The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

November 2, 2012
From the notebook: The Field Poll stats on Proposition 32

notebook-thumb-216x184-9328.jpgWe can never get everything we learn into a news story. "From the notebook" posts give you some of the extra details behind the news.

Here's the statistical breakdown and analysis by the Field Poll's Mark Dicamillo and Mervin Field of how likely voters plan to cast their ballots -- or already have -- on Proposition 32, the campaign finance measure. As our story in today's Bee notes, half of those asked said they intend to vote against measure and the gap has grown significantly between opponents and supporters in the last six weeks.

The Field Poll release this morning also includes a breakdown of Proposition 34, which aims to repeal California's death penalty. Bee colleague Sam Stanton wrote a front-page story from those numbers.

Scroll to the end of the document for the poll's methodology and the exact wording of the questions asked.


October 12, 2012
Poll: How much would Prop. 32 impact California unions?

Forces arrayed for and against Proposition 32, which would ban payroll-deducted money for political activities, are entering the last three weeks before the Nov. 6 election. Polling indicates that California voters are leaning against the measure.

But what if it passes?

August 20, 2012
Survey: More than 55 percent of voters favor Prop. 32

120816 Prop 32 survey.JPGMore than half of California voters favor Proposition 32, according to new poll by the California Business Roundtable and Pepperdine University, although the support for the measure has declined in the last two weeks.

The decline is probably tied to the union-backed No-on-32 radio ads that launched statewide during that period.

The university and business association have been running bi-weekly online polls on ballot measures since mid-July. Click here to see more detailed test results from Aug. 12 to Aug. 15 poll.

Note: The first July polling on Proposition 32 gauged participants' reaction to the initiative's title and summary. Subsequent polls used the measure's label, which is the wording that will appear on the Nov. 6 ballot.

GRAPH: courtesy California Business Roundtable

July 10, 2012
Jerry Brown says California public pension reform won't be on November ballot

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for 080811 Jerry Brown.JPGGov. Jerry Brown has backed away from his earlier call for legislators to put a pension-change measure on the November ballot, although the administration is continuing to push for statutory changes.

In an email to The State Worker, Brown spokeswoman Elizabeth Ashford said, "There won't be pension changes on the November ballot. But we'll get the reforms done, you can count on that."

April 3, 2012
Are American state workers scourges or scapegoats?

Are state workers dragging down state budgets around the nation? Or have public employees and their compensation packages become convenient political scapegoats?

A year ago the PBS news show "Need to Know" took on what it calls "one of the most contentious arguments in the news today." We ran across the report this morning while surveying state worker news. Although the item ran on March 11, 2011, the topic remains relevant today.

Watch Union Salaries and State Budgets on PBS. See more from Need to Know.

December 14, 2011
Poll: What next for Jerry Brown's public pension plan?

Although Gov. Jerry Brown's public pension reform plan is still in the formative stages, it's become the reference point in the debate about government retirement. For example, the public pension study released by the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research specifically addresses the Brown plan. Pollsters have also surveyed public opinion on the governor's pension ideas.

So what do you think? What's next for Brown's pension plan?

November 10, 2011
Poll: Who will have the most pull in the public pension debate?

It seems like everybody is talking about public pensions.

Gov. Jerry Brown has a 12-point plan he wants to put before voters next year. Republicans applaud the governor for offering up the proposals and have challenged him to call a special session to address the issue. Democrats are wary of Brown's plan.

Meanwhile, California Pension Reform has filed two pension proposals with the attorney general for title and summary, aiming to put one of them on the November 2012 ballot. Labor insists that any pension downgrades should be negotiated, not just legislated.

So what do you think?

November 2, 2011
California group moves to put pension overhaul on 2012 ballot

Editor's note, 11:33 a.m.: Due to incorrect information provided by California Pension Reform, an earlier version of this post indicated that full-career public safety workers would receive their full benefit at age 60 after 30 years of service under a defined contribution plan. The correct age is 58 for those workers.

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for 110815 Dan Pellissier.JPGCalifornia's current and future state and local employees would pay more for their pensions under two ballot initiative proposals submitted to the state attorney general today with the intent of putting one of them to a statewide vote next year.

"Seventy percent of voters think it's time," said Dan Pellissier, president of California Pension Reform, referring to public opinion polls on public pensions.

July 19, 2011
Ted Lieu, Steve Maviglio get into tweet fight over pensions

Thumbnail image for maviglio.JPGBlog User E flagged an interesting Twitter tête à tête between Democrat Sen. Ted Lieu and Steve Maviglio, who often speaks for the public employee coalition Californians for Retirement Security.

110719 TedLieu.jpgLieu tweeted on Friday that lawmakers need to do more about changing pensions or public employees will face even harsher measures via a statewide ballot initiative.

Maviglio responded that the public "(rightly) cares about spiking, abuse, high $" pensions and that unions support laws to tamp that down. But going further would be an "attack on middle class, cops, teachers, firefighters that voters won't support."

Click here to see the Tweet-off.

PHOTOS: Steve Maviglio (top) and Ted Lieu / Sacramento Bee file photos.

December 29, 2010
Four in 10 Americans give corporate America a 'D' or 'F'

The public's dissatisfaction isn't reserved for the public sector.

A survey released Tuesday found that 40 percent of Americans polled assigned a grade of "D" or "F" to corporate America for its performance in 2010, while 82 percent gave business a grade of "C" or lower.

Meanwhile, only 17 percent gave corporate America an "A" or a "B" for their performance in the past year.

The findings from a recent online survey of 1,081 Americans, conducted by the StrategyOne research arm of the global PR firm Daniel J. Edelman, show that corporations failed the expectations of 61 percent of Americans. Only 5 percent said that businesses exceeded their expectations.

Researchers found that Americans think corporate America's highest priorities next year should be helping to improve the economy, reducing unemployment, promoting ethical corporate behavior, paying back federal bailout money, making raising service standards, making quality products that require fewer recalls and making fewer mistakes overall.

We asked Bradley Honan, senior vice president of StrategyOne, to send more results than those contained in the press release. Here's what he e-mailed (fair warning -- it's a long list):

About The State Worker

Jon Ortiz The Author

Jon Ortiz launched The State Worker blog and a companion column in 2008 to cover state government from the perspective of California government employees. Every day he filters the news through a single question: "What does this mean for state workers?" Join Ortiz for updates and debate on state pay, benefits, pensions, contracts and jobs. Contact him at (916) 321-1043 and at


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