California Policy and Politics This Morning

Jerry Brown defends tax measure, likens Mitt Romney to Thomas Dewey -- Gov. Jerry Brown said this morning that California's high tax rates have not dragged down the economy, defending his Nov. 6 ballot initiative to raise taxes in a television interview. David Siders SacBee Capitol Alert$ Morgan Little in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/9/12

California state parks budget officials for years unable to explain surpluses -- Over and again, budget officials at the California Department of Parks and Recreation struggled to understand why every fiscal year ended with millions of dollars in surplus cash on hand. Matt Weiser in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 9/9/12

Gov. Jerry Brown signs bills against religious discrimination -- Blue, green, saffron, red, pink and black turbans crowded around Gov. Jerry Brown on the north steps of the Capitol on Saturday when he signed two bills designed to battle anti-Sikh discrimination. Stephen Magagnini in the Sacramento Bee$ Patrick McGreevy LA Times PolitiCal$ -- 9/9/12

Gov. Jerry Brown signs bill to help probe, prevent power outages -- Gov. Jerry Brown has signed into law a bill meant to aid in the investigation and prevention of unplanned power outages. Kristin S. Agostoni in the Torrance Daily Breeze -- 9/9/12

Morain: Gov. Jerry Brown's legacy hinges on Nov. 6 election -- As the young 'uns preened on a national stage in Charlotte, Gov. Jerry Brown stepped out of his Sacramento loft and into his Pontiac a few minutes before 9 the other morning. He was focused on the issue that matters most to him, an initiative that would raise taxes by $6 billion a year. Dan Morain in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 9/9/12

Ed Lee's cronies powerful, critics say -- On a June evening, the Far East Cafe in San Francisco's Chinatown was the nexus of city power, and those who wield it were there to get one of their own elected in November. John Coté in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 9/9/12

Diaz: Jerry Brown's tax measure: Trust is key -- The last time Californians were presented with such dire warnings about a ballot measure was when a young Jerry Brown was in the governor's office. John Diaz in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 9/9/12

U.S. to auction state shale for drilling -- A nearly 18,000-acre stretch of land extending from California's Central Coast to the San Joaquin Valley is the setting for a brewing debate over an oil-extraction method that has little governmental oversight. Stephanie M. Lee in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 9/9/12

Berkeley ballot measure could send student to City Council -- On Nov. 6 residents will vote on a measure allowing the City Council to redraw districts for its eight members, which could result in the future election of a UC Berkeley student. Doug Oakley in the San Jose Mercury -- 9/9/12

Willie Brown: Bill Clinton proves doubters wrong again -- Clinton will be the surrogate for President Obama in every one of the swing states - Colorado, Nevada, Ohio and Pennsylvania and the others - where a big Democratic turnout is imperative for the party to hang onto the White House. Willie Brown in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 9/9/12

Even with Paul Ryan's visit, life in the Bay Area's most Republican place feels like a city of détente -- GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan's fundraising breakfast Saturday suited the Bay Area's most Republican town to a T: a low-key, deep-pocketed affair that got the job done without making waves. Josh Richman in the Contra Costa Times -- 9/9/12

   Economy

Many signs point to a Bakersfield boom -- Unlike much of the state, Bakersfield is adding residents and jobs while attracting companies. But the economy has not fully recovered, and the city is hindered by a variety of weaknesses. Ricardo Lopez in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/9/12

San Francisco 49ers sell $670 million in seats for new stadium -- San Francisco 49ers fans have already bought $670 million worth of seats and luxury boxes in the new Silicon Valley stadium, as most longtime members of the Niner faithful decided to stick with their beloved team despite huge price increases. Mike Rosenberg in the San Jose Mercury -- 9/9/12

Los Angeles positioned for NFL to return 'relatively soon' -- To understand how real the NFL returning to Los Angeles is, you have to travel back five months and 1,929 miles to the Minnesota state Capitol in St. Paul. Vincent Bonsignore in the Los Angeles Daily News -- 9/9/12

Land-use disputes can put cities on shaky financial ground -- Mammoth Lakes hardly fits the profile of other cities that have recently plunged into bankruptcy. Abby Sewell and Jessica Garrison in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/9/12

   Education

Spending on UC salaries rises 29% over six years -- University of California officials say they're struggling to maintain competitive, market-rate wages in spite of the gains. SCOTT MARTINDALE in the Orange County Register -- 9/9/12

Charter schools call proposed L.A. moratorium illegal -- Charter school advocates are mounting a campaign against a proposed moratorium on new charters in the Los Angeles Unified School District. The moratorium is one provision of a resolution, by school board member Steve Zimmer, that is scheduled for discussion on Tuesday. Howard Blume in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/9/12

Teachers union wants a say in L.A. Unified's classroom breakfast program -- New program aims to make sure hunger doesn't impede students' learning. But the logistics concern the teachers union. Teresa Watanabe in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/9/12

   Health Care

Girl's cancer death brings hope of saving lives through Stanford's work -- Dave and Kristine Wetzel made the decision at one of the most heart-wrenching moments of their lives. Sandy Kleffman in the San Jose Mercury -- 9/9/12

Hiltzik: Know the consequences of cutting Medicaid -- Medicaid has a huge economic effect, not only on its recipients but also on the hospitals and clinics in many ill-served communities. Lives hang in the balance. Michael Hiltzik in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/9/12

   Also..

A journey of spirit, culture -- To Jim Conkle, Route 66 is built from more than asphalt. The 2,448-mile Mother Road stretching from Chicago to Santa Monica is really about the people along the way. Michel Nolan in the Los Angeles Daily News -- 9/9/12

Lopez: Ailing a bit, but determined not to miss a beat -- A knee replacement and a new pacemaker don't mean the columnist has stopped wanting to afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted. Steve Lopez in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/9/12

   Chicago v Boston

Obama widens lead over Romney despite jobs data: Reuters/Ipsos poll -- President Barack Obama, picking up support following the Democratic National Convention, widened his narrow lead over Republican U.S. presidential challenger Mitt Romney in a new Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Saturday. Alina Selyukh Reuters -- 9/9/12

State of the race: Advantage, Obama -- President Barack Obama heads out of the national political conventions with a much clearer path to winning, top advisers to Mitt Romney privately concede. JIM VANDEHEI and MIKE ALLEN Politico -- 9/9/12

Romney: GOP leaders made ‘big mistake’ agreeing to sequester -- GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney in an interview on NBC's “Meet the Press” airing Sunday criticizes GOP leaders, including his own running mate Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), for agreeing to the August 2011 debt-ceiling deal. Erik Wasson The Hill -- 9/9/12

In Romney’s Hands, Pledge of Allegiance Is Framework for Criticism -- But at a Saturday afternoon rally here, Mr. Romney did not just recite the Pledge of Allegiance; he metaphorically wrapped his stump speech in it, using each line of the pledge to attack President Obama. ASHLEY PARKER in the New York Times$ -- 9/9/12

The Obama Cool: Only One Candidate In Race Inspires Heartfelt Fandom -- The Obama iconography stood out because it is almost impossible to imagine Mitt Romney inspiring that kind of grassroots passion. John Avlon Daily Beast -- 9/9/12

Obama Vows to Fight 'Privatizations' -- Campaigning in a state that has long drawn retirees, President Barack Obama on Saturday promised to fight the privatization of Medicare and Social Security, the popular health and retirement programs for seniors. LAURA MECKLER in the Wall Street Journal$ -- 9/9/12

Obama to be in Bay Area on Oct. 8 -- If you didn't get enough of President Obama this past week at the Democratic National Convention, he'll be in the neighborhood Oct. 8 for one more fundraising pitch before the election. Phillip Matier and Andrew Ross in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 9/9/12

Critical time in presidential campaign -- Americans will choose their next president in less than two months and the race is a statistical dead heat as it enters the season that matters most: The one where Americans who are not political geeks start paying attention. Joe Garofoli in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 9/9/12

McManus: Conventions without compromise -- Attending two political conventions back to back is like visiting two parallel universes: one conservative, one liberal; one overwhelmingly white, the other emphatically multiculti; and each one strangely confident that its candidate is on a steady course to victory. Doyle McManus in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/9/12

How Michelle Rhee Is Taking Over the Democratic Party -- In a major shift, education reformers are now influential at the highest levels of the party once dominated by the teachers unions. Molly Ball The Atlantic -- 9/9/12

Romney, Obama Campaign on Class Divisions -- Analysis: Both candidates are stoking old populist resentments—but from different sides of the argument. Ronald Brownstein National Journal -- 9/9/12

Paul Ryan to begin debate prep on Sunday in Oregon -- How does a candidate ready himself to face off in front of millions against Vice President Biden, a politician of vast experience who is well-known for his ability to talk? Felicia Sonmez in the Washington Post -- 9/9/12

Obama makes birth certificate joke in Orlando -- President Obama wants to see your birth certificate. In a reversal of roles, it was Obama asking to see hard evidence that Andrew Wupperman, 6, of Orlando, was actually born in Hawaii. David Nakamura in the Washington Post -- 9/9/12

Inside story of Obama’s struggle to keep Congress from controlling outcome of debt ceiling crisis -- President Obama summoned the top four congressional leaders to the White House on Saturday morning, July 23, 2011. The night before, House Speaker John A. Boehner had withdrawn from negotiations to raise the $14 trillion federal debt limit and save the government from a catastrophic default. Bob Woodward in the Washington Post -- 9/9/12

Do Political Conventions Even Matter Anymore -- The main reason might be because — Clint's chair speech not withstanding — the conventions have become totally predictable. Bryan Hood New York Magazine -- 9/9/12

Democrats Have a $15 Million Tab to Pick Up After Convention -- The Democratic Convention is over and everyone is either fired up, ready to go, or still hungover. But after throwing such an awesome party, it's time to pay the tab. For the Democrats, they're stuck with a $15 million bill still outstanding. CONNOR SIMPSON The Atlantic -- 9/9/12