Flap’s California Morning Collection: February 27, 2012

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California Mission

Good Monday Morning!

The California Legislature is in session. Today’s schedule is here.

Both the California Assembly and California State Senate have scheduled floor sessions today.

The California State Senate will feature former Massacusetts Governor and democratic Presidential nominee Michael Dukakis.

With the Republicans back from their convention, the Assembly meets at noon and the Senate at 2 p.m., when Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg will take to the floor to introduce a former Democratic presidential candidate: Michael Dukakis.

The former Massachusetts governor, who lost to George H.W. Bush in 1988, is giving a talk today at the Mondavi Center as part of the UC Davis Chancellor’s Colloquium. His topic: “Public Service: A Great Career.” His speech starts at 4 p.m.

Governor Jerry Brown continues in Washington D.C.

On to today’s California headlines:

California GOP OKs new conservative group after floor fight

The California Republican Party voted to formally recognize a new conservative organization today after a procedural floor fight that included debate, voice votes and a person-by-person count of the delegates gathered at the Burlingame Hyatt Regency for the party’s spring convention.

Conservative activist Mike Spence created the Conservative Republicans of California in the aftermath of a divisive leadership fight at the California Republican Assembly, a 75-year-old group that bills itself as the “conscience of the Republican Party.” The charter allows the new group, which includes several GOP legislators, to use the party’s insurance policy, reserve space at the convention at a lower cost and assign one delegate to vote on party matters.

Brown gets no promise of federal help for Medi-Cal

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Sunday threw cold water on Gov. Jerry Brown’s plan to ask California’s poor to contribute to their federally subsidized healthcare — payments the governor has proposed to save the state more than $500 million a year.

Brown met with Sebelius for 45 minutes in Washington, where he renewed his pitch for more flexibility in how the state handles Medi-Cal, its health-insurance program for the poor. The governor wants co-pays from recipients for emergency-room visits as well as routine trips to the doctor and dentist, beginning in October.

“Everybody has to have some skin in the game,” Brown said of his co-pay plan. “For some people, they’re so destitute that’s impossible. OK, I understand that. But … I think there’s a wiser path than the one we’re on.”

The Obama administration turned down a similar request earlier this month. On Sunday, Brown said, Sebelius told him that there were legal obstacles to his proposal but hinted that there were other ways the state may be able to save money in its Medi-Cal program, which helps more than 7 million Californians. Brown said the secretary did not specify what those ways might be.

State GOP Adopts Conservative 2012-2016 Platform

It’s a wrap.  The 2012 California Republican Party Spring Convention, held on the San Francisco Bay Area peninsula, is over.  As is typical of these semi-annual confabs, I give them my all – and they take all I have to give and more.  We’ll pen a post-convention write with an overview of the highlights for publication as early as tomorrow morning.  That having been said, I wanted to share with you that at the general session of the convention, by an overwhelming voice vote, the delegates to the convention adopted the 2012-2016 CRP Platform.  I am very pleased to share that the document that was approved, while far from ideal, is more or less a re-adoption of the conservative platform document that we adopted back in 2008.  I could go on at length about what is in the final document, but instead I will attach it here for you to read.

GOP unknowns jockey for chance to take on Dianne Feinstein

Rival GOP presidential campaigns weren’t the only ones trying to shore up support at this weekend’s California Republican Party convention.

A handful of could-be challengers to U.S. Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein stormed the gathering with campaign signs, volunteers and speeches at caucus meetings.

Elizabeth Emken, Dan Hughes, Al Ramirez and Greg Conlon aren’t exactly household names – even among Republican activists at the convention. Party leaders’ efforts to recruit a so-called “top tier” challenger, such as a sitting member of Congress or someone with personal wealth to pour into a campaign, were unsuccessful.

But the candidates said they believe Feinstein, long a popular public figure and formidable opponent in Democrat-dominated California, can be had. Polls showing a drop in Feinstein’s approval rating and voter disappointment with the status quo in Washington, D.C., creates an opportunity for an upset, they said.


Dan Walters: Why would the California Teachers Association back Jerry Brown’s tax measure?

The California Teachers Association stands alone among major public education groups – at least so far – in supporting the tax-increase ballot measure Gov. Jerry Brown says is needed to prop up public schools.

The huge union’s much-smaller rival, the California Federation of Teachers, is backing its own millionaires’ tax measure for schools while the PTA is a major backer of civil rights attorney Molly Munger’s broad income tax hike that promises the greatest financial boost for education.

Not only is the Education Coalition fragmented, but many school officials are critical of Brown’s measure because schools would not receive any new money from it, at least initially.

So why, many wonder, is the CTA, the richest and most influential education group, backing Brown?

Officially, it’s because his plan, income taxes on the rich and sales taxes, would have the best chance of winning and stabilizing the state budget.

Enjoy your morning!

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