A week from election day, the governor has not yet settled on a sales pitch to woo voters to back his tax initiative, Proposition 30, which would raise some $6 billion annually for schools and public safety.
From MIchael J. Mishak and Anthony York in the Los Angeles Times: "He has said at turns that Proposition 30 is about fixing Sacramento, supporting local schools and creating jobs. At recent campaign stops, he has said the measure would help stabilize the state budget — even though ads in favor of it say the billions of dollars in new taxes will flow only to schools and cannot be touched by Sacramento politicians."
"On the stump, Brown emphasizes that most of the tax increases will affect only the wealthiest Californians. The campaign ads make little mention of that."
"The mixed messages underscore the Democratic governor's struggle to persuade skeptical taxpayers to open their wallets and provide fodder for a well-financed opposition to plant doubt among voters. A recent USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll showed support for the proposal slipping below 50% for the first time."
San Francisco politics, always part entertainment and part chicanery, is in a chill mode at City Hall, where the mayor wants the newly reintstated sheriff to stand down.
From the Chronicle's John Coté: "A type of cold war, fought with letters rather than proxies, appears to be settling in at San Francisco City Hall in the wake of Mayor Ed Lee's failed effort to oust Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi for official misconduct."
"And don't expect a Reykjavik-style summit anytime soon."
"On Friday, Lee brushed off Mirkarimi's request that the two sit down in the "spirit of reconciliation" to discuss the Sheriff's Department, strategies for inmates returning to society and other topics, making no mention of a meeting in a measured response expressing "my concerns about the effective oversight" of the department."
"Instead, the mayor asked Mirkarimi to submit a detailed response to District Attorney George Gascón's letter sent this month that called on the sheriff, who oversees the city's jails and a program for domestic violence offenders, to recuse himself from any duties related to the custody, supervision and rehabilitation of those convicted of domestic violence."
Hurricane Sandy rears its ugly head -- in California. A legal challenge by the state's political watchdog was delayed because the storm blocked attorneys from making a court date.
From the LAT's Chris Megerian: "A court hearing involving the $11-million donation from an Arizona nonprofit has been delayed from Tuesday to Wednesday because the storm was preventing the group's Virginia lawyers from flying out on time."
"The Arizona nonprofit, Americans for Responsible Leadership, gave the money to the Small Business Action Committee, which is fighting Gov. Jerry Brown's tax-hike campaign and pushing a ballot measure that would curb unions' political influence."
"The donation sparked a lawsuit from the Fair Political Practices Commission, which is investigating whether the nonprofit is improperly hiding its donors' identities."
PayPal, the eBay-owned site that expedites online payments for just about everything, is cutting jobs in the Bay Area.
From Alistair Barr Reuters in the Contra Costa Times: "PayPal is cutting about 325 jobs as part of a major reorganization by its new president, David Marcus, designed to regain an innovative edge and head off rising competition."
"PayPal, the online payment pioneer owned by eBay (EBAY), said on Monday the full-time jobs would be eliminated as it combines nine product-development groups into one. The company is also cutting about 120 contractors."
"EBay will take a $15 million pretax restructuring charge in the fourth quarter related to the job reductions. PayPal, which started in the late 1990s as a scrappy Silicon Valley start-up, had almost 13,000 employees earlier this year."
The death sentence of the longest-serving inmate on California's Death Row has been overturned in a case stemming from a 1978 murder in Fresno.
From the LAT's Maura Dolan: "A three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals decided 2-1 that Douglas R. Stankewitz, convicted of murdering Theresa Greybeal in Fresno in 1978, should be re-sentenced to life without possibility of parole unless prosecutors retry the penalty phase of his murder case."
"Death penalty trials are divided into two parts. The jury first decides whether the defendant is guilty or not guilty. If guilt is established, the jury then decides whether to recommend a death sentence or life without parole."
"The 9th Circuit majority said Stankewitz’s lawyer presented only a “paltry” amount of evidence in trying to persuade jurors against a death sentence, ignoring extensive documentation of the defendant’s “deprived and abusive upbringing,” potential mental illness, long history of substance abuse and use of drugs leading up to the murder."