California Policy and Politics This Morning

Governor says he won’t back UCR medical school -- California Gov. Jerry Brown said Friday he’s not prepared to support funding the UC Riverside medical school at a time when the state still faces a $9 billion deficit. ALICIA ROBINSON and DUANE W. GANG in the Riverside Press -- 3/3/12

"Whatever It Takes," Says Munger on Campaign -- Attorney and education activist Molly Munger says she will spend whatever of her personal fortune needed to run a statewide campaign for her tax initiative to help fund K-12 schools... even if all of the money comes from her own bank account. John Myers Capitol Notes -- 3/3/12

From Play-Doh to trips, California lawmakers collected plenty of gifts -- Finally some good news for California lawmakers who have seen their pay and approval rating fall in recent years: Special-interest perks are up. Jim Sanders in the Sacramento Bee -- 3/3/12

New effort to restore funding for cities -- Inland Southern California lawmakers are making a new push to restore deep budget cuts the state imposed on four new cities in Riverside County. JIM MILLER in the Riverside Press -- 3/3/12

Sleep Train cuts ties to Rush Limbaugh after 'slut' remark -- Sleep Train Mattress Centers has cut its longtime ties with conservative radio commentator Rush Limbaugh, two days after his controversial on-air comments calling a college law student a "slut" and a "prostitute." Darrell Smith in the Sacramento Bee -- 3/3/12

Bill Lockyer hunkers down as sex, drug scandal unfolds -- In the past week, producers for "Inside Edition" and the "Dr. Phil" show have reached out to state Treasurer Bill Lockyer. They were not asking about his $1.9 billion refinance of state bond debt. Kevin Yamamura in the Sacramento Bee -- 3/3/12

Medical pot: San Francisco seeks tighter rules on edibles -- Candy drops distilled from real fruit. Gourmet chocolate bars. Carrot cake that melts in your mouth. Stop by the average medical marijuana dispensary, and these cannabis-infused, professionally wrapped goodies and many more like them beckon from beneath glass cases. Kevin Fagan in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 3/3/12

Santorum backs nullifying existing gay marriages -- There are 18,000 married gay and lesbian couples in California and at least 131,000 nationwide according to the 2010 census, conducted before New York state legalized same-sex marriage in July. Bob Egelko in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 3/3/12

Villaraigosa calls for city to get special treatment on schools -- At a meeting with U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan and the mayors of New York and Chicago, he suggests a waiver from the No Child Left Behind program — an option that's only been available to states. Ian Duncan in the Los Angeles Times -- 3/3/12

L.A. mayor says he would not OK L.A./Ontario Airport sale -- Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has said he would not approve the sale of LA/Ontario International Airport until the real estate market bounces back. The mayor cited his financial obligation to taxpayers as a reason. Liset Marquez in the San Bernardino Sun -- 3/3/12

Ethics complaint filed against cougar killer -- A formal complaint has been filed accusing the California Fish and Game Commission president who shot a cougar in Idaho of violating California law by accepting a free hunt, complete with dogs and a tracker. Peter Fimrite in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 3/3/12

Richards' West Virginia roots formed his fish and game philosophy -- It’s symbolic that Dan Richards, California’s most embattled official right now because he killed a mountain lion legally in Idaho when it is illegal to do so in this state, has five of his father’s antique muzzleloaders on a wall in his well-appointed real estate office in Ontario. Ed Zieralski UT San Diego -- 3/3/12

Two state mental hospitals fined for allegedly failing to protect staff -- California workplace safety officials have issued nearly $100,000 in fines against San Bernardino’s Patton State Hospital and the Central Coast’s Atascadero State Hospital, alleging in part that the state psychiatric facilities have failed to protect staff from patient assaults and have deficient employee alarm systems. Lee Romney in the Los Angeles Times -- 3/3/12

'Last rancher' of the Legislature -- Former Democratic Assemblyman Norm Waters, who died this week at his Amador County home, made national headlines in one of his final acts as a lawmaker more than two decades ago. Jim Sanders in the Sacramento Bee -- 3/3/12

   Taxes - Fees

Support for Mountain View affordable housing parcel tax lacking -- Elected officials in Mountain View should think carefully before placing an affordable housing parcel tax on the November ballot, according to a consultant hired by the city to gauge voter support. Jason Green in the San Jose Mercury -- 3/3/12

   Economy - Jobs

Stockton, a former boomtown, teeters on the edge of bankruptcy -- Even on a rainy day, the waterfront is stunning. The 17-acre event center, the 11,000-seat sports arena, the 180-room hotel and convention center and the 5,000-seat minor league ballpark -- linked by scenic lawns, sculptures and fountains -- line the city's channel to the Delta. But the vista masks a stark reality: This Central Valley city of 292,000 is teetering on the edge of bankruptcy and could become the largest city in America to go bust. Josh Richman in the Oakland Tribune -- 3/3/12

Salary 'spiking' drains public pension funds, analysis finds -- Twenty California counties, including Ventura, Kern, Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego, allow some workers to make more in retirement than they did while working. The coffers are underfunded by millions of dollars. Catherine Saillant, Maloy Moore and Doug Smith in the Los Angeles Times -- 3/3/12

Without redevelopment agencies, Habitat for Humanity forced to seek new funding sources -- Local nonprofit volunteer organizations that build affordable homes for low-income residents in the Inland Empire must now rely more on alternative funding sources, with the recent elimination of redevelopment agencies throughout California. Neil Nisperos in the San Bernardino Sun -- 3/3/12

   Environment

Porcupines an increasingly rare sight in California forests, scientists say -- The porcupine is not among the cuddly critters most forest visitors hope to stumble upon. Matt Weiser in the Sacramento Bee -- 3/3/12

   Occupy

Occupy Oakland protesters arrested on charges of roughing up woman who criticized movement -- Three Occupy Oakland protesters suspected of stealing an Oakland woman's wallet and making offensive remarks about her perceived sexuality were charged Friday with robbery and committing a hate crime, both felonies, authorities said. Harry Harris and Kristin J. Bender in the Oakland Tribune -- 3/3/12

   Also..

Schwarzenegger hot in Ohio -- Fans gather in Columbus for the annual Arnold Sports Festival and the unveiling of an 8-foot-tall statue of a flexing Arnold. Alana Semuels in the Los Angeles Times -- 3/3/12

   POTUS 44

Obama calls Georgetown law student attacked by Rush Limbaugh to offer support -- President Obama called a Georgetown University law student on her cellphone Friday in an attempt to seize the political high ground in the national debate over contraception. David Nakamura and Paul Kane in the Washington Post -- 3/3/12

   Beltway

Romney, Santorum trying to recover from verbal gaffes -- The Republican rivals have made remarks recently that many voters and critics say have reinforced stereotypes about the candidates. Both are hoping to smooth things over before Super Tuesday. Maeve Reston and Robin Abcarian in the Los Angeles Times -- 3/3/12

CalBuzz: Op-Ed: Low Primary Turnouts Bode Ill for GOP -- Mitt Romney’s tepid victory in his home state of Michigan this week was so narrow that he’ll have to split that state’s delegates almost evenly with Rick Santorum. Hank Plante CalBuzz -- 3/3/12

Saunders: Obama's phony compromise on contraception rules -- While the Obama administration's decision to force church-based institutions to provide "access" to contraception as part of their health plans was intolerant and unconstitutional and gratuitously divisive, events have proven the move to be brilliant politics. Debra J. Saunders in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 3/3/12