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turbo_roaster.JPGDemocrats and Republicans will square off on the political battlefield next Tuesday, so why not prepare with a partisan showdown of a more lighthearted nature?

The California Roast, that annual tradition of raunchy jokes and even raunchier jokes, features state Democratic Party chairman John Burton and state Republican Party chairman Jim Brulte as co-honorees this year. Rumor has it that whoever is funnier will win the governor's office in November.

Assembly Republican leader Connie Conway, state Treasurer Bill Lockyer and former Assembly Speaker Curt Pringle are slated to do the roasting. The festivities, hosted by the California Center for Civic Participation to benefit its youth education program, begin at 6 p.m. at the Sheraton Grand Hotel on J Street. Tickets are $300.

VIDEO: The only thing that will stop the oil industry from pursuing California's Monterey Shale formation is economics, Dan Walters says.

DOWN TO THE WIRE: The deadline for bills to pass out of their house of origin is Friday. With hundreds left to consider and committees not allowed to meet this week, the Senate and Assembly will be spending more time than usual in their chambers, debating and voting on legislation. (How much time, exactly, is not yet clear). The fun begins when both houses convene at noon for floor session.

LIEN IN: Janitors, security guards and other members of the Service Employees International Union rally on the north steps of the Capitol at 10 a.m. to call for the passage of legislation that would allow workers to place wage liens on their employers for compensation that they are owed.

I SPY: If a roast is not your thing, the Sacramento Press Club and the Center for Investigative Reporting host a screening of the short documentary "The State of Surveillance" and a panel discussion on the increasingly sophisticated surveillance capabilities of California law enforcement, 5:30 p.m. at Beatnik Studios on S Street.

PHOTO: A chicken takes the heat. The Sacramento Bee


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