Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

September 24, 2012
Former lawmaker/lobbyist arrested on suspicion of DUI

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Robinson Image.JPG
Those special license plates for retired lawmakers might spark some nice treatment from a restaurant valet. But they didn't come in too handy last week when former lobbyist and Assemblyman Richard Robinson crashed his BMW in Sacramento and was later booked on suspicion of drunk driving.

Robinson, a Democrat who represented the Garden Grove area in the Assembly from 1975 to 1986 and then worked as a lobbyist for many years, was driving an SUV with special plates indicating he's the retired District 72 assemblyman when he crashed Wednesday night. Fox 40 TV news caught the aftermath on tape.

September 24, 2012
Molly Munger's tax campaign swipes at Jerry Brown in first statewide TV ad

In a swipe at Gov. Jerry Brown and his ballot measure to raise taxes, the campaign for a rival tax measure suggested in its first statewide TV ad, released today, that Brown's initiative is the product of "Sacramento politicians" who have reduced school funding for years.

In its ad, the Proposition 38 campaign, backed by wealthy civil rights lawyer Molly Munger, touts its Nov. 6 initiative as a "new approach," sending money for schools directly to school districts.

The ad does not mention the Democratic governor or his tax initiative by name, but it criticizes the campaign's central argument, that failure to pass Proposition 30 will result in about $5.4 billion in cuts to schools and community colleges.

"For years, Sacramento politicians have chopped away funds for our schools," the ad says. "Today, we're 47th out of 50 in per-pupil funding. Now these politicians say unless we send more tax dollars to Sacramento, they'll cut education again."

The ad comes as the campaigns prepare to ramp up ahead of Election Day. Brown has yet to release a statewide TV spot. He said over the weekend that "the campaign is just beginning."

September 24, 2012
Jerry Brown signs bill allowing same-day voter registration

Gov. Jerry Brown today signed legislation allowing residents to register to vote up until and on Election Day, though the provision will not be implemented at least until 2014.

"Voting - the sacred right of every citizen - should be simple and convenient," the Democratic governor said in a prepared statement. "While other states try to restrict voters with new laws that burden the process, California allows voters to register online - and even on Election Day."

Assembly Bill 1436, by Assemblyman Mike Feuer, D-Los Angeles, was contested along partisan lines, with Democrats saying it would encourage more voter participation and Republicans saying it would encourage fraud.

Ten other states, including Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota, allow some form of same-day registration and voting, according to a legislative analysis.

California currently cuts off voter registration 15 days before an election. The bill requires the secretary of state to complete work on a statewide voter database before same-day registration goes into effect.

September 24, 2012
Dan Walters Daily: Time for 'due diligence' on California ballot

VIDEO: Dan says this is the year for voters to do their homework on California's long menu of ballot measures.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

September 24, 2012
AM Alert: Capitol committee scrutinizes California tax proposals

VIDEO: Dan Walters says that conscientious California voters have their homework cut out for them in the next few weeks, what with 11 propositions on the Nov. 6 ballot.

The Legislature is out, but the Assembly Budget Committee is in, with a hearing today on November's three tax initiatives -- Gov. Jerry Brown's Proposition 30, Molly Munger's Proposition 38 and Tom Steyer's Proposition 39.

Click here to read the agenda, which includes presentations from proponents and opponents as well as representatives of the Legislative Analyst's Office. The hearing starts at 10 a.m. in the Capitol's Room 437.

Outside the building, domestic workers and their supporters are rallying at 11 a.m. on the west steps to urge Brown to sign Assembly Bill 889, by Democratic Assemblyman Tom Ammiano of San Francisco. They're also expected to deliver a giant pen and 25,000 petition signatures to the governor. The measure would give domestic workers -- including housekeepers and nannies -- overtime pay, rest periods and other labor protections.

In election news, Field Poll director Mark DiCamillo told The Bee's Torey Van Oot, "It seems like I've seen this movie before," when it comes to the matchup between Democratic U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Republican challenger Elizabeth Emken.

A recent survey shows Feinstein up by 26 percentage points as the campaign enters its final weeks. Independent and third-party voters favor her by an even wider margin. Click here to read the publicly released poll. You'll find statistical tabulations, compiled exclusively for Capitol Alert, at this link.

Meanwhile, the University of Southern California's Schwarzenegger Institute for State and Global Policy has lined up some big names to talk about post-partisanship at its first symposium today, including former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, Sen. John McCain of Arizona, former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle of South Dakota, and former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger himself. Click here to learn more.

ADULT SERVICES: Assemblywoman Mariko Yamada, D-Davis, is conducting an Assembly committee oversight hearing to air complaints about the transition to the state's new adult services program. Start time is 1 p.m. in the Capitol's Room 126.

CAKE AND CANDLES: Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, celebrates his 61st birthday today.


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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