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Coolio.JPG

California lawmakers got to party like it was 1995 on Thursday night.

An annual back-to-session bash, courtesy of various special interest groups like the California Tribal Business Alliance, the California Bankers Association and the Distilled Spirits Council, allowed lawmakers and lobbyists to mingle among all the trappings of an opulent political event: a "cigar cabana," an ice sculpture, a taco bar and a martini station.

And, of course, some musical entertainment. In this case, the event's organizers enlisted hip hop artist Coolio to entertain the audience.

The event seemed to appeal mostly to the 20-to-30-something staffers who crowded close to the stage and shouted the lyrics to "Gangsta's Paradise" and "1 2 3 4" (lyrics: "1, 2, 3, 4, get your woman on the floor).

But a few legislators did join Coolio on the stage: Assembly members Rob Bonta, Steve Bradford, Sharon Quirk-Silva and Isadore Hall all availed themselves of the opportunity to get down.

Shortly after, an enthused Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, took the stage to rue the fact that this would be his last back-to-session bash - he is forced out of office by term limits at the end of 2014 - and to hype his colleague, Senator Kevin de León, D-Los Angeles, as "the next pro tem of the California Senate," a distinction de León appeared to secure earlier this week.

PHOTO: Coolio performs at an event in Sacramento, Calif. on January 16, 2014. By Laurel Rosenhall/The Sacramento Bee.



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