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20130311_HA_LEGISLATORS1431.JPGFor his next trick, the senator will need some volunteers.

Preferably with deep pockets.

The end of the legislative session has brought a barrage of fundraisers. As they perpetually push for campaign cash, some lawmakers offer tickets to Dodgers and Giants games; some host wine tastings at glittering downtown venues; some organize golf outings.

Sen. Jerry Hill's idea is magic.

The San Mateo Democrat - or the "Master of Marvels," as the invitation to a fundraiser dubs him - has invited supporters to a Wednesday night reception, where they will have the privilege of seeing a California senator perform some illusions.

As it turns out, Hill has been a member of the Society of American Magicians (it exists, we checked) for decades. He has performed at the birthday parties of friends' children, or at other fundraisers, and is drawn back by the thrill of discovery - tonight, he will attempt a table levitation trick he saw a professional magician perform about six months ago.

"It's always been a marvel to me," Hill said, "and it's fun to learn (tricks) and do them and provide some pleasure I think people get out of watching magic."

Senate sorcery doesn't come cheap. Ticket prices on the invitation run from $1,000 to $4,100 for sponsors, payable to Jerry Hill for Senate 2016. The campaign committee raised $166,705 through the first half of 2013 and reported having $133,211 on hand.

PHOTO: Senator Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo during session in the Senate chambers in Sacramento, Calif. on Monday, March 11, 2013. The Sacramento Bee/Hector Amezcua.



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