that won't help Gov. Jerry Brown as he tries to persuade voters to approve the tax increase he seeks, Proposition 30 on the Nov. 6 ballot.

Teachers' union gives nearly $7 million to fight Proposition 32
Jon Ortiz @
The California Teachers Association has donated $6.95 million toward defeating the November ballot measure that would squeeze funding for unions' political efforts.

Teachers Union Gives Another $6.9 Million To Prop. 32 Fight
California's largest teachers union is literally doubling down to fight Proposition 32, the November ballot measure that promises to eliminate special-interest money in politics.

Villaraigosa's Handling Of Platform Gets Mixed Reviews From CA
Torey Van Oot @
Los Angeles Mayor and Democratic National Committee Chairman Antonio Villaraigosa is still facing questions about his handling of late changes to the Democratic party platform made this week, including from some delegates hailing from his own state.

Obama Seeks Crescendo As He Moves Inside To Close Convention - The Hill - Covering Congress, Politics, Political Campaigns And Capitol Hill |
Ashley Perks @
The Hill 1625 K Street, NW Suite 900 Washington DC 20006 | 202-628-8500 tel | 202-628-8503 fax

San Fernando Valley's Community College Leaders Detail 'Devastating Effect' Of A Prop. 30 Failure
Dana Bartholomew @
Now L.A. community college administrators are girding for more cuts in classes and services should voters reject the Proposition 30 tax hike measure this fall.

Hundreds Stranded Outside Democratic National Convention
David Siders @
Hundreds of ticketholders were stranded outside the Democratic National Convention ahead of President Barack Obama's acceptance speech here tonight, after officials said the arena reached capacity and closed the doors.

Editorial: Governor has one choice: Veto AB 2451
To win over voters who are undecided about his tax increase measure, Proposition 30, Gov. Jerry Brown must first convince them that the state is prepared to use the money in a prudent fashion.

Steinberg Hoping This Time Brown Will Sign Bill Changing API
John Fensterwald @
Steinberg is less prescriptive this year, giving the State Board and State Superintendent more latitude to choose measures beyond the current components of the API. But the bill would require Torlakson to suggest ways give more emphasis to history and science either within the API or outside of it. And it would authorize including middle school dropout rates, a significant, often overlooked problem.

Democrat Clute endorses GOP candidate in targeted Senate seat
Torey Van Oot @
Republican Assemblyman Jeff Miller is touting an unusual new endorsement in his bid for the targeted 31st Senate District: a former Democratic rival.

Local officials still penciling out when California pension reform will help
Sweeping public pension legislation approved last week will change the relationship between thousands of California governments and their workers, but local officials are still figuring out the long-term outcome for taxpayers.

State Board Files Complaint Against Santa Clara County's Largest Employee Union
Tracy Seipel @
The case stems from an unfair practice charge that Jeffrey Lum filed against the Service Employees International Union Local 521 on June 29 for forcing him to pay full union dues.

Young focuses on schools, not mayoral candidates
Council President Tony Young hasn’t endorsed anyone in the San Diego mayor’s race but that hasn’t kept him from showing support for both candidates’ education initiatives.

California controller urges better auditing in teacher pension system
Patrick McGreevy @
CalSTRS misses opportunities to reduce pension spiking, John Chiang says in a report, which cited abuses among managers and administrators.