Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

August 6, 2013
Activist Cindy Sheehan plans run for California governor in 2014

sheehan.jpgAntiwar activist Cindy Sheehan plans to run next year for California governor, according to state Peace and Freedom Party officials.

Sheehan won the endorsement of the party's state central committee and is expected to announce her candidacy or the formation of an exploratory committee "probably in a couple of weeks," C.T. Weber, a member of the state party's executive committee, said Tuesday.

A statement on a Peace and Freedom Party website quoted Sheehan as saying she wants to run for governor "primarily because I believe that California should be leading the nation in peace, education, health care, sustainable/renewable energy and democracy."

Sheehan, 56, gained notoriety for protesting outside President George W. Bush's Texas ranch after her son, Casey, was killed in Iraq in 2004. She made a failed bid for vice president last year alongside Roseanne Barr as the Peace and Freedom Party's candidates.

Running as an independent against U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi in 2008, Sheehan came in second with about 16 percent of the vote, finishing ahead of the Republican in the race.

Her gubernatorial prospects may be long. The incumbent, Democrat Jerry Brown, has raised more than $10 million for his re-election campaign. The Peace and Freedom Party's last gubernatorial candidate, Carlos Alvarez, received just less than 1 percent of the vote in 2010.

Because of her notoriety, Sheehan should do better than that, Weber said. Asked if he thought she has a chance of defeating Brown, he said, "I would really appreciate it if she did."

A Sheehan representative did not respond to a request for comment.

PHOTO: Cindy Sheehan speaks at a public meeting in Sacramento in 2011. The Sacramento Bee/José Luis Villegas

August 6, 2013
Assembly Republicans to vote on leader after session ends

HA_ASSEMBLY0618.JPGFor the second time this year, Assemblywoman Connie Conway faces the possibility of surrendering her leadership of the Assembly Republican Caucus.

Assembly Republicans will hold a leadership vote after the current legislative session ends on Sept. 13. Conway, a Tulare Republican who weathered a quickly quashed challenge in February, will seek re-election, spokeswoman Sabrina Lockhart said.

"Historically, this has happened at the end of session and after elections, so she wanted to gauge her caucus after we work through the last final weeks of session," Lockhart said.

"We have a large class of new members, so she wants the caucus to decide what the year ahead will look like," Lockhart added.

Rumors of a potential ouster reverberated through the caucus earlier this year, with Republicans stinging from an election cycle that saw Democrats claim enough seats to establish a two-thirds supermajority in both houses of the Legislature.

The Assembly supermajority is currently on hold pending the outcome of special elections to fill vacant seats.

PHOTO: Assembly Republican leader Connie Conway, R-Tulare, during the first day of session at the state Capitol in Sacramento on Monday, Dec. 3, 2012. The Sacramento Bee/Hector Amezcua.

August 6, 2013
Nurse practitioner bill fails in California Assembly committee

nurse.JPGA bill that would give California's nurse practitioners more autonomy failed 6-3 Tuesday in an Assembly committee after four Democrats did not vote.

Senate Bill 491 is one of three "scope-of-practice" bills by Sen. Ed Hernandez, D-West Covina, that would increase the medical duties of optometrists, nurse practitioners and pharmacists.

Senate Bill 493, on pharmacists' roles, passed 12-0 in the Assembly Business, Professions and Consumer Protection Committee before members heard the nurse practitioner measure. That bill was granted reconsideration for next week, when Senate Bill 492, which covers the role of optometrists, is scheduled to be heard.

Before the committee voted on SB 491, Hernandez said he knew the vote would be tough.

Not voting were Assembly Democrats Raul Bocanegra of Los Angeles, Nora Campos of San Jose, Richard Gordon of Menlo Park, Chris Holden of Pasadena and Republican Curt Hagman of Chino Hills.

August 6, 2013
AM Alert: California Legislature looks at drones

RBDrones9.JPGIf it seems like the media has been droning on about unmanned aircraft lately, the additional attention reflects the fact that the pilot-less vehicles could be coming closer to home: there is a scramble under way to explore domestic uses for unarmed drones.

That has raised questions about surveillance and civil liberties, which will get a public airing during an Assembly Public Safety Committee hearing this morning (9:30 a.m., room 126). Speakers include those questioning the constitutional implications, like Linda Lye of the ACLU, and those who could stand to benefit, like deputy director of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection Andy McMurry.

The Legislature has dabbled in drones already this session, from hearing about why California lagged behind other states in a push to establish testing sites to a bill by Sen. Alex Padilla, D-Los Angeles, that would clarify when drones require warrants and lay out how drone-generated data can be shared.

VIDEO: The Legislature's return from recess is cause for concern for many, Dan Walters says.

August 6, 2013
Dan Walters Daily: Bill opponents brace for home stretch

Gun owners and taxpayers associations are among the interest groups playing defense now that the Legislature is returning for the waning weeks of the 2013 session, Dan says.

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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