Index
Wednesday
Jan232013

L.A. CITY HALL: Report, editorial, mayor's race, city attorney election, candidates as "outsiders" vs. "insiders"....

***The politics of being an "outsider" vs. an "insider"....

* Los Angeles Times:  "Trutanich calls himself an outsider" - "City attorney candidates meeting last week at Temple Israel attack the incumbent's effectiveness, priorities and his decision to run for district attorney, violating an earlier campaign promise."

* Daily News (editorial):  "L.A. insiders try to play politics as outsiders"

Wednesday
Jan232013

POLITICS/EDUCATION: University of California, retirement of UC president Mark Yudof, effective in August, health concerns....

***UC President Mark Yudof to retire as head of UC system in August, will move to position teaching law at UC Berkeley....

* Los Angeles Times:  "UC chief Yudof quits, citing health reasons" - "Mark G. Yudof's five years at the helm of the University of California were punctuated by tuition hikes."

* San Francisco Chronicle:  "Mark Yudof, UC president, to step down"

* Sacramento Bee:  "UC President Mark Yudof stepping down in August, cites health concerns"

Wednesday
Jan232013

POLITICS (National): New Orleans, corruption case vs. former Mayor C. Ray Nagin, Nagin indicted by federal grand jury, conspiracy, bribery and money laundering....

* New York Times:  "Former Mayor of New Orleans is Charged In Sweeping Corruption Case" - From the NYT:

NEW ORLEANS - C. Ray Nagin, the former mayor of this city who fulminated against the federal government’s response to Hurricane Katrina but became for many a symbol of the shortcomings of government himself, was indicted by a federal grand jury on Friday on 21 counts including conspiracy, bribery and money laundering.

The indictment detailed a wide-ranging scheme of kickbacks and pay-for-play of a kind not entirely unfamiliar in Louisiana history. Contractors and vendors looking for work with the city would provide the mayor with vacations, big checks and even free granite for his family business. In exchange, they would be awarded lucrative contracts with the city, assistance in defusing community opposition to their projects and even forgiveness of tax penalties.

While federal prosecutors have convicted a Louisiana governor, a congressman, a city councilman and members of the school board in the past 15 years alone, this is the first time in New Orleans history that a mayor has been indicted on corruption charges.....................

Wednesday
Jan232013

SACRAMENTO: AB 1499, use of "spot bills," appellate court ruling, Legislature acted unconstitutionally in using an empty placeholder bill in budget package, bill that moved Prop. 30 to top of last year's November ballot....

* Sacramento Bee:  "Court ruling in Prop. 30 case limits use of 'spot bills' in budget" - From the Bee:

The California Legislature acted unconstitutionally when it approved a bill moving Gov. Jerry Brown's initiative to raise taxes to the top of the November ballot, an appeals court ruled today. The opinion does not affect the passage of Proposition 30 but could limit the Legislature's future use of so-called "spot bills," placeholder bills included in budget packages and passed as urgency measures only after they are filled with language later. Such budget-related bills are useful to lawmakers because they require only a majority vote and take effect immediately.

The 3rd District Court of Appeal ruled that the state Constitution does not allow the Legislature to include empty spot bills in the budget package and to fill them with content as urgency bills later. The measure that gave Proposition 30 top billing on the November ballot "was nothing but a number, a placeholder, an empty vessel at the time the budget bill was passed," the court ruled.

That bill, Assembly Bill 1499, gave ballot order priority to signature-based constitutional amendments over other initiatives. A higher position on the ballot is considered advantageous. Legislative Democrats said a $1,000 expenditure included in the bill qualified it as an appropriation. The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association challenged the legislation, saying it had nothing to do with the state budget.

The taxpayers association heralded the ruling in a news release, calling it a case of "huge significance for the budget process."

Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg's office said it was reviewing the decision and conferring with counsel.

***ALSO:

* San Francisco Chronicle (AP):  "Calif. lawmakers violated law to help Brown"

***ALSO, Related:

* Sacramento Bee (Dan Walters):  "Lawmakers ask Californians to do as they say, not do"

* Daily News (op-ed Jon Coupal):  "Court ruling on tax-hike-friendly legislation comes late, but contains a victory for taxpayers"

 

Wednesday
Jan232013

SACRAMENTO: Commentary, Jerry Brown, "State of Jerry," 2014 California elections, candidate ambitions, Kamala Harris, Gavin Newsom, Antonio Villaraigosa....

* San Francisco Chronicle (Matier & Ross) - From the Chronicle:

State of Jerry: There's one thing Gov. Jerry Brown won't see when he gazes out over all the politicians gathered to hear the annual State of the State Address on Thursday - competition. "He won't see any if he looks forward, backward or sideways," said Hoover Institution research fellow Bill Whalen, a former aide to ex-Gov. Pete Wilson.

Brown pretty much won the jackpot when he rolled the dice and won on Proposition 30, the sales- and income-tax package that is bringing in an extra $6 billion a year. The result: No big deficit, no unpopular cuts, no angry labor unions - and no one on either side of the aisle with much traction even if they wanted to run against Brown next year. "The first thing they would have to do is raise money," Whalen said. "And that would be tough going, considering that every moneyed interest in the state is lined up behind Brown."

And that's why Attorney General Kamala Harris will sit tight, as will Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom - and why outgoing Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will take a job with the Obama administration as transportation secretary if it's offered.

The only wild card is what effect Brown's recent bout with prostate cancer might have on his desire for a second term. "My bet is that he runs," says former state Democratic Party Chairman Art Torres. "At the end of the day," Torres said, "he can't survive without politics."