Tag Archive: California Field Poll

Feb 22 2013

The California Flap: February 22, 2013

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Carl WashingtonFormer California Assemblyman Carl Washington

The California Legislature is in session, but there are no floor sessions scheduled until Monday.

Today’s schedule is here.

The California Assembly’s Daily File is here and the California State Senate’s is here.

An important deadline to remember for today:

  • February 22, 2013: Deadline to introduce bills.

Each member of the Assembly and State Senate are allowed to introduce up to 40 bills in this two year legislative session.

On to today’s California headlines:

  • Carl Washington, a former assemblyman, to plead guilty to fraud – A top L.A. County Probation Department executive who once was a state assemblyman has agreed to plead guilty to federal bank fraud charges, admitting he bilked financial institutions out of nearly $200,000 by falsely claiming to be an identity theft victim. Carl Washington, a division chief of intergovernmental relations and legislative affairs, has agreed to plead guilty to three counts of bank fraud for causing losses of $193,661 to financial institutions, including Farmers and Merchants Bank, First City Credit Union and L.A. Financial Credit Union. Washington, 47, of Paramount, began in the summer of 2011 to run up large debts and file bogus police reports with the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department, blaming his debts on identity theft.
  • LAO has ‘serious concerns’ with governor’s Prop. 98 calculation – The State Legislative Analyst’s Office is calling into question the legality of Gov. Brown’s proposal to count new revenue from Proposition 39 toward funding for education. In a report released Thursday, the LAO warns that the governor’s plan for the initiative, the California Clean Energy Jobs Act, violates the intent of the law. Proposition 39, which won with 61 percent vote last November, is projected to raise up to half a billion dollars in revenue this fiscal year and as much as a billion per year starting next year for clean energy projects. It does this by changing the tax formula for multistate corporations doing business in California to one used by most other states.
  • California faces rising bill for retiree healthcare – First the good news: The state controller says the cost of providing healthcare to retired public employees did not rise as fast as expected. Now the bad news: Over the next three decades, the bill is expected to be $63.84 billion more than Sacramento has set aside to pay for it, and state officials don’t have a clear plan to cover those costs. The updated figures were released Thursday by state Controller John Chiang. “The current pay-as-we-go model of funding retiree health benefits is shortsighted and a recipe for undermining the fiscal health of future generations of Californians,” Chiang said in a statement. “However, today’s challenge won’t necessarily become tomorrow’s crisis if policymakers can muster the fiscal discipline to invest now so that we can pay tens of billions of dollars less later.” The unfunded liability for retiree healthcare, considered one of the most troublesome threats to California’s financial health, was previously pegged at $62.1 billion.
  • Brown may forge alliance with GOP governors on health plan – When Gov. Jerry Brown meets with the nation’s other governors this weekend in Washington, D.C., he will find common ground with some unlikely counterparts on an unlikely issue: President Obama’s healthcare plan. Among the governors now moving nearly as aggressively as Brown to implement the federal healthcare law are conservatives who have long fought to unravel it. They are finding that they cannot afford to pass up Obama’s offer of billions of dollars in federal aid to cover expansion of their Medicaid programs for the poor. Arizona’s Jan Brewer, New Mexico’s Susana Martinez and Nevada’s Brian Sandoval — all Republicans — have bucked the GOP trend on the Obama law by opting to accept the new federal money. In Florida, where 20% of residents do not have health insurance, Gov. Rick Scott announced Wednesday that he is joining the renegade group.
  • Field Poll: California voters want driver’s licenses, other privileges for illegal immigrants – Californians in record numbers want to grant driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants, not charge them extra for college, and offer a path to citizenship, a new Field Poll shows. Attitudes are changing fast: This marks the first time a majority of voters have turned thumbs-up on driver’s licenses since the Field Poll began asking the question in 2005. But voters indicated the welcome mat should extend only to immigrants already living in the state. “Voters are in favor of liberalizing some of the laws toward undocumented immigrants, but at the same time, they don’t want to diminish border control,” said Mark DiCamillo, Field Poll director.
  • Freer home sales market draws Californians to Texas – What draws working and middle class Californians to states like Texas is mostly a freer home sales market, which brings lower prices.  A zero state income tax rate and lower business tax rates that provide incentives for job creation also matter, but to a lesser extent. The Texas advantage occurs even though its property base tax rates are double or triple those in California. However, although the tax rates are higher, because home prices are lower, the rates are applied to the lower values. That is the conclusion of Jed Kolko, the chief economist for Trulia, an online home sales listing company.  Kolko found that net California out-migration (those leaving minus those coming in) is higher for the working and middle class than it is for the wealthy.  Kolko’s statistical analysis actually found that high-income households making $200,000 per year or more were holding steady in California.
  • Garcetti and Greuel have spent $6.6 million and it’s pretty even – Thursday’s latest filing of campaign finance reports in the mayoral race shows the top two candidates essentially as matched in fundraising as they are in positions on the issues. There’s no real news in the numbers, so to sum up: Total raised: Garcetti:$4,138,938 Greuel: $4,078,547 Total spent: Garcetti: $3,501,589 Greuel: $3,154,086 Cash left for final 12 days: Greuel: $1,668,319 Garcetti: $1,504,723
  • Kristin Olsen to move to smaller office after failed GOP move – Assemblywoman Kristin Olsen was ordered to move immediately into a much smaller office in the wake of a failed effort within the Assembly Republican Caucus to oust its leader, Connie Conway. The move was widely regarded as punishment for Olsen, R-Modesto, who had been touted by some Assembly Republicans as a potential successor to Conway. The caucus decided nearly unanimously Thursday to retain Conway, with only one person voting no, members said. “I don’t know the exact circumstances of the reason for the move, but I do know that Assembly member Olsen was not the vote to vacate the chair,” said Kim Nickols, Olsen’s spokeswoman. Nickols declined substantive comment about the caucus leadership turmoil, saying only that “I know that the only thing that’s important to her is that the party unifies, refines its message and implements winning strategies.”
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Feb 21 2013

The California Flap: February 21, 2013

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Santa Monica, CaliforniaSanta Monica, California looking towards Malibu

The California Legislature is in session.

Today’s schedule is here.

The California Assembly’s Daily File is here and the California State Senate’s is here.

An important deadline to remember:

  • February 22, 2013: Deadline to introduce bills.

Each member of the Assembly and State Senate are allowed to introduce up to 40 bills in this two year legislative session.

On to today’s California headlines:

  • California laws banning ‘one-stop’ optician shops withstands challenge – A decadelong legal fight that originated in Sacramento to scuttle California’s prohibition on “one-stop-shops” offering both eye examinations and prescription lenses has finally hit the wall with the U.S. Supreme Court refusing to accept the issue for review. Three entities representing “dispensing opticians” – Lenscrafters Inc., Eye Care Centers of America Inc., and the National Association of Optometrists & Opticians – had asked the high court to consider a federal appellate court’s rejection of their challenge to the laws. The plaintiffs went to Sacramento federal court in 2002 over California’s statutes and regulations that reserve to optometrists and ophthalmologists the ability to offer both eye exams and glasses while denying it to optical companies, many of them national chains. Optometrists and ophthalmologists are classified as health care providers, as opposed to opticians, who fill prescriptions for eyewear. The California Optometric Association, which supported the s…
  • In California, thousands of teachers missing needed credentials – Every year in California, public school administrators assign thousands of teachers to classes for which they lack the credentials or legal authorization to teach. Untrained teachers have been assigned to a variety of difficult classes, including those filled with English-language learners and others with special intellectual and physical needs. Or, in Parker’s case, to teach social studies when they’re credentialed for biology. Nearly 1 in 10 teachers or certificated personnel – more than 32,000 school employees – did not have the credentials or authorization for their positions from 2007 through 2011, according to data compiled by the state Commission on Teacher Credentialing. The problem is greater at low-performing schools, where students are overwhelmingly low-income and Latino. The average rate of improperly assigned teachers at these schools was 16 percent over the same period.
  • California Field Poll: Gov. Brown’s approval rating up in poll – Gov. Jerry Brown’s approval rating has surged to its highest level since he was elected and, despite still giving the Legislature low marks, a strong majority of voters view the Democrats’ two-thirds supermajority as a positive, according to a Field Poll released Thursday. The survey also found the highest number of voters who think California is headed in the right direction since the summer of 2007. Brown’s approval rating has jumped to 57 percent among those surveyed, with 31 percent disapproving and 12 percent having no opinion. It’s the first time the poll has found that the governor has had a majority of voters approving of his performance since he took office in 2011. The previous Field Poll conducted last fall found 46 percent of voters approving his performance, and 37 percent disapproving. The uptick for the governor is due largely to his ability to erase the state’s chronic budget deficit that voters had become accustomed to, said Mark DiCamillo, director of the Field Pol
  • 572 San Francisco city workers paid more than governor – No fewer than 572 San Francisco city workers and executives made more than Gov. Jerry Brown last year. More than 1,500 city workers made more than state Attorney General Kamala Harris. And that’s without overtime. “That’s pretty staggering,” said Tom Dalzell, head of the California Citizens Compensation Commission, which sets pay for state lawmakers. With a salary of $173,987, Brown makes about as much as a senior police sergeant in San Francisco, once premium pay for the cop’s years of service, special training and the like are included.
  • California Dept. of Transportation: ‘Be Sure to Black Out the ‘United States’ and [the] Motto’ – For three years, a private citizen named Steve LeBard has led the effort to build a privately funded memorial in Orcutt, California—a tranquil small town located on the Golden State’s gorgeous Central Coast—to honor military veterans. And for the better part of those three years, he has run into a toxic blend of political correctness, anti-Americanism, and bureaucratic senselessness. Today, the memorial, which was to be built with private funds on a small piece of public land, remains unbuilt.
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Nov 02 2012

Is the California Death Penalty Toast?

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The newly renovated San Quentin Prison Death Chamber

AP Photo

Perhaps, or maybe the California Death Penalty will be abolished according to the latest California Field Poll.

With concern over the cost of capital punishment rising, California voters may be poised for a historic vote to abolish the state’s death penalty, a new Field Poll indicates.

Support for the measure, Proposition 34, remains below 50 percent. But the poll released this morning found 45 percent of likely voters favor replacing the punishment with life in prison, while 38 percent oppose doing away with capital punishment.

Another 17 percent say they remain undecided.

The latest survey shows support for abolishing the death penalty rising as Election Day nears. A Field Poll released in September found 42 percent in favor of the measure and 45 percent opposed, with 13 percent undecided at that time.

“It’s certainly an encouraging poll for the Proposition 34 supporters, but it still has a long way to go,” Field Poll Director Mark DiCamillo said. “It’s got to get above 50 percent, and it’s moving in the right direction.”

DiCamillo said many measures tend to lose support after voters take a closer look at the issues, but Proposition 34 “is actually gaining strength as voters learn more about it.”

Nahhhh, the California Death Penalty is going nowhere.

Former California Governor’s Deukmejian and Wilson just recently came out against Proposition 34.

Also, law enforcement will go to the radio over the weekend and remind voters what this proposition would do.

This is not to say that the election will be closer than the previous one in 1978.

But, not this election will the death penalty be abolished.

Here is the Field Poll graphic:

California Death Penalty Field Poll

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May 31 2012

California Field Poll: Tobacco Tax Measure Slipping in Support

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The latest California Field poll is out.

California voters still favor a ballot measure to raise the state’s tobacco tax, but the margin is slipping, suggesting a potentially close finish in the election Tuesday.

The measure, once supported by a wide majority of Californians, now leads by only eight percentage points among likely voters, 50 percent to 42 percent, according to a Field Poll released today.

The race’s tightening follows a flood of advertising by tobacco companies against the tax.

“It’s on a downward trajectory,” poll director Mark DiCamillo said. “The question is how steep is the slope downward. I suspect it will get closer than eight points.”

Ultimately, the tobacco tax measure will fall, if there is a turn out of older Republican voters.

If the measure had been written better and the money raised would have gone to California-based foundations/research facilities that fight smoking, the initiative would have easily passed.

This race may be close.

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Feb 23 2012

Flap’s California Morning Collection: February 23, 2012

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California Mission

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

On to today’s California headlines:

Defense of Marriage Act ruled unconstitutional by judge

A judge on Wednesday declared the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional and ordered the federal government to ignore the statute and provide health benefits to the wife of a lesbian federal court employee.

The ruling by U.S. District Judge Jeffrey S. White was the first since the Obama administration announced a year ago that it would no longer defend a law it considers discriminatory and reflective of a long history of denying equal rights to gays and lesbians.

White ordered the federal Office of Personnel Management to enroll the wife of Karen Golinski, an attorney for the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, in the health benefits program available to other employees of the federal judiciary. The Defense of Marriage Act prohibits the extension of federal benefits to same-sex spouses, and Golinski’s wife, Amy Cunninghis, had been repeatedly denied coverage since the couple married in 2008.

“The court finds that DOMA, as applied to Ms. Golinski, violates her right to equal protection of the law … without substantial justification or rational basis,” wrote White, who was named to the federal bench a decade ago by President George W. Bush.

White’s ruling echoed that of a Massachusetts judge who in 2010 deemed parts of the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional, a case now on appeal before the U.S. 1st Circuit Court of Appeals.

Ban on sports drinks at CA middle and high schools proposed

Sugary sports drinks would be banned during the school day at middle and high school campuses under legislation proposed this month in the Assembly.

Assembly Bill 1746 would restrict middle and high school sales of sports drinks – called “electrolyte replacement beverages” in the bill – to before and after each school day.

Sports drinks already are prohibited at elementary school campuses, according to Assemblyman Das Williams, a Santa Barbara Democrat who proposed AB 1746. The California Medical Association is among the sponsors of the bill.

CA Finance director pleads no contest to DUI charge

California state finance director Ana Matosantos pleaded no contest Tuesday to driving over the legal limit for alcohol last year in downtown Sacramento.

Matosantos was sentenced by Sacramento Superior Court Judge James P. Arguelles to three years informal probation and two days on the sheriff’s work program, for which she has the option of serving in home detention, according to her lawyer, Megan Virga.

The finance director also was required to complete a three-month DUI program and to pay a fine of $2,200, Virga said. The terms of her plea are standard for first-time offenders.

Field Poll: Obama resurgent in California

President Barack Obama is enjoying a mini-renaissance in California.

Golden State voters are giving him a higher job approval rating and larger margins of victory over potential GOP challengers than they did three months ago. And they are more confident about the future of the nation, according to a new Field Poll.

Obama’s job ratings had slipped below 50 percent last summer in a state dominated by his fellow Democrats. The new poll shows him up to 53 percent approval, still well below a 65 percent peak in 2009.

The president also has widened his lead over potential GOP opponent Mitt Romney. He leads a hypothetical Romney matchup, 55 percent to 35 percent, mostly on the strength of nonpartisans moving to his camp. Similarly, Obama leads former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, 60 percent to 32 percent, and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, 56 percent to 33 percent.

Enjoy your morning!

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