* Updates

No party preference? California turnout effort urges you to vote -- The Independent Voter Project, the group that wrote the measure that led to the top-two primary, is sending fliers and using social media to urge people with no party preference to vote in the June 5 primary. Hannah Madans SacBee Capitol Alert -- 5/25/12

San Francisco-based ECOtality sues state regulators over electric vehicle charging deal -- ECOtality, a San Francisco-based maker of electric car charging stations, has filed a lawsuit claiming a legal settlement with the state that requires a New Jersey company to build and operate electric charging stations throughout California was illegal and hurts consumers. Dana Hull in the San Jose Mercury Marc Lifsher in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/25/12

Jeffe: In Hotly Contested Sherman-Berman Congressional Battle "Who Defines the Race Wins the Seat" -- OK, class—today we’ll review a fine example of political science at work in the real world: the hotly contested race for California’s new 30th Congressional District. It pits two long-time Democratic incumbents—Reps. Howard Berman and Brad Sherman—against each other. Sherry Bebitch Jeffe NBC LA Prop Zero -- 5/25/12

California: DCCC, Members of Congress Aid Julia Brownley in 26th District -- National Democrats are rushing to the aid of California Assemblywoman Julia Brownley as the party faces the realistic possibility of being left off of the general election ballot. Kyle Trygstad Roll Call -- 5/25/12

California Senate OKs buffer for cars passing cyclists -- California motorists would have to provide three feet of space between their vehicles and bicycles they pass on the road under legislation approved Friday by the state Senate. Patrick McGreevy LA Times PolitiCal$ -- 5/25/12

California says it shouldn't have to return foreign-bought execution drug to FDA -- The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation is arguing that it doesn't have to give up its stock of the lethal injection drug sodium thiopental to the federal government. Rina Palta KPCC LA -- 5/25/12

CA Senate passes bill protecting social media passwords -- A bill that would prohibit public and private postsecondary schools or employers from asking students to provide a user name and password for personal social media accounts passed in the California State Senate today. Hannah Madans SacBee Capitol Alert Patrick McGreevy LA Times PolitiCal$ Juliet Williams Associated Press -- 5/25/12

Occupy the country club?? “99 percent” protesters get creative with GOP Rep. Dan Lungren -- In a sign that the “99 percent” movement may be getting more creative — and perhaps more mainstream — in their movement, a crowd of parents, kids and workers from Sacramento took their protest right to the champagne-and-chardonney crowd at the swank Sequoyah Country Club Thursday in an effort to embarrass their GOP Rep. Dan Lungren. Carla Marinucci Chronicle Politics -- 5/25/12

Fox: Ancient Oracle tries to Decipher PPIC Poll -- I invited an ancient Oracle from Delphi to help me decipher what California voters were telling us with their answers to PPIC’s most recent poll of the state’s electorate. Joel Fox Fox & Hounds -- 5/25/12

Would Romney really cut spending on 'Day One'? -- Mitt Romney has a new ad out, touting what he'll do on his first day as president. "Day One," the narrator intones, "President Romney announces deficit reductions, ending the Obama era of big government." Mitchell Landsberg in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/25/12

Mitt Romney beats Obama to the punch in CA: holding free rally -- GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney has beaten Democrat Barack Obama to the punch — he’s holding actually holding a free public rally in solidly blue California next week. Carla Marinucci Chronicle Politics -- 5/25/12

Yahoo kills iPad magazine Livestand less than a year after launch -- Yahoo will stop production of its personalized iPad magazine effort, Livestand, just seven months after it debuted, the company announced in a blog post Friday. Jeremy C. Owens in the San Jose Mercury -- 5/25/12

Jerry Brown reflects on Golden Gate Bridge pass -- While Gov. Jerry Brown attended a celebration of the 75th anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge this morning, someone pointed out that his father, the late Gov. Pat Brown, had served on the bridge authority decades ago. David Siders SacBee Capitol Alert -- 5/25/12


   California Policy and Politics This Morning

California lawmakers switch schedule for extra pay -- California lawmakers have again adjusted their legislative calendar to accommodate a holiday weekend, allowing them to continue collecting their $142-a-day per diem payments while they are away from the capital during the break. JULIET WILLIAMS Associated Press -- 5/25/12

Cal Grant program faces cuts in governor's budget -- Gov. Jerry Brown is proposing to cut a state program that helps thousands of low- and middle-income California university students pay for tuition and other costs. Wyatt Buchanan in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 5/25/12

Big Tobacco leads spending race for June 5 election -- Tobacco companies have led the way in spending for the June 5 election, using their deep pockets to fund a campaign to kill a proposed new tobacco tax. Steven Harmon and Josh Richman in the San Jose Mercury John Howard Capitol Weekly -- 5/25/12

U.S. attorney fumes at Gov. Jerry Brown's timber deal -- Gov. Jerry Brown has tucked provisions into his budget that would limit payouts in wildfire liability cases, potentially saving timber companies and other major California landowners hundreds of millions of dollars as federal prosecutors pursue record-high damages in court. Kevin Yamamura in the Sacramento Bee Chris Megerian and Anthony York LA Times PolitiCal$ -- 5/25/12

Walters: New California voting rules alter campaigning -- This year's California elections will test the theory that having independently drawn districts and a top-two primary ballot will result in a less polarized, more collegial and more relevant political structure. Dan Walters in the Sacramento Bee -- 5/25/12

The GOP's two wings do battle in 24th Congressional District primary -- The dynamics of the June 5 primary election in the 24th Congressional District are driven by tense events that transpired in the California Capitol in February 2009. Timm Herdt in the Ventura Star -- 5/25/12

SD31 Filing shows Munger involvement in IE wave -- Newly filed campaign-finance reports show that wealthy Republican activist Charles Munger Jr. contributed $100,000 to the California Senior Advocates League independent-expenditure committee. Jim Miller in the Riverside Press -- 5/25/12

Condemned prisoners await voters’ verdict -- It’s been more than 30 years since the death penalty was reinstated in California, but only 13 inmates have been executed. Over 700 prisoners now sit on Death Row – the men at San Quentin, a handful of women at Chowchilla -- sometimes for decades to await their judgment day. Isaac Gonzalez Capitol Weekly -- 5/25/12

Measure to help cities fails to advance -- Legislation to restore millions of dollars in vehicle-license-fee revenue for four Riverside County cities has stalled in the state Senate and is likely dead for the year. JIM MILLER in the Riverside Press -- 5/25/12

More than $1 million spent on fight over San Jose pension reform -- San Jose's fight over a June pension reform measure has topped $1 million in spending according to expenditure reports filed Thursday. San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed has raised nearly $700,000 from business and taxpayer groups toward passage of his Measure B. John Woolfolk in the San Jose Mercury -- 5/25/12

Congressman flies GOP flag on energy in Bay Area -- One day after President Obama was touting his energy record at Silicon Valley campaign stops – stronger fuel economy standards, increased clean energy production, foreign-oil imports at a 15-year low – a Central Valley congressman was in the Bay Area to say there’s a better approach. Josh Richman Political Blotter -- 5/25/12

Twitter feud erupts between Jerry Brown press shop, columnist -- A Twitter feud between Gov. Jerry Brown’s press secretary and writers from the Sacramento and Fresno Bee has found its way into the newspaper’s pages. Anthony York in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/25/12


4-day week for state workers likely to slow area's recovery -- Elias Silhi, owner of Tony's Deli in downtown Sacramento, has unpleasant memories of "furlough Fridays," and gets nervous imagining what an encore would look like. Dale Kasler and Phillip Reese in the Sacramento Bee -- 5/25/12


Charles Reed retires as California State University chancellor -- Charles Reed, chancellor of the California State University System for the past 14 years, announced Thursday that he's retiring as it and other state-supported higher education institutions cope with severe budget cuts. Dan Walters SacBee Capitol Alert Carla Rivera in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/25/12

More changes at the top at CSU -- The announcement that CSU chancellor Charles Reed, after 14 years at the helm of the 23 campus system, will be stepping down comes against the backdrop of extraordinary changes in the top leadership of the 417,000 student system. Louis Freedberg and Pamela Martineau EdSource -- 5/25/12

In Oakland schools, chronic absence, suspension derail black boys -- High rates of chronic absence, suspension and poor academic performance signal that more than half of African American male students in the Oakland Unified School District are at risk of dropping out, according to new research. Joanna Lin California Watch -- 5/25/12

More dismal science test results -- Once again, California students have done stunningly worse than their eighth grade peers in other states on Science 2011 National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP), a biennial test of knowledge in science. John Fensterwald educatedguess -- 5/25/12

Finance releases district-by-district funding estimates under weighted plan -- The Department of Finance released Thursday a formal, district-by-district estimate of how the governor’s revised funding formula would work through 2018-19. Tom Chorneau SI&A Cabinet Report -- 5/25/12

   Health Care

Meet the New Costs, Same as the Old Costs -- After more than a year of battling over eliminating and then restructuring adult day health care coverage for Medi-Cal beneficiaries, California’s budget for delivering that care is similar to what it was before all the haggling started. David Gorn KQED State of Health -- 5/25/12

Coral-killing seaweed has medicinal benefits, researchers say -- California researchers have discovered that there may be a silver lining to an invasive and toxic seaweed that is killing some of Hawaii's coral reefs: It seems the seaweed contains compounds that could treat human diseases. Susanne Rust California Watch -- 5/25/12

Lazarus: Legislation may enable states to offer universal healthcare -- Universal coverage, Medicare for all, single payer — call it what you will. It's clear that conservative forces are determined to prevent such a system from ever being introduced at the national level. So it's up to the states. David Lazarus in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/25/12


State regulators raise existing cap on solar 'net metering' -- In a huge victory for solar customers and the states's growing solar industry, state regulators with the California Public Utilities Commission unanimously voted Thursday to effectively raise the current "cap" on net energy metering. Dana Hull in the San Jose Mercury Anne Gonzales in the Sacramento Bee -- 5/25/12

California sport fish survey: mercury, PCBs higher -- A sweeping state survey of contaminants in sport fish that were hooked, netted or speared in 68 spots on the California coast underscores a lesson for seafood lovers: Choose well your next fillet. Demian Bulwa in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 5/25/12

Fire Season Off to a Roaring Start -- CalFire says that its crews have already responded to more than 1,000 fires this spring — that’s double the pace from a year ago and well ahead of the five-year average. Craig Miller KQED Climate Watch -- 5/25/12

Heal the Bay's Beach Report Card: Water quality at local beaches improving -- For those out to ditch the San Fernando Valley summer heat, a new analysis reveals local beaches are improving, but are still among the most polluted in the state. Christina Villacorte in the Los Angeles Daily News -- 5/25/12

Water at California beaches cleanest in years -- Dry weather and stricter regulations have boosted water quality at Bay Area beaches to their cleanest level in years, a report released Thursday found. Carolyn Jones in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 5/25/12

Foes of coastal parks fee plot strategy -- Foes of plans to charge the public an $8 day use fee at more than 20 North Coast beaches gathered in Bodega Bay on Thursday night to plot strategy for killing the idea. DEREK MOORE in the Santa Rosa Press -- 5/25/12


A 10-year nightmare over rape conviction is over -- Brian Banks spent years in prison, branded a rapist. Then his accuser provided the key to getting his conviction dismissed. Ashley Powers in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/25/12

Tobar: Go, stop, order, chaos: the rhythm of Los Angeles -- A search for the city's rhythm is inspired by L.A. poets' musings on the unique feel of the movement of people and time here. Hector Tobar in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 5/25/12

Many SFPD officers trained to gather anti-terrorism intelligence -- Earlier this month, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee signed legislation requiring the police department to obey local and state privacy laws when working with the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force. MATT SMITH Bay Citizen -- 5/25/12

Janitor wins $812,000 in sexual harassment suit -- Since 2007, janitorial firm has paid more than $6 million to plaintiffs in similar cases. SHOSHANA WALTER Bay Citizen -- 5/25/12

Sacramento restaurants decry 'Yelp extortion' -- Restaurant owner Sonny Mayugba was given an offer he almost could not refuse two weeks ago. Not by a local gangster, but by a user of a popular online review site, Yelp.com. Timothy Sandoval in the Sacramento Bee -- 5/25/12

   POTUS 44

In Iowa, Obama touts clean energy, hits Republicans and Romney on economic agenda -- President Obama struck back Thursday against criticism from rival Mitt Romney over the spiraling national debt, arguing that his administration has allowed federal spending to grow at the slowest rate in six decades and charging that Romney’s tax policies would run up the tab far faster. David Nakamura in the Washington Post -- 5/25/12


Romney Backs Fletcher, Fletcher Doesn't Return Favor -- During Sunday night's NBC 7 San Diego debate, the four mayoral candidates were asked who they supported for president. Liam Dillon VoiceofOC.org -- 5/25/12

Romney holds key advantages among financially struggling white voters -- In an election year in which the economy ranks as Americans’ top concern, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney holds significant advantages over President Obama among white voters who are struggling financially and buffeted by job loss, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. Jon Cohen and Karen Tumulty in the Washington Post -- 5/25/12

Hecklers mar Romney’s visit to inner-city charter school in Philadelphia -- When Mitt Romney came to an inner-city charter school here Thursday to promote his new education agenda, he received something of a history lecture about the persecution of blacks in America and the struggles of African American children to meet the academic achievements of their white counterparts. Philip Rucker in the Washington Post -- 5/25/12