Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

December 4, 2012
Jerry Brown appoints wife's friend to State Personnel Board

A friend of first lady Anne Gust Brown has been appointed by Brown's husband, Gov. Jerry Brown, to the State Personnel Board.

Lauri Shanahan, 50, held various positions at Gap Inc. from 1992 to 2008, replacing Gust Brown as chief administrative officer at the company in 2005. Shanahan's appointment was announced this afternoon.

Shanahan, of Woodside, is currently a principal at Maroon Peak Advisors, a retail and consumer products consultancy, according to the governor's office. Like the governor, she is a Democrat.

The personnel board settles disputes between employees and the state. The position pays $40,669 a year, and the appointment requires Senate confirmation.

December 4, 2012
Assemblyman Ben Hueso to run for open San Diego Senate seat

Assemblyman Ben Hueso, D-San Diego, is already readying a run for the Southern California Senate seat set to be vacated by state Sen. and Democratic Rep.-elect Juan Vargas in the coming weeks.

Hueso confirmed his decision to U-T San Diego reporter Michael Gardner Monday -- the same day he was sworn in for a second term in the state Assembly. Vargas, who has yet to announce when he will give up his Senate seat, has already endorsed his candidacy.

Hueso, who just took the oath of office Monday for his second term, said he wants to move up to the Senate because it offers a "bigger base of support" to accomplish key goals. One of those is improving trade between Mexico and the U.S. and easing border crossing gridlock.

"Mexico is our largest trading partner -- larger than China," Hueso said in an interview. "They are big friends of ours."

Once Vargas resigns, Gov. Jerry Brown will call a special election to fill the seat. The primary contest will be held about sixteen weeks from that date. Sen. Gloria Negrete-McLeod, D-Chino, will also step down from the Senate to take a seat in Congress.

Because both senators were last elected to their seats in 2010, the contests will be held using the state's pre-redistricting political maps.

December 4, 2012
Dan Walters Daily: Legislature's 'new era' will include juggling

Dan sees "a new era dawning in the Legislature," with some juggling going on.

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

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

December 4, 2012
AM Alert: Bill Clinton in north state, Jerry Brown in south state

VIDEO: Dan Walters pronounces a "new era" for the California Legislature and foresees some juggling among the Democrats.

If you have a Bill Clinton sighting today, rest assured that the former president is indeed in Sacramento making use of his Arkansas twang.

Clinton headlines tonight's installment of the Sacramento Speakers Series at the Community Theater on L Street across from the Capitol. The event starts at 8 p.m. Last time Capitol Alert checked, single tickets were still available.

As for Gov. Jerry Brown's schedule, he heads to Southern California for the Democratic Governors Association's winter meeting being held at the Beverly Wilshire.

Even so, there will be no shortage of official appearances in the capital city. Proposition 39 backer Tom Steyer joins a host of elected officials, environmentalists and labor activists to talk up legislation to implement the energy efficiency part of the ballot measure voters approved in November.

The measure is expected, among other things, to furnish about $500 million a year for five years to retrofit schools and government offices, as the Bee's Kevin Yamamura reported in this story before the election.

The presser, which begins at 11 a.m. at Sacramento's Mark Twain Elementary School, will be crowded. Among those listed to attend are Senate leader Darrell Steinberg, campaign co-chairman Sen. Kevin de León, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, state schools chief Tom Torlakson, Sens. Ricardo Lara, Fran Pavley and Curren Price and Assemblywomen Nancy Skinner and Norma Torres.

Health Access, meanwhile, sponsors a post-election symposium on implementing President Barack Obama's health care reform. Listed speakers include Health and Human Services Secretary Diana Dooley, legislators Ed Hernandez, Richard Pan and Holly Mitchell, and representatives of health and budget groups. That event runs from 1 to 5 p.m. at Sacramento's Citizen Hotel.

TWITTER: The Bee's Torey Van Oot has put together a public list of California legislators' Twitter accounts, which you'll find at this link. You can even subscribe. The list now stands at 94 members. If we've overlooked your account, send Torey an email at


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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