A few upcoming political events

The first few weeks of June offer a plethora of political punditry…

Friday, June 5: Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright speaks to the Commonwealth Club of California on her book, “Memo to the President: How We Can Restore America’s Reputation and Leadership,” at noon in the Peacock Court at the InterContinental Mark Hopkins Hotel, at 1 Nob Hill in San Francisco. Tickets cost $15 for club members and $25 non-members while premium seating in the first few rows costs $45 for members, $65 for non-members, all available through the club’s Web site.

Monday, June 8: Christina Romer, chairwoman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, will address the Commonwealth Club of California on “The Great Credit Freeze and the U.S. Economy” at noon in the club’s offices on the second floor of 595 Market St. in San Francisco. Tickets cost $12 for club members and $18 non-members while premium seating in the first few rows costs $45 for members, $65 for non-members, all available through the club’s Web site.

Wednesday, June 10: Chevron Chairman and CEO Dave O’Reilly and Sierra Club Executive Director Carl Pope will discuss balancing energy and the environment in a forum moderated by Wall Street Journal Deputy Managing Editor Alan Murray before the Commonwealth Club of California, at 6:30 p.m. in the Hotel Nikko, 222 Mason St. in San Francisco. Tickets cost $15 for club members and $30 non-members while premium seating in the first few rows costs $45 for members, $65 for non-members, all available through the club’s Web site.

Wednesday, June 10: The Blackhawk Republican Women, Federated will welcome APL Ltd. Vice President of Security Earl Agron, recently appointed to the National Maritime Security Advisory Committee of the Department of Homeland Security, speaking on “Security of Global Trade on the High Seas.” (Yes, pirates.) It’s a 5:30 p.m. social and sign-in and a 6:15 p.m. program in the Blackhawk Country Club, 599 Blackhawk Club Dr. Tickets cost $25 per person; per the hostesses, “all welcome, tie not required, no denim please.” Please make reservations and payment (payable to “Blackhawk Republican Women, Federated”) by noon Monday, June 8th; contact rlyons1009@sbcglobal.net for a mailing address.

Wednesday, June 17: It’s a big double-bill at the Contra Costa Republican Party meeting: Assemblyman Chuck Devore, R-Irvine, who’s challenging U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., next year; and state Sen. Jeff Denham, R-Merced, who’ll be running for lieutenant governor. It all starts at 6:30 p.m. at the Contra Costa Country Club, 801 Golf Club Road in Pleasant Hill; tickets cost $25 per person, RSVP to director@contracostagop.com or (925) 948 5141. It’s cosponsored by PoliticalVanguard.com and KSFO radio.


Another notable contribution for Gavin Newsom

The prize for most interesting campaign contribution of the week once again goes to Democratic gubernatorial candidate and San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom.

Real estate investor Thomas J. Coates of San Francisco, a principal in Jackson Square Properties, on Tuesday gave Newsom’s campaign $25,000. Coates is a Republican who put up almost $1 million — $223,400 in contributions and $750,000 in loans — for last June’s Proposition 98, the ballot measure that would’ve phased out rent control in California and curtailed government’s right to seize private property by eminent domain.

I can’t immediately find any reference to where Newsom stood on Prop. 98, but among those who opposed it were Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, former Gov. Pete Wilson, the AARP, the League of California Cities, the California League of Conservation Voters, the California Teachers Association, the SEIU, the California Chamber of Commerce — and, ultimately, 62 percent of voters.

Two weeks ago, I was first to report that Newsom’s campaign had received $25,000 from Rockstar energy drink CEO Russell Weiner, who also is the son of right-wing radio host Michael Savage and a former Republican Assembly candidate; the campaign last week announced it would give that money back, claiming “the confusion caused by the conflicts between the views expressed by Mr. Weiner in his campaign for State Assembly and the views and values of Mayor Newsom are best adressed this way.”

Will Newsom have any issues with Coates’ views and values?


Tauscher’s confirmation hearing set for June 9

We’re hearing that Rep. Ellen Tauscher, who was nominated earlier this month by President Barack Obama to serve as Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, will have a confirmation hearing Tuesday, June 9 before the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee. There hasn’t been much talk of opposition to her taking the post, and so confirmation would probably follow within a few weeks.

CD-10 candidates… start your engines.

As Lisa has reported, the first of the potentially two-part special election to replace Tauscher, D-Alamo, in Congress will take place about two months after she resigns from the seat. If a candidate receives 50 percent plus one vote, he or she will win the seat outright; if not, the top voter-getter in each party will compete in a runoff about two months later.


Big East Bay fundraiser planned for Jerry Brown

Some East Bay development, political and labor hoi polloi will be hosting a big-ticket fundraiser for Jerry Brown’s 2010 gubernatorial campaign on Sunday, June 14 in Concord; the requested contribution is at least $5,000 per person, and that ain’t chicken feed.

The hosts are developer and former Oakland A’s co-owner Ken Hoffman; United Association of Journeyman and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry international representative Jim Kellogg; developer Al Seeno; developer Ken Behring; lobbyist and former state lawmaker Dan Boatwright; attorney Jerry Hallisey; real estate and garbage hauling magnate Sil Garaventa; State Building and Construction Trades Council of California President Bob Balgenorth; Contra Costa County Building and Construction Trades Council Executive Officer Greg Ferre; and developer Phil Tagami.

The Secretary of State’s database shows Brown’s campaign has banked at least $1.2 million since the start of 2009, atop the $4.1 million it had in the bank at the end of 2008. Say what you will about his politics, but the man looks like a fundraising powerhouse.


Prop. 8-related events this weekend

Tuesday’s California Supreme Court decision upholding Proposition 8, the constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, continues to resonate through this weekend.

Peace Lutheran Church (at 3201 Camino Tassajara in Danville) in partnership with the Bay Area Coalition of Welcoming Congregations and California Faith for Equality will host an interfaith gathering at 7 p.m. Friday as an opportunity “for GLBTQ people, friends and allies to express our collective grief and anger, and then through prayer and healing ritual begin to transform our pain to hopeful determination, re-committing ourselves to the work that lies ahead.”

Although the event isn’t about the Supreme Court ruling per se, it’s sure to be a top topic of conversation as the National Center for Lesbian Rights – which had argued on behalf of plaintiffs seeking to overturn Proposition 8 – holds a fundraiser to mark its 32nd anniversary at 8 p.m. Saturday in the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 700 Howard St. This is a costly one, with tickets ranging from $90 to $1,500; RSVP through NCLR’s Web site.

Of course, the biggest to-do this weekend will be the “Meet in the Middle 4 Equality” march and rally Saturday in Fresno, at which activists from all over the state will gather; Bay Area folks will be riding the “Equality Train” – a.k.a. Amtrak – or doing rideshares or hopping buses to get there.

If anyone knows of any other pro- or anti-Proposition 8 events this weekend, please share them in the comments section.


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