Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

July 17, 2013
California lawmaker, Black Caucus to seek Florida boycott

20130311_HA_JUDICIARY421.JPGIn the wake of a Florida jury acquitting George Zimmerman in the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, California Assemblyman Chris Holden, D-Pasadena, will call for a boycott on traveling to Florida or doing business there.

The case garnered national attention and ignited a debate about Florida's gun laws before a jury on Saturday found Zimmerman not guilty of second-degree murder and manslaughter, concluding that the neighborhood watch volunteer acted in self-defense when he shot Martin.

The verdict could signal an "open season on vigilante-type justice," Holden said Wednesday in a telephone interview. So he is preparing a joint resolution, with the backing of the California Legislative Black Caucus, that advocates a boycott of Florida until the state repeals the "stand your ground" law that helped Zimmerman avoid conviction by invoking self-defense.

"What might be an appropriate way for us to usher in change would be for us to have a boycott that focuses on the seriousness and importance of looking at this law and making some changes," Holden said. "We want encourage those who are traveling and planning vacations and conventions and potential ways of spending dollars in the state to hold back until those changes have been made."

Holden added that he was motivated to call for a boycott in part because he has four college-age sons.

"If we lived in Florida, (the verdict) would send a chilling message about their safety and security," he said.

PHOTO: Assemblyman Chris Holden, D-Pasadena, is shown during the Assembly session in Sacramento on March 11, 2013. The Sacramento Bee/Hector Amezcua.

July 17, 2013
California's Tim Donnelly laughs off 'hottest conservative' title

PK_Tim_Donnelly_2012.JPGCalifornia Attorney General Kamala Harris isn't the only state politician being singled out as easy on the eyes.

PolitiChicks, a conservative website for women, has named Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, R-Twin Peaks, as one of the "hottest conservative supermen in America."

"I thought they must have gotten the wrong guy," Donnelly said Wednesday in a telephone interview. "I told my wife I have to work out and live up to the image."

PolitiChicks gathered a six-woman panel and used five criteria -- intelligence, courage, passion, sense of humor and looks -- when selecting Donnelly as seventh on its list of hottest conservatives in politics. U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, led that category.

Other categories included hottest conservative in new media, on TV and on the radio, which were led by political commentator David Spady of Breitbart, Greg Gutfeld of Fox News and Rush Limbaugh, who needs no introducing.

The overall hottest conservative title went to AlfonZo Rachel of the web show Zo Nation. Donnelly received honorable mention in the overall category.

The list was created in response to "hot conservative women" lists, to which PolitiChicks said "turnabout's fair play."

"A bunch of my buddies gave me grief," said Donnelly, who has launched a campaign for California governor.

"I certainly was honored to be picked in such company as Sen. Jim DeMint and others," he added, referring to the former Republican senator from South Carolina.

PHOTO: Assemblyman Tim Donnelly waits for the legislative session to open on Jan. 4, 2012, in Sacramento. The Sacramento Bee/Paul Kitagaki Jr.

July 17, 2013
Boxer, Feinstein: Immigration bill 'the right thing for California'

Capitol_Building_Washington_Congress.jpgCalifornia Sens. Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein wrote to their House of Representatives colleagues Wednesday, pleading for a vote on an immigration bill as a matter of economic and moral imperative for a state that's home to nearly a quarter of the country's undocumented immigrants.

House Republicans have been reluctant to consider a bipartisan bill the Senate approved last month, which would increase spending on border security, create a guest-worker visa program and establish a path to citizenship for the 11 million people living illegally in the U.S.

The letter from Boxer and Feinstein to the 53 House members from California echoed a video last week from the California Chamber of Commerce in making a case that the immigration bill would give the state, and the country, a crucial economic boost.

July 17, 2013
Republican plans secretary of state run on Jerry Brown platform

Republican Pete Peterson said Wednesday that he plans to run for California secretary of state on what he called the same "revolutionary platform" used in 1970 by then candidate Jerry Brown.

"But, you won't see me up here 40 years from now -- I want to do this job and no other," Peterson said at a sparsely attended news conference at the Hyatt Regency Sacramento that geared up his 2014 campaign for the statewide office.

Peterson, executive director of the Davenport Institute for Public Engagement at Pepperdine University in Malibu, said he hopes to pick up a few moderate Democratic friends as he begins to seek endorsements.

For more, including what he called a "business-related ... fiasco" under Secretary of State Debra Bowen's watch, view the video below.

July 17, 2013
Gavin Newsom: Napolitano's pay at UC 'in the ballpark'

AOC_Gavin_Newsom_097w.JPGLt. Gov. Gavin Newsom said today that Janet Napolitano will be a good leader for the University of California, despite objections from immigration activists about the large number of deportations during her tenure as the U.S. secretary of homeland security.

"She works for the president of the United States. Her job is to execute in that position the policy of the chief executive officer. Those were the president's policies," Newsom said in a phone interview with The Bee this morning.

The lieutenant governor serves on UC's board of regents and is acting governor while Gov. Jerry Brown is on vacation in Europe,

"They were particularly effective on the deportation side to a degree we haven't seen in recent history," Newsom added. "But it was not a policy, I believe, ... that emanated from Janet Napolitano. I believe that policy came from the White House."

July 17, 2013
AM Alert: Water issues saturate California's legislative recess

MC_DELTA_06.JPGLawmakers are taking a break from bill hearings, but a California Water Commission meeting today intersects with several legislative hot topics. They include a presentation from the California Department of Conservation on proposed hydraulic fracturing regulations and an update from the Delta Stewardship Council on its blueprint for balancing ecological imperatives and a sustainable water supply. Starting at 9:30 a.m. at the state's Resources Building on 9th Street.

Speaking of the proposed Delta water project, the organizations crafting the Bay Delta Conservation Plan are meeting today to discuss its recently released final chapters, which detail what it will cost and how to pay for it. Featuring Jerry Meral, deputy secretary at the California Natural Resources Agency, the meeting runs from noon to six at the DoubleTree Hotel and Conference Center.

VIDEO: A greater-than-expected surge in revenue should buoy schools, but Dan Walters says the windfall raises some questions about whether the fiscal boost will prove to be the exception or the rule.

July 17, 2013
Dan Walters Daily: Was extra $2 billion a one-time windfall?

California took in $2 billion more in revenue than expected during last fiscal year, and Dan wonders whether this was a one-time windfall or a sign of better economic times.

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

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.


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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