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THE NOONER for August 15, 2013
TWEET DU JOUR: @pourmecoffee - "Honoring the 44th anniversary of Woodstock today by staying away from the brown acid that is circulating around which isn't too good."
Good morning! I'm looking forward to seeing many of you at Hacks and PACs this afternoon, where a great team has been assembled to talk 2014. Seriously, Paul was still running data for our presentation at 11pm last night. Some say procrastination, but we say "latest and greatest." Oh, and, yes, I will announce the fate of my Secretary of State bid at the event. #LCI2013
WORST GUT AND AMEND? SB 594, a gut and amend from last week, will chill speech of nonprofit organizations like mine, which would have killed Proposition 30. All of the expenditures were from an absolutely clear cut no public funds account, solely from corporate sponsorships and individual donations. However, how do you account for the time of someone like me who works 60 hours a week? The bill is from a fight between firefighters and cities (which oddly were aligned on the ballot measures to protect municipal funds), but would lead to the demise of ballot measures like Proposition 30 and state bond measures.
I agree that not a dime of public funds should ever go to campaigns, candidate or ballot measures. I am always reluctant to use my daily conversation with you to talk about positions that my organization takes, but this is something I personally believe in deeply. A bill that has a huge potential of chilling speech should not be a gut and amend at the end of session, and Democrats supporting the measure should consider the harm the bill will do to the causes they care about.
LEGGO MY SANDY EGGO! I haven't written on this issue yet, as I wanted to research a bit before doing so (yes, I do that sometimes!). But, as signatures start being gathered this weekend to recall San Diego mayor Bob Filner, the big question is whether the recall process of the city is constitutional.
In San Diego, like in California law up until 2003 (first in the constitution and then in statute), a voter is required to vote either "yes" or "no" on whether an official should be recalled before they may vote on their preferred candidate for successor should the recall succeed. (San Diego Municipal Code sec. 27.2726).
Requiring a voter to vote on the yes/no question before expressing candidate preference was held to be unconstitutional by a federal court in 2003 during the recall of Governor Gray Davis. Thus, San Diego city attorney Jan Goldsmith has told the council that it needs to update its code to comply with the federal court decision. Critics of the recall of Filner, including those that want him to resign to give Democrats a better chance of holding the mayor's office after a special election, point to Goldsmith's memo and argue that should the recall qualify, it will be stopped by a federal judge.
However, that is unlikely. The more likely scenario will be what the court did in 2003. It essentially required all votes to be counted. Courts don't like to stop elections and prefer to find the least intrusive and most constitutional way to allow elections to proceed. Thus, if challenged, a court likely will just invalidate the provision requiring a voter to vote on yes/no before expressing a candidate preference.
$$$: Another $5 million has been added to the account to fight a ballot measure lifting MICRA caps, this time by a large malpractice insurer. That's $12.5 million to fight a measure that is still in title and summary stage.
MY PAL VAL: Farmers, employees need immigration rules that work [Val Dolcini @ AgAlert]
TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
State Court Gives Final OK To Gay Marriage - Sfgate
The state Supreme Court gave its final approval Wednesday to the rights of gays and lesbians to marry, dismissing an appeal by sponsors of the 2008 initiative that banned same-sex marriage in California. The justices unanimously denied review of a suit by conservative Christians who put Proposition 8 on the ballot and argued that it remains in effect statewide, despite a federal judge's 2010 ruling in San Francisco that declared it unconstitutional. The court's action could mean the end of a legal battle that began more than nine years ago when Mayor Gavin Newsom ordered San Francisco's city clerk to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, defying state law that defined marriage as the union of a man and a woman. The 2010 ruling by then-Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker finding Prop. 8 unconstitutional was suspended during lengthy appeals, but was reinstated after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled June 26 that the initiative's sponsors lacked legal standing to represent the state in federal court.
Schwarzenegger Ally Has Second Thoughts On Cutting Car Tax
Chris Megerian @ latimes.com
SACRAMENTO — Cutting California's car tax was a signature issue when Arnold Schwarzenegger campaigned to oust Gray Davis from the governor's office in 2003. In one of his best-known stunts, he dropped a wrecking ball on an Oldsmobile and told the crowd, "hasta la vista, car tax," echoing the actor's famous line from "Terminator 2."
Unions, Local Governments Clash Over Campaign Restrictions
Dan Walters @ blogs.sacbee.com
An unusual alliance of unions, Common Cause and the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association lined up Tuesday behind late-blooming legislation that would crack down on use of public resources to promote ballot measures.
State court gives final OK to gay marriage
The state Supreme Court gave its final approval Wednesday to the rights of gays and lesbians to marry, dismissing an appeal by sponsors of the 2008 initiative that banned same-sex marriage in California. The court's action could mean the end of a legal battle that began more than nine years ago when Mayor Gavin Newsom ordered San Francisco's city clerk to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, defying state law that defined marriage as the union of a man and a woman. The 2010 ruling by then-Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker finding Prop. 8 unconstitutional was suspended during lengthy appeals, but was reinstated after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled June 26 that the initiative's sponsors lacked legal standing to represent the state in federal court.
Slapped With Lawsuit, Whittier Agrees To Consider Election Changes
Jean Merl @ latimes.com
A week after activists filed a lawsuit over Whittier's handling of its municipal elections, officials have decided to reconsider the method used to choose city council members.
Santa Clara County's Largest Public Employee Union Votes To Authorize Strike
Tracy Seipel @ contracostatimes.com
Officials with the county chapter of SEIU Local 521 said the two-day vote, completed Tuesday night, was 96 percent in favor of a strike. They would not say how many of the union's 9,000 members, most of which are full-time workers, submitted ballots. But a posting on the union's website by one chapter chair indicated almost 3,200 members had voted overall.
California Supreme Court Rejects Bid To Revive Prop. 8
Maura Dolan @ latimes.com
The final legal challenge to same-sex marriage in California was rejected by the California Supreme Court.
Prison Advocates Take Fight To State Capitol
Katie Orr @ capradio.org
As an inmate hunger strike in California stretches on, prison reform advocates want the rest of us to know what itâs like inside a SHU.
Sizing Up The Landscape For Initiatives In 2014 :: Fox&hounds
Even though the 2014 general election is 15 months away there are already rumors about what might appear on the ballot through the initiative process. In attempting to read the early tea leaves on initiative measures, especially ones that are related to the business community, I turned to Rick Claussen, long time ballot initiative maven running the newly named firm, Redwood Pacific.
The Public Eye: Water Plan May Shift Delta Tunnels
Matt Weiser @ sacbee.com
California water officials are proposing a dramatic redesign of two massive water diversion tunnels planned for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, a concession to Delta residents who have complained the project would upend their lives.
Capital Alert: California should step up oversight of mental health spending
Laurel Rosenhall @ blogs.sacbee.com
State agencies have not properly overseen how California counties are spending billions of dollars on mental health care programs generated by Proposition 63, according to a state audit released today.
Botched Project: Committee Holds Hearing On Payroll Mistakes
Jim Miller @ blog.pe.com
A Senate budget panel Thursday will examine how a much-needed overhaul of the stateâs payroll system came in years behind schedule and massively over-budget â and then failed to work.
Garcetti Puts Former Mayoral Rival Emanuel Pleitez On Pension Board
David Zahniser @ latimes.com
Mayor Eric Garcetti puts former mayoral candidate Emanuel Pleitez on pension board
Emotional Campaign Mostly About Boosting Attorney Fees
Steven Greenhut @ utsandiego.com
When it comes to voter initiatives, the winning side isnât always the one with the most cash, but the side thatâs best able to tug on votersâ heartstrings. Yet a medical-malpractice measure that may be headed for the November 2014 ballot shows that emotion-laden campaigns often hide the most cynical motives.
Charter School Enrollment Climbs In Sacramento Region As Private Schools Lose Students
Diana Lambert and Phillip Reese @ sacbee.com
Dozens of private schools across the Sacramento region closed their doors in recent years as enrollment plummeted and students transferred to public schools.
House Democrats press Jerry Brown to sign immigrant bill
David Siders @ blogs.sacbee.com
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and other members of California's Democratic congressional delegation urged Gov. Jerry Brown in a letter this week to sign state legislation to prevent local police from detaining people based on their immigration status unless they have been convicted of a felony or serious crime.
California high court denies bid to halt gay marriages
It came to a quiet end. After five years of litigation – a polarizing battle that pitted conservative advocates against civil rights proponents – same-sex marriage will likely stand as law in California.
California Supreme Court rejects appeal from Proposition 8 sponsors to stop gay marriages....
California Supreme Court rejects appeal from Proposition 8 sponsors to stop gay marriages.
GOP Presidential Hopefuls Seek To Distance Themselves From Romney
Alexander Bolton @ thehill.com
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and other likely 2016 GOP presidential candidates are sounding populist themes in battleground states, trying to distance themselves from Mitt Romneyâs 2012 campaign.