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THE NOONER for February 14, 2013

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GREAT EXPECTATIONS: Jim Brulte set a very low bar for his apparently upcoming tenure as California Republican Party chairman as he told the Sacramento Bee that the party could be as much as $800,000 in debt. That compares to the $10 million its Democratic counterpart has on hand in its state account:

"This is more like a bankruptcy workout," Brulte said of setting up party infrastructure as chairman. "First of all you have to pay off your debt, hopefully while you're doing programs simultaneously. We have to increase our income and reduce our expenses, that's just prudent."

Perhaps the party can raise money by the viral video of Matt Rexroad going Gangnam style.

I wrote it before, but it's worth saying again. There is plenty of GOP-friendly money that will begin flowing once confidence is restored in the party, and Brulte is the one to do it. That said, I'm not exactly sure why he wants to be the one to do it.

FISH OUT OF WATER! In San Francisco, there's little life for his party [Mark Z. Baraback @ LAT]

Jon Fleischman gets a sit-down with Texas Governor Rick Perry, who gives his own response to the State of the Union and explains his California tour.

Calif. man held in threat against state senator - ". . . [Adam] Keigwin said in an email late Wednesday to The Associated Press the threat to [Leland] Yee was made in response to his legislative efforts to end gun violence." [Don Thompson @ AP]

AD04: Yolo County supervisor Don Saylor will be seeking reelection rather than the Assembly seat to be vacated by Mariko Yamada. Look for Davis City Councilmember Dan Wolk, son of State Senator Lois Wolk, in that race. If elected, that would be the first mother-son team to serve in the Legislature contemporaneously (and I think at all). Lois is termed out of SD03 in 2016. Which, gives us . . . 

TRIVIA: Who have been the highest ranking mother-son team in California politics?

LALA LAND: Wendy Greuel dips into the checkbooks of the Dreamworks trio, while Eric Garcetti has a funder with Moby and Jimmy Kimmel.  And, Speaker Perez antes into Greuel's pot.

LAT SAYS "NO": No on Proposition A - "With voters about to install a new mayor, controller and up to eight new council members, now is not the time to raise the city's sales tax."

The LAT also has started to roll out its endorsements for council races, starting with the easy CD5 and Paul Koretz. Could they have found a worse pic to use in the endorsment?

ANIMAL BILL: Every session has its animal bills, and Roger Dickinson introduces a bill to prohibit selling animals at swap meets

The bills keep on a comin' . . . 



  • Community College League of California: Legislative Advocate [Full-time, Sacramento, 3+ years experience] 

  • $125,000 Irvine Leadership Awards: Do you know an innovative, effective leader who is improving California's future? Nominate him or her for a 2014 James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award at Deadline: April 5, 2013.

  • The UC Sacramento Center and Capitol Weekly are presenting a Cap and Trade Conference on Thursday, February 28 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. [more information]




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.

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Registration Fee: $190

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State To Defend Pension Reform Law From County Union Lawsuits
Jon Ortiz @
After staying out of the fray for several months, Gov. Jerry Brown has asked attorney general Kamala Harris to defend California's new public pension law from lawsuits filed by employee unions in at least four counties.

Labor Unions Move To Challenge California Pension Changes For Public Workers
Jon Ortiz @
Before they sought to persuade voters last year to raise taxes, Gov. Jerry Brown and Democratic legislative leaders agreed on sweeping changes in pension law they said would save California government significant money over time. Just months after the election, however, the overhaul is under attack on two fronts across the state, as labor unions challenge elements of the package in one local agency after another.

More Support Soda Tax If For Kids' Health
Erin Allday @
An overwhelming majority of California voters believe that sugary sodas are a major cause of obesity and that such beverages should be taxed - but only if the money raised goes toward improving nutrition and fitness programs in schools, according to Field Poll results released Wednesday.

Democratic Lawmakers Revive Oil Extraction Tax For California
Patrick McGreevy @
After California voters approved a multibillion-dollar increase to sales and income taxes in November to help fund education, Democratic legislative leaders promised restraint, saying they would not be seeking additional tax increases any time soon.

Ca Legislator Wants To Allow 17-year-olds To Cast Primary Vote
Torey Van Oot @
A new proposal introduced in the California Legislature would let the state's teens cast their first ballot at age 17.

Calif First To Set Standard For Health Benefits
California's health benefits exchange became the first in the nation Wednesday to set a standard benefits design to help people comparison shop for insurance under the federal health care overhaul.

State Agency Rules Against San Diego's Pension Reform Initiative |
PERB had filed several lawsuits against the city, asking the courts to first take pension reform off the ballot, and then to delay implementing it once voters approved the measure.

Brulte: California GOP debt could be as high as $800,000
Torey Van Oot @
To rebuild the California Republican Party, Jim Brulte will first have to climb out from under a mountain of debt.

Initiative Process Faces Test In U.S. Court Of Appeals :: Fox&hounds
Attempting to undercut the initiative process by arguing that direct democracy violates the U. S. Constitution is as old as direct democracy in this country. In 1912, a telephone company in Oregon used the argument to challenge a tax imposed by voters. The court determined then, as it had in previous dealings with the Guarantee Clause going back as early as 1849, that what constitutes a Republican Form of Government is a political question.

Federal Judge Dismayed With Slap At California Prison Monitor
Paige St. John @
A federal judge has rebuked Gov. Jerry Brown 's lawyers for taking a swipe at the court-appointed monitor for prison mental health care.

US Judge Chides Brown Administration Over "Smear
A federal judge said Wednesday that he is "dismayed" that Gov. Jerry Brown's administration is questioning the objectivity of a court-appointed special master who oversees the treatment of mentally ill prison inmates.

Robin Swanson Leaving Assembly Speaker's Office For Consulting Firm
Jim Sanders @
Robin Swanson is leaving her $140,000-a-year job as spokeswoman for Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez to launch a business venture.

Lawmaker Proposes Requiring Condoms For Porn Actors In California
Patrick McGreevy @
Following the lead of Los Angeles County, a state lawmaker is proposing to require that all actors in pornographic films made in California be required to wear condoms to protect them from exposure to AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases .

Rep. Xavier Becerra Expects Immigration Bills Soon
Seung Min Kim @
Becerra, a member of the House group working on immigration reform, said that the “climate was right, both for Democrats and Republicans” for a comprehensive overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws.

Former assemblyman named Contra Costa elections chief
Torey Van Oot @
Former Assemblyman Joe Canciamilla is the Contra Costa Board of Supervisors' pick to be the county's next elections chief.

Dorner Case Shows Folly Of Arming Oneself To Combat Government
George Skelton @
Some guardians of the 2nd Amendment cite the need to be prepared to fight off 'tyranny,' but it is a baseless rationale.

California Preschool Advocates Want Obama To Show Them The Money
Jim Sanders @
President Barack Obama's call for states to provide high-quality preschool for every child was met Wednesday with both applause and skepticism in California, where officials are ready, willing – but not yet able.

Study: Tobacco control lowers CA health care costs
A new study says California's tobacco prevention program saved $134 billion in health care costs over the last two decades.

UCSC Students Oppose Health Care Caps, Fear Potential Fee Increase
Local @
The UC Santa Cruz Health center became the site of a "sick picket" Wednesday, as protesters wearing masks over their mouths hobbled on crutches back and forth across the road, receiving honks of support from cars and buses.

Feds roll out cyber plan as Hill vows legislation
Anne Flaherty @
Declaring that America is losing an aggressive cyber-espionage campaign waged from China, administration officials and lawmakers on Wednesday agreed to push legislation that would make it easier for the government and industry to share information about who is getting hacked and what to do about it.

L.A. Mayor Candidate Perry Treats Villaraigosa As Friend, Then Foe
James Rainey @
Does mayoral candidate Jan Perry think that current Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is a really good guy to have in her corner? Or maybe she thinks hizzoner’s support marks the recipient as another hapless representative of the status quo at City Hall.

Calif. Man Held In Threat Against State Senator
Don Thompson @
A threat to a California state senator has led to the arrest of a Santa Clara man and the confiscation of explosive materials and a loaded handgun, authorities said.