Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

July 16, 2013
California AG Kamala Harris adviser Gil Duran resigns

RB Gil Duran 2.JPGCalifornia Attorney General Kamala Harris' communications director, Gil Duran, has resigned less than six months after leaving Gov. Jerry Brown's administration to work for her.

Elizabeth Ashford, Harris' chief of staff, said in an email that Duran had resigned "to pursue other opportunities."

"We will miss him, but the AG supports his decision and wishes him the best," she said.

Duran was Brown's press secretary before leaving the administration in February. Ashford, previously Brown's chief deputy press secretary, left Brown's office in April.

Before coming to work for Brown in 2011, Duran was communications director for U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein from 2008 to 2010.

In an email, Duran said he is currently in Europe.

"As Heraclitus said, change is the only constant," Duran said. "After a decade working for some of the most amazing leaders in California politics, it's time to try something new. Right now I'm traveling in Europe. When I get back to Oakland, I'll probably do some consulting and write a book."

The book, he said, will not be about politics.

Editor's note: This post was updated at 5:23 p.m. to include Duran's remarks.

PHOTO: Gil Duran, California Gov. Jerry Brown's press secretary, right, during a news conference in January. The Sacramento Bee/RandallBenton

July 16, 2013
Pérez meets with federal officials to enhance partnership

perezfile.JPGAssembly Speaker John A. Pérez is in Washington, D.C., this week touting an improved California economy and progress he says has been made on issues like health care and veterans' access to benefits and services.

"The whole idea here is figuring out how the state can benefit by maximizing our partnership with the federal government," Pérez said in a phone interview Tuesday.

Pérez is scheduled to meet with federal leaders, such as House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Sen. Dianne Feinstein and several other members of Congress. The California Legislature is currently on summer recess.

On Tuesday, he spoke to the Golden State Roundtable, a non-partisan organization of people in business, government and academia with interests in California. Pérez noted that the state's economy is much improved from when he spoke to the Golden State Roundtable last year.

Photo: Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez, D-Los Angeles, speaks at the Sacramento Press Club on Wednesday, May 8, 2013 in Sacramento. The Sacramento Bee/Hector Amezcua

July 16, 2013
Dan Walters Daily: Will Filner resign or stay?

The allegations of sexual harassment against San Diego Mayor Bob Filner continue to grow, Dan says.

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

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

July 16, 2013
AM Alert: Casino opponents get their day in court


The saga of a controversial Indian casino that the Legislature approved last month gets another airing today -- this time, before a judge.

Opponents of a casino for the North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians have brought a lawsuit against the state that is scheduled for a hearing today in Madera Superior Court. Stand Up California, a tribal gambling watchdog group, alleges that Gov. Jerry Brown did not have authority to grant the building of a casino with the tribe when he negotiated a compact with them last year. The land along Highway 99 in Madera County where the tribe wants to build its casino was not yet in federal trust, the process for a tribe to take control of a piece of land.

"He gave a compact and casino approval on August 31, but the land didn't go into trust until February of the following year," said Cheryl Schmit, director of the group.

Her group is also working to defeat approval of the casino through the ballot box, working toward a referendum to overturn the Legislature's approval.

The North Fork proposal is more controversial than most because the tribe wants to build its casino more than 35 miles from the village near Yosemite where tribal members live. Supporters say the tribe's mountainous property is unsuitable for a casino. Opponents say its desire to build a casino near the freeway amounts to "off reservation" gambling.

PHOTO: Pamela Stottlemyre of Sacramento plays a slot machine at the Colusa Casino in April, 2013. The tribe was one of several that opposed a new casino for the North Fork group of Indians. Sacramento Bee/Randy Pench


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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