Category: Richard Riordan

Flap’s California Morning Collection: June 25, 2012

Share

Tracy, California

Good Monday morning!

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 here.

On to today’s California headlines:

 UC student groups: Budget will contain UC, CSU tuition freeze

The state budget will freeze tuition rates for the state’s two university systems if voters approve tax hikes in November, University of California student groups said this evening.

Charlie Eaton, a leader with the UC student workers’ union, said Capitol officials told him that the budget bills will add $120 million each for the UC and California State University systems to avoid tuition hikes. But that is contingent on voter passage of Gov. Jerry Brown’s tax hikes in November, he said.

The tuition freeze announcement could not be immediately confirmed by Capitol officials.

Lawmakers have yet to make budget language publicly available. Legislative floor votes have been delayed one day to Wednesday because drafting of bills is taking longer than Senate leaders predicted, according to sources who were not authorized to speak publicly.

Rally targets Koch brothers’ political influence

A group of about 15 left-leaning protesters gathered in downtown San Diego on Sunday morning to criticize the political influence of the billionaire Koch brothers.

Charles and David Koch are widely reported to be meeting in San Diego this weekend to help raise hundreds of millions of dollars for conservative causes. The supersecret affair isn’t publicized, but has been speculated to be at top-tier digs such as the Manchester Grand Hyatt downtown or the Park Hyatt Aviara in Carlsbad. Efforts to verify the location have not been successful.

Sunday’s anti-Koch rally at the corner of First and Island avenues (and later along Harbor Drive) drew several sign-carrying protesters, including Mark Thomas of Occupy Phoenix. He helped organize the event “because I felt like there was a hole here. Nobody was going to do anything, and I didn’t feel like that was ethical for there to be a non-response.”

Does former L.A. mayor have any pull in 38th AD?

Edward Headington, the moderate Democrat who calls himself the “purple choice” in the heavily Republican 38th Assembly District, today announced what he called a “game-changing” endorsement — that of former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan, a Republican. In addition, Headington announced the support of Los Angeles City Councilman Mitch Englander, another Republican.

The high-profile GOP endorsements will no doubt help Headington try to make his case that he is in fact a moderate choice in his race against conservative Republican Scott Wilk.

Dan Walters: California lawmakers now face water, pensions, bullet trains

With the state budget more-or-less completed for the time being, Gov. Jerry Brown and state legislators must turn to other business, particularly to three very big and very immediate issues – water, pension reform and the bullet train – that may be even more contentious than the budget.

What the politicians do has potential effects beyond the issues themselves by influencing the November election, particularly the fate of competing tax increases.

California GOP sinking into third-party status

Another Republican politician has bolted the GOP, protesting that the party is too rigid.

In fact, both major parties — all partisan politics — have become too strident and stifling, he says.

So Bruce McPherson, 68 — former California secretary of state and centrist legislator and current candidate for the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors — has re-registered as an independent, or “no party preference.”

In doing that, McPherson is fitting into the pattern of millions of Californians who have snubbed the parties and become nonpartisans.

More than one-fifth of registered voters, 21.3%, are listed with no party preference, according to the Secretary of State. That’s double the 10.7% in 1996 and more than quadruple the 5% in 1972.

In the last 16 years, the GOP’s slice of the electorate has fallen from 37% to 30.2%. The Democrats’ share also has declined, but less precipitously — from 47.1% to 43.4%.

“I walk precincts door to door and people tell me they’re looking for an independent voice,” McPherson says. “They see partisan politics as paralyzing the governing process. They see no movement or communication. They’re frustrated and fed up.

Enjoy your morning!

Share

Flap’s California Morning Collection: May 30, 2012

Share

Fallbrook, California

Good Wednesday Morning!

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 here.

California Governor Jerry Brown will address County Supervisors.

Gov. Jerry Brown is scheduled to take his pitch for his compromise tax measure to the California State Association of Counties, whose members are in Sacramento today and Thursday for a legislative conference.

Brown is also expected to discuss his revised budget proposal at a luncheon scheduled at the Hyatt Regency across L Street from the Capitol, according to the program agenda for the event.

County supervisors will also be talking about realignment of health and human services as well as the end of redevelopment agencies.

Other listed speakers at the CSAC conference include Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, Senate Republican leader Bob Huff, and Brown adviser Diane Cummins, all of whom address a general session starting at 8:30 a.m.

On to today’s California headlines:

The Board of Equalization is holding a public hearing on implementing last year’s Assembly Bill 155, re: Amazon Tax.

The Board of Equalization, meanwhile, is holding a public hearing on implementing last year’s Assembly Bill 155, the compromise legislation on collecting sales tax from Amazon.com and other Internet retail operations.

Alert readers will remember that Amazon agreed to drop its efforts to put a measure on the ballot in exchange for the state delaying collection of that tax until Sept. 15 of this year — that is, unless Congress comes up with a deal by July 31. (Capitol Alert is not holding its breath.) The meeting starts at 10 a.m. at 450 N St. Click here to read the agenda.

Romney Mines for California Gold in Hillsborough and Beverly Crest

While the Democrats have been busy mining Hollywood for campaign contributions, the Republicans’ presumptive nominee — La Jolla’s own Mitt Romney — will drop into both Northern and Southern California on Wednesday and Thursday for fundraisers thrown by some of the state’s GOP high rollers.

Thursday’s event is set for the art-filled Beverly Crest mansion of billionaire investor and philanthropist Tony Pritzker, heir to the Hyatt Hotels fortune. The 7:30 p.m. gathering is a dinner for the candidate with tickets going for $50,000 per couple. As with previous Romney fundraisers in Los Angeles, there likely will be a few Hollywood names and a large showing by the investment and finance communities.

Wednesday’s fundraiser is notable for site alone: The spectacular Carolands Chateau in the old-money Bay Area enclave of Hillsborough. Romney’s hosts include the home’s owners — Charles Bartlett Johnson, the billionaire investor and heir to the Templeton Franklin fortune, and his wife, Dr. Anne Johnson — along with former Secretary of State George Schultz and ex-California Gov. Pete Wilson.

The event’s co-chairs are a who’s who of the Northern California finance and technology elite, including Seagate CEO Steve Luczo, HP honcho and former gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman (who made her bones at eBay), Cisco director Brian Halla, private-equity chief Dick Boyce, Goldman Sachs’ Brad DeFoor, Pacific Private Equity’s Grant Finlayson and Romney’s one-time Bain Capital partner, Vince Tobkin.

Richard Riordan launches effort to court Latinos for GOP

Former Los Angeles Mayor Richard J. Riordan’s political moderation and penchant for reaching across party lines hasn’t always sat well with many of his fellow California Republicans. They’ve long derided him as a “RINO” (Republican In Name Only) and soundly rejected him for a more conservative pol when he ran for the GOP nomination for governor in 2002.

Now the wealthy businessman and philanthropist is playing the maverick again. He’s launched a campaign aimed at coaxing Latinos into the Republican fold — and he’s doing it without the state party’s involvement.

On Memorial Day, Riordan launched a radio ad campaign  under the auspices of Republicans Rebuilding California, a new political action committee he funded. The PAC will neither support specific candidates nor work with the party but is asking Latinos to consider “the Republican values: jobs, education and safety.”

Riordan has spent $43,000 on ads on bilingual and Spanish-language radio stations in areas where Republicans are in competitive races and there are large Spanish-speaking populations. They include Riverside, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties and the Central Valley communities of Modesto, Stockton and Bakersfield, according to a spokeswoman for the new organization.

California Senate passes framework for sports betting

The California state Senate on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved legislation that would legalize sports betting in California if federal law is also amended.

Senate Bill 1390, by Sens. Roderick Wright, D-Inglewood, and Joel Anderson, R-Alpine, would make such betting legal at currently licensed gambling establishments, horse racing tracks or satellite wagering facility. The bill would not make betting legal anywhere that does not already have a license.

Federal law now prohibits these wagers, but Wright said he believes it “will be amended.”

“When this law is changed, and we believe it will be, you want California to be in the position to move forward with this,” he said.

Enjoy your morning!

Share