By the numbers

Nov 12, 2013

California Republicans face an uphill fight to maintain their political hold in the state, with such factors as ethnicity and age working against them, according to a new poll.


From the LAT's Cathleen Decker: "Take party registration: Among white California voters, almost four in 10 are Democrats and four in 10 are Republicans. But among Latinos 55% are Democrats and only 15% are Republicans. Among black voters, 76% are Democrats and 4% are Republicans. There were not enough Asian voters to accurately assess, but overall, minority voters are 54% Democratic to 14% Republican. (Just more than one-quarter of minority voters are registered independents, a group that generally votes Democratic in California.)"


"The collision between ethnicity and age is even more lethal. Six in 10 white voters are over 50, making them prized in the present but not dependable in future decades. The reverse is true for Latinos, 64% of whom are age 49 or younger. Overall, among all voters, 35% of those 50 and over are Republicans; of those younger, only 23% were."


"Already those younger and minority voters — 38% of the voter pool — are propping up Democrats in California. Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown has a positive job approval rating of 55% overall. Among white voters the rating is 51%. Among black voters, it is 61%, Among Latinos, it is 67%."


Speaking of polls, Jerry Brown may be getting good job-approval ratings from the public, but only about a third of thoise surveyed said they would vote for him for reelection.


From the LAT's Anthony York: "Jerry Brown may be the state's longest-serving governor, with a political resume that spans six decades, but California voters are ambivalent about the 75-year-old Democrat."


More than half of those surveyed in a new USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll say they approve of the job Brown is doing as governor — the highest rating since he retook the governor's office in 2011. Yet only 32% say they are inclined to vote for Brown if he seeks an unprecedented fourth term as California's chief executive next year."


"Moreover, respondents give Brown little credit for what is widely considered as his signature achievement since returning to the governor's office in 2011 — erasing a $26 billion state deficit. Only 38% say they approve of the way Brown has handled the issue; 47% disapprove."


Talk about long-term employees: Morris Collen is almost 100 years old and he's still a go-getter at Kaiser Permanente, where he works at the database system he founded long ago.


From the Chronicle's David Perlman: "Collen, whose birthday is Tuesday, is a fast-moving, up-on-everything, hardworking consultant to Kaiser's Northern California Division of Research - the outfit he founded more than 50 years ago."


"The term "consultant" means that he's on duty there three days a week, helping to advance the sophisticated Kaiser computer systems that hold the medical records of the nearly 8 million Kaiser members in California and allow their doctors to better serve their patients' health needs."


"Collen has been both a visionary and pioneer, said Dr. Robert Pearl, executive director of the Permanente Medical Group, whose physicians care for California's Kaiser members."

The pitched court battle between CalPERS and San Bernardino shows no signs of easing up, with CalPERS saying the city has obligations to the huge pension fund despite its bankruptcy.


From Calpensions' Ed Mendel: "The two CalPERS court filings continue an all-out legal battle triggered when San Bernardino did the unprecedented: skipped employer pension contributions last fiscal year, running up a tab of about $17 million, before resuming payments in July."


"The giant California Public Employees Retirement System wants its more than 3,000 local government employers to know that withholding pension contributions is a no-go zone, not an option if they struggle financially."


"San Bernardino, in danger of not making payroll, made an emergency bankruptcy filing in August last year, staying debt collection. The city stopped about $30 million in various payments, roughly half owed to CalPERS."


A state law that opens up some school programs or facilities -- restrooms, for example -- to those of the opposite sex is drawing lots of opposition from out of state.  A referendum looms


From the Cabinet Report's Tom Chorneau: "Fueled by more than $150,000 in donations just in the last 10 days – much of it from sources outside California – opponents of a new state law broadening the rights of transgender students say they have enough signatures to qualify a repeal initiative."


"AB 1266, which had the support of the California Teachers Association and the statewide PTA, allows participation in school programs, activities and athletic competitions by all students regardless of the gender listed on the pupil’s records."


"Although the bill is set to take effect in January, a coalition of faith-based organizations with the support of the California Republican Party have been engaged in a signature gathering campaign since Gov. Jerry Brown signed the bill into law in September."

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