Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

September 4, 2012
Latinos, Asian-Americans still lag in California voter registration

Latinos and Asian-Americans together are now more than half of California's 38 million residents but make up less than 30 percent of the state's voters, who remain overwhelmingly white, according to a new statistical study by a think tank at the University of California, Davis.

The report is a maiden effort for the Center for Regional Change's California Civic Engagement Project, which is delving into issues and trends in California's political landscape.

"During the past decade, Latino and Asian voter registration has increased by nearly 40 percent, dramatically outpacing growth in general registration, yet there remains a significant gap between Latino and Asian registration and their proportion of California's overall population," Mindy Romero, the author of the report, said in a statement. "Addressing these continuing gaps in Latino and Asian registration is a critical step in expanding engagement in California's political landscape."

September 4, 2012
Kevin Johnson talks to 'The O'Reilly Factor' makes rounds at DNC

kevinjohnson 013.jpg

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, judging by his Twitter feed, has been in some demand since arriving here for the Democratic National Convention, speaking at state delegation breakfasts and other functions.
"Good morning Sac!" he wrote this morning. "It's before 530am your time and already I spoke to 2 delegation bfast, Hawaii and Utah."

In a week made for partisan politics, Johnson said at a press conference this afternoon that his busy schedule is a chance to "take off my nonpartisan hat, or bipartisan hat. I'm a moderate Democrat from California, the mayor of Sacramento."

Leaving the press conference, Johnson was stopped by a crew from "The O'Reilly Factor" on Fox News, and Johnson's interviewer told him Bill O'Reilly sends his "warmest regards."

"I'm sure he does," Johnson said. "Bill and I shared a flight from the West Coast to the East Coast a couple years back, and I picked his brain and I tried to convince him to shift a little more to the left."

Said Johnson: "I wasn't very successful."

Johnson did "The O'Reilly Factor" interview, talked to a student journalist, then headed for the door.

PHOTO CREDIT: Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson addresses a U.S. Conference of Mayors luncheon at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., on Tuesday. The Sacramento Bee/David Siders

September 4, 2012
Hotel is close but filled with issues for California DNC delegates

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- California's delegation to the Democratic National Convention is housed much closer to the action than their Republican counterparts were for the GOP convention in Tampa last week, but that doesn't mean they're happy with their accommodations.

The delegation is staying at The Blake Hotel, a luxury spot in uptown Charlotte that touts itself as the "new standard in Charlotte Accommodations." At just eight blocks from the Time Warner Cable Arena, delegates here have a much quicker commute to convention activities than the 25-mile haul GOP delegates staying in St. Pete Beach faced.

But loose ends and unfinished business from an apparent recent renovation and staff overhaul have caused some hiccups during the delegation's stay in the hotel, where rooms run more than $300 a night.

Wind damage caused stucco to be removed from one side of the structure, affecting some rooms but not those occupied by the delegation. Gripes from delegates include the the quality of food at the on-site restaurant, a stalled elevator and damaged or unfinished rooms. One longtime Democratic consultant said the plaster on her room ceiling was still wet when she arrived.

"I was just expecting a little more," said Horfa Aguilera, a delegate from Roseville.

Rick Gunther, a delegate and president of the Democratic Club of the Conejo Valley, had to ask to be moved to a different room twice. His first room was flooded. The second was missing a shower head.

"I lost my view, but I'm still happy," he said of the room change. "I took pictures before I left the other one."

September 4, 2012
John Burton leaves DNC -- heads home for root canal

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Reporters hanging around here this morning for another John Burton moment went away disappointed: The chairman of the California Democratic Party, who likened Republicans on Monday to Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels, went back to California the same day for a previously scheduled root canal, the state party said.

Burton had suggested as much in a conversation with reporters Monday morning - well before his remarks about Goebbels aired. Told to enjoy his week at the Democratic National Convention, Burton said he would not enjoy it. It wasn't entirely clear at the time that he was being literal when he mentioned going to get a root canal.

Burton, who has a tendency to make outrageous remarks, caused a stir ahead of the convention when he brought up Goebbels in his criticism of inaccurate statements made by Republicans in the presidential campaign. Burton's remark was criticized by the campaigns of both President Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney.

Burton is not expected to return to Charlotte before the convention concludes Thursday.

September 4, 2012
Dan Walters Daily: Is redevelopment really gone?

VIDEO: Dan says lawmakers have actually restored some of the redevelopment functions they eliminated a year ago.

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

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

September 4, 2012
AM Alert: Let the bill-signing begin

VIDEO: Dan Walters says lawmakers have actually restored some of the redevelopment functions they eliminated a year ago.

It's all over but the vetoes: Gov. Jerry Brown has until Sunday, Sept. 30, to cast his votes on the bills that the California Legislature passed by last Friday.

Legislators aren't expected back in Sacramento until Monday, Dec. 3, when the next legislative session officially starts and members get sworn in.

Meanwhile, the Democratic National Convention officially cranks up today in Charlotte, N.C., with convention chairman Antonio Villaraigosa gaveling in the session, which runs through Thursday.

Brown isn't going -- blame it on the late-session flurry of bills. But Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez announced late last week that he snagged a speaking spot. Other Californians expected to speak at the convention include House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Attorney General Kamala Harris, and U.S. Reps. Xavier Becerra, Judy Chu and Barbara Lee.


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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