Updates since early This Morning

PPIC Poll: Gov. Jerry Brown tax has bare majority of support -- In its lowest public poll reading so far, Gov. Jerry Brown's tax plan has support from 52 percent of likely voters, according to a new Public Policy Institute of California survey. Kevin Yamamura in the Sacramento Bee Nicholas Riccardi in the Los Angeles Times -- 3/7/12

Hunters, fishermen turn out in droves to support embattled Fish & Game chief -- Dan Richards, the beleaguered president of the state Fish and Game Commission, received an outpouring of support Wednesday from outdoors enthusiasts, many of whom accused Democratic legislators of conducting a witch hunt to oust him for killing a mountain lion in Idaho. Steven Harmon in the San Jose Mercury -- 3/7/12

Groups sue Bowen over inmate voting rights -- Three groups sued California Secretary of State Debra Bowen and San Francisco’s elections director Wednesday, asking the court to ensure that more than 85,000 people sent to county jails instead of state prisons under the recent “realignment” can vote. Josh Richman Political Blotter -- 3/7/12

Calpers Should Cut Assumed Return to 7.25% From 7.75%, Actuary Recommends -- The California Public Employees’ Retirement System, the largest U.S. public pension, may cut its assumed rate of return on assets for the first time since the global recession dragged down stock and real-estate prices. Michael B. Marois Bloomberg -- 3/7/12

LAUSD prepares to issue 11,000 preliminary pink slips; other districts to follow -- LAUSD plans to issue 11,000 preliminary pink slips to employees next week, and teachers will be the primary target. That’s to hedge the risk of automatic budget cuts during the next school year. Julie Small KPPC -- 3/7/12

Costa Mesa Will Vote on Charter in June -- Over the objections of most residents who came to voice their opinions on the issue, the Costa Mesa City Council voted Tuesday to place a proposed city charter on the June primary ballot. NICK GERDA VoiceofOC.org -- 3/7/12


   California Policy and Politics This Morning

Anti-tax groups put brakes on California spending cap initiative -- Fiscal conservatives seeking a constitutional cap on state spending suggested Tuesday they likely will wait until 2014. Kevin Yamamura in the Sacramento Bee -- 3/7/12

Some Initiatives Flush With Cash, Others Bare -- It's by no means a perfect way to measure the eventual outcome at the polls, but money often talks loudest in campaigns for or against ballot measures in California. John Myers Capitol Notes -- 3/7/12

Jerry Brown pushes his tax proposal -- Gov. Jerry Brown said Tuesday that two tax proposals likely to be competing with his tax measure on the November ballot would do little or nothing to solve the state's persistent deficit and would create even bigger fiscal problems resulting in further spending cuts. Marisa Lagos in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 3/7/12

Plumbers, private prisons contribute to Brown tax initiative -- Gov. Jerry Brown continues to raise money for his tax measure at an aggressive clip, reporting more than $630,000 in new contributions Tuesday. Support for the initiative comes from a variety of labor, business and tribal groups, reflecting the political coalition Brown hopes will neutralize funded opposition to his tax-hike proposal this fall. Anthony York in the Los Angeles Times -- 3/7/12

Walters: This year's California state budget could be bizarre exercise -- Political machinations over the state budget dominate every legislative session, but this year's version of the annual budget game may be particularly bizarre due to a confluence of unusual factors, to wit: Dan Walters in the Sacramento Bee -- 3/7/12

Morain: Revenue down and lawmakers seek tax breaks? -- Some Democratic legislators evidently haven't gotten the word. Dan Morain in the Sacramento Bee -- 3/7/12

Critics of move to oust Fish and Game Commissioner did the same thing five years ago -- Hoping to save the job of embattled California Fish and Game Commission president Dan Richards, 11 Republican state senators last week signed a letter calling the campaign to oust him because he shot a mountain lion "nothing less than a modern-day witch hunt." Paul Rogers in the San Jose Mercury -- 3/7/12

Analyst says Brown's unemployment insurance plan falls short -- The Legislature's budget analyst says that lawmakers should postpone action on Gov. Jerry Brown's plan to make changes in the state Unemployment Insurance Fund until "a long-term solvency plan" is formulated. Dan Walters in the Sacramento Bee -- 3/7/12

Herdt: How about a race to the middle? -- Critics of Gov. Jerry Brown's pension-reform proposal — one that has now been embraced by Republican lawmakers — say that what the governor is proposing is to force state and local government employees in California to join in a "race to the bottom" that is threatening the retirement security of workers across America. Those critics have a point. Timm Herdt in the Ventura Star -- 3/7/12

Bustamante decides against 21st Congressional District run -- Dinuba native Cruz Bustamante, who rose through the political ranks to become Assembly speaker and then lieutenant governor, has decided against a run for Congress. John Ellis in the Fresno Bee -- 3/7/12

Lopez: L.A.'s kids deserve better from Trutanich -- The after-school enrichment program LA's Best sorely needs the $100,000 the city attorney has not yet donated, despite his pledge to do so if he didn't finish his first term. He's now running for D.A. Steve Lopez in the Los Angeles Times -- 3/7/12

Losing by Winning: Mitt’s Not-So-Super Tuesday -- Not since King Pyrrhus “defeated” the Romans at Heraclea has there been such an empty triumph as Mitt Romney’s Super Tuesday limp-to-the-finish victory over Rick Santorum in Ohio. Jerry Roberts and Phil Trounstine CalBuzz -- 3/7/12

   Taxes - Fees

Davis voters again approve school parcel tax -- For the fourth time in five years, Davis voters on Tuesday approved a school parcel tax to make up for state funding cuts and to avoid reductions in programs and teaching staff. Hudson Sangree in the Sacramento Bee -- 3/7/12

Fort Bragg OKs sales tax hike to save aquatic center -- Fort Bragg voters have overwhelmingly chosen to raise their sales tax rate by a half cent in order to save their financially troubled, $24 million aquatic center. GLENDA ANDERSON in the Santa Rosa Press -- 3/7/12

Hercules to vote on half-cent sales tax in June -- The Hercules City Council, after about two hours of intense discussion, approved a resolution Tuesday night to place a half-cent sales tax on the June 5 ballot to address the city's fiscal emergency. Tom Lochner in the Contra Costa Times -- 3/7/12

   Economy - Jobs

Borrowing costs for California bullet train are revised upward -- California's distressed state budget will have to allot more than $700 million each year to repay billions of dollars that officials plan to borrow to build the first phase of a proposed bullet train, a nonpartisan government research office has found. AP -- 3/7/12

Sacramento City Council approves arena financing plan -- In a historic vote, the Sacramento City Council approved the financing plan Tuesday night for a $391 million sports arena in the downtown railyard. Ryan Lillis, Tony Bizjak and Dale Kasler in the Sacramento Bee -- 3/7/12

Indians' 2010 casino revenue fell in California, rose nationally -- It's another reminder that the casino industry isn't immune to a weak economy. Revenue at California Indian casinos dropped 3 percent in 2010, the latest figures available, according to a report released Tuesday. Dale Kasler in the Sacramento Bee -- 3/7/12

San Jose puts pension reform on ballot -- San Jose residents will now decide if there will be pension reform for city workers. AP -- 3/7/12


L.A. Unified missed warning signs on accused teacher -- The district has no record of whether it investigated earlier molestation allegations against Paul Chapel, who is charged with 16 counts of lewd acts and sexual abuse. Rick Rojas and Howard Blume in the Los Angeles Times Barbara Jones in the Los Angeles Daily News -- 3/7/12

State faces teacher shortage as more retire, fewer enter profession -- The percentage of California educators reaching retirement age is rising rapidly, while the number of newly credentialed teachers has decreased for the seventh year in a row, new reports show. Joanna Lin California Watch -- 3/7/12

Community Colleges chancellor stepping down -- Jack Scott, 78, will retire as of Sept. 1. 'I figure 58 years of work is enough,' he says. The search for a successor will begin immediately. Larry Gordon in the Los Angeles Times -- 3/7/12

Baron: Racial disparity in CA school discipline -- In nine out of California’s ten largest school districts African American and Hispanic students are suspended and expelled at rates far exceeding their numbers, according to newly released data from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights. Kathryn Baron TopEd Kimberly Hefling AP -- 3/7/12

UC Davis students give classmates a hand up -- Sometimes students just need a bunch of money. Fast. Nanette Asimov in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 3/7/12

Lasken: Such a big cost, so little benefit: Why, Governor, persist with Common Core? -- Somehow in preparing to run against Republican Meg Whitman, California Gov. Jerry Brown managed to shed his old persona of Shaman/Management Theorist, an easy target of ridicule and one that Whitman would surely have relished had she been able to resurrect it. Doug Lasken TopEd -- 3/7/12

   Health Care

State's follow-up on nursing home problems lacking, report says -- California nursing home inspectors fall short in following up on their own investigative findings, possibly enabling sustained neglect or lax practices that can injure residents, according to a new federal report. Christina Jewett California Watch -- 3/7/12

ObamaCare’s $10 million not welcome in Orange County -- Orange County’s Board of Supervisors has blocked the county’s Health Care Agency from seeking more than $10 million in federal grants because some board members see the money as tainted by “ObamaCare.“ Andrew Galvin in the Orange County Register -- 3/7/12


Aerial firefighting fleet insufficient, chief says -- With another potentially devastating wildfire season on the horizon, U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell told Congress on Tuesday that his agency’s diminished and aging fleet of firefighting air tankers is insufficient to combat the nation’s increasingly severe blazes. BEN GOAD in the Riverside Press -- 3/7/12

Growth of composting strains oversight of industry -- California’s next big step in recycling – composting its meat scraps, broken egg shells, coffee grounds and other detritus of eating – is straining the state’s ability to effectively manage the ever-growing and sometimes dangerous industry. William Harless California Watch -- 3/7/12

Fletcher unveils plan for bike-friendly San Diego -- San Diego mayoral candidate Nathan Fletcher releases the latest of his position papers on Wednesday, his plan for turning San Diego into “one of the most bicycle-friendly cities in the world.” Robert J. Hawkins UT San Diego -- 3/7/12

Natural oil seepage off Santa Barbara takes a toll on seabirds -- Dozens are turning up along the coastline coated in crude oil and tar. Hardest hit have been common murres, penguin-like birds that spend most of their lives on the water. Tony Barboza in the Los Angeles Times -- 3/7/12


Judge blocks UC Davis pepper-spraying report -- Temporary ruling on campus officers' action during an Occupy protest came at the request of the UC police union. Larry Gordon in the Los Angeles Times Sam Stanton and Hudson Sangree in the Sacramento Bee -- 3/7/12

'Occupy' protester arrested for throwing flower petals in Capitol -- A 21-year-old woman who participated in Monday's "Occupy" of the state Capitol was arrested for the second time in two days after she returned to the rotunda and allegedly began throwing flower petals over a second-story balcony, according to a California Highway Patrol spokesman. Torey Van Oot in the Sacramento Bee -- 3/7/12

Occupy protesters arrested at Capitol are released -- at Wal-Mart -- After spending hours preparing for a confrontation with police, Occupy protesters had a relatively brief brush with the law on Monday night. Chris Megerian in the Los Angeles Times -- 3/7/12

Occupy OC sets sights on Huntington Beach -- Some occupiers appealed to the City Council Monday night saying they want to make Surf City their next location for political discussions and peaceful protests. JAIMEE LYNN FLETCHER in the Orange County Register -- 3/7/12


Silicon Valley leaders take up the Dream on behalf of young migrants -- With the Dream Act in limbo, a loose coalition of Silicon Valley tech leaders is working to help undocumented students attend college, prepare for jobs and find ways to legalize their status. Paloma Esquivel in the Los Angeles Times -- 3/7/12


De La Fuente says he'd run in recall against Quan -- If the recall movement against Oakland Mayor Jean Quan does manage to make the ballot, one familiar face is already pledging to challenge her - City Councilman and former mayoral candidate Ignacio De La Fuente. Phillip Matier, Andrew Ross in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 3/7/12

Guards quell riot at Folsom State Prison -- Correctional officers at Folsom State Prison put down a wild prison melee involving up to 70 suspected gang members Tuesday, firing pepper spray and nonlethal rounds to quell the riot. Peter Hecht in the Sacramento Bee -- 3/7/12

   POTUS 44

Obama Super Tuesday sneak attack focuses on foreign policy -- Barack Obama spent his Super Tuesday barking back at the GOP dogs of war. GLENN THRUSH and CARRIE BUDOFF BROWN Politico -- 3/7/12


Battle in Ohio reinforces GOP divide -- Mitt Romney's slim Super Tuesday victory over Rick Santorum brings little clarity to the race for the party's presidential nomination. Mark Z. Barabak in the Los Angeles Times -- 3/7/12

GOP race takes toll on front-runner Romney -- Super Tuesday confirmed anew that Mitt Romney remains the favorite to win the Republican presidential nomination, but his slow, unsteady march is coming at a steep price. As he advances toward victory in the primaries, he is losing ground in the general election. Dan Balz in the Washington Post -- 3/7/12

Joe the Plumber' wins Ohio Republican congressional primary bid -- Yes, Marcy Kaptur blew out Dennis Kucinich, and Jean Schmidt unexpectedly lost her House seat to a challenger. But one of the biggest — and most overlooked — surprises of Tuesday night was in a northeast Ohio Republican congressional primary. ALEX ISENSTADT Politico -- 3/7/12