February 5, 2012 archive

Flap’s California Afternoon Collection: February 5, 2012


These are my links for February 5th:

  • Dan Walters: Democrats may be Jerry Brown’s big hurdle on budget

    “Gov. Jerry Brown and his fellow Democrats in the Legislature settled on a hastily revised state budget last June – after Brown had vetoed legislators’ first version – and pronounced it to be balanced and timely.

    “My colleagues and I have voted on a responsible budget,” Assemblyman Roger Dickinson, D-Sacramento, told constituents in a newsletter, adding, “While we have projected additional revenues, we have also identified further tough cuts if these revenues are not realized. We are charged with the responsibility to pass a balanced budget on time. Democratic lawmakers have done so.”

    Dickinson wasn’t alone in crowing to constituents about the budget. But it wasn’t on time, nor was it balanced, as Capitol insiders suspected then and we know for certain seven months later.

    The quickly revised budget hinged on a sudden, even miraculous, projection by Brown’s bean counters that the state would receive another $4 billion in revenue. But in December, they acknowledged that more than half of the windfall won’t show up, thus triggering some spending cuts, although not enough to offset the missing income.

    If anything, the situation has deteriorated.”

  • Red-light cameras boost coffers, rile drivers

    “California has the most expensive red-light camera tickets in the world – the fine is so steep that one camera in Oakland generates more than $3 million a year – and a Fremont man is launching a protest group to do something about that.

    If Roger Jones has his way, that freezing dread that knifes through a driver the moment he sees the overhead flash of a traffic camera will become a thing of the past.

    But he’s facing quite an uphill fight against officials hungry for the cash the cameras sweep in and police who are convinced they make the roads safer.”

  • Neophyte Democratic candidate joins Berman/Sherman race

    “If the battle between Democratic Reps. Howard Berman of Valley Village and Brad Sherman of Sherman Oaks for a newly drawn San Fernando Valley congressional district is a clash of two Goliaths, as some have suggested, then the contest just got another would-be David.

    Vincent Gilmore, a 31-year-old gardener who lives in Van Nuys, recently announced that he is making his first bid for elected office by joining what is expected to be one of the costliest, most watched House races in history. The Democrat said he isn’t taking donations and is spending as little as possible “for ethical reasons.” He’s relying mainly on a website — www.vincegilmore2012.com — and YouTube videos to reach voters.”

  • Nurses flex their political muscle in Sacramento and across California

    “Rose Ann DeMoro is always ready for another fight.

    And why not? During the past decade, the leader of the California Nurses Association has won so many of her battles.

    Largely because of CNA efforts, California is poised to become the first state where registered nurses make an average salary above $100,000.

    The union helped defeat gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman in 2010 and has become a political force, throwing financial support behind candidates for offices ranging from Santa Rosa City Council to state attorney general.

    And more recently, nurses flexed their muscles with a series of one-day walkouts in support of other hospital employees who are in tough contract negotiations.

    “This is a significant career with responsibility for life and death,” DeMoro said. Hospitals, she said, “are looking to make more money off the backs of nurses. That’s not going to happen.”

    The health care industry bristles at CNA tactics, including last Tuesday’s one-day nurse walkout at Kaiser Permanente hospitals alongside striking workers from the smaller National Union of Healthcare Workers. Hospital officials say the solidarity strikes put patients at risk.”