Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

December 6, 2013
VIDEO: Concerts ring in holidays at California Capitol

Rotunda.JPGThe annual series of noontime holiday concerts is well under way at the California Capitol. Each day through Dec. 23, the rotunda of the Capitol in downtown Sacramento is filled with sounds of the holidays. The shows generally run from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., though Saturday concerts run longer and Sunday shows start at noon or 1 p.m. A full schedule of the shows is available here.

Historians have documented holiday celebrations at the Capitol since the 1800s. The current concert series started in 1996. On Thursday, the opening act was the Lincoln High School Choir.

Photo: Audience members at the Capitol rotunda listen to the Lincoln High School Choir on Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013. The Sacramento Bee/Dan Smith

December 6, 2013
Dan Walters Daily: Ridley-Thomas elected because of father

Dan argues that a family connection is the best path to an Assembly seat these days.

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

See other Dan Walters Daily clips here.

December 6, 2013
AM Alert: Legislature steadily rebuilding popularity with voters

RP CAPITOL PAINT DOME.JPGGood news for our friends at the Capitol: After years of infighting and political gridlock that led to record-low approval ratings, California voters are increasingly satisfied with the performance of their legislative branch.

As subscribers to the Capitol Alert Insider Edition app learned last night, a new Field Poll shows approval of the state Legislature is now at 40 percent, the highest it has been since 2007 and a level it has not consistently reached in more than a decade. A slightly greater number of Californians still disapprove of the job the Legislature is doing, but that number has fallen to 44 percent--the first time in six years it has been less than half.

Clearly, we've come a long way since the darkest days of September 2010, when a budget crisis fueled 80 percent disapproval of the Legislature. Is the Democrats' supermajority in both houses behind the growing contentment of deep-blue California? Reporter Jeremy B. White has more on that question and whether voters feel the state is moving in the right direction.

Here are the statistical tabulations provided exclusively for Capitol Alert.

VIDEO: Sebastian Ridley-Thomas' election to the Assembly this week proves that family connections are the surest path to success in politics, Dan Walters says.

OBAMACARE OPINIONS: A new survey from the Public Policy Institute of California examines Californians' attitudes toward federal health care reform and awareness of implementation efforts in the state. The results will be presented by research associate Dean Bonner at the CSAC Conference Center on 11th Street at noon.

POLITICAL POINTS: Assembly Speaker John A. PĂ©rez's nascent campaign for state controller got a boost yesterday with an endorsement from Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom. He will attempt to build on that momentum tonight with a fundraiser at the Sacramento Kings game against the Los Angeles Lakers, 7 p.m. at the Sleep Train Arena. Tickets are $2,500.

PENSION CHAT: Sacramento Bee reporters Dale Kasler and Jon Ortiz will host a live online chat to discuss how recent rulings on pensions may affect Californians. Join at at 11:30 a.m. today to share your questions and comments.

PHOTO: Construction workers erect scaffolding around the Capitol dome Wednesday, May 1, 2002 in preparation for painting. The Sacramento Bee / Randy Pench


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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