Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

October 26, 2012
Matt Cate, head of state prison system, resigns to lead county group

RB Cate 3.JPGMatt Cate, who oversaw a dramatic, court-ordered reduction of California's prison population as secretary of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, is resigning, the Brown administration confirmed this afternoon.

Cate will become executive director of the California State Association of Counties.

Cate was instrumental in the controversial shifting of responsibility for newly convicted, low-level offenders from prisons to county control last year, helping Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat, implement the shift.

October 26, 2012
Jerry Brown: 'Only God' can watch over every state employee

SAN MATEO -- Gov. Jerry Brown this afternoon downplayed a Los Angeles television station's report of Caltrans employees using state rental trucks for personal purposes, saying "only God" can watch over every one of the state's hundreds of thousands of public employees.

"Caltrans has been looking at it. I would be glad to look into it," the Democratic governor said after a speech to the California state conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

"If somebody took some time off to do something, we'll find it, but, you know, to blow it up like it's some major thing -- there are 300,000 employees in the state of California, and I'd like to watch over all of them, but I think only God can accomplish that."

The report, by CBS 2 in Los Angeles, included video surveillance it said showed state workers using rental vehicles to run personal errands during business hours. It included video of a confrontation between Brown and reporter David Goldstein in which Brown said Goldstein is "like a thug."

October 26, 2012
Dan Walters Daily: Do Willie Nelson lyrics tell Prop. 30's fate?

Dan invokes some lyrics penned by singer-songwriter Willie Nelson and wonders, given the latest polls, whether they're going through Gov. Jerry Brown's head.

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

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

October 26, 2012
AM Alert: Jerry Brown heads to UC Santa Cruz, NAACP confab

VIDEO: Dan Walters mentions singer-songwriter Willie Nelson and Gov. Jerry Brown, not quite in the same sentence.

With Election Day looming, Gov. Jerry Brown takes his pitch on Proposition 30 to UC Santa Cruz today, with a news conference scheduled for 9:30 a.m. at Quarry Plaza.

Brown then heads to San Mateo, where he'll give a luncheon talk at the California state conference of the NAACP.

The governor stood Thursday with San Francisco business leaders backing the measure, continuing his attack on opponents of the measure, as David Siders reported in this Capitol Alert post.

"Finally," he said of the Fair Political Practices Commission suing a mystery Arizona nonprofit that has dropped $11 million into a business committee opposing Prop. 30 and supporting Prop. 32. A court hearing is scheduled Tuesday.

State schools chief Tom Torlakson, meanwhile, heads to Gonsalves Elementary School in Cerritos for a Yes on Prop. 30 presser this morning with school superintendents from Los Angeles and elsewhere in Southern California. Los Angeles Community College students have scheduled their own Yes on 30 event. They'll be walking from City Hall to the governor's office on N. Spring St. this afternoon.

Back in the north state, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom talks jobs as he delivers a keynote talk and moderates a panel on green economy partnerships. The event, hosted by the state Public Utilities Commission, runs from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. in the commission auditorium at 505 Van Ness Ave. in San Francisco. Click here for more information.

This weekend, a group of cyclists backing Proposition 37 on food labeling leave the San Francisco Ferry Building on Saturday morning and plan to meet up Sunday morning at the downtown Sacramento farmers market at Eighth and W streets, then ride to the Capitol at noon. They're calling themselves the Ride to Know.

CAKE AND CANDLES: There's no shortage of birthdays to celebrate. Secretary of State Debra Bowen, turns 57 on Saturday, while Sen. Mark Wyland, R-Solana Beach, turns 66 the same day. Two other legislators mark their natal days on Sunday, with Sen. Bill Emmerson, R-Hemet, turning 67, and Assemblyman Richard Pan, D-Sacramento, turning 47.


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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