Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

November 16, 2012
Lungren concedes in race against Bera

Lungren 2012.JPGGOP Rep. Dan Lungren conceded defeat today in his tight race for Congress against Democratic challenger Ami Bera.

"I am satisfied that enough votes have been counted to determine that I will not be representing the citizens of the 7th Congressional District during the 113th Congress. It was a tough campaign and I accept the outcome," Lungren wrote in a statement.

It continued:

"I congratulate Dr. Bera in his victory and I wish him well as he accepts this new challenge. It is my hope that Dr. Bera approaches Congress, as have I, with a humble heart, respect for the institution and a desire to perform his duties in the best interest of the people he represents and the country."

The latest results for the 7th Congressional District showed Bera with 51.11 percent of the vote and Lungren with 48.89 percent. The race has been watched nationwide because it was so competitive and expensive.

With votes still being counted, the Associated Press called the race for Bera Thursday but Lungren waited to concede.

Lungren's defeat comes after a long career in politics marked by both wins and losses. Lungren, 66, won a race against Bera in 2010 and has represented the Sacramento region in Congress since January 2005. He represented a Southern California district for a decade in the late 1970s and 1980s. In the 1990s, he served eight years as California's Attorney General, then lost a bid for governor in 1998.

A timeline of Lungren's career is here.

See complete coverage of the Lungren-Bera race here.

PHOTO CREDIT: Republican Rep. Dan Lungren looks over his ballots after voting Nov. 6 at Gold River Discovery Center School in Gold River. (The Sacramento Bee, Randy Pench)

November 16, 2012
Online voter registration clearly a hit with young Californians

Youth really do let their fingers do the talking, apparently.

When offered the chance to register online to vote, hundreds of thousands of young Californians took advantage of the opportunity in the weeks leading up to the Nov. 6 presidential election.

Nearly half -- 49 percent -- of the 590,788 new voters who registered through California's nascent online system were between the ages of 18 and 29, according to the secretary of state's office.

Combining totals for online and paper applicants, the state registered 986,290 new voters in the 45 days before the Oct. 22 deadline. Of that number, 46 percent were ages 18 to 29, spokeswoman Shannan Velayas said.

Political analysts have attributed a surge of youth interest in casting ballots Nov. 6 to President Barack Obama's candidacy and to the Proposition 30 tax measure, which was touted as a way to raise billions and avert deep cuts to schools.

California does not maintain a statistical breakdown of its voter registration base by age, but pollsters routinely say that only a small percentage of eligible youth typically cast ballots.

The Field Poll had predicted that voters ages 18 to 29 would cast only about 13 percent of all ballots Nov. 6. That number, partly because of online registration, swelled to perhaps 20 percent, according to Mark DiCamillo, director of the poll.

November 16, 2012
Galgiani inching closer to Berryhill in hot battle for Senate seat

Republican Bill Berryhill continues to lead, but Cathleen Galgiani has cut into his margin considerably in their nail-biting battle for a Senate seat.

Berryhill, who once led by about 4,800 votes, ended Friday with a 1,465-vote advantage as counting of provisional and mail ballots continued in the 5th Senate District of San Joaquin, Stanislaus and a tiny portion of Sacramento counties.

The fight for the 5th Senate District was one of the most contentious statewide, with both parties targeting it for capture.

If she wins, Galgiani would represent the Democrats' 29th vote in the 40-member house, two more than necessary for a two-thirds supermajority. That extra cushion could be crucial to the party, at least in the early months of 2013, because two incumbent Democratic senators won seats to Congress in the Nov. 6 election. Once they resign from the state Senate, their strongly left-leaning districts would not pick a replacement for months.

In the Senate race pitting Berryhill against Galgiani, a majority of the ballots left untallied are from San Joaquin, the only county in which Galgiani has garnered more votes - by about 4,000 -- than Berryhill, a current Assembly colleague and fellow Stockton resident.

November 16, 2012
Nathan Fletcher to work for Qualcomm upon leaving Assembly

Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher will work for one of his district's largest employers, Qualcomm, when he leaves the Assembly next month.

The Legislature's only member not tied to a political party - the former Republican re-registered as an independent last March - will serve as Qualcomm's senior director of corporate development.

Fletcher, who announced the move Thursday in a Facebook post, is joining a global corporation that bills itself as a "world-leading provider of wireless technology and services."

Fletcher will not participate in government relations or lobbying activities as part of his new job, he said.

The 35-year-old legislator will assist with wireless health initiatives, mobile education, protection of intellectual property, and he will promote corporate citizenship, volunteerism and philanthropic activities, his announcement said.

"I believe in the power of innovation to improve people's lives," Fletcher said. "Qualcomm brings innovation to people across the globe. They are a great community partner and provide good-paying jobs for San Diegans. I am proud to join their team."

A two-term assemblyman, Fletcher ran unsuccessfully for San Diego mayor this year rather than seek re-election to the Legislature. His Assembly district stretches through San Diego, Escondido, La Jolla and Poway.

November 16, 2012
Dan Walters Daily: California has highest poverty rate, biggest income gap

Dan says two new reports about Californians' income provide some irony.

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

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

November 16, 2012
AM Alert: California Democrats head to Bay Area gathering

VIDEO: Dan Walters says that in California, the rich have been getting richer and the poor have been getting poorer, which is strange for a state that prides itself on being egalitarian.

Members of the California Democratic Party's executive board head to the Bay Area this weekend for the party's first official gathering since Election Day. Members no doubt will celebrate their wins as they work through party business at the Westin San Francisco Airport in Millbrae.

Speakers during Saturday's general session include Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones and Proposition 39 backer Tom Steyer. Sen. Leland Yee, the San Francisco Democrat who carried the state's new online voter registration law, will give the luncheon keynote speech that day. Find the agenda at this link.

Gov. Jerry Brown will also be in the Bay Area today -- he's scheduled to speak at 11 a.m. at the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo. The U.S. Green Building Council event is at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.

In the south state, Attorney General Kamala Harris attends an all-day symposium at the University of Southern California, where she'll release a report on human trafficking. Listed keynote speakers at the lunchtime session include U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis and Mexican Attorney General Marisela Morales.

SERVICES: The funeral for Sacramento lobbyist Tim Howe is scheduled for 11 a.m. at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, 2620 Capitol Ave. in Sacramento. The veteran Democratic political consultant died at 66 of a heart attack Nov. 9 while cycling in the American River Parkway.

NEW GIG: Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher has posted on Facebook that he's joining Qualcomm as its senior director of corporate development after his Assembly term ends Dec. 2. Read more at this link.


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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