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THE NOONER for September 17, 2012

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HAPPY CONSTITUTION DAY! (September 17, 1787 was a pretty cool day if you were a white guy.)

Over 200 subscribers voted in the 2012 Legislators of the Year awards. I'll be unveiling Assembly Republicans today, Assembly Democrats tomorrow, Senate Republicans on Wednesday and Senate Republicans on Thursday. This is for entertainment purposes only, as there is no "perfect sample" and voting was open to all Nooner subscribers. The margin of error is +/- 50%. 


1. Nathan Fletcher* - "willing to compromise," "has a 10,000 foot view of the issues," "passionate speaker who makes very persuasive arguments," "he's a cyclist," "first legislator to hire someone with a developmental disability on his staff"

2. Cameron Smyth - "Pragmatic, jocular, chaired a committee and Fran Pavley is soooo lucky he decided not to run," "Played a real, somewhat behind-the-scenes role in shaping the pension reform bill"

3. Brian Nestande - "Stood up fo principle instead of party," "has an independent mind," "became a major player in the Assembly and Jerry Brown's favorite Republican"

4. Tim Donnelly - "Makes Democrats squirm," "Tim has stood up for our Constitutional rights at every turn," "the BEST floor speeches at end of session"

5. Kristin Olsen - "Solid first term in office," "In a time when Republicans are almost totally marginalized in the legislature, Kristin Olsen actually passed quite a few bills, including a CEQA exemption for road projects, and she did it without having to leave her party or getting punished by her caucus."


1. Tim Donnelly - "Principled," "Hands down. no contest," "Smart, but a little too vocal at times."

2. Jim Nielsen - "An elder statesman, Nielsen is a key Republican who doesn't believe in bomb throwing," "voice for streamlining CEQA and support for business, anti-regulations,"

3. Diane Harkey - "She asks the tough questions that never receive an answer concerning the fiscal ineptitude of the majority party," "She more than any other GOP member articulates a clear small government ideology without being an anarchist."

4. Nathan Fletcher* - "Represents his party well, just a shame that his party left him."

5. Connie Conway - "Leads Assembly Republicans and in particular, in support of court challenge to protect homeowners from illegal tax hikes," "In another, more conservative state, Connie Conway would be a future Nikki Haley. (And, yes, I mean governor.)"


* Nathan Fletcher re-registered as "No Party Preference" during his unsuccessful bid to be mayor of San Diego, and officially left the Assembly Republican Caucus.



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SIREN: The Sacramento Bee endorses Republican Peter Tateishi for AD08. "He could help make the GOP more relevant and constructive in the Legislature."

CHARLOTTE'S WEB: Melissa Griffen dishes out some gossip from the Dems' confab in Charlotte. Writing about the crappy hotel Golden State delegates were housed in, she writes ". . . Kamala Harris is rumored to have walked in, looked around the room and walked out of the hotel entirely." 

And, "Still, this was no excuse for the public petulance of recalled ex-Gov. Gray Davis, who had a meltdown worthy of Honey Boo Boo in front of several of us when he was not given a suite. 'That’s not a suite! They say that’s a suite but I’m demanding a real suite!'"

Folks, if you want to be a one party state, you're going to have to live with the party's consequences. It pays to be in play.

PROP 30: Dan Walters calls the governor's tax measure "a potential, even likely, fiscal train wreck."

PROP 32: The American Future Fund, which has ties to the incendiary Koch brothers, opened a committee Friday--the California Future Fund for Free Markets. With $4,080,000 as seed money, it's likely this side campaign will be the one you hear from.

PROP 32: John Hrabe looks at the conflict between Prop. 32 and local charter city campaign ordinances and notes that, if the measure passes, the fight won't end on November 6.

PROP 32: launches a series investigating/opposing Prop 32.

PROP 38: Molly Munger's campaign launches a new website, IAM38.ORG

DON'T CALL IT FRISCO: BeyondChron's Randy Shaw takes a look at Supe races in the City by the Bay. 

BILL SCOREBOARD: On Friday, the governor signed 22 bills and vetoed 2.


Jerry Brown's Legacy Rides On Outcome Of Tax Hike Initiative
George Skelton @
If Jerry Brown's tax hike plan wins at the polls, he's golden. If it fails, he'll have to preside over some budget-balancing alternatives that will anger the public.

Judge Dismisses Prime Healthcare Antitrust Conspiracy Lawsuit
A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by hospital chain Prime Healthcare Services that alleged Kaiser Permanente conspired with a health care workers union to drive Prime out of business.

Rich And Famous In Silicon Valley, Hollywood Backing Campaign To Abolish California's Death Penalty
Local @
Proposition 34's campaign has amassed more than $5.4 million to persuade California voters to get rid of capital punishment, dwarfing the paltry $208,000 gathered by a pro-death-penalty coalition of law enforcement and victims rights groups.

Bankruptcy Ruling Could Alter California Pension Law
Dan Walters @
The public pension reform legislation that the Legislature and Gov. Jerry Brown adopted very carefully avoided any changes of current pensioners' benefits and those of future recipients now on state and local payrolls.

Pension Reform: CalSTRS Gets Hope, CSU Low Rate
Ed Mendel @
Most of the 44,000 employees on the 23 campuses of the CSU system will continue to make a low pension contribution, 5 percent of pay. The state Finance department lost another round with labor-backed educators.

Obama Launches New China Trade Action
Julie Pace and Nedra Pickler @
Republican Mitt Romney launched fresh critiques of President Barack Obama's handling of the economy Monday in an attempt to cut the incumbent's momentum, as the White House announced new a new trade enforcement case against China in the battle for working-class voters.

Romney's Health Reforms Will Be Tricky
Joe Garofoli @
It's long been a go-to applause line for GOP nominee Mitt Romney in front of friendly campaign audiences. "I will repeal Obamacare," Romney promises as the audience roars, "on day one" of his presidency.

Millions In Union Political Money At Stake In Proposition 32 Fight
Jon Ortiz @
Labor unions argue that a campaign-finance measure on California's November ballot would unfairly hobble their political pull, but behind that lies a tacit admission: If given an easy choice, many of their members would keep the dues money that helps power union clout.

Romney Campaign Says It Plans To Get More Specific
Maeve Reston @
After a series of unflattering stories about Mitt Romney's recent slide in the polls, the campaign will renew its focus on policies, not President Obama.

Dan Walters: Bankruptcy ruling could alter California pension law
The public pension reform legislation that the Legislature and Gov. Jerry Brown adopted very carefully avoided any changes of current pensioners' benefits and those of future recipients now on state and local payrolls.

With 50 Days Until The Election, Obama Holds Edge Over Romney
Cameron Joseph @
With 50 days until the 2012 election, President Obama has a small, but clear lead over Mitt Romney.

Endorsement: Don't get confused by Prop. 40 on districts
Proposition 40 was a costly and ill-advised attempt by the Republican Party to throw out the state Senate districts drawn by the Citizens Redistricting Commission.

CSU Trustees To Vote On 5% Tuition Hike In January If Tax Measure Fails
Kelley Puente @
The Cal State University Board of Trustees this week will consider yet another hike in student tuition and other budget solutions in anticipation of a $250 million loss in state funding.

Students Write Essays To See Proposition 8 Play In Woodland Hills
Howard Blume @
About 250 students write essays describing their views on gay marriage as admission to the Prop. 8 play '8' performed by a high school cast in Woodland Hills.

Reality Check: Anti-Proposition 30 Twists The Facts
Local @
Reality Checks looks at the facts behind claims made in political campaigns.

State Worker notebook: What California state workers pay in union dues and fees
Jon Ortiz @
Our story in today's fiber/cyber Bee mentions how much state workers paid in union dues and fair share fees for one month, December 2011: roughly $10.5 million. What follows are three spreadsheets that lay out state workers' dues and fair share payments of that month, built from the state controller's payroll records.

Prop. 32 Fight Won’t Be Settled in November
John Hrabe @
The inevitable constitutional challenges are just the beginning of Prop. 32's legal troubles. Other implementation obstacles: 1) how state regulators interpret the definition of a corporation; and 2) whether the measure supersedes local campaign finance regulations.

Endorsement: Tateishi is the best choice for voters in AD 8
Voters in east Sacramento County's newly drawn 8th Assembly District face a difficult choice between two decent and capable candidates.

Romney Seeks To Blunt Obama Edge With Swing-state Latinos - Bloomberg
With 50 days left before election day, Republican candidate Mitt Romney will attempt to reset his campaign this week by trying to cut into the support President Barack Obama has among Hispanic voters and maintaining financial parity with the incumbent by holding fundraisers from California to Florida.

Occupy Protestors Demonstrate Outside Monsanto Plant In Davis - Yolo County News - The Sacramento Bee
About 50 protestors, on the one-year anniversary of the beginning of the "Occupy" movement, were in front of a Monsanto plant in Davis this morning, saying they want to shut down the local office of the multinational biotechnology company.

Six candidates file papers for Doug LaMalfa state Senate seat
Jim Sanders @
Republican lawmakers Jim Nielsen and Dan Logue jumped out quickly this month to announce that they will seek Doug LaMalfa's recently vacated Senate seat, but four other competitors have now filed to run.

Obama To Tell Wto That China Illegally Subsidizes Auto Exports
Michael A. Memoli @
President Obama will call on the World Trade Organization to take action against China, saying it illegally subsidizes the export of autos and auto parts.