A few upcoming political events

House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee Chairman Pete Stark, D-Fremont, who’s stuck in Washington for negotiations on the health-care reform legislation, has replaced his monthly town-hall meetings scheduled for Saturday with a telephone town hall at noon Saturday instead. The call-in number is 1-800-475-8427, and the passcode is “Stark;” constituents can listen to brief comments from Stark and then get in a queue to ask their questions.

Republican candidate for Secretary of State Damon Dunn will be give the Martin Luther King Jr. Day sermon at San Mateo’s Pilgrim Baptist Church, at 217 N. Grant St., at 11 a.m. this Sunday, Jan. 17. Dunn — a former NFL player turned real-estate businessman from Irvine — remains unopposed in the GOP primary; he’s challenging Democratic incumbent Debra Bowen.

Cal public policy professor Robert Reich, a former U.S. Secretary of Labor and Obama transition advisor, will share his take on the 2010 economic outlook for California, the United States and the rest of the world at the Commonwealth Club of California’s annual installment of the Walter E. Hoadley Economic Forecast on Friday, Jan. 22 in the Grand Ballroom of the Fairmont Hotel, 950 Mason St. in San Francisco; lunch starts at 11:45 a.m., the program at 12:30 p.m. This is open only to club members, who can bring one paying nonmember guest; tickets (including lunch) are available online at a cost of $65 for members and $80 for nonmembers.

Eliot SpitzerDisgraced former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer – once known as the “Sheriff of Wall Street” for his pursuit of white-collar crime and securities fraud during his time as a state prosecutor and Attorney General, before his gubernatorial downfall in a prostitution scandal – will speak on banking-industry reform at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 26 at the Commonwealth Club of California’s offices on the second floor of 595 Market St. in San Francisco. Tickets are available online at a cost of $12 for club members, $18 for nonmembers and $7 for students with valid ID.

The San Ramon Valley Republican Women will host a forum for the six GOP primary candidates competing in the 11th Congressional District, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 26 at the Crow Canyon Country Club, 711 Silver Lake Dr. in Danville. It’ll be moderated by former Bush Administration Labor Department official, 2008 15th Assembly District primary candidate and Lincoln Club of Northern California Vice President Judy Lloyd. Tickets cost $23; reservations are available until Jan. 22 by contacting Leta Rockwell at 925-838-2908 or rockwellsnuggery@comcast.net.

Also, Lloyd says she’s co-hosting a fundraiser for Republican U.S. Senate candidate Carly Fiorina on Thursday, Jan. 28 in San Francisco, at which former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will be among the honored guests… more details on that as I get ‘em…

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.