Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich is spending Valentine's Day in the Central Valley.

Sure, the former House Speaker is looking to woo California Republicans, whose votes he's hoping will still make a difference by the time the state's June primary rolls around.

But the real object of desire for this trip is cash to fuel his campaign fund.

The GOP presidential candidate is holding an evening reception at the Fresno home of Wendy Turner, daughter of former Secretary of State Bill Jones, and her husband Ryan as part of a fundraising swing through California.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/13/us/politics/gingrich-money-hunt-faces-obstacles.html
Gingrich is no cheap date. Spending the evening with the candidate will set couples back $1,000. Tickets to the VIP reception costs $2,500 a pair. Turner told the New York Times that "a little Champagne, a photo op" are included in the more expensive package.

Back in Sacramento, Sen. Alex Padilla is also looking to capitalize on today's celebration of true love. The Los Angeles Democrat is raising cash for a 2014 secretary of state bid with a Valentine's Day-themed luncheon at Chicory Coffee & Tea. For $1,000, donors can "Be Mine." Contributors who write a $6,500 check get the status of "Sealed with a Kiss."

HEARING: The Senate Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee and the Assembly Higher Education Committee hold an oversight hearing on the cost of private postsecondary education. The point of the 1:30 p.m. hearing is to "ensure California's current regulatory structure encourages high-quality educational programs, protects students from fraud and abuse, and provides accountability of financial aid expenditures," according to the agenda.

NEW JOB: California Cable & Telecommunications Association Director of Governmental Affairs Bernie Orozco is now serving as the group's vice president of state governmental affairs, according to a release from CCTA yesterday.



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