Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

VIDEO: Dan Walters says Californians are "getting a dose of democracy" these days, just like in other states.

With the election just two weeks away, candidates are scrambling for recognition, trying to draw attention to their work for better levees, fresh food, green jobs, and on behalf of little people. Here's what some campaigns are up to today:

Democratic Rep. John Garamendi, in a fierce competition to hold onto his seat in Congress, holds a morning press conference at the Freeport Regional Water Project Facility in Sacramento on what he describes as the need to strengthen the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta levees and conduct a cost-benefit analysis of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan. Also on the agenda are a few more candidates on next month's ballot: Democrats Sen. Lois Wolk and Assemblywomen Mariko Yamada and Cathleen Galgiani, and Republican Assemblyman Bill Berryhill.

In the afternoon, Garamendi and two other Democratic congressional candidates --Ami Bera and Jose Hernandez -- will be joined by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka to walk precincts in Sacramento and Modesto. In addition to pushing their own campaigns, the candidates will ask voters to approve Proposition 30 and reject Proposition 32 -- key goals for organized labor.

Labor leaders are also coming out today for Tom Steyer, the (former) hedge fund manager behind Proposition 39. He is holding a presser in San Francisco touting support for his measure from business, labor and environmental leaders. Joining him will be Art Pulaski of the California Labor Federation; Jim Lazarus of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce; Timothy Donovan of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, David Hochschild of Solaria, Lisa Hoyos of the BlueGreen Apollo Alliance, David Festa of the Environmental Defense Action Fund, and Brian Brennan of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group.

Democratic Assemblyman Richard Pan, running for re-election, is touring the Fresh Producer's program at Hiram Johnson High School in Sacramento, a program that promotes healthy eating. Scheduled to appear with him are Sacramento City Council members Kevin McCarty and Jay Schenirer.

Democratic Assemblyman Jared Huffman, who is running for Congress, presents a resolution declaring October as "Dwarfism Awareness Month." Huffman joins members of Little People of America for an 11 a.m. presser on the Capitol's north steps.

And lest we forget that there are also a couple guys running for president. Republican Mitt Romney will headline a rally this morning in nearby Reno, at 11:45 a.m. at the Reno Events Center. President Barack Obama touches down in California briefly this evening to tape an appearance on the Jay Leno show.

NEW JOB: Jack Scott, the former legislator who retired last month as chancellor of the state's 112 community colleges, has landed a new gig as a higher education consultant. He's joining the College Brain Trust, a Sacramento firm that provides advice to community colleges, private colleges and other education agencies.


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