Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

September 10, 2012
Pugno changes course, vows to fight Gaines for Assembly seat

The race is officially on in the 6th Assembly District.

Republican Assembly candidate Andrew Pugno announced today that he plans to move forward with his bid to unseat Assemblywoman Beth Gaines, R-Rocklin, on the Nov. 6 ballot, despite an earlier pledge to stop campaigning if another Republican came in first in the June primary.

The Folsom attorney said in a statement to The Bee that he has come to the conclusion he "cannot, in good conscience, endorse (Gaines') dishonest and unethical campaign tactics," citing what he called "last-‐minute attack ads that she knew were lies."

September 10, 2012
Jarvis group's new ad calls Jerry Brown's tax bid 'snake oil'

The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association is airing a new radio ad calling Gov. Jerry Brown's ballot initiative to raise taxes "snake oil," arguing Proposition 30 would provide no new funding for schools.

"Sacramento politicians are out pitching their Prop. 30 snake oil," Jon Coupal, president of the taxpayers group, says in the ad. "But what Proposition 30 really is ... is a massive tax increase they claim is for our schools. But even the California School Boards Association says the initiative provides no new funding for schools. None."

Proposition 30, which would raise the state sales tax and income taxes on California's highest earners, was endorsed by the California School Boards Association.

In a statement, the group said Proposition 30 and a rival tax measure, Proposition 38, "both will generate billions of dollars in much-needed revenue for public education."

The group's leaders said they "want to make it clear to the public that the governor's initiative does not provide new funding for schools. Instead, it bolsters the general fund with new revenue."

The taxpayers group's ad, running statewide beginning today, follows two issue advocacy spots aired by the group against Proposition 30. Like the most recent ad, it criticizes Brown and state lawmakers for approving the start of construction of California's $68 billion high-speed rail project, among other expenses.

September 10, 2012
AM Alert: Clock still ticking on the Legislature's handiwork

This fine Sacramento morning, Capitol denizens and other political junkies might want to contemplate the number 33.

It is the atomic number of arsenic. It is the number of innings played in the longest game in professional baseball history.

It's also the number of bills that Gov. Jerry Brown must dispatch, on average, each and every day during the 21 days he has left to contemplate the handiwork of the now departed California Legislature.

Brown announced early Friday afternoon that he had signed 59 measures, including a 64-page-long piece of legislation changing five words, and another bill barring landlords from requiring tenants to pay rent online.

The governor announced later Friday that he would sign two measures Saturday afternoon at a Capitol rally, sponsored by the North American Punjabi Association, honoring victims of the shooting last month at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisc.

Assembly Bill 1964, by Democrat Mariko Yamada, adds a religious dress or grooming practice as an observance covered by the state's anti-discrimination laws.

Senate Bill 1540 by Democrat Loni Hancock -- which Sikh groups, the Korea Academy for Educators, state schools chief Tom Torlakson and others supported -- calls for the State Board of Education to consider, by June 30, 2014, adopting a revised curriculum framework for history and social science.

That left, oh, about 700 bills to go.

The Bee's Capitol Bureau took a look Sunday at a few of those pending proposals, which range from pension reform to retirement savings, and from a lumber tax to health insurance plans. Find it at the Capitol and California page.

September 10, 2012
California ranked 4th worst in business legal climate

California ranks 47th in the nation in its courts' "fairness and reasonableness" regarding business lawsuits, according to a poll conducted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Institute for Legal Reform.

Not only is the state's legal climate as a whole ranked fourth worst in the nation, just ahead of Mississippi, Louisiana and West Virginia, but Los Angeles County has the second worst lawsuit climate among local jurisdictions and San Francisco fourth worst..Delaware, the legal home of many major corporations, ranks No. 1 in business legal climate.

The rankings are based on a survey of corporate general counsels and senior attorneys, conducted by Harris Interactive.

The annual survey has been conducted for the past decade, and California's standing has declined during that period. The survey report called California courts "havens for class action lawsuits because judges certify cases for trial that wouldn't be certified in most other parts of the country." It noted that the largest asbestos verdict in the nation this year - $48 million for one plaintiff - came in a Los Angeles jury trial.

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Capitol Alert Staff


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

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

Dan Smith Dan Smith is Capitol bureau chief for The Sacramento Bee. smith@sacbee.com

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

Micaela Massimino Micaela Massimino edits Capitol Alert. mmassimino@sacbee.com

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

David Siders David Siders covers the Brown administration. dsiders@sacbee.com. Twitter: @davidsiders

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

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