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Thumbnail image for ha_schnur7656.JPGA good newsmaker knows that when the governor's budget proposal leaks two days early, you move your event out of the way or risk getting buried in the ensuing media scrum.

So after teasing his run for Secretary of State in December, former Fair Political Practices Commission chair Dan Schnur formally launches his campaign today at 11 a.m. in the Hyatt Regency on L Street -- a day after originally scheduled.

Schnur, who now teaches politics at the University of Southern California, has focused his platform on banning fundraising by legislators and statewide officeholders while the Legislature is in session. Schnur argues that there is too much potential for donors to exert inappropriate influence on their votes.

The Secretary of State race could shape up to be one of the year's most interesting. Among Schnur's potential opponents are state Sens. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, and Alex Padilla, D-Los Angeles, as well as Democrat Derek Cressman, a government watchdog, and Republican Pete Peterson, who heads an academic public policy institute

Though he has previously served as an adviser to major Republican figures like former Gov. Pete Wilson and U.S. Sen. John McCain, Schnur is registered with no party preference.

VIDEO: The budget leak is a political game between politicians and journalists, Dan Walters says.

WHO'S THE BOSS?: The president of California State University-Long Beach, the second largest of CSU's 23 campuses, left last summer to head up Louisiana State University, and the search continues for a replacement. The CSU Board of Trustees selection committee, which includes Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez, will meet today from 7 a.m. to 6 determine which candidates move on to the next level of consideration.

MOVIN' ON UP: It seems that six-foot state Sen. Holly Mitchell, D-Los Angeles, doesn't do small. In September, the former assemblywoman jumped legislative houses after winning a special election, and she'll celebrate again this weekend with a swearing-in ceremony in her home district where Attorney General Kamala Harris will administer the oath. The festivities are scheduled for Saturday at noon in Culver City.

VROOM VROOM: Things may get noisy over the weekend as motorcyclists from across the state gather in Sacramento to voice support for their legislative agenda, including opposition to measures to ban "lane splitting." The Motorcycle Rider Unification Rally, hosted by motorcycle rights organization ABATE of California, takes place from noon to 2 p.m. on Saturday outside the State Capitol.

CELEBRATIONS: Happy birthday to Assemblyman Brian Nestande, R-Palm Desert, who turns 50 on Saturday.

PHOTO: Dan Schnur, shown in September 2010 when he was chair of the FPPC. The Sacramento Bee/Hector Amezcua


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