SACRAMENTO: State governance, reports, commentary, "peril" of Democrat's new supermajority; limits to Democratic power in the Capitol; reforming California government, easier said than done....

***Several items relating to politics, public policy, governance in Sacramento....

* Los Angeles Times:  "Democrats' new power in Legislature could bring peril too" - "With the party's supermajority in both houses, pushing quickly for new taxes or overreaching on other issues oculd lead to a voter backlash."

* Sacramento Bee (Dan Walters):  "Democratic power in California's Capitol has limits"

* Los Angeles Times:  "Reforming California: Easier said than done" - "California has a long history of deflecting efforts to make the state function better. Experts say now is not the time to give up trying."


SACRAMENTO: 2014 statewide elections, state Sen. Leland Yee, announcement of candidacy for California Secretary of State....

* San Francisco Chronicle:  "Leland Yee to run for secretary of state" - From the Chronicle:

State Sen. Leland Yee, a San Francisco Democrat who has made voter access and open government among his main priorities as a lawmaker, will run for secretary of state when he is termed out of the Legislature in two years. Yee, a former San Francisco supervisor who ran unsuccessfully for mayor last year, plans to announce his candidacy Monday morning. . . . . . . . .

Current Secretary of State Debra Bowen, who is also a Democrat, will be termed out in 2014. Yee's San Francisco Senate district was eliminated in new legislative districts drawn by an independent citizens redistricting commission, and will disappear when his term expires in 2014. There are no other declared candidates for the statewide position.............


* Sacramento Bee:  "Democrat Leland Yee announces 2014 CA secretary of state bid"


L.A. CITY HALL: Proposed city pension overhaul ballot measure, report, "Riordan abruptly ends bid to get L.A. pension measure on ballot"....

* Los Angeles Times:  "Riordan abruptly ends bid to get L.A. pension measure on ballot" - From the LAT:

Former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan's push for a May ballot measure to cut pension benefits of city employees abruptly collapsed Monday, with a spokesman saying Riordan had suspended signature-gathering efforts.

Riordan's Save Los Angeles campaign had hoped to gather 300,000 signatures by Dec. 28 for a measure that would cut the pension benefits of existing employees and require new city workers to rely on a 401(k)-style retirement plan. But according to a statement from spokesman John Schwada, "Riordan recently concluded that the Dec. 28 deadline cannot be met."

The statement said Riordan would explore other options "to accomplish the goal of pension reform."



LOCAL GOVERNMENT: Los Angeles County, proposed parcel tax, annual fee on all property owners, plan to raise $275 million annually to clean up storm water pollution runoff....

* San Gabriel Valley Tribune:  "L.A. County proposes water fee on all parcels to clean up water" - From the SGVT:

While rainfall can be a welcome sight in the dry Southland, when water hits the region's concrete and blacktop landscape, it turns into a giant headache for beachgoers and environmentalists: untreated storm water or urban runoff. The cost of addressing that toxic soup - which fouls inland rivers and lakes, makes beach-goers and surfers sick, kills marine life and taints fish and shellfish sold as food - has got environmentalists and county leaders turning to a new parcel tax.

Water managers view rain rushing down gutters differently - not as pollution but as a lost resource. Every gallon of rain water that funnels down hundreds of miles of concrete channels to the Pacific Ocean represents a gallon of drinking water they now have to purchase from Northern California or the Colorado River at much higher costs. Already, Los Angeles County gets 60 percent of its water from such imported sources, even as supplies dwindle and prices skyrocket. So water agencies have teamed up with environmentalists, regulatory agencies and the county of Los Angeles to tackle the newest front in the ecological battle: urban runoff.

They are backing a proposed parcel fee - some call it a tax - that would annually charge property owners across the county from $54 for a single family home to $11,000 for a big box retailer to raise approximately $275 million a year to clean up pollution runoff before it reaches local rivers, beaches and parks.

Before the proposal can advance, the county will give residents until Jan. 15 to file an objection. If a majority of property owners don't object, the Board of Supervisors can approve a mail-in ballot to be sent to all property owners.

A simple majority of support would create the first revenue stream dedicated solely for the treatment of storm water...................


MORNING MEMOS: Sacramento, Republicans seeking common ground with Democratic supermajority; Los Angeles, sales tax increase, analysis, will voters extend "tax-hike tolerance"; West Hollywood elections, accusations, intimidation tactics....

***Several items this morning relating to politics and/of public policy.....

* Daily Breeze:  "Los Angeles hopes voters will extend tax-hike tolerance into 2013"

* LA Weekly:  "West Hollywood Political Scene Erupts Over Term Limits and City Council Races, Citizens Run Scared"

* Los Angeles Times:  "Election loss has Republicans seeking common ground with Democrats" - "Party activists who think the national GOP is too conservative for California voters may work to moderate the Democratic supermajority in the Legislature."