Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

October 2, 2011
Democratic pollster Andre Pineda, 46, dies

Democratic pollster Andre Pineda died last week at age 46.

The Pasadena-based pollster, who ran his own firm Pineda Consulting, was known for his expertise on winning support of Latino voters.

Mark Barabak writes about Pineda's career in the Los Angeles Times:

Pineda, a native of South Pasadena, built an international campaign practice on the strength of his experience in several facets of electioneering, including direct-mail and field organization as well as opinion polling. His clients included a number of corporations and philanthropic groups along with a roster of Democratic candidates and causes.

In 2008, Pineda was the pollster for New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson's presidential campaign. After Richardson left the race, Pineda joined Barack Obama's general election effort, working on surveys to help boost Latino support.

Richard Schlackman, who hired Pineda in Washington in the mid-1990s for his San Francisco-based consulting firm, said Pineda was the rare practitioner who combined creativity with a facility for number-crunching. "It's why our [campaign] mail was so good, and that was back in the days before micro-targeting," said Schlackman, referring to the computerized data sifting that has become today's political norm.

Read the full Los Angeles Times piece at this link.

An obituary has also been posted on Campaigns & Elections.

October 2, 2011
Jerry Brown signs bill prohibiting circumcision bans

Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a bill prohibiting cities and counties from banning male circumcision, his office announced today.

Assembly Bill 768 by Assemblyman Mike Gatto, D-Los Angeles, was inspired by a San Francisco ballot measure designed to prohibit child circumcision there. A judge in July ordered the circumcision ban off the November ballot, but Gatto's bill proceeded through the Legislature, where it passed with unanimous votes.

Gatto argued that such bans were an affront to the exercise of "personal, medical and religious freedom."

San Francisco's first-of-its-kind initiative drew national attention for targeting circumcision, removal of the male foreskin, a practice that has biblical roots and that many believe was commanded by God in a covenant with Abraham. Opponents of circumcision liken it to "genital mutilation" - the forced removal of a healthy body part from an unconsenting child.

U.S. circumcision rates have been declining for several years. Today, about half of all boys born in hospitals are circumcised, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

October 2, 2011
Jerry Brown signs bill protecting project labor agreements

Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a labor-sponsored bill designed to protect project labor agreements from blanket bans imposed by local officials or initiatives, his office announced today.

Senate Bill 922, by Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, was a last-minute "gut-and-amend" measure that cleared the Legislature in the final hours of the session last month on party-line votes, with Republicans opposed.

Pushed by building trades unions and opposed by contractors, it prohibits city councils, boards of supervisors or local initiatives from banning the agreements, which set uniform work rules for a public project that could include use of union labor. The measure does not require that local jurisdictions use the agreements for a project, but prohibits blanket bans.

The bill, the Democratic governor wrote in a signing message, "preserves the right of all sides to debate what obviously is a hotly contested issue. Seems fair to me -- even democratic."


Capitol Alert Staff

Jeremy White Jeremy B. White covers California politics and edits Capitol Alert's mobile Insider Edition. Twitter: @capitolalert

Amy Chance Amy Chance is political editor for The Sacramento Bee. Twitter: @Amy_Chance

Dan Smith Dan Smith is Capitol bureau chief for The Sacramento Bee.

Christopher Cadelago Christopher Cadelago covers California politics and health care. Twitter: @ccadelago

Micaela Massimino Micaela Massimino edits Capitol Alert.

Laurel Rosenhall Laurel Rosenhall covers the Legislature, the lobbying community and higher education. Twitter: @LaurelRosenhall

David Siders David Siders covers the Brown administration. Twitter: @davidsiders

Dan Walters Dan Walters is a columnist for The Sacramento Bee. Twitter: @WaltersBee

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