The California Legislature is in session.
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:
- GOP leader Connie Conway getting heat from caucus critics – Whispers are getting louder.Assembly Republicans are not talking publicly, but they’re meeting in little groups and buzzing among themselves about the possible overthrow of their caucus leader, Connie Conway.A key question is whether any Republican can corral enough votes for a coup. No Assembly member has pushed publicly to succeed Conway, though veteran Don Wagner of Irvine and freshman Travis Allen of Huntington Beach are touted privately as possibilities. They did not respond to interview requests Monday.
Republicans are still reeling over the loss of three GOP seats in last November’s election, a stunning party defeat that handed Democrats a supermajority in the 80-member house.
- TED conference leaving Long Beach for Vancouver – TED is leaving Long Beach.The national TED conference, which has taken place in Long Beach for four years and will have its fifth event here this month, will move to Vancouver, Canada, next year to celebrate its 30 th anniversary, officials announced Monday.TED, which stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design, will host its final Long Beach-based conference Feb. 25 to March 1 at the downtown Long Beach Terrace Theater. The sold-out, invitation-only conference will be headlined by Bono, a renowned activist for social justice and lead singer of U2.
Mayor Bob Foster said in a statement Monday that TED will be “missed.”
“We enjoyed TED’s run in Long Beach and the past five years gave a tremendous opportunity to showcase the city to new audiences. California will miss them, but we wish them nothing but the best in Vancouver,” Foster said.
- Janet Napolitano: San Diego border ‘secure’ – Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Monday that the San Diego border with Mexico is secure but not impregnable.“I believe the border is secure,” Napolitano said following an aerial tour of the international line and a meeting with Mayor Bob Filner and law enforcement officials. “I believe the border is a safe border.”Others noted that illegal crossings remain more of a problem in some areas than others.
Napolitano cited a sharp decline in apprehensions for attempted illegal crossings and increases in the capture of contraband currency, illicit drugs and human traffickers as evidence that measures used in San Diego are working.
The secretary added that there is no way to declare the border free from illegal crossings.
- Twitter has big Super Bowl Sunday – The 49ers may have come up short in Super Bowl XLVII, but another San Francisco entity came out a big winner Sunday: Twitter.Various postgame breakdowns on social-media use during Sunday’s big event showed Twitter has become the outlet of choice for viewers who increasingly use their mobile phones, tablets, laptops and desktops as secondary screens to multitask while they watch live televised events.Also, Super Bowl advertisers this year heavily favored posting Twitter hashtags over links to Facebook pages during commercials aired during the game – not an insignificant trend considering that 30-second spots cost up to $4 million each.
- Medical marijuana bans to be decided by California Supreme Court on Tuesday – The state Supreme Court this week will hear arguments about whether cities can use zoning laws to ban medical marijuana dispensaries.The high court will begin hearing oral arguments today from attorneys representing Riverside and attorneys for Inland Empire Patient’s Health and Wellness Center, a medical marijuana collective in the city.The Supreme Court’s ruling will be binding on numerous cases questioning the use of zoning to ban dispensaries and could affect dozens of cities bans.
“The Supreme Court is going to bring clarity and uniformity to the law because we now have some courts of appeal that have ruled in favor of cities in these issues and some that have ruled in favor of medical marijuana dispensaries,” said T. Peter Pierce, an attorney for Los Angeles-based Richards, Watson & Gershon, whose firm is representing Upland in a similar case that was appealed to the Supreme Court.
“And, the trial courts are feeling like they don’t have concrete guidelines and have been a…
- Texas governor sets sights on Haas Automation in Oxnard – Haas Automation Inc. in Oxnard will host a visit from Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Feb. 12, as the governor kicks off a campaign in California to lure businesses to his state.Perry likely has chosen Haas because the manufacturing giant and its site selection company, which negotiates packages with state and local officials on incentives and other deals, have been requesting proposals from Texas, North Carolina and Nevada, at least, for a possible expansion outside California.“I hope it doesn’t alarm anyone. We haven’t made any decisions, and I hope people understand we want to stay in California,” said Peter Zierhut, vice president of European operations for Haas, a maker of computer-controlled machines.
“Yes, we’ve considered all our possibilities, and that includes talking to people in other states,” Zierhut said. “California has not been too bad to us, but as a growing company, it’s reasonable we listen to people when they come to us.”
- Texas governor’s radio ad lures California business – It’s only a radio ad, but if you listen closely you can almost hear the swagger of the governor of Texas.”Building a business is tough, but I hear building a business in California is next to impossible,” says an sympathetic Gov. Rick Perry in the 30 second radio ad now on the air in California’s major radio markets.”I have a message for California businesses,” says. “Come check out Texas.”
Perry’s new public relations assault is only the latest chapter in a saga that has been running now for years — a battle between the nation’s two most populous states for bragging rights about who’s got it the best.
- California State GOP may pick a dealmaker for its revival – Jim Brulte – Desperate to return to relevance, the battered California Republican Party is looking for salvation in a shrewd dealmaker and prolific fundraiser once known for advancing his party’s interests in a Capitol dominated by Democrats.Jim Brulte, a former Senate and Assembly minority leader forced from the Legislature by term limits in 2004, is the odds-on favorite to be chosen state GOP leader at the party’s convention here next month.His plans for a rebirth focus, at the moment, on shoring up the basics: the fundraising operation, get-out-the-vote apparatus, data analysis capabilities and recruitment efforts. All have been ailing, leaving the GOP bent with debt and precipitating its increasingly poor performance at the polls.
“I want to be the most boring Republican Party chair in history,” Brulte, who represented parts of the Inland Empire, said in an interview. “That means being in the trenches, doing the nuts and bolts. It’s not very glamorous, and it’s not very exciting, but it…
- Engineering association funded shadowy initiative campaigns – A group that backs privatizing public infrastructure engineering work gave $400,000 to a opaque out-of-state organization that injected millions of dollars — and plenty of controversy — into California’s initiative campaigns last year.New state campaign filings show that American Council of Engineering Companies California made a $150,000 donation to a Virginia-based nonprofit in July and another $250,000 in September.That nonprofit, Americans for Job Security, in turn, gave money to another non-profit organization based in Arizona which then contributed $11 million to a California committee that opposed Gov. Jerry Brown’s Proposition 30 tax hike and supported Proposition 32, which sought to end payroll-deducted political contributions.
The engineering business group’s donation surfaced on Friday because California law requires political action committees to show their spending, including money that goes to issue-advocacy groups.
- Jerry Brown responds to Rick Perry: ‘Texas, come on over!’ – Gov. Jerry Brown said today that the radio ads Texas Gov. Rick Perry is voicing in California are nothing more than a “few tricks,” doubtful they would influence businesses to leave the Golden State.”Do you think a few tricks from a politician is going to make any difference?” the Democratic governor told reporters at a business event in Los Angeles, according to a transcript provided by the governor’s office. “People invest their money where these big things have occurred. The ideas, the structures, the climate, the opportunity is right here on the Pacific Rim.”