Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

May 10, 2013
Abel Maldonado accuses Jerry Brown and 'buddies' of 'trying to make it about race'

maldonadopresser.jpgOne day after a civil rights leader accused him of using racially charged politics in his criticism of California's prison realignment, former Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado said this afternoon that Gov. Jerry Brown and "his buddies are trying to make it about race."

Maldonado, who is preparing to challenge Brown in next year's gubernatorial election, told The Bee he will "probably" stop using the image of a felon to which a leader of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People objected, but that he will continue to cite the case.

Maldonado came under criticism after a news conference Wednesday at which he highlighted a photograph of an offender who was not released from prison under realignment -- the program Maldonado organized the event to criticize. Maldonado announced he will file a ballot initiative to repeal the 2011 law in which the state shifted responsibility for certain low-level offenders from the prison and parole system to counties.

May 10, 2013
Four Democrats to seek Assembly seat of termed-out Yamada

Krovoza.JPGDemocrats are lining up for the race in Assembly District 4 next year, when termed-out Assemblywoman Mariko Yamada leaves office.

Davis Mayor Joe Krovoza, right, announced Friday morning that he intends to run in the Democrat-dominated district, joining Lake County Supervisor Anthony Farrington and Napa County Planning Commissioner Matt Pope in the race. Davis City Councilman Dan Wolk, son of Sen. Lois Wolk, D-Davis, confirmed Friday that he will be announcing his candidacy in the coming weeks.

Assembly District 4 includes Napa and Lake Counties and parts of Sonoma, Solano, Colusa and Yolo counties. Sixty percent of voters in the newly redrawn district reside in Napa and Yolo counties. Women Democrats from Davis, including Lois Wolk, have represented Davis in the Assembly for two decades.

May 10, 2013
Former Jerry Brown official opens new business venture

ashford.jpgElizabeth Ashford, who left Gov. Jerry Brown's administration in April, has opened her own public affairs and communications consultancy, and to celebrate she hosted a party on Thursday at the K Bar in Sacramento.

Ashford, 38, was Brown's chief deputy press secretary and worked previously in former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's administration and as a spokeswoman for BP.

On her business website, EAshford Public Affairs & Communications, Ashford says she "helps businesses, organizations and individuals make sound policy and political decisions, and talk about them effectively."

Ashford declined to identify her clients, saying only that they are involved in climate change and transportation.

That she has business at all, she said, is "very encouraging."

"The alternative," Ashford said, "is quite grim."

PHOTO CREDIT: Elizabeth Ashford talks with associates at the K Bar in Sacramento on Thursday, May 9, 2013. David Siders / Sacramento Bee

May 10, 2013
NAACP state president accuses Abel Maldonado of using 'racial politics'

maldonadopresser.jpgAbel Maldonado's campaign for governor has stumbled even before the former lieutenant governor officially declares his candidacy.

After an adviser acknowledged this week that a felon Maldonado highlighted at a news conference Wednesday was not released under California's historic prison realignment - the program Maldonado called the news conference to criticize - the president of a civil rights group has accused Maldonado of engaging in racial politics.

Alice Huffman, president of the California state conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, said in a letter to Maldonado on Thursday that his use of Jerome Anthony Rogers' photograph at his event in Sacramento appears to be a "despicable attempt to drag the Willie Horton-style racial politics of the past into California."

May 10, 2013
Dan Walters Daily: Expose California politics to sunlight

A revelation about secretive practices at California's soon-to-be-launched health-care marketplace is the latest piece of evidence suggesting that California politics needs to be exposed to sunlight, Dan says.

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

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

May 10, 2013
AM Alert: California water politics take center stage

US_NEWS_ENV-DELTA_2_SA.jpgInterest in Delta water issues continues to rise as details of Gov. Jerry Brown's ambitious water project pour out. Part of what makes the governor's proposal so complex is that it doesn't just concern water delivery -- while the tunnels that would send water south are a big part of it, the blueprint also calls for restoring and preserving the ecosystem of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

Researchers and water officials will be discussing some of the hurdles to those goals during a half-day Public Policy Institute of California event today. Held at the Sheraton Grand on J Street, the "Prescriptions for a Healthier Delta Ecosystem" event will feature Jeff Kightlinger, general manager of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California; Peter Goodwin, lead scientist for the Delta Science Program; Mark Cowin, director of the California Department of Water Resources; Phil Isenberg, chair of the Delta Stewardship Council; Chuck Bonham, director of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife; Felicia Marcus of the State Water Resources Control Board; and Tim Quinn, executive director of the Association of California Water Agencies.

VIDEO: The fog of secrecy enveloping California lawmaking has thickened, and Dan Walters says something needs to be done about it.


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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