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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Political Odds and Ends a Week Prior to Election Day

Our CSLA Advocate, Jeff Frost sent this report to CSLA leadership yesterday. We would like to share it with our membership and Listserv members. I hope it is helpful and informative to you. As an Association we do endorse a yes vote on Proposition 30 and a no vote on Proposition 32. Jeff's article is below.

Please do exercise your right to vote your own hearts,
Pam Oehlman
CSLA President

Political Odds and Ends a Week Prior to Election Day

Recent Polling on statewide propositions

Scott Lay, who does an outstanding daily blog on current political events
called Around the Capitol, is out with his most recent poll averaging - 10
days prior to election day.  As a reminder, these averages look at the broad
field of public polls, which are then weighted on recency and methodology.
Here are the current numbers:

Proposition 30: Temporary Taxes to Fund Education. Guaranteed Local Public
Safety Funding. Initiative Constitutional Amendment.

Yes: 49.0% (-1.8%)
No: 41.2%
Undecided: 8.7%

Proposition 31: State Budget. State and Local Government. Initiative
Constitutional Amendment and Statute.
Yes: 26.5% (-4.2%)
No: 42.3%%
Undecided: 31.1%

Proposition 32: Prohibits Political Contributions by Payroll Deduction.
Prohibitions on Contributions to Candidates. Initiative Statute.
Yes: 41.7% (-2.7%)
No: 46.0%
Undecided: 11.0%

Proposition 33: Changes Law to Allow Auto Insurance Companies to Set Prices
Based on a Driver's History of Insurance Coverage. Initiative Statute.
Yes: 54.8% (-1.0%)
No: 33.6%
Undecided: 23.1%

Proposition 34: Death Penalty Repeal. Initiative Statute.
Yes: 43.5% (-0.4%)
No: 44.3%
Undecided: 12.2%

Proposition 35: Human Trafficking. Penalties. Sex Offender Registration.
Initiative Statute.
Yes: 79.7% (-2.5%)
No: 12.3%
Undecided: 8.0%

Proposition 36: Three Strikes Law. Sentencing for Repeat Felony Offenders.
Initiative Statute.
Yes: 67.0% (-4.5%)
No: 20.6%
Undecided: 12.5%

Proposition 37: Genetically Engineered Foods. Mandatory Labeling. Initiative
Yes: 49.0% (-7.2%)%
No: 38.6%
Undecided: 12.2%

Proposition 38: Tax for Education and Early Childhood Programs. Initiative
Yes: 41.2% (-0.9%)
No: 48.7%
Undecided: 9.9%

Proposition 39: Tax Treatment for Multistate Businesses. Clean Energy and
Energy Efficiency Funding. Initiative Statute.
Yes: 54.2% (-0.5%)
No: 30.7%
Undecided: 15.1%

Proposition 40: Redistricting. State Senate Districts. Referendum.
Yes: 44.2% (+0.0%)
No: 25.8%
Undecided: 30.0%

Poll shows Molly Munger chipping away at Jerry Brown's support

Ever since the beginning of the campaign, Gov. Jerry Brown and his allies
have worried that Molly Munger's rival ballot measure would siphon away
support for his tax plan. It appears they were right to be concerned,
according to a new USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll.  Support for Brown's
tax measure, Proposition 30, sank nine points to 46% in the last month amid
a barrage of criticism from Munger, who is pushing Proposition 38.  Poll
data show that fewer of Munger's supporters are also willing to vote for
Brown's measure, falling 10 points to 75%. In a close election, that kind of
drop can be decisive, said David Kanevsky of American Viewpoint, a
Republican firm that worked on the poll.  "The legacy of Proposition 38 will
be what happens to Proposition 30," he said. "If Proposition 30 loses by a
very close margin, you could make a case that Proposition 38 helped kill

Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, a Democratic company, also worked on the
poll, which surveyed 1,504 registered voters by telephone from Oct. 15 to
Oct. 21. The margin of error is 2.9 percentage points.

Brown's plan, Proposition 30, would increase the sales tax by a quarter-cent
for four years and raise income taxes on the wealthy by one to three
percentage points for seven years. The governor says it's the only way to
avoid billions of dollars in cuts to public schools this year.  Proposition
38, which Munger has bankrolled with tens of millions of dollars, would
increase income taxes on most Californians on an ascending scale and spend
the money on schools, early childhood education and debt payments.

Pollster Stan Greenberg said Brown can still pull out a victory on Election
Day, Nov. 6.  "This is likely to turn back," he said.

GOP's California Dream Dashed

A very interesting article by Jake Sherman in Politico, shows how the
congressional races are going in California.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Republicans started the year with high hopes for a
revival in this reliably blue state.  The party spent millions of dollars
working to identify and bring out Republican voters, after a nonpartisan
redistricting process created a dozen competitive seats where there was just
one before.  But the Golden State isn't the golden opportunity the GOP
thought it was this cycle. Nearly every Republican in California and in D.C.
privately concedes the same thing: They could wake up on Nov. 7 having lost
every competitive seat in the state.  House Republican leaders, who hoped to
be on offense in California, are now playing an expensive game of political

The story of why this is happening is best told in California's sleepy state
capital, which has morphed into the most competitive House media market in
the country.  Two Republican incumbents in GOP seats - Reps. Jeff Denham and
Dan Lungren - are on the ropes against well-funded Democratic challengers.
Despite their own polling - which has shown both men below 50 percent - they
refuse to concede the race is truly close.  The American Action Network -
which has spent tens of millions of dollars supporting House Republicans -
has had to spend roughly $3 million to prop Denham up - their biggest
expenditure in the nation. Internal polling has both races near a dead heat.
And because Republicans are on defense in those two seats, they can't lend
help to GOP challenger Kim Vann, a 37-year-old county executive, who is
running against liberal Rep. John Garamendi in a barely Democratic district
that stretches north of Sacramento. In fact, the media market is so
saturated, outside groups are having difficulty finding air time to buy.

A series of missteps, a popular incumbent president, a saturated media
market and a population with a large percentage of minorities makes winning
seats in this state a tall task for House Republicans.  They also can't
really criticize the health care law, which is more popular here. And
incumbents are difficult to dislodge.  In essence, the national party's
entire election playbook is rendered ineffective in California.  To show how
uphill the climb is here for Republicans, perhaps their best hope for
knocking off a Democrat is in a Stockton-area seat, where Ricky Gill - a
25-year-old Indian American with piles of cash - is trying to paint Rep.
Jerry McNerney as a Bay Area liberal who moved into the moderate valley to
save his political career. Here's the problem: President Barack Obama won
that district by 16 percent in 2008.

And it's not only Northern California where Republicans are seeing their
fortunes flip. In Palm Springs, Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-Calif.) is seeing her
race tighten. In San Diego, Rep. Brian Billbray's race is also close.
Republicans counter and say Democrats have made mistakes too. They didn't
find a candidate to run against Republican Rep. Gary Miller in a Democratic
seat in the southern part of the state. Republicans are also poised to hold
a seat in the northern part of the state, and snatch another in the south.
It's crucial that Republicans make inroads in California because it's now
the most competitive House landscape in the nation. To build - and sustain -
a strong majority in D.C., both parties will have to learn how to win in the
state. So far, it's bedeviled Republicans.  "This state is the road for the
Democrats to go back to the majority," McCarthy said in an interview. "It's
a very competitive state. We're building a long-term narrative to win
seats," adding that their goal stretches beyond this election cycle.

Republicans face stiff headwinds. They're 30 percent of the electorate, and
have been on a steady decline. They don't boast a single elected minority in
a state where Asian Americans, African-Americans and Latinos are the drivers
of the population. The only woman in the Republican delegation is Bono Mack.
"What happened is the Republicans' complete and utter inability to connect
with Latino voters and Asian-American voters in this state," said Garry
South, a Los Angeles area consultant who ran Gray Davis's campaign for
governor. "It's going to be the death knell for the Republican Party. Far
from being able to rebuild itself, the California Republican Party is in
danger of becoming just another special interest group."  Plus, they're
tethered to a national Republican Party that has policies far out of step
with the state.  "I always hear people say, 'We're going to change the
California Republican Party and make it different and do different things.'
But no matter how much money the California Republican Party were to raise
and spend, we are stuck with the way the Republican Party is run in
Washington," said Matt Rexroad, a Sacramento GOP consultant who once was a
political aide to Minority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.). "We might like to
be different to make it more palatable here in California, in the larger
view of Republican politics, the sorts of things people would advocate for
wouldn't work in the United States."

One additional note on this story is that there is very strong evidence that
the House of Representatives will remain in Republican hands in the 2013-14
session even though its majority will likely shrink by a dozen or more.

Read more:

Department of Finance Releases Revenues for September

On a final note more focused on the state's budget rather than the
elections, the Department of Finance (DOF) released its monthly report on
state general fund revenue collections for September.  The DOF reports that
overall revenues for September were below estimates used to build the
current budget. General Fund cash for September was $147 million below the
2012-13 Budget Act forecast of $7.096 billion.  Year-to-date revenues are
now $379 million (-2.1%) below the expected $18.374 billion.  This data
shows that the state's economy is remaining steady but is not showing rapid
signs of strong growth.

The DOF's assessment of overall economic indicators highlights modest labor
market improvement and some improvement in the housing industry.
California's unemployment rate dropped from 10.6% to 10.2% in the last
month. While public sector employment has declined by 41,000 jobs in the
past year, California's private sector has added over 303,000 jobs since
September of 2011. The median price of existing, single-family homes sold in
August was $343,820--a 15.5% increase since August of 2011. This was the
highest statewide median price since August 2008.

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