Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

April 14, 2013
CA Democrats take aim at efforts to overhaul education, CEQA

RP RALLY TORLAKSON.JPGCalifornia Democrats took aim at efforts to overhaul the state's education system and environmental review laws, issuing sharp words and resolutions on both topics during the final day of the state party's convention in Sacramento.

Much of the fiery rhetoric during Sunday's general session was focused on StudentsFirst, the education policy advocacy group founded by Michelle Rhee, and Democrats for Education Reform, which has backing from former Democratic state Sen. Gloria Romero.

"They sound like good names, but let's be perfectly clear. These organizations are backed by moneyed interests, Republican operatives and out-of-state Wall Street billionaires dedicated to school privatization and trampling on teacher and worker rights," California Teachers Association President Dean Vogel told delegates Sunday. "And we're not going to stand for that."

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson criticized the same groups by name, saying they do not "lift a finger to prevent the cuts to education."

"In my book, you're not a reformer, you're not helping education and you're sure not much of a Democrat," he said.

April 14, 2013
Sutter Brown fills in for dad at California Democratic Convention

photo (39).JPGThe ongoing trade mission in China kept Gov. Jerry Brown and first lady Anne Gust Brown from attending this weekend's Caliornia Democratic Party convention in Sacramento, but California's first family didn't go completely unrepresented at the three-day event.

Sutter Brown, the Pembroke Welsh corgi that has been in the care of the Browns since soon after the 2010 election, made a scheduled appearance on a convention center terrance this morning for a photo opportunity with delegates and other attendees.

The set up was reminiscent of the photo lines erected for photo opportunities with high-profile fundraiser guests, with staff to keep the line moving and hold guests' bags during the shoot, a professional photographer and security on hand. These photos, however, were free for the more than 50 Sutter fans who filed through Sunday morning.

Many guests giddily gave Sutter scratches as the camera snapped. One woman asked if she could give him a hug.

Sutter seemed to be enjoying the attention, as well as the warmth of the blue fur-covered tablecloth serving as a backdrop for photos, though he wasn't as interested in striking a pose for the camera. His preferred position as the appearance came to an end was belly up.

Convention-goers seemed to understand Sutter's lazy Sunday attitude.

"I know you were working the convention last night," Andra Hoffman, a candidate for a Democratic Assembly seat in the San Fernando Valley, said as she gave Sutter a belly rub. "You're tired, too."


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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