Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

November 7, 2011
CSU faculty union decides on one-day strike

The union that represents 23,000 professors, librarians and coaches at California State University voted today to strike on Nov. 17, cancelling classes for tens of thousands of students at the system's East Bay and Dominguez Hills campuses.

"Our members are angry and are willing to take this kind of action to get the attention of the chancellor," California Faculty Association President Lillian Taiz said in a phone call with reporters.

The faculty union has been at odds with university management for years, and campus protests denouncing Chancellor Charles Reed are not uncommon. But this is the first time the union has ever approved a strike, Taiz said.

The parties are negotiating a new contract as well as "re-openers" from their prior contract. Faculty are striking over an issue in the prior contract: the university's decision not to grant a so-called "equity raise" program that would increase the salary of faculty who have been with the university for many years but make less than recently-hired professors. The increases would affect 40 percent of the faculty, the university says, and cost $20 million.

The union says the raises are needed in the interest of fairness, and that the money is a tiny portion of CSU's overall budget. The university says it's already agreed to more than $59 million in raises for the faculty for the two years of the contract that's been re-opened, and that state budget cuts in recent years make it imprudent to spend more.

"The $20 million CFA is... striking over would pay for 315 full-time temporary lecturer jobs, enrollment of 2,800 students or 3,150 course sections," says a statement from the CSU Chancellor's Office.

Faculty at all 23 CSU campuses will be holding informational pickets tomorrow and Wednesday in advance of the Nov. 17 strike.

November 7, 2011
Will GOP Rep. Devin Nunes challenge Dianne Feinstein?

Nunes.jpgWith a year to go until the 2012 general election, a serious challenger to Democratic U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein has yet to emerge.

GOP Rep. Devin Nunes is floating the possibility that he'll throw his hat in the ring to run against the 78-year-old incumbent senator next year.

The Visalia Republican, who is running TV ads targeting Feinstein in his Central Valley congressional district, told The Desert Sun that he is seriously considering a bid:

"Could it be me? Sure," he says. "There would have to be a lot of things to fall in place."

For one, Nunes says, he would have to be convinced it was worth the risk of giving up his eight years of seniority in the House, plus his positions on the Ways and Means and Intelligence committees.

"I would have to look at what's best for the valley," says Nunes, who just turned 38.

Nunes rarely minces words when discussing Feinstein, having once called her "a liar" and saying, "She is either held hostage by extremists or she is an extremist."

Feinstein political strategist William Carrick fired back, "I don't think we've ever had anybody on either side of the aisle as unstable as he is."

Nunes reported having roughly $1.35 million in campaign cash in the bank as of September 30. Feinstein recently gave her re-election account a $5 million personal loan to make up for cash allegedly stolen by former campaign treasurer Kinde Durkee.

Click here to read the full Desert Sun story.

UPDATE: The Bee's Michael Doyle reports that Nunes' staff says he isn't planning to run for U.S. Senate:

"Devin is running for reelection to the U.S. House of Representatives, period," said the congressman's chief of staff, Johnny Amaral. "He's not running for the Senate."

Pressed as to whether this means Nunes is definitively ruling out a future challenge to Feinstein, Amaral repeated that "the reality is, he's not running" for the Senate.

Read that full story here.

PHOTO CREDIT: Congressman Devin Nunes addresses a question during a 2009 health care reform meeting at Clovis East High. John Walker/The Fresno Bee.

November 7, 2011
Bonnie Lowenthal drops Senate bid to seek third Assembly term

Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal, D-Long Beach, has abandoned plans to run for the state Senate, announcing her intention to run for a third and final term in the state Assembly.

The decision allows Lowenthal to avoid an election battle with fellow Assembly Democrat Ricardo Lara, a first-term member from Bell Gardens, in the newly drawn 33rd Senate District.

Lara officially threw his hat in the ring last month, shaking up Lowenthal's plan to run for the seat currently held by her ex-husband, Democratic Sen. Alan Lowenthal, who is termed out and running for Congress. Both Lara and Bonnie Lowenthal currently represent communities covered by the new Southern California Senate district, which stretches inland from the port of Long Beach to the city of Vernon.

Lowenthal announced Friday that she would instead run for the 70th Assembly District seat, telling the Long Beach Press Telegram in a statement that she has "decided I can better serve my constituents and the people of California in the State Assembly."

Her campaign spokesman, Mike Shimpock, confirmed her decision in an email to The Bee.

Lara issued a statement Friday calling Lowenthal "a great friend and a strong advocate for our communities in the California State Assembly."

"I look forward to continuing to work with her to improve the quality of life for our constituents and will seek her counsel and support as I continue my bid to represent the newly created 33rd Senate District," he said.


Assemblyman Ricardo Lara announces run for state Senate

Interactive map: See your new California legislative and congressional districts

November 7, 2011
AM Alert: College students being advised to buckle down

Members of the California Community Colleges board take on a controversial subject today: how to best get students to focus on the goal of moving out of the classroom and into the workforce.

"Don't just be a professional student," Chancellor Jack Scott said last week, as The Bee's Laurel Rosenhall reports in this Capitol Alert post.

Board members will discuss the Student Success Task Force's draft report, which recommends that the students' main goal should be, well, completing their goals and the system needs to help them do just that.

One of the recommendations? The community colleges should set up a statewide assessment system so that students can take classes at different colleges after taking one placement test.

The meeting starts at 9 a.m. in the state Capitol's Room 4203. The draft report is listed on the meeting agenda after lunch. Click here to read more about the task force.

Meanwhile, two local members of Congress are in California. Rep. Doris Matsui, D-Sacramento, will attend two groundbreaking ceremonies at Cosumnes River College, for its Winn Center for Architecture and Construction and for its new parking structure.

And Rep. John Garamendi, D-Walnut Grove, will be joining a panel discussion at the UC Davis Center for Poverty Research about why such research matters. The event runs from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the International House, 10 College Park, off Russell Boulevard.

LEGISLATIVE RECESS: Assemblyman Roger Dickinson, D-Sacramento, presents an oversized check this afternoon to GreenHouse, a nonprofit after school program in Sacramento. The $2,500 donation comes from the nonpartisan Capitol Network.

CAKE AND CANDLES: Belated birthday wishes to Assemblyman Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens, who turned 37 on Saturday, and to Assemblyman Jeff Gorell, R-Camarillo, who turned 41 on Sunday.


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

More Capitol Alert

Capitol Alert on Twitter

Popular Categories

Now on


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

Monthly Archives

Latest California Clips