California group moves to put pension overhaul on 2012 ballot

From the Sac Bee:

California’s current and future state and local employees would pay more for their pensions under two ballot initiative proposals submitted to the state attorney general today with the intent of putting one of them to a statewide vote next year.

“Seventy percent of voters think it’s time,” said Dan Pellissier, president of California Pension Reform, referring to public opinion polls on public pensions.

(Read Full Article)

Texas bests California on another business list

From the OC Register:

California ranks 47th among the states in the number of new company relocations per million population, according to the Site Selection magazine’s 2011 Top Business Climates rankings.

The relative scarcity of relocations plus California’s tax climate – ranked 49th – puts the Golden State at 20th out of 25 states in business climate, the publication reports. California’s competitiveness ranks 37th.

(Read Full Article)

Open letter from Oakland police union: Why is the mayor encouraging city employees to join the “Occupy” movement’s strike?

From Hot Air:

They say they’re “confused” but they aren’t. This couldn’t be simpler: Jean Quan, the Democratic mayor of a Democratic city, was utterly intimidated by the media backlash after cops followed her orders to clear the plaza in front of city hall and ended up clashing with protesters. So now, to make amends, not only has she given them back the space, she’s giving all city employees the day off tomorrow to join the mass strike against “the establishment” — except of course for the designated scapegoat, the police. If, like the union, you’re wondering whether Quan and those employees aren’t also part of “the establishment” and why she thinks handing out extra sick days for dissent is more important than running the city, clearly you’ve forgotten an important lesson. Namely, any liberal can “speak truth to power” by virtue of being a liberal, no matter how fantastically powerful he or she might be. If this idiot is qualified, Jean Quan certainly is too.

(Read Full Article)

Surprise! Another Obama bundler benefits from “green-tech” subsidies


From Hot Air:

Well, surprise isn’t really the correct word in this case.  A better phrase would be, “To no one’s great shock …”  On the heels of the Solyndra fiasco and the Fisker grant that created jobs in Finland, the Washington Post discovers that a “major fundraiser” for Barack Obama — and a member of his 2008 campaign team — ended up benefiting from $50 million in taxpayer-backed green-tech loans:

An investment firm whose vice chairman has been an adviser and fundraiser for President Obama saw one of its portfolio companies win approval this year for $50 million in loans from the administration’s clean-energy loan program.

Washington-based Perseus says its affiliation with James A. Johnson, a major fundraiser for Obama’s campaign, played no role in persuading the Energy Department to award the loan to Vehicle Production Group, a Miami start-up that is manufacturing wheelchair-accessible cars and taxis.

(Read Full Article)

Don’t like cuts? Controller John Chiang says offer alternatives


From the Sac Bee:

Controller John Chiang said Wednesday that lawmakers who fear the prospect of automatic mid-year budget cuts should find alternatives soon.

In a meeting with The Bee Capitol Bureau, Chiang wouldn’t predict whether “trigger” cuts to education and social services would happen. Under the budget approved by Gov. Jerry Brown and lawmakers, California is required to impose up to $2.5 billion in cuts if fiscal analysts determine in the next few weeks the state will fall short in revenues this fiscal year.

(Read Full Article)

Fed cuts growth forecast, boosts jobless rate estimates

From the LA Times:

A new forecast from the Federal Reserve paints a gloomier outlook for the economy in 2012 and 2013.

The Fed on Wednesday cut its forecasts for economic growth and boosted its estimates of unemployment.

In revisions to its June forecasts, the Fed now forecasts that growth in real gross domestic product will be in a range of 2.5% to 2.9% in 2012, down from the previous estimate of 3.3% to 3.7%.

Growth in 2013 is likely to be in a range of 3.0% to 3.5%, the Fed said, down from the previous estimate of 3.5% to 4.2%.

(Read Full Article)

Group to file suit challenging open carry law

From the Pasadena Sun:

A guns owners’ rights group plans to file a federal lawsuit challenging California’s so-called “open carry” legislation barring public display of weapons, a challenge that may affect  a measure by Assemblyman Anthony Portantino (D-La Canada Flintridge) that was signed into law this month.

Portantino authored a bill, signed by Gov. Jerry Brown, that bans open display of unloaded weapons. The bill extends a 1967 ban on displaying loaded weapons in public areas.

On Monday, an organization called California Right to Carry announced gun rights advocate Charles Nichols would sue to overturn the 1967 law. 

(Read Full Article)

Federal lawsuit filed against California congressional maps

From the Sac Bee:

Critics of California’s new congressional districts are taking their case against the political maps to federal court.

Former GOP Rep. George Radanovich and four other plaintiffs announced today that they will file a lawsuit in federal district court arguing that the lines drawn by the California Citizens Redistricting Commission violate the Federal Voting Rights Act and the 14th Amendment.

The lawsuit, which will likely be filed later this week in Southern California, will argue that California’s 14-member commission violated the law by intentionally not creating majority African-American and Latino congressional districts in Los Angeles County when it drafted the state’s 53 congressional districts, according to a release.

(Read Full Article)

Santa Ana’s Budget Crisis May Put Fire Department on the Chopping Block

From Voice of OC:

Santa Ana officials are now openly acknowledging that deep cuts to public safety are needed to close a budget deficit that could rise as high as $30 million in the next fiscal year.

And in its comprehensive report issued in September, Management Partners Inc., the city’s contract budget analyst, specifically cited the need to reform the Santa Ana Fire Department’s staffing policies. The report went so far as to say that some fire stations could be temporarily closed at night when call volume goes down.

“Management Partners believes that consideration should be given to eliminating the current fixed staffing model,” the report says.

Firefighters union leaders have been less conciliatory than their counterparts in the police department about reopening labor contracts to pare down the deficit.

(Read Full Article)

Massive Turnover in 2012 CA Assembly

From Fox & Hounds:

The biggest story of Campaign 2012 will be the impact redistricting will have on Assembly races.

When the November 2012 election is behind us and the newly elected members of the state Assembly are sworn in the following month, the new Freshman class will be huge and could conceivably be as large as 42 members – more than half of the 80-member body.

(Read Full Article)