You don't get many political multi-tasking days like this one: heated debate over legislation down to its final day to survive, a new alarm over the state's finances, and public disclosure of all the campaign cash raised by candidates and campaigns in 2011.
That's because the final legal attempt by GOP activists to block the map was resoundingly rejected Friday morning by the California Supreme Court.
Maybe all those years spent on the rough seas of California politics help explain why, so far, Governor Jerry Brown has charted a pretty successful course for his November tax initiative.
But there's a lot more sailing to be done before the voyage is complete. On this week's Capital Notes Podcast, we discuss Brown's cruise so far -- from successful fundraising to a good showing in the latest statewide poll.
Anthony York of the Los Angeles Times and I also discuss this week's lawsuit filed by legislative leaders over the boundaries (or even existence) of the role for a state controller in the annual budget process.
Note that we discuss the possibility of a redistricting ruling by the California Supreme Court (as we taped this on Thursday). Guess Anthony's source was right; that ruling is due at 10:00 a.m.
Now, it looks as though the white knight has ridden in... on his own jet.
The reform group assembled and underwritten by billionaire Nicolas Berggruen, the Think Long Committee for California, today endorsed and pledged its support to the wide-ranging initiative drafted by another reform group, California Forward.
But dig deeper into the poll and it's pretty clear that were it not for the linkage to schools, the Brown proposal would either be less popular... or fail to break the 50-percent barrier altogether.
Campaign finance records show as of this weekend, Brown had reported more than $1.45 million in contributions. Those dollars were raised in the first month of the governor's efforts, and will no doubt help pay for signature gathering now that his tax increase initiative has hit the streets.
And yet, in some cases, that's exactly what could happen after this weekend. Welcome to the world of intraparty competition under California's new primary election rules.
And the size of that slugfest may play a large role in determining the fate of other measures -- including Governor Jerry Brown's pitch for higher taxes.
Governor Jerry Brown has now performed his two expected duties of the month of January: a budget and, as we saw this week, the State of the State address.
Now, the tough work begins.
This week's Capital Notes Podcast mulls Brown's big mid-week speech and how it frames his agenda for the year to come. Joining me in the chat, and fresh off the first legs of the Guv's statewide campaign, are Anthony York of the Los Angeles Times and Marisa Lagos of the San Francisco Chronicle.
The governor's roughly 20 minute speech before a joint session of the Legislature was a creative cocktail that blended a defense of his tax plan, the state's need for big thinking, and -- at times, it seemed -- the very reputation of his native California.
"Contrary to those declinists, who sing of Texas and bemoan our woes, California is still the land of dreams," said Brown before rattling off a list of what makes the Golden State one of a kind.