Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

tr_20130116_river_morning_107B.JPGAs promised, today we get a full accounting of cash coming into California's campaign coffers through the first half of 2013 -- we'll have a summary up on Capitol Alert shortly.

(Here's a little tidbit to satiate you in the meantime: Gov. Jerry Brown has pulled $2.8 million into his re-election campaign, giving the aspiring two-termer a little over $10 million on hand.)

But since the topic of money leads often to the topic of political corruption, we want to talk about a little study that caused a big uproar Tuesday. NPR spotlighted research linking political malfeasance to the location of state capitals, with the upshot being that more remote statehouses are more prone to sordid business -- and California was noted as one such place.

"We're talking about isolated state capitals like California, which is a populous state, but the capital, Sacramento, is far away from anything," Morning Edition host David Greene noted.

That didn't sit well with the Capitol community. Twitter blew up with people pointing out Sacramento's proximity to the Bay Area, with plenty of them faulting NPR for a Beltway-centric sense of geography. Say what you will about Sacramento, its residents don't like being told they live on the periphery.

VIDEO: Lax oversight has allowed drug rehab centers to rip off taxpayers -- making Dan Walters wonder when the Legislature will start grilling some bad actors.

RAIL CONTINGENCIES: The best laid plans oft go astray, especially when it comes to expensive public infrastructure projects. The California High-Speed Rail Authority will be discussing a model to incorporate unforeseen costs into future projects during a meeting that begins at 9 a.m. at the Sacramento City Council Chambers on I Street.

VYING WITH VIOLENCE: Preventative care figures heavily into the debate over health care policy, with proponents arguing that it's more effective to treat the causes rather than the effects. Does that hold true for stemming violence? A talk today takes a look. Scheduled speakers include Howard Spivak, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Division of Violence Prevention; Lisa James of Futures Without Violence; Andrea Flores Shelton, injury and violence prevention coordinator for the Santa Clara County Public Health Department; and Benita Tsao of the Prevention Institute. From 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in room 112 of the state Capitol.

SEA CHANGE: Emissions absorbed into the oceans are fundamentally altering their composition and ecosystems. Prof. J. Michael Beman of UC Merced discusses the implications during a UC Center Sacramento event at 1130 K Street, from noon to 1:30 p.m.

CELEBRATIONS: Happy birthday to Assemblywoman Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, who turns 51 today.

PHOTO: Canada geese fly across the Sacramento River as dawn glows over the Sacramento skyline on Jan. 16, 2013. The Sacramento Bee/Tim Reese.



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