Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

October 5, 2013
Bullhorn in hand, Tim Donnelly warns Jerry Brown to 'keep his hands off our guns'

donnellyconvention.jpgANAHEIM - Perhaps it was so people could hear him over the wind or because his campaign for governor hasn't been getting much attention that Tim Donnelly, the assemblyman from Twin Peaks, took to a bullhorn at a news conference Saturday afternoon.

He sounded off on libertarian themes, warning Gov. Jerry Brown to "keep his hands off our guns" or "pay the price at the ballot box."

The Democratic governor has not yet said how he will act on several gun control measures sent to him this year by the Legislature. He is widely expected to win re-election in heavily Democratic California next year.

The expectations for Donnelly's gubernatorial campaign are considerably lower. But as the California Republican Party gathered here for its biannual convention, he set up a booth and posted signs calling himself a "Patriot Not Politician."

Donnelly, well known outside his district for his anti-immigration positions and for carrying a loaded handgun into an airport, addressed reporters outside the convention hotel shortly before Abel Maldonado, another Republican candidate for governor, spoke to delegates inside.

"I don't know why anybody's talking about him," Donnelly said. "I think Jerry Brown is the candidate to beat."

While talking with reporters about "socialism when it comes to our health care," Donnelly accidentally flipped the switch on the bullhorn, sounding its siren.

He turned it off and said, "I was just trying to underscore that point."

PHOTO: Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, R-Twin Peaks, speaks to reporters at the California Republican Party's fall convention in Anaheim on Oct. 5, 2013. The Sacramento Bee/David Siders

October 5, 2013
Voter ID measure clears first hurdle at GOP convention

brandau.jpgANAHEIM - Members of the California Republican Party will take up a proposal to call for a state voter identification law on the final day of their fall convention, after a tea party group successfully pushed the measure through a party committee Saturday.

The measure's prospects are uncertain. But even a public airing of the issue could be uncomfortable for the party's leadership, which is trying to attract Latino and independent voters to reverse a trend of electoral losses and declining voter registration statewide.

The measure, which would require voters to show photo identification, was one of four tea party-backed resolutions embraced at the committee level Saturday - with the others involving the environment, education and opposition to California's $68 billion high-speed rail project. The Tea Party California Caucus withdrew a proposal on immigration, said Fresno City Councilman Steve Brandau, a tea party organizer.

He said that for the Tea Party California Caucus, a newly-formed coalition of tea party groups, "It's very encouraging to us" that the other four measures moved forward.

PHOTO: Fresno City Councilman Steve Brandau, left, and Madera County Supervisor Rick Farinelli, members of the Tea Party California Caucus, attend the California Republican Party's fall convention on Oct. 5, 2013. The Sacramento Bee/David Siders

October 5, 2013
At GOP convention, teachers union hosts hors d'oeuvres

gopties.jpgANAHEIM - It was if he was announcing his presence at a support group when a man in a red shirt said at a committee meeting of Republicans here Saturday, "I'm Todd Hancock, I'm a member of CTA."

The California Teachers Association, a major benefactor of Gov. Jerry Brown and other Democratic causes, is among three public employee unions that have made modest contributions to the California Republican Party in recent weeks. The CTA donated $10,000 last month, its first contribution to the party in nearly 10 years.

Service Employees International Union Local 1000 and the California Correctional Peace Officers Association are listed as sponsors of the state party's biannual convention.

Republican delegates, Hancock said, "are surprised to see us."

At a committee meeting to discuss efforts to increase party registration, turnout and volunteerism, Hancock, a high school teacher from Chino, invited his fellow Republicans to a reception Saturday night with "light hors d'oeuvres and lively conversation!"

Hancock and his wife, Mary, who is also a teacher, said 35 percent or more of CTA members are Republicans, representing untapped potential for the GOP.

"We're educating the next Republicans," she said of her students. "We need support from the party."

Labor officials have credited the state party's new chairman, Jim Brulte, with their inclination to give. They describe it as a tentative effort by unions to work with the GOP.

PHOTO: Ties, buttons and other political gear for sale at the California Republican Party's fall convention on Oct. 5, 2013. The Sacramento Bee/David Siders

October 5, 2013
Jerry Brown signs bill to prohibit detention of some undocumented arrestees

ha_jerrybrown30191.JPGGov. Jerry Brown this morning announced he has signed a bill laying down guidelines that dictate when local law enforcement must detain arrested undocumented immigrants.

He also signed a measure, AB 1024 by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, that will allow undocumented immigrants to be licensed as attorneys in California.

In a prepared release accompanying the signings of those bills and six other immigration-related bills, Brown repeated the rationale he recently gave for signing another measure offering undocumented immigrants driver's licenses: "While Washington waffles on immigration, California's forging ahead...I'm not waiting."

Brown vetoed a bill last year that would have barred local law enforcement from honoring most requests to hold arrested immigrants for federal authorities.

An updated version of the bill, Assembly Bill 4 by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, emerged from the Legislature this year and made enough changes to earn Brown's signature. Still, that has fueled concern among law enforcement officials about the rigidity and scope of the new rules.

The undocumented attorney bill was inspired by the story of Sergio C. Garcia, who was brought to the state illegally by his farmworker parents when he was 17 months old, obtained a law degree and passed the bar exam but was unable to obtain a license from state authorities.

Brown also signed Senate Bill 666 by Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg that allows revocation of a business license and a $10,000 fine for businesses that retaliate against workers based on their citizenship or immigration status.

October 5, 2013
Abel Maldonado touts 'retail, hardcore' gubernatorial campaign

maldonadopresser.jpgANAHEIM - As California Republicans gather this weekend for their biannual convention, Abel Maldonado has ensconced himself at the party hotel, telling anyone who will listen - reporters, party activists, busboys - he can beat Gov. Jerry Brown next year.

It is a difficult case to make. The former lieutenant governor, who has lost his last two campaigns for office, finished the first half of the year in debt, and he and his original team of strategists split.

But Maldonado, who announced a new group of advisers ahead of the convention, said in an interview Friday, "My campaign has never been in better shape than it is today."

He has invited delegates to a "campaign briefing" on Saturday afternoon.

Brown, who is about to surpass Earl Warren as California's longest-serving governor, has not yet said if he will seek re-election, but the Democratic governor has raised more than $10 million for the effort. Even among Republicans, he is widely considered likely to win.

Maldonado, a former state lawmaker and farmer from Santa Maria, described his campaign as an "uphill battle."

"It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that when you run against an incumbent governor who's been elected and in office, the longest serving governor in the history of California ... it's going to be an uphill battle."


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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