Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

February 6, 2013
California GOP wants probe of Bera cameo in super PAC video

6NHLX.Xl.4.jpegFor California Democrats facing a tough path to re-election in 2014, a simple thank you can fuel attacks from opponents already shifting into campaign gear.

Freshman Democratic Reps. Ami Bera and Raul Ruiz, learned that the hard way this week, when the California Republican Party asked the Federal Election Commission to investigate cameos both members made in a Web video produced by a Democratic super PAC.

February 6, 2013
Report: California Asians, Islanders are 'community of contrasts'

JV_052012_PACIFICRIM 055.JPGWhile Latinos are poised to become California's largest ethnic group within a few months, the state's Asian-Pacific Islander community has been growing even faster, according to a new report charting the community's status.

The state's 5.6 million Asians and nearly 300,000 Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders easily make up the largest such concentration in the nation. Despite widespread belief that they are very prosperous, the group is actually the report's title, "A Community of Contrasts," with some nationalities doing very well economically and others among the state's poorest residents.

The report, produced by the Asian Pacific American Legal Center and the Asian Law Caucus, breaks down the overall community into 23 specific Asian and 19 Hawaiian-Pacific Islander subgroups.

It declares, for instance, that while Taiwanese, Fijian, Malaysian, Japanese, Filipino and Indian Californians have levels of poverty below those of white Californians, those of other subgroups are higher, topped by 34 percent poverty among Hmong, more than twice the state's overall rate.

Income levels show a similarly wide spread in the report, with Hmong having per capita incomes of under $10,000 a year, less than a quarter of whites and the upper-income Asian communities, such as Indians, Malaysians and Taiwanese. The report also declares that Asians were hit particularly hard by the recent recession, both in terms of unemployment and housing foreclosures.

PHOTO CREDIT: Lincy Han of the Golden Turtle Lion Dance Association of UC Davis, prepares for the opening ceremony of the Pacific Rim Street Fest on May 20, 2012. José Luis Villegas / Sacramento Bee file, 2012

February 6, 2013
Jerry Brown plans to build house on Colusa County ranch

BROWNCOLUSA.JPGCOLUSA - Gov. Jerry Brown said today he plans to build a house on land his family has owned for generations in Colusa County west of Williams.

The Democratic governor, who has a home in the Oakland hills and a loft in Sacramento, hikes on the Colusa County land and speaks frequently about the ranch his pioneer ancestors founded in the area. He retreated to the ranch to hike on Election Day last year.

"I'm going put some kind of house up there," Brown told reporters after touring a farm show here. "I'm thinking of a house where I can bring my relatives over and we can have Thanksgiving dinner, and I can get a little quiet."

Asked if it would be a retirement house, the 74-year-old governor said, "Who's talking about retirement?"

Brown said, "It's a good place to be, and it's very close to Sacramento ... So, certainly it's a good retreat for a governor."

February 6, 2013
Report: K-12 districts take kids' lunch money for other purposes

RB HealthyFood 5 School Lunch.JPGAs demand for subsidized school meals went unfulfilled, K-12 districts diverted food service money for other purposes such as a new roof and sprinklers, a new state Senate report finds.

Public schools provide 2.4 million free or reduced-price lunches every day in a system that serves 6 million schoolchildren in California. The federal government provides the bulk of funding at $2 billion, with an additional $145 million annually from the state, the Senate Office of Oversight and Outcomes report says.

But the federal government relies on California Department of Education officials to monitor school lunch programs and ensure the money is being spent appropriately. CDE has required eight districts to repay nearly $170 million in meal money, but the report says the education department is ill-equipped to ensure compliance and that districts may be raiding those funds on a broader scale.

February 6, 2013
Dan Walters Daily: Rick Perry benefits from California criticism

Forget how Rick Perry looked in a radio ad dinging California's business climate, Dan says - the important thing is, it brought the Texas governor some cheap publicity.

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

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

February 6, 2013
AM Alert: California Democrats plan Affordable Care Act strategy

VIDEO: Dan Walters details how Rick Perry is reaping the benefits of the latest skirmish between California and Texas.

Today is day two of a strategy retreat for Senate Democrats at the Stanford Mansion. The Dems heard from online education entrepreneur Sal Khan yesterday, and the focus today will be on implementing the Affordable Care Act. Peter Lee, executive director of Covered California -- California's ACA-mandated health insurance exchange -- will be there.


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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