Fishy doings in Sacramento

nunez.jpgForget about the state budget: Tomorrow will bring the true 2008 smackdown between Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez, D-Los Angeles, and Assembly Republican Leader Mike Villines, R-Clovis.

These titans of public policy will meet at the Sutter Club in downtown Sacramento for the “Great Sushi Roll-Off,” a cooking competition showcasing California rice. Using authentic ingredients, participants will be judged in such areas as the techniques used to create the rolls and how flavorful the judges find the finished products. The winner of the competition will receive the “Capitol Roller Award,” a plaque featuring a sword typical of those used by Japanese warriors to defend their honor. Republicans and Democrats will adjourn their weekly policy luncheons early to cheer on their leaders in the competition.

villines.jpg“Speaker Núñez is a formidable foe both in the Legislature and in the kitchen, but I have no doubt that my superior culinary skills will prevail when the judges decide the winner of the Great Sushi Roll Off,” Villines said in a news release issued Friday. “I am confident that Assembly Republicans will be bringing home the ‘Capitol Roller Award’ on Tuesday in the first of what will be many victories for us this year.”

Nunez responded with a haiku troika. No, really, he did:

Sushi challenge on
The public very happy
We aren’t naked chefs

Land locked Clovis man
Makes worst Republican Rice
Since Condoleeza

Núñez sushi wins
Feral cats at Capitol
Reject Villines’ swill

That’s some serious smack-talk from some guys who’ll soon be smelling like seaweed and fish.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.