Hot seat*

Feb 27, 2012

Herbert L. Carter, chairman of the California State University's governing board, is under the gun as Republicans vow to block his reconfirmation. Legislators, inundated by complaints from students and their parents, are unhappy with fee increases and with high salaries for administrators. The Senate is expected to decide the issue today -- the last floor session before Wednesday's deadline. (Ed's Note: Corrects lede to Herbert Carter, sted Charles Reed).


From the LAT's Carla Rivera and Patrick McGreevy: "Senate Republicans have signaled that they will block the confirmation, citing Carter's role in controversial decisions last year to increase executive pay while also boosting student tuition."

"Democrats see the opposition as partisan posturing having little to do with those actions. Although Democrats control both legislative houses, Republicans have leverage in this fight: nominations to the Cal State board are among the few that require a two-thirds majority, meaning at least two Republican votes are needed."

"A decision must be made by Monday, the last Senate floor session before the confirmation deadline on Wednesday."


Gov. Brown, in Washington, D.C. for a national governor's conference, went mano-a-mano with a reporter from the Washington Times, a conservative newspaper founded by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon. Brown emerged unscathed from the fracas and the newsie learned that, no, Ronald Reagan didn't succeed Jerry Brown as governor. 


From the LAT's Anthony York: "Gov. Jerry Brown tangled with a reporter from the conservative Washington Times newspaper after his meeting with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Sunday."


"At one point Brown, who was defending his earlier tenure as governor and his efforts to bridge the state’s budget gap, asked the reporter: “Are you a Moonie?”


"The Washington Times was founded in 1982 by Sun Myung Moon, head of the Unification Church, whose followers were often referred to informally as Moonies."


The Newark hotel incident in which Nadia Lockyer, wife of state Treasurer Bill Lockyer, was apparently beaten by a friend with a criminal past is taking off in new directions that include conflicting versions of what actually happened and the appearance of an alleged sex tape.


From the Chronicle's Matier and Ross, who broke the original story. "There's a shocking twist in the saga of Alameda County Supervisor Nadia Lockyer and the incident at a Newark hotel that landed her in the hospital and a male acquaintance under police scrutiny."


"We're told that a sex tape of Nadia Lockyer and the man was given to her husband, state Treasurer Bill Lockyer, about six weeks before the Newark incident. The treasurer believed that the man, who has a history of arrests for alleged methamphetamine use, might make the tape public if forced to break off a romantic relationship with the supervisor."


There has a been a big drop in natural gas prices over the past decade, but what PG&E charges its customers has remained almost the same. 


From Mike Taugher in the Contra Costa Times: "This month, PG&E on average paid its suppliers just 27 cents per therm, which is a unit of energy contained in about 100 cubic feet of gas."


"That is the lowest price since September 2002 and one-fourth the price it paid in February 2001, according to PG&E records. But to deliver that gas and maintain its system, the utility charged about $1 per therm."


"That is significantly less than the $1.20 to $1.50 or more per therm ratepayers were paying in 2007 and 2008."


The Republicans' move to endorse Gov. Brown's pension-overhaul proposal was a shrewd political play: The governor's own party has failed to get behind the plan and the now the GOP has pressure on them to step up. The LAT's George Skelton opines.


"It's very rare — and I can't think of a similar occasion — when legislators of one party unconditionally endorse a top legislative priority of a governor from the other party. That is, while lawmakers of the governor's own party basically ignore him."


"It was a very clever political move," Senate leader Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) conceded to Senate minority leader Bob Huff (R-Diamond Bar) in a congratulatory phone call."


"Sure, Republicans were playing gotcha politics. And this isn't the end of the story by any stretch."


And finally from our All You Need is Love file comes word from across the pond of a new study that shows that the average single woman dates five men over the course of the year, and that a fourth of those women are seeing three men at any one time. 


"A quarter of young British women are dating at least three men at once, according to a study."


"On average, the typical single woman is seeing 1.46 men at any one time,  the researchers found (although how a girl gets to know .46 of a man remains a mystery)..."

"Modern women are increasingly turning traditional dating rules on their head, with a third prepared to ask a man to marry them."


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