Thursday, March 24, 2011

Thursday Must Read: Brown’s Tax Measures May Be Doomed; Court Refuses to Restart Gay Weddings

By Robert Gammon
Thu, Mar 24, 2011 at 7:02 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Voter support for Governor Jerry Brown’s proposed tax measures is slipping and is now less than 50 percent, the Trib and LA Times report, citing a new poll from the respected Public Policy Institute of California. The poll showed that only 46 percent of likely voters say they will vote for the tax measures. Ballot measures with less than 50 percent support before a campaign begins typically lose. "Whichever way I look, I see bears in the forest,” Brown said to reporters yesterday. The same polling organization showed that his plan had 53 percent support among likely voters in January.

2. The governor, meanwhile, says he’s still hoping to garner Republican support to put the tax measures on the June ballot, and may opt for a November election if he can’t. However, waiting for November would likely require the state to issue IOUs and would probably force the shut down of construction projects around California, according to a spokesman for state Treasurer Bill Lockyer.

3. A federal appeals court refused a request by gay-marriage supporters to allow same-sex weddings to resume in California while the Prop 8 case moves through the courts, the Chron reports. The Prop 8 case is currently back in front of the California Supreme Court, which will decide later this year whether gay-marriage opponents have the legal right to defend the measure on appeal. If the court decides they do not, then Prop 8 will be officially overturned and gay marriages will resume in the state.

4. New home sales plummeted last month in the Bay Area to their lowest point in at least 23 years, and they’re even worse throughout the nation, the CoCo Times reports. In the Bay Area, only 243 new homes sold in February, the lowest number since at least 1988, when MDA DataQuick began tracking them. Nationwide, there were just 186,000 new homes for sale last month, the fewest number in more than four decades.

5. Barry Bonds admitted taking steroids as early as 1999, said a onetime friend who also testified that the ex-Giants’ steroid use got so “out of hand” that he made a video about it to convince Bonds to stop, California Watch reports. But Bonds’ attorneys attempted to discredit the testimony yesterday of the ex-slugger’s former friend, Steve Hoskins, by alleging that he was merely trying to get back at Bonds for firing him in 2003 and for complaining to the feds that Hoskins was allegedly stealing from him.

6. And the National Weather Service has issued another urban and small stream flood advisory for the Bay Area today as one more storm slams the region.

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