Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

November 8, 2012
Connie Conway re-elected as Assembly GOP leader

Connie Conway was re-elected as Assembly Republican leader Thursday, two days after the GOP took a shellacking statewide that appears to have given Democrats a supermajority of seats in both houses of the Legislature.

Meanwhile, Democrats chose Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez
to remain as their leader, a move that was expected because of his past service and the party's apparent capture Tuesday of two additional Assembly seats, which would give it 54 of 80 seats.

Selection of Conway and Pérez were unanimous decisions of their respective caucuses.

"I'm very pleased, but I also understand the obligation that comes with that - and it's a serious one," said Conway, a former Tulare County supervisor.

"To make sure we are really unified," she said. "And to make sure that as a team we have goals, we express those goals, and that we try to move California in what we believe is the right direction."

November 8, 2012
Democrats' hard feelings over Arizona donor persist

For all the worry about the $11 million donation that conservative donors routed through an obscure Arizona nonprofit, Democrats scored huge wins Tuesday with a Proposition 30 victory and Proposition 32 defeat.

But Democrats remain angry over the contribution, whose true source has yet to be definitively known.

In a post-election conference Thursday in Sacramento, Democratic strategist Gale Kaufman made clear several times that she resents the October money infusion that helped fuel ads for Proposition 32, the anti-labor measure she worked against.

Kaufman said Democrats still intend to push for sanctions against people involved in the donation, at one point saying they will "fight to get the $11 million back." That was an apparent reference a state penalty for cloaking donors through an intermediary, which is a payment to the state general fund equal to the amount of the contribution.

November 8, 2012
CSU considers charging new fees on 'super seniors'

Would California college students work harder to pass a class the first time they take it if they had to pay an extra fee to repeat it? Would "super seniors" hurry up and graduate if they had to pay a penalty for sticking around?

California State University officials are betting that establishing three new fees will encourage students to meet their goals faster -- thereby freeing up space for 16,000 new students to get into classes on the crowded campuses. They are considering a three-prong plan that would charge extra fees to students who remain enrolled though they have enough credits to graduate, take extra-heavy course loads or repeat a class because they got a D or F the first time they took it.

"What's motivating this is to increase access so we have more students taking classes, and taking them in a more efficient way," Eric Forbes, CSU's assistant vice chancellor for student academic services, said in a phone call with reporters today.

CSU trustees are voting on the plan on Tuesday. It proposes these fees:

November 8, 2012
AM Alert: How did top-two primary affect election? What's next?

VIDEO: Dan Walters says that Tuesday's voters looked more like California's populace than in previous elections.

California's political types conduct an autopsy today of Tuesday's election at an all-day conference in Sacramento sponsored by Capitol Weekly, the University of California Sacramento Center and the nonprofit Leadership California Institute. A lot of big names will be there.

Political journalist Lou Cannon, who's the biographer of Ronald Reagan and a former senior White House correspondent for the Washington Post, delivers the keynote luncheon address.

The post-mortem will look at several issues, including the top-two primary's effect on the election. Those panelists include former Democratic consultant Paul Mitchell of Political Data Inc., Senate leader Darrell Steinberg's political consultant Lisa Gasperoni, Democratic consultant Andrew Acosta and UC Davis political science professor Robert Huckfeldt. Moderating is Marisa Lagos of the San Francisco Chronicle.

Moderating a discussion of the ballot proposition fights is Anthony York of the Los Angeles Times. That panel features Democratic consultants Gale Kaufman and Jason Kinney, Proposition 34 supporter Jeanne Woodford and Republican consultants Beth Miller and Aaron McLear.

Then there's the role of television, with former TV reporter Kevin Riggs, now with Randle Communications, moderating a panel that includes Republican consultant Kevin Eckery, Gov. Jerry Brown aide Steve Glazer, Sheri Sadler, who handled media for the Kamala Harris and Gavin Newsom campaigns, and Bay Area Council president Jim Wunderman.

Last but not least, The Bee's Amy Chance will moderate a look at the future, with author Mark Paul, Shawnda Westly of the California Democratic Party, UC Santa Cruz Dean Sheldon Kamieniecki and Lou Paulson of the California Professional Firefighters.

A meet-and-greet reception follows with newly elected members of the Assembly and the Senate. If you didn't cough up the $199 to attend, be patient. The event at 1201 K St. is being recorded for broadcast later on the California Channel.

Come back to Capitol Alert later. We'll be reporting on the squeaker races as the numbers come in.


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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