"An initiative to alter legislative term limits narrowly secured a spot on the February ballot
Tuesday after petitions from three small counties made up for a lackluster signature count in Los Angeles County," reports Judy Lin in the Bee.
"Proponents characterized recent speculation that the ballot measure was in jeopardy as a "cheap stunt" by opponents. Opponents, meanwhile, vowed to explore legal challenges to Tuesday's certification after four counties revised their final results upward, giving the initiative a critical boost to reach its signature goal.
"Two county registrars said they initiated a review on their own and one county registrar said he made a revision after being contacted by an attorney for the initiative.
"'It's clear they're responding to the political pressure that's brought to bear on them,' said Kevin Spillane
, a Republican strategist leading the opposition. 'The process has been tainted.'"
, chief strategist for the term-limits initiative, said in a statement that the campaign looks forward to moving on.
"'It's disappointing that opponents to this reform have tried in vain from day one to tar our effort with unfounded allegations,' Kaufman said."
"Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez would be courting defeat at the ballot box by bypassing Republicans with a measure to increase taxes to provide health care for uninsured Californians
, Assembly Republican leader Mike Villines
said Tuesday," write Aurelio Rojas and Jim Sanders in the Bee.
"The Los Angeles Times reported Saturday the Republican governor and Democratic speaker are fashioning a strategy to raise business and hospital taxes through a ballot measure and circumventing Republican lawmakers who oppose any new taxes.
"Under the scenario outlined by the newspaper, the Democrats who control the Legislature would pass a bill that doesn't include funding for health care and ask voters to raise taxes.
"But Villines predicted voters would defeat such a measure. The governor, he said, also would be reversing himself by not including Republicans in the process.
"'The governor has been very clear about saying he wants Republicans there
,' Villines said. 'That does rule out taxes, we understand that. But I think there's still things we can support.'
The Register’s Brian Joseph and Abigail Palmer preview the final weeks of session
"The Legislature heard 183 bills on Tuesday, with 650 more to go before the end of this year's legislative calendar.”
Among the bills that passed yesterday, “The Assembly passed Senate Bill 382, by Sen. Jenny Oropeza
, D-Long Beach, which allows immigrants who become U.S. citizens after the voter registration deadline to register and vote on Election Day
. The bill now heads to the Senate for concurrence on amendments.
If the Fred Thompson campaign announcement seems similar to the Arnold Schwarzenegger campaign
, the Chron's Carla Marinucci has the answer.
"Maybe that's because the former Tennessee senator has at his side some of the same key aides who, in nine short weeks, helped transform Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger from 'The Terminator' into the chief executive of the Democratic-leaning state that is the most populous in the nation.
"Thompson plans to formally kick off his presidential bid - shaped around the themes of "security, unity and prosperity" - beginning today with a blitz that reflects his media savvy and his advantage as an actor better known to many Americans as District Attorney Arthur Branch on TV's 'Law & Order.'
"Thompson's campaign includes two veterans of another whirlwind effort - the 2003 California recall election that starred Schwarzenegger - who know firsthand at least some of the challenges ahead.
They are Todd Harris
, who was Schwarzenegger's campaign communications director and will hold the same title for Thompson, and veteran Republican strategist and Fox News commentator Karen Hanretty
, Schwarzenegger's press secretary during the 2003 recall effort, who will be Thompson's deputy communications director."
The LAT's Patrick McGreevy and Nancy Vogel wrap yesterday's action in the sausage factory
. "Worried that toddlers and infants might be unnecessarily exposed to toxics in plastic toys, state lawmakers Tuesday sent to the governor's desk a partial ban on the use of one potentially harmful chemical.
"The State Senate also approved a bill that would outlaw the use of lead ammunition in hunting big game and coyotes in the habitat of endangered condors, amid concern that 11 of the birds have been removed to the Los Angeles Zoo with lead poisoning since February.
"And the Assembly voted to ban the sale of food containing artificial trans fat in school vending machines or anywhere else on school campuses. The bill, SB 490 by Sen. Elaine Alquist
(D-Santa Clara), would apply to kindergarten through 12th grades. After passing 49 to 22 it returns to the Senate for agreement on amendments."
"A year after he pushed a bill to eliminate wagering limits at card rooms, state Sen. Dean Florez
is seeking to loosen gambling laws some more -- this time with legislation that would make it easier to add tables at small card rooms
," writes E.J. Schultz in the Bee.
"Florez, D-Shafter, says the change is needed to accommodate the growing popularity of Texas Hold 'em.
"The card game is often featured on televised poker tournaments, spurring many gamblers to try their hand at their local card room. Many customers 'have to wait several hours to play or leave to go home and perhaps play poker on the Internet, which is prohibited by federal law,' Florez said in the bill analysis.
"Senate Bill 152, which cleared the Assembly Tuesday and heads to the Senate for a final vote, has drawn less attention than last year's wagering limit measure, which anti-gambling groups strongly opposed. But activists are still worried that the bill would further erode a 12-year-old moratorium on card-room expansion."
Carla Marinucci has this tidbit in her blog. "California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger apparently hasn't heard that familiar ad that warns motorists to 'Click It or Ticket.
"The California governor was caught by paparazzi over the weekend as he left a Malibu Italian restaurant with First Lady Maria Shriver and daughter, Katherine, 18 and Christopher, 10, in the car. Shriver is covering her face, and maybe for good reason: neither her husband, nor her son, are wearing seat belts.
"Schwarzenegger was criticized by child safety advocates last year when he vetoed AB2108, which would have toughened laws requiring children under the age of 6 to sit in the back of a vehicle and use child safety seats. The new law would have made it mandatory for kids 8 and younger to be in the safety seats in back.
"The governor said in his veto message that a better approach would be to educate parents to the existing law.
"Consider yourself educated, governor."
Later, Marinucci continued:
, the governor's press secretary, said he talked to Schwarzenegger about our item this afternoon. The governor says he was, indeed, out with the family in Malibu last weekend. Though McLear said the governor didn't see the photo, Schwarzenegger "said he and his family always wear their seat belts, to be safe and follow the law.''
"McLear said he didn't talk to the photographers who captured the moment, but, in fairness, 'it's not clear to me whether he was actually driving, or pulling out. I don't know the circumstances.
Apparently, pulling out doesn't constitute driving...
And from our Kathmandu bureau, "Officials at Nepal's state-run airline have sacrificed two goats to appease Akash Bhairab, the Hindu sky god, following technical problems
with one of its Boeing 757 aircraft, the carrier said Tuesday."
Rumors that term limits proponents sacrificed a goat or two at the Riverside County registrar’s office late last week were unconfirmed as of press time…