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THE NOONER for September 18, 2012

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Good morning, there are only 48 news cycles left before election day. If you're a Mitt Romney supporter, that's both a good and bad thing. Republican candidates are already running from him after his "My job is not to worry about those people" secretly taped quote.  

David Brooks excoriates Romney in a column entitled "Thurston Howell Romney:

"The people who receive the disproportionate share of government spending are not big-government lovers. They are Republicans. They are senior citizens. They are white men with high school degrees. As Bill Galston of the Brookings Institution has noted, the people who have benefited from the entitlements explosion are middle-class workers, more so than the dependent poor."

Personally, I think he’s a kind, decent man who says stupid things because he is pretending to be something he is not — some sort of cartoonish government-hater. But it scarcely matters. He’s running a depressingly inept presidential campaign. Mr. Romney, your entitlement reform ideas are essential, but when will the incompetence stop?"

The less talked about--but perhaps more damaging--excerpt from the video was Romney joking that if he had been born to Mexican parents (instead of to American parents living in Mexico), he would have an easier time winning the race. 

You have to ask why a very wealthy candidate is spending time within E-49 raising money in Orange County and talking to Latinos in Los Angeles instead of campaigning in a dwindling number of swing states. Latinos in Florida and Virginia will likely decide this race. Mr. Romney, write a check, and get your butt to Columbus, Tallahassee, Denver, and Richmond.

Readers, I have previously disclosed that I have contributed to Obama. However, as a true fan of the game, I would rather see nine innings well played than a blowout. Nobody really wants to see the picture of Dukakis in a tank continue to repeat itself.

And, remember: Unless you are huddling with your political consultant in the shower with the water running, everything is on the record. I don't like it, but it is a new immutable law of politics.


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. John Perez - "Perez keeps the mod in check and was able to score a GOP and independent backer from the other side of the aisle," "Makes folks line up," "Delivered on-time budget that disgusted members of his caucus." 

2. Fiona Ma - "Because she told Tim Donnelly 'Honey Badger Don't Care,'" "Very hard worker," "Her ability to look at what is actually in the bill often supersedes the block voting of the party."

3. Richard Gordon - "Quality character," "Thoughtful man," "Known to find common ground among competing constituencies."

4. Henry Perea - "He is the leader of arguably the most powerful caucus in the Legislature and he leads them well," "He moved deftly behind the scenes to put his imprint on bills - good and bad."

5. Gil Cedillo - "It took a long career, but no one had more signature legislative achievements this year." 


1. Tom Ammiano - "You can ALWAYS count on him to be the liberal democrat we all once were!"

2. Gil Cedillo - "Love him," "One bill."

3. John Perez - "The complete package; Latino, gay, labor background who can embrace Indian tribes and deal with business."

4. Nancy Skinner - "Classic party hack.  Even when presented with facts, she will vote the party line," "Nancy Rocks!! I love her spunk and how strong she stands for Dem values."

5. Fiona Ma - "Asm. Ma is the first person I think of when I think of a CA State Assembly Democrat. She stands up for the big issues and little alike," "Probably the best Speaker pro Tem in decades. Strong with the gavel, able to cross factions within her party, does the dirty work for the Speaker when done."



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TOP 100: Capitol Weekly is out with the first half (51-100) of its Top 100. The top 50 will be out next week.

THE OTHER MUNGER: Charles Munger, Jr. kicks $4 million into the Small Business Action Committee. The money is very likely destined for the No on 30 effort. With the measure hovering pretty consistently at 54% in both public and private polls, this could be enough to doom it. Although, you have to wonder if some of that money would also be used in a generic "no new taxes" campaign against Props 30, 38, and 39. If that's the case, the siblings would be spending against each other.

STRANGE BEDFELLOWS:  Political opposites Jon Fleischman and Steven Maviglio join together in a letter opposing a proposed FPPC regulation to require greater disclosure of political candidate spending on blog "content." While the regulation has been watered down and the onus for filing was shifted over to candidates rather than bloggers, I agree this is a stupid thing to be focusing on. Chair Ann Ravel should be focused on the legal money laundering by political parties to candidates and hiring and keeping an executive director.

CD44: Things keep getting worse for Laura Richardson.

CD30: The Chronicle lists the ten most endangered incumbents, and Brad Sherman makes the list.

LAW AND DISORDER: Former Assemblymember Carl Washington was arrested by FBI agents yesterday. Washington is chief of intergovernmental relations for the Los Angeles County Probation Department and is accused of bank fraud by opening and using credit cards and then claiming he was a victim of identity theft to get out of paying them. In a crackdown in the department, 40 employees have been arrested.

The governor signs 26 bills and vetoes 3. Today, he will sign workers' comp reform in San Diego and Burbank.

CONGRESSIONAL TRACKER: Rasmussen's weekly generic congressional tracker returns the GOP to the lead, 44-43%.


Arnold Schwarzenegger Hopes To Meld Hollywood Know-how To Politics
Anthony York @
The former governor is set to inaugurate an academic institute at USC, where bipartisan solutions on the environment, economy and political reform will be studied.

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.

Romney Slams Obama In Pitch To Latinos
Carla Marinucci @
GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, aiming to refocus his campaign on economic issues, came to California Monday to launch an aggressive drive for the critical Hispanic vote, arguing that Latino small businesses are being "crushed" by the tax policies of the Obama administration, which he said has also failed to deliver on immigration.

Jerry Brown Signs Bill Restricting Picketing At Funerals
David Siders @
Gov. Jerry Brown has signed legislation restricting protests at military and other funerals, after vetoing a similar bill last year, his office said this afternoon.

Video Shows Romney Dismissing Obama Voters As Feeling 'entitled'
Seema Mehta @
A video shows Mitt Romney saying the 47% of voters who back President Obama are 'dependent on government' and pay no income tax. He says his choice of words was poor but defends their substance.

How The FPPC Can Improve Regs For Online Info
California's Fair Political Practices Commission is moving in the right direction in their new draft proposal governing expenditures for paid online communications, which will be discussed today at an "interested persons" meeting in Sacramento. The proposal may be over-broad in some places and also needs some tweaks to differentiate advertising from other content.

11 Parcel Taxes, 44 School Bonds On November Ballot
John Fensterwald @
Eleven districts are asking for parcel taxes and 44 districts have put school construction bonds on the ballot, according to Mike McMahon, a school consultant and Alameda Unified trustee who tracks local ballots. Six are new parcel tax requests, four are renewals, and one proposal asks for an additional parcel tax, McMahon says. They range from a low of $39 per parcel to $199 per parcel in the San Bruno Park School District.

Secret Video: Romney Tells Millionaire Donors What He Really Thinks Of Obama Voters | Mother Jones
During a private fundraiser earlier this year, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney told a small group of wealthy contributors what he truly thinks of all the voters who support President Barack Obama. He dismissed these Americans as freeloaders who pay no taxes, who don't assume responsibility for their lives, and who think government should take care of them. Fielding a question from a donor about how he could triumph in November, Romney replied:

Mitt Romney, Caught On Video Tape
Glenn Kessler @
We will leave aside the politics of this impolitic chat by the GOP nominee. How factual are his statements?

Lois Capps Struggles To Survive In Tight California Congressional Race
Dan Walters @
Democratic hopes of making big congressional gains in California have faded. Nevertheless, a Capps defeat would be embarrassing for the party in a year when Barack Obama is expected to win California in a landslide.

Obama turns tax debate into political football
Michael A. Memoli @
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- It’s never easy for a candidate to distill wonky debates about tax policy into terms voters can easily understand. Of late, the Obama campaign has borrowed heavily from the master, using former President Bill Clinton’s line about “arithmetic” to make the case that the Romney-Ryan plan doesn’t add up.

With Bills On His Desk, Jerry Brown Hears From Celebs, Clerics
As Gov. Jerry Brown considers whether to sign or veto 700 bills on his desk, he is getting an earful from all quarters, including Hollywood celebrities and a group of lobbyists who serve a higher calling.

Secret Video: On Israel, Romney Trashes Two-state Solution | Mother Jones
At the private fundraiser held May 17 where Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney candidly spoke about political strategy—noting that he saw half of the American electorate as freeloaders and "victims" who do not believe in personal responsibility—he discussed various foreign policy positions, sharing views that he does not express in public, including his belief that peace in the Middle East is not possible and a Palestinian state is not feasible.

Bid To Overturn L.A. Pot Shop Ban Qualifies For Ballot
David Zahniser and Kate Linthicum @
Activists seeking to repeal a ban on medical marijuana outlets in Los Angeles have secured enough verified signatures to place their measure on the ballot, City Clerk June Lagmay said Monday.

Today, Mitt Romney Lost The Election - Bloomberg
Josh Barro @
You can mark my prediction now: A secret recording from a closed-door Mitt Romney fundraiser, released today by David Corn at Mother Jones, has killed Mitt Romney's campaign for president.

Limits Placed on Immigrants in Health Care Law
The White House says that those young illegal immigrants who will be eligible for delayed deportation will not be covered under the new health care law.

Watch: Full Secret Video Of Private Romney Fundraiser | Mother Jones
On Monday and Tuesday Mother Jones published exclusive video that captured Mitt Romney speaking to donors at a May 17 fundraiser, which was held at the home of private equity mogul Mark Leder. Responding to a question about the "Palestinian problem," Romney said peace in the Middle East is not possible and a Palestinian state is not feasible, telling donors that Palestinians have "no interest whatsoever in establishing peace and that the pathway to peace is almost unthinkable to accomplish." At another point, the GOP presidential nominee told attendees of this $50,000-a-plate dinner that 47 percent of Americans—those who back President Obama—are "victims" who are "dependent upon government" and "pay no income tax." He noted: "my job is is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives." These comments set off a media firestorm and generated headlines around the world.

Film Consultant: No 'Blood On My Hands'
Josh Dulaney @
As violent demonstrators across the Middle East continued to protest Monday against an anti-Islam film produced in Southern California, a Hemet-based consultant for the project said unequivocally he would do it again.

Romney slams Obama backers as dependent on government, tax dodgers
Seema Mehta @
Republican nominee Mitt Romney, speaking to donors at a closed-door fundraiser this year, said that supporters of President Obama failed to take personal responsibility for their lives, relied on government for their needs and paid no income tax.

Residue Of Once-promising Finance Reform Bill In Brown's Hands
John Fensterwald @
Introduced as a comprehensive plan for K-12 finance reform, Assembly Bill 18 is a shell of its former self. The bill that the Legislature ended up passing last month would merely create a 21-member task force to explore various options and formulas for fairer and simpler school funding and make recommendations to the Legislature by April 1.

How Tweet It Is? Sink-or-swim Time For FPPC Blogging Proposal
Jim Sanders @
Democratic political strategist Steve Maviglio and Republican blogger and state party official Jon Fleischman agree on political matters about as often as most Californians skinny dip with piranhas.

USC Schwarzenegger Institute Kickoff Will Fuse Hollywood, Politics
Class is in for professor Schwarzenegger, and he has a lesson for anyone willing to listen: Politicians have a lot to learn from Hollywood. The action star and former governor will host the kickoff of his new academic institute at...

California Gov. Jerry Brown to sign workers' compensation fixes
Judy Lin @
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Gov. Jerry Brown will authorize extensive changes to California's $16.2 billion workers' compensation insurance system when he is expected to sign a bill Tuesday aimed at increasing benefits to people injured on the job while taming rising insurance costs for businesses.

Ex-governor Deukmejian Still Has Wry Sense Of Humor
Dan Walters @
The latter quality comes through in a recent question-and-answer interview with the Long Beach Press-Telegram, his hometown newspaper.