Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

November 7, 2013
Assembly preparing 'cease and desist' letter for Tim Donnelly campaign video

Donnelly1.pngTim Donnelly garnered some attention this week for a campaign video in which he objected to being called white - he is a "fleshy, pinkish tone" - and advocated making California "the sexiest place to do business."

But it was another Donnelly video caught the attention of certain critics and, eventually, Assembly administrator Jon Waldie.

"Patriot, Not Politician," posted by Donnelly's gubernatorial campaign on YouTube in April, features extensive clips of the Twin Peaks assemblyman speaking on the floor of the lower house.

State law prohibits the use of any "television signal generated by the Assembly ... for any political or commercial purpose," and Waldie said he plans to issue the Donnelly campaign a cease and desist letter Friday.

"The floor shots are definitely ours," he said.

Donnelly spokeswoman Jennifer Kerns said the campaign is reviewing the law but that its interpretation is that footage of Assembly proceedings are in the public record and may be used by the campaign.

"It's our understanding that once that video is aired publicly that it's part of the public domain," she said, adding that she was looking at the state Capitol at the moment and that "the taxpayers pay for that building."

Donnelly formally announced his candidacy for governor this week, joining former Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado as the two Republicans so far in the race to unseat Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown. At a campaign stop in Sacramento on Thursday, Donnelly called Brown a "Marxist-progressive" and said the race will be an "epic showdown between socialism and freedom right here in California," as he explains here:

PHOTO: Screen grab from Cal Channel March 29, 2012 telecast of Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, R-Twin Peaks, speaking on the Assembly floor.

November 7, 2013
California's new school finance plan sparks big debate

RB_Clean_School_3_classroom.JPGUpwards of 200 people -- each limited to just a minute -- told members of the State Board of Education on Thursday how an overhaul of California school finance should be implemented to upgrade academic achievement, and all said they represented the interests of the state's 6 million public school students.

However, the 188 speakers -- many of them parents speaking through interpreters -- disagreed sharply on how the extra money should be handled, and some disagreement was evident within the board itself.

November 7, 2013
California's uneven health-care safety net documented in report

RB Knights Landing 5.JPGCalifornia continues to extend a patchwork of safety-net programs for its poor and uninsured residents despite making progress in several of the state's 58 counties, according to a report released Thursday.

The report from the Health Access Foundation documents large disparities for the estimated 3 million to 4 million residents projected to remain uninsured even after the federal health care law is fully implemented.

The goal of the report is to provide a baseline for county officials as they weigh key decisions in the coming months about the level of services they extend to the indigent and uninsured.

Anthony Wright, executive director of Health Access California, said the pending county-by-county debate must center on "how we provide the services to our friends, our neighbors, or fellow Californians."

November 7, 2013
School survey examines California's Common Core readiness

20120426_PK_FORTUNE_0558.JPGLate last session, after Gov. Jerry Brown had already won approval of his new school funding formula, a bill to nix California's existing standardized tests again pushed education policy into the spotlight.

The bill sought to ease the arrival of new assessments aligned to the Common Core educational standards, aimed at college and career readiness, that nearly every state has adopted. It eliminated California's existing Standardized Testing and Reporting, or STAR tests.

Rebuffing warnings from the U.S. Department of Education that suspending the tests would dilute accountability, lawmakers said the bill would give districts a needed reprieve from the old system as they prepared teachers for the incoming Common Core standards. Brown's budget also allocated $1.2 billion to prepare districts for the new standards, and lawmakers invoked a sense of urgency.

"The train has left the station," Rocky Chávez, R-Oceanside, said during a floor debate at the time. "Common Core is here. The teachers are out there doing it."

A new statewide survey of school districts, conducted jointly by the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association and the Sacramento County Office of Education, gauges how far schools have come in preparing for the new standards since the State Board of Education approved them back in 2010.

November 7, 2013
Jerry Brown says poverty, joblessness due to California being 'a magnet'

brownchamberbreakfast.jpgGov. Jerry Brown, whose pronouncements of California's economic recovery have been criticized by Republicans who point out the state's high poverty rate, said in a radio interview Wednesday that poverty and the large number of people looking for work are "really the flip side of California's incredible attractiveness and prosperity."

The Democratic governor's remarks aired the same day the U.S. Census Bureau reported that 23.8 percent of Californians live in poverty under an alternative calculation that includes the cost of living.

Asked on National Public Radio's "All Things Considered" about two negative indicators — the state's nation-high poverty rate and the large number of Californians who are unemployed or marginally employed and looking for work — Brown said, "Well, that's true, because California is a magnet.

"People come here from all over in the world, close by from Mexico and Central America and farther out from Asia and the Middle East. So, California beckons, and people come. And then, of course, a lot of people who arrive are not that skilled, and they take lower paying jobs. And that reflects itself in the economic distribution."

Brown, who has frequently lamented disparity between the world's upper and lower classes, added, "So, yeah, it's there, but it's really the flip side of California's incredible attractiveness and prosperity."

After signing a balanced budget earlier this year, Brown has held California out as a model of functionality. But as he prepares for a likely re-election bid next year, Republicans are preparing to challenge him on the economy.

Among others who have recently used California's poverty rate to question the resilience of the state's economic turnaround are Texas Gov. Rick Perry and California Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, the Republican from Twin Peaks who announced this week he will run for governor next year.

PHOTO: Gov. Jerry Brown speaks at the California Chamber of Commerce's annual host breakfast in Sacramento on May 22, 2013. The Associated Press/Rich Pedroncelli

November 7, 2013
AM Alert: Two California GOP governor candidates on display

MC_GOP_BARBOUR_02.JPGFor those of you who missed Tim Donnelly's launch video this week, the tea party favorite and Second Amendment stalwart has made it official and entered the gubernatorial race.

Today we see the contrast between Donnelly's red-meat effort and the more moderate tack of his fellow Republican, former Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado. Having rolled through Central Valley towns Wednesday, the Donnelly campaign bus -- emblazoned with the phrase "Patriot not Politician" -- pulls into Sacramento today.

Maldonado, meanwhile, will be speaking at an event at San Jose State University called "California: Leading the Nation on Immigration Reform." During the spring California Republican Party convention that featured plenty of election postmortems attempting to diagnose the party's woes, Maldonado mentioned the need to make inroads with Latino voters -- something his candidacy could bolster. That outcome seems less likely for Minutemen veteran Donnelly.

VIDEO: Which government tech project are we talking about now? Dan Walters compares California's unemployment insurance program to

November 7, 2013
Dan Walters Daily: Federal, state governments flub tech projects

A hearing on California's unemployment insurance issues, coupled with the probe of the federal healthcare website's failings, has Dan shaking his head.

Have a question you'd like Dan to answer? Post it on our Facebook page.

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.


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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