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THE NOONER for October 8, 2012
Good morning from 35,492 feet on Virgin America on the way to Boston. I know I said I was going to look at ballot measure finance reports today, but instead I spent the time last night in a fetal position watching revenge meted out on the Giants by Dusty Baker.
PLUS FIVE: Gallup finds a net five change in national polling among registered voters in the first full three days of tracking polls following Obama's no-show to the debate last Wednesday. Whether that lasts through three more debates (including Thursday's veep debate) or not, we won't know for a couple of weeks. At the end of the day, Democrats that were overly excited with two weeks of polls showing a swing state sweep were delusional. This will be a close race down the stretch, although Obama has to be considered the favorite for reelection.
However, as we look at races here in the Golden State, Romney's resurgence couldn't come at a better time. In a landscape custom built for a big Republican year, the summer was abysmal for the GOP. In a season that began with high hopes for pick-ups in CD03, CD09, CD24 and CD47, the GOP has found itself spending money defending Mary Bono Mack in CD36, along with incumbents Denham, Lungren, and Bilbray. Oh, and there's those open GOP seats in Riverside and Ventura that are toss-ups but have been leaning Dem the last month.
The past 5 days have been the best for the GOP of the last 90 and it could not have come at a better time. Oh, did I mention Californians are voting today? Several county registrars will also be sending out vote-by-mail ballots in the next couple of days. Voter mood on November 6 is no longer as important as voter mood from October 8-November 5.
It's still a playing field that will likely lead to a net Democratic pick-up in California in November, although a renewed hope in Mitt Romney could yield huge benefits in saving the four threatened GOP incumbents and protecting the open seats.
I'm finally getting around to adding analysis to the Around The Capitol district pages. My apologies for the delay!
(Note: today's rolling Gallup tracker finds Obama's lead up 2 from yesterday, for a 50-45% overall lead, equal to the Obama's highest number we've seen. Gallup uses a 7-day rolling average of registered voters.)
ICYMI: The quarterly fundraising info for state candidates is on ATC. Sorry about my issues on Saturday.
CLINTON: Bill Clinton will be rallying the base at UC Davis tomorrow at 11:00am in support of John Garamendi, Ami Bera, Jose Hernandez and Jerry McNerney.
HMMM: If you saw last night's 60 Minutes coverage of the sunglasses monopoly Luxottica (owner of Lenscrafters, Sunglass Hut, and Ray-Ban), you probably didn't immediately think "Why did they give $5,000 to Mary Hayashi's campaign for Alameda County Supervisor?" Well, that's whay I'm here for. I don't know of any particular nexus to the company that spends $250,000 per year on lobbying, although it's a nice going away present to the chair of Assembly Business and Professions, who reviewed several scope of practice bills for opticians the last couple of years.
Of course, Luxottica's interest in the Alameda County Supe race is nothing compared to the Personal Insurance Federation, which invested $20,000 in Hayashi in the third quarter.
IN MEMORIAM: Mervyn Dymally (1926-2012)
BALLOT MEASURE ENDORSEMENTS - today's updates - SacBee: yes on 30, no on 38; PE: no on 30, 38
AROUND THE CAPITOL POLLING AVERAGES
No new polls since Sunday's Prop. 36 poll. The tracking of the Around The Capitol polling averages is available at www.aroundthecapitol.com/ballot/.
Proposition 30: Temporary Taxes to Fund Education. Guaranteed Local Public Safety Funding. Initiative Constitutional Amendment.
Yes: 53.5% (-0.3%)
Proposition 31: State Budget. State and Local Government. Initiative Constitutional Amendment and Statute.
Proposition 32: Prohibits Political Contributions by Payroll Deduction. Prohibitions on Contributions to Candidates. Initiative Statute.
Proposition 33: Changes Law to Allow Auto Insurance Companies to Set Prices Based on a Driver's History of Insurance Coverage. Initiative Statute.
Proposition 34: Death Penalty Repeal. Initiative Statute.
Proposition 35: Human Trafficking. Penalties. Sex Offender Registration. Initiative Statute.
Proposition 36: Three Strikes Law. Sentencing for Repeat Felony Offenders. Initiative Statute.
Proposition 37: Genetically Engineered Foods. Mandatory Labeling. Initiative Statute.
Proposition 38: Tax for Education and Early Childhood Programs. Initiative Statute.
Proposition 39: Tax Treatment for Multistate Businesses. Clean Energy and Energy Efficiency Funding. Initiative Statute.
Proposition 40: Redistricting. State Senate Districts. Referendum.
Schwarzenegger Says Politicians Need More Guts On Immigration
Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger offered sharp criticism of politicians, including those in his own party, who have failed to tackle immigration reform.
California Makes It Easier To Vote, Unlike Many Other States
Laurel Rosenhall @ sacbee.com
California is bucking a national trend this election season, making it easier for people to vote while many states are making it harder.
Prop. 31: Good Goals, Problematic Means
George Skelton @ latimes.com
Initiative's main goals are to make state government more efficient and return some control to local governments. But the details raise a few questions.
Mungers Contribute Big Bucks To Measures
Phillip Matier and Andrew Ross @ sfgate.com
Two of the biggest players in California's upcoming election are a brother and sister, who politically speaking have little in common other than their name and willingness to put tens of millions of dollars of their money into the causes they support.
Tax hike wont solve Cal States budget problems
John Hrabe @ calwatchdog.com
In the past decade, there has been a fundamental shift in how taxpayers and students split the bill for a Cal State education.
Mervyn Dymally Dies At 86; Former Lieutenant Governor, Congressman And Legislator
Jean Merl @ latimes.com
The Trinidad-born former teacher blazed trails for minorities in California politics in the 1960s and '70s.
California's top-two voting system changes campaigns, but will it alter governance?
Jim Sanders @ sacbee.com
In his ballot statement for the June primary, GOP Assembly candidate Brian Dahle touted his "Ronald Reagan conservative principles" and the need for limited government.
As Gas Prices Rise, Gov. Jerry Brown Orders Early Sale Of Cheaper Winter-blend Fuel - La Daily News
Gov. Jerry Brown ordered state smog regulators Sunday to allow winter-blend gasoline to be sold in California earlier than usual to help drive prices down. Winter-blend gas typically isn't sold until after October 31. | » CHART: The economics of gasoline
Rep. Pete Stark hates "stupid" questions and won't debate -- now he's posting his own "tough" interviews
Carla Marinucci @ blog.sfgate.com
California East Bay Rep. Pete Stark, a 20-term Democrat facing the toughest race of his career, refuses to debate his Democratic opponent Eric Swalwell, calls press questions "stupid," and was a no-show at a senior voter candidates' forum this week in his CD-15 district.
Assemblyman Cries Foul Over Regulators' Motion To Suspend Pg&e Pipeline Hearings
Local @ mercurynews.com
A San Mateo legislator is crying foul over a last-minute motion filed by the state Public Utilities Commission to suspend hearings over PG&E's penalties and pipeline upgrade costs in the wake of the deadly 2010 San Bruno explosion.
Consultant's Profile Rises Quickly On L.A.'s Political Landscape
Jean Merl @ latimes.com
John Thomas, 27, has drawn praise for skills that benefit his candidates, who are mostly Republican. But his tactics don't win unanimous support.
Political Blotter: Bay Area Obama allies help fund national fight against voter ID
Josh Richman @ mercurynews.com
Lisa and Douglas Goldman hosted President Obama at their Atherton home in May; now they've given $500,000 to stop laws that they say will disenfranchise voters.
Courts block Republicans' voter ID laws – for now
David G. Savage @ latimes.com
Judges suspend new state laws requiring voter ID for the Nov. 6 election but leave the door open for them in the future.
Schwarzenegger says he's still a credible voice in politics
WASHINGTON - Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said Sunday that he doesn't think the scandal over his affair with a family housekeeper has cost him credibility as a high-profile political voice in the nation.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein's Challenger Toils On Against All Odds
Local @ mercurynews.com
Elizabeth Emken doesnt want to be seen as Don Quixote. A more accurate metaphor, she says, is "The Hunger Games."
San Diego's Bilbray-Peters Race Reflects New State Of Politics
Tony Perry @ latimes.com
Incumbent Republican Brian Bilbray is in a tight race, with national significance, against Democrat Scott Peters.
Pension Reform Aims To Hammer Down “spiking” « Calpensions
A public pension reform bill signed by Gov. Brown last month attempts to curb abuses such as two Contra Costa fire chiefs retiring, at ages 50 and 51, with lifetime pensions far above their final salary.
Initiative asks for softening of 3 Strikes law
DON THOMPSON, Associated Press @ utsandiego.com
California's law mandating life in prison for a third felony conviction has led to cases like that of Shane Taylor, who has been in prison since being convicted in 1996 for possessing $10 worth of methamphetamine. His prior felonies, both committed when he was 19, were a burglary and attempted burglary.
Marijuana Only for the Sick? A Farce, Some Angelenos Say
Norimitsu Onishi @ nytimes.com
One year after federal law enforcement officials began cracking down on California's medical marijuana industry with a series of high-profile arrests around the state, they finally moved into Los Angeles last month, giving 71 dispensaries until Tuesday to shut down. At the same time, because of a well-organized push by a new coalition of medical marijuana supporters, the City Council last week repealed a ban on the dispensaries that it had passed only a couple of months earlier.
Obama Chides Romney On Taxes But Acknowledges He Debated Poorly
Michael A. Memoli and Seema Mehta @ latimes.com
President Obama, fundraising in Los Angeles, mocks Mitt Romney for shifting positions but acknowledges a poor first debate showing. Romney courts moderates in Florida.
Jerry Brown Calls For Switch To Winter-blend Fuel To Ease Gas Prices
David Siders @ blogs.sacbee.com
Gov. Jerry Brown called on state regulators today to allow the early sale of less expensive, winter-blend gasoline in California, a measure he said could bring down spiking fuel prices.
Congress Members Back Legislation That Could Benefit Themselves, Relatives
A California congressman helped secure tax breaks for racehorse owners — then purchased seven horses for himself when the new rules kicked in.
San Jose Voters Weigh Minimum Wage Hike, Gambling Expansion
Local @ mercurynews.com
Furious fight over San Jose Measure D minimum wage eclipses debate over Measure E gambling expansion.
Changing California’s budget process
California’s budget has been on shaky ground for years, even before the recent recession. Various commissions, blue-ribbon panels and reform organizations have proposed ways to ease the state’s budget woes by relaxing some restrictions and imposing others, but consensus has been elusive
New LAPD Headquarters' Grounds Going To Seed With No Money Set Aside For Lawn Care
Rick Orlov @ dailynews.com
The city spent some $437 million to build the new downtown headquarters for the Los Angeles Police Department that opened in 2009. But city leaders apparently neglected one thing when they planned the Police Administration Building: grounds maintenance.