Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

October 1, 2012
Poll finds strong -- but shaky -- support for labeling genetically engineered food

An overwhelming majority of California voters favor Proposition 37, which would require new labels on genetically engineered foods, according to a poll released today. But support is likely to erode in the next month as Californians are exposed to more ads against the measure, says the study by agricultural economists at Oklahoma State University.

The poll, which was paid for by a university endowment, found that 76.8 percent of California voters said they plan to vote "yes" on Proposition 37 to require more labeling of food. But almost half of those people (46 percent) switched to a "no" vote when asked if they would still support the measure if it increased food prices. Support also diminished after poll respondents were shown an ad urging they vote against Proposition 37.

October 1, 2012
Jerry Brown surpasses Reagan, Deukmejian for most bills signed

Gov. Jerry Brown has now signed more regular session bills - 12,744 - than any other governor since 1967, surpassing George Deukmejian and Ronald Reagan with a flurry of bill signings this year, according an analysis by the Senate Committee on Governance & Finance.

The third-term Democratic governor signed 876 regular session bills this year, announcing the last of them on Sunday.

Deukmejian and Reagan signed 12,530 bills and 12,486 bills, respectively, during their eight-year tenures, according to the analysis.

Brown, governor before from 1975 to 1983, has now vetoed a total of 773 regular session bills, the fewest of any governor since the "pocket veto" era ended in 1967.

Brown vetoed 120 regular session bills this year. His veto rate this year of 12 percent is slightly lower than the 14 percent rate he posted in 2011, as well as the average veto rate of 13 percent since 1967.

As governor before, he vetoed fewer than 5 percent of regular session bills.

October 1, 2012
Michael Rubio, others urge delay in Green Chemistry law

Less than a month after Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg announced Sen. Michael Rubio would be chairman of the Senate Committee on Environmental Quality, Rubio and 15 other lawmakers today asked Gov. Jerry Brown to delay implementation of California's law to regulate toxic chemicals in consumer goods.

The lawmakers said in a letter to Brown that the state's Green Chemistry initiative should be delayed until a thorough analysis of its economic impact is completed.

"It is without contention that the range and scope of these regulations is wide and can impact every manufacturer, business and consumer in California and beyond," the lawmakers say in the letter.

October 1, 2012
Storify: Critics pan Schwarzenegger book, fans line up for autographs

Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger took to the airwaves to promote his new book, "Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story." Initial reviews were mixed, but fans were excited to pick up the memoir, especially those who waited in line at the first official book signing.

October 1, 2012
CA high-speed rail funding gets little love at candidate forum

California's bullet train won little support from congressional hopefuls from the Sacramento region Sunday, with just one of five congressional candidates participating in an election forum vowing to vote for federal funding for the project.

Third Congressional District candidate Kim Vann , Rep. Dan Lungren, and 9th Congressional District candidate Ricky Gill, all Republicans, and Democrat Ami Bera, who is challenging Lungren in the 7th Congressional District, all came down against funding construction of the high-speed rail line, citing the high cost of the project.

"We have failing infrastructure all over the state," said Vann, a Colusa County supervisor. "Until we address the failing infrastructure that we have, we shouldn't be planning for something that we cannot afford today."  

October 1, 2012
DreamWorks founders give $100,000 to Proposition 30

Hollywood giants Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen gave a combined $100,000 toward Gov. Jerry Brown's tax hike initiative.

A campaign finance filing showed that the founders of Universal City-based studio DreamWorks SKG contributed to Brown's initiative committee Friday. Paramount Pictures acquired the company for $1.6 billion in 2006.

The three have contributed heavily in the past to California campaigns. Spielberg and Katzenberg gave to Schwarzenegger's initiative drives, while Geffen gave to Brown and a 2008 committee opposed to a same-sex marriage ban.

The donations came two days before Brown announced he signed bills extending an annual $100 million film tax credit until 2017. The program, initiated by former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and lawmakers as part of a 2009 budget deal, was scheduled to end in 2015.

October 1, 2012
Dan Walters Daily: Jerry Brown's tax measure on the edge

VIDEO: Dan says Jerry Brown's political future is riding on the success of Proposition 30.

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

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

October 1, 2012
AM Alert: Your presidential debate schedule

VIDEO: Dan Walters looks at new poll numbers on Gov. Jerry Brown's tax initiative, Proposition 30.

Now that the governor's bill-signing deadline is in the rear-view mirror, the biggest thing up next is, of course, the November election.

The first presidential debate is set for Wednesday with President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney discussing domestic policy. Jim Lehrer of PBS NewsHour moderates from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Pacific Time at the University of Denver, with six 15-minute segments expected to focus on the economy, health care, the role of government and related topics.

Next Thursday, Oct. 11, Vice President Joe Biden and Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan go head to head at Centre College in Danville, Ky., in the only vice presidential debate. Martha Raddatz, who is senior foreign affairs correspondent at ABC News, will moderate.

Obama and Romney face off again the following week at a town hall at Hofstra University, where undecided voters selected by the Gallup Organization will ask questions on foreign and domestic issues. The two will then each have two minutes to respond. That second debate will be moderated by CNN's Candy Crowley on Tuesday, Oct. 16.

The third presidential debate will focus on foreign policy and use the same format as their first. Bob Schieffer of CBS will moderate the event at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla., on Monday, Oct. 22.

All debates start at 6 p.m. Pacific Time and run for 90 minutes. The Commission on Presidential Debates says there will be no opening statements but candidates may make two-minute closing statements. Obama seems to already be making his in this ad.

Many voters believe candidates approve the questions ahead of time. "As if," writes Gwen Ifill of PBS, who moderated the vice presidential debates in 2004 and 2008. Ifill debunks that myth and four others about presidential debates in this Washington Post article.

(She's also often asked: "Is Sarah Palin really as pretty close up?")

NEW GIG: The California Budget Project has a new executive director: policy analyst Christopher Hoene, who has been director of the Center for Research & Innovation at the Washington, D.C.-based National League of Cities for the past five years. Hoene starts his new job today. Click here to read the official announcement.



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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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