Archive for December 22nd, 2009

By Steven Harmon
Contra Costa Times

Posted: 12/21/2009 04:25:50 PM PST
Updated: 12/21/2009 09:55:18 PM PST

SACRAMENTO — A brutal economy has put Democrats at an even worse cash disadvantage than they could have expected in seeking to win back the governorship against a potential Republican candidate with unlimited means to finance a campaign.

Big-money donors gave cash less freely in 2009, resulting in a relatively lackluster year of fundraising, Democrats acknowledged.

“It’s tough out there, no question,” said Democratic fundraiser Dan Weitzman, who helps raise cash for the state Democratic Party, Assembly Speaker Karen Bass and a handful of legislative candidates.

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LATimes: Small-business bankruptcies rise 81% in California

With credit tight and consumers still pinching their pennies, many business owners find they can’t go on.

More prime mortgages default in 3rd quarter More prime mortgages default in 3rd quarter

By Nathan Olivarez-Giles

December 22, 2009

The Obama administration’s new plan to give a boost to small businesses reflects continued trouble in that sector, which is facing new failures even as much of the nation’s economy is stabilizing.

As credit lines have shrunk and consumers have cut back on spending, thousands of small businesses have closed their doors over the last year. The plight of struggling firms has been aggravated by the reluctance of banks to lend money, said Brian Headd, an economist at the Small Business Administration’s office of advocacy.

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SFChronicle: Court accuses state lawyers of lying

Bob Egelko, Chronicle Staff Writer

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

(12-21) 17:58 PST SAN FRANCISCO — A federal appeals court bluntly accused the Schwarzenegger administration and state Attorney General Jerry Brown’s office on Monday of lying about its defense of cuts in Medi-Cal fees.

Lawyers in Brown’s office committed a “clear violation” of State Bar rules that prohibit attorneys from misleading judges, raising doubts about the credibility of any future statements they make on behalf of state health officials, said the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.

The court said health officials, through their lawyers, had lied about why the state waited more than a year to make its current arguments in the case.

Brown’s office said the court’s comments were “based on a misunderstanding” that the state’s lawyers will try to clear up in the next few days.

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SBSun Editorial: Let commission redraw lines

Posted: 12/21/2009 08:56:44 PM PST

Reporter James Rufus Koren’s two-part series on redrawing political districts in California leads us to draw this conclusion:

We hope the same independent, 14-member commission being formed to redistrict legislative seats also will be called upon to redraw the state’s congressional boundaries. That could happen if an initiative to that effect qualifies for the ballot and is passed in 2010.

It’s an easy conclusion to reach. We’d rather have an independent group draw up the districts based on the 2010 Census than have legislators do it. We’ve seen how the legislators handle it, and it’s to benefit politicians, not voters.

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LATimes: More prime mortgages default in 3rd quarter

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Many homeowners with modified mortgages fall behind again. And the number of homes in foreclosure rises, though new foreclosures are steady, report shows.

By Jim Puzzanghera

December 22, 2009

Reporting from Washington – Troubled home loans continued to mount in the nation’s banks in the third quarter as even once-solid borrowers increasingly fell behind on their mortgage payments.

For the first quarter ever, the number of homes in foreclosure with mortgages serviced by U.S. national banks and savings and loans topped the 1-million mark, according to figures released Monday by the Office of Thrift Supervision and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

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10:41 PM PST on Monday, December 21, 2009

By DAVID DANELSKI
The Press-Enterprise

Sen. Dianne Feinstein introduced legislation Monday that would create two national monuments and protect more than a million acres of public land in eastern San Bernardino County and northwest of Palm Springs.

The bill also would enlarge existing parks and designate permanent off-road vehicle play areas.

The proposed legislation represents an apparent compromise Feinstein reached in private talks with alternative-energy developers and preservationists over the past few months.

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