Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

With the Republicans back from their convention, the Assembly meets at noon and the Senate at 2 p.m., when Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg will take to the floor to introduce a former Democratic presidential candidate: Michael Dukakis.

The former Massachusetts governor, who lost to George H.W. Bush in 1988, is giving a talk today at the Mondavi Center as part of the UC Davis Chancellor's Colloquium. His topic: "Public Service: A Great Career." His speech starts at 4 p.m.

Also in the upper house, Sen. Curren Price, D-Los Angeles, will present a resolution to Minnijean Brown Trickey, one of the nine African American students who desegregated Central High School in Little Rock, Ark., back in 1957.

Outside the Capitol, there's no shortage of happenings, and they're all over the political map.

Members of the Western Association of Education Opportunity are rallying at 9 a.m. on the Capitol's north steps to urge that the state improve access to higher education for low-income and minority students.

Then on the west steps starting at noon, the NorCal Tea Party celebrates its third birthday by calling for a part-time Legislature as well as the repeal of the Dream Act.

Over on the south steps, also at noon, members of the South Africa Project -- whose website features an interview with former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke of Louisiana -- will begin a three-hour vigil to highlight what they call "black on white racist crimes" in South Africa.

Long-time political observers will recall that Duke has run for president as both a Democrat and a Republican, though not at the same time. He was also famous for wearing a Nazi uniform while attending Louisiana State University. Here is a New York Times article from 1991, back when he was running for Louisiana governor.

Gov. Jerry Brown, meanwhile, is still in Washington, D.C. The National Governors Association is holding its closing session today before meeting with President Barack Obama. Brown will then meet with the California congressional delegation.

FIELD POLL: The Bee's Kevin Yamamura reported Saturday that California voters still view Gov. Jerry Brown favorably and the Legislature miserably. Even so, they're not too keen on demoting legislators to part-time. Click here to read the statistical tabulations compiled exclusively for Capitol Alert. You'll find the publicly released poll at this link.

RENEWABLE ENERGY: Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg joins State Superintendent of Schools Tom Torlakson, California Energy Commission Chairman Robert Weisenmiller, and students and faculty at Elk Grove's Laguna Creek High School to announce grant funding for clean tech and renewable energy academies at 21 California schools. That event starts at 11 a.m.

NEW WEBSITES: Check out The Bee's new, improved state worker pay database at this link. Think you know how the electoral college vote will go in November's presidential election? Predict the vote at The Bee's new interactive map.


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