Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

December 27, 2012
Former lobbyist, state legislator John Quimby dies at 77

Quimbyjpg.jpg John Quimby, a former state legislator who went on to spend three decades as a lobbyist, has died of complications related to pneumonia.

Quimby, 77, had overcome polio as a child and later battled pulmonary disease that was brought on by his confinement to a wheelchair, his prepared obituary states.

The Democratic lawmaker was first elected to the state Assembly in 1962. He served what was then the 72nd Assembly District, which spanned parts of Riverside and San Bernardino counties, for 12 years before losing in a primary in 1974. Quimby continued to represent those counties in the Capitol after he lost, not as an elected official but as a lobbyist starting in 1980. He retired from lobbying in 2011.

While in the Legislature, Quimby authored a namesake law that required developers to donate land or money for local parks. He enjoyed reminiscing about his time in the state Legislature, which was marked by the reign of famed former Assembly Speaker Jesse M. Unruh.

"Like Jesse Unruh, John was known for his wit, idealism, anger and irreverence and until 1976 his drunken excess," according to a prepared obituary submitted to The Bee. "He attributed his 1974 political loss for saving his life."

Quimby spent the following years "helping countless individuals find recovery" during his own 36 years of sobriety.

He is survived by two children, three step children, seven grandchidlren, seven great grandchildren and a brother. A memorial service will be held at Carmichael's Mission Oaks Community Center on Jan. 5 at 1 p.m.

PHOTO CREDIT: California Secretary of State Lobbyist Directory

December 27, 2012
Sacramento filmmaker lobbies for cash to back 'The Lobbyist'

MAJ STATE CAPITOL.JPGSacramento filmmaker John Kenneth Wagner didn't have to look far to find the subject for his next project.

As a 57-year resident of California's capital, Wagner has heard plenty of stories about the role of lobbyists.

He decided to shine a spotlight on Sacramento's influence peddlers in a new fictional Web series he's calling "The Lobbyist."

Wagner plans to produce and post 13 episodes, each 10 minutes long, for the first season of the show, which chronicles the professional and personal dealings of the fictional Elliot Richards.

But as with politics, money is the mother's milk of the movie business. So Wagner put three of his actors' lobbying skills to work during a six-minute video seeking cash for the project.

Elevator jazz accompanies their pitch on a crowd-funding website called IndieGoGo, which you can watch here.

Actor Brian Jagger, who plays Richards, describes the series as a " 'West Wing' meets 'Dallas' take on the California political structure."

In what could be seen as method acting, the three spend much of the video embracing the talents of the locally sourced cast, mainly themselves.

"Yeah, they're fantastic actors, but damn it if they don't look good, too," Jagger says.

As it turns out, Jagger has experienced the rougher side of the rough and tumble of politics first hand.

The former aide to Placer County Supervisor Kirk Uhler pleaded guilty in 2011 to scheming to steal more than $20,000 from campaign accounts of Uhler and two other candidates running for local office.

Jagger's defense attorney said at the time that he had suffered from personality changes after experiencing substantial weight loss and sustaining a concussion in a fall, according to a report in The Auburn Journal. He was ordered to pay a restitution and a fine and was sentenced to 36 months' probation, including six months of home monitoring with a GPS ankle bracelet.

Jagger said in an interview that dealing with medical issues he says contributed to his behavior in the wake of his arrest has allowed him to pursue his passion for acting.

"A project that happens to combine politics, a world I was very intimately familiar with, and acting was a great avenue and I'm excited to bring my experience -- both good and bad -- to the project," he said.

Wagner said he was aware of his run-in with the law, but has had nothing but positive interactions with the actor since they began working together last summer.

While Wagner hopes the show focuses more on the personal relationships behind lawmaking than political corruption, he said Jagger's past could make the character even better.

"Every actor draws on his or her experiences in life and work and business and that sort of thing," he said. "I think it's a tool that he's going to use."

EDITOR'S NOTE, 5:45 p.m.: This post has been updated with information about Brian Jagger's court case and adds both his and John Kenneth Wagner's comments about it.

PHOTO CREDIT: The California state Capitol in Sacramento, Thursday, Dec. 25, 2008. Michael Allen Jones / Sacramento Bee file photo

December 27, 2012
Former El Dorado Hills assemblywoman appointed to judgeship

Thumbnail image for ACW ALYSON HUBER 2.JPGGov. Jerry Brown has appointed former state Assemblywoman Alyson Huber to fill a vacancy on the Sacramento Superior Court bench.

The El Dorado Hills Democrat completed her second term in the state Assembly in November. She scrapped plans to move to Rancho Cordova to run for a third and final term in a seat created by the state's new political maps amid personal and financial issues stemming from her divorce proceedings. She worked as an associate at several law firms before running for office.

The new job comes with a big salary bump - Huber will make $178,789 as a judge, compared to the roughly $125,000 she took home in salary and per diem payments as a state legislator.

The Democratic governor announced today more than two dozen appointments to fill vacancies in courts across the state.

PHOTO CREDIT: Alyson Huber speaks at the October meeting of the Cordova Community Council at the Ranch Cordova City Hall on Friday, Oct. 17, 2008. Anne Chadwick Williams, Sacramento Bee.


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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