Updates since early This Morning

Romney wins Michigan -- Mitt Romney's tentative hold on the status of GOP frontrunner received a significant boost with victory in Michigan, where he won his native state and fought off a spirited challenge from Rick Santorum. Michael A. Memoli in the Los Angeles Times -- 2/28/12

Bill would allow non-doctors to perform abortions in California -- A state senator is proposing to significantly expand access to abortion in California by allowing licensed nurse practitioners, physician assistants and nurse midwives to perform nonsurgical versions of the procedure in the first trimester of pregnancy. Nicholas Riccardi LA Times PolitiCal -- 2/28/12

Stockton aims to avoid being biggest bankrupt city -- The city of Stockton in California's crop-abundant Central Valley has the second-highest foreclosure rate in the nation and one of the highest crime and unemployment rates. It was named America's most miserable city in a national magazine - twice. GOSIA WOZNIACKA and HAVEN DALEY AP -- 2/28/12

California parents allege fraud foiled school reform -- Parents who lost their initial bid to reform a low-performing school in the Mojave Desert are requesting a criminal investigation into allegedly fraudulent documents submitted to the school district that helped scuttle their petition. CHRISTINA HOAG AP -- 2/28/12

California Latino caucus chair quits after endorsement dispute -- Assemblyman Tony Mendoza (D-Artesia) was replaced Tuesday as chairman of the California Latino Legislative Caucus after he came under fire from members over his political leadership, including a dispute over a hotly contested race in Los Angeles County. Patrick McGreevy LA Times PolitiCal Jim Sanders SacBee Capitol Alert -- 2/28/12

Scandal can’t slow Assembly fundraising -- Even a key supporter’s scandal can’t slow the hustle and bustle of a contested campaign. Josh Richman Political Blotter -- 2/28/12

Competing forces line up on California water bill -- On the eve of Wednesday debate over a big California water bill, the pros and cons were being lined up. Michael Doyle SacBee Capitol Alert -- 2/28/12

Brewing storm could help California's water woes -- State surveyors who measured California's paltry Sierra Nevada snowpack on Tuesday might have fared better had they waited another day. TRACIE CONE AP -- 2/28/12

Top federal prosecutor vows new crackdown on pot farms -- Warning that there is a new "green rush" of people flocking to California to exploit the market for marijuana, the top federal prosecutor in the Sacramento region promised a crackdown today on huge pot farms on agricultural land in the Central Valley. Sam Stanton in the Sacramento Bee -- 2/28/12

Corporations healthy, while employment, housing suffer -- California’s economic condition is a study in disparity, with corporate earnings booming at the same time that the jobless rate far exceeds the national average and the housing market remains deeply disturbed. John Howard Capitol Weekly -- 2/28/12

Can you balance California's budget? -- When it comes to spending taxpayer money, everyone in California thinks they can do better than the politicians they’ve elected. Now Next 10, a nonpartisan policy organization based in San Francisco, has released an online simulator where residents can try their hand at balancing the state budget. Chris Megerian LA Times PolitiCal -- 2/28/12

Car sales soar despite high gas prices -- High gasoline prices apparently are doing little to curtail car buying, according to Santa Monica-based TrueCar.com. Mark Glover in the Sacramento Bee -- 2/28/12

Quinn: Rick Santorum’s Failure to Appreciate America’s Religious History -- Last week, Rick Santorum said John F. Kennedy’s famous 1960 speech to Baptist ministers justifying his candidacy for President as a Roman Catholic made him want to “throw up.” Tony Quinn Fox & Hounds -- 2/28/12

Fox: The LAO Report and the Income Tax Increase Initiatives -- The Legislative Analyst’s Office economic and budget analysis issued yesterday should give pause to those hoping that California’s budget woes will be solved by raising income taxes on the rich. Joel Fox Fox & Hounds -- 2/28/12

California foundations show big growth from 1999 to 2009 -- California's nonprofit, charitable foundations boomed both in number and assets between 1999 and 2009, according to a new study by the Center on Philanthropy and Public Policy at the University of Southern California. Dan Walters SacBee Capitol Alert -- 2/28/12


   California Policy and Politics This Morning

Jerry Brown's proposed budget counts on too much revenue, analyst says -- Gov. Jerry Brown is counting on $6.5 billion too much for his proposed budget, even with Facebook's stock sale on the horizon, according to a new economic review by the state's fiscal analyst. Kevin Yamamura in the Sacramento Bee Chris Megerian in the Los Angeles Times Judy Lin AP-- 2/28/12

Gov. meets with congressional delegation, still hopeful on Medi-Cal -- Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday sounded still hopeful of gaining federal approval for more flexibility in administering the Medi-Cal health insurance program for the poor, even after having been rebuffed by the Obama administration. Richard Simon in the Los Angeles Times -- 2/28/12

Walters: Jerry Brown's budget plan looks like a pipe dream -- For the past two months, Gov. Jerry Brown has been selling the concept that were the Legislature to approve his proposed budget and voters to approve his tax increase, the state's fiscal house would be repaired. Dan Walters in the Sacramento Bee -- 2/28/12

Gov. Jerry Brown still a rock star after all these years -- The California governor visits Washington, D.C., and the White House and raises money for his fall tax initiative. One aide to another governor gushes Brown's 'kind of a rock star.' Anthony York in the Los Angeles Times -- 2/28/12

California Likes Facebook IPO's Tax Possibilities -- California could reap a tax windfall of as much as $2.5 billion from Facebook Inc.'s initial public offering, a state analyst said Monday, in the first official forecast of the IPO's impact on the cash-strapped state. VAUHINI VARA in the Wall Street Journal Chris Megerian in the Los Angeles Times -- 2/28/12

CSU chairman rejected by state Senate -- California State University Board of Trustees Chairman Herbert Carter lost his post Monday in the furor over executive pay coupled with some partisan politics. Michael Gardner UT San Diego Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times -- 2/28/12

Enforcement Chief at Postsecondary Bureau to Resign -- Resignation comes after The Bay Citizen revealed the bureau failed to properly oversee state's for-profit schools. JENNIFER GOLLAN Bay Citizen -- 2/28/12

Feds seize additional computers in Kinde Durkee case -- Federal prosecutors have seized several additional computers as part of their investigation into allegations that campaign treasurer Kinde Durkee misused the political funds of clients, according to documents released Monday. Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times -- 2/28/12

Bill would reveal findings of whistleblower complaints -- Under state law, whistleblower complaints of waste, fraud and abuse are sealed at public agencies — and Joe Citizen is never told of any findings or actions that are taken in response. A new bill by State Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, would change that. BRIAN JOSEPH in the Orange County Register -- 2/28/12

California lawmaker wants to reduce charges for drug possession -- A state lawmaker proposed Monday that the charge for simple drug possession be revised from a felony to a misdemeanor, arguing it will help reduce overcrowding in California’s prisons. Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times -- 2/28/12

Gavin Newsom asks official who killed puma to quit -- Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom joined a growing chorus of people Monday urging the president of the California Fish and Game Commission to resign over a photograph showing him gleefully lifting the dead body of a mountain lion. Peter Fimrite in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 2/28/12

California water project won't be decided at poll -- Thirty years ago, Californians soundly rejected a proposal to build a canal to move water around the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta and deliver it to Central Valley farmers, Southern California residents and some Bay Area cities. Wyatt Buchanan in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 2/28/12

Adams runs for Congress as independent -- Former GOP Assemblyman Anthony Adams, of Hesperia, announced plans Monday to run as an independent for California’s new 8th Congressional District. BEN GOAD in the Riverside Press -- 2/28/12

Blong Xiong Making Rounds in D.C. -- Fresno City Councilman Blong Xiong told Roll Call on Monday that he has meetings scheduled on Capitol Hill today and Wednesday regarding his potential bid for California’s new 21st district. Kyle Trygstad Roll Call -- 2/28/12

Losing San Francisco mayoral candidate spent $510 per vote -- In losing to appointed incumbent Ed Lee, Ting spent an astonishing $510.45 per vote, according to data compiled by the CitiReport political website. Ting finished 12th, spending more than $500,000 to win 1,013 votes – and seemingly setting a record for spending the most money per vote in a major election in California. Lance Williams California Watch -- 2/28/12

California prisons clearing out -- Images of California's overcrowded prisons are so striking that the U.S. Supreme Court included two photographs of the problem in last year's landmark opinion that forced the state to address the issue. Sam Stanton in the Sacramento Bee -- 2/28/12

   Economy - Jobs

Aerospace leader says state should try to keep firms from fleeing -- California is at risk of losing aerospace companies to other states if it doesn't become more business friendly, said Stuart Witt, chief executive of the Mojave Air & Space Port. W.J. Hennigan in the Los Angeles Times -- 2/28/12

California economy on track for growth -- California's post-recession economic recovery, though slower and more grueling that previously expected, now is on track for slow and steady growth over the next few years, says a forecast by the California legislative analyst's office. Marc Lifsher in the Los Angeles Times -- 2/28/12

For the Costliest Homes, Foreclosure Comes Slowly -- Michael Underwood hasn't made a full mortgage payment on his four-bedroom house in San Francisco's East Bay area since early 2008. But he has yet to be evicted from the home, which includes a lagoon-style pool carved into the property's natural sandstone. SHELLY BANJO and NICK TIMIRAOS in the Wall Street Journal -- 2/28/12

California attorney general asks for halt to foreclosures -- California Attorney General Kamala Harris on Monday called on mortgage giants Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae to temporarily suspend all foreclosure sales statewide. Rick Daysog in the Sacramento Bee Alejandro Lazo in the Los Angeles Times -- 2/28/12

America's Cup organizers drop overhaul of piers -- America's Cup organizers - facing financial risks and tight construction deadlines - have eliminated the heart of a proposed real estate deal with the city involving prime waterfront property. But both sides vowed Monday that the prestigious regatta will take place as planned in San Francisco. Rachel Gordon in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 2/28/12

With Stockton on brink of bankruptcy, city manager lays blame on fiscal missteps -- For a city already reeling from a fiscal crisis, crime and the devastating effects of the housing meltdown, a damning rebuke last year came in cold type. Forbes magazine – for the second time in three years – labeled Stockton as America's "Most Miserable City." Peter Hecht in the Sacramento Bee -- 2/28/12

Maloofs pledge to contribute $75 million upfront for new downtown Sacramento arena -- -The city of Sacramento and the Kings announced a tentative deal today to build a new arena in the downtown railyard. Ryan Lillis, Dale Kasler and Tony Bizjak in the Sacramento Bee -- 2/28/12


Fensterwald: More gain, no pain NCLB waiver -- Gov. Jerry Brown described his relationship with U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan as a “work in progress” after a face-to-face meeting last week in Washington. John Fensterwald educatedguess -- 2/28/12

   Health Care

State orders Kaiser to stop denying physical, occupational and speech therapy to certain patients -- Kaiser has declined such therapy to members who lack a "physical condition," according to documents filed by the state Department of Managed Health Care. That means that people who may stutter or lisp or who have developmental delays don't receive speech therapy, for example, said Anthony Manzanetti, chief of enforcement for the state agency. Sandy Kleffman in the Contra Costa Times -- 2/28/12

Progress on teen pregnancy imperiled -- California has been a national leader in reducing teen-age pregnancy over the past two decades. But state budget cuts now threaten the programs that helped lead that transformation. Heather Gilligan HealthyCal.org -- 2/28/12


After a Dry February (sigh), Drought Looms on Central Valley Farms -- Tuesday morning, state snow surveyors are headed up to the Sierra for the third snowpack measurement of the season. Despite snow closing Interstate 5 over the Grapevine Pass on Monday, no one expects this week’s snow-water content readings to move the needle: it’s been a dry winter. Sasha Khokha KQED Climate Watch -- 2/28/12

Controversial fishery plan derailed by court -- A ruling by a federal court in California threatens to upset a controversial new fishing management plan embraced by environmental groups, including the Environmental Defense Fund and The Nature Conservancy. Susanne Rust California Watch -- 2/28/12

White House proposes to cut tsunami warning system -- Less than a year after surging waves from a Japanese earthquake battered the California coast, causing $58 million in damage and wrecking the Santa Cruz and Crescent City harbors, the Obama administration is moving to reduce funding for the nation's tsunami warning and preparedness programs. Paul Rogers in the San Jose Mercury -- 2/28/12


CHP officers hurt; state Capitol protest turns into near riot -- What started as an orderly rally by an alleged white supremacist group at the state Capitol turned into a near riot this afternoon when protesters from Occupy Oakland and other groups began throwing objects and injured California Highway Patrol officers trying to keep the two factions apart. Hudson Sangree and Randy Pench in the Sacramento Bee Michael J. Mishak in the Los Angeles Times -- 2/28/12

Officers hurt in Occupy clash in California Capitol -- At least two law enforcement officers were injured Monday during a clash with members of the Occupy movement who were at the state Capitol to protest a rally by a pro-white group. DON THOMPSON AP -- 2/28/12


Romney's at odds with Mormon Church on immigration -- Some Latinos who share the Republican's faith are distanced by his tough view on the subject. The church has been a voice for moderate border policies in the Southwest. Hector Becerra and Mitchell Landsberg in the Los Angeles Times -- 2/28/12


Insurers push disaster costs to consumers and taxpayers, report finds -- Insurance companies that cover property damage from catastrophes are increasingly pushing costs onto the backs of consumers and taxpayers, according to a new report from the advocacy group Consumer Federation of America. G.W. Schulz California Watch -- 2/28/12

Wealthy, motivated by greed, are more likely to cheat, study finds -- People of higher status are more prone to cheating, taking candy from children and failing to wait their turn at four-way stops, a UC Berkeley experiment finds. Eryn Brown in the Los Angeles Times -- 2/28/12

   POTUS 44

Obama weighs in after Santorum calls him a 'snob' -- It seems Rick Santorum isn’t the only one defending himself after calling President Obama a “snob” for wanting all Americans to have a higher education. Obama, who addressed a gathering of governors Monday at the White House, made an oblique reference to the remark as he urged the group to prioritize education. Kim Geiger in the Los Angeles Times -- 2/28/12

Quiet fade out for Obama’s faith council -- His faith under attack, his contraception decision savaged on all sides, President Barack Obama could use backup in the religious community right now. CARRIE BUDOFF BROWN Politico -- 2/28/12


Santorum predicts a 'surprise' on eve of primaries -- Rick Santorum sounded increasingly confident about his prospects in Tuesday's Republican primary in Michigan, telling hundreds gathered here on the eve of the contest that his hard work crisscrossing the state to greet voters was trumping rival Mitt Romney's financial edge. Seema Mehta in the Los Angeles Times -- 2/28/12

Saunders: To Newt, cheap gas is good -- Newt Gingrich presented a stark contrast between Republicans and Democrats on gasoline prices Saturday at the California GOP convention in Burlingame. Gingrich promised, if elected, to bring gasoline prices below $2.50 per gallon. Debra J. Saunders in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 2/28/12