* Updates Since Early This Morning

Jerry Brown confident he will meet deadline on new tax proposal -- Gov. Jerry Brown is no longer collecting signatures for his original tax hike ballot proposal, confident that a compromise unveiled late last month will get enough signatures to meet a tight deadline to be placed on the November ballot, his top political advisor announced Wednesday. Nicholas Riccardi in the Los Angeles Times$ David Siders SacBee Capitol Alert -- 4/4/12

GOP Rep. Issa wants Democrat Berman back in Congress -- Rep. Howard Berman, who is locked in a pitched reelection battle with fellow liberal Democratic Rep. Brad Sherman, likes to say he can work with Republicans to get things done. But even he may have been a little stunned when a conservative GOP colleague served up these statements at an entertainment industry event over the weekend: Jean Merl in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/4/12

Yahoo to lay off 2,000 workers in restructuring -- Yahoo said Wednesday that it will lay off 2,000 people, or 14 percent of its workforce, as part of a restructuring meant to revive the struggling Internet giant. Casey Newton in the San Francisco Chronicle Jessica Guynn in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/4/12

NRC chair to visit troubled California nuke plant -- The Nuclear Regulatory Commission announced Wednesday that its chairman will visit the ailing San Onofre nuclear power plant on the California coast, where twin reactors have been sidelined because of excessive wear in tubing that carries radioactive water. MICHAEL R. BLOOD Associated Press -- 4/4/12

Nuke tube supplier questioned by regulators in 2009 -- Government inspectors raised questions in 2009 about incomplete quality assurance audits from a Japanese company supplying thin metal tubes that eventually would be installed at the San Onofore Nuclear Generating Station. PAUL SISSON in the North County Times -- 4/4/12

Santa Monica College officials investigate use of pepper spray by campus police -- Officials at Santa Monica College are investigating an incident in which campus police used pepper spray on dozens of students Tuesday night as they disrupted a Board of Trustees meeting to protest a new plan to offer a second tier of higher-cost classes. Tami Abdollah KPCC LA -- 4/4/12

Raiders' Deal Still Haunts Oakland -- A new lawsuit notes that the football team never repaid a $53.9 million "loan" it received from the city and Alameda County. Robert Gammon East Bay Express -- 4/4/12

Romney's Ripple Effect -- The Golden State will still play a role in the presidential process--small but perhaps significant; it can either seal the real delegate deal for Mitt Romney or stall it till Tampa. Sherry Bebitch Jeffe NBC LA -- 4/4/12

Fox: Dianne Feinstein’s Common Sense on Lawsuit Abuse -- U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein put California’s legislature on notice that if it did nothing to curb abusive lawsuits revolving around the Americans for Disability Act she would sponsor federal legislation. Feinstein put a finger on a problem that demoralizes small businesses. Joel Fox Fox & Hounds -- 4/4/12

Lottery's Mega Millions translates to mini percentage for California schools -- So you bought lottery tickets last week, yet you didn't emerge mega-millions richer. But, you can argue, you helped dig schools out of their budget hole. Well, not so much. Sharon Noguchi in the Contra Costa Times -- 4/4/12

Silicon Valley veteran pulls in record-breaking venture capital for Ivy League-caliber online college -- Former Silicon Valley CEO Ben Nelson has two years and $25 million to transform higher education. Stephanie Simon Reuters -- 4/4/12

California voters consider obesity top health risk for kids -- Nearly half of California's voters said lack of exercise or unhealthy eating was the greatest health risk for children, according to a statewide poll released Wednesday. Anna Gorman in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/4/12

Synthetic Biology Research Sparks Controversy Over New Richmond Lab -- Critics say synthetic biology is dangerous, and that there isn't enough federal oversight. MEGAN MOLTENI Bay Citizen -- 4/4/12


   California Policy and Politics This Morning

Kevin McCarthy’s finishing school for Republican politicians -- As a fast-rising lawmaker early in his congressional career, Kevin McCarthy vigorously cultivated friends in the 87-member Republican freshman class, an effort that catapulted him into one of the most powerful positions in the House. Now the ambitious California congressman is setting his sights on his home state, looking to rebuild a Republican Party in desperate need of repair. ALEX ISENSTADT Politico -- 4/4/12

California: Brad Sherman Leads Howard Berman in Internal Poll -- An internal poll for California Rep. Brad Sherman found him ahead of fellow Democratic Rep. Howard Berman by 27 points in a potential general election matchup that is expected to be a close race as November nears. Kyle Trygstad Roll Call -- 4/4/12

Lawmakers to Consider Health Care Districts' Future -- After an investigation by The Bay Citizen revealed that many of California's taxpayer-funded health care districts no longer run hospitals — a departure from their original mission — the state Assembly's top watchdog committee plans to take a closer look at how those districts are using their resources. JENNIFER GOLLAN and KATHARINE MIESZKOWSKI Bay Citizen -- 4/4/12

Students pepper-sprayed at Santa Monica College protest -- About 100 students protesting a plan to offer high-priced courses at Santa Monica College this summer tried to storm into a meeting of the college's Board of Trustees on Tuesday evening. Carla Rivera in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/4/12

Morain: Conservative consultant finds his calling -- Frank Schubert is wearing his religion on his sleeve, a rarity in his line of work. Dan Morain in the Sacramento Bee -- 4/4/12

Herdt: An ex-Marine deserts from partisan politics -- Much has been written about San Diego Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher in the week since he announced he was leaving the Republican Party and becoming an independent. But a great deal of it has missed the point. Timm Herdt in the Ventura Star -- 4/4/12

During year in Afghanistan, lawmaker was 'always longing for home' -- On the spring day about a year ago when Lt. Cmdr. Jeff Gorell checked in with his military intelligence unit embedded with the Marines at Camp Leatherneck in the Afghan province of Helmand, it struck him just how long a year at war was going to be. Timm Herdt in the Ventura Star -- 4/4/12

New primary system shakes up races -- California's top-two primary will make its statewide debut June 5, more than three years after it emerged from state budget deal-making. No one is sure how the new system will play out, as candidates and interest groups try to feel their way around the state's reshaped political landscape. JIM MILLER and BEN GOAD in the Riverside Press -- 4/4/12

Water Authority studies building its own pipeline to Imperial Valley -- The San Diego County Water Authority is studying a drastic solution to the soaring cost of bringing in Imperial Valley water through the Metropolitan Water District: building its own pipeline to bypass Metropolitan. BRADLEY J. FIKES in the North County Times -- 4/4/12

Besieged California marijuana advocate vows to 'fight on' -- A day after federal agents rousted him from his apartment and seized his famed Oakland cannabis college, a renowned California marijuana advocate said Tuesday he knows "they can indict me any day" and "arrest me any time." Peter Hecht in the Sacramento Bee -- 4/4/12

Marijuana advocates vow to reopen "Princeton of Pot" after raid -- Medical marijuana advocates on Tuesday vowed to reopen a San Francisco-area college devoted to cannabis cultivation and known as the "Princeton of Pot" a day after federal agents shut down the school in a raid. Ronnie Cohen Reuters Joe Rosato Jr NBC Bay Area -- 4/4/12

Figure in Coliseum corruption case is in 'jungles of Brazil' -- Tony Estrada, a former Coliseum janitorial contractor who portrays himself as a whistle-blower done wrong, says he will not return to face charges of embezzlement and conspiracy in an alleged kickback scheme. Paul Pringle and Rong-Gong Lin II in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/4/12

Coliseum Commission prepares to give USC control of stadium -- The university would fund renovations and take over staffing, day-to-day operations and event scheduling. Commissioners would have a limited oversight role and get free tickets to USC games. Paul Pringle and Rong-Gong Lin II in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/4/12

Secret Hotel Data Isn't Really Secret -- So much for super secret. San Diego's hoteliers are currently voting in an election that could raise visitor taxes by $1 billion to finance a Convention Center expansion. We've asked for the votes controlled by the city's largest company, Host Hotels & Resorts. Liam Dillon Voiceofsandiego.org -- 4/4/12

Villaraigosa defends L.A. anti-gang program -- At a Washington conference, he disputes a study that said there was no evidence the effort had cut crime. 'Not since I was born has L.A. been this safe,' he says. Ian Duncan in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/4/12

California Senate hopeful touts support for Herman Cain's '9-9-9' -- Republican U.S. Senate candidate Dan Hughes is playing up his support for Herman Cain, touting his endorsement of the former presidential hopeful's "9-9-9" tax plan in a fundraising appeal. Torey Van Oot SacBee Capitol Alert -- 4/4/12

CalBuzz: Red Meat & Republicans: The Party’s Not Quite Over -- Unexpectedly and out of the blue, the worst news of the year for California Republicans comes in a Harvard public health research study published in the decidedly non-political Archives of Internal Medicine. Jerry Roberts and Phil Trounstine CalBuzz -- 4/4/12

   High-Speed Rail

L.A. leaders back revised bullet-train business plan -- Several Los Angeles leaders backed a revised business plan released Monday by the agency overseeing California's ambitious high-speed rail effort, saying it lowers costs and speeds construction while bringing jobs and world-class transit to the region. Ari Bloomekatz in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/4/12

   Economy - Jobs

Giants' Mission Rock plan is in city's ballpark -- The San Francisco Giants' plan to convert AT&T Park's barren, wind-swept parking lot into the "heartbeat of Mission Bay," with homes, offices, shops and restaurants, is the much-needed link that will connect the burgeoning neighborhood to the rest of the city, team officials said Tuesday. John Wildermuth in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 4/4/12

Sacramento City Council OKs environmental, site plan work for arena -- The dispute over who should cut the first checks for a downtown arena intensified Tuesday, with the leader of the state Senate saying that the owners of the Sacramento Kings "seem to be looking for every reason not to proceed" and the mayor accusing the Maloof family of "tactics and antics." Ryan Lillis and Tony Bizjak in the Sacramento Bee -- 4/4/12

Lawmaker urges Northrop workers to protest military budget cuts -- U.S. military budget cuts are expected to total about $487 billion over the next decade. Rep. Howard 'Buck' McKeon tells workers at Northrop's plant in Palmdale 'to stop this from happening.' W.J. Hennigan in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/4/12

   Taxes - Fees

DWP GM makes pitch for new rate increases -- Los Angeles Department of Water and Power General Manager Ron Nichols made his pitch Tuesday for power and water rate increases to keep up with legislative mandates and upgrade aging infrastructure. Rick Orlov in the Los Angeles Daily News -- 4/4/12

Six water mains break in L.A. on day DWP's chief seeks rate hikes -- A 5% water rate hike and a 10.5% power rate hike are sought to address maintenance and environmental issues. The pipe breaks are blamed on work at a reservoir north of Beverly Hills. Thomas Curwen and Kate Linthicum in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/4/12

Airbnb Must Pay Hotel Tax in San Francisco -- Airbnb and other online vacation rental brokers must pay San Francisco's 14 percent hotel tax, according to a rule published Tuesday by the city's tax collector in spite of efforts by Mayor Ed Lee to delay its implementation. MATT SMITH Bay Citizen -- 4/4/12


LAUSD officials file potential conflict of interest forms -- California public officials had to file potential economic conflict of interest forms this week. More than 4,000 L.A. Unified employees filed the state form required by the Fair Political Practices Commission. Form 700 is a public document. Adolfo Guzman-Lopez KPCC LA -- 4/4/12

Rocketship, Aspire: Tenn. volunteers -- California-based Aspire Public Schools and Rocketship Education are applying to open 26 charter schools in the next five years in a new reform district in Tennessee, where the need is great, the climate for charters friendly, and the money for public schools better than in California. John Fensterwald educatedguess -- 4/4/12

Budget cuts, change in approach place more special education students in regular schools -- School district officials often agonize over how to teach students with severe disabilities. Phillip Reese and Melody Gutierrez in the Sacramento Bee -- 4/4/12

   Health Care

Long Beach managed care firm under civil, criminal investigation -- A Long Beach-based health plan seeking new contracts to serve 54,000 Southern California low-income seniors has set aside $125 million to resolve claims by state and federal authorities that it overbilled Medi-Cal and Medicare. Christina Jewett California Watch -- 4/4/12

Wealthy counties top the list of California's healthiest -- In Northern California and across the nation, wealth seems to translate into good health, a comprehensive new report affirms. Cynthia Hubert in the Sacramento Bee Sandy Kleffman in the San Jose Mercury -- 4/4/12

California’s Health: County by County Rankings -- In the third year of rankings of the health of each county–across the country–Marin came in as the “most healthy” county in California. Trinity County in far northern California ranked as the least-healthy county. Lisa Aliferis KQED State of Health -- 4/4/12

State launches smaller program for adult day health care -- Monday’s launch of California’s new, smaller adult day health care program unleashed an emotional torrent of relief and anger for thousands of current clients and their providers after more than a year of threatened closures, lawsuits, patient assessments, rushed timelines and maddening uncertainty. Matt Perry HealthyCal.org -- 4/4/12


Officials plan quarantine in Hacienda Heights after discovery of incurable and deadly citrus disease -- The discovery here last week of a bacterial disease with the potential to wipe out every citrus tree in California has federal, state and local agencies scrambling to stop its spread. J.D. Velasco in the San Gabriel Tribune -- 4/4/12

Poll: Many conservatives doubt global warming -- Among Orange County Republicans polled, 69 percent say man does not contribute to global warming or that there is no global warming. Among Democrats here, 98 percent say man does contribute to global warming. These findings by the OC Political Pulse poll portray an even starker partisanship than shows up in a Gallup nationwide poll, perhaps because OC Political Pulse participants signed up to join the polling project and so may be more likely to be strongly ideological than those randomly phoned by Gallup. Martin Wisckol in the Orange County Register -- 4/4/12

L.A. Council shines light on solar power -- A pilot program that would pay residents and businesses to sell solar-generated power back to the city received City Council approval on Tuesday. Rick Orlov in the Los Angeles Daily News -- 4/4/12

Groups battle California rules on suction dredge mining -- A coalition of groups opposed to suction dredge mining in California's waterways filed a new lawsuit Monday to block implementation of recently adopted regulations on the practice. Carlos Alcalá in the Sacramento Bee -- 4/4/12


OPD Sees Itself as a Victim of Occupy Oakland -- Nearly six months have passed since the Oakland Police Department raided Occupy Oakland's camp in Frank Ogawa Plaza, and the dust has yet to settle. Ali Winston East Bay Express -- 4/4/12


Push on to restore full LAFD funding -- Weeks before Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa releases his budget for next fiscal year, Los Angeles Fire Commission members pressed Tuesday for the full restoration of funding to the Los Angeles Fire Department, which has lost about $90 million during budget cuts in the last three years. Dakota Smith in the Los Angeles Daily News -- 4/4/12

Muni board backs free rides for youths -- A plan to impose a $5 surcharge on parking citations and to start charging for parking on Sundays at meters got strong support Tuesday from the Municipal Transportation Agency's governing board. Rachel Gordon in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 4/4/12

Temple: Why cell-phone tracking should require a warrant -- The American Civil Liberties Union released a troubling report this past weekend demonstrating that law enforcement agencies around the nation routinely track personal cell phones, often without warrants. Conspicuously absent from the survey was information about the tactics of Northern California police departments. James Temple in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 4/4/12

   POTUS 44

Obama's fighting words on the Ryan budget -- President Barack Obama’s back in campaign mode. And this time, it’s personal. JONATHAN ALLEN and CARRIE BUDOFF BROWN Politico -- 4/4/12


Maddow uses UC Davis course catalog to rebut Santorum claim -- California's public universities do, in fact, teach American history. UC Davis' history department was thrown into the media spotlight when its course calendar was used to debunk Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum's claim Monday that California's public universities do not offer courses in American history. Darrell Smith in the Sacramento Bee -- 4/4/12

Romney, Obama get ready to rumble -- It’s really, truly over. With President Obama’s frontal assault on Mitt Romney and the Republican frontrunner’s harsh language about the incumbent and his convincing triple victory Tuesday, the general election effectively began this week. JONATHAN MARTIN Politico -- 4/4/12