Former Democratic Lt. Gov. and Assembly Speaker Cruz Bustamante has partnered with consultant Paul Fickas to open a new governmental affairs and consulting shop focused on Latino outreach and "bringing together Republicans, Democrats and Independents."
The firm, California Alliance Group, is headquartered in Sacramento, but will operate throughout the state.
Bustamante, who ran unsuccessfully in the 2003 gubernatorial recall and the 2006 insurance commissioner race, isn't the only former lawmaker involved in the firm. Former Assemblyman Anthony Adams, who shed his GOP registration to run for Congress as an independent last year, is serving as the firm's legal counsel. Other principals include Roy Perez, former chief executive officer of the California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, former Los Angeles city budget aide Rebecca Barrantes and consultants Susie Avila Beele, Patty Holohan and John Thomas.
While it isn't unusual to see former lawmakers move into lobbying or consulting work after leaving the Capitol, Adams said the firm and its staff are not registering as lobbyists at this time.
"Right now we're only doing consulting and no lobbying work," Adams said.
PHOTO CREDIT: Cruz Bustamante during an interview at The Bee Capitol Bureau on Sept. 26, 2006. The Sacramento Bee/ Brian Baer