Updates since early This Morning

CHP arrest dozens in state Capitol -- California Highway Patrol officers arrested dozens of protesters who refused to leave the state Capitol Monday night after repeated warnings, capping a day of protests over cuts to higher education that saw thousands descend upon Sacramento. HANNAH DREIER AP -- 3/5/12

Schwarzenegger faces fines for campaign violations -- Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger faces $30,000 in fines by the state’s campaign watchdog agency after a ballot measure committee he formed allegedly spent $1.1 million on matters unrelated to initiatives. The item is in the Los Angeles Times -- 3/5/12

Update: Capitol crowd heading for new rally -- The crowds gathered near the Capitol's west steps are beginning to dissipate and head toward the north side of the building for a new rally where labor groups are set to rail against education cost hikes. Sam Stanton in the Sacramento Bee -- 3/5/12

Activists camp out at state Capitol to protest tuition hikes -- About 200 students and activists were camped out beneath the rotunda of California's state Capitol on Monday afternoon to protest cuts to higher education, even as the state's top Democrats who made the cuts tried to claim the demonstrators' side. Chris Megerian in the Los Angeles Times -- 3/5/12

Jerry Brown calls massive protest sign of broader frustration -- As hundreds of students continued to protest cuts to higher education at the state Capitol this afternoon, Gov. Jerry Brown said in a prepared statement that the students reflect the frustration of millions of Californians. David Siders in the Sacramento Bee -- 3/5/12

Thousands rally for higher education funding at Capitol -- Speakers at a rally on the west steps of the Capitol blasted the budget cuts to higher education and the cost of tuition and fees at campuses throughout the state, framing access to a degree as a right that should be extended to students of all socioeconomic standings. Torey Van Oot SacBee Capitol Alert Matt Krupnick and Steven Harmon in the San Jose Mercury BRIAN JOSEPH in the Orange County Register Chris Megerian in the Los Angeles Times -- 3/5/12

Yahoo layoffs could reach thousands, happen this month, report says -- CEO Scott Thompson is planning a massive restructuring that will result in layoffs possibly totaling in the thousands as early as the end this month, according to a Monday report. Jeremy C. Owens in the San Jose Mercury -- 3/5/12

California ban on driver cellphone use is saving lives, study says -- Fewer Californians are dying in traffic accidents caused by hand-held cellphone use, according to a study by the Safe Transportation Research and Education Center at UC Berkeley. Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times -- 3/5/12

Hoffenblum: “No Party Preference” Candidate – Game Changer or Passing Fad? -- The passage of Proposition 14 in the June 2010 Primary Election set into place a significant change in how we elect our representatives in Congress, the state Senate and Assembly. Allan Hoffenblum Fox & Hounds -- 3/5/12

Obama co-chairs, senators endorse same-sex marriage -- President Obama isn’t ready to endorse same-sex marriage. But that hasn’t stopped a half-dozen of his campaign co-chairs, including California Attorney General Kamala Harris, or a group of Democratic senators. Bob Egelko Chronicle Politics -- 3/5/12

Fleischman: Walters Ignores The Obvious: The Pendulum Has Swung Far To The Left -- Today long-time Sacramento Bee columnist pens a column Both Left And Right In California Want Automatons In Office where he throws down the gauntlet of criticism on those who oppose a bigger, fatter state government (he also throws down on the other extreme, but that is not the focus of this blog post). Jon Fleischman Fox & Hounds -- 3/5/12

Schrag: The GOP: driving moderates to the Democrats -- As Spike Jones used to sing about that Strauss waltz – the Danube ain’t blue, it’s green – California ain’t nearly as blue as the political maps have it. It’s purple. We may vote for Obama, Feinstein, Boxer and all those other Democrats, but we also love our Proposition 13, our term limits, and our three-strikes laws. Peter Schrag Cal Progress Report -- 3/5/12

Democrats in the murky middle of university funding politics -- College students and activists are rallying today in Sacramento to protest state budget cuts in higher education. They will be joined at one Capitol rally by Democratic legislative leaders who negotiated budgets that included those cuts in recent years. Kevin Yamamura SacBee Capitol Alert -- 3/5/12

Protestors begin march on California Capitol -- Higher education groups kicked off a day of action at the state Capitol this morning with a march from Sacramento's Southside Park the to the Capitol steps. Thousands chanted "students united, we'll never be divided" and waved signs that urge "students before banks" and "fund my future." Torey Van Oot SacBee Capitol Alert Hannah Dreier in the San Jose Mercury -- 3/5/12

Limbaugh - AOL is 8th advertiser to pull the plug -- Radio host Rush Limbaugh said his apology to the Georgetown law student he called a "slut" was sincere but also joked that he, too, got a busy signal Monday when he called the show to join the growing roster of advertisers abandoning it. Philip Elliott AP -- 3/5/12

Andrew Breitbart's Web empire continues with his 'warrior spirit' -- Andrew Breitbart's Web empire launched a redesign that the late conservative commentator was working on at the time of his unexpected death at age 43 last week. Shelby Grad and Andrew Blankstein LA Times PolitiCal -- 3/5/12

George Plescia's candidacy puts San Diego Senate District in play -- Capitol oddsmakers have assumed for months that the 39th Senate District, which covers the urban center of San Diego County, would be easy pickings for Democrats in this year's election. Maybe not. Dan Walters SacBee Capitol Alert -- 3/5/12

Hueso takes lead in lion-shooting controversy -- San Diego Assemblyman Ben Hueso says there is nothing inherently wrong with hunting and remembers shooting rabbits with his father as a boy. Michael Gardner UT San Diego -- 3/5/12

Santa Ana Steps Back From the Brink -- Six months ago, the city of Santa Ana was in a $30 million budget hole and the corridors of City Hall echoed with whispers of bankruptcy. Employees feared the city wouldn't make its payroll, while a major credit rating agency called the its financial picture bleak. ADAM ELMAHREK VoiceofOC.org -- 3/5/12

Jose Hernandez -- Though he was born in California, Jose Hernandez didn't master English until he was 13. His parents are Mexican immigrants who picked fruit and vegetables in the San Joaquin Valley for nine months of the year before returning to their hometown for the winter. Joe Garofoli in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 3/5/12

New Yorker cover -- Dylan Byers Politico -- 3/5/12

Future of Bay Area Ridge Trail Uncertain -- The vision to create a 550-mile trail around the San Francisco Bay is threatened by state park closures scheduled for this summer, trail advocates say. RACHEL GULBRAA Bay Citizen -- 3/5/12

Lenny Dykstra sentenced to three years in prison -- Former New York Mets star and financial guru Lenny Dykstra was sentenced to three years in state prison on Monday, after a judge rejected a last-ditch effort to change his no contest plea and fight the charges. Andrew Blankstein in the Los Angeles Times -- 3/5/12

PEJ: Newspapers are losing $7 in print revenue for every $1 in digital gained -- Revenue is just one of the problems facing American newspapers, says a new Project for Excellence in Journalism study. Andrew Beaujon Poynter -- 3/5/12

New website makes tracking California legislation easier -- Who says things never get better in the Capitol? One thing just did - the ability to track legislation as it moves through the legislative process, thanks to a newly revised website maintained by the Legislature's legal bureau. Dan Walters SacBee Capitol Alert -- 3/5/12


   California Policy and Politics This Morning

State government contracting debate back at California's Capitol -- The debate over whether government runs best with civil service workers or privately contracted help is re-igniting in the Capitol over legislation that, among other things, would give state workers first dibs whenever the state has work to do. Jon Ortiz in the Sacramento Bee -- 3/5/12

Walters: California Capitol needs to close some tax loopholes -- About a quarter-century ago, the Legislature declared that custom computer software programs would be exempt from sales taxes. Dan Walters in the Sacramento Bee -- 3/5/12

ProFlowers latest Rush Limbaugh sponsor to pull its business -- The number of advertisers who have at least temporarily cut ties with Rush Limbaugh grew to seven on Sunday in the aftermath of the conservative radio host's self-described "insulting word choices" about a female law student. Michael A. Memoli in the Los Angeles Times BRIAN STELTER in the New York Times -- 3/5/12

Groups joust over Capitol rally role -- A massive student rally in support of higher education funding planned for Monday at the state Capitol is being co-opted by labor and Occupy activists, says an executive with one of the student groups. Ed Fletcher in the Sacramento Bee -- 3/5/12

Ex-Chronicle editor may testify in Mirkarimi case -- Former Chronicle Editor Phil Bronstein has been called as a witness in San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi's upcoming domestic violence trial, after phone records revealed the longtime newspaperman was in contact with the prosecution's star witness before she went to police. Phillip Matier, Andrew Ross in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 3/5/12

CalBuzz: New Studies Map and Measure California’s Politics -- Two fascinating and useful studies of California’s political landscape have been published in recent days, one mapping the geographic variations of attitudes and the other creating and applying a scientific measure of communities’ ideologies. Jerry Roberts and Phil Trounstine CalBuzz -- 3/5/12

Redistricting threatens to tear L.A. City Council apart -- It is a political battle that threatens to tear the City Council apart. The fight over the new political boundaries for City Council members begins its final rounds of public hearings this week with no sign that either Council member Bernard Parks or Jan Perry will back off. Rick Orlov in the Los Angeles Daily News -- 3/5/12

Lawmakers call for state audit of San Jose's pension problems -- Stepping into the conflict over the scope of San Jose's public employee pension problems, a group of state lawmakers on Monday plan to reveal a campaign for a state legislative audit of the city's finances and pension debts. Howard Mintz in the San Jose Mercury -- 3/5/12

Supporter of Sheriff Baca got personal county car -- A volunteer deputy who threw a fundraiser for L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca was assigned a county car, which even most full-time deputies don't receive. Other volunteers might also have had such vehicles. Robert Faturechi in the Los Angeles Times -- 3/5/12

Chad Condit positioning himself as nonpartisan outsider -- Chad Condit formally entered the San Joaquin Valley political arena Friday, declaring himself an independent candidate for the House in which his father once served. Michael Doyle in the Sacramento Bee -- 3/5/12

Without shield law, federal courts consider value of classified leaks -- The prosecution of former CIA agent Jeffrey Sterling, accused of leaking classified information, took a peculiar turn when the legal team of The New York Times journalist James Risen invited the court to distinguish between a “good” and “bad” release of government secrets. G.W. Schulz California Watch -- 3/5/12

Shark fin soup still on some Sacramento-area restaurant menus -- Two months after California's ban on shark fins went into effect, bowls of the Chinese delicacy shark fin soup still are being ladled up at several Sacramento-area restaurants. Legally. Edward Ortiz in the Sacramento Bee -- 3/5/12

   Taxes - Fees

Davis school tax faces organized opposition -- Davis voters have until Tuesday to decide if they want to reach into their own pockets again to support the city's vaunted school system. Hudson Sangree in the Sacramento Bee -- 3/5/12

   Economy - Jobs

Workers, state investigators allege labor abuses in warehouse empire -- A suit filed in federal court in Los Angeles on behalf of Soto and dozens of other warehouse workers charges three companies that handle Walmart goods with fraudulent pay practices. The case, along with recent investigations by state labor officials that have led to proposed fines of close to $1.4 million, depict what critics say is the underside of the vast warehouse business in the region. Lilly Fowler FairWarning via the Inland Daily Bulletin -- 3/5/12


Believe it: Harvard cheaper than Cal State -- The impossible has happened: Harvard College is now thousands of dollars cheaper than Cal State East Bay for middle-income California students. So is Princeton. And Williams College. And Yale. Matt Krupnick in the Contra Costa Times -- 3/5/12

Fensterwald: Charters choose Brown’s tax plan -- Charter schools and the state’s largest teachers union rarely find anything to agree about. But the California Charter Schools Assn. is now the second major education group, next to the California Teachers Assn., to endorse Gov. Jerry Brown’s $7 billion tax initiative. John Fensterwald educatedguess -- 3/5/12

Enthusiasm is growing for iPads in the East Bay, as students and teachers explore new technology -- With a variety of funding sources and encouragement from administrators, schools in the Acalanes, Emery, Mt. Diablo and San Ramon Valley districts are purchasing iPads and pioneering apps as a way to engage students and give teachers new tools to get their messages across. Theresa Harrington in the Contra Costa Times -- 3/5/12

Will Apple create the all-iPad classroom? -- Apple hopes its foray into digital textbooks for the iPad will impress educators and corner a huge, lucrative K-12 book market. But the high costs of the plan and the challenges of mobile technology could ensure that hardback books remain a classroom mainstay. Sharon Noguchi in the San Jose Mercury -- 3/5/12

More state oversight needed for community colleges -- Several bills introduced in the last few years have tried – unsuccessfully – to reform the California Community Colleges system by changing its funding formula or its governance structure. Erica Perez California Watch -- 3/5/12

   Health Care

To stay fiscally healthy, state's hospitals want fewer patients -- Healthcare reforms will mandate more treatment in doctors' offices and clinics. The changes take effect in 2014, but some California institutions are trying to get an early start. Anna Gorman in the Los Angeles Times -- 3/5/12

Obesity prevention efforts in schools yield some success -- Obesity is still on the rise among California students, but after years of prevention measures in schools, the rate is slowing, new research shows. Joanna Lin California Watch -- 3/5/12


Worried that porn industry may migrate, Simi Valley takes action -- A proposed ordinance would require producers to hire medical professionals to ensure condom use in porn films. Police would review footage to guarantee compliance. Steve Chawkins in the Los Angeles Times -- 3/5/12

SLO Down Wines breaks mold with Sexual Chocolate -- They started as bootleggers barely old enough to drink. Stacy Finz in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 3/5/12

George W. Bush impersonator Steve Bridges dies at 48 -- Steve Bridges, 48, a comic actor and impersonator who was best known for his mimicry of President George W. Bush and appeared alongside the chief executive at the 2006 White House Correspondents' Assn. dinner, was found dead Saturday at his home in Los Angeles. Claire Noland in the Los Angeles Times -- 3/5/12

   POTUS 44

Obama: U.S. 'will not hesitate to use force' against Iran -- President Obama on Sunday morning spoke of preparation by the American military to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon as he sought to assure U.S. supporters of Israel that he takes no options off the table in that effort. Christi Parsons in the Los Angeles Times -- 3/5/12


Super Tuesday preview: What’s at stake -- Mitt Romney won’t sweep the 10 states that vote on Super Tuesday, but the collective results are likely to reaffirm his inevitability as the GOP’s presidential standard-bearer. JONATHAN MARTIN Politico -- 3/5/12