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THE NOONER for February 6, 2013

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Happy Birthday, Ronald Reagan. The Gipper would have been 102.

BILLS: On Friday's Capitol Connection podcast, John Myers and Anthony York talked about the seemingly slow pace of bill introductions. They also wondered whether fewer bills would be introduced this year, with some frosh legislators hinting that they wouldn't use their full 40-bill allocation in the two-year session. Well, at this point in the 2011-12 session, 450 bills had been introduced (including resolutions), and as of yesterday, we have 484. Somehow, I just have to believe that this year will be like any other.

Lawmakers have until February 22 to introduce most regular session bills, although the deadline to get ideas into the Legislative Counsel has already passed. 

RENEWAL? Governor Jerry Brown's committee for Proposition 30 ended the year with $2.6 million after spending $32.4 million in cash on the tax increase. Additionally, Health Net added $195,600 to the committee's coffers on January 31, buried as a late contribution report in the flurry of end-of-year reports filed that day.

DEPT OF CORRECTIONS: My friend Huntington Beach city councilmember Matthew Harper provides a correction on my write-up on Nolan Frizzelle yesterday. Frizzelle was president of the California Republican Assembly before he was elected to the State Assembly, during the time of Goldwater's presidential campaign. Harper adjourned the city council in Frizzelle's honor on Monday night.

Several people responded to the trivia question posted at the end of yesterday's nooner about Chester Wray. Of course, he was known as "Chet Wray Chet" after he gave a speech on the Assembly Floor relying on his usual index cards. However, Wray or more likely a staff member, failed to put "END" on the final card and he gave the speech a second time. Of more political significance, as Dan Walters pointed out, he's the guy who pledged to both Howard Berman and Leo McCarthy in the 1980 battle for Assembly speaker that deadlocked leading to Willie Brown's speakership.

TRIVIA: Since we had so much fun yesterday, an insider sends this trivia question: "What did Assemblymember John Thurman bring to the Assembly floor as a prop when Speaker Brown presented the bill to allow oral sex between consenting adults?"

SMALL TENT: Speaking of the California Republican Assembly, the group is opposing SF GOP chair Harmeet Dhillon as a Bay Area liberal who "doesn't represent our values" in her campaign to be the state party's vice-chair. [Joe Garafolo @ SFChron]  

CAMPAIGN FOR MINORITY LEADER? Sacramento Syndrome: Republicans Accept Their Status As The Political Hostages Of Big Business ["A Well-Known & Highly-Regarded Capitol Insider" @ FlashReport]:

California Republicans have not and will not prosper under the terms of their current alliance with business. Job one in fixing the state Republican Party is getting its members and leadership to appreciate the connection between being perceived as lackeys of the Chamber and being losers at the ballot box. 

SOFT OPEN: I left one would-be statewide candidate off my list on Monday. The Tim Donnelly for Governor committee raised $1,000 and accrued $1,190.23 in expenses.

As a good follow-up to my rant against CA GOP Chairman Tom Del Beccaro last Friday, California Report's Rachel Myrow has a great interview with a USC demographer about the state's low population growth projections.

RATINGS RACKET: Kamala Harris sued Standard & Poor's yesterday for losses to the state's pension funds because of their alleged lax rating scrutiny of mortgage-backed securities. [Andrew S. Ross @ SFChron]

LAUNDROMAT: Dan Morain writes up the status of the FPPC investigation into the $11 million from Americans for Job Security to the Small Business Action Committee's No on 30/Yes on 32 effort.

OPPORTUNITIES: John Perez's name is being floated as a successor to Hilda Solis as Secretary of Labor. [Jim Sanders @ SacBee]

TX-CA: SacBee editorial: "Poor Texas. With its high dropout rate, lack of health insurance coverage and economic disparities, the Lone Star State appears to be desperate, or least its governor is. How else to explain Gov. Rick Perry's unseemly radio ads attempting to lure businesses away from California?"

Oh, and our governor said "fart."

POSTAL: After floating it for more than a year, the United States Postal Service plans to eliminate Saturday mail delivery. As political consultant Matt Rexroad tweeted, this is a big deal for political campaigns, which like to have that last piece hit undecided voters over the weekend. Now there is going to be a fight whether the USPS can make the change without congressional approval.

CH-CH-CH-CHANGES: Out with the iron, in with the cat: Monopoly has a new token [CNN]

Which gives us the tweet of the day from @pourmecoffee: "Well, the cat lobby got its Monopoly piece and the dog lobby got 5-day mail delivery. We are ruled by Big Pet."

REFERENCE: 15 common words that are (probably) made up [h/t Adam Probolsky]

DEPT OF CORRECTIONS: The Ventura County Star article about Rick Perry was by Carol Lawrence, not Timm Herdt. 




Join your colleagues from around the state for a day of in-depth discussion on current and future issues facing public retirement in California at the 23rd Annual Southern California Public Retirement Seminar.

Thursday, February 28th, 2013 - 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM; Lakewood Civic Center, Lakewood, California (10 minutes from Long Beach Airport)

Registration Fee: $190

Register online or contact us directly


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FPPC Pulls Thread On Laundered Money
Dan Morain @
The November election is history. Voters rejected Proposition 32, the anti-union initiative that was supposed to benefit from the $11 million. Labor is going about its business of tapping members for future political campaigns. But ever so slowly, FPPC investigators are pulling on threads, trying to unravel the mystery and lies behind the $11 million in laundered campaign money that flooded into California three weeks before the November election.

California Passes Up Millions For Prison Healthcare, Report Says
California's court-run prison healthcare program is missing out on tens of millions of dollars a year in federal funds because of disagreement with counties, a new legislative report states. The Legislative Analysts Office found increasing numbers of prison inmates who,...

California Legislature Has Oversight Work To Do -- If It Wants To
Dan Walters @
The Legislature hasn't been doing much in the two months since it reconvened – so little, in fact, that legislative leaders are staging policy seminars to show voters that they are really being diligent.

Jerry Brown Calls Texas Gov Rick Perry's Ad 'barely A Fart'
David Siders @
One day after Texas Gov. Rick Perry released a radio ad in California criticizing the Golden State's business climate and encouraging businesses to relocate to Texas, California Gov. Jerry Brown said today that Perry's campaign is "barely a fart."

Compromise Pot Measure Placed On May Ballot
Rick Orlov @
A third measure to regulate how medical marijuana clinics operate in Los Angeles was placed on the May 21 ballot by the City Council on Tuesday, offered as a compromise to two other measures that are also going before voters.

State Sues S&P - Alleges Fraud In Mortgage Ratings
Andrew S. Ross @
Two years after a congressionally appointed commission published its findings on the causes of the financial crash of 2008 that led to the Great Recession, government agencies are going after one of the cogs.

Sparks Fly As L.A. City Attorney Candidates Clash At Radio Debate
Jean Merl @
Candidates on the March 5 ballot for Los Angeles city attorney squared off in a feisty, 30-minute debate Tuesday that broke little new ground but may have reached a high-water mark for vitriol.

S.F. Urged: Pull Gun, Fossil Fuels Funds - Sfgate
Once again, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors is wading into matters of national import as one legislator urges the city to rid its retirement holdings of investments in fossil fuel companies and gun manufacturers. Supervisor John Avalos introduced two nonbinding resolutions Tuesday that call for the city's retirement board to divest from fossil fuel companies and firearms and ammunition manufacturers in the San Francisco Employees' Retirement System. The treasurer's office holds $5 billion in a "pooled portfolio," essentially the checking account for the city departments' regular operations, which is different form the pension fund. According to official policy, the treasurer is discouraged from making investments in manufacturers of tobacco products, firearms or nuclear weapons. "There's no doubt that fossil fuel companies have been profitable over the years," said Jamie Hinn, the spokesman for, a group that has worked with 200 college campuses to encourage fossil fuel divestment in higher education and just launched a similar campaign in San Francisco.

Transforming 'Deferred Action' For Young Immigrants Into True Opportunities
Edward Kissam @
Budget constraints are a reality. But DACA applicants who resume their interrupted education by enrolling in an adult education course and continue onward to complete a course of study leading to certification or an AA degree will probably see immediate increases of about $12,000 in their annual earnings. This translates into increased income tax revenue for California, which will in turn offset the modest costs of making available more adult basic education, ESL, and non-credit community college courses to prepare students for careers.

Some GOP governors accepting parts of ACA
Jennifer Haberkorn and Jason Millman @
A few are going ahead with key pieces of President Barack Obama's health care law.

State Seeks Back Taxes From Small-business Shareholders
Marc Lifsher @
A tax break governing the sale of certain stock has been ruled unconstitutional, leading the tax board to require retroactive taxes from about 2,000 residents.

S.F. GOP Leader Slammed By Republicans
Joe Garofoli @
As chairwoman of the San Francisco Republican Party, attorney Harmeet Dhillon possesses an unusual background for a GOP leader. The Indian American is a past board member of the American Civil Liberties Union and doesn't focus on the divisive social issues that have alienated the GOP from Californians. But now that Dhillon is running to be vice chair of the California Republican Party - she would be the first female of color in the job - one of the state's top conservative groups is ripping her for being a little too San Francisco, warning that Dhillon is a Bay Area liberal who "simply doesn't represent our values."

California accuses S&P of deception in $4-billion lawsuit
Alejandro Lazo @
California has filed suit against Wall Street's biggest credit rating agency, Standard & Poor’s, charging the firm with violating the state's False Claims Act by using “magic numbers” and “guesses” to inflate ratings that ultimately cost California public pension funds an estimated $1 billion.

Economist Says California At Risk Of Losing Its Educational Advantage
Timm Herdt @
A senior economist with UCLA’s Anderson Forecast warned lawmakers Tuesday that California is at risk of losing what has long been one of its top economic advantages, a workforce that is better educated than those in other states.

Gov. Jerry Brown, Republicans Float Bills To Change Fire Fee
Kevin Yamamura @
Gov. Jerry Brown wants to expand how the state can spend new fire fee proceeds, while Republican legislators want to kill the charge entirely.

California Cities Likely To Keep Right To Ban Medical Pot Dispensaries
Howard Mintz @
California cities appear likely to retain the power to ban medical marijuana dispensaries, over the objections of medical pot advocates who argue such restrictions undermine the state law allowing the use of cannabis for medical reasons.

DWP Seeks Truce In Water Wars As L.A. Aqueduct Nears 100
Louis Sahagun @
The attempt to end hostilities in the Owens Valley pleases residents, but has them wondering why it hasn't come earlier.

Brown Jabs Texas, Press On Business Debate
John Myers @
Gov. Jerry Brown, as skillful as any public official when it comes to political symbolism, doesn't see much value in the same tactics being waged by his counterpart in the Lone Star State.

University Of California Must Disclose Venture Capital Returns, Judge Rules
Sarah McBride @
The University of California must make public the closely guarded performance of some top-tier venture capital funds in which it has invested a portion of its $10.65 billion endowment, a judge said on Monday.

Mayor Seeks To Have Detailed Plan To Keep Kings By Month's End
Ryan Lillis and Dale Kasler @
Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson still wasn't ready Tuesday to reveal the identities of the deep-pocketed investors he's recruited to make a pitch to buy the Kings.

SF Wants To Require Seismic Upgrades
John Cote @
Thousands of San Francisco property owners would be required to retrofit their older, collapse-prone buildings at an estimated cost of $60,000 to $130,000 each to improve their chances of surviving a major earthquake under legislation Mayor Ed Lee introduced Tuesday.