Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

April 2, 2012
'Occupy' California Capitol rally cost state $166,000 in CHP overtime

OCCUPY.jpgThe California Highway Patrol shelled out an additional $166,000 in overtime costs to monitor last month's rally and "Occupy" demonstration at the state Capitol to protest cuts to higher education, the department said today.

CHP deployed an additional 288 sworn personnel to the Capitol for the demonstration, bringing the total number of officers on scene to 367, the department said in response to a Bee inquiry. That presence included roughly 100 officers outfitted in riot gear stationed outside the building as the mostly peaceful protest continued into the evening.

Thousands of students, teachers and activists descended on the Capitol for the March 5 day of action, which was organized by Student Senate for California Community Colleges, California State Student Association and the University of California Student Association. Speakers at the rally blasted budget cuts to higher education and called for more funding for the state's public colleges and universities.

An attempt to "Occupy" the Capitol rotunda, promoted by a group called REFUND California, resulted in 70 people being cited and released for trespassing, California Highway Patrol Communications Director Fran Clader said. She said least eight other people were arrested throughout the day and evening.

Clader wrote in an email that "majority of our personnel" assigned to the event, including officers from outside the region, worked regular shifts to minimize costs. The $166,000 in overtime costs includes about $6,000 for mileage, Clader said.


Thousands rally for higher education funding at Capitol

Update: Capitol cops arrest 68

The Bee's Jim Sanders contributed to this report. Editor's note: This post was updated at 3:46 p.m. with additional information on arrest counts from Clader.

PHOTO CREDIT: Anneliese Harlander, a UC-Santa Cruz student, is dragged out of the Capitol rotunda after she went limp as California Highway Patrol officers attempted to arrest her on March 5. The officers cleared the Capitol building of Occupy protesters and students, tallying more than 70 arrests for the day. The Sacramento Bee/Hector Amezcua.

April 2, 2012
Judge allows Beth Gaines to call herself 'small business owner'

BethGaines.JPGAssemblywoman Beth Gaines gets to continue calling herself a "small business owner" on the ballot.

Sacramento Superior Court Judge Michael P. Kenny rejected a challenge to the Rocklin Republican's approved ballot designation this morning.

Folsom Republican Andy Pugno, who is running against Gaines in the 6th Assembly District, filed a lawsuit last week arguing that his opponent's chosen ballot designation would mislead voters.

The ballot designation is based on a family insurance company formed by Gaines and her husband Ted Gaines, a state senator, earlier this year.

Pugno attorney Stephen Greene argued that the timing of the incorporation, which occurred just weeks before Gaines filed for re-election, raised questions about whether "small business owner" could be considered her primary occupation. They suggested changing her ballot designation to "small businesswoman/assemblywoman," an alternate previously submitted by Gaines' campaign based on her marketing work for another family insurance company.

But Gaines' attorney Brian Hildreth said her 50 percent share in the company makes the title accurate, pointing out that his client said in a declaration that she spends 10 to 15 hours a week on the new business. He said the company already has a physical presence in Roseville and is listed in the local chamber of commerce directory. He argued it would be "beyond the pale" for Gaines to make such claims just to use a job title on the ballot.

Kinney agreed that it was "factual" for Gaines to identify herself as a small business owner, allowing the job title to stand.

Pugno, who authored and served as legal counsel for Proposition 8, is also listed as a small business owner on the ballot. He owns a law firm in Folsom. Regy Bronner, the sole Democrat running in the Republican-leaning district, is listed as a "retired business executive."


Occupation listings on ballots are high-stakes decisions

Rivals Andy Pugno, Beth Gaines to meet in Sacramento court

Rival sues over Beth Gaines' ballot title of 'small business owner'

PHOTO CREDIT: Beth Gaines speaks to a group of supporters during an April 2011 campaign event at Bass Lake Golf Course in Rescue. Autumn Cruz/The Sacramento Bee.

April 2, 2012
Dan Walters Daily: Will Dan himself run for office?

VIDEO: Dan Walters says he's never been interested in running for office himself.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

Read Dan Walters' columns here.

April 2, 2012
AM Alert: Does an entomologist want to be a bug?

While the California Legislature takes the week off, the Dan Walters Daily video report today answers a question the Bee columnist has often been asked:

Has he ever wanted to run for office?

Come back to Capitol Alert during the day. Even with legislators gone from Sacramento, we'll have the news as it happens today and throughout the week.

CAKE AND CANDLES: Assemblyman Bill Monning, D-Carmel, turns 60 today, and Assemblyman Mike Davis, D-Los Angeles, turns 55. Many more to both.


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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