Updates since early This Morning

State senator wants school boards to have more power in abuse cases -- Alarmed by the recent arrests of Los Angeles teachers on suspicion of sex-related crimes, a state lawmaker said Friday that he will introduce legislation to make it easier to remove teachers from the classroom and fire them for misconduct involving students. Patrick McGreevy LA Times PolitiCal -- 3/2/12

Rush Limbaugh loses a Sacramento advertiser -- A Sacramento-area mattress company tied to Rush Limbaugh for nearly three decades has stopped advertising with the conservative commentator after his controversial remarks on sex and birth control. Chris Megerian LA Times PolitiCal -- 3/2/12

Feud growing between lawmakers, game commissioner -- When Inland businessman Dan Richards sat before the Democrat-controlled Senate Rules Committee nearly five years ago, it was the picture of conviviality as the panel considered his appointment to the state Fish and Game Commission. JIM MILLER in the Riverside Press -- 3/2/12

Podcast: The Personal Touch -- Sometimes, politics isn't about the person who yells the loudest but rather the person who knows how to work behind the scenes. And the success or failure of that strategy tells you all you need to know about the biggest story, so far, of the November ballot. John Myers Capitol Notes -- 3/2/12

Obama calls Sandra Fluke, student dissed by Rush Limbaugh -- President Barack Obama on Friday phoned the Georgetown University law student who was called a “slut” by Rush Limbaugh to find out if she is OK. MJ LEE Politico Kim Geiger and Michael A. Memoli in the Los Angeles Times -- 3/2/12

Nonprofit paid for climate conference, lodging for Jerry Brown's staff -- The nonprofit foundation used by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to finance overseas trade missions and a going-away party for administration officials was used by Gov. Jerry Brown last year to pay for a climate change conference and for hotel lodging for staffers from out of town, among other activities, an official said. David Siders SacBee Capitol Alert -- 3/2/12

500 biggest tax delinquents -- Once again, the list is topped by Downey-based California Target Enterprises, a gas station company not related to the retail store chain. Tax auditors say the company owes the state's coffers a cool $18.3 million. Dan Smith in the Sacramento Bee -- 3/2/12

Fox: Is Something Happening Here? -- Is there a shifting in the political landscape or is this something that happens every election cycle? Joel Fox Fox & Hounds -- 3/2/12

Jeffe: How to Make California Just Like Bell -- In poll after poll, Californians have trashed their state legislature’s job performance. Last week, a new Field poll found that just one of 5 Californians approves of the job the state legislature is doing, while nearly 7 of 10 disapprove. Sherry Bebitch Jeffe KNBC Prop Zero -- 3/2/12

Murder charges against California doc seen as warning -- The prosecutor who took the rare step of charging a doctor with murder in the prescription drug overdose deaths of three patients said the case should serve as a warning to unethical physicians who become pill pushers. LINDA DEUTSCH and GREG RISLING AP -- 3/2/12


   California Policy and Politics This Morning

Brown seeks Chinese investments for California projects -- During Xi's visit, Brown said California will open trade offices in Shanghai and Beijing. Last weekend, the Democratic governor, who rarely travels, said he will lead a delegation there, likely this year. David Siders in the Sacramento Bee -- 3/2/12

Bid to end death penalty headed to the ballot -- For the third time in 40 years, Californians will likely vote in November on the death penalty, a practice that has had at least as much impact on the state's politics as on its institutions of crime and punishment. Bob Egelko in the San Francisco Chronicle Howard Mintz in the San Jose Mercury -- 3/2/12

Political novice no stranger to upending status quo -- She's been called quixotic, naive, the haughty daughter of a billionaire. What's making Molly Munger one of the most controversial figures in California politics since she burst onto the scene a few months ago? Steven Harmon in the San Jose Mercury -- 3/2/12

California voters have contempt for Congress -- The institution has a 12 percent approval rating among registered California voters, according to a new survey. Eighty-three percent of the state’s voters disapprove of the job Congress is doing, while 5 percent have no opinion, according to the Field Poll. BEN GOAD in the Riverside Press -- 3/2/12

Walters: Both left and right in California want automatons in office -- The California Republican Party has been frequently – and rightfully – criticized for insisting that GOP politicians adhere to a very narrow set of supposed principles, such as always opposing any purported tax increase regardless of its merits. Dan Walters in the Sacramento Bee -- 3/2/12

Dispensaries can't be banned, but must grow pot on site -- A Court of Appeal panel in Santa Ana voids Lake Forest's zoning ban on clinics, but rules that they can only sell marijuana they grow, a regulation that would force most to close. Maura Dolan in the Los Angeles Times -- 3/2/12

State Lawmakers Want Answers On Prison Spending -- When California’s prison system ran into the red last year, lawmakers forked over an additional $380 million. But now lawmakers say they can’t get answers on where the money went, and prison officials have missed two deadlines to explain the spending. CHRIS MEGERIAN LA TimesPolitiCal -- 3/2/12

California Colleges Take Back Seat To California Prisons -- San Francisco State University President Robert Corrigan, who is retiring this year, and Provost Sue Rosser noted today in Washington that California is spending nearly as much money on prisons ($8.7 billion, or 9.45 percent of its budget), as it does on all of higher education ($9.3 billion, or 10.1 percent of its budget). CAROLYN LOCHHEAD Chronicle Politics -- 3/2/12

Gay marriage supporters urge court to reject latest Proposition 8 appeal -- Gay marriage advocates on Thursday urged a federal appeals court to reject a bid to reconsider last month's ruling striking down California's voter-approved ban on same-sex nuptials. Howard Mintz in the San Jose Mercury -- 3/2/12

Robotic cars get boost from Alex Padilla's bill -- Several years after Google's autonomous vehicles began zipping up and down the state's highways, a legislator has introduced a bill that would potentially clear the way for everyday use. James Temple in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 3/2/12

Ethics complaint filed against wildlife official who shot mountain lion -- Already under fire for shooting a mountain lion, the president of California's Fish and Game Commission was hit with another setback Thursday: a formal ethics complaint alleging he violated state law. Paul Rogers in the San Jose Mercury -- 3/2/12

Wildlife official says he ate cougar that he shot -- A collective gulp was almost detectable this week when California Fish and Game Commission President Daniel Richards defiantly declared to outraged legislators that he not only gunned down a mountain lion and held the carcass like a trophy, but he then ate big cat for dinner. Peter Fimrite, Marisa Lagos in the San Francisco Chronicle Phil Willon and Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times -- 3/2/12

California Official Under Fire for Mountain-Lion Hunt -- Democratic lawmakers in California are seeking to remove the president of the state's Fish and Game Commission, after a photo surfaced of him posing with the carcass of a mountain lion he recently killed on a hunt in Idaho. Hunting mountain lions is legal in Idaho but not in California. JIM CARLTON in the Wall Street Journal -- 3/2/12

Gary Condit's son seeks congressional seat -- Chad Condit, the son and chief public defender of a former high-profile California congressman once tarnished in a media frenzy, has now entered a congressional race of his own. Michael Doyle in the Sacramento Bee Kyle Trygstad Roll Call -- 3/2/12

Loss of Lewis and Dreier could impact region -- The Inland Empire's loss of two longtime members of Congress may mean a slowdown in federal funding and projects for the region. Sandra Emerson in the San Bernardino Sun -- 3/2/12

CalBuzz: Press Clips: Siri & Moonies Eye Lesbian Bondage Bar -- The small but plucky band of professionally cursed MSM types who were forced to spend their weekend covering the California Republican Party convention could only gaze with wistfulness and savage jealousy to Washington, where two colleagues had scored one of the best gigs on the political beat: a road trip with Jerry Brown. Jerry Roberts and Phil Trounstine CalBuzz -- 3/2/12

   Economy - Jobs

Sacramento officials unveil new details on proposed arena deal -- Sacramento officials released a raft of new details on the proposed $391 million downtown arena Thursday, including a VIP parking garage and special $1 ticket surcharge. Dale Kasler, Ryan Lillis and Tony Bizjak in the Sacramento Bee -- 3/2/12


Occupy protests bring small yet intense crowds to state campuses -- Demonstrators at UC and Cal State campuses decry state budget cuts and the resulting hikes in tuition. No arrests were reported, and most academic schedules were not disrupted. Carla Rivera and Larry Gordon in the Los Angeles Times -- 3/2/12

Students, educators decry cuts -- Students and educators sounded off Thursday - and it wasn't about who gets a gold star. They protested cuts to education in the Inland Empire. Will Bigham, Rachel Luna and LaFonzo Carter in the San Bernardino Sun -- 3/2/12

Fensterwald: Cutting it close to a quorum -- State Board of Education President Michael Kirst had better hope that Caitlin Snell, the student representative on the Board, doesn’t have any big exams next week at Point Loma High in San Diego. With three openings now on the 11-member board, he may need her presence, if not her vote. John Fensterwald educatedguess -- 3/2/12

Head of LAUSD adult education Ed Morris ousted as programs teeter -- Assistant Superintendent Ed Morris has been ousted as head of LAUSD's popular, yet embattled, Adult Education Division, the Daily News has learned. Barbara Jones in the Los Angeles Daily News -- 3/2/12

Fensterwald: Steinberg back with API alternative -- Rebuffed by Gov. Jerry Brown last year, Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg is back with another academic accountability bill, this time giving the governor lots of latitude to help redefine how to measure schools’ performance. John Fensterwald educatedguess -- 3/2/12

Schools establish “early warning system” to identify potential drop outs -- Some school districts in California are working to establish an “early warning system” to identify middle grade students who are at risk of dropping out, and then to vigorously intervene so they don’t. Matthew Rosin and Sue Frey EdSource -- 3/2/12

Emerson College is building a new West Coast campus in Hollywood -- The $85-million high-rise on Sunset Boulevard, a potential Hollywood landmark, will be a striking see-through structure where students will live and study the arts. Roger Vincent in the Los Angeles Times -- 3/2/12

Kocivar: PTA is mobilizing for $10 billion fundraiser: Our Children, Our Future -- In towns and cities throughout California, something quite remarkable is happening. Parents and family members are organizing for the largest PTA fundraiser ever. Carol Kocivar TopEd -- 3/2/12

   Health Care

State court to examine ‘pay-for-delay’ deals by drugmakers -- California is the first state to examine whether pharmaceutical companies can pay competitors to not make or sell cheaper generic versions of their prescription drugs. Bernice Yeung California Watch -- 3/2/12

Connecting unused drugs, uninsured patients -- Seven years ago, a group of Stanford students realized that a tremendous amount of medicine was being wasted and that it could help uninsured patients. Victoria Colliver in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 3/2/12


A Bold Plan to Reshape the Central Valley Flood Plain -- Overhaul aimed at preventing devastating floods and restoring habitats would cost tens of billions and sink farmland under water. JOHN UPTON Bay Citizen -- 3/2/12

Help for fish ordered on Yuba River -- Federal wildlife officials have ordered the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to ensure that salmon, steelhead and green sturgeon are able to surmount its two dams on the Yuba River. Matt Weiser in the Sacramento Bee -- 3/2/12

Tighter restrictions on bicycles planned on Capitol Corridor trains -- Capitol Corridor officials say so many commuters now bring bikes aboard intercity trains it's become a nuisance in the aisles. Tony Bizjak in the Sacramento Bee -- 3/2/12


Car plows through Occupy demonstrators at UC Santa Cruz campus -- About a hundred students blocked entrance to the UC Santa Cruz campus Thursday morning, not allowing vehicles to enter as part of an Occupy Education rally. J.M. Brown in the San Jose Mercury -- 3/2/12


USC: Diversity may be peaking in Southern California -- Racial diversity has been growing in Southern California, but it might be reaching its peak, according to a new University of Southern California analysis. Will Evans California Watch -- 3/2/12

Gunfire a regular occurrence for ICE employees -- While last month's shooting death of a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent in Long Beach by a fellow employee is highly unusual, gunfire involving ICE employees is not. Andrew Becker California Watch -- 3/2/12

California physician assistant wins $168 million in harassment suit -- Ani Chopourian lost track of how many complaints she filed during the two years she worked as a physician assistant at Sacramento's Mercy General Hospital. Carol J. Williams in the Los Angeles Times -- 3/2/12

Ogilvy wins $900,000 health care PR job -- A tentative winner has been announced for a $900,000 public relations contract to help California implement federal health care reform: Sacramento's Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide. Jim Sanders in the Sacramento Bee -- 3/2/12

   POTUS 44

Misconduct review will target judge's anti-Obama email -- A federal judicial council opens a misconduct review of Montana District Judge Richard F. Cebull, who sent a racially charged email about President Obama from his courthouse computer. Richard A. Serrano in the Los Angeles Times -- 3/2/12


Campaigns can push mega-donors’ pet causes -- If the GOP presidential primary were defined by its biggest donors, it would be about a host of other things besides the economy — like creating floating cities, containing Sharia law, protecting landowners from oil spills and defending Israel. Some of these and other big-donor pet issues are already getting prominent treatment in campaign 2012, just as super PAC benefactors kick in six- and seven-figure gifts. KENNETH P. VOGEL Politico -- 3/2/12

In suit, Koch brothers seek bigger control over D.C. think tank -- The billionaire Koch brothers, whose outsized political spending has become an issue in the 2012 elections, are attempting to take control of a prominent Washington think tank in a move that would expand their influence in conservative politics, according to court records and interviews. T.W. Farnam and Dan Eggen in the Washington Post -- 3/2/12

Romney Reopens Whatever-It-Takes Playbook -- When Gov. Rick Perry began rising in the polls, Mitt Romney was ready with a potent debate-night assault: under Mr. Perry, illegal immigrants in Texas received a $100,000 tuition break. MICHAEL BARBARO and JEREMY W. PETERS in the New York Times -- 3/2/12