* Updates Since Early This Morning

Signatures for Molly Munger's tax plan submitted in Los Angeles -- Supporters of a tax measure backed by wealthy civil rights attorney Molly Munger have started submitting the voter signatures they've collected in their qualification campaign. Torey Van Oot SacBee Capitol Alert -- 5/2/12

Western States Petroleum tops money list for lobbying in 2012 -- Western States Petroleum Association topped the list of big spenders for lobbying in the first three months of this year, forking out $948,840, according to newly released state records. Jim Sanders SacBee Capitol Alert -- 5/2/12

California appeals court overturns higher tax on 'alcopop' drinks -- The California Board of Equalization overstepped five years ago when it voted to tax flavored malt beverages, known popularly as "alcopops," as hard liquor instead of beer, a state appellate court has ruled. Dan Walters SacBee Capitol Alert -- 5/2/12

California pension reform may take back seat to budget fix -- Faced with worsening budget problems, chances are growing that the Legislature won’t vote on comprehensive pension reform until the end of the session in August, some officials said Wednesday. Patrick McGreevy LA Times PolitiCal$ -- 5/2/12

Third-party candidate for POTUS: Anyone? Walker? -- It’s the dream that won’t die: a plain-spoken, pure-hearted independent sweeps into the presidential race, talks straight with the American people and upends a broken process with a historic third-party campaign. ALEXANDER BURNS and EMILY SCHULTHEIS Politico -- 5/2/12

Signatures in for genetically engineered food labels measure -- Supporters of a proposal to require labeling for genetically engineered foods sold on California shelves took a step toward qualifying for the ballot by submitting nearly a million signatures today. Torey Van Oot SacBee Capitol Alert -- 5/2/12

DEA apologizes to student who says he drank his urine to survive -- The Drug Enforcement Administration has apologized to a San Diego college student who said he drank his own urine to survive after being left in a holding cell for five days without food, water or access to a toilet. Kim Christensen and Tony Perry in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/2/12

Judicial Council opposes fast-tracking environmental challenges -- The policy arm of the California court system has come out against legislation that would fast-track legal challenges to development projects under the state's landmark environmental law. Michael J. Mishak LA Times PolitiCal$ -- 5/2/12

Mark, get set, go -- bill targets time limit for marking state ballots -- California law says voters have up to 10 minutes to mark their ballots -- but it also says they do not. Jim Sanders SacBee Capitol Alert -- 5/2/12

Berkeley law professor cannot be sued over Bush-era torture memos -- UC-Berkeley law professor John Yoo cannot be sued by a convicted terrorist for helping to craft the Bush administration's torture and detention policies in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday. Howard Mintz in the Contra Costa Times PAUL ELIAS Associated Press -- 5/2/12

California named worst state for business in magazine survey -- So much for the idea of West is best. In an annual survey, executives ranked California as the worst place to do business for the eighth year in a row. Chief Executive magazine has only been conducting its survey for eight years. Texas has been top-ranked every year. Tiffany Hsu in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/2/12

Refunds fill Californians' wallets but could drain state budget -- California taxpayers had a good April -– they're getting more than $2.6 billion in income tax refunds. Chris Megerian LA Times PolitiCal$ -- 5/2/12

Gingrich ends White House bid, will remain engaged -- As expected, the former House speaker has bowed out of the Republican presidential contest just short of a year after he got into the race. He says it was "an amazing year" for him, his wife, Callista, and his entire family. PHILIP ELLIOTT Associated Press -- 5/2/12

California schools not banking on new taxes from Gov. Jerry Brown -- Gov. Jerry Brown hopes his tax plan will keep schools from making deep budget cuts. But most school officials aren’t counting on the revenue being there after voters cast their ballots in November, according to a new report from the Legislative Analyst's Office. Chris Megerian LA Times PolitiCal$ Kevin Yamamura SacBee Capitol Alert -- 5/2/12

Football star Junior Seau death 'hurts,' Reggie Bush says -- The San Diego Chargers urged fans to pray after football star Junior Seau was found dead Wednesday of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. Tony Perry in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/2/12

Connie Conway shakes up Assembly GOP leadership team -- Conway's changes come in the wake of the GOP's Jeff Gorell returning from deployment to the Afghanistan War and Nathan Fletcher's decision to leave the party to register as an independent. Jim Sanders SacBee Capitol Alert -- 5/2/12

San Francisco police clear occupied church building -- San Francisco police and sheriff's officers arrested 26 people early Wednesday when they cleared out a vacant building that Occupy protesters had claimed as their own Tuesday afternoon. Ellen Huet in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 5/2/12

Veterans Waiting for More Than Checks -- Until the VA says they are disabled, returning soldiers cannot get tax and tuition breaks. AARON GLANTZ Bay Citizen -- 5/2/12

Fox: What is California Forward Going to do? -- California Forward, the reform group that has been working on a set of governance reforms for a number of years must make a decision – will the group file the signatures gathered under the auspices of their “action” division to put the reform initiative on the November ballot? Joel Fox Fox & Hounds -- 5/2/12

UCSD student forgotten in DEA holding cell for days -- Officials were investigating how a college student in their custody wound up forgotten in a holding cell for four days, apparently without food or water. fox5sandiego.com -- 5/2/12

San Jose council deadlocks on lowering pensions -- San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed lost a bid Tuesday to reduce retirement benefits for future San Jose city workers -- something voters endorsed in 2010 -- when the City Council deadlocked on a split vote. John Woolfolk in the San Jose Mercury -- 5/2/12

What’s Different about The Bay Citizen Today? -- You might be wondering what’s different about The Bay Citizen today, now that the merger with the Center for Investigative Reporting is complete. MARK KATCHES Bay Citizen -- 5/2/12

Departing Romney aide to aid Bono Mack -- Grenell, who is gay, came under criticism from some conservatives, who felt he was too outspoken in his support for same sex marriage. Romney's loss would appear to be Bono Mack's gain. Ben Goad in the Riverside Press -- 5/2/12

US Housing Secretary Shaun Donovan: 'When you talk about the housing crisis, California is unique' -- The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan joined KPCC's Steven Julian this morning to talk about the nationwide housing settlement and how the federal government is stepping in to help California. KPCC LA -- 5/2/12

Will Art and Religion Clash in Downtown Santa Ana? -- On Sunday at the Newsong Church in Irvine, Pastor Adam Edgerly delivered a sermon that seemed directed not so much toward Newsong's congregants but rather toward the denizens of Santa Ana's Santora Arts Building, who, if all goes as planned, will soon be the church's tenants. ADAM ELMAHREK VoiceofOC.org -- 5/2/12

A Protest on Two Wheels -- In the spring of 2009, four parents from North Oakland decided to raise money for their PTA with a neat stunt: They rode their bikes 100 miles to Sacramento. "It was a physical challenge," ride organizer Michael Napolitano said. "But, symbolically, I thought it was important to work hard." Lillian Mongeau East Bay Express -- 5/2/12

 

   California Policy and Politics This Morning

California tax revenue $3 billion less than target, report says -- The legislative analyst’s office has a new number that is adding to California’s financial headache: $3 billion. That’s the total amount that tax revenue has lagged behind goals set by Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration in the current fiscal year. Chris Megerian LA Times PolitiCal$ -- 5/2/12

Assembly panel kills measure to overturn Citizens United -- A key Assembly committee Tuesday killed a measure that would have lent California's voice to the national debate on Citizens United, the landmark Supreme Court decision that lifted the ban on direct corporate and union political spending and led to the creation of so-called "super PACs." Michael J. Mishak in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/2/12

Ratings agency raises concerns about California budget -- Ratings agency Standard & Poor's raised concerns today after California income tax revenues fell short in April and a judge ruled the state controller cannot withhold legislative pay based on budget quality. Kevin Yamamura SacBee Capitol Alert Chris Megerian LA Times PolitiCal$ JUDY LIN Associated Press -- 5/2/12

Democrats mail 600,000 fliers touting Perez's scholarship plan -- Ten Assembly Democrats have spent nearly $200,000 in state funds sending more than a half-million fliers to constituents touting the benefits of Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez's "middle-class scholarship" legislation, records show. Jim Sanders SacBee Capitol Alert -- 5/2/12

Walters: California's school finance system is both convoluted and irrational -- Thousands of California teachers were given layoff notices a few weeks ago because state law requires the slips to be sent out each spring if administrators and trustees believe cuts are needed to balance their budgets. Dan Walters in the Sacramento Bee -- 5/2/12

He’s at it again: CA Rep. Pete Stark levels bizarre charge at SFChron columnist Debra J. Saunders -- California Rep. Pete Stark, the 20-term South Bay Democratic Congressman, raised eyebrows in a public debate last month by accusing his primary challenger of misconduct — taking “hundreds of thousands of dollars” in bribes — without any evidence. Carla Marinucci Chronicle Politics -- 5/2/12

Foreclosures: Republicans have demands for conference committee -- Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, and Assembly Speaker John Perez, D-Los Angeles, created the panel last week after several Democratic bills prompted by the recent national foreclosure settlement seemed at risk of bogging down in the normal committee hearing process. Jim Miller in the Riverside Press -- 5/2/12

State lawmaker charged with DUI for March incident -- A state assemblyman from Southern California has been charged with two misdemeanor counts of drunken driving. HANNAH DREIER Associated Press Jim Sanders SacBee Capitol Alert Patrick McGreevy LA Times PolitiCal$ Malaika Fraley in the Contra Costa Times -- 5/2/12

Herdt: Attack of the independent voters? -- Steve Peace is a former Democratic lawmaker from San Diego, producer of the cult satire film "Attack of the Killer Tomatoes," and co-chairman of the Independent Voter Project. Timm Herdt in the Ventura Star -- 5/2/12

Oakland Mayor Jean Quan recall effort appearing to sputter -- The group seen as having the best chance to oust Mayor Jean Quan now appears short on cash, volunteers and signatures just weeks before a self-imposed deadline to put a recall vote on the November ballot. Matthew Artz in the Contra Costa Times -- 5/2/12

Lopez: A long shot aims for mayor's office -- Kevin James, an attorney and former talk show host, favors more concessions from unions, opposes new taxes and has questions about a proposed downtown football stadium. Steve Lopez in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/2/12

California's biggest pension -- $540,000 -- likely to be cut -- State pension officials said they will probably move to cut California's biggest public pension -- and others -- after finding that the city of Vernon improperly boosted the benefits of nearly two dozen employees. Sam Allen in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/2/12

CalBuzz: Rove Fingerprints on Romney’s Attacks on Obama -- Wayne Slater is a top-rank Texas political writer and co-author of “Bush’s Brain,” a book about the life and times of Republican uber-strategist Karl Rove. Jerry Roberts and Phil Trounstine CalBuzz -- 5/2/12

   Occupy

Thousands march in Oakland in May Day protest -- Thousands marched throughout Oakland Tuesday in a kaleidoscopic variety of protests ranging from skirmishes with police to dancing, chanting throngs of demonstrators peacefully waving signs calling for an end to economic inequality and a strengthening of worker rights. Matthai Kuruvila, Demian Bulwa, Carolyn Jones, Kevin Fagan in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 5/2/12

Bricks, pipes thrown from occupied San Francisco building -- Hundreds of protesters took over a vacant building on Turk Street owned by the Archdiocese of San Francisco on Tuesday. One climbed to the roof, threw a brick that struck a man with a video camera standing in the swarm of police and demonstrators below. Marisa Lagos, Nanette Asimov in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 5/2/12

Trashed Mission District businesses want answers -- Business owners in San Francisco's Mission District, cleaning up after a night in which protesters damaged more than 30 stores and restaurants and vandalized cars, questioned Tuesday why activists had singled them out and why police hadn't done more to halt the rampage. Vivian Ho, Ellen Huet, Jaxon Van Derbeken in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 5/2/12

Occupy Oakland attempt to revitalize momentum met with riot-clad police, tear gas -- Thousands of protesters took to the streets, BART stations and banks around the Bay Area on Tuesday -- at times dancing to bongo drums in San Francisco or fleeing tear gas in Oakland -- to express frustration at economic inequality and corporate greed and renew momentum for the Occupy movement. Julia Prodis Sulek in the Contra Costa Times -- 5/2/12

May Day protests: Gathering at Pershing Square ends quietly -- The Occupy protest at Pershing Square disbanded peacefully late Tuesday night with no action taken by police. At 10:45 p.m., about a dozen protesters lingered in the park, along with about a dozen legal observers in lime green ball caps. Nearly all of the police were gone. Kate Linthicum, Paloma Esquivel and Rosanna Xia in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/2/12

May Day protests push for immigration, labor and education reform -- Waving American flags, beating drums and chanting slogans, thousands of people took to the streets of Los Angeles on May Day to push for reforms in immigration, labor and education. Christina Villacorte and Susan Abram in the Los Angeles Daily News -- 5/2/12

May Day protesters call for reforms of child protective services -- An Occupy Oakland offshoot group on Tuesday -- a day of May Day actions nationwide -- protested the Alameda County agency entrusted with protecting children and investigating reports of child abuse, prompting some of its employees to stay away for the day. Chris De Benedetti in the Contra Costa Times -- 5/2/12

New Civic Park in downtown Los Angeles may close early to discourage encampments -- Worried that encampments will pop up at the soon-to-open $56 million Civic Park, city officials want to coordinate rules and limited hours at the new park, as well as the restored City Hall park and other downtown open spaces. Dakota Smith in the Los Angeles Daily News -- 5/2/12

   Economy

Forecast calls for 'true recovery' in 2012 -- California's economic recovery will remain slow but steady over the next two years, forecasters at the University of the Pacific said today. Dale Kasler in the Sacramento Bee -- 5/2/12

Former Gov. Gray Davis says California is more business friendly -- California is "finally moving in the right direction" in making it easier for new businesses to set up shop in the state, former Gov. Gray Davis told a panel at the annual Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills. Ricardo Lopez in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/2/12

Airbnb signs giant SoMa office lease -- The frenzied pace of SoMa tech deals continues. Airbnb will announce Wednesday it signed a 10-year, 170,000-square-foot lease at 888 Brannan St., a nearly fivefold expansion over the Potrero Hill space it moved into just last year. James Temple in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 5/2/12

Calls for mortgage assistance get louder in Washington -- The director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency is under pressure to allow principal reductions for loans under Fannie and Freddie after disclosures that one cost-saving plan was scrapped. Jim Puzzanghera in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/2/12

   Education

California college leaders lobby for more funding -- The leaders of California's three higher education systems warned Tuesday that more budget cuts will hurt the state's economic recovery. JUDY LIN Associated Press -- 5/2/12

LAUSD issues notice of violations to Birmingham charter school, first step in revoking charter -- Birmingham Community Charter High School has until May 23 to respond to concerns that it mishandled admissions, expulsions and claims of racial bias as it fights to prevent Los Angeles Unified from retaking control of the campus. Barbara Jones in the Los Angeles Daily News -- 5/2/12

24 San Fernando Valley schools seek charter status -- The high-performing L.A. Unified campuses hope to gain funds and flexibility from the move while maintaining most ties with the district. Howard Blume and Stephen Ceasar in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/2/12

Baron: SIGnificant improvementS -- California received a double dose of good news this week about the School Improvement Grant (SIG) program. Kathryn Baron TopEd -- 5/2/12

Education experts look back for answers at pivotal 2007 Stanford study -- Five years ago, an exhaustive study led by researchers from Stanford University took a hard look at how California governs and funds public education. That led to the creation of a gubernatorial blue-ribbon panel and a two-year review process that generated a surprising amount of consensus around key issues. Tom Chorneau SI&A Cabinet Report -- 5/2/12

   Health Care

In patient abuse cases, reforms come slowly -- State officials working to upgrade patient abuse investigations at California’s board-and-care institutions for the developmentally disabled aim to overhaul the in-house police force while also directing the most serious cases to outside agencies. Ryan Gabrielson California Watch -- 5/2/12

Facebook organ-donation option gives 'an immediate spike' to California registration -- What began as a freshman-year friendship resulted in Facebook's announcement Tuesday that the world's largest social network will offer help for the global shortage of donor organs, an effort that in its first day signed up tens of thousands of new donors and directed a surge of awareness at a growing problem. Mike Swift and Pete Carey in the San Jose Mercury -- 5/2/12

   Environment

Environmental group sues to halt killing practices of federal wildlife agency -- The federal government's wildlife damage control program is based on outdated science and indiscriminate tools that kill many non-target animals, including protected species, according to a lawsuit filed Monday by WildEarth Guardians, a Colorado-based environmental group. Tom Knudson in the Sacramento Bee -- 5/2/12

California Winds Up “Wet” Season on the Dry Side -- Despite what felt like a late-season deluge, this will go down as a dry winter in California’s record books. Craig Miller KQED Climate Watch -- 5/2/12

Biogas Takes a Hit -- California stops certifying pipeline biogas as a renewable energy source. Darwin BondGraham East Bay Express -- 5/2/12

   Immigration

Controversial activist Nativo Lopez steps down -- Controversial immigrant-rights leader Nativo Lopez is stepping down from the two organizations he leads and will resign from public life after 44 years of activism. Martin Wisckol in the Orange County Register -- 5/2/12

Ex-ICE intelligence chief pleads guilty to embezzlement -- A former chief of intelligence for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement pleaded guilty today to embezzlement charges stemming from a travel voucher fraud and kickback scheme that has cost the government more than $600,000. Andrew Becker Center for Investigative Reporting -- 5/2/12

   Also..

BART agent fired for giving tickets to needy teen -- When a 16-year-old boy was struggling to pay for his commute to school, BART station agent Jim Stanek gave him $300 in paid, unused tickets - and lost his job for it. On Tuesday, his 66th birthday, he received a letter informing him he was fired. Stephanie M. Lee in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 5/2/12

Amplified blare rousts Civic's homeless campers -- Having tried everything else, the managers of San Francisco's Bill Graham Civic Auditorium are blasting the overnight homeless off their doorstep with the high-decibel sounds of chainsaws, motorcycles and jackhammers - topped off with an aircraft carrier alarm. Phillip Matier, Andrew Ross in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 5/2/12

Testimony: Lack of Competitive Bids Increased Wine Train Costs -- The federal government spent an extra $10 million to relocate the tracks of the famed Napa Valley Wine Train tourist attraction here because it didn’t seek competitive bids, according to lawsuit testimony. LANCE WILLIAMS California Watch -- 5/2/12

OPD Takes More Steps Backward -- Chief Jordan announces new a crowd-control policy that civil rights lawyers say is weaker than the old one as a new report criticizes the department for making no progress on its reforms. Ali Winston East Bay Express -- 5/2/12

Google Street View privacy scandal broadens -- Reports cast doubt on Google's assurances that it did not realize its street-mapping cars were snatching personal data from home Wi-Fi networks and that one lone engineer was to blame. Jessica Guynn and David Sarno in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/2/12

   POTUS 44

Obama in Afghanistan on Osama bin Laden death anniversary -- President Obama arrived in Afghanistan today, marking the one-year anniversary of the killing of Osama bin Laden with an unannounced visit to meet with the Afghan president and sign a strategic partnership agreement between the two nations. Christi Parsons and Michael A. Memoli in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/2/12

   Beltway

Romney's gay national security spokesman resigns -- Mitt Romney's national security spokesman resigned Tuesday after critics questioned his conservatism because he is gay. Richard Grenell, who has been a spokesman for Rancho Cucamonga developer Jeff Burum, announced he had decided to leave Romney's campaign shortly after he was hired in late April. The item is in the Inland Daily Bulletin -- 5/2/12

Romney heckled at event with Giuliani -- Mitt Romney was heckled Tuesday at a New York City event marking the anniversary of Osama bin Laden's death. Justin Sink The Hill -- 5/2/12