Jerry Brown raises money in Orange County

From the LA Times:

For a governor who has hardly done any buck-raking in his first year in office, Gov. Jerry Brown‘s trip last month to Orange County may have resulted in one of his best single-day hauls in months.

Which doesn’t mean it amounted to much.

Brown today reported raising $30,000 from three labor groups, a law firm and a lawyer in the area.

Jennifer Muir of the Orange County Employees Association, which contributed $10,000, said her group organized a reception for the Democratic governor on Oct. 11, the day he spoke at a Democratic Party of Orange County event.

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All rise for Supreme Court hearing on redevelopment

From the Sac Bee:

The California Supreme Court is hearing oral arguments this morning in one of the state’s budget nail-biters, California Redevelopment Association v. Matosantos.

Cities and redevelopment agencies have sued to stop the state from axing 400 or so agencies while letting them reopen if they contribute funds to schools. Here’s the case summary, courtesy of the court:

Original proceeding. The court issued an order to show cause directing the parties to show cause why the relief prayed for in the petition for writ of mandate should not be granted. This case involves the validity of recent legislation … dissolving and reenacting with changes the statutory framework for redevelopment agencies.

The state Supreme Court put the case on a fast track, placing most of the new provisions on hold and promising to issue a ruling by mid-January. The California Channel will air the hearing on its local cable channels as well as its website, It runs from 9 to 10 a.m.

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Buscaino, Furutani are headed to runoff in L.A. council race

From the Sac Bee:

A special visitor showed up at Joe Buscaino’s celebratory election-night party in San Pedro on Tuesday night. It was Rep. Janice Hahn, the former Los Angeles councilwoman whose 15th District seat Buscaino is hoping to win in a runoff election in January.

“You’re going to go all the way,” Hahn told Buscaino, before posing with him for pictures.

Los Angeles Police Department officer with no political experience, Buscaino was the top vote-getter in Tuesday’s special election, earning 29.1% of the 16,440 votes cast — a turnout of about 16% of the district’s registered voters, according to city officials. Assemblyman Warren Furutani (D-Gardena) came in second with 22.3%.

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Cut public employee pensions, California voters say

From SF Chronicle:

From San Francisco to Modesto, California voters Tuesday sent a strong message that they want to cut generous public employee pensions, whose soaring costs are devouring funds for cops, libraries and other services.

The results cheered local officials such as San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed, who’s seeking a March special election on his own controversial pension reform proposal, as well as advocates for a statewide measure aimed at slashing the costs of public retirement packages.

“It certainly demonstrates solid public support for pension reform,” Reed said Wednesday. “Even in a labor-friendly town like San Francisco, 68 percent said yes.”

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California Assembly aides expecting budget deficit up to $8 billion

From Sac Bee:

Assembly budget aides expect California to face a deficit of about $5 billion to $8 billion in the next fiscal year, higher than the $3.1 billion projected by Gov. Jerry Brown, according to a memo obtained by The Bee.

The legislative memo doesn’t explain why Assembly officials believe the deficit will be larger than once projected, and the recap from Assembly Budget Committee Chairman Bob Blumenfield, D-Woodland Hills, downplays a first-quarter lag in tax revenue of more than $650 million.

To help balance the budget, lawmakers and Brown optimistically decided the state would receive $4 billion more in revenue in 2011-12. If budget experts determine in mid-December that the state will fall $1 billion or more short of that, the state must pull “trigger” cuts to social services and possibly education.

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Palin Slams ‘Occupy’ Protesters – says they want a bailout

From Conservatie Byte:

Sarah Palin told Republican donors Thursday that Occupy Wall Street protesters want the same thing as the “fat cats” they’re upset with — a government bailout.

Palin criticized the protesters as believing they’re entitled to other people’s productivity and money and said they’ve drawn the wrong conclusions. Instead, the former Alaska governor said people should look to the tea party.

“They say ‘Wall Street fat cats got a bailout so now I want one too.’ And the correct answer is no one is entitled to a bailout,” Palin told the crowd of about 1,000 at the Republican Party of Florida dinner. “The American dream, our foundation, is about work ethic and empowerment, not entitlement.”

She compared the protesters and President Barack Obama to the “crony capitalists” they say they oppose.

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White House not expected to comply with Solyndra subpoena from House GOP

From The Hill:

The White House is not expected to comply with a subpoena issued by House Republicans for documents related to the $535 million loan guarantee to the failed solar firm Solyndra.

White House counsel Kathryn Ruemmler blasted the GOP on Friday for issuing the subpoena, calling it “unprecedented and unnecessary.” And a senior administration official told The Hill on Monday that the White House faces major logistical hurdles in complying with the request, which calls for all internal communications involving Solyndra.

Rejection of the subpoena request would set up a high-profile clash between the White House and Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s investigative panel, which voted along party lines to issue the subpoena last week.

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Three strikes ballot measure faces public safety politics

From California Watch:

A pair of Stanford University law professors spent months this year writing ballot language to narrow, ever so slightly, California’s three strikes sentencing law.

The result is the “Three Strikes Reform Act of 2012” [PDF], which is now under legal review by the state attorney general’s office. It aims to remove courts’ authority to sentence convicts to 25 years to life in prison when their crimes have been neither violent nor serious.

At the same time, the initiative’s backers argue this measure will ensure dangerous criminals remain incarcerated.

By protecting one piece of the three strikes law (life sentences for violent offenders), the proponents hope California voters will agree to discard another piece (life sentences for minor crimes).

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Cal State faculty in salary dispute set to strike at 2 campuses

From LA Times:

A California State University faculty union embroiled in a salary dispute said Monday its members will strike at two campuses next week.

The governing board of the California Faculty Assn. authorized a one-day strike Nov. 17 at Cal State East Bay and Cal State Dominguez Hills after 93% of members voted to approve the walkouts, officials said.

It would be the first strike since the union won the right to collective bargaining in 1983. The association represents 23,000 professors, lecturers, librarians, counselors and coaches at 23 Cal State campuses.

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Eric Holder has a gun problem

From The Hill:

As the chief law enforcement officer Attorney General Eric Holder came out swinging in the first months of the Obama administration as he pushed to reinstate the assault weapons ban, pointing to the rising levels of violence in Mexico and increased presence of U.S. guns south of the border.

But nearly two years later assault weapons can still be bought and Holder has found himself at the center of a quagmire involving a botched gun-tracking operation that sent thousands of high-powered firearms to Mexico in the hands of known or suspected straw buyers for drug cartels.

Amid a plethora of Republican calls for Holder’s resignation, Democrats have silently indicated their support for the attorney general. Instead of taking him to task for Operation Fast and Furious, Democratic lawmakers have tried to draw attention to what they describe as the country’s weak network of gun laws.

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