Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

Darrell_Steinberg.jpgHave you got tens of thousands of dollars and an interest in Democratic politics? Then get yourself to La Jolla and follow the thwack of golf balls to the 2013 Pro Tem Cup. Tickets range from $15,000 for a single day of golf to the $65,000 two-day platinum package, which gets you two days of golf for four and dinner with Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg.

Those prices have gone up a bit since last year, when the minimum contribution to the annual California Democratic Party fundraiser was $10,000 for a one-day pass. Jason Kinney, a consultant for Senate Democrats, told Capitol Alert that "aggressive fundraising" is par for the course (sorry, we couldn't resist).

"As long as there are billionaires out there determined to spend money to defeat our candidates and oppose our causes, we're going to keep doing it," Kinney said.

VIDEO: Gov. Jerry Brown has gotten behind CEQA reform, but Dan Walters says two major Democratic allies -- labor unions and environmentalists -- stand in the way.

Speaking of supporting Democrats, the California Federation of Teachers is holding its convention at the Sheraton Grand from today through Sunday. Speakers will include Art Pulaski of the California Labor Federation, Bill Camp of the Sacramento Central Labor Council, Jesse Sharkey, vice president of the Chicago Teachers Union, and Randi Weingarten, national president of the American Teachers Federation. Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, will be receiving the CFT's Legislator of the Year award.

California Board of Equalization member George Runner will deliver a speech to the Rancho Cordova Chamber of Commerce at 12:30 p.m. called "Can California Really Tax Itself into Prosperity?" We assume that's a rhetorical question: Runner recently said he planned to file a brief in support of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association's lawsuit against the Board of Equalization challenging the state's fire prevention fee. The Brown administration has already courted controversy over how it spends that money.

The California Environmental Protection Agency is briefing lawmakers today on CalEnviroScreen, a tool that aggregates data on factors like environment and health to try and assess a community's level of exposure to pollution. That starts at 1:30 p.m. in room 112 of the state Capitol.

PHOTO CREDIT: State Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, seen here on Tuesday, May 29, 2012, is trading the Senate floor for the golf course. By Rich Pedroncelli for AP Photo.


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