* Updates Since Early This Morning

Analyst says Jerry Brown is overestimating tax revenue -- The state’s top budget analyst said Friday that Gov. Jerry Brown's revised tax initiative will generate much less revenue than the governor estimates. Chris Megerian LA Times PolitiCal$ David Siders SacBee Capitol Alert John Myers Capitol Notes -- 3/16/12

Some of UC pepper spraying report can be made public, judge rules -- An Alameda County Superior Court judge Friday partially denied a request by a campus police union to block a UC investigative report about the pepper-spraying of UC Davis student protesters in November -- clearing the way for university officials to release those portions of the report that don't address the conduct of specific officers. Lee Romney in the Los Angeles Times$ Hudson Sangree and Sam Stanton in the Sacramento Bee Matt Krupnick in the San Jose Mercury -- 3/16/12

Sheriff aircraft staff intentionally missed calls, lawsuit claims -- Investigators are probing allegations that supervisors within the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department air support division purposely delayed calls for emergency air support and maintained improper relationships with contractors at taxpayers’ expense. Robert Faturechi in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/16/12

UC Irvine professor to monitor mortgage settlement in California -- Plans designed to help troubled homeowners have often fallen short, consumer law expert Katherine Porter has pointed out, arguing that tough monitors must police such relief programs. Now she'll get to try that role herself. E. Scott Reckard in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/16/12

New details on US suspect ID'd in Afghan massacre -- After five days cloaked in military secrecy, the soldier suspected in a massacre of 16 Afghan civilians has finally been identified, adding a critical detail to the still-sketchy portrait just beginning to emerge. ADAM GELLER Associated Press -- 3/16/12

Woman ordered to pay rapist backs change in California law -- Crystal Harris was ordered by a judge to pay her rapist. Now the San Diego County woman is fighting to pass legislation in California to ensure that never happens to anyone else. Jim Sanders SacBee Capitol Alert -- 3/16/12

Californians help lead Gingrich’s Latino outreach -- Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich today named his national Hispanic Steering Committee, and two of its three co-chairs are from California. Josh Richman Political Blotter -- 3/16/12

'March Madness' hits political fundraising in California -- Like many people, California politicians are caught up in March Madness, but their version is as much about filling campaign coffers as watching college basketball. Patrick McGreevy LA Times PolitiCal$ -- 3/16/12

Sacramento bids goodbye to veteran budget advocate -- Jean Ross started her last annual conference as executive director of the California Budget Project with a speech on economic inequality. Hours later, during the Thursday event’s luncheon, she was in the back of the banquet room, taking pictures and collecting audience questions. Chris Megerian LA Times PolitiCal$ -- 3/16/12

California student leaders criticize Jerry Brown in open letter -- Frustrated by tuition increases and ongoing spending cuts, California college student leaders criticized Gov. Jerry Brown in an open letter Thursday and complained he hasn't met with them. David Siders SacBee Capitol Alert -- 3/16/12

The Future of College: The Biggest Classes Are the Most Expensive -- One of California's largest community colleges has a plan to deal with the age of austerity -- charging students more for the most in-demand courses. Jordan Weissmann The Atlantic -- 3/16/12

4 more tubes fail in tests at California nuke plant -- The four tubes in a massive steam generator failed Thursday in the Unit 3 reactor at the San Onofre coastal plant in northern San Diego County, Southern California Edison said. Three other tubes failed earlier tests, the company said Wednesday, bringing the total to seven. MICHAEL R. BLOOD Associated Press -- 3/16/12

Steinberg touts poll showing Galgiani lead in Stockton Senate seat -- Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg is looking to shore up donor support for Assemblywoman Cathleen Galgiani's bid for Senate, circulating an internal poll showing the Livermore Democrat holding a double-digit lead in the contested 5th Senate District. Torey Van Oot SacBee Capitol Alert -- 3/16/12


   California Policy and Politics This Morning

Despite merger of tax initiatives, proponents will also go their own ways -- Even after agreeing to an eleventh-hour merging of forces on a newly revised tax initiative, Gov. Jerry Brown and proponents of the "millionaire's tax" are pressing ahead with their own signature-gathering campaigns -- just in case. Steven Harmon in the Contra Costa Times -- 3/16/12

Walters: Big hazard for Jerry Brown's new tax plan -- During a stream-of-consciousness speech to a gathering of police chiefs this week, Jerry Brown noted that during his first governorship, personal income taxes generated about a third of the state's revenue, but since have become a dominant source. Dan Walters in the Sacramento Bee -- 3/16/12

Molly Munger gives tax initiative campaign $1.5 million more -- One day after Gov. Jerry Brown and the California Federation of Teachers announced an agreement to combine forces behind one tax hike proposal, civil rights attorney Molly Munger has dropped another $1.5 million into the campaign to qualify her own rival tax plan for the November ballot. Torey Van Oot SacBee Capitol Alert -- 3/16/12

Judge signals his intent to release pepper spray report -- The judge in Friday's UC Davis pepper-spray hearing issued a tentative ruling late this afternoon indicating that he plans to deny efforts to stop release of a report into the Nov. 18 incident and will not agree to seal portions of the report. Sam Stanton in the Sacramento Bee -- 3/16/12

Inquiries into Police Violence at Occupy Protests Moving Slowly -- At least nine separate investigations into events in Oakland, Davis and Berkeley remain unresolved. ZOE CORNELI Bay Citizen -- 3/16/12

State ethics panel delays posting judges' financial disclosures -- The state Fair Political Practices Commission decided Thursday to delay posting financial interest statements by 2,500 elected judges on the Internet after representatives said they feared the easy access to personal information would put them in danger. Patrick McGreevy LA Times PolitiCal$ Howard Mintz in the San Jose Mercury -- 3/16/12

California gets top marks for public disclosure of political spending -- California has some of the best public disclosure of independent political spending in the country, according to a report released yesterday, but the state ethics watchdog wants to go further. Will Evans California Watch -- 3/16/12

Tim Donnelly seeks plea deal in airport gun case -- Assemblyman Tim Donnelly is seeking a plea deal on misdemeanor charges stemming from the discovery of a loaded firearm in his hand-carry luggage by screeners at Ontario International Airport. Jim Sanders SacBee Capitol Alert Michael J. Mishak LA Times PolitiCal$ -- 3/16/12

AD 18 brawl erupts over SEIU’s ‘un-endorsement’ -- We don’t tend to get excited about unions endorsing Democratic candidates, but when a union later revokes that endorsement, our ears perk up. Josh Richman Political Blotter -- 3/16/12

House race shows Democrats' improved prospects in Inland Empire -- Longtime Riverside County supervisor, a Republican, might once have easily won a seat in Congress, but Democrats hold the edge in his district. New residents and political boundaries have shaken things up. Phil Willon in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/16/12

Advocates for women push Lee to remove Mirkarimi -- A consortium of activists against domestic violence called on Mayor Ed Lee on Thursday to initiate proceedings to remove Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi from office, calling it a "national embarrassment" that Mirkarimi remains sheriff after pleading guilty to misdemeanor false imprisonment in a domestic violence case. Rachel Gordon, John Coté in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 3/16/12

Gascón questions Mirkarimi's guilty plea -- San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón said Thursday he is not convinced Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi really believes he is guilty of the misdemeanor false imprisonment crime he pleaded to earlier this week and will raise his concerns with the judge at sentencing Monday. Rachel Gordon in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 3/16/12

Black L.A. council members protest race's role in redistricting -- L.A. City Council members Jan Perry and Bernard C. Parks contend that the Redistricting Commission violated the Voting Rights Act by improperly making race the predominant factor in the process. David Zahniser in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/16/12

California could decide the GOP nominee -- California is not exactly the GOP’s idea of home turf. But in the 2012 Republican presidential primary, it’s the most important state on the calendar. Aaron Blake in the Washington Post -- 3/16/12

CalBuzz: Mitt Massages Message As Newt & Rick Pass Gas -- Many election cycles ago, the late great Kam Kuwata patiently explained to us that every political campaign consists of three basic, alliterative elements: money, mechanics and message. Jerry Roberts and Phil Trounstine CalBuzz -- 3/16/12

PG&E penalized for Hinkley's expanding toxic plume -- Pacific Gas & Electric Co. will pay $3.6 million in penalties for allowing a toxic plume of chemically laced groundwater to expand underneath homes and farms in the Mojave Desert town of Hinkley, according to a settlement announced Thursday. Peter Fimrite in the San Francisco Chronicle Jim Steinberg in the San Bernardino Sun -- 3/16/12

PG&E gets stiff bill for role in wildfires -- Once again, human error has cost Pacific Gas and Electric Co. millions of dollars. It was announced Thursday that the utility giant and two companies working for it paid $29.5 million to the federal government to settle lawsuits over two forest fires in 2004. Denny Walsh in the Sacramento Bee -- 3/16/12

   Economy - Jobs

California home sales increase as prices continue their slump -- The real estate firm DataQuick estimated 29,630 houses and condominiums sold throughout the Golden State last month, an increase of 8.5% from the same month a year earlier. Sales have improved every month for the last seven months and February was the strongest for a February since 2007. Alejandro Lazo in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/16/12

Southland blimp-maker opens facility in Montebello -- Worldwide Aeros Corp., the Montebello-based developer and maker of blimps used for surveillance, advertising and transport, opened a 45,000-square-foot engineering facility to house work on a mammoth 66-ton airship. W.J. Hennigan in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/16/12


More than 20,000 California teachers pink-slipped -- More than 20,000 public school teachers in California opened their mailboxes over the last few days to find a pink slip inside as districts met the state's Thursday deadline for dispensing the dreaded news to the educators that they may not have a job in the fall. Jill Tucker in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 3/16/12

Baron: Not even veteran teachers are spared -- Cynthia Dalmacio has a mnemonic device to keep track of how long she’s been teaching in Brisbane Elementary School District; one pink slip for each of her four years. The latest one came yesterday, the state deadline for notifying teachers that they may not have a job in the next school year. Kathryn Baron TopEd -- 3/16/12

Beyond personal pain, teacher layoffs have rippling effects on schools -- Layoffs create anxiety in the weeks leading up to the March 15 deadline for issuing preliminary layoff notices, and then for months afterwards. It can strain staff relationships, affect morale, and cause stress and anxiety among those threatened with joblessness during a period of high unemployment. Sue Frey and Louis Freedberg EdSource -- 3/16/12

Buildings go up as universities' budgets go down -- California has slashed public university budgets, yet construction is booming at campuses statewide. Jon Marcus California Watch -- 3/16/12

Less remedial instruction is the goal -- In 2010, 57 percent of CSU freshmen required remediation in English or mathematics. The rate is higher in the California Community Colleges system,where about 85 percent are unprepared for college-level math and 70 percent are unprepared for college-level English. Kevin Yamamura in the Sacramento Bee -- 3/16/12

Weintraub: March Madness: Gutting higher education -- Like parents with more than one child, Californians say they love all of their higher education systems equally. Daniel Weintraub HealthyCal.org -- 3/16/12

UC Berkeley professors condemn light punishment for administrator -- A growing chorus of voices is calling for the firing of a UC Berkeley administrator who helped triple her secret sex partner's pay over five years. Matt Krupnick in the San Jose Mercury -- 3/16/12

   Health Care

Stanford gene researchers see diabetes develop -- A team of Stanford researchers has unveiled the most detailed biological profile of a human being done so far: a peek at one man's genetic foundation, along with snapshots, taken dozens of times over the course of a year, of the millions of proteins and other molecules that are in constant flux in his body. Erin Allday in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 3/16/12


Tribute to abuse victim troubles some Merced parents -- A plaque erected in Merced to remember missing and exploited children has drawn the ire of some parents. The blunt language is not something they want to explain to their children, they say. Minerva Perez HealthyCal.org -- 3/16/12

   POTUS 44

White House moves into full reelection mode -- The Obama White House moved fully into reelection mode this week, leaving aside any pretense of being above the fray and beginning an unabashed political effort to lay the groundwork for what polls suggest could be eight difficult months of campaigning ahead. David Nakamura in the Washington Post -- 3/16/12

Obama's 2012 campaign is watching you -- President Barack Obama wants companies such as Google and Facebook to reform their privacy practices. But that’s not stopping his re-election campaign from tapping the rich data Internet companies hold on millions of potential voters. DAVE LEVINTHAL Politico -- 3/16/12


Rick Santorum turns to secretive group for money muscle -- Rick Santorum can’t keep up the fight against Mitt Romney with momentum alone: He needs cash and organization. KENNETH P. VOGEL Politico -- 3/16/12