Cry Foul

Jul 2, 2012

Critics of Gov. Jerry Brown are slamming the administration's "friendly inquiry" to county election officials regarding the status of Brown's tax iniative.


From Anthony York in the Los Angeles Times: "With the fate of his tax initiative hanging in the balance, Gov. Jerry Brown was in a tight spot."

"So he called Dave Macdonald, the top elections official in Alameda County, for a conversation about Macdonald's progress in verifying thousands of petition signatures needed to help move Brown's measure onto the November state ballot."


Administration officials say they were simply keeping up on the progress of the initiative, but others see a heavier hand at work.


"'It's quite transparent what they're doing,' said Aaron McLear, a spokesman for the campaign against the governor's initiative. 'They're supposed to be solving the state's problems but instead they're busy gaming the system.'"


Brown and Senate Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg are staying busy ahead of a High Speed Rail vote this week. 


From Matier and Ross at SF Gate: "When California's high-speed rail plan comes up for the big vote this week in Sacramento, there will be a lot more at stake for the Bay Area than just bullet trains to Los Angeles."


"In a move some see as an attempt to round up badly needed "yes" votes for the project, Gov. Jerry Brown and state Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, are insisting on an 'all or nothing' vote on both the $68 billion rail line and millions of dollars for local 'connectivity' projects."


While Stockton may have made history with last week's bankruptcy filing, one stakeholder signals that it isn't ready to give up on their $121 million debt.


From Ed Mendel at "A potential big loser in the bankruptcy filed by Stockton last week, an insurer backing a $121 million Stockton pension bond issue, is warning that it may contest the city’s eligibility for bankruptcy."


"The leading municipal bond insurer, Assured Guaranty, said three Stockton bond issues totaling $161 million 'remain fully protected by our unconditional and irrevocable guaranty to pay scheduled principal and interest in full and on time.'"


"But in a statement posted on its website Friday, the insurer said it will 'vigorously enforce' its rights for fair treatment as a creditor, including the right to contest Stockton’s eligibility for bankruptcy under federal law."


With last week's SCOTUS ruling on the Affordable Care Act, Californians will see big changes in health care, some very quickly.


From Daniel Weintraub at "The Supreme Court decision last week upholding President Barack Obama’s health reform law clears the way for a transformation in the way millions of Californians will get their health insurance, and, ultimately, their care."


"...[t]he easiest way to understand the coming change is this: The current business model of the health insurance industry consists of avoiding risk. The new model will instead force insurance companies to compete by offering the best service."


"In today’s environment, insurance companies avoid risk by spending vast amounts of time, effort and money weeding out potential customers who might actually need to use their product. The new model will instead force insurance companies to compete by offering the best service."


Most of California's State Parks appear to have dodged the bullet on full closure, but they're not out of the woods yet.


From Peter Fimrite in the San Francisco Chronicle:  "California's state parks have emerged almost intact from the vortex of red ink coursing through the state, but officials insist it will take more time, work and a lot more money to save the beleaguered system during the next budget cycle."


"Only two of the state's 278 parks will be shut down completely, a far cry from the 70 scheduled last year for closure due to the state's seemingly perpetual budget crisis. But the park system is a long way from being out of the woods. The dozens of agreements recently struck with nonprofits and foundations to run parks are all temporary, meaning the state could be facing more closures next year and the year after."


And, finally, the site we've all been waiting for: CNN, with cats.  


Web developer Mobify recently introduced Meowbify, an experiment to insert pictures and videos of cats into your favorite websites.  "Meowbify uses the Mobify Platform and moxie to solve the not-enough-cats-on-your-favorite-website problem."








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