Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

April 5, 2013
Abel Maldonado moves closer to 2014 run against Jerry Brown

California GOP.jpg Former Lt. Gov Abel Maldonado has secured a contribution - but not an endorsement - from one of California's most influential GOP donors as he moves closer to a possible 2014 run for governor.

Charles T. Munger, Jr. confirmed today that he plans to contribute an undisclosed amount to a committee Maldonado is opening to explore a gubernatorial bid, but said he is refraining from endorsing any of the possible GOP candidates at this point because of his role as chairman of the Santa Clara County Republican Party.

April 5, 2013
GOP candidates head to campaign school for the weekend

Two dozen Republicans considering a run for state Legislature are spending the weekend in campaign class.

Trailblazers, a candidate recruitment and training program started by House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, Assembly GOP leader Connie Conway and GOP Senate leader Bob Huff ahead of the 2012 election, is holding its first candidate bootcamp of the 2014 cycle Saturday.

The daylong program in Sacramento will bring together 24 potential legislative candidates from districts across the state for what Trailblazers CEO Jessica Patterson called a "nuts and bolts" training session. Top GOP strategists will cover topics like how to put together a campaign team and budget, conducing effective field operations and making a long-term communication plan.

"What we really want to do is make sure the candidates know what they're supposed to be doing from beginning to end," Patterson said.

Participants will be eligible for future workshops, which will take closer looks at essentials like fundraising and communicating with Latinos and other voter demographic groups as the campaign picks up. Strong candidates are recognized for reaching different levels of the program, which is modeled after House Republicans' recruitment efforts.

Many of the possible candidates were introduced to the program through outreach by Trailblazers and its partner organizations, including GROW Elect, an effort aimed at electing Latinos to public office.

"We've been out there since December working on the recruitment sides of things, in particular the strong-leaning Republican districts and the toss-up districts," Patterson said. "We want to find good candidates that can make those districts competitive."

With the primary election 14 months away, that recruitment work isn't done. Patterson said the group plans to hold at least one additional "nuts and bolts" overview session later in the year in hope of attracting a wide range of candidates to run in open GOP seats or against Democrats next year.

RELATED:
GOP hopefuls for California Legislature make Trailblazers list

April 5, 2013
Obama apologizes for Kamala Harris remark

20120416_HA_mortgage0207.JPG

President Obama called California Attorney General Kamala Harris to apologize for complimenting Harris on her looks during a fundraiser, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said.

"He apologized for it and regrets the distraction it caused," Carney said in a White House press briefing on Friday.

Obama was speaking at a Democratic National Committee event in Atherton on Thursday when he praised Harris for her intelligence, her dedication to public service and the fact that she is the "by far the best-looking attorney general in the country."

The outpouring of reactions was swift, with some critics accusing the president of sexism, and spurred an online conversation about whether mentioning a woman's appearance has any place in a professional setting.

PHOTO CREDIT: Kamala Harris, seen here before a cancelled hearing on April 16, 2012, is California's top law enforcement official. By Hector Amezcua for The Sacramento Bee.

April 5, 2013
Dan Walters Daily: Stockton can't catch a break

A new statistical report on deaths in California shows that Stockton's woes extend beyond its finances, Dan says.

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

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

April 5, 2013
AM Alert: Libertarians, Republicans meet to plot strategies

20130311_HA_TIM_DONNELLY.JPGThe Libertarian Party of California, which is holding its convention at the Hyatt Regency Sacramento this weekend, is hosting a rally nearby on the Capitol's west steps today from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., with longshot gubernatorial candidate Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, R-Twin Peaks, scheduled to speak.

While Libertarians outline ways to make inroads among the state's voters, an organization founded by Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield, will be brainstorming avenues to a California Republican revival. The California Trailblazers' candidate school will be meeting Saturday, also at the Hyatt Regency.

VIDEO: Stockton's woes don't stop at the bankruptcy court's door, Dan Walters says.

Sen. Kevin de León, D-Los Angeles, is holding the latest in a series of public forums looking for input on how to spend the extra revenue to be generated by the tax changes that voters approved last fall with Proposition 39, some of which will go to green building projects. The event runs from 2 to 5 p.m. at Riverside Adult School in Riverside.

While de León's meeting is going on, other lawmakers will be talking about a less environmentally friendly topic in Richmond. Sen. Loni Hancock, D-Berkeley, Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, and Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord, will be discussing the causes of a fire at a Chevron refinery in August 2012.

For all of you political junkies out there, the C-SPAN bus is rolling into Sacramento today as part of a national tour commemorating its 20th anniversary. The bus will be at California State University, Sacramento, from 9:30 to 11 a.m.

A happy birthday in advance to Gov. Jerry Brown, who reaches a big milestone with his 75th birthday on Sunday. He has the distinction of being the nation's oldest governor.

PHOTO CREDIT: Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, R-Twin Peaks, listens during session in the Assembly chambers in Sacramento on Monday, March 11, 2013. Hector Amezcua / Sacramento Bee



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Capitol Alert Staff


Jeremy White Jeremy B. White covers California politics and edits Capitol Alert's mobile Insider Edition. jwhite@sacbee.com. Twitter: @capitolalert

Amy Chance Amy Chance is political editor for The Sacramento Bee. achance@sacbee.com. Twitter: @Amy_Chance

Dan Smith Dan Smith is Capitol bureau chief for The Sacramento Bee. smith@sacbee.com

Christopher Cadelago Christopher Cadelago covers California politics and health care. ccadelago@sacbee.com. Twitter: @ccadelago

Micaela Massimino Micaela Massimino edits Capitol Alert. mmassimino@sacbee.com

Laurel Rosenhall Laurel Rosenhall covers the Legislature, the lobbying community and higher education. lrosenhall@sacbee.com. Twitter: @LaurelRosenhall

David Siders David Siders covers the Brown administration. dsiders@sacbee.com. Twitter: @davidsiders

Dan Walters Dan Walters is a columnist for The Sacramento Bee. dwalters@sacbee.com. Twitter: @WaltersBee

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