Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

June 21, 2013
Winner crowned in Sutter Brown caption contest

sutter.JPGThe votes have been tallied, and one entry in the Sutter Brown caption contest broke away from the pack.

The lucky winner?

No. 3 "The Governor told me to either strike this ridiculous pose for the SPCA, or start digging the Delta tunnels."

Our readers went for a caption with more of a political bent than some of the other entries Capitol Alert staff was rooting for. We were also big fans of the canine humor in the second place winner:

No. 5 "I shouldn't have had that second drink at the duck pond."

For those readers who missed the earlier posts, the winning caption matches up with the above picture of First Dog Sutter Brown relaxing at the Sacramento SPCA's Doggie Dash.

Dan Cohen, a retired attorney whose career has also spanned stints in the Army and as a park ranger, penned the winning caption. Asked about his inspiration, Cohen said writing comes naturally to him. So naturally that he has already written the first in a series of children's books starring his dog Flapjack.

"I've always liked doing funny, clever stuff like writing captions," Cohen said. "If I'm good at anything, it's that. I'm the family clown and chief wisecracker."

Cohen takes home a gift certificate to Peet's Coffee & Tea for his win. You can check out the other contenders for the top prize on our earlier post listing the finalists.

Thanks to everyone who submitted captions and voted in this edition of the contest.

PHOTO: First Dog Sutter relaxes in the shade at the Sacramento SPCA's Doggie Dash in William Land Park on June 8, 2013. Photo by Sally McKeag.

June 12, 2013
Caption Contest: Dog days of summer

sutter.JPG Followers of state politics are familiar with Gov. Jerry Brown's corgi Sutter, who has his own bio on the governor's website, his own Facebook page and even his own Twitter account.

The First Dog made an appearance last weekend at the Sacramento SPCA's Doggie Dash in William Land Park. Sutter took a break from the canine 5K to make some two-legged friends, judging by this photo taken by Sally McKeag of California Strategies.

What was California's First Dog thinking here? Take a crack at captioning the charismatic corgi in the latest Capitol Alert Caption Contest.

For newcomers to the contest, here are the rules:

1. Look at the picture.
2. Write a caption.
3. E-mail it to us.

When sending in submissions, feel free to request anonymity. Only those willing to have their real names published, however, can win the grand prize: a $25 gift certificate to a capital coffee shop (entrants residing outside Sacramento can request any coffee chain).

Entries are due by Thursday, June 13 at 11:59 p.m. Send submissions to capitolalertcontests@gmail.com.

PHOTO: First Dog Sutter relaxes in the shade at the Sacramento SPCA's Doggie Dash in William Land Park on June 8, 2013. Sally McKeag.

December 20, 2011
Find out who won the Jerry Brown butterbeer caption contest

APTOPIX Universal Harry Pot-thumb-380x259-21926.jpgIt's no Barnabus Finkley Prize for Exceptional Spell-Casting, but we like to think that being named a Capitol Alert Caption Contest winner is kind of a big deal in the muggle world.

The results are in for our most recent round of votes. The entry whose caption commanded the most laughter among our readers?

No. 8: "Why is this Christmas beer from CCPOA warm and taste funny?"

For those who missed the earlier contest posts, that line was submitted as a caption for the photo above of Gov. Jerry Brown celebrating plans to build a Wizarding World of Harry Potter park in Los Angeles with a mug of butterbeer.

The entry was penned by Sacramento attorney C.C. Page, who takes home as his prize $25 to spend on the caffeinated potions brewing at his neighborhood Starbucks.

So how did he conjure up a line that struck such a chord with Capitol Alert readers?

"Certainly no ill will or disrespect to the governor, but with all of the budget cuts and pain going around, I immediately thought of the 'gifts' the governor's office would receive at Christmas if the postal service would allow it," he wrote in an email. "Fortunately, he wasn't holding a handful of fudge in the picture, or you can imagine where I would have taken it."

As for why the California Correctional Peace Officers Association was his gift-giver of choice, Page said the prison guards' union popped into his head because it's "more assertive than most lobbying groups." But he said that given the widespread impact of the state budget cuts, he could have subbed in a "laundry list" of groups for a caption with a similar sentiment.

You can see a list of the finalists Page beat out for the big prize at this link.

Thanks for playing and stay tuned for the next contest.

PHOTO CREDIT: From left, Ron Meyer, President and COO of Universal Studios, Gov. Jerry Brown, and Barry Meyer, Chairman and CEO of Warner Bros. make a butterbeer toast as Universal Parks & Resorts as they announce that the Harry Potter attraction is coming to Universal Studios Hollywood in Universal City, Calif., Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2011. The attraction opened in Orlando, Fla., last summer. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond).

December 13, 2011
Cast your vote for the best Jerry Brown butterbeer caption

APTOPIX Universal Harry Pot-thumb-380x259-21926.jpgWhile a tall glass of butterbeer may not make Gov. Jerry Brown's budget woes disappear, the sight of the governor trying the treat conjured up many jokes in our readers' minds.

Lines referencing the 73-year-old governor's long political career and prediction for a 2012 ballot war were among the dozens of entries we received for our latest Capitol Alert Caption Contest.

For those too busy searching for the golden snitch to see last week's call for submissions, we asked readers to come up with a caption of this picture of the Democratic governor sipping a mug of butterbeer at a press conference announcing plans to build a Wizarding World of Harry Potter park in Los Angeles.

We've picked 10 submissions that had the power to make us laugh, but we'll leave it to you, fellow muggles, to choose the caption worthy of Capitol Alert's equivalent of the House Cup. In addition to the bragging rights, the winner takes home a $25 gift card to a local coffee shop.

Send your vote to capitolalertcontests@gmail.com by 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, December 15. Please vote once and pick only one caption. Feel free to make the case for your favorite line in the comments forum below.

Here are the finalist entries"

1.) "I remember when we used Owls for interoffice memos."

2.) "Beerum omnium contra omnes" (Loosely translated: beer of all against all).

3.) "Release the hounds, Smithers"

4.) "I need an official taster. Where's Gavin?"

5.) "We'll drink beer, let them eat cake!"

6.) "I don't know what you guys think, but I think this smells a lot better than my budget!"

7.) "A toast to the Debt Eaters!"

8.) "Why is this Christmas beer from CCPOA warm and taste funny?"

9.) "Wow, this tastes good enough to tax!"

10.) "Was this Union Made?"

You can check out the original post announcing the contest at this link. Remember, send just one vote to capitolalertcontests@gmail.com. Good luck to all the finalists!

PHOTO CREDIT: From left, Ron Meyer, President and COO of Universal Studios, Gov. Jerry Brown, and Barry Meyer, Chairman and CEO of Warner Bros. make a butterbeer toast as Universal Parks & Resorts as they announce that the Harry Potter attraction is coming to Universal Studios Hollywood in Universal City, Calif., Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2011. The attraction opened in Orlando, Fla. last summer. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

December 7, 2011
Caption Contest: Butterbeer for Jerry Brown?

APTOPIX Universal Harry Pot.JPGGov. Jerry Brown stopped by Universal Studios Tuesday to celebrate plans to build a Wizarding World of Harry Potter park in Los Angeles.

A photo of the muggle governor sipping a big mug of butterbeer at the event stirred up some questions here at The Bee's Capitol Bureau.

1.) What in the world does butterbeer taste like?
and
2.) What would Brown do with Harry Potter's powers?

Would he make the budget deficit go 'poof'? Conjure up a spell to persuade voters to approve new taxes? Use a wave of the wand to get Sutter to stop barking?

We'll leave it to you, alert readers, to do the mind reading this time around.

Yup, it's time for another Capitol Alert Caption Contest.

Most regular readers know the rules, but for those who need to brush up on the basics:

1. Look at the picture.
2. Write a caption.
3. E-mail it to us.

When sending in submissions, feel free to request anonymity. Only those willing to have their real names published, however, can win the grand prize: a $25 gift certificate to a capital coffee shop (entrants residing outside Sacramento can request any coffee chain).

Entries are due by 11:59 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 9. Send submissions to capitolalertcontests@gmail.com.

PHOTO CREDIT: From left, Ron Meyer, President and COO of Universal Studios, Gov. Jerry Brown, and Barry Meyer, Chairman and CEO of Warner Bros. make a butterbeer toast as Universal Parks & Resorts as they announce that the Harry Potter attraction is coming to Universal Studios Hollywood in Universal City, Calif., Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2011. The attraction opened in Orlando, Fla. last summer. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

September 14, 2011
Find out who won the latest Capitol Alert Caption Contest

Troubled Vernon.JPGWith the polls closed and all the votes tallied, it's time to announce the winner of our latest Caption Contest.

Drum roll, please.........

Pérez: "OK, Kevin, if we are gonna settle this Vernon thing with rock-paper-scissors, we both can't keep throwing out paper!"

The entry, which won with 32.4 percent of the vote, was submitted by Jason Fox, legislative manager for the California Society of CPAs

For those who missed our earlier posts, we asked readers to come up with a caption for this photo of Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez and Sen. Kevin de León having a chat just one day after de León led the effort to derail his fellow Los Angeles Democrat's bill to dissolve the city of Vernon.

Fox said finding inspiration for his first-ever submission to our Caption Contest was easy:

"Well, it really does look like they are playing rock-paper-scissors," he wrote in an email.

You can see the chuckle-worthy competition in our earlier post announcing the finalists.

Fox will take home a $25 coffee shop gift certificate for his winning entry. His first choice, downtown's Espresso Bar, doesn't offer gift cards right now, so he'll be getting his caffeine fix with some free joe from Starbucks.

Thanks to all who submitted entries and cast votes in this round. As always, you can sent caption-worthy shots to tvanoot@sacbee.com.

PHOTO CREDIT: Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez, D-Los Angeles, left, talks with state Sen. Kevin de León, D-Los Angeles, during the Senate session at the Capitol in Sacramento on Aug. 30. Rich Pedroncelli/Associated Press

September 8, 2011
Rubber duckies and Roshambo: Cast your Caption Contest vote

Troubled Vernon.JPGStress of the final days of the legislative session got you down? Take a breather from the floor action and help Capitol Alert pick the winner in our latest Caption Contest.

For those who missed last week's contest launch, we asked our always clever readers to help us script a tense-looking chat between Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez and Sen. Kevin de León.

This photo of the two Los Angeles Democrats was snapped by the Associated Press one day after de León derailed Pérez's effort to dissolve the city of Vernon.

Competition was tough -- we received more than 200 entries. What did we learn about our followers from the laugh lines sent our way? Alert readers are familiar with the art of Roshambo, also called Rock, Paper, Scissors. In fact, scores of entrants submitted just the three-word game chant. Many of you also had manicures on the mind.

We've picked our 10 favorites and now turn to you to help select which entry is worthy of our grand prize -- a $25 gift card to a capital-area coffee shop.

Send your vote to capitolalertcontests@gmail.com by 11:59 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 9. Please vote once and pick only one caption. Feel free to make the case for your favorite line in the comments forum below.

Without further ado, here are our 10 finalists:

1.) "You put your right hand in, THEN you put your right hand out"

2.) "So we agree -- the world is flat."

3.) De León to Pérez: "I don't care how many votes you have, you can't disincorporate my family!"

4.) "Walk like an Egyptian."

5.) "We need one more hand to be able to count every citizen of Vernon."

6.) Pérez: "You realize it's not really a city?" de León: "You realize it's not really a diploma?"

7.) Pérez: "NO, Senator! They saw you break in to my office and take my favorite rubber duckie!"

8.) Pérez: "OK, Kevin, if we are gonna settle this Vernon thing with rock-paper-scissors, we both can't keep throwing out paper!"

9.) "So tell me again: Does my district overlap yours, or does your district overlap mine?"

10.) "I wanted to get rid of vermin, not Vernon!"

Happy voting! Click here to see the original post announcing the contest.

PHOTO CREDIT: Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez, D-Los Angeles, left, talks with state Sen. Kevin de León, D-Los Angeles, during the Senate session at the Capitol in Sacramento on Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2011. The day before, de León helped scuttle a measure by Pérez that would have dissolved the troubled Los Angeles-area city of Vernon. Rich Pedroncelli/Associated Press.

September 1, 2011
Caption contest: What did Pérez and de Leon discuss?

Troubled Vernon.JPGOne day after his attempt to dissolve the tiny but troubled city of Vernon suffered defeat on the Senate floor, Assembly Speaker John A.Pérez paid a visit to the upper house.

The Los Angeles Democrat didn't waste much time in heading to the desk of Democratic Sen. Kevin de León, a key player in derailing the speaker's prized Assembly Bill 46.

Judging by a photo of the Tuesday convo snapped by the Associated Press' Rich Pedroncelli, the two one-time rivals for Assembly Speaker, who represent overlapping Los Angeles districts, weren't simply exchanging pleasantries or discussing the Dodgers' latest win.

We weren't privy to the words exchanged, so we've decided to let our Alert readers offer their version of the chat by entering our latest Capitol Alert Caption Contest.
For those who need a refresher, here are the rules:

1. Look at the picture. (Click on it to make it larger)
2. Write a caption.
3. E-mail it to us.

When sending in submissions, feel free to request anonymity. Only those willing to have their real names published, however, can win the grand prize: a $25 gift certificate to a capital coffee shop (entrants residing outside Sacramento can request any coffee chain).

Entries are due by 11:59 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 2. Send submissions to capitolalertcontests@gmail.com.

PHOTO CREDIT: Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez, D-Los Angeles, left, talks with state Sen. Kevin de León, D-Los Angeles, during the Senate session at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2011. On Monday, de León helped scuttle a measure by Pérez that would have dissolved the troubled Los Angeles-area city of Vernon Rich Pedroncelli/Associated Press.

April 22, 2011
Who scored in 'Baller Jerry Brown' caption contest?

65140702.jpg We know our readers are just dying to find out which laugh line won the latest Capitol Alert caption contest. So without further ado, the winner is...

"Finally, a game that I don't have to win by two-thirds!"

The entry was a slam dunk for Capitol Alert followers, winning more than one-third of votes cast. "It's brilliant," one voter gushed.

Coming in second place was another budget-themed entry: "I'll bet you $15 billion I can make this shot!"

The mind behind the winning quip, Joe Cislowski, was a caption contest rookie but a veteran Brown supporter.

The Los Angeles Democrat, who works in the nonprofit sector, was Los Angeles County coordinator for Brown's 2010 campaign. But his support stretches back to 1978, when he served as UCLA campus coordinator for Brown's re-election bid.

Cislowski, who witnessed Brown's first spin as the state's top executive as an intern for California Journal and an Assembly fellow, noted that he "believes it was much easier to forge compromise" back then.

Cislowski said the Brown's 2010 campaign talking point -- "We need someone with insider's knowledge, but an outsider's mind" -- was his first thought when he saw the shot of the governor squaring up at the top of the key while visiting an elementary school earlier this month. But he settled on what became the winning entry as a reflection of the "high threshold" the governor has to meet to enact his priorities on the budget front and beyond.

He takes home a $25 gift card to Chicory, which he is looking forward to using while catching up with old friends when he comes into town for the California Democratic Party convention next week.

Thanks to everyone who participated, with a special shoutout going to Sacramento Bee reader Dolly, who went the extra mile by phoning in her vote.

See all 10 finalist entries at this link or check out the original entry announcing the contest here.

April 19, 2011
VOTE: 'Baller Jerry Brown' caption contest

65140702.jpg

The inbox flowed over and we've chosen 12 finalists in Capitol Alert's latest caption contest. Now it's time to help us pick a winner.

For those who need a refresher, the photo is of Gov. Jerry Brown on an elementary school playground in Stockton last week. (You can click on the photo to make it larger).

Pick your favorite and send your vote to captions@capitolalert.com.

Please vote once and pick only one caption. The deadline for casting a vote for your choice is 9 p.m. Wednesday, April 20. Feel free to make the case for your favorite line in the comments forum below.

Here, in no particular order, are the captions we liked best:

1.) "Finally, a game that I don't have to win by two-thirds!"
2.) "Governor, I know you've cut your staff, but you need at least a few teammates."
3.) "I know, I know, the ball's in my court."
4.) "Moonball"
5.) "Jerryatric Dodgeball anyone?"
6.) "I wish the unions would let me play ball with the Republicans."
7.) "The GOP keeps moving the goalposts, but now the basketball hoop, too?"
8.) "Hey kid, how about a game of SEIU?"
9.) "Nothing says 'relateable' more than a 73-year-old man in a suit playing basketball with 5th graders."
10.) "The Kings aren't leaving until I get my tryout!"
11.) "I'll bet you $15 billion I can make this shot!"
12.) "Dude! Black wingtips?"

Choose carefully because the stakes are high -- the winner takes home a $25 gift card to a coffee shop of his or her choice.

Check out the original entry announcing the contest here.

April 18, 2011
CAPTION CONTEST: Baller Jerry Brown

brownhoop.png

Gov. Jerry Brown, out pushing his tax plan in Stockton on Thursday, hit the playground at the elementary school where he spoke.

Can a Capitol Alert Caption Contest be far behind?

In a photo posted on Twitter by Brown's press secretary, Gil Duran, the 73-year-old governor appears to be launching a wide-open, three-point try. Or demonstrating some yoga-based pose with an exercise ball.

Duran said in a Twitter post accompanying the photograph that Brown "took care of some important business on the courts."

No word if he made it.

For those of you new to Capitol Alert's caption contest (or those who need a refresher), here's the deal:

1. Look at the picture. (Click on it to make it larger)
2. Write a caption.
3. E-mail it to us.

When sending in submissions, feel free to request anonymity. Only those willing to have their real names published, however, can win the grand prize: a $25 gift certificate to a capital coffee shop. (Entrants who caffeinate outside the Sactosphere can opt for a Starbucks gift card.)

Entries are due by 11:59 p.m. on Monday April 18. Send submissions to captions@capitolalert.com.

Feel free to send in multiple entries. Sometimes you don't hit your first shot.

Good luck!

Photo: Elizabeth Ashford/Office of the Governor

Editor's Note: This post was originally published on 4/15/11.

November 10, 2010
Find out who won the Capitol Alert election quiz

The results are in for Capitol Alert's Election Quiz.

As usual, it was a close contest.

But the top entrants were Alert readers Rachel Johnson and Steve Kamp, who tied by earning 12.5 points and entering correct predictions for both tie breaker questions.

Johnson, a communications associate at the California Labor Federation, said she has been following Capitol Alert since joining CLF as an intern earlier this year. Kamp, a longtime reader and subscriber to the fiber Bee, works as a Tax Counsel III in the legal department of the State Board of Equalization. Both win a gift certificate to a capital coffee shop of their choice.

Several other entrants earned 12.5 points, but got knocked out of the running in the tiebreaker by predicting that Republican Sharron Angle would win the Nevada U.S. Senate contest.

The questions and answers are posted after the jump. One note: We had to throw out Question 15. What we meant to say is who are the last two Sacramentans to serve in statewide office. Alert readers caught the error, pointing out that there were multiple ways to interpret or answer the question.

August 3, 2010
We have a winner in the Capitol Alert election quiz

All the votes have been tallied and we have a winner in Capitol Alert's election quiz:

Assembly Republican Caucus communications consultant Ronald Ongtoaboc takes home the grand prize.

Ongtoaboc scored 25.5 out of 29 possible points on the quiz -- including correctly predicting the outcome of 19 out of 21 contests.

"A lot of it was just reading the news, such as Capitol Alert of course," he said.

It may seem like Capitol Alert is running on legislative time (what late budget?) in grading the quizzes, but with close scores we had to wait for the results of the recount in the 40th Senate District before we could declare a winner.

See trivia answers and results for the quiz, which was first posted here, after the jump.

June 23, 2010
WINNER: 'White coats' caption contest

DEMSWHITECOATS.JPG The readers have spoken: We have a winner in the Capitol Alert caption contest.

Drum roll, please...

2.) "We shall call her Megenstein."

The entry, by Davis resident Richard Chadwick, was the clear favorite with 37 percent of the vote.

Chadwick, 63, said he immediately thought of Gene Wilder in Mel Brooks' 1974 film "Young Frankenstein" when he saw an item promoting the contest in the print edition of The Bee.

"They were all standing there, and I was thinking the worst nemesis would have to be Meg," the retired school principal said.

Chadwick was so excited that his caption made the finals on his first time entering the contest that he saved the finalist list published in the print Bee and showed it to his grandsons during their Father's Day visit.

"They went and voted for me," he proudly told Capitol Alert.

Caption No. 5, "And through arthroscopic advances, we enter here and here to surgically remove the taxpayer's wallet," came in second with 25 percent of the vote.

Your faithful vote counter noticed a trend: Voters whose e-mail signatures indicate they work for Democrats picked No. 2, while GOP staffers seemed to side with No. 5.

The photo is from a trip of the entire Democratic ticket -- gubernatorial nominee Jerry Brown, lieutenant governor nominee Gavin Newsom, attorney general hopeful Kamala Harris, state Treasurer Bill Lockyer, state Controller John Chiang, insurance commissioner nominee Dave Jones and Secretary of State Debra Bowen -- touring a solar panel plant in Fremont in white lab coats.

Click here to see all eight captions that made it to the final round.

Thanks to all who submitted entries and votes!

June 18, 2010
VOTE: 'White coats' caption contest

DEMSWHITECOATS.JPG It's time to pick a winner in our latest Capitol Alert Caption Contest.

For those who missed the initial entry, this round's shot is the entire Democratic ticket -- gubernatorial nominee Jerry Brown, lieutenant governor nominee Gavin Newsom, attorney general hopeful Kamala Harris, state Treasurer Bill Lockyer, state Controller John Chiang, insurance commissioner nominee Dave Jones and Secretary of State Debra Bowen -- in white coats touring a solar panel plant in Fremont. Watch the video here.

Here are the top entries:

1) "Doctor, doctor! I don't feel a pulse on the Democratic Party!"

2) "I shall call her 'Megenstein.' "

3) "And the autopsy reveals that Steve Poizner's campaign was never really alive to begin with."

4) "Was it really necessary to wear these outfits to get the California Nurses' endorsement?"

5) "And through arthroscopic advances, we enter here and here to surgically remove the taxpayer's wallet."

6) "Hi, I'm Jerry Brown. Please bend over and prepare for me to be governor again."

7) "Obama Care has gotten us all jobs."

8. "So, Doctor, what you are really saying is that California is terminal?"

Pick your favorite caption and cast your vote by sending an e-mail to captions@capitolalert.com.

The mind behind the winning entry takes home the grand prize: a $25 gift certificate to a capital coffee shop. (Entrants who caffeinate outside the Sactosphere can opt for a Starbucks gift card.)

The deadline for voting is 11:59 p.m. Monday. Please include the number corresponding to the caption in your vote.

Click here for the original entry.

This post was originally published on June 17.

May 28, 2010
We have a winner in the 'Mad Scientist' Caption Contest

ha_mad33630.JPG

It was a close call, but we have a winner in Capitol Alert's latest Caption Contest.

Drumroll, please....

1.) "And kids, this is what happens to the career of Republicans who vote for tax hikes."

The clever reader behind this round's winner is State Net Capitol Journal editor Rich Ehisen.

Ehisen said his entry was inspired by a recent conversation with a Republican Assemblyman about the "perils that the budget season brings for many people in the building."

"I just thought of someone's career going up in flames," he said.

Ehisen won with about 25 percent of the vote. He edged out the runner-up -- "
"And that's how you make $19 billion disappear. Questions?" -- by just one vote.

It should be noted that the Ehisen selected the silver medalist as his second choice, too. He wrote in his vote entry that he wanted to cast a ballot for that one if choosing his own was "verboten."

Lots of readers also liked the "smoke and mirrors" entry. Sadly, only one reader shares the sense of humor of this Capitol Alert scribe, who was hoping the Bobby Flay line would "throw down" in the final vote.

Click here to see all the funny finalist entries.

This was Ehisen's first time entering the caption contest. He takes home a $25 gift card to Temple coffee shop.

Thanks to all who played and voted!

A special thanks to the bureau's intrepid photographer/videographer Hector Amezcua for snapping this shot of Sen. Loni Hancock, D-Berkeley, participating in an experiment at the 22nd Annual State Scientist Day at the Capitol.

May 25, 2010
VOTE: Pick your favorite caption in contest

ha_mad33630.JPGWe've selected some very funny finalists in Capitol Alert's latest caption contest and we want you to help us pick the winner.

For those who need a refresher, this week's laugh-worthy shot is Sen. Loni Hancock, D-Berkeley, conducting an experiment at the 22nd Annual State Scientist Day at the Capitol.

We received more than 100 creative captions this round. Here are the top eight that made The Bee's Capitol bureau chuckle:

1.) "And kids, this is what happens to the career of Republicans who vote for tax hikes."

2.) "I haven't seen anything this hot since I married Tom Bates."

3.) "I asked for the smoke monster from Lost, but the budget would only cover this."

4.) "And that's how you make $19 billion disappear. Questions?"

5.) "Wow, this is much better than the smoke and mirrors demonstration we saw inside the building."

6.) "They're coming to take me away..........aha...."

7.) "For my next trick, I will make legislators pass a balanced budget on time."

8.) "It doesn't happen this way for Bobby Flay..."

Pick your favorite and send your vote to captions@capitolalert.com. Please vote once and pick only one caption. The deadline for casting a vote for your choice is 9 p.m. Wednesday, May 26. Feel free to make the case for your favorite line in the comments forum below.

Choose carefully because the stakes are high -- the winner takes home a $25 gift card to a coffee shop of his or her choice.

Check out the original entry announcing the contest here.

PHOTO CREDIT: Hector Amezcua/Sacramento Bee

May 20, 2010
CAPTION CONTEST: Mad Scientist Senator

ha_mad33630.JPGHope you're feeling funny today because it's time for yet another Capitol Alert caption contest!

In today's shot, Sen. Loni Hancock, D-Berkeley, takes part in an experiment (a.k.a. conflagration) yesterday at the 22nd Annual State Scientist Day at the Capitol. Hancock was recognized as an honorary state scientist for authoring the resolution that declared May 19 a day recognizing the work of state scientists.

Here are some possibilities that might get your oh-so-clever minds burning:

• Could Hancock be giving a preview of what will happen to special-interest dollars under Proposition 15, the June ballot measure she authored to test-run public financing of the secretary of state race?
• Is the Berkeley Democrat giving the kiddos a demonstration about global warming?
• Or is she predicting the outcome of this summer's budget debate?

We'll leave it up to you to fill in the rest.

For those of you new to Capitol Alert's caption contest (or those who need a refresher), here's the deal:

1. Look at the picture.
2. Write a caption.
3. E-mail it to us.

When sending in submissions, feel free to request anonymity. Only those willing to have their real names published, however, can win the grand prize: a $25 gift certificate to a capital coffee shop. (Entrants who caffeinate outside the Sactosphere can opt for a Starbucks gift card.)

Entries are due by 11:59 p.m. on Friday May 21. Send submissions to captions@capitolalert.com.

Because any good scientist will tell you to "test and test again" for the final results, feel free to send in multiple entries.

Good luck!

PHOTO CREDIT: Hector Amezcua/Sacramento Bee

March 3, 2010
And the winner of the Capitol Alert caption contest is....

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Maldonado caption contest.JPG

The votes are in, and we have a winner in our Capitol Alert Caption Contest.

Drum roll, please....

So as I'm tearing up the lieutenant governor paperwork, I see in small print it says: "SOME ASSEMBLY REQUIRED."

The clever reader behind the caption is Department of General Services electronic technician Krieg Moore.

Moore, who monitors Capitol security systems and the audio and video recording for press conferences and other events under the dome, said the entry was inspired by his long days observing political gridlock.

"It was pretty much the idea that as national (observers of California politics) have learned there's some presumption that you can just ram-rod things through, but now you can't," he said.

Moore's perspective certainly struck a chord with Capitol Alert readers -- his caption beat out the four other top entries with 60 percent of the vote.

Kreig, who's played our contest in the past, said he was surprised that his suggestion beat out the about 300 entries submitted in this round.

"It's rare, I can't believe it," he said. "I'm glad that my form of wit is actually funny for some people."

Thanks to all who played and, as always, if you see a photo deserving of a chuckle-worthy caption, send it our way at tvanoot@sacbee.com.

PHOTO CREDIT: Hector Amezcua/SacBee.

February 26, 2010
Last chance to vote in the Capitol Alert caption contest

Thumbnail image for Maldonado caption contest.JPG

This item was originally posted on Wednesday. Entries are due today at 5 p.m.

Girly men ... pumping it up ... to terminate 'em?

You Capitol Alert readers certainly have a sense of humor.

We got in the neighborhood of 300 suggested captions for our photo of Sen. Abel Maldonado and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on their way to a press conference last week just before Schwarzenegger nominated Maldonado for lieutenant governor a second time. The Assembly, of course, didn't go along with it the first time around.

Themes included movie titles or our action-hero governor's famous lines on the silver screen. Several captions riffed off characters in "The Wizard of Oz." Other submissions named martial arts dudes or video games.

We've narrowed down these very funny submissions to five finalists:

1. OK, Arnold, here's the pitch. It's a combination of "Terminator," "Twins" and "Groundhog Day."

2. Remember, Abel, lead with the right.

3. Come on -- rocks, scissors and paper! Even Sarah Palin can do this.

4. You think I could milk a confirmation out of them?

5. So as I'm tearing up the lieutenant governor paperwork, I see in small print it says: "SOME ASSEMBLY REQUIRED."

Pick your favorite and send your vote to captions@capitolalert.com. Please vote once and pick only one caption. The deadline for casting a vote for your choice is 5 p.m. Friday, Feb. 26. Feel free to make the case for your favorite line in the comments forum below.

Check out the original entry announcing the contest here.

PHOTO CREDIT: Hector Amezcua/Sacramento Bee

February 25, 2010
VOTE: Capitol Alert caption contest

Thumbnail image for Maldonado caption contest.JPG

Girly men ... pumping it up ... to terminate 'em?

You Capitol Alert readers certainly have a sense of humor.

We got in the neighborhood of 300 suggested captions for our photo of Sen. Abel Maldonado and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on their way to a press conference last week just before Schwarzenegger nominated Maldonado for lieutenant governor a second time. The Assembly, of course, didn't go along with it the first time around.

Themes included movie titles or our action-hero governor's famous lines on the silver screen. Several captions riffed off characters in "The Wizard of Oz." Other submissions named martial arts dudes or video games.

We've narrowed down these very funny submissions to five finalists:

1. OK, Arnold, here's the pitch. It's a combination of "Terminator," "Twins" and "Groundhog Day."

2. Remember, Abel, lead with the right.

3. Come on -- rocks, scissors and paper! Even Sarah Palin can do this.

4. You think I could milk a confirmation out of them?

5. So as I'm tearing up the lieutenant governor paperwork, I see in small print it says: "SOME ASSEMBLY REQUIRED."

Pick your favorite and send your vote to captions@capitolalert.com. Please vote once and pick only one caption. The deadline for casting a vote for your choice is 5 p.m. Friday, Feb. 26. Feel free to make the case for your favorite line in the comments forum below.

Check out the original entry announcing the contest here.

PHOTO CREDIT: Hector Amezcua/Sacramento Bee

February 17, 2010
Caption contest: Ready for a fight

Maldonado caption contest.JPG

As lawmakers gear up for another go-round of the Maldonado confirmation battle, we thought we'd give readers the chance to flex their creative muscles with a Capitol Alert caption contest.

Today's caption worthy shot: lieutenant governor nominee Abel Maldonado appears to get pumped up as he and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger head to a press conference announcing the governor's decision to renominate the Santa Maria Republican for the vacant post.

Alert readers will recall that Maldonado was rejected - no - refused confirmation - no - not approved by a majority vote by the Assembly last week, setting off a spat over what constitutes rejection under the state constitution.

For those of you new to Capitol Alert's caption contest (or those who need a refresher), here's the deal:

1. Look at the picture.
2. Pick a caption.
3. E-mail it to us.

When sending in submissions feel free to request anonymity. Only those willing to have their real names published, however, can win the grand prize: a $25 gift certificate to a capital coffee shop (entrants who caffeinate outside the Sactosphere can opt for a Starbucks gift card).

Entries are due by 11:59 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 19. Send submissions to captions@capitolalert.com.

And, in the spirit of Schwarzenegger's "sequels can be better" explanation for Maldonado's chances at round two, feel free to submit multiple captions.

Good luck!

IMAGE CREDIT: Hector Amezcua/Sacramento Bee

September 16, 2009
And the winner of the Capitol Alert caption contest is....

govcaptioncontest.JPG

Drumroll, please:

"Dumbbells found in fire debris."


The entry, submitted by Capitol Alert reader Denny Brown, won with 19.6 percent of the vote. Brown, an electric generation system program specialist at the California Energy Commission, takes home the grand prize: a $25 gift card to Starbucks.

Here's how the other top entries fared when we put them up to readers for a final vote:

  • ""Scavenging for the next state auction." -- 2.8%
  • "Flexing while California burns." -- 10%
  • "Found at last, my legacy!" -- 8.4%
  • "Feel the burn!" --12.1%
  • "I pump iron. Real men pump water!" -- 4.6%
  • "Maybe I can autograph these and sell them at a 'fire' sale." -- 13%
  • "Hey Adam, if Poizner says one more stupid thing about selling the State Workers Comp Fund, I'm gonna throw this at his head." -- 5.6%
  • "...and people say they can't find the time to fit in a workout!" -- 14.5%
  • "I'm going to need strong arms to veto all those bills." -- 9.3%
Thanks to everyone who entered the contest! Sorting through the more than 300 entries gave us a good chuckle here at the Capitol Bureau.


See a photo that's dying for laugh lines? Send it our way at tvanoot@sacbee.com.

September 14, 2009
VOTE: CapitolAlert caption contest finalists

Thumbnail image for govcaptioncontest.JPG


UPDATE: Voting is now closed. The winning entry will be posted to the blog once the results have been tallied.

The entries are in. Now it's up to you to pick the winner for the latest edition of the Capitol Alert caption contest.

We received more than 300 submissions for this round, with "Feel the burn" and the Great California Garage Sale taking the lead for the most popular themes. One reader even took the time to translate his caption into German.

We've narrowed down the field of very funny submissions to 10 finalists. Pick your favorite and send your vote to captions@capitolalert.com. Please only vote once and pick only one caption. The winner will snag a $25 gift card to Starbucks and the honor of being named the Capitol Alert caption contest winner.

  1. "Dumbbells Found in Fire Debris."
  2. "Scavenging for the next state auction."
  3. "Flexing while California burns."
  4. "Found at last, my legacy!"
  5. "Feel the burn!"
  6. "I pump iron. Real men pump water!"
  7. "Maybe I can autograph these and sell them at a 'fire' sale."
  8. "Hey Adam, if Poizner says one more stupid thing about selling the State Workers Comp Fund, I'm gonna throw this at his head."
  9. "...and people say they can't find the time to fit in a workout!"
  10. "I'm going to need strong arms to veto all those bills."
The deadline for casting a vote for your choice is Tuesday at noon. Feel free to make the case for your favorite line in the comments forum below.

(Check out the original entry announcing the contest here).

September 8, 2009
Caption contest: déjà vu?

govcaptioncontest.JPG

Has this week's caption contest picture pick struck you with a sense of déjà vu?

This isn't the first time former body buidling champ has flexed his muscles for the cameras since taking office. He struck similar poses in 2006 and 2007.

Haven't submitted your laugh line yet? Tonight's 11:59 p.m. deadline is closing in.

A quick rules recap for readers who missed the original post:

1. Look at the picture.
2. Pick a caption.
3. E-mail it to us at captions@capitolalert.com.

When sending in submissions feel free to request anonymity. Only those willing to have their real names published, however, can win the grand prize: a $25 gift card to Starbucks. Submissions are due by 11:59 p.m (Captions left in the comments forum are not eligible, so be sure to e-mail those to us as well).

We'll post the top entries for a vote tomorrow.

September 4, 2009
Caption contest: Schwarzenegger pumps iron at fire site

Thumbnail image for govcaptioncontest.JPG
The Capitol Alert caption contest is back!

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger spotted a familiar object Sept. 3 while surveying the damage caused by Station Fire at Vogel Flats near Tujunga, California.

The fires are no laughing matter, but we thought our oh-so-clever readers could find plenty to chuckle about in this photo of the former Mr. Universe pumping iron. In the background are Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff (left) and Insurance Commissioner and GOP gubernatorial candidate Steve Poizner (right).

For those of you new to Capitol Alert's caption contest, the process is pretty simple:


1. Look at the picture.
2. Pick a caption.
3. E-mail it to us.

When sending in submissions feel free to request anonymity. Only those willing to have their real names published, however, can win the grand prize: a $25 gift card to Starbucks.

Because it's a holiday weekend, we'll give you a little extra time to get those creative juices flowing. Entries are due by 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 9. Send submissions to captions@capitolalert.com.




FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK

Capitol Alert Staff


Jeremy White Jeremy B. White covers California politics and edits Capitol Alert's mobile Insider Edition. jwhite@sacbee.com. Twitter: @capitolalert

Amy Chance Amy Chance is political editor for The Sacramento Bee. achance@sacbee.com. Twitter: @Amy_Chance

Dan Smith Dan Smith is Capitol bureau chief for The Sacramento Bee. smith@sacbee.com

Christopher Cadelago Christopher Cadelago covers California politics and health care. ccadelago@sacbee.com. Twitter: @ccadelago

Micaela Massimino Micaela Massimino edits Capitol Alert. mmassimino@sacbee.com

Laurel Rosenhall Laurel Rosenhall covers the Legislature, the lobbying community and higher education. lrosenhall@sacbee.com. Twitter: @LaurelRosenhall

David Siders David Siders covers the Brown administration. dsiders@sacbee.com. Twitter: @davidsiders

Dan Walters Dan Walters is a columnist for The Sacramento Bee. dwalters@sacbee.com. Twitter: @WaltersBee

More Capitol Alert

Capitol Alert on Twitter

FOLLOW US | Get more from sacbee.com | Follow us on Twitter | Become a fan on Facebook | Watch Bee news, lifestyle videos | View our mobile versions | e-edition: Print edition online | What our bloggers are saying

Popular Categories

Categories


November 2013

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
          1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30

Monthly Archives


Latest California Clips