Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

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Last week, as Sheryl Sandberg-mania engulfed the capital community, we looked into how Sandberg's employer is deploying its considerable resources on California politics. As it turns out, Facebook has spent enough money to get a few friend requests accepted.

Today, tech titans get another chance to mingle with California's policy sculptors. TechAmerica -- an industry group that has been among the powerful players pushing for an immigration reform package that would accommodate more tech workers -- will host a legislative reception at Mayahuel this evening. Companies expected to send a representative include Verizon, HP, Microsoft, Apple, Qualcomm, eBay, Blackberry and Xerox.

VIDEO: Lawmakers are indulging in one of their favorite behind-the-scenes rituals, Dan Walters says.

PRISON PLAN PUSHBACK: A coalition of different advocacy groups, predominantly the California Partnership and Californians United for a Responsible Budget, will rally today against a recently floated plan to ease California's prison overcrowding crisis by spending more money. Starting at 10 a.m. on the north steps.

LOW CARBON DIET: Some alternative transportation groups, including CalSTART and the California Natural Gas Vehicle Coalition, are hosting a summit today on low-carbon fuel at the Sheraton Grand, featuring panel discussions with energy industry folks, academics and lawmakers. Expected attendees include Wade Crowfoot from the governor's office; Senators Hannah-Beth Jackson and Ben Hueso; and Assembly members Phil Ting, Susan Eggman, Al Muratsuchi and Henry Perea. Something interesting to watch for: whether those touting natural gas, which emits less carbon when burned than other fossil fuels, discuss this session's push to regulate hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking." Jackson, for one, has been a big fracking critic.

SHEEHAN STARTS: Peace activist Cindy Sheehan will formally launch her outsider gubernatorial campaign during a 10:15 a.m. press conference on the north steps today.

TALKING IMMIGRATION: What's the status of that federal immigration reform bill? The California Latino Legislative Caucus will hold a briefing on the current state of affairs today, with speakers including Sen. Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens, Assemblyman V. Manuel Perez, D-Coachella, Art Pulaski of the California Labor Federation, Diana Tellefson Torres of the United Farm Workers, David Huerta of SEIU and Mike Winn of the California Building Industry Association. Starting at 2 p.m. in room 447.

BURTON, BENEFACTOR: Everyone's favorite profane ex-legislator is hosting a fundraiser aimed at sending foster kids to college. The John Burton Foundation for Children without Homes will seek to generate some money with an event at Chicory tonight, anticipated to feature appearances by Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, Sen. Noreen Evans, D-Santa Rosa, Assemblyman Mark Stone, D-Scotts Valley, and of course former Pro Tem John Burton. From 5 to 8 p.m.

CELEBRATIONS: Happy birthday to Sen. Tom Berryhill, R-Oakdale, who turns 60 today.

PHOTO: One of the last trains for the night travels in front of the Capitol building on Wednesday, August 29, 2012. The Sacramento Bee/Hector Amezcua.



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