Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

September 27, 2013
Jerry Brown calls looming fight over Madera casino 'unfortunate'

browntribalday.jpgWith a referendum looming over the California Legislature's approval of a controversial Indian casino in Madera County, Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday morning said that casino opponents are setting a bad precedent in what is likely to be a multimillion fight between casino interests.

"I think this is a dispute about money, mostly, money and competition," Brown told reporters after addressing tribal leaders at the Capitol.

At issue is the Legislature's approval this year of a casino for the North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians along Highway 99, more than 35 miles from the village where tribal members live. Opponents of the casino, including New York-based financial interests and Table Mountain Rancheria, which operates a casino near the North Fork site, have raised nearly $1.7 million to support a referendum.

September 27, 2013
Former California Sen. Dave Cogdill to lead Building Industry Association


Former Senate Republican leader David Cogdill will be taking over as president of the California Building Industry Association, the organization announced today.

Currently serving as a Stanislaus County Assessor, Cogdill will become president and CEO of the housing and construction-focused industry association on October 21st. During his time in the Legislature, Cogdill periodically drew campaign contributions from the CBIA.

"It will be a privilege to lead CBIA in these dynamic times," Cogdill said. "CBIA has forged its reputation in Sacramento based on trust, integrity and working collaboratively toward thoughtful policy solutions to some of our state's most pressing challenges. I am honored to build on this strong history and lead CBIA into the future."

Cogdill served in the Legislature from 2000 to 2010, serving for a time as head of the Senate Republican caucus. He gained notoriety as one of the "Sacramento Six" who joined with Democrats to raise taxes and vehicle license fees during the administration of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

That support contributed to Cogdill being ousted from his leadership post. Rumors of Codgdill being on the short list to be appointed lieutenant governor never panned out. Instead, Schwarzenegger tapped fellow Sacramento Six member Abel Maldonado.

PHOTO: Then-Senator Dave Cogdill, R-Modesto speaks at a press conference that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, held at his office on Thursday, Nov. 4, 2009. The Sacramento Bee/Hector Amezcua.

September 27, 2013
Tea party to push voter ID law at California GOP convention

Jim_Brulte_Rich_Pedroncelli_AP_030313.JPGOne of the California Republican Party's many problems in recent years has been its inability, when talking about immigration and other controversial policy issues, to appease party activists without alienating Latino or independent voters.

It is a hard balance to strike, and when Jim Brulte was elected chairman of the party earlier this year, he suggested it focus on other things. Let candidates and elected officials talk about issues, he said, while the party works on fundraising, voter registration and turnout.

It is a message that resonated with members of the party's donor and political classes, but it may be tested when the party convenes next week in Anaheim for its fall convention.

The Tea Party California Caucus, a newly-formed coalition of tea party groups, plans to propose five resolutions at the convention, including one advocating for a voter identification law in California and another "supporting following the immigration laws that we already have on the books," said Fresno City Councilman Steve Brandau, a tea party organizer.

The group's other resolutions involve the environment, education and California's $68 billion high-speed rail project.

September 27, 2013
AM Alert: Elected officials to flock to Sacramento voter event

JM_VOTER_EDUCATION_CSUS.JPGFor sheer numbers of elected officials in one place, it would be tough outside of floor sessions to top a voter education event at Sacramento State this Sunday.

Speakers expected to touch on health care, immigration and the general trajectory of California's economy and housing market include Senate leader Darrell Steinberg, Senate GOP leader Bob Huff and Sens. Ted Lieu and Jim Nielsen; Assembly members Richard Pan and Roger Dickinson; U.S. Reps. Ami Bera, Doris Matsui and Mike Honda; Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson; Board of Equalization member Betty Yee; and State Controller John Chiang.

And that's just the confirmed ones.

EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCE: Some of the biggest names in education policy will join State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson at an event tonight focused on public education. They include Linda Darling-Hammond, a prominent researcher and chair of the state's Commission on Teacher Credentialing, and No Child Left Behind architect-turned-antagonist Diane Ravitch. From 6:30 p.m. at Memorial Auditorium on J Street.

REPUBLICAN RETREAT: Republican party officials and lawmakers will be jetting to San Diego this weekend for a California Republican Leadership Fund fundraiser. A party spokesperson declined to share a list of attendees, but it looks like tickets will run from $15,000 for a regular pass to $100,000 for a sponsorship.

WOMEN'S WORLD: Scores of successful women will be in Sacramento today for a Capitol Region Women's Conference at the convention center. Speakers will include California Secretary of Agriculture Karen Ross in addition to journalists, CEOs, entrepreneurs and a certain ex-astronaut.

NATIVE AMERICANS: If things around the state Capitol seem a little more colorful today, it's probably because it's the 46th annual Native American Day. People will be marking the occasion with dances, cultural displays and educational setups on the south steps and around the Capitol grounds. On a related note, the proponents of a measure to overturn freshly inked tribal gaming compacts have until Tuesday to collect enough signatures.

CELEBRATIONS: Happy birthday to Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez, D-Los Angeles, who turns 44 on Saturday.

EDITOR'S NOTE: An earlier version of this post misstated Pérez's birthday: it is Saturday, September 28th, not Friday.

PHOTO: A student at Sacramento State dons a a "Rock the Vote" pin during a voter education event at the campus on Oct. 4, 2000. The Sacramento Bee/Jay Mather


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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