Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

October 17, 2011
Tweet sparks fight between Kristin Olsen and Leland Yee

The fight started on Twitter.

It continued this week with a Central Valley assemblywoman bankrolling thousands of robocalls asking San Francisco Republican voters not to elect state Sen. Leland Yee as their mayor.

Assemblywoman Kristin Olsen, R-Modesto, said she paid about $600 out of her own pocket to send more than 4,000 Sunday night robocalls that do not support any mayoral candidate but ask San Franciscans to reject Yee, a Democrat.

Specifically, the robocall says:

October 17, 2011
Former Senate staffer Robb Deignan dies after bike accident

2006 Eppies Great Race2.jpgA longtime former Senate staffer has died after sustaining injuries in a weekend bike accident.

Robb Deignan, 65, was participating in a 100-mile road ride Saturday at the time of the accident, according to Facebook posts and an email sent by former colleagues at the Department of General Services. reported over the weekend that a cyclist in the annual Foxy Fall Century ride crashed after losing control of his bicycle while riding down a hill in Fairfield.

Deignan worked in state government for two decades, serving as a press secretary and media consultant in the state Senate and spending four years as director of public affairs at the Department of General Services, according to his LinkedIn and Facebook profiles. The former anchor and reporter for KTXL-TV put his media skills to work in the Senate, directing radio, television and web communications for the Democratic Caucus and serving as a press aide to then Democratic Sens. Kevin Murray and John Garamendi.

October 17, 2011
Democrats give Dan Lungren a mouthful over PB&J

Rep. Dan Lungren is getting some flack for his favorite sandwich in a new television spot launched by a Democratic campaign committee.

The ad, running in the Sacramento region, goes after the Gold River Republican and apparent peanut butter and jelly sandwich fan for votes the ad claims would benefit millionaires and companies that "ship our jobs overseas."

"So thanks to Dan Lungren... peanut butter and jelly may be all we can afford," the narrator says.

The TV ad, which is scheduled to air in Sacramento media markets all week, is paid for by the House Majority Pac, a so-called "Super Pac" independent expenditure committee that is not subject to campaign contribution limits. The committee has not disclosed the size of the Sacramento ad buy, but said it was part of a "6-figure paid advertising campaign offensive" launched against at least four House Republican incumbents.

The ad is the latest jab in a a series of early attack pieces targeting Lungren in his re-election rematch against Democrat Ami Bera. A close voter registration split in the newly drawn 7th Congressional District is expected to make the race one of next year's the most contested House campaigns.

Lungren campaign consultant Rob Stutzman said he wasn't worried by ongoing attacks, adding that his client is "happy to have a campaign over the economy."

"People in this district don't fall for lame class warfare arguments when they know that Lungren has tried to protect them from Obamacare and has been an advocate for extending the middle class tax cuts of the previous administration," he said.

Both Bera and Lungren reported large fundraising hauls in campaign finance filings due over the weekend. Lungren reported raising $596,228, closing the period that ended Sept. 30 with $421,888 in the bank. Bera raised $860,159, leaving him with $707,760 cash on hand. The Elk Grove doctor also reported about $250,000 in campaign debt, mostly from personal loans from 2010 his campaign has said he does not intend to get back.

October 17, 2011
AM Alert: Gavin Newsom, John Perez talk jobs, jobs, jobs

State lawmakers convene in Los Angeles this morning to talk about - what else? - jobs, and they won't be alone.

House Speaker John Boehner, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson are all expected to make stops today in the south state.

The Assembly Select Committee on Job Creation for the New Economy, chaired by Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher, R-San Diego, kicks off its first meeting at 9 a.m., on the California State University, Los Angeles, campus.

The subject: "Job Creation for in the 21st Century: Planning for the Future."

Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez, D-Los Angeles and former Assembly Speaker Bob Hertzberg, of the Think Long Committee for California, are among those scheduled to attend.

Newsom will be on campus, too, to continue pressing his jobs plan. Newsom, Pérez, Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg and two Republican assemblymen, Fletcher and Cameron Smyth, are scheduled to participate in a town hall-style event at 10 a.m.

They will take questions via Twitter, and a live webcast is scheduled.

Boehner is expected to attend a GOP fundraiser at the Pelican Hill Golf Club in Newport Beach. The liberal advocacy group Courage Campaign is planning a protest.

In Pasadena, Torlakson is scheduled to speak about education at the Green California Schools Summit & Exposition.

ON THE MEND: Republican Sen. Sharon Runner is scheduled to undergo surgery to repair a broken elbow. The Lancaster Republican's office said Friday the injury was sustained "during a friendly sports competition with family."

CONTEST DEADLINE: Entries are due by 11:59 p.m. for this Capitol Alert punch line contest involving state Controller John Chiang.

CAKE & CANDLES: Best wishes to Assemblyman Ed Hernandez, D-West Covina, who celebrates his 54th birthday today.


Capitol Alert Staff

Jeremy White Jeremy B. White covers California politics and edits Capitol Alert's mobile Insider Edition. Twitter: @capitolalert

Amy Chance Amy Chance is political editor for The Sacramento Bee. Twitter: @Amy_Chance

Dan Smith Dan Smith is Capitol bureau chief for The Sacramento Bee.

Christopher Cadelago Christopher Cadelago covers California politics and health care. Twitter: @ccadelago

Micaela Massimino Micaela Massimino edits Capitol Alert.

Laurel Rosenhall Laurel Rosenhall covers the Legislature, the lobbying community and higher education. Twitter: @LaurelRosenhall

David Siders David Siders covers the Brown administration. Twitter: @davidsiders

Dan Walters Dan Walters is a columnist for The Sacramento Bee. Twitter: @WaltersBee

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