Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

November 12, 2012
Vote margins widen in three of Legislature's hottest contests

Leaders remain the same, but vote margins have widened since Election Day in three of California's most closely watched legislative races, records showed today.

For Democrats to gain a supermajority in the Assembly, Sharon Quirk-Silva must defeat Republican incumbent Chris Norby in Orange County's 65th District, and Rudy Salas must beat Pedro Rios in the 32nd District of Kern and Kings counties.

Quirk-Silva's lead has grown from 1,004 to 1,809 votes with the counting of an unspecified number of absentee and provisional ballots.

With new totals posted by Kern County late Monday afternoon, Salas extended his lead significantly over Rios -- from 268 votes to 2,503 votes.

In a Senate race pitting two incumbent Assembly members, Bill Berryhill's lead over Cathleen Galgiani has risen slightly, from 3,988 to 4,812 votes. Berryhill is a Republican, Galgiani a Democrat. Both live in Stockton.

The number of absentee and provisional ballots remaining to be counted was not available. Counties have about a month from Election Day to complete their tallies.

In two same-party Assembly races, featuring Democrats, Richard Bloom continues to lead incumbent Assemblywoman Betsy Butler in the 50th District of Los Angeles County, but his lead has dropped from 218 to 103 votes. Marc Levine has extended his lead over Assemblyman Michael Allen from 1,663 to 2,486 votes in the 10th District of Marin and Sonoma counties.

* Updated at 4:57 p.m. to add new vote totals from Kern County in the 32nd Assembly District race. Updated at 7:15 p.m. Tuesday to say that Berryhill is a Stockton resident.

November 12, 2012
Tim Howe, longtime political consultant and lobbyist, dies

By Robert D. Davila

Tim Howe, a Sacramento lobbyist and veteran political consultant who was a top aide to Democratic lawmakers, died Friday of a heart attack while cycling in the American River Parkway, his family said. He was 66.

Mr. Howe began his career in politics in 1965 as an aide in the Legislative Bill Room at the state Capitol. He graduated from UCLA and earned a master's degree in political science from the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University in New Jersey. He returned to California to work for Assembly speakers Jesse Unruh, Bob Moretti and Leo McCarthy and joined the Assembly Majority Consultants during the early 1970s.

He graduated from UC Davis School of Law in 1978 and ran Assemblyman Vic Fazio's campaign for Congress. He served as Fazio's chief of staff in Washington, earned a master of law degree in taxation from Georgetown University and practiced law in Sacramento from 1981 to 1987. He was chief of staff for Assemblyman Lloyd Connelly from 1987 to 1992. He worked as a lobbyist for George Steffes and Associates before starting his own lobbying firm, Tim Howe and Associates.

A Carmichael resident, Mr. Howe had a son, John, with his wife of 25 years, Patti Habel, who died of cancer in 2010. He also is survived by two children from a previous marriage, Robert Howe of San Francisco and Julie Starbird of Sacramento; a sister, Evonne Morrissey of Sacramento; and three grandchildren.

A service is planned for 11 a.m. Friday at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, 2620 Capitol Ave., Sacramento. Donations may be made to the American River Foundation, 5700 Arden Way, Carmichael, CA 95608; Nor Cal Beagle Rescue, P.O. Box 580327, Elk Grove, CA 95758-0006; or Sacramento Food Bank, 3333 33rd St., Sacramento, CA 958917.

November 12, 2012
Latinos make big gains in legislative seats across nation

Latinos made big gains in state legislative bodies during last week's election, including the California Legislature, according to a report from the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials.

The organization called the increases "historic" and said that Latinos now hold legislative seats in 36 states with 70 state senators and 206 members of lower legislative houses.

New Mexico, with 46 Latinos, leads the nation, while California runs second with 26, up from 23 prior to the election. California's Latino legislators include two newly elected Republicans.

November 12, 2012
Dan Walters Daily: Democratic 'reform' will be in eye of beholder

VIDEO: Dan wonders whether the "reform" measures the newly strengthened legislative Democrats have mentioned will really happen. Senate leader Darrell Steinberg, for instance, has talked about ballot initiatives.

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

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

November 12, 2012
AM Alert: Vote counts continue in close California races

VIDEO: Dan Walters wonders whether California Democrats will really push for reforms.

Today is a state holiday, Veterans Day observed, so the business of government promises to gallop at a glacier's pace.

If you're looking for the latest numbers in the Ami Bera-Dan Lungren race, for instance, Sacramento County election officials don't anticipate an update until Tuesday.

In other close races, Republican Peter Tateishi conceded to Democrat Ken Cooley on Friday in the 8th Assembly District, but there were a number of other Assembly contests still too close to call late last week.

Republicans were hoping for a reversal of fortunes in the 32nd District, where Democrat Rudy Salas was leading Republican Pedro Rios, and in the 65th District, where Democrat Sharon Quirk-Silva was leading Republican incumbent Chris Norby. Those are the two districts that Democrats say have pushed them to 54 seats, a two-thirds majority in the lower house.

Republicans held the edge in two other districts: the 36th, where Ron Smith was leading Democrat Steve Fox, and the 40th, where Republican incumbent Mike Morrell was leading Democrat Russ Warner.

Guaranteed Republican seats include the 5th District, where Frank Bigelow edged out former legislator Rico Oller, and the 67th District, where Melissa Melendez is leading Phil Paule.

Guaranteed Democratic seats include the 10th District, where Marc Levine was edging out incumbent Michael Allen; the 18th District, where Rob Bonta and Abel Guillen were battling it out; the 20th District, where Bill Quirk had an edge on Jennifer Ong; and the 50th District, where Richard Bloom was leading incumbent Betsy Butler.

Whoever prevails in those matchups, they feature a lot of new faces. So do the winners of the races that have already been called. By Capitol Alert's count, in fact, close to half of the Assembly members who'll get sworn in next month will need to learn where the rest rooms are. Stay tuned for more on who they all are.


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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