Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

February 8, 2013
Super Bowl weekend, as told through political tweets

Sacramento at the Super Bowl

The California Democratic Party held an exclusive fundraiser last weekend - a trip to the Super Bowl in New Orleans with a powerful state senator. Other Capitol types were also in the Big Easy for the big game - though not all were involved in the fundraiser. Here's a look at the fun had by all.

Storified by · Fri, Feb 08 2013 21:43:35

Jason Kinney, a communications consultant for the Senate Democrats, organized the fundraiser that involved tickets to the game, plus a cross country trip in a private plane with Sen. Kevin De Leon and lodging with him in a French Quarter rental home. Kinney posted these tweets from New Orleans on Friday night. He said these parties were not part of the fundraiser.
En route to Commissioner's Party. Does my Ronnie Lott jersey count as "business attire?" #NOLAJason Kinney
Now Rolling Stone party. Dress code doesn't seem to be an issue here. #NOlaJason Kinney
On Saturday, Sacramento political consultant Roger Salazar started tweeting about his trip to the Super Bowl. He said he was not part of the fundraiser, and flew on a commercial flight with two buddies.
Super Bowl Bound! SMF-LAS-MSY #sf2no #49ers #SB47 @49ersRoger Salazar
Flight full o' #49ers fans. #SF2NO @49ers_fans @49ers @ Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport... Salazar
Adam Keigwin, chief of staff to state Democratic state Sen. Leland Yee of San Francisco, was already in New Orleans. He said he paid his own way to get there and bought his ticket to the game for $950 from the 49ers. 
@RogerSalazar hurry up and get downtown. Way too many Raven fans here.Adam Keigwin
Kinney, meanwhile, said he was lunching with his wife in New Orleans on Saturday when they ran into Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco.
By count of colors, Ravens dominating Commander's Palace. Only 2 Niner tables: Kinneys & Pelosis. And, yes, Madame Leader is Kaepernicking.Jason Kinney
Pelosi, a San Francisco Democrat, had said earlier in the week that she'd be at the game rooting for the Niners, despite her Baltimore roots.
Divided loyalties for Super Bowl? Baltimore-born SF Dem Nancy Pelosi tells all (VIDEO) | Politics Blog | an blogHouse Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi will be in New Orleans Sunday to watch the Super Bowl LXVII matchup between the San Francisco 49ers an...
Kinney and Salazar hit some parties on Saturday night.
GQ party! #thankyouRogerSalazarJason Kinney
Salazar posted this picture showing him (top left, holding the trumpet), former state Assemblyman Rusty Areias (bottom left, holding the beer bottle) and Kinney's wife Mary (middle, playing the trumpet).
Of course Justin is on the phone. #SF2NO #49ers #nola @49ers #SB47 #GQuperBowlParty Salazar
Sunday was the big game. Dustin Corcoran, chief executive of the California Medical Association - the lobbying group for the state's doctors - posted these tweets from the stadium. Corcoran
Awkwardly dark in the Superdome.Dustin Corcoran
Charu Khopkar, political director of the California Faculty Association, posted this apparent joke:
NOPD id's suspects who cut Superdome power: @jasonkinney, @akeigwin, @RogerSalazar, @jeffgozzo. Suspects are dressed in red, drunk & ornery.Charu Khopkar
"This kind of travel provides the well-heeled interests the opportunity to have significant amounts of face time with elected and other party officials, something that is not available to average Americans," said Meredith McGehee, policy director at the Campaign Legal Center in Washington, D.C. "And it is important not to underestimate how important that is in politics - being able to have somebody return your calls, know who you are and socialize."

Read the full story below.

Capitol Alert: Who dat at the Super Bowl? Lobbyists and California lawmaker - sacbee.comBy Laurel Rosenhall and Torey Van Oot No matter that the 49ers lost, the Super Bowl was still a $60,000 win for the California Democratic...

February 8, 2013
Who dat at the Super Bowl? Lobbyists and California lawmaker

DeLeon.jpgBy Laurel Rosenhall and Torey Van Oot

No matter that the 49ers lost - the Super Bowl was still a $60,000 win for the California Democratic Party.

That's how much the party netted from an exclusive fundraising event in which a handful of Sacramento lobbyists spent Super Bowl weekend in New Orleans with a powerful state senator. The experience included a private plane ride across the country with Sen. Kevin de León, lodging with him in a French Quarter vacation home and tickets to the hottest football game of the year.

Organizers would not say who attended or how much they paid, but three Capitol advocates were with the group - Dustin Corcoran, chief executive officer of the California Medical Association; Scott Wetch, a lobbyist representing unions, insurance companies and health care groups; and Scott Govenar, a lobbyist representing finance interests and one Indian tribe.

Govenar and Wetch said they were there, but declined to comment further. Jason Kinney, a communications consultant for the Senate Democratic caucus who organized and attended the fundraiser, would not confirm or deny the names of attendees. Corcoran did not respond to requests for comment.

February 8, 2013
Rocky Chavez proposes telling California how to ask a question

Durell_shipbase_0161 Coast Guard.JPGA proposed California law would allow only these words to be used for a question the state already asks: "Have you ever served in the military?"

Assemblyman Rocky Chávez, R-Oceanside, contends that asking the question in that manner, mandated by Assembly Bill 258, would put money in more Californians' pockets.

Here's the current problem: To determine whether residents are eligible for various benefits, the state asks respondents whether they are veterans or have served in the armed forces, said Anthony Zamarron, Chávez's chief of staff.

Some Californians say no when they should say yes, Zamarron said, because they think "veteran" means someone who has gone to war or they don't realize that it includes members of the Coast Guard and National Guard.

February 8, 2013
Logue opens state treasurer committee, but not to run for post

California Jobs.jpgRepublican Assemblyman Dan Logue has opened a campaign account to raise cash for a 2014 state treasurer bid.

But don't expect to see the Marysville Republican hitting the campaign trail any time soon.

He's not actually running.

In fact, Logue said he expects a statewide campaign to be "the last thing I do" when he leaves the Assembly due to term limits at the end of next year.

"I have no plans to run for treasurer," Logue told The Bee. "I'm using that to raise some resources to help some colleagues to bring more pro-business candidates to Sacramento down the road."

February 8, 2013
Controller: California $4.3 billion ahead of forecast in January

20111102_ha_JOHN_CHIANG0365.JPGCalifornia received $4.3 billion more in January than Gov. Jerry Brown predicted, state Controller John Chiang said in a new cash update this afternoon.

In an analysis, Chiang said "gains in jobs, incomes, and stock prices have underpinned the rise," while also alluding to higher tax rates on the wealthy that voters approved at Brown's urging in November.

But as the state saw a burst of tax revenue in mid-January, economists and fiscal experts suspected a third factor was largely to blame: a December run-up in capital gains and profit-taking ahead of the so-called federal fiscal cliff. Companies paid more dividends and bonuses in 2012 because of the likelihood that federal leaders would increase taxes on the highest brackets in 2013.

It remains to be seen whether the state's big January will result in lower tax collections than expected this spring and in 2014. The Legislative Analyst's Office has warned policy makers to remain cautious and wait until Brown's May budget update to judge whether the revenue increase is for real.

February 8, 2013
National Journal charts rise, fall of Berman-Waxman machine

howardberman.jpgWhen Howard Berman lost the most expensive congressional race in the country last year - falling to fellow Democratic Rep. Brad Sherman after the two were thrown together in the same district - it marked the end of a fabled Southern California political machine.

Berman and Rep. Henry Waxman, along with Berman's campaign/redistricting consultant brother, Michael, had been major factors in regional and statewide politics for decades, making or breaking countless political careers.

The rise and fall of the Berman-Waxman machine is chronicled in a lengthy article in the National Journal.

Shane Goldmacher, a former Sacramento Bee and Los Angeles Times Capitol reporter, charts how the organization got its start in campus politics before Waxman and Howard Berman moved to the Legislature and then to Congress, becoming major forces in domestic and foreign policy.

February 8, 2013
Dan Walters Daily: Rick Perry keeps California, self in spotlight

Dan says Texas Gov. Rick Perry is riding the latest flareup of the California-Texas rivalry for all it's worth, given that he knows Texans love to hate "those crazy people out there in California."

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

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

February 8, 2013
AM Alert: Rick Perry trip, nuclear initiative are portents of 2014

ZUMA_San Onofre Nuclear Plant.JPGVIDEO: Dan Walters says there's a reason Texas Gov. Rick Perry keeps goading California: It helps his re-election prospects in his home state.

Here's another sign that the 2014 election cycle has already begun. Secretary of State Debra Bowen has cleared the signature collection phase of a proposed initiative to require stricter review for the troubled Diablo Canyon and San Onofre nuclear power plants.

This isn't the first time sponsor Ben Davis Jr. has taken aim at California's nuclear power plants, but he has been unable to replicate his success in helping to shut down the Rancho Seco nuclear plant near Sacramento in 1989. Davis couldn't get enough signatures to qualify his current effort for the November 2012 ballot.

Sen. Kevin de León , D-Los Angeles, continues to push for some of the money from Proposition 39 to go towards school modernization grants. The latest effort is a new website promoting de León's bill to create the grant program.

Gov. Rick Perry leaves Texas on Sunday to begin his attempt at poaching California millionaires, his office said Thursday. He plans to visit San Francisco, Los Angeles, Orange County and Silicon Valley.

According to the Dallas Morning News, public-private partnership TexasOne is paying for the trip. TexasOne also paid for the $24,000 radio ad buy, The Bee's David Siders reported in this post.

Happy birthday in advance to Assemblyman Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, who will turn 44 on Saturday.

PHOTO CREDIT: A view from the San Diego county side of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, March 23, 2012. Ana Venegas/ The Orange County Register/


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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