* Updates Since Early This Morning

Senate delays confirmation hearing for Steve Glazer -- A Senate confirmation hearing for California State University Trustee Steve Glazer was put on hold today as Gov. Jerry Brown sought to shore up Republican support. Torey Van Oot SacBee Capitol Alert Patrick McGreevy LA Times PolitiCal$ -- 4/11/12

Report: UC Davis pepper spray incident 'should and could have been prevented' -- The 190-page pepper spray report is now on the UC-Davis website, www.ucdavis.edu, and comes to a stark conclusion: "The pepper spraying incident that took place on November 18, 2011, should and could have been prevented." Sam Stanton in the Sacramento Bee Matt Krupnick in the San Jose Mercury -- 4/11/12

GOP Senate hopeful defends lobbying on Obama health care bill -- Republican U.S. Senate candidate Elizabeth Emken this week defended her work lobbying to include autism coverage in the federal health care overhaul backed by President Barack Obama in 2009, even though she opposed the bill. Torey Van Oot in the Sacramento Bee -- 4/11/12

Hueso Fish and Game reforms advance -- San Diego Assemblyman Ben Hueso is pushing reforms that target the Fish and Game Commission, primarily its chairman who ignited a firestorm of controversy over a legal mountain lion hunt in Idaho. Michael Gardner UT San Diego -- 4/11/12

Sherman to unveil ‘missing taxpayers’ owed refunds -- Before he won elected office, Rep. Brad Sherman was a CPA and a tax lawyer. So the news conference he's scheduled to reveal the names of taxpayers owed millions in refunds seems right up his alley. Jean Merl LA Times PolitiCal$ -- 4/11/12

Howard Berman to tout law enforcement backing Thursday -- Rep. Howard Berman, who is waging a tough battle with fellow Democratic Rep. Brad Sherman for a newly drawn San Fernando Valley congressional district seat, plans to trumpet some major law enforcement endorsements Thursday. Jean Merl LA Times PolitiCal$ -- 4/11/12

California senators call for a vote on Jerry Brown's pension plan -- California's ranking Senate Republican and one of the GOP's representatives on a special pension committee have fired off letters to Gov. Jerry Brown and their Democratic colleagues in the Legislature, calling for a key committee vote on the governor's pension reform plan later this week. Jon Ortiz SacBee Capitol Alert -- 4/11/12

California teachers union opposes quicker dismissal process -- The powerful California Teachers Assn. is opposing two bills, drafted in the wake of the school sex abuse scandal in Los Angeles, that would make it easier to discipline teachers. Chris Megerian LA Times PolitiCal$ -- 4/11/12

California college athletes' 'bill of rights' stalls in Senate -- Legislation aimed at compelling the state's four major sports universities to improve treatment of their "student athletes" stalled, at least temporarily, in the state Senate Education Committee Wednesday. Dan Walters SacBee Capitol Alert -- 4/11/12

Apple's Steve Jobs conspired on e-book price-fixing, lawsuits say -- Former Apple Inc. Chief Executive Steve Jobs and top executives at five major book publishers illegally conspired to raise the prices of e-books, costing consumers tens of millions of dollars, federal and state officials alleged in antitrust suits filed Wednesday. Jim Puzzanghera and Andrea Chang in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/11/12

Fox: Proposition 13 Opponents Home in on Business -- Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa may not have known it, but when he went to Sacramento last month with calls to amend Proposition 13’s protections on California businesses, he was calling for almost 400,000 Californians to lose their jobs. Joel Fox Fox & Hounds -- 4/11/12

GOP gains registration edge in Rep. Dan Lungren's seat -- Republicans have gained a slight voter registration edge in the targeted 7th Congressional District, closing for now a gap Democrats had argued would help challenger Ami Bera defeat GOP Rep. Dan Lungren. Torey Van Oot SacBee Capitol Alert -- 4/11/12

Slaying of two graduate students stuns USC; LAPD seeks killer -- The slayings of two USC graduate students early Wednesday about a mile from the campus has shaken the university as police swarmed the area looking for the killer. Ashley Powers, Rosanna Xia, Sam Quinones, Andrew Blankstein and Matt Stevens in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/11/12

Fair Housing Group Files Complaint against Wells Fargo -- A national organization dedicated to ending discrimination in housing filed an administrative complaint this week against a major national bank with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Bay Citizen -- 4/11/12

GOP congressman claims Democrats are communists -- If you believe Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.), there are upwards of 78 to 81 members of the Communist Party sitting in Congress within the Democratic Party, an accusation that riled his colleagues. Morgan Little in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/11/12

 

   California Policy and Politics This Morning

California controller outlines shortfall, says key months ahead -- As state leaders hope for a surprise uptick in revenue this spring, state Controller John Chiang reported Tuesday that California lagged last month by $233.5 million, or 4.2 percent. Kevin Yamamura in the Sacramento Bee -- 4/11/12

Feinstein calls treasurer's actions 'big betrayal' -- Democratic U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein said Tuesday there was never any indication that her former campaign treasurer was mismanaging her re-election account before the treasurer's arrest last year in a widespread embezzlement case. JUDY LIN Associated Press Torey Van Oot in the Sacramento Bee -- 4/11/12

Feinstein: Economy is improving -- Speaking in Sacramento on Tuesday, U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein said the economy is improving but more work needs to be done to encourage manufacturing across the country while California specifically needs to be more friendly to business. BRIAN JOSEPH in the Orange County Register -- 4/11/12

Walters: Politicians should act instead of expecting budget miracle -- The Capitol is preoccupied with Gov. Jerry Brown's efforts to persuade voters to raise taxes and the complicating effects of a rival tax measure sponsored by civil rights attorney Molly Munger. Dan Walters in the Sacramento Bee -- 4/11/12

Wild swing in county revenue prediction, prompts supervisors to order audit of embattled assessor's office -- Sounding skeptical, the county Board of Supervisors questioned Assessor John Noguez about his revenue projections that upended proposed budgets for the next fiscal year, and ultimately ordered a "top-down" audit of his office. Christina Villacorte in the Los Angeles Daily News Jason Song in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/11/12

Vernon election mired in fraud allegations -- The first competitive election in the city of Vernon in years was thrown into chaos late Tuesday amid accusations of voter fraud before officials could even begin counting the ballots. Sam Allen in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/11/12

Shandobil: How Rick Santorum's exit hurts California GOP -- Rick Santorum's decision to drop out of the presidential race may have brought a sigh of relief to Mitt Romney and the Republican establishment, but sometimes what is good for a political party nationally harms the party at a local level. One of those times is now. Randy Shandobil in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 4/11/12

CalBuzz Panel: What Santorum’s Pullout Means -- When the Ayatollah Santorum announced on Tuesday that he’s aborting his campaign for president, drivers of the Romney Campaign Juggernaut breathed a sigh of relief because they now can turn from crushing Santo under the wheels of their temple car to concentrating their fire power against President Obama. Jerry Roberts and Phil Trounstine CalBuzz -- 4/11/12

Vargas’ CARFAX bill rejected -- That first-in-the-nation law requires car dealers to post red warning stickers if a vehicle had been in a flood, sold as scrap, was a lemon buyback or if an insurance company had previously declared it totaled. Michael Gardner UT San Diego Chris Megerian LA Times PolitiCal$ -- 4/11/12

Automakers put speed bump in front of bill on driverless cars -- A proposal to pave the way for driverless cars in California hit a detour Tuesday after the auto industry objected that it could set them up for lawsuits if the new technology is installed in one of their cars and causes a crash. Patrick McGreevy LA Times PolitiCal$ -- 4/11/12

Fracking bill moves forward in California Legislature -- With oil companies touting the potential of hydraulic fracturing in California, state lawmakers considered the first of several bills Tuesday to address the controversial oil extraction method commonly known as "fracking." Michael J. Mishak LA Times PolitiCal$ -- 4/11/12

It's a million-dollar campaign already -- Republican Sen. Tony Strickland solidified his reputation as a first-rate fundraiser today, issuing a press release announcing that he raised $770,000 in the first quarter for his campaign in the 26th Congressional District. In addition, he didn't have to spend a whole lot to do it, as he says his report will show a cash balance of $720,000. Timm Herdt in the Ventura Star -- 4/11/12

Herdt: We got our district. Now what? -- There may be no one in California more passionate about political redistricting than Irma Lopez, a longtime fixture in Oxnard's civic affairs. Timm Herdt in the Ventura Star -- 4/11/12

Ranked-Choice Voting Attacked in Oakland -- A group with ties to Don Perata's campaign manager launches initiative to overturn instant-runoff voting. Robert Gammon East Bay Express -- 4/11/12

CalPERS wants to shed some private equity investments -- CalPERS, still retooling its massive portfolio, is trying to sell off $1.5 billion in private equity investments. Dale Kasler in the Sacramento Bee -- 4/11/12

CalSTRS investments gain, but pension gap widens -- CalSTRS' investments earned big profits last year, but the gap between its assets and its obligations to pensioners still widened, according to figures its board will discuss later this week. Jon Ortiz in the Sacramento Bee Juliet Williams Associated Press Marc Lifsher in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/11/12

Lawmakers debate foie gras, other animal measures -- Animal protection measures scheduled for key votes in the next couple of weeks pose tough questions for state lawmakers, with the answers carrying moral and monetary consequences. Michael Gardner UT San Diego -- 4/11/12

L.A. County sheriff says much of troubled jail should be closed -- Sheriff Lee Baca says he would shut the old section of Men's Central Jail without seeking a replacement facility but denies being influenced by scrutiny of abuse in his jails. Robert Faturechi in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/11/12

   High-Speed Rail

High-speed rail officials to OK new business plan -- High-speed rail officials are expected Thursday to approve a business plan that details how they hope to pay for a proposed passenger train line between San Francisco and Los Angeles. Tim Sheehan in the Fresno Bee -- 4/11/12

Feinstein praises Jerry Brown's high-speed rail plan -- U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein praised Gov. Jerry Brown's revised approach on California's high-speed rail project today, but cautioned that the federal funding for the project could depend on final cost projections. Torey Van Oot SacBee Capitol Alert -- 4/11/12

   Economy - Jobs

Energy officials scramble for backup power supply in wake of San Onofre nuclear plant shutdown -- California energy officials are looking for replacement power if the San Onofre nuclear plant is still offline when summer electricity demand increases. San Onofre has been shut down since January due to faulty tubes in its steam generators. Ed Joyce KPCC LA -- 4/11/12

Court rules pension ballot wording unlawful -- An appellate court agreed with San Jose employees' Tuesday that the city's controversial June pension measure was unlawfully worded to sway voter support. John Woolfolk in the San Jose Mercury -- 4/11/12

Lucasfilm abandons controversial studio project -- “Star Wars” director George Lucas dropped plans for a new movie studio in Marin County on Tuesday, blaming angry neighbors and government officials for derailing the project. STEVE HART in the Santa Rosa Press TERENCE CHEA Associated Press -- 4/11/12

California on top with $2 billion in wind power investment -- On Thursday, the Annual Market Report from the American Wind Energy Assn. (AWEA) will show that California was first in the nation in new wind power installations in 2011 with more than $2 billion in investments. Ronald D. White in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/11/12

   Taxes - Fees

Metropolitan Water District approves two-year budget with 5 percent increases each year -- The vote by Southern California's largest water wholesaler sets the stage for a cascade of price hikes, budget cuts, or both, for agencies that directly or indirectly buy water from Metropolitan. Bradley J. Fikes in the North County Times -- 4/11/12

   Education

CalSTRS down to 69 percent funded -- A 23 percent return on investments last year offered welcome relief, but it did not significantly alter this reality: The Legislature and school districts should start paying about $3.25 billion more annually – the sooner the better ­– to keep the defined benefit pension fund for California teachers and administrators solvent. John Fensterwald educatedguess -- 4/11/12

San Francisco school sparks online free-speech battle -- Civil rights groups recently intervened in a free-speech controversy at the San Francisco Unified School District after a school suspended three high school seniors and banned them from graduation and prom over comments they made online. Corey G. Johnson California Watch -- 4/11/12

San Jose State Won't Guarantee Admissions to 'Locals' -- Officials at San Jose State University today unveiled a new policy in which the school will no longer guarantee admission to local students who meet California State University requirements. Bay Citizen -- 4/11/12

Minorities, students with disabilities suspended at higher rates -- Racial minorities and students with disabilities are suspended at substantially higher rates than their white and non-disabled peers, according to an analysis of discipline data from nearly 500 California school districts. Researchers said the disparities are a civil rights issue and cause for alarm. Joanna Lin California Watch Katy Murphy in the San Jose Mercury -- 4/11/12

LA Unified to collect suspension data down to classroom, teacher level -- L.A. Unified plans to begin collecting data on suspension rates at the individual classroom and teacher level starting this summer as part of its effort to improve its schools, a district official said today. Tami Abdollah KPCC LA -- 4/11/12

Budget panel rejects Brown’s plan to harbor state facilities money -- A legislative budget subcommittee moved Tuesday to reject Gov. Jerry Brown’s call to meter out the last remaining state funds for school construction projects despite the risk the move poses to the state’s anemic housing industry. Kimberly Beltran SI&A Cabinet Report -- 4/11/12

Children’s groups unite to increase influence in Sacramento -- Hundreds of groups working on behalf of children’s issues in California are coming together for the first time to pool their collective influence to shape child-friendly policies In the state. Pamela Martineau EdSource -- 4/11/12

USD alum tries to halt drag show -- A former president of the University of San Diego’s national alumni association has unsuccessfully sought to have a drag show on campus canceled that he says goes against Catholic moral teachings. Karen Kucher UT San Diego Tony Perry in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/11/12

UCLA sends mistaken congrats to 894 applicants and then apologizes -- In an email about financial aid awards, UCLA told 894 high school seniors last weekend that they were admitted to the highly competitive campus. Those students actually remain on the waiting list for the Westwood school. Larry Gordon in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/11/12

Hiltzik: Let's bring back the idea of a free UC education -- Tuition increases are threatening to place a University of California education out of the reach of working-class and middle-class students. Michael Hiltzik in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/11/12

   Environment

San Onofre artificial reef not meeting state standards -- For the third year in a row, a 156-acre artificial reef built in 2008 to help offset environmental impacts on marine life from San Onofre's undersea intake pipes is not meeting state performance standards. DAVID BRO in the Orange County Register -- 4/11/12

Nail products labeled as toxin-free aren't, report says -- A report showing potent chemicals are in nail care products that claim to be toxin-free is prompting a state senator to call for reforms, and the state attorney general's office is reviewing the findings. Christina Jewett California Watch Erin Allday in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 4/11/12

Expect 'trucks with dirt' as BART construction gets under way -- Construction on the biggest public works project ever in Silicon Valley is about to take off. Groundbreaking for the BART to San Jose extension within Santa Clara County is Thursday, rain or shine, and work that began in Fremont in 2009 is steaming ahead. Gary Richards in the San Jose Mercury -- 4/11/12

   Also..

Community demands justice in McDade shooting -- Community activists demanded justice Tuesday for slain black teenager Kendrec McDade during a rally on the steps of Pasadena City Hall. Brian Charles in the San Gabriel Tribune -- 4/11/12

Video of fatal San Francisco crash may contradict bicyclist -- Video surveillance footage taken when a bicyclist ran into a 71-year-old pedestrian crossing San Francisco's Castro Street, killing the man, is raising questions about the biker's account of the crash. Phillip Matier, Andrew Ross in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 4/11/12

Cyclist enforcement pledged in San Francisco safety program -- The week after a 71-year-old pedestrian died after being struck by a bicyclist in a Castro district crosswalk, city officials vowed Tuesday to hold errant cyclists accountable and to redouble efforts to get everyone - pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers - to travel more safely. Rachel Gordon in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 4/11/12

Cop Identified in Kayvan Sabehgi Beating? -- Video and OPD records indicate that the military veteran was savagely beaten on November 2 by Oakland Police Officer Frank Uu, who has since retired from the force. Ali Winston East Bay Express -- 4/11/12

New California Bill Would Let 'Car Enthusiasts' Buy Out-of-Print License Plates for $50 -- Assemblyman Mike Gatto -- who appropriately represents L.A., car capital of California -- has proposed a rather petty bill to revive those fugly classic old license plates from the '50s, '60s and '70s. Simone Wilson LA Weekly -- 4/11/12

   POTUS 44

Obama promotes 'Buffett rule,' mocks 'trickle down' economics -- President Obama preached a message about tax fairness to students at a Florida college this afternoon, speaking only indirectly of Republican candidates for president and deriding their party’s commitment to “trickle down” economic policies that he says hurt the middle class. Christi Parsons in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/11/12

   Beltway

Poll: More Americans expect Supreme Court’s health-care decision to be political -- More Americans think Supreme Court justices will be acting mainly on their partisan political views than on a neutral reading of the law when they decide the constitutionality of President Obama’s health-care law, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. Robert Barnes and Scott Clement in the Washington Post -- 4/11/12

What Mitt Romney needs to do now -- After a bruising primary season, Mitt Romney has finally become his party’s presumptive presidential nominee — but that doesn’t mean he can fully turn his attention to President Barack Obama. JONATHAN MARTIN and REID J. EPSTEIN Politico -- 4/11/12