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Mar 09 2012

Flap’s California Morning Collection: March 9, 2012

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Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa

Good Friday morning!

The California Legislature is in session, but there are no floor sessions nor committees scheduled for today.

The Legislature will resume on Monday – the Assembly at 12 Noon and the Senate at 2 PM.

Today is candidate filing deadline for California Legislative, Congressional and Senate races. The June Primary election set of candidates will be set as of 5 PM.

The California Republican Party Board of Directors will be meeting this weekend to consider endorsements for the June Primary election (top two election).

Now that the filing period is coming to an end, the California Republican Party board of directors will meet Sunday to make endorsements ahead of the June primary. Central committees in counties across the state have been meeting to consider making endorsement recommendations in races for Congress and the state Legislature. Those recommendations, or lack of recommendation in some cases, will come up for board approval this weekend. The board will also consider whether to back one of at least four Republican candidates in the race for U.S. Senate. Securing that stamp of approval requires a two-thirds vote.

On to today’s headlines:

Jerry Brown predicts ongoing budget problems, “finger-pointing” if his tax measures fails

Gov. Jerry Brown said Thursday he is racing to clear the November ballot of two rival tax initiatives because failure will lead to severe ongoing budget problems and Democratic blame-trading.

“If we get down the road and there are no taxes,” he said, “there’s going to be a lot of finger-pointing.”

The Democratic governor, who proposes to raise the state sales tax and income taxes on California’s highest earners, said a proposed tax on millionaires would attract many of the same people who might otherwise support his plan, splitting the vote and likely leaving both measures to fail.

“That would, I think, pretty well ensure the defeat,” Brown told The Bee’s editorial board. “I don’t want to say it’s an absolute, but it’s – I want to choose my words wisely – but I wouldn’t be counting on that tax measure.”

Brown’s meeting was his second this week with a newspaper editorial board, in an increasingly public effort by the governor and his allies to pressure the supporters of two other tax plans to withdraw. Also Thursday, the California Business Roundtable announced its opposition to the other measures.

What deficit? Legal mountain lion hunt dominates state Capitol

Once again, California faces a budget crisis. Revenues are projected to come in lower than anticipated. The governor and special interest groups are sparring over competing tax measures. Angry college students are occupying the Capitol.

And yet the most talked about issue in Sacramento these days is a Fish and Game Commissioner who legally killed a mountain lion in Idaho.

Ever since news of Dan Richards‘ hunting trip came to light in late February, the Watchdog has been patiently waiting for the story to burn itself out.  But after three weeks of intense scrutiny, the story doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. News organizations, state policy makers and callers to legislative offices continue debating this only-in-California controversy.

The latest development: about 60 people spoke in Richards’ defense at a commission hearing in Riverside on Wednesday, backing the beleaguered commissioner as animal rights groups and environmentalists continue to call for his head. This was after leader of the Senate called Richards a “jackass” and 40 Democratic Assembly members and the lieutenant governor called for his resignation.

Dan Walters: Redistricting, top-two primary change California’s election game

The suburban area of Ventura and Los Angeles counties had long been the domain of Republican Rep. Elton Gallegly.

But Gallegly is retiring this year. As redrawn, the 26th District has a nearly six percentage point Democratic registration advantage, so Democrats see it as a potential gain in their quest to recapture control of Congress.

Initially, Democrats pinned their hopes on Ventura County Supervisor Steve Bennett, but he withdrew. A flock of Democrats jumped in, much to the dismay of party leaders, because Republican state Sen. Tony Strickland also decided to run, giving Republicans a fighting chance of retaining the seat.

After much internal jockeying, party leaders persuaded a local Democratic assemblywoman, Julia Brownley, to enter the race, but the top-two primary system looms as a worrisome factor for the party.


‘Right to Vote’ proposed ballot initiative filed in Thousand Oaks

A Thousand Oaks planning commissioner has filed papers for a proposed ballot initiative that would require the city to hold elections to fill City Council vacancies.

Michael “Mic” Farris submitted the proposed initiative with the city clerk Thursday, two days after the council appointed Planning Commissioner Joel Price to the council seat left vacant by Dennis Gillette, who retired March 1 because of health concerns.

“I think the last two vacancies that the council filled, including the most recent one, left people dissatisfied with how it was resolved,” Farris said of the council’s decision to make appointments. “I know many people wanted to see a (special) election. People would prefer an election if given an opportunity, and this would provide that to the voters.”

In 2005, the council appointed Tom Glancy to the panel after Councilman Ed Masry retired because of health issues.

In both cases, the decision to appoint someone to fill the seat until the end of the retiring council member’s term angered some residents.

Enjoy your morning!

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