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THE NOONER for February 26, 2013

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John Myers reports that the number of bills is lower than previous years. 

The NYT's Sheryl Gay Stolberg reports that former gubernatorial candidate and HP CEO Meg Whitman is signing on to an amicus brief arguing that the United States Supreme Court should overturn Proposition 8. Yeah, her view has changed since she ran for governor . . .

AD25: The BANG political team reports possible candidates for Bob Wieckowski's Assembly seat:

Among those we've heard are either tantalized by this opportunity or being encouraged to contend: Pete McHugh, the former Milpitas councilman; San Jose City Councilman Kansen Chu; Milpitas City Councilman Armando Gomez; and Ohlone Community College District Trustee Teresa Cox. All are Democrats.

LA: One week to go in the LA muni elections. Wouldn't it be cool if the FPPC could do this? Anyway, the LAT has finished its endorsements.

SF: Mayor Ed Lee is expected to appoint Carmen Chu aide Katy Tang as successor to the District 4 vacancy. Chu succeeded Phil Ting as Assessor-Recorder.

SD: Things continue to escalate between Bob Filner/labor and the hotel industry over tourism marketing funds.

Apologies to Torey Van Oot for not linking to her yesterday on her story about Elizabeth Emken's possible candidacy for CD07.


YESTERDAY'S QUESTION: Who was the first African-American [in the State Assembly, elected in 1918], and what interesting familial connection may he have had?

YESTERDAY'S ANSWER: Frederick Madison Roberts was elected as a Republican in 1918. He was the great-grandson of Sally Hemings, and many believe also the great-grandson of Thomas Jefferson.

TODAY'S QUESTION: What was the Napkin Deal, and where was it reached?



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Meg Whitman Voices Support For Gay Marriage In Prop. 8 Case
Former GOP gubernatorial hopefully Meg Whitman has changed course on California's ban on same-sex marriage, urging the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Proposition 8 as unconstitutional.

Sen. Michael Rubio's Departure Stirs California's Capitol
Dan Walters @
Ordinarily, the resignation of a state senator - particularly one not tinged with scandal - is of no more than passing interest. In fact, two senators had already resigned early this year to take their seats in Congress. However, when Sen. Michael Rubio, D-Bakersfield, unexpectedly announced last Friday that he was leaving the Senate to become a governmental affairs executive for with Chevron Corp., it created a political stir.

Lots Of Legislation At State Capitol, But Less Than Before
John Myers @
Just shy of 2,200 proposed laws were introduced in the two houses of the California Legislature by the constitutional deadline -- which sounds like a lot, until you consider it's the smallest batch of bills in years.

California Controller Pegs State Retiree Medical Costs At $64 Billion
Jon Ortiz @
California faces a $63.84 billion obligation to cover state retirees' medical expenses over the next three decades, according to state Controller John Chiang.

Soda Tax Is Among 2,189 Bills Introduced By California Lawmakers
A proposal to tax sweetened soda in California has renewed debate over the state's role in preventing obesity among its residents.

Jerry Brown Skips White House Meeting, Boards Train For New York
David Siders @
Gov. Jerry Brown skipped a meeting with President Barack Obama and boarded a train today for New York, where he will meet with several "thought leaders" before returning to California on Tuesday, his office said.

Coordinated Healthcare Could Save California $110 Billion, Group Says
Los Angeles Times @
California could cut $110 billion in healthcare spending over the next decade, saving the average household $800 a year, by quickly moving away from conventional fee-for-service medicine and embracing more coordinated care, a new report says.

California Coalition's Report Calls For Overhaul To Rein In Health Care Costs
Cynthia H. Craft @
California's health industry heavyweights, warning that insurance premiums will soon consume a third of people's incomes, today threw their weight behind a plan to revamp the health care delivery system.

President to meet with John McCain, Lindsey Graham on immigration
Michael A. Memoli @
WASHINGTON -- President Obama will meet Tuesday with two of the Republicans leading Senate efforts to craft comprehensive immigration legislation.

Jerry Brown Fast-tracks Review Of Riverside County Solar Plant
David Siders @
In an effort to insulate a massive solar power project in Riverside County from extended environmental review, Gov. Jerry Brown announced today that he has certified the facility as a special "leadership project," the second such certification he has granted under a 2011 law.

The Curious Timing Of Sen. Rubio's Resignation :: Fox&hounds
Senator Michael Rubio’s sudden resignation to take a job with the Chevron Corporation on the day Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg released his CEQA “reforms” made the timing of Rubio’s announcement very interesting. Rubio had been selected by Steinberg to chair the Senate Environmental Quality Committee and take the lead on CEQA reforms.

Average Americans Are Feeling Pain Of U.S. Debt
Jim Puzzanghera @
A double whammy of higher taxes and reduced government spending to address the nation's $16-trillion borrowing tab has broad effects.

Health care Twitter all over the map
Joanne Kenen @
Lawmakers, doctors and journalists offer different takes on health care and health reform.

New California License Plate With Farming Theme To Hit Roads
Science @
A new California license plate commemorating farming -- the first specialty plate in more than a decade -- comes out in March, with funding going to high school agricultural education programs.

Healthcare Overhaul May Threaten California's Safety Net
Anna Gorman @
If public hospitals and clinics lose too much funding, county health leaders say, who will treat the uninsured? About 10% of Californians could still lack coverage.

Metal Detectors To Be Removed At Most County Medical Facilities
Heather @
By Chris Richard California Health Report

Senate ends Hagel filibuster, nomination moves closer to vote
Michael A. Memoli @
WASHINGTON – Chuck Hagel moved a step closer to confirmation as Defense secretary after the Senate voted Tuesday afternoon 71-27 to end a GOP-led filibuster of his controversial nomination. A final vote is expected no later than Wednesday evening.

The Evolving Views Of Kevin James
Catherine Saillant and Dan Weikel @
The only Republican candidate has been voicing quite different opinions on some key issues from what he espoused as a conservative radio talk-show host.

Viewpoints: Congress must deal responsibly, strategically with budget cuts
In November's election, the citizens spoke loudly and decisively. They expect President Barack Obama and Congress to work together on the important issues of the day: speeding up our slow economic recovery, getting people back to work and getting our budget in order so that we don't leave a mountain of debt to our children and grandchildren. In my first month as a newly elected congressman, I remain optimistic that we can work together to find solutions to these pressing challenges. But I have also already seen the politics of dysfunction and gridlock first-hand. We must do better.

Boehner: Time for Senate 'get off their ass' and stop sequester
Lisa Mascaro @
WASHINGTON – Seeking to shift blame onto President Obama’s party for the looming budget cuts, House Speaker John A. Boehner said Tuesday it was time the Senate “get off their ass” and develop a way around the enormous automatic reductions.

California Bill Would Cut Tax Exemptions For Boy Scouts, Other Youth Organizations That Prohibit Gay Members - La Daily News
The "Youth Equality Act," or SB 323, would end an exemption on corporate taxes on donations or other income the Boy Scouts and certain youth groups receive, if they discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation.