* Updates Since Early This Morning

Term limits initiative has slim lead, new poll finds -- An initiative on the June ballot to alter California's term limits law has support from a narrow majority of registered voters, according to a new USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll. Nicholas Riccardi LA Times PolitiCal$ -- 3/23/12

Voters don't blame workers for pension woes, new poll finds -- California voters do not blame public employees for the state's pension woes and are in no hurry to make steep cuts in the system, according to a new USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll. Nicholas Riccardi LA Times PolitiCal$ -- 3/23/12

Santa Clarita candidates forum hints at GOP animus -- It was hard to tell from the candidates forum in Santa Clarita on Friday that the race for an open seat in a newly drawn Assembly district has evolved into full-blown Republican family feud. Jean Merl LA Times PolitiCal$ -- 3/23/12

Six indicted in Coliseum scandal, including two top rave producers -- The indictment, unsealed Friday, caps a 13-month investigation by the district attorney's office, triggered by Los Angeles Times reports on a corruption scandal involving millions of dollars in questionable transactions at one of the nation's most storied stadiums. Andrew Blankstein, Paul Pringle and Rong-Gong Lin II in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/23/12

California unemployment rate holds steady as more people seek jobs -- California employers added 4,000 new payroll jobs last month, signaling slow but steady improvement in the state’s labor market. Alejandro Lazo in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/23/12

State discriminates in choosing redistricting panel, suit argues -- California illegally considers race, gender and ethnicity in choosing members of a state commission to draw legislative and congressional districts, according to a lawsuit making its way through Sacramento Superior Court. Jim Sanders SacBee Capitol Alert -- 3/23/12

Brown says he's studying 'fracking' in California -- Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday said that he was taking a closer look at a controversial method of oil extraction known as hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," as he seeks to help California maintain its role as one of the country's top crude producers. Michael J. Mishak LA Times PolitiCal$ -- 3/23/12

Manning saved millions in taxes by opting for Denver over San Francisco -- We'll never know whether it played a role in quarterback Peyton Manning's decision to play for the Denver Broncos rather than the San Francisco 49ers, but the California Taxpayers Association says that it could save the football star millions in state income taxes. Dan Walters SacBee Capitol Alert -- 3/23/12

Brown pushes zero-emission cars, defends oil policy -- Gov. Jerry Brown said today that he will push the state to put 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles on the road by 2025, reducing transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent over 1990s levels. In an executive order, the Democratic governor directed state agencies to help facilitate that effort. David Siders SacBee Capitol Alert -- 3/23/12

Bill would stop requests for job seekers' social media logins -- Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, announced today that he plans to introduce legislation to ban demands for usernames and passwords from job seekers and current employees, saying content on sites like Facebook and Twitter, such as personal photos and calendars, "have no bearing on a person's ability to do their job and therefore employers have no right to demand to review it." Torey Van Oot SacBee Capitol Alert -- 3/23/12

AP Exclusive: Munger says Brown tax claims untrue -- Los Angeles attorney Molly Munger on Friday said Gov. Jerry Brown is being untruthful in characterizing his tax plan as an education initiative and said she began running television commercials about her own initiative to "get the truth out." JULIET WILLIAMS Associated Press -- 3/23/12

California seeks limits on small-business self-insurance trend -- Critics say health insurers offering new type of self-insurance for firms with as few as 25 workers are gaming the system and may undermine a key goal of the federal Affordable Care Act. Chad Terhune in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/23/12

Lawmakers ramping up support for veterans -- California is bracing for a huge influx of veterans as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan wind down, posing fresh challenges for a state short of both cash and services. Michael Gardner UT San Diego -- 3/23/12

Wildermuth: UC Can Be Key to Brown’s Ballot Tax Effort -- If Gov. Jerry Brown wants to convince California voters to take a deep breath, grit their teeth and vote for a tax hike this November, he should spend some time talking about the University of California and the state college system. John Wildermuth Fox & Hounds -- 3/23/12

Fox: Should the SF 49ers QB be a Democrat? -- On MSNBC, Nation sports editor Dave Zirin attacked the trade of quarterback Tim Tebow from the Denver Broncos to the New York Jets this week saying Tebow doesn’t belong in New York because of the way he thinks. Joel Fox Fox & Hounds -- 3/23/12

California lags nation in green jobs -- The latest monthly employment report, released Friday, was not particularly good news for California, whose jobless rate was unchanged in February at 10.9 percent with more than two million workers unemployed. Dan Walters SacBee Capitol Alert -- 3/23/12

Hundreds Line Up for Free Dental Care in Oakland -- Julian Burleson-Kimball, 44, lined up outside the Oakland Coliseum at 1:30 a.m. Thursday morning to get a cavity filled. He was the 255th person in line on the first day of the Remote Medical Access free health clinic, which runs through Sunday. KATHARINE MIESZKOWSKI Bay Citizen -- 3/23/12

Television News and the Incredibly Shrinking 2012 Campaign -- Television, in short, has pretty much decided the race is over, Mitt Romney has won, the thing is boring everyone to death, and it’s time, at least for now, to move on. The campaign is occupying less front-page real estate in the major papers as well. Howard Kurtz Daily Beast -- 3/23/12


   California Policy and Politics This Morning

Ross Mirkarimi ready to fight misconduct charges -- Ross Mirkarimi said Thursday that he is prepared to fight the mayor's charges of official misconduct before the Ethics Commission in an effort to save his job as San Francisco Sheriff. Rachel Gordon, John Wildermuth in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 3/23/12

California Democratic lawmakers up their fundraising price -- The price of access is going up for top donors attending this weekend's Pro Tem Cup at La Jolla's Torrey Pines Golf Course, an annual golf outing held to raise cash for the California Democratic Party. Torey Van Oot in the Sacramento Bee -- 3/23/12

Republicans Urge Spot (Budget Bill) Removal -- Such a bill is referred to as a "spot bill," in that it's an empty bill holding a spot on the legislative calendar... so that once a budget deal is struck, the actual details can quickly be inserted into existing bills and enacted. Today, Republicans in both houses rose from their seats to decry this now familiar part of the state budget sausage making. John Myers Capitol Notes Chris Megerian LA Times PolitiCal$ -- 3/23/12

Podcast: The Road Ahead -- As the great Yogi Berra once said, "When you come to a fork in the road, take it." There are some forks in the road ahead for Governor Jerry Brown and his backers of a budget balanced, in part, with a new temporary tax increase. John Myers Capitol Notes -- 3/23/12

Assemblyman’s gun case set for Monday -- A San Bernardino County Superior Court judge continued a case against an Inland assemblyman charged with two misdemeanors for bringing a loaded gun into Ontario International Airport. IMRAN GHORI in the Riverside Press -- 3/23/12

Judge upholds PG&E's $16.8 million gas-safety fine -- A state Public Utilities Commission administrative law judge has rejected Pacific Gas and Electric Co.'s appeal of a $16.8 million fine for failing to check gas pipes for leaks in seven Contra Costa County communities, saying the danger the company created justified the penalty. Jaxon Van Derbeken in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 3/23/12

CPUC President Michael Peevey under fire for bias in proposed $150 million project -- Consumer advocates are accusing the head of the powerful California Public Utilities Commission of bias in a dispute over whether a $150 million project at Lawrence Livermore Laboratory is something utility customers should pay for. Mike Taugher in the Contra Costa Times -- 3/23/12

Walters: Lawmakers ready to green-light California high-speed rail -- Its popularity has declined sharply, many of its details have yet to emerge, and independent authorities have questioned its financial and operational viability, but California's bullet train project is very likely to get the green light from the Legislature soon. Dan Walters in the Sacramento Bee -- 3/23/12

California money flows to super PACs as state lawmakers seek limits -- Wealthy Californians are keeping the money flowing to super political action committees, even as some state lawmakers want to turn off the faucet. Will Evans California Watch -- 3/23/12

Assembly OKs anti-Citizens United resolution -- The state Assembly voted 48-22 today to urge Congress to amend the U.S. Constitution as a means of overturning a 2010 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that unleashed a deluge of unlimited political spending by corporations and unions. Josh Richman Political Blotter -- 3/23/12

State chief justice tells of inspirations that led her to public service -- Tani Cantil-Sakauye's first home was in an alley at Third and O streets near a house of prostitution and a flophouse. Diana Lambert in the Sacramento Bee -- 3/23/12

L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa takes steps to retool embattled LAFD -- Retooling the embattled Los Angeles Fire Department, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on Thursday appointed a new data director, recruited a veteran commissioner and requested six new ambulances to ease worries about emergency response times. Dakota Smith in the Los Angeles Daily News Kate Linthicum in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/23/12

CalBuzz: Press Clips: Mammoths, Mittens and Morain -- Back in the days when wooly mammoths were denying the theory of climate change, doctors endorsed Lucky Strikes, and a news cycle lasted 12 hours, the late great columnist Arthur Hoppe devised a surefire method for dealing with complaints from readers. Jerry Roberts and Phil Trounstine CalBuzz -- 3/23/12

   Economy - Jobs

San Onofre nuclear plant problems could reduce power supply -- California energy officials are working to stave off the potential for summer power shortages if the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station remains out of service. Abby Sewell in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/23/12

Hiltzik: Is a nuclear renaissance in the offing? -- America’s nuclear power industry has been pronounced dead almost as often as Rasputin, so it may be a testament to the nation’s appetite for electricity that it’s still looking ahead to a renaissance. Michael Hiltzik in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/23/12

California's share of green jobs is just average, report says -- California’s economy may not be as “green” as people think. Don Lee in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/23/12

Whistle-blower says city jobs sent to India -- A whistle-blower lawsuit claims that the firm hired to take over the computer help desk for San Diego city operations — saving money for taxpayers — did it by outsourcing the jobs to India in violation of its contract. Craig Gustafson UT San Diego -- 3/23/12

Steinberg: state worker pay cap bill 'worth considering' -- Senate Bill 1368, by Sen. Joel Anderson, R-Alpine, would cap pay for state workers and officers hired or appointed after Jan 1, 2013 at the salary approved for the governor, which is currently $173,987. Torey Van Oot in the Sacramento Bee -- 3/23/12

Sacramento home prices fall, but rents rise, Zillow says -- Sacramento metro area home values declined 8.6 percent year over year in January, but monthly rents rose 0.4 percent in that time, according to Zillow, the Seattle-based real estate data company. Mark Glover in the Sacramento Bee -- 3/23/12

Nurses rally outside California Hospital Association in Sacramento -- Organizers said they are protesting "increased austerity programs by wealthy corporate hospital chains while handing out lavish pay packages to the top 1 percent of hospital executives." Mark Glover in the Sacramento Bee -- 3/23/12

Hundreds of airline service workers march over conditions at LAX -- Demanding better healthcare and employment conditions, hundreds of airline workers, union officials and their supporters called for strikes against aviation-related companies during a demonstration Thursday at Los Angeles International Airport. Dan Weikel in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/23/12


Parents, teachers: LAUSD's homework policy gets low marks -- About two dozen parents and teachers complained Thursday about a proposed Los Angeles Unified policy to limit homework to 20 percent of a student's grade and set guidelines on how much time should be spent on outside assignments. Barbara Jones in the Los Angeles Daily News -- 3/23/12

State report recommends changes to school districts' pink slip process, timing -- California's system for laying off public school teachers is costly and overly restrictive and could be improved by changing state law to give school districts more leeway in making personnel decisions, a report released Thursday said. Barbara Jones in the Los Angeles Daily News Stephen Ceasar in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/23/12

Students hurt by disinvestment in higher ed, chancellor says -- California community colleges have shed more than 300,000 students since 2009 because they cannot get into classes and the toll is likely to grow unless the state reverses course and pumps more money into higher education. That bleak assessment was delivered Thursday by California Community Colleges Chancellor Jack Scott in a “State of Community Colleges” address at Pasadena City College. Carla Rivera in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/23/12

Report gives C's, D's to schools in educating poor, minority students -- Bay Area school districts barely get passing grades for how well they teach minority and low-income students, according to a report released by an education advocacy group Thursday. Sharon Noguchi in the San Jose Mercury -- 3/23/12

Baron: Losing experience in teacher layoffs -- California school districts should not be bound by seniority when budget cuts force them to lay off teachers, according to far-reaching report released yesterday by the state Legislative Analyst’s Office. Kathryn Baron TopEd -- 3/23/12

Quealy: Weighted student formula is already working well in Twin Rivers Unified -- Last Tuesday morning, I sat in the superintendent’s conference room at Twin Rivers Unified School District and listened to four principals tell their stories about how a need-based approach to budgeting – through a weighted student formula – has provided them flexibility to make better decisions for their schools, and has dramatically improved the way they plan, budget, and engage with their communities. Cristin Quealy TopEd -- 3/23/12

Questions linger as regents consider new UCLA conference center plan -- The University of California Board of Regents next week will consider UCLA's plan to build a new 250-room, $152 million hotel and conference center – a proposal that would allow the university to host many more academic conferences on campus but that has raised the ire of local hotel owners and has others questioning its financial viability. Erica Perez California Watch -- 3/23/12

   Health Care

Health reform already affecting most Californians -- Today marks the second anniversary of President Obama’s signing of the federal health reform law. Supporters have been celebrating all week. On Monday, opponents of the law will go before the United States Supreme Court to ask that the law be struck down as unconstitutional. Daniel Weintraub HealthyCal.org -- 3/23/12

Sutter 'navigators' steer routine patients out of emergency rooms -- There are uninsured people with sinusitis or ingrown toenails. Parents who bring in babies with everyday problems like diaper rashes or runny noses. Some patients are insured, but don't know who their assigned doctor is or can't get an appointment. Grace Rubenstein in the Sacramento Bee -- 3/23/12

Volunteer teen chefs cater to cancer patients -- Every Thursday evening during her harrowing treatments for leukemia, Eve Goldberg received Tupperware containers full of nourishment and hope. Patricia Leigh Brown California Watch -- 3/23/12


Why Does Shell Support California’s Climate Change Legislation? -- Royal Dutch Shell CEO, Peter Voser affirmed his company’s commitment to AB 32, California’s climate change legislation, and also explained why a carbon trading system is crucial to the development of alternative energy sources. Alison van Diggelen KQED Climate Watch -- 3/23/12


Occupy activists pitch tents in Oakland park -- Occupy Oakland activists have set up a new encampment in a park north of downtown, calling it a response to the recent arrests of protesters in New York and the shooting death of an unarmed Florida teenager. Justin Berton in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 3/23/12


Outspoken Marine speaks to Tea Party -- Sgt. Gary Stein, 26, of Temecula told a supportive crowd of about 75 at a Fallbrook Tea Party meeting that being a Marine shouldn’t preclude him from speaking his mind. Nathan Max UT San Diego -- 3/23/12

Suit alleges financial fraud at TBN ministry -- The Trinity Broadcasting Network, which bills itself as the world's largest Christian network, is embroiled in a legal battle involving allegations of massive financial fraud and lavish spending, including the purchase of a $100,000 motor home for family dogs. Christopher Goffard in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/23/12

Black Panther birthplace flipped and sold as trendy Oakland showpiece -- The North Oakland bungalow where young revolutionaries founded the Black Panther Party in the late 1960s has been remodeled into a trendy showpiece worthy of Better Homes and Gardens. Matt O'Brien in the Contra Costa Times -- 3/23/12

   POTUS 44

Obama's Keystone XL announcement under attack from both sides -- President Obama traveled to one of the nation's oil transportation hubs, offering what administration officials hope voters will see as a centrist alternative to the polarized debate over the Keystone XL pipeline — and quickly drew fire from activists on both sides. Christi Parsons and Neela Banerjee in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/23/12


5 things Dems got wrong on health care -- President Barack Obama and his Democratic allies thought their political assumptions were airtight during the yearlong battle to overhaul the health care system. CARRIE BUDOFF BROWN Politico -- 3/23/12