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THE NOONER for January 9, 2013

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BUDGET PREVIEW: We're now 22 hours from the governor's budget release, and Brown is promising that 2013 will be "the year of fiscal discipline."

ICYMI: LAO released Cal Facts last week, a must-bookmark reference on California's economy, government program workloads, and state-local government finance. This year's report finds California the world's 9th largest economy, in between #8 Italy and #10 Russia.

SD04 SPECIAL: Assemblymember Jim Nielsen will get to make the walk from the green carpet to the red carpet, easily winning yesterday's special election runoff to finish Doug LaMalfa's term.

Here are the preliminary results:

  • Michael "Mickey" Harrington: 43,866 (33.3%)
  • Jim Nielsen: 87,669 (66.7%)

NOT ALL FRIENDS ARE EQUAL: The California Friends of the African American Caucus e-newsletter by Basil Kimbrew (who puts out the California Democratic Voter Guide) hits Assemblymember Mike Davis below the belt over its preferred Senator Curren Price, Jr. for CD9 in Los Angeles.  "Davis declared for the 9th District two years ago but is last of the major candidates in fundraising, endorsements, work ethic, and who has never lived in South Los Angeles. He has made the local Democratic Party his personal lounge for the last year despite his responsibilities in Sacramento. Davis thought it more important to show up to meetings than to legislate or engage in policy formation."

The e-mail was sent to annouce that Price received the largest number of votes in two rounds of endorsement balloting a the Los Angeles County Democratic Party's endorsement meeting last night. In other news, no candidate was endorsed in the mayoral race, and I'll try to get all endorsements for tomorrow.

SEAL OF APPROVAL: Jon Fleischmann stands behind Jim Brulte's conservative credentials and endorses the former Senate Republican Leader for chair of the California Republican Party. Brulte is now unopposed to take the helm of the hobbled party ship. His chances of leaving it better than he found it, however, are a pretty damn good bet.

NOT SO FAST: Following the float of Jeff Stone of a challenge to Congressman Ken Calvert over the fiscal cliff vote, Stone's four colleagues on the Riverside County Board of Supes reiterated their support of Calvert.

PDI RECEPTION: Political Data Inc. will be hosting a reception from 6-8pm on tomorrow (Wednesday, January 8) at Spataro. The reception celebrates a successful 2012 and the opening of PDI's Sacramento office. RSVP to Paul Mitchell @

READING LIST: I am enjoying Laer Pearce's Crazifornia: Tales from a Tarnished State on my iPad. While it challenges my personal politics a bit and am cringing with some passages, I always enjoy long-form on California politics, and wish we had more of it. [Digital $9.99] -- "How the PEER Axis Turned California into Crazifornia -- Progressives, Environmentalists, Educators and Reporters in disservice to California."



The 2012 Presidential Election forever changed both national campaigns and Americans' awareness of race. On January 17, the Leadership California Institute and Race 2012: A PBS Election Special will host a screening of the PBS documentary "Race 2012" followed by a panel discussion with experts on how race, ethnicity and politics interact.

This screening and discussion will be hosted at the Crest Theater at 1013 K St in downtown Sacramento from 11:30 am to 2 pm. Lunch will be provided and admission is free but space is limited so please reserve your seat quickly. RSVP online at or directly to Nicki Arnold, or (916) 529-4722.

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Jerry Brown's Budget Likely Will Help Schools And Colleges, Hurt Courts, Child Care
Kevin Yamamura @
Offering a brief glimpse of his new spending plan, Gov. Jerry Brown said Tuesday he will propose a "live-within-our-means" budget on Thursday that spends more money on higher education and K-12 schools in the next fiscal year.

Governor Declares End To State Prison Crisis
Brian Joseph @
Citing successful reforms and the expenditure of billions of dollars, Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday proclaimed California’s prison crisis over and said it’s time for the federal government to remove its cap on the state prison population and end its oversight of the prison system’s mental health services.

With California Prison Overcrowding, Jerry Brown Still Traversing A Minefield
Dan Walters @
Jerry Brown knows firsthand that crime is a political minefield.

Brown Feisty On Prisons, Bills, Budget
John Myers @
Gov. Jerry Brown started 2013 off with a bang in a Capitol news conference to announce his push to eliminate a state prison population cap, making it clear that he's ready to stand his ground on the myriad of policy and political hurdles headed his way.

Jim Nielsen Wins Election To Open State Senate Seat
Torey Van Oot @
Republican Jim Nielsen is heading back to the Legislature.

S.F. Welcomes Dems' Rising Latino Stars - Sfgate
At a sold-out speech to the Commonwealth Club of California Monday, hundreds of people filled an overflow section to see the Latino leader and education reformer, who has been alternately described in recent media reports as the "Latino messiah," a potential partner on a Hillary Rodham Clinton-Castro "dream ticket" in 2016, and even "the next Obama." The audience of 300 in San Francisco burst into enthusiastic applause at a mere mention of the suggestion that Julian Castro, 38, the first Latino to keynote a Democratic Party convention, consider a presidential race, as Barack Obama did in the aftermath of his star moment at the convention podium in 2004. Becca Caccavo, 16, a Junior Statesman from Balboa High, said she and a crowd of her friends suspended their preparations for a school prom last year to watch Castro's Democratic Convention address, in which he related how the brothers were the product of San Antonio's public schools, raised mostly by a single mother. At Stanford, he said, he saw "a community with a higher education level, higher income levels and focused on the technology" that would drive innovation, he recalled. The Republican Party, both men said, must understand Latinos who, like the Castros, value education as a stepping stone to the American dream - especially as many Republicans resist immigration reform and the Dream Act, which would allow children of undocumented immigrants to earn a path to citizenship.

State: Anthem Blue Cross Rates For Small Business 'unreasonable'
Chad Terhune @
California's insurance commissioner said an 11% rate increase for small businesses by Anthem Blue Cross is "unreasonable" because the company overstated its costs and improperly added fees related to the federal healthcare law.

Brown Takes Prison Message On The Road
On politics in the Golden State

Federal Probe Found No D.C. Test Score Cheating, Michelle Rhee Says
Melody Gutierrez @
Education reformer Michelle Rhee said Tuesday that a federal investigation should put to rest allegations that educators cheated to improve test scores during her tenure as Washington, D.C., public schools chancellor.

Jerry Brown Done With Cancer Treatment
Wyatt Buchanan @
Gov. Jerry Brown has completed his treatment for prostate cancer, he told reporters in Sacramento on Tuesday. The governor, whose office said last month that he had been diagnosed with the common form of cancer, completed treatment for the disease in the expected amount of time.

In Jerry Brown's Words: His First Capitol News Conference Of 2013
Steven Harmon @
Californias governor has a lot to say about why he wants to eliminate federal oversight over the states prison system.

Gov. Jerry Brown Calls On Feds To Give Up Oversight Of Prisons
Paige St. John @
California governor seeks changes such as an end to inmate population caps, but advocates worry a lack of U.S. control will cut quality of care.

Conference About Online Education Attracts Major Players To Ucla
Larry Gordon @
A national conference at UCLA on the future of online college education attracted some of the biggest names in the industry Tuesday, as well as politicians and faculty leaders from state universities. The debate focused on how online classes, particularly...

Jim Brulte's Path Now Clear To Be CA Republican Party Leader
Joe Garofoli @
With word (h/t FlashReport) that California Republican Vice chair Steve Baric doesn’t plan to seek the big chair, the field is now all but officially cleared for longtime legislator Jim Brulte to assume the big chair, as we told you about several weeks back.

David Siders @
Gov. Jerry Brown said this morning treatment for his prostate cancer is finished and that he is "raring to go."

Lockyer pushes state pension funds to divest firearms holdings
State Treasurer Bill Lockyer today expanded his crusade to get CalPERS and CalSTRS out of the firearms business in the wake of the Connecticut elementary school shooting.

Report Raises Concerns About Lack Of Staff For Computer Upgrade
On politics in the Golden State

Legal War Ahead On California Bid To End Federal Prison Controls
Sam Stanton, David Siders, and Denny Walsh @
Gov. Jerry Brown's declaration Tuesday that California has solved its prison overcrowding problem is part of a bold move to wrest control of the nation's largest corrections system back from the federal courts and their appointed overseers. But experts say there is a slim chance of that.

Villaraigosa, Charlie Sheen At Odds
Kevin Cirilli @
Los Angeles Mayor and former DNC chairman Antonio Villaraigosa is having a spat with actor Charlie Sheen.

Is 11 holidays per year not enough for state workers?
Just weeks after voters agreed to help ailing state coffers with higher sales and income taxes, a Los Angeles-area lawmaker wants to give state workers an additional paid holiday, costing taxpayers tens of millions of dollars per year.

State Should Get Smart About Its Tax Breaks
Dan Morain @
Sacramento has no shortage of lobbyists. So Jeff Miller's decision to move his family to Austin, Texas, shouldn't be a big deal, except for what it says about our state and opportunities elsewhere.