* Updates Since Early This Morning

Embattled Alameda County Supervisor Nadia Lockyer resigns -- Alameda County Supervisor Nadia Lockyer, who for two months has been embroiled in a sex and addiction scandal that riveted the Bay Area, told the Bay Area News Group today she is resigning from office. Julia Prodis Sulek in the San Jose Mercury -- 4/20/12

FPPC pushing for personal liability when IEs break elections law -- Bracing for a flood of independent expenditures for candidates or causes in this year's elections, California's political watchdog agency is seeking to tighten state law to require more personal liability. Jim Sanders SacBee Capitol Alert -- 4/20/12

Statewide computer overhaul looms for Medi-Cal -- California is in the midst of developing a complex new computer system called Health Enterprise to replace the decades-old hook-up that handles billings under Medi-Cal, the state-federal health care program for the poor, disabled and elderly that covers perhaps a fifth of the state’s population. John Howard Capitol Weekly -- 4/20/12

Planned Parenthood runs ad backing abortion bill ahead of vote -- Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California has launched a new radio ad to generate support for legislation that would allow non-doctors to perform an early-term abortion procedure, as opposition from the California Nurses Association threatens to derail the bill. Torey Van Oot SacBee Capitol Alert -- 4/20/12

Assemblyman was driving state car when arrested in DUI case -- Assemblyman Roger Hernandez did not have permission of the Assembly to take a state car out of the Sacramento area last month when he was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving in Concord. Jim Sanders SacBee Capitol Alert Patrick McGreevy LA Times PolitiCal$ -- 4/20/12

The Democrats' big, fat book on Linda Parks -- If there was any question which candidate is of most immediate concern to Democrats in the 26th Congressional District, it has been answered on the website of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Timm Herdt in the Ventura Star -- 4/20/12

Mayor calls for cutting 669 city jobs -- In his new city budget, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa called Friday for the elimination of 669 city jobs -– 231 through layoffs -- even as he sought increased staffing levels for police officers and the restoration of some services at the Fire Department. Kate Linthicum and David Zahniser in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/20/12

Big Tobacco pouring in the cash in No on 29 campaign -- An early March story in the Winston-Salem (North Carolina) Journal reported that fund-raising among tobacco companies had been surpisingly slow for its No on Proposition 29 campaign. Steven Harmon Political Blotter -- 4/20/12

Fight over Kehoe abortion bill escalates -- San Diego Sen. Christine Kehoe’s measure to expand abortion services to women in remote corners of the state has emerged as a major battleground over the volatile social and political issue. Michael Gardner UT San Diego -- 4/20/12



   California Policy and Politics This Morning

Analysis says California prison medical costs too high -- As the state prepares to resume control of inmate medical care, it must find ways to reduce costs that are triple the national average, the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst's Office said Thursday. DON THOMPSON Associated Press Julie Small KPCC LA -- 4/20/12

Steinberg wants to put initiative process changes on 2014 ballot -- Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg pledged today to put forward for the 2014 election a package of major changes to California's initiative process, including a provision to make it easier for legislators to place tax measures on the ballot. Torey Van Oot in the Sacramento Bee Patrick McGreevy LA Times PolitiCal$ BRIAN JOSEPH in the Orange County Register -- 4/20/12

California looks to crack down on political bloggers paid by campaigns -- Paid political attack dogs always have found safe haven in the free-wheeling anonymity of the Internet, but California is set to challenge that. Jim Sanders in the Sacramento Bee Patrick McGreevy LA Times PolitiCal$ -- 4/20/12

GSA's Jeffrey Neely mired in 'culture of waste' -- Jeffrey Neely of Mill Valley was just another faceless government bureaucrat until he and his wife, Deborah, catapulted to the role of star players in a scandalous drama involving a federal agency's lavish spending at an employee conference in Las Vegas, all on the taxpayers' dime. Carla Marinucci in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 4/20/12

Hundreds of public workers in $300K club -- Local governments in California had 407 workers in the $300K club in 2010, according to the most recent numbers from the state controller’s office – and eight of those folks were from Orange County. Teri Sforza in the Orange County Register -- 4/20/12

Secret clique in L.A. County sheriff's gang unit probed -- The investigation was prompted by the discovery of a document that suggests that the group, known as the Jump Out Boys, considers officer-involved shootings to be a badge of honor. Robert Faturechi in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/20/12

Senate GOP cries foul over procedural move on mortgage bills -- The Senate moved forward today with plans to direct mortgage reform proposals sponsored by Attorney General Kamala Harris to a joint legislative conference committee, passing placeholder legislation over objections from Republican lawmakers who said the upper house was manipulating the legislative process. Torey Van Oot in the Sacramento Bee -- 4/20/12

State utilities panel majority opposes phone deregulation bill -- Four out of five members of a divided California Public Utilities Commission are strongly criticizing a bill moving unopposed through the Legislature that would strip the agency of its last vestige of authority to regulate some basic telephone services. Marc Lifsher in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/20/12

New UC Davis Police Chief Matt Carmichael pledges personal approach -- Almost as soon as he stepped to the lectern Thursday, new UC Davis Police Chief Matt Carmichael seemed set on showing that change is coming to his Police Department. Darrell Smith in the Sacramento Bee -- 4/20/12

Reports Reveal Two New Scandals in the Pepper-Spraying at UC Davis -- An official investigation suggests there was no legal basis for the raid on the students that day. Meanwhile, California public employee rules prevent the pepper-spray cop from being fired. CONOR FRIEDERSDORF The Atlantic -- 4/20/12

Examiner publisher: Ex buying Bay Guardian story “not true” -- San Francisco Examiner President and Publisher Todd Vogt told The Chronicle Thursday evening that a story that the Ex is buying the San Francisco Bay Guardian is “not true.” Joe Garofoli Chronicle Politics -- 4/20/12

Public disclosure is next frontier in campaign finance reform -- After recent court rulings struck down significant campaign finance limits, the next frontier in the debate over money in politics appears to be public disclosure – whether there should be more or less of it. Will Evans California Watch -- 4/20/12

Nearly $20 million in PG&E fines OKd by state PUC -- The state Public Utilities Commission unanimously approved a pair of fines Thursday totaling nearly $20 million against Pacific Gas and Electric Co. for failing to check for gas-line leaks in seven East Bay communities and for missing a deadline to turn over pipeline safety records. Jaxon Van Derbeken in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 4/20/12

GSA sought Solyndra contracts despite White House objections -- General Services Administration officials – now embroiled in an agency scandal over lavish spending – pursued contracts with Fremont-based Solyndra despite orders from White House officials to cease contact with the failing solar panel company, according to e-mails released as part of a congressional investigation. Daniel J. Goldstein California Watch -- 4/20/12

Mirkarimi apparently fails to sway judge -- Suspended Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi is on the brink of losing a Hail Mary shot at getting his job back, or of getting paid while others decide his fate. John Coté in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 4/20/12

‘Send Immediate Help’ to Oakland’s VA, Say Bay Area Reps -- Sixteen members of Congress sent a letter to Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki Thursday, urging him to "send immediate help" to his agency's Oakland Regional Office, which handles all disability claims filed by veterans from Bakersfield to the Oregon border. AARON GLANTZ Bay Citizen -- 4/20/12

Obama to designate Fort Ord as a new national monument -- Fort Ord, the sweeping former military base north of Monterey known for its oceanfront landscape and a history that dates back to cavalry soldiers in World War I, will become America's newest national monument. Paul Rogers in the San Jose Mercury -- 4/20/12

CalBuzz: Press Clips: Pippa, Kim K Star on Prince Gavin Show -- Within the tangled Politics-Media-Entertainment complex, it’s hard to find two people more self-absorbed, self-important and self-regarding than Kim Kardashian and Gavin Newsom. Jerry Roberts and Phil Trounstine CalBuzz -- 4/20/12

   High-Speed Rail

Walters: Hearings on California's high-speed rail project are a study in contrasts -- Budget subcommittees in both legislative houses conducted hearings this week on whether to appropriate money for Gov. Jerry Brown's plan to link the northern and southern halves of the state with a high-speed bullet train. Dan Walters in the Sacramento Bee -- 4/20/12


Sacramento median home price rises for first time since July 2010 -- It may mark only a faint spark of hope for homeowners, but housing experts think the small uptick in Sacramento home prices reported Thursday could be a sign the long fall is over. Hudson Sangree in the Sacramento Bee -- 4/20/12

   Taxes - Fees

Californians rank 11th in per capita taxes -- By Friday, the average Californian will have earned enough this year to pay all his taxes, according to the Tax Foundation. That puts the state 11th in per capita taxes. Connecticut tops the list, followed by New York, New Jersey, and Washington. Martin Wisckol in the Orange County Register -- 4/20/12


Cal State system preserves graduate student grants -- The California State University system was considering eliminating graduate students' share, more than $80 million, of a financial aid program, but leaders reverse course. Carla Rivera in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/20/12

Armed robbery and double homicide raise concerns over USC safety -- It’s unclear whether the armed robbery suspect shot Wednesday by a University of Southern California police officer is tied to the recent murders of two international graduate students, but the latest incident has re-ignited concerns about safety from students, neighbors and people who work at USC. Erika Aguilar KPCC LA -- 4/20/12

Baron: Bill me: Legislative week in review -- One day after Democrats on the Senate Education Committee rejected his sweeping approach to getting rid of poorly performing and badly behaving teachers, Republican leader Bob Huff mentioned an often cited but much disputed quote of the late Albert Shanker in letting the Democrats have it. Kathryn Baron TopEd -- 4/20/12

From 'boom town' to bust at the community colleges -- When Sean Donnell began teaching at El Camino College in 1998, it was "boom town." The community college system was growing, teachers were receiving a cost-of-living allowance (now frozen), and students were flocking to enroll. "We all know what happened," Donnell said. The recession. Tami Abdollah KPCC LA -- 4/20/12

Senate hearing today will address seismic safety reforms -- Prompted by a scathing audit and proposed legislation, the state's top construction administrators are scheduled today to discuss ways to improve the seismic safety and oversight of public school building projects. Corey G. Johnson California Watch -- 4/20/12

   Health Care

Report finds fewer unhealthy air days in California -- California air pollution reached unhealthy levels less often in 2011 than a decade ago, according to a report released this week by a state association of regional air district officers. Bernice Yeung California Watch -- 4/20/12

The have and have-nots of health on display in east Sacramento, Oak Park -- On a late afternoon in east Sacramento, people jogging on quiet, clean boulevards under leafy sycamore trees pass neatly painted houses with sweeping lawns. Children ride bikes. Owners walk dogs. Grace Rubenstein in the Sacramento Bee -- 4/20/12


Oakland Police Caught Between Reform and Crime Surge -- Court order makes fighting crime the second priority in California’s most violent city. SHOSHANA WALTER Bay Citizen -- 4/20/12

Police union suing to stop change in vehicle impound policy -- Days before a controversial new Los Angeles Police Department vehicle impound policy is set to take effect, the police union announced it is suing to block the change. Rick Orlov in the Los Angeles Daily News -- 4/20/12

Ex-appraiser says he cut values in hopes of donations to assessor -- Scott Schenter says county Assessor John Noguez promised him a promotion and implied that it was tied to his reducing the valuations on pricey Westside homes. Noguez denies offering the promotion. Jack Dolan and Ruben Vives in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/20/12

The private bus problem -- If you're used to riding to work on a crowded, lurching Muni bus that arrives late and costs too much, consider this: Some San Franciscans commute on 50-foot luxury coaches with cushioned seats, wifi, air conditioning and mini television screens. The state-of-the-art vehicles arrive on time — and the service is free. Danielle Magee SF Bay Guardian -- 4/20/12


Democrats expressing buyers’ remorse on Obama's health law -- An increasing number of Democrats are taking potshots at President Obama’s healthcare law ahead of a Supreme Court decision that could overturn it. Julian Pecquet and Sam Baker The Hill -- 4/20/12

Mitt Romney follows President Obama to Ohio with a different vision -- The Republican presidential candidate argues that the administration's economic policies have failed to revive the economy. Obama's campaign says Romney is distorting the facts. Maeve Reston in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 4/20/12