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McCOURTS - DODGERS: Letter from Steve Soboroff....

* Last week the Los Angeles Times reported on comments by former Dodgers' owner Peter O'Malley suggesting that current ownership "had lost all credibility throughout the city and should sell the team."  Follow-up to this now is that Bill Shaikin reports in today's LAT that Los Angeles businessman Steve Soboroff has submitted an "op-ed letter to the paper decrying the 'piling on' against a Dodgers owner active in community affairs."

Shaikin says that Soboroff said he wrote the letter and solicited others to sign it and that these efforts were not at the request of McCourt.  Also, that Soboroff says that "city leaders should not condemn an owner who has used the Dodgers to reach out to the community."  And that, in addition to Soboroff, the letter is also signed by ten other people.

And, by way of what seems to be a particularly unusual twist, it appears that the letter is not being published in the LAT and that Shaikin obtained a copy separate and apart from the anyone connected with the paper or McCourt.  From the LAT:

   A Times reporter obtained a copy of the letter on Friday, from a source not affiliated with the newspaper or with McCourt. Sue Horton, the Times' op-ed editor, said the newspaper had no plans to publish the letter.

***This all definitely makes for an interesting and unusual report, both for those who follow sports and/or for those who follow local civic affairs.....


LT. GOVERNOR, ATTY. GENERAL: Races close/closer, latest Field Poll*....

* San Francisco Chronicle reports today that, according to the latest Field Poll,  both the lieutenant governor and attorney general races are showing the respective candidates in close races.  From the Chronicle:

   San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom's lead over his Republican opponent in the race for lieutenant governor has shrunk to four percentage points, down from nine points two months ago, a Field Poll has found. The attorney general's race is also close. San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris, a Democrat, is trailing Republican Steve Cooley by just four points among likely voters, according to the poll, released today.......

   Newsom is leading current Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado 39 to 35 percent, while Cooley, Los Angeles County's  district attorney, is up 35 to 31 percent over Harris. A large number of likely voters are undecided in both races - 26 percent in the lieutenant governor's race, and more than one-third, 34 percent, in the attorney general contest.

***Chronicle report notes that the leads for Newsom and Cooley are within the poll's 4.1 margin of error.  The piece also has an interesting discussion as to the perceived advantages and/or disadvantages and the perceived positives and/or negatives of each of the candidates and how all of this might or might not play out in terms of the actual election....

*[ALSO:  Sacramento Bee report on this, as well....]



INTERNATIONAL: Queen Elizabeth tried to get a UK poverty fund to heat Buckingham Palace....

* Couldn't resist this item from the San Francisco Chronicle (AP) this afternoon:  "Queen tried to get UK poverty fund to heat palace"  From the Chronicle:

   Even a monarch needs a little help from time to time — especially when the cost of heating those drafty old palaces spirals past $1.5 million a year. But a request for assistance from a government fund that provides subsidized heating to low-income Britons has caused a spot of bother for Queen Elizabeth II, long one of the world's wealthiest women.

   Her Majesty's application in 2004 was politely turned down by the government — in part because of fear of adverse publicity — and quietly forgotten until The Independent newspaper published the correspondence Friday after obtaining it via a Freedom of Information request. The documents quote an unidentified functionary as gently reminding the royal household that the program was meant for people in need, not the upper crust, and he noted the potential public relations disaster. "I also feel a bit uneasy about the probable adverse press coverage if the Palace were given a grant at the expense of, say, a hospital," the official said. "Sorry this doesn't sound more positive."


GOVERNOR'S RACE: Politics, energy policy, Proposition 23....

* Yesterday Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman went public with her position on Prop. 23 on the November ballot:  She said she opposes the effort to suspend implementation of AB 32 but also that she is in favor of a one-year moratorium before the measure is implemented.  Los Angeles Times reports today that Democratic nominee Jerry Brown has now accused Whitman of "double-talk" on this issue.  From the LAT:

   Even as both major gubernatorial candidates are opposing a November ballot proposal that would suspend California's global warming law, the landmark environmental measure remains a salient issue in the campaign, exposing key differences over how the next governor would shape energy policy.

    Democrat Jerry Brown has fully embraced the 2006 law, which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels over the next decade. And he is using the issue to drive a wedge between Republican rival Meg Whitman and the state's environmentally conscious voters. Whitman is trying to walk a finer line. She dodged the issue for months before announcing Thursday that she opposes the November suspension measure, Proposition 23.


  The issue is politically potent and could move voters in a race that is locked in a dead heat. According to a July poll by the Public Policy Institute of California, two-thirds of Californians support the global warming law.


  Bruce Cain, a political scientist at UC Berkeley, said Whitman's compromise position could resonate with independents, a voting group the candidates are splitting, according to a Field Poll released Thursday. "She is trying to split the baby," Cain said. As for Brown, Cain said the candidate's strident stance could help him woo back Democrats who intend to vote for his opponent. According to the Field Poll, 69% of Democrats support Brown, but 15% would cross party lines to vote for Whitman.


SCHWARZENEGGER: SEIU - Proposition 19 - pension reform....

* "SEIU is off-base on legalizing pot" - I see that the Los Angeles Times today has an op-ed by Governor Schwarzenegger critical of SEIU's endorsement of Prop. 19 (and the legalization of the sale of marijuana) as a means of avoiding cuts to social programs and bringing the focus back to the issue of pension reform, which he says would be a better means of addressing the budget deficit.  From the LAT:

   I was surprised to read that leaders of the state's biggest union — the SEIU — had decided to endorse Proposition 19, which would allow Californians to legally grow and possess marijuana. Any patrol officer, judge or district attorney will tell you that Proposition 19 is a flawed initiative that would bring about a host of legal nightmares and risks to public safety. It would also make California a laughingstock.

   Leaders of the Service Employees International Union say they support Proposition 19 so the state can avoid cuts to healthcare, home care, education and elderly care programs. Yet even the best-case estimates show Proposition 19 (assuming it would even pass constitutional muster) bringing in only $1.4 billion in annual revenue — a fraction of our current deficit. 

   The SEIU could embrace a far better and more responsible solution for saving state programs: pension reform.

***And it appears that Schwarzenegger's LAT op-ed has also been picked up by the Sacramento Bee....