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Mungers spend millions on anti-Sacramento initiatives -- The Munger family may have its political differences, but one thing is clear: Neither Republican Charles Munger nor his independent sister, Molly, seem to think very highly of Sacramento. Anthony York LA Times PolitiCal$ -- 9/18/12

Labor, business launch dueling Prop. 32 campaigns -- Business and labor groups launched dueling ad campaigns Tuesday focusing on Proposition 32, the November ballot measure that promises to eliminate special-interest money in politics. Michael J. Mishak LA Times PolitiCal$ -- 9/18/12

L.A. pension plan would hike retirement age, cut pension benefits -- The Los Angeles City Council has zeroed in on a plan for cutting the pension benefits of newly hired civilian employees, setting the stage for a battle with a half dozen unions. David Zahniser in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/18/12

Judge dismisses DUI charge against Assemblyman Roger Hernandez -- A judge on Tuesday dismissed a charge that state Assemblyman Roger Hernandez (D-West Covina) drove a car with a blood-alcohol level over the legal limit, after prosecutors decided not to seek a retrial. Patrick McGreevy LA Times PolitiCal$ -- 9/18/12

Brown signs overhaul of California workers' compensation -- Gov. Jerry Brown signed an overhaul of California's workers' compensation system Tuesday in San Diego, hailing it as a win-win for employers and employees alike. Dan Walters SacBee Capitol Alert$ JUDY LIN and JULIE WATSON Associated Press -- 9/18/12

With bills on his desk, Jerry Brown hears from celebs, clerics -- As Gov. Jerry Brown considers whether to sign or veto 700 bills on his desk, he is getting an earful from all quarters, including Hollywood celebrities and a group of lobbyists who serve a higher calling. Patrick McGreevy LA Times PolitiCal$ -- 9/18/12

More than 45% of Californians may be obese by 2030, report says -- If you think America is fat now, just wait 20 years. Jon Bardin in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/18/12

21 indicted in crackdown on student aid fraud -- A crackdown on student aid fraud in California was announced in Sacramento today by U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner and U.S. Department of Education Inspector General Kathleen Tighe. Ken Chavez in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 9/18/12

Fullerton police to declare Kelly Thomas innocent of wrongdoing -- Fullerton's acting Police Chief Dan Hughes is expected to read a short statement Tuesday to the City Council formally clearing Kelly Thomas, a mentally ill homeless man police officers are charged with beating to death, with any crime. Richard Winton in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/18/12

Vote effort targets Asian American groups -- The Asian Pacific American Legal Center has launched a campaign aimed at increasing voter turnout among Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders in the Los Angeles area. Jean Merl LA Times PolitiCal$ -- 9/18/12

Filipino nurses win language discrimination settlement -- At $975,000, it's believed to be the largest language discrimination settlement in the U.S. healthcare industry. Officials at Delano Regional Medical Center say they did nothing wrong and settled only because it made financial sense. Anh Do in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/18/12

Ex-Governor Deukmejian still has wry sense of humor -- During his eight years as California's 35th governor (1983-91), George Deukmejian was known publicly for his tough stances on crime and the state budget and privately for his wry, self-deprecating sense of humor. Dan Walters SacBee Capitol Alert$ -- 9/18/12

   Chicago v Boston

5 Reasons Why It’s Too Early to Write Off Romney -- Take a breath, Washington. It’s too early to write off Mitt Romney. First, let’s deal with the obvious. There is no question that the GOP nominee is a flawed candidate, starting with his original sin: a history of flip-flops that belies a lack of ideological conviction. Ron Fournier National Journal -- 9/18/12

Pollsters Agree: Romney Needs Something to Happen -- This election is still quite close and could go either way, but Romney badly needs something to happen to change the trajectory of this race. If things remain as they are today, he loses. Charlie Cook National Journal -- 9/18/12

Was Mitt Romney a Member of the 47 Percent? -- Mitt Romney isn't a big fan of the 47 percent of people who pay no federal income tax. But there's a small problem. Romney himself might have been a member of the 47 percent as recently as 2009. Matthew O'Brien The Atlantic -- 9/18/12

7,000 Millionaires Paid No Income Tax In 2011 -- The chart below from the Tax Policy Center shows the distribution of federal income taxes paid by income level in 2011. It contains a number of interesting factoids, including the following: 7,000 people made more than $1 million but paid no income tax. Henry Blodget Business Insider -- 9/18/12

Who Are the 47 Percent? -- Mitt Romney’s bashing of the 47 percent of people who pay no federal income taxes may have sounded like a shocking admission to liberals, but it’s a talking point that conservatives--and not just Romney--have grown fond of in the last year as a way to talk about the size of the federal government. Nancy Cook National Journal -- 9/18/12

Mitt Romney's 47 Percent Disproportionately Live In Republican States -- Out of the 10 states with the highest percentage of filers with no liability, all but one — Florida — are reliable Republican stalwarts. Brett LoGiurato Business Insider -- 9/18/12

Full Secret Video of Private Romney Fundraiser -- Mitt Romney wanted the full tape. Here it is. David Corn Mother Jones -- 9/18/12

Secret Video: On Israel, Romney Trashes Two-State Solution -- At the private fundraiser held May 17 where Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney candidly spoke about political strategy—noting that he saw half of the American electorate as freeloaders and "victims" who do not believe in personal responsibility—he discussed various foreign policy positions, sharing views that he does not express in public, including his belief that peace in the Middle East is not possible and a Palestinian state is not feasible. David Corn Mother Jones -- 9/18/12

Video shows Romney dismissing Obama voters as feeling 'entitled' -- Mitt Romney's presidential bid, already pushing back against suggestions that he was losing ground to President Obama, confronted more difficulty Monday when a secretly taped video showed him describing nearly half the nation's population as "dependent on government" and unwilling to take responsibility for their lives. Seema Mehta in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/18/12

Mitt Romney’s infamous “47 percent” video provides Team Obama with plenty of ammunition (VIDEO) -- Talk about rapid response: the campaign team of President Barack Obama has wasted no time seizing on Mitt Romney’s “secret” campaign fundraising video that was uncovered by Mother Jones and has roiled the 2012 presidential campaign in the last 24 hours. Carla Marinucci Chronicle Politics -- 9/18/12

Post Poll: Obama up 8 points over Romney in Virginia -- President Obama continues to hold a clear lead over Mitt Romney in Virginia, a new Washington Post poll shows, buoyed by enthusiastic support rivaling what he marshaled in 2008 to snap the Democrats’ four-decade losing streak in the state. Laura Vozzella and Jon Cohen in the Washington Post -- 9/18/12

Par for the Course -- I understand that Romney is speaking in shorthand, and for all we know he was just keying off premises laid out by the questioner. But even so, Romney’s remarks reinforce the overriding problem with his campaign: It is bloodlessly non-ideological. And that is by design. Jonah Goldberg NRO -- 9/18/12

A Note on Romney’s Arrogant and Stupid Remarks -- So we have in 2012 two presidential candidates who—when they thought they were speaking privately to their fellow 1 percenters—have shown contempt for fellow Americans. WILLIAM KRISTOL Weekly Standard -- 9/18/12

Studies support Romney’s concern about government dependence -- Mitt Romney attracted criticism Monday for videotaped comments about the high percentage of people who are dependent on government programs. But there are studies that suggest he might have a point. Betsi Fores Daily Caller -- 9/18/12


   California Policy and Politics This Morning

California calls prison release plan unsafe -- Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration says it is a terrible idea that jeopardizes public safety, but if federal judges order it, California could in six months craft a plan to ease prison crowding by releasing inmates early. Paige St. John LA Times PolitiCal$ -- 9/18/12

Jerry Brown signs bill restricting picketing at funerals -- Senate Bill 661, by Sen. Ted Lieu, D-Torrance, prohibits picketing a funeral within 300 feet of a burial or memorial site beginning one hour before a funeral and ending one hour after. David Siders SacBee Capitol Alert$ -- 9/18/12

New law gives immunity to drug users who seek overdose aid -- Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation today to provide Californians with limited immunity from prosecution for drug offenses when they seek medical assistance for an overdose by themselves or others. Jim Sanders SacBee Capitol Alert$ -- 9/18/12

Walters: Lois Capps struggles to survive in tight California congressional race -- Lois Capps was a big beneficiary of a bipartisan gerrymander of legislative and congressional districts after the 2000 census. Dan Walters in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 9/18/12

Capitol Weekly's Top 100 List -- Nothing is more subjective than a list that purports to be objective, but we make no apologies. This is our description of people who have a significant impact on state policy, politics and governance. It excludes elected officials, which is why someone like Matt Rexroad, a Yolo County supervisor, isn’t on the list. today we offer 51 through 100 of the Top 100 List. Next Monday, we’ll provide 1-50. The envelope please …. Capitol Weekly -- 9/18/12

Arnold Schwarzenegger hopes to meld Hollywood know-how to politics -- The former governor is set to inaugurate an academic institute at USC, where bipartisan solutions on the environment, economy and political reform will be studied. Anthony York in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/18/12

On anniversary, Occupy takes stock of movement -- On its first birthday Monday, the Occupy movement celebrated from New York to San Francisco and Berkeley, where activists took credit for elevating income inequality, bank lending abuses and outright greed into the national consciousness. Doug Oakley in the Oakland Tribune -- 9/18/12

Occupy protesters celebrate in San Francisco -- Hundreds of Occupy protesters returned to the streets of San Francisco on Monday to mark the movement's first birthday. In contrast to past protests, however, these demonstrations were more celebratory than angry, more festive than confrontational. Justin Berton, Kevin Fagan and Michael Cabanatuan in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 9/18/12

Film consultant: No 'blood on my hands' -- As violent demonstrators across the Middle East continued to protest Monday against an anti-Islam film produced in Southern California, a Hemet-based consultant for the project said unequivocally he would do it again. Josh Dulaney in the Inland Daily Bulletin -- 9/18/12

Charity head says 'Innocence of Muslims' filmmaker misled him -- Joseph Nassralla said he offered Media for Christ's broadcast studio for 10 days of filming but had nothing further to do with movie, which has sparked anti-American protests across the Arab world. Abby Sewell in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/18/12

CalBuzz: How the FPPC Can Improve Regs for Online Info -- California’s Fair Political Practices Commission is moving in the right direction in their new draft proposal governing expenditures for paid online communications, which will be discussed today at an “interested persons” meeting in Sacramento. The proposal may be over-broad in some places and also needs some tweaks to differentiate advertising from other content. Jerry Roberts and Phil Trounstine CalBuzz -- 9/18/12

   Taxes, Fees

11 parcel taxes, 44 school bonds on November ballot -- Gov. Jerry Brown and attorney Molly Munger aren’t the only ones asking voters for more money for schools in November. John Fensterwald EdSource -- 9/18/12


Residue of once-promising finance reform bill in Brown’s hands -- Introduced as a comprehensive plan for K-12 finance reform, Assembly Bill 18 is a shell of its former self. The bill that the Legislature ended up passing last month would merely create a 21-member task force to explore various options and formulas for fairer and simpler school funding and make recommendations to the Legislature by April 1. John Fensterwald EdSource -- 9/18/12

Charters balk at California's new pre-kindergarten law -- A California law requires public schools to add a grade level this fall designed to give the very youngest students a boost when they enroll in kindergarten, but charter schools say the law does not apply to them, pitting them against the state Department of Education. Christina Hoag Associated Press -- 9/18/12

Texas adopts CA’s strategy on NCLB waiver, prompting new risk -- California is no longer the only state trying to get relief from the requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act without committing to the conditions set down by the Obama administration – Texas is trying to do the same thing. Tom Chorneau SI&A Cabinet Report -- 9/18/12

Uncertainty surrounds many district applications for Race to the top -- With just over a month remaining to the deadline, about 80 local educational agencies in California are trying to decide whether to seek a federal Race to the Top grant given the long odds and resources required to even compete for a share of the $400 million award. Kimberly Beltran SI&A Cabinet Report -- 9/18/12

Study of anti-Semitic, anti-Muslim bias on UC campuses stirs debate -- Studies commissioned to improve relations find that some Muslims feel their rights have been suppressed and some Jews think anti-Israel protests have become anti-Semitic. Larry Gordon in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/18/12


Fight over Oakland trees, views not over -- By the time Phyllis Bishop won the right to trim and clear her neighbors' trees and regain the panoramic bay view from her Oakland hills home, 25 years had passed, her husband Lloyd had died, and she was living in a retirement home. Matthai Kuruvila in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 9/18/12

California Science Center Foundation to replant trees removed for space shuttle Endeavour's trip from LAX to new home -- Hoping to allay concerns that hundreds of trees will be removed along the space shuttle Endeavour's route from LAX to its new home, the president of the California Science Center Foundation pledged Monday to replant more trees than are removed and to repair sidewalk damage from existing trees. Rick Orlov in the Los Angeles Daily News -- 9/18/12


Immigrant integration varies across California -- When a change to federal law meant many immigrants would lose access to certain welfare benefits, Santa Clara County faced having to absorb thousands of residents in local safety net programs. So the county pursued a way to keep immigrants eligible for federal benefits: citizenship. Joanna Lin California Watch -- 9/18/12


Protesters demonstrate outside Monsanto plant -- About 50 protesters demonstrated Monday outside a Monsanto plant in Davis on the one-year anniversary of the beginning of the Occupy movement, saying they wanted to shut down the local office of the multinational biotechnology company. Bill Lindelof in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 9/18/12

Bid to overturn L.A. pot shop ban qualifies for ballot -- Activists seeking to repeal a ban on medical marijuana outlets in Los Angeles have secured enough verified signatures to place their measure on the ballot, City Clerk June Lagmay said Monday. David Zahniser and Kate Linthicum in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/18/12

Saunders: Benghazi crime scene - the trailer did it -- For all its high-level thinking, the Obama administration refuses to acknowledge the distinct possibility that last week's attack in Benghazi, which left Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans dead, was an orchestrated event meant to coincide with the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 attack. Debra J. Saunders in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 9/18/12

Frontier Airlines suspending Sacramento service -- In a setback for Sacramento International Airport, struggling Frontier Airlines says it plans to suspend its only Sacramento service – between Sacramento and Denver – in January. Final flights are scheduled for Jan. 7. Tony Bizjak in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 9/18/12

Bisexuals may get their day in Berkeley -- If one Pride celebration isn't enough for you, pack up your party hat and come to Berkeley. Carolyn Jones in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 9/18/12

Bay Bridge to beam vivid light sculpture -- Out on the Embarcadero, Leo Villareal looks south toward the Bay Bridge and sees an abstract pattern of white lights, 25,000 of them. It is a mirage now, but come March he will throw the switch on "Bay Lights," an installation that will cost $8 million to put up and stay up for two years. Sam Whiting in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 9/18/12

   Chicago v Boston

Mitt Romney Explains '47 Percent' Leak: 'Victims' Comment Not Elegantly Stated -- Republican Mitt Romney says a video clip in which he said that nearly half of Americans think they are "victims" was "not elegantly stated." But he says President Barack Obama's approach is "attractive to people who are not paying taxes." KEN THOMAS Associated Press -- 9/18/12

Secret Video: Romney Tells Millionaire Donors What He Really Thinks of Obama Voters -- When he doesn't know a camera's rolling, the GOP candidate shows his disdain for half of America. David Corn Mother Jones -- 9/18/12

A Nation of Moochers -- As Alex Altman reports, Mitt Romney’s bad week just got worse. And the worst of the worse is Romney’s contention that the 47% of the country who support Obama are just looking for handouts. JOE KLEIN Time -- 9/18/12

Today, Mitt Romney Lost the Election -- You can mark my prediction now: A secret recording from a closed-door Mitt Romney fundraiser, released today by David Corn at Mother Jones, has killed Mitt Romney's campaign for president. Josh Barro Bloomberg -- 9/18/12

The Fact Checker -- We will leave aside the politics of this impolitic chat by the GOP nominee. How factual are his statements? Glenn Kessler in the Washington Post -- 9/18/12 (Three Pinocchios)

Mitt Romney’s darkest hour -- In politics when it rains, it pours. Chris Cillizza in the Washington Post -- 9/18/12

Romney's common touch? Writing off nearly half the electorate -- It’s not easy to pick out watershed marks in a presidential race in advance of the voting, but Mitt Romney’s depiction of nearly half of Americans as embracing victimhood and government dependency can’t be a great moment for a rich Republican who has been desperately trying to prove he understands the common man. James Rainey in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 9/18/12

Democrats jump on Romney ’47 percent’ video -- Democratic supporters of President Barack Obama rushed to exploit the video of Gov. Mitt Romney’s frank conversations with his big donors, but the governor seems ready to talk over his opponents. Neil Munro Daily Caller -- 9/18/12

Why Barack Obama is winning -- Unemployment is over 8 percent. Nearly 60 percent of Americans, according to a new poll, believe the country is on the wrong track. The number of people on food stamps is at a historic high and the median net worth of American families is at a 20-year low. JONATHAN MARTIN Politico -- 9/18/12

How Jimmy Carter's Grandson Helped Leak the Secret Romney Fund-raiser Video -- Credited as a "research assistant" on the story is James Carter IV, the grandson of former President Jimmy Carter, who has been toiling online as an opposition researcher and is "currently looking for work," according to his Twitter bio. Joe Coscarelli New York Magazine -- 9/18/12

The real problem with Romney’s ‘47 percent’ gaffe -- Liberals believe they have found the smoking gun that will doom Mitt Romney’s presidential aspirations forever: a video in which the Republican presidential nominee says that 47 percent of Americans will stick with Barack Obama because they “are dependent on government” and “believe … that they are victims.” W. James Antle III Daily Caller -- 9/18/12

What Romney Said on the ‘47 Percent’ and What He Should Have Said -- Mitt Romney was compelled to have a rushed press availability following a fundraiser in Orange County, California tonight to address his (inevitably) controversial comments about the “47 percent” of Americans who don’t pay income taxes, are “dependent” on government, and thus unlikely to support him. Daniel Foster NRO -- 9/18/12

Why This Is Bad for Romney -- There are just too many lines in what Romney said that are not politically defensible, especially, “I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.” The reaction from the Romney campaign in a printed statement and from the right on cable, in tweets, and on the web so far is defiance. Mark Halperin Time -- 9/18/12

How Bad is it for Romney? You decide -- This being the Jewish New Year, a time for reflection, I’m going to heed the calls of some of our more conservative readers and refrain from passing another negative judgment on my old pal Mitt Romney. Instead, I’ll merely pass along ten headlines from the weekend, and one—the Mittster, caught on tape—from Monday afternoon. JOHN CASSIDY The New Yorker -- 9/18/12

Romney Video: Another Gust of Wind for a Campaign Already Teetering -- That’s not in itself fatal, but it’s hardly the discussion a presidential campaign wants to have in mid-September. Beyond timing, there are other reasons why Romney’s gaffe could leave a mark: Alex Roarty National Journal -- 9/18/12

Romney's Hidden-Video Fundraiser Host In June: Economy Is “Not Too Bad” -- Sun Capital Partner's Marc Leder made the comments in a video posted in June — a month after he hosted the now-famous Romney fundraising event. Chris Geidner BuzzFeed -- 9/18/12

Why Politicians Say Dumb Things To Rich People -- Beyond the obvious damage posed to his presidential hopes, Mitt Romney's secretly recorded remarks also offer an instructive glimpse into how our political campaigns are run. The lesson: Politicians say different things to rich people than they do the rest of us. Blake Zeff BuzzFeed -- 9/18/12

Thurston Howell Romney -- Romney, who criticizes President Obama for dividing the nation, divided the nation into two groups: the makers and the moochers. DAVID BROOKS in the New York Times$ -- 9/18/12

Who, Exactly, Are the 47 Percent? -- Well, for starters, it's not accurate to say that 47 percent of Americans pay no taxes at all. Most people pay state taxes, local taxes, and property taxes. Almost all pay sales tax, and most pay payroll. According to the TPC, only 18.1 percent of American households paid zero or negative federal income tax and zero or negative federal payroll tax in 2011. Kevin Roose New York Magazine -- 9/18/12

The 51 Percent -- Is it good policy that half of all households pay no federal income tax? Some conservatives don’t think so. Nancy Cook National Journal -- 9/18/12

We Are the 47%: The Lousy Math Behind Romney's Gaffe -- Way back in August 2011, when the Republican presidential primary was still in its race-to-the-right phase, I noticed that the contenders kept attacking "the 47 percent of Americans who don't pay taxes." David Weigel Slate -- 9/18/12

Why the 'Real Romney' Can't Exist -- Obama supporters are tripping all over themselves, sputtering out Mitt Romney's "47 percent" line to anyone who will listen. This, they argue, is the real Romney! To his donors, when cameras aren't -- or at least aren't supposed to be -- rolling, Romney unveils his real beliefs! PHILIP BUMP The Atlantic -- 9/18/12

Romney slams Obama in pitch to Latinos -- GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, aiming to refocus his campaign on economic issues, came to California Monday to launch an aggressive drive for the critical Hispanic vote, arguing that Latino small businesses are being "crushed" by the tax policies of the Obama administration, which he said has also failed to deliver on immigration. Carla Marinucci in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 9/18/12

Romney Orange County fundraiser draws 1,700 -- Gov. Mitt Romney focused on his core domestic policy issues at a Segerstrom Concert Hall fundraiser Monday evening, steering clear of Middle East issues and a video leaked earlier in the day. MARTIN WISCKOL in the Orange County Register -- 9/18/12

Obama's Disdain for Democracy and Free Expression -- It didn't begin with the attempt to censor Google and it will get worse if the President is re-elected. DAVID CATRON American Spectator -- 9/18/12

Promising Change of All Kinds, Romney Campaign Plans More of the Same -- The Romney campaign is rebooting. After two weeks of slipping poll numbers, Mitt Romney’s advisers began the week by announcing the campaign would change course. But how? Depending on which media account you’re reading, you’re liable to get a different answer. ALEX ALTMAN Time -- 9/18/12

A Bleeping Waste of Ad Money -- Mitt Romney is out with two new ads. The first is pitiful, pablum. Watch it for yourself. It just sounds like nothing but gaudy political promises, eminently predictable, without substance. Mush. QUIN HILLYER American Spectator -- 9/18/12

Romney Needs a Turnaround Artist -- One of Romney’s great skills is the ability to turn around failing enterprises. He did it with private firms while he ran Bain Capital, he did it for an indebted Massachusetts, and he did it for the Olympics. He needs to do it for his campaign now. Mona Charen NRO -- 9/18/12

California spends $900k for Hollywood to promote Obamacare -- California’s Obamacare-created insurance exchange is planning to spend $900,000 in taxpayer money to a P.R. firm to help enlist Hollywood “to incorporate story lines or mentions of health care reform that would reinforce [public relations] campaign messages” on prime-time TV. Christopher Bedford Daily Caller -- 9/18/12

Obama Campaign Accuses Romney of Profiting from Slave Labor -- President Obama's campaign made a serious charge against Mitt Romney today when spokesman Ben LaBolt suggested on national television that the Republican presidential candidate had previously profited off slave labor in China: DANIEL HALPER Weekly Standard -- 9/18/12