California Roundup: When Good Bills Go Bad; Obama's Traffic Hangover; Jerry vs. Business; Bell Wrung; and the Need for Concealment In O.C.


* The pension reform bill has been turned: Assembly Bill 1987—which was designed to curb pension-spiking by public employees—has now become a bill to make pension-spiking a permanent feature of public employment. Controller John Chiang has withdrawn his support for the bill, as has the state's Association of Counties. Yesterday, Marcia Fritz of the California Foundation for Fiscal Responsibility told me vetoing this bill (which passed the Assembly handily) would be one of the last important acts of the Schwarzenegger administration—and it appears the governor agrees. A spokeswoman says the governor will not sign the bill, which "fails to truly address the problem of pension spiking."

* Has Obama lost L.A.? His Presidentialness visited the City of Angels Monday to scare up a million bucks for the Democrats, and ended up drawing a billion dollars worth of rage from Angelenos pinned down in rush-hour traffic. L.A. Times readers holler. The City Council fumes. The Secret Service may be looking for a secret scapegoat. The generally irate consumer advocate Jamie Court calls the Beverly Hills-to-Hancock Park parade a "mighty metaphor for the how narcissistic and out-of-touch this White House has grown when it comes to the priorities of the middle class."

* Are you speaking for Jerry? Joel Fox and the Small Business Action Committee put together an advocacy campaign to urge Attorney General and candidate for governor Jerry Brown to stop vilifying businesses and driving them out of the state. Even California's Fair Political Practices Commission seems to think the ad is A-OK. But a group of Brown supporters have discovered the dark truth: The backers of this campaign to ask Brown to stop destroying California businesses are…California businesses!

* Daily Bell: State assembly member and L.A. supes seek refund of tax overcharges to Bell property owners. Former city manager Robert Rizzo and two council members got shady loans from the troubled L.A. County town. Bell's new leaders are meeting with state lawmakers to get more tax ripoffs refunded.

* How the Orange County pension system spends time and money: Trying to prevent the O.C. Register from finding out how much its members are actually making. And an oldy but goody from the Register: How much will Jerry Brown get from his own pension—if he can ever be compelled to retire?