Capitol Alert

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Assemblywoman Alyson Huber made a bulk delivery to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger this morning.

The Democrat from El Dorado Hills dropped off 2,000 postcards from Californians who oppose the governor's plan to build a peripheral canal to route water around the Delta to other parts of the state.

The mass mailing was prompted by a stop in Stockton at which the governor touted the freshly passed water package, saying the state was going to "fix the Delta and to build a canal around the Delta."

That remark didn't go over so well with attendees and local officials, seeing as the event was located in what the Stockton Record describes as "the heart of anti-canal country."

"It's a little like wearing a Dodgers' jersey at a Giants game," Huber quipped this morning, repeating a line she's used in several statements on issue.

The water package doesn't explicitly call for the construction of a canal --an undertaking already authorized by state law -- but the 7-member Delta Stewardship Council tasked with proposing fixes for the Delta's needs could include a canal in its plans. Huber attempted to counter claims that the water package will streamline the process by introducing legislation that would require legislative approval of any plans to construct such a canal, but the bill failed to make it up for a vote.

Championing the anti-canal cause makes sense for Huber, who's expected to face a tough re-election battle in the 10th Assembly District. Huber, who won the seat by less than 500 votes, trailed her 2008 Republican opponent (and potential 2010 challenger) Jack Sieglock by 3,600 votes in San Joaquin County, which encompasses Stockton and the rest of "the heart of anti-canal country."

By the way, Huber isn't the only lawmaker who's been using baseball team analogies to describe what they see as the governor's faux-pas when it comes to knowing his audience.

Democratic Assemblyman Tom Ammiano compared Schwarzenegger's October drop-by at a San Francisco Democratic fundraiser to "if Tommy Lasorda had showed up at a Giants event." (Yes, that would be the same fundraiser at which Ammiano reportedly greeted the governor with, "You lie!" and "Kiss my gay ass!")

Bee colleague Jim Sanders profiles Ammiano, a "saucy-spouting jester with a no-nonsense political agenda" known for speaking his mind, in today's Bee. Read that piece here.



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