Calif. lawmakers split on Mickelson’s tax comment
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Republican state lawmakers reacted Tuesday with an “I told you so” after golf champion Phil Mickelson said he might leave California because voters approved higher income taxes on the wealthy.
The four-time major champion said higher state and federal taxes will take 60 percent of his income.
California lawmakers split upon reliably partisan lines in offering reaction, with Republicans saying they expect more high-earners to follow and Democrats saying multimillionaires can afford to pay more.
Voters in November overwhelmingly approved Proposition 30, an initiative championed by Gov. Jerry Brown that boosts taxes on income over $250,000 a year for seven years and raises the statewide sales tax by a quarter cent for four years. Republicans who campaigned against the initiative said it would drive away entrepreneurs and investors.
“You know, it’s sad. And I think it’ll be the first of many,” said Assembly Minority Leader Connie Conway, R-Tulare. “It’s one thing to have nice weather and say California’s great, but at some point, I think most people don’t want to turn over 60 percent of their earned income to taxes.”
Mickelson first made a cryptic reference two weeks ago before the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, where he won last year for his 40th career PGA Tour title. He expanded on his comments after his final round Sunday at the Humana Challenge.
“There are going to be some drastic changes for me because I happen to be in that zone that has been targeted both federally and by the state, and it doesn’t work for me right now,” he said. “So I’m going to have to make some changes.”
Mayor KJ tells Seattle ‘don’t celebrate too early’
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson had a stern warning for Seattle SuperSonics fans who are excited about the prospect of the NBA returning to the Puget Sound next season.
“Don’t celebrate too early,” he said.
In front of a cheering City Hall crowd filled with fans and public officials Tuesday, Johnson introduced the first part of his four-step plan to keep the Sacramento Kings in California’s capital city.
The three-time NBA All-Star turned mayor unveiled 20 local investors who have pledged at least $1 million each to be part of a group that would buy the franchise. Johnson said the major partner he hopes will anchor the last-ditch deal to keep the Kings from moving to Seattle will be revealed as soon as this week.
NFL lifts suspension of Saints coach Payton
NEW YORK — Sean Payton is back as coach of the New Orleans Saints.
Payton’s season-long suspension for his role in the Saints’ bounty program was lifted by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Tuesday, nearly two weeks earlier than expected.
The decision allows Payton to attend the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., on Saturday, where some of the top college players available for the NFL draft will be competing.
Payton, along with assistant head coach Joe Vitt, general manager Mickey Loomis, and four players including Jonathan Vilma, was suspended after an investigation found the club had a performance pool offering cash rewards for key plays, including big hits. The player suspensions eventually were overturned.
“I clearly recognize that mistakes were made, which led to league violations,” Payton said in a statement. “Furthermore, I have assured the commissioner a more diligent protocol will be followed.”
Mariners to induct Griffey into team Hall of Fame
SEATTLE — Ken Griffey Jr. is going into the Hall of Fame.
Not the one in Cooperstown, at least not yet. For now, it’ll just be the Seattle Mariners Hall of Fame.
“It means a lot. It’s something that you dream about, the organization you get drafted by and the celebration of your career,” Griffey said. “It means a whole lot that they would think that highly of me and what I have done to put my name up there with the rest of the guys.”
The Mariners announced Tuesday that Griffey will become the seventh member inducted by the team. His ceremony will take place on Aug. 10 before the Mariners host the Milwaukee Brewers.
AP Source: Time Warner Cable wins Dodgers TV deal
LOS ANGELES — Time Warner Cable Inc. has won a contract to carry Los Angeles Dodgers games for at least the next two decades starting in 2014, snatching the games away from Fox Sports after this year’s baseball season ends, according to a person familiar with the matter.
The deal has not yet been finalized, although it is to be announced within days, said the person, who was not authorized to speak publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on Tuesday on condition of anonymity.
The Los Angeles Times earlier reported the nation’s second-largest cable operator will pay around $7 billion to carry the games.
A second person familiar with the situation said that Fox Sports, a division of News Corp., had been prepared to pay more than $6 billion for a 25-year deal to keep the Dodgers on its Prime Ticket regional sports network. But it lost the bidding war after its exclusive bargaining period ended in November. The second person was also not authorized to speak publicly.
Victim 6 sues Penn State, Sandusky, his charity
HARRISBURG, Pa.— A young man who testified at a child sex abuse trial last summer that former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky tickled and grabbed him in a campus shower in 1998 sued him, his charity and the university on Tuesday.
The man, previously described as Victim 6 in court papers, filed the federal lawsuit in Philadelphia as John Doe 6, claiming that Sandusky’s behavior was “ratified” by The Second Mile charity and Penn State and that the organizations acted with reckless indifference to his rights.
He is seeking at least $75,000 in damages.
By wire sources