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THE NOONER for December 10, 2012
**THE NOONER'S TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS CONTEST**
For the next 12 days (including Saturday and Sunday), CAPoliticalMaps.com and Political Data Inc. will be asking a question each day, which will be answered on the CAPoliticalMaps.com site. The closest (and first in the event of a tie) answer each day by 9pm PST will win a free map from CAPoliticalMaps.com and a $5 Starbucks gift card--a $50.00 value.
TODAY'S QUESTION: How many California registered voters have the first name "Santa"? [SUBMIT YOUR ANSWER]
PROP 8: The United States Supreme Court on Friday granted certiorari in the case of Hollingsworth v. Perry, which is the case challenging California's Proposition 8. The Court also took up the New York case challenging of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
In both cases, the Court asked the parties to also brief on whether the petitioners have standing in the case. In the California case, the petitioner is former state senator Dennis Hollingworth on behalf of ProtectMarriage.com, as Jerry Brown and Kamala Harris declined to continue defending Prop. 8, and the case was renamed from Perry v. Schwarzenegger. (Party names get switched on appeal.) In the New York case, the defendent is the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group of the United States House of Representatives, which is composed of the 5 leaders (Speaker, Majority Leader, Minority Leader, Majority Whip and Minority Whip), which voted 3-2 to take over the defense of DOMA after the Obama administration refused to continue defending the law.
Why is all of that interesting? Well, it gives the Supreme Court an "out" from deciding the Equal Protection issues raised in both cases and could essentially allow the court to let gay marriage go forth in jurisdictions where the government isn't challenging them and uphold DOMA in areas where it is left unchallenged.
Essentially, when the California state government and Obama administration refused to defend Prop. 8 and DOMA in the two respective cases, the defendent didn't "show up." It would be like the cop not showing up to argue that he really clocked you going 80MPH down I-5.
Typically, in a case like this, standing is an issue on the plaintiff's side of a lawsuit, when we ask whether they will be imminently harmed by a law that she seeks to challenge. Defendents are defending their action, or in the case of California, the action taken by its voters or in the United States, by the Congress and President in enacting DOMA. So, in absence of the government willing to defend a law, can a private citizen of that government step in and act in the government's stead? In both California and New York, the lower courts said "yes," but the Supreme Court might be looking to say "no," thus allowing it to sidestep the issue of "gay marriage" altogether.
By denying the ability of Hollingsworth/ProtectMarriage.com and the House Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group to step into the governments shoes, the two cases would likely be remanded to the trial court (Northern District of California and Southern District of New York), where, unless the State of California or Obama Administration had a change of heart, a default judgment would be issued on behalf of the original plaintiffs holding unconstitutional Proposition 8 and DOMA, but only as applied in California and New York.
Okay, you have to be a geek to think about the same-sex marriage cases in the construct of Article III standing, but it is important to recognize that the Supreme Court likes incrementalism and might find a way out that avoids the national question of same-sex marriage while settling the issue in areas where the government is not fighting it.
It would be a lose-lose for both sides, as gay marriage advocates want to win on Equal Protection grounds, and opponents want Prop 8 and DOMA to be upheld, but it might be win-win for a reluctant SupCt.
RUH-ROH: State revenues were down $806.8 million in November, reports Controller John Chiang. Specifically, income taxes were down $842.5 million (-19.0%) and corporate taxes were down $187.8 million (-213.4%). As Department of Finance hunkers down to develop the governor's proposed 2013-14 budget expected to be released January 10, revenues are off $802.3 million for the current fiscal year. Of course, December will be the big unknown, as there could be a flurry of dividend payouts and other maneuvers associate with the federal fiscal cliff.
#WTF?: "We welcome our new I.T. employee to the FPPC. #DataDeathMatch" [@FPPC_Chair]
Who exactly is it that's in the death match with the FPPC?
IN MEMORIAM: Former state Assemblymember Barbara Alby (1946-2012) [Wikipedia]
City Council, District 1
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TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
November Election Was A Tipping Point For Ethnic Voters
Daniel Weintraub @ healthycal.org
Itâs no secret that Californiaâs population has been getting more diverse for decades. More recently, the composition of the stateâs electorate has begun to mirror the population. But the people who actually showed up and voted on Election Day have remained whiter, and older, than the pool of registered voters. No more.
Teacher Misconduct Bill Gets Another Chance In California Legislature
Dan Walters @ sacbee.com
When the Legislature reconvened last week and legislative leaders offered glowing accounts of what they had done in 2012 and lofty promises of future feats, no one mentioned Senate Bill 1530 â for good reason.
Illinois Pension Crisis: Could It Happen Here?
A video on the website by Salman Khan, an online educator, explains that growing pension costs are squeezing the money available for schools, public safety and health care.
Water Bond Needs Slimming Down
George Skelton @ latimes.com
A retooled proposal needs less pork and more storage, recycling and environmental fixes.
Vote On S.F. Hospitals Likely In 2013 - Sfgate
The District Five supervisor, who lost her re-election bid last month, went on a bit of a rant last week during a committee hearing on a resolution that would help create a policy on domestic violence for city employees. Olague, who received widespread criticism for her vote to keep Ross Mirkarimi as sheriff, linked political opposition to her re-election campaign by the anti-domestic violence community to race issues and said she has been the victim of bullying by that group and Mayor Ed Lee. Women's groups have complained that they were harassed and bullied for opposing Mirkarimi's bid to keep his job following his arrest last January on suspicion of domestic violence and later guilty plea to falsely imprisoning his wife. The San Francisco Planning Commission OKd a new way forward for development in the western South of Market neighborhood, voting unanimously to adopt a plan that has been hotly debated for years. Entertainment has been a contentious issue in the planning process, with some club owners concerned that adding housing could threaten existing nightlife spots. Mayor Ed Lee will make an appearance at the Board of Supervisors for question time, where Supervisor David Chiu will ask when the city will produce a report looking at how city laws impact small businesses and Supervisor John Avalos plans to ask what the mayor is doing to create living-wage jobs to prevent the loss of the city's middle class.
New Law Bans Gag Clauses In Settlements With Licensed Professionals
Christina Jewett @ californiawatch.org
Californians who sue licensed professionals, such as contractors or nurses, will no longer be subjected to legal settlements that ban them from talking to state officials investigating misconduct when a new law takes effect in January.
A Greater Role In Math Education For Parents: Mathematical Reasoning At Home | Edsource Today
Turning everyday occurrences and household tasks into lessons not only helps students with their mathematical reasoning skills and sense of applied math, but prepares them for adulthood. I urge policymakers and other education reformers to develop more strategies for including parents in these efforts.
California Lawmaker Proposes Tax Breaks For Commercial Space Firms
Californian proposes more tax breaks for space industry
George Washington University Battleground Poll
Republican pollsters Ed Goeas and Brian Nienaber write that despite losing the White House, the GOP can show leadership on issues like fiscal policy and immigration.
No One Knows Who Grover Norquist Is — And 5 Other Takeaways From The Politico/gw Poll
Chris Cillizza @ washingtonpost.com
The 2012 election may be over but the Fix’s fascination with digging into the guts of polls continues on!
Dan Walters: Teacher misconduct bill gets another chance in California Legislature
When the Legislature reconvened last week and legislative leaders offered glowing accounts of what they had done in 2012 and lofty promises of future feats, no one mentioned Senate Bill 1530 – for good reason.
Newark Mayor Cory Booker could enliven New Jersey governor's race
Alana Semuels @ latimes.com
NEW YORK --Â The 2012 presidential election is over, Ohio has certified its vote, even Rep. Allen West has conceded. So where’s a political junkie to turn his or her attention throughout the long, cold winter?
Election Brings Seasoned Politicians to Congress
Instead of fresh faces, many of the recently elected members of the House of Representatives are career bureaucrats and policy wonks with deep histories in politics and government.
PUC Set To OK Free Phones For Homeless
Kevin Fagan @ sfgate.com
Homeless and other poor people in California are on track to soon get virtually free cell phones and service so they can keep in touch with family, potential employers and others crucial to improving their lives.
Dan Walters Daily
Micaela Massimino @ blogs.sacbee.com
Dan says that the passage of Proposition 30 in November hasn't ended California's debate over taxes.
Political Blotter: Americans evenly split over legalizing marijuana
Josh Richman @ mercurynews.com
Most believe legalization is a matter for states, not the federal government, to decide; Rep. Barbara Lee helps lead the fight to extend emergency unemployment benefits as part of a 'fiscal cliff' solution.
Ppp: South Carolina Voters Want Stephen Colbert
Kevin Robillard @ politico.com
Last Thursday, Colbert asked his viewers to lobby South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley for his appointment, | AP Photo
The Tough Job Facing Jim Brulte As GOP Party Chair :: Fox&hounds
Two more steps that are difficult but important.
Former Assemblywoman, GOP Figure Barbara Alby Dead At 66 - Obituaries - The Sacramento Bee
Bee file, 1999. Barbara Alby smiles as she is surrounded by campaign workers and friends.
Poll: Keep feds out of state pot laws
Kevin Robillard @ politico.com
Most don't want the federal government to enforce marijuana laws in Colorado and Washington.
S.F. Housing Chief's Turbulent Past
John Cote and Heather Knight @ sfgate.com
Henry A. Alvarez III, the embattled head of the San Francisco Housing Authority, has advanced his career for more than 20 years as a tough-minded reformer in the often-dysfunctional world of public housing, leaving behind him a string of allegations of harassment, retaliation or discrimination in Oregon, Texas and now California, public records show.
Use Of Public Transportation Jumps
Ari Bloomekatz @ latimes.com
More Americans are taking public buses and trains, a report finds. The L.A. County Metro system's ridership rose 1.7% in the first part of this year.
Hope and fear in gay marriage cases at high court
Gay marriage supporters see 41 reasons to fret over the Supreme Court's decision to take up the case of California's ban on same-sex unions.
California Assembly Republicans "Diversity" Panel: A PR Blunder At Best, An Insult To State's Diverse Communities At Worst
Steven Maviglio @ camajorityreport.com
When a friend of mine pointed out the news item from the Capitol Morning Report of Assembly Republican Leader Connie Conway announcing her "Diversity Outreach Team," I thought it was something ripped from the headlines of The Onion, which last week named Kim Jong-il the world's sexiest man alive.