Capitol Alert Insider Edition

Insider Access - Exclusive content for the Insider Edition iPad and iPhone apps

Note: Capitol Alert Insider Edition stories are for the exlusive use of subscribers of the service. You can subscribe with your iPhone or iPad in the App Store.
August 19, 2013
Freshman Facts: Ken Cooley, Capitol tour guide

RP_TOUR_Ken_COOLEY.JPG

He may be new to the Assembly, but Assemblyman Ken Cooley, D-Rancho Cordova, knows the state Capitol better than some incumbents. Not just the contours of power but the building itself: For years he has given guided tours, a legacy of his time working for then-Assemblyman Lou Papan.

The 1971 San Fernando valley earthquake led to heightened scrutiny of the state Capitol building, which was found to be less structurally sound than was ideal. Papan oversaw some restoration in his capacity as Rules Committee chair, and the cost of the project became an issue in his 1978 re-election campaign.

"From that moment on I was in the tour business," Cooley said, recounting how he would keep hardhats in his office and give tours to visiting VIPs.

In addition to learning about the building, Cooley has spent years working in it as chief of staff to Papan, chief counsel to the Assembly banking and insurance committee from 1988 to 1991, and state counsel for State Farm Insurance Co. from 1991 to 2008. He calls himself "a freshman, not a rookie," and said one of his priorities will be developing young staffers.

"In my Capitol and my district office I've hired my staff not so much for what they'll do for me but what they'll do over their careers," Cooley said.

And yes, that could include preparing future generations of tour guides.

The 2013-2014 Legislature features the largest freshman class in decades. In this recurring series, Insider Edition helps get you acquainted with the influx of newcomers.

On October 14, The Sacramento Bee will temporarily remove commenting from sacbee.com. While we design the upgrade, we encourage you to tell us what you like and don't like about commenting on sacbee.com and other websites. We've heard from hundreds of you already and we're listening. Please continue to add your thoughts and questions here. We also encourage you to write Letters to the Editor on this and other topics.



FOLLOW US | Get more from sacbee.com | Follow us on Twitter | Become a fan on Facebook | Get news in your inbox | View our mobile versions | e-edition: Print edition online | What our bloggers are saying

November 2013

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
          1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30