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THE NOONER for December 5, 2012

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It'll be a quickie today, as it's a busy day for me in community college world. Or, at least, I procrastinated in putting together a keynote and am under the gun to define the future of career technical education.

Before we get into the light news of the day, I know you really just want to stare at two corgis on swings and Alan Simpson going Gangnam Style. [YouTube]

THE TANNENBAUM: The Capitol Christmas tree lighting is scheduled for 4:30pm today on the West Steps. 

THE CONTEST: The Nooner election contest is almost finally over. Proposition 36 has been the hold-up, as it ascends toward 70%. It's very unlikely that it will cross that threshold. Here are the current standings and the overall picks

LITE GOV: The Capitol Morning Report announces that John Perez has opened a committee for Lieutenant Governor in 2018. It's unclear if it's a serious destination or a parking place for dough. Darrell Steinberg has identified the same destination. The two leaders are both termed out in 2014.

THE READS:

REMINDER: If you want to run for Los Angeles municipal office, you have until 5pm today to turn in those nomination papers. 

FAREWELL: Dave Brubeck (1920-2012) - the Concord, CA native would have turned 92 tomorrow. The timeless Take Five.

** CLASSIFIEDS**

DEPT OF CORRECTIONS: Chris Holden will be Assembly Majority Whip.

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TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
Prop. 39 Funds Eyed For Energy Projects
Wyatt Buchanan @
sfgate.com
California lawmakers want to spend billions of dollars generated from the passage of Proposition 39 in November to pay for energy efficiency projects at as many as half of the state's public schools.

Water Execs Join Labor Union, Avoid Pension Cuts
Keegan Kyle @
taxdollars.ocregister.com
When Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation this year aimed at reducing pension costs, he argued for a simple concept: Public employees should contribute to their own retirement plans. But a month before the new law goes into effect, some of the highest paid employees at the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California have seemingly found a way around it – at least for the near future.

Tax Loophole Closures On CA Legislature's Agenda
Dan Walters @
sacbee.com
It all depends, to paraphrase Bill Clinton's infamous line, on what your definition of "tax increase" may be.

What's slower in Florida, counting ballots or fixing flawed system?
James Rainey @
latimes.com
Florida’s secretary of state took a grilling Tuesday from lawmakers about why the Sunshine State struggles to provide efficient elections and vote tallies. But officials still seemed to lack the clear resolve to end the state’s long polling waits and stagecoach-era ballot tabulation systems a dozen years after disputed Florida voting threw the presidential election into a constitutional crisis.

OC Senator Introduces Bill To Illuminate 'Dark Money'
Brian Joseph @
taxdollars.ocregister.com
Just days before the November election, California’s regulator of political donations was forced to sue an Arizona nonprofit after it refused to divulge the source of an $11 million contribution that went to oppose Gov. Jerry Brown’s tax plan and support a measure to limit labor union influence.

Booby Trap For Prop. 13 Reformers
Timm Herdt @
vcstar.com
Rising home values in California are great news for the state economy and a blessing for underwater homeowners, but for some they will also trigger an unanticipated tax increase. The would-be reformers of Proposition 13 would be well advised to consider that looming property-tax booby trap.

Changes To California Children's Healthcare Won't Be Delayed, Official Says
latimesblogs.latimes.com
A top official in Gov. Jerry Brown's administration said Tuesday that California will begin transferring poor children into a cheaper healthcare plan on Jan. 1, despite concerns from some lawmakers and advocates that the state's plan is inadequate. California is...

Jerry Brown Appoints Wife's Friend To State Personnel Board
David Siders @
blogs.sacbee.com
A friend of first lady Anne Gust Brown has been appointed by Brown's husband, Gov. Jerry Brown, to the State Personnel Board.

Transit Tax Failure Has Backers Seeking Changes To California Law
Ari Bloomekatz @
latimes.com
L.A. County's transit tax missed the two-thirds needed to pass by less than 1 percentage point. Some blame Proposition 13 for creating too high a threshold.

Maxine Waters To Succeed Barney Frank On Banking Panel
Michael R. Crittenden @
blogs.wsj.com
Ms. Waters will be tasked with pushing back at Republican efforts to weaken or roll back the Dodd-Frank financial overhaul law.

UCLA Anderson Forecast Says Prop 30 Will Be Slight Drag On State Economy
George Avalos @
mercurynews.com
Proposition 30, the tax-raising measure voters approved by a comfortable margin in last months election, will slow economic growth in California but not derail the fledgling recovery, a study released Wednesday said.

Tax hike Proposition 30 will slow Calif. growth
The Associated Press @
utsandiego.com
Economists say tax hike Proposition 30 approved by California voters last month may slow growth in the state but won't derail the fledgling recovery.

Governors Urge Obama, Lawmakers To Avoid ‘fiscal Cliff’
washingtonpost.com
A bipartisan group of governors came to Washington on Tuesday to urge President Obama and congressional leaders to act quickly to avert the “fiscal cliff,” warning that the series of budget cuts and tax increases set to take effect in January would rock their states.

Democrats propose using Proposition 39 for schools
JUDY LIN, Associated Press @
utsandiego.com
Democratic lawmakers are proposing to spend newly approved tax revenue to fund energy efficiency projects at schools in California's poorest communities.

UCLA Report: L.A. Candidates Should To Address Environmental Issues
Drex Heikes @
latimesblogs.latimes.com
Los Angeles mayoral and City Council candidates should address air, soil, water and energy problems in their campaigns, and the winners should push for specific measures to meet those challenges, UCLA researchers said in a report released Tuesday.

The Caucus: Bennet Chosen to Lead Democratic Senate Campaign Committee
JEREMY W. PETERS @
thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com
Senate Democrats elevated one of their most battle-tested members, Michael Bennet of Colorado, to head the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee as the party gears up for what is expected to be a tough cycle in 2014.

Local Police Can Decide Whether To Hold Illegal Immigrants, State Attorney General Says
Mary Ann @
latimesblogs.latimes.com
California Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris on Tuesday told local law enforcement agencies that they were not obligated to comply with a controversial federal program launched in 2008 with the goal of deporting immigrants convicted of serious crimes. It was Harris' first public assessment of Secure Communities, under which all arrestees' fingerprints are sent to federal immigration officials, who then may ask police departments to hold suspected illegal immigrants so deportation proceedings can being.

Yes, Half Of Republicans Think Acorn, Which Doesn't Exist, Stole The Election - Politics - The Atlantic Wire
politics @
theatlanticwire.com
Neil deGrasse Tyson vs. the Doomsday Twitter Believers

Highway Patrol Officers' union spends on Proposition 32, fundraisers
Jon Ortiz @
blogs.sacbee.com
In an unusually detailed filing, the California Association of Highway Patrolmen's political action committee has reported some $405,000 in expenses for this year, much of it on political fundraising events such golf outings and dinners.

Measure J Sales Tax Extension Officially Fails To Pass - La Daily News
dailynews.com
Measure J, which would have extended an existing transit sales tax for another 30 years, officially failed to pass, officials said Monday.

As Virginia Beach Makes Push To Lure A Team, Sacramento Mayor Frustrated With Maloofs
Tony Bizjak and Ryan Lillis @
sacbee.com
As upbeat Virginia Beach officials on Tuesday pushed forward with their effort to land an unnamed professional sports team – widely believed to be the Kings – Sacramento's mayor lamented that he once again has that helpless feeling of watching "a slow death."

California Schools Boosted By Voters, Lawmakers
John Myers @
news10.net
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas for the state's public schools, after years of what some would call lumps of coal in the stocking.

2nd Judge Refuses To Block Ban On Sexual-orientation 'conversion' Therapy
latimesblogs.latimes.com
The day after a federal judge cast doubt on a new state law banning sexual-orientation therapy for minors, a second judge issued a ruling upholding it.

Ac Transit Stuck With Ex-manager's Home - Sfgate
sfgate.com
AC Transit directors figured the agency would make more money by lending to Fernandez than it could if it put the cash in short-term investments. In 2009, Fernandez had a falling-out with the transit agency and exited with a year's salary, and an extra year or two to pay off the home loan. Armijo recommended selling the property, but AC Transit directors have asked staffers first to explore renting the house - hoping to buy time for the market to pick up. Loftus would be the only mother on the Board of Supervisors, which isn't a trivial consideration in a city that has found it a challenge to keep families with young children from fleeing to the suburbs. "Big picture issues," like jobs, public safety and keeping the city's sports teams, Quan spokesman Sean Maher said when asked to define the duties for the mayor's former campaign co-chairman. The move is smart politics for Swanson as well, if he wants to keep his profile up for a run for the state Senate when Loni Hancock is termed out of her seat in 2016.