California Policy and Politics This Morning

Jerry Brown warns of stark budget cuts -- Gov. Jerry Brown is willing to remake California in his own austere image, but he doesn't think the 37 million people living in the Golden State will like it. Wyatt Buchanan in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 9/16/12

Walters: The dark side of Gov. Jerry Brown's tax plan -- Jerry Brown fancies himself a futurist, exhorting us to act now to ensure a better tomorrow – with a bullet train and a more dependable water system his prime examples. Dan Walters in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 9/16/12

Mail ballots alter California campaigns -- Election day is Nov. 6 this year, but for many of the growing number of Californians who prefer to weigh in by mail, voting will actually occur sometime in October. Marisa Lagos in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 9/16/12

Jerry Brown signs bills on cigarette sales and infant health -- California will crack down harder on stores that sell cigarettes to minors and hospitals will be required to screen infants for congenital heart disease under new legislation signed by Gov. Jerry Brown. Chris Megerian in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/16/12

San Francisco teachers union out to beat 3 trustees -- In a classic game of payback, the San Francisco teachers union has launched a campaign to defeat all three school board members up for re-election in November. Phillip Matier and Andrew Ross in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 9/16/12

Morain: Promise of youth fails to produce at the polls -- The headline was true enough, though it was politically incorrect by today's standards: "Pretty Teen Coed Is First Vote Caster." Dan Morain in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 9/16/12

   Taxes, Fees

Watchdog Report: Valley farmers may lose tax break -- A handful of prominent Valley families stand to lose big if tax breaks under the state's 47-year-old farm preservation program are scaled back. Kurtis Alexander in the Fresno Bee -- 9/16/12

   Education

Some Sacramento-area school bonds have long-term, pricey payments -- A 38-year loan with no payments for 26 years that will eventually cost $12 for every $1 borrowed. Phillip Reese and Loretta Kalb in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 9/16/12

'Deferred action' program puts strain on L.A. Unified -- School district is being inundated with requests for documents by thousands of illegal immigrants seeking to apply for Obama's 'deferred action' program. Howard Blume in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/16/12

   Environment

Hiltzik: Prop. 37: Another example of the perils of the initiative process -- There's scant science and much nonsense in the debate over Propositon 37, would require some food sold in California and produced via genetic engineering to be labeled as such. Michael Hiltzik in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/16/12

Hinkley residents seek to reduce PG&E's role in community group -- A public hearing on an environmental study of the cleanup of Hinkley's groundwater brought criticism of the Community Advisory Committee set up by Pacific Gas & Electric Co. nearly two years ago. Jim Steinberg in the San Bernardino Sun -- 9/16/12

   Immigration

For illegal immigrants, ocean is the new desert -- Ariel Del Valle commenced negotiations with God when the seawater in the boat rose to just below his knees. Near him, a man heaved his last meal. Others fought over whether to call for help. A few said nothing, silently coming to terms with their apparent doom. CINDY CARCAMO in the Orange County Register -- 9/16/12

   Also..

Fiery Orange County cleric influenced figures behind anti-Islamic film -- Three of the men involved in creating 'Innocence of Muslims' are devotees of Zakaria Botros Henein, sometimes called Islam's Public Enemy No. 1. Jessica Garrison, Ken Bensinger and Harriet Ryan in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/16/12

Orange County police union dispute brings scrutiny of law firm's tactics -- Law firm Lackie, Dammeier & McGill, which represents many police unions, has a reputation for aggressive attacks against city halls. One critic described its tactics as 'litigation terrorism.' Christopher Goffard in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/16/12

Lopez: Red tape a stubborn obstacle to sidewalk repair -- Peter Griswold wants volunteers to report broken concrete in lieu of a $10-million survey, but officials are wary. Steve Lopez in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/16/12

Purple Onion comedy club closing -- Twenty-four steps below Columbus Avenue, a guitar duo plays in a concrete cellar stuffed with listeners. The singer tells a joke between songs, and for an instant it is 1961. North Beach is alive at night, and the Smothers Brothers have settled in for a month at the Purple Onion. Sam Whiting in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 9/16/12

   Beltway

Realtors group aims to influence politics in new ways -- The National Assn. of Realtors launches a political-campaign school to help its members run for office. It also plans to engage consumers directly through emails and browser ads. Lew Sichelman in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/16/12

Housing policy virtually a no-show at both parties' conventions -- Why has housing, which traditionally leads the economy out of recessions, suddenly become a political orphan this election? Kenneth R. Harney in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/16/12

   Chicago v Boston

A California playbook helps shape Romney-Obama race -- The voters were not happy. They didn't like their choice of candidates: a Democratic incumbent who seemed overmatched by the biggest challenge he faced and a rich Republican businessman with a reluctance to give up his tax returns. Mark Z. Barabak in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/16/12

For Romney, it’s time to make his case -- Mitt Romney has had two rough weeks and is now narrowly trailing President Obama. Some of Obama’s lead is the result of a post-convention bounce, and people may debate the margins in the polls. But for now, in virtually every survey, Romney is running behind in a race where every point matters. Dan Balz in the Washington Post -- 9/16/12

Challenged on Medicare, G.O.P. Loses Ground -- The latest New York Times/CBS News poll, conducted over the last week, found that Mr. Obama held an advantage over Mr. Romney on the question of who would do a better job of handling Medicare. JACKIE CALMES in the New York Times$ -- 9/16/12

Doubts grow on Mitt Romney’s China threats -- Mitt Romney is hoping his tough talk on China policy will win him votes — but few of his big business donors or fellow Republicans support what he’s saying or believe he’d follow through if elected. BEN WHITE Politico -- 9/16/12

For Romney campaign, a problem with the blame-stream media -- It’s one of the oldest tricks in the Republican playbook: In times of political crisis, blame the liberal mainstream media. DYLAN BYERS Politico -- 9/16/12

Pennsylvania poll: Obama up by 11 -- A Philadelphia Inquirer poll released Saturday has President Barack Obama leading Mitt Romney in Pennsylvania, 50 percent to 39 percent. CHARLES MAHTESIAN Politico -- 9/16/12

Mitt Romney’s Last-Ditch Strategy: Inflame the Base -- Why is Team Romney slamming Obama's foreign policy as Americans die overseas? -- They keep piling on. You’d think Mitt Romney and team would have stopped with the foreign-policy attacks— if not because of the political costs, then at least because real, living Americans are now under very serious threat in a number of Middle Eastern cities. Michael Tomasky Daily Beast -- 9/16/12

House GOP shrugs off week of divisions -- Splits within the House Republican conference were on prominent display this week, but members shrugged off suggestions that they are presenting a divided front that could hurt the party in the November elections. Erik Wasson and Russell Berman The Hill -- 9/16/12

The GOP's foreign policy muddle -- This week’s political uproar over bloodshed in Libya and Egypt was a sharp reminder to Republicans: It’s tough to be the opposition party when it comes to matters of national defense. ALEXANDER BURNS and MAGGIE HABERMAN Politico -- 9/16/12

East Bay voters' views diverge in refinery fire's wake -- When he saw it unfolding later on television, Poe, who supports Mitt Romney, blamed President Barack Obama and environmentalists for excessive regulations that he contends have blocked improvements which would make refineries safer. Peter Hecht in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 9/16/12

Rick Santorum: ‘Smart people’ will never side with conservatives -- Speaking before a conservative audience at the annual Values Voter Summit Saturday, former GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum said that conservatives “will never have the elite smart people on our side.” Allen McDuffee in the Washington Post -- 9/16/12

The Jobless Could Swing the Election—if They're Actually Registered to Vote -- Those most affected by the tumult of the recession are also those most likely to have inadvertently fallen off the voting rolls. Ciara Torres-Spelliscy The Atlantic -- 9/16/12

Obama's foreign policy approach: Act cautiously, and not alone -- The president fashions a use-of-force doctrine that supporters say is prudent but critics deem too timid. Paul Richter in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/16/12

WaPo: Romney can't keep tax-cut promise -- The Washington Post's editorial board, long critical of Mitt Romney's tax promises, deals another blow, to the joy of Chicago: DYLAN BYERS Politico -- 9/16/12