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Longtime Perata aide to work for Gov. Brown

By Josh Richman
Monday, January 24th, 2011 at 5:51 pm in California State Senate, Don Perata, Jerry Brown.

A longtime aide to former state Senate President Pro Tem and 2010 Oakland mayoral candidate Don Perata has been named to an important post in Gov. Jerry Brown’s office.

Gareth Elliott, 40, of Sacramento, will serve as Brown’s legislative affairs secretary, the governor’s office announced today. The legislative affairs secretary is a lynchpin of the governor’s policy development and legislative strategy – a key role in the coming weeks as Brown tries to rally support for his budget plan.

Elliott has served as policy director for state Sen. Alex Padilla since 2008, but before that was policy director and deputy chief of staff for Perata from 2004 to 2008; earlier, he was a legislative aide and then legislative director for Perata from 1996 to 2004. Elliott’s appointment doesn’t require Senate confirmation; the Democrat will be paid an annual salary of $147,900.

Follow me after the jump for other appointments announced today by Brown’s office…

Sue Johnsrud, 55, of Sacramento, has been named director of operations in the Office of the Governor. She has worked at the Department of Justice since 2001. She was originally appointed as the deputy director of the Division of Administrative Support and then became the chief administrative officer in 2003. Previously, Johnsrud served as the assistant budget officer for the Department of General Services from 1990 to 2001. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $132,552. Johnsrud is registered decline-to-state.

Mona Pasquil, 48, of Walnut Grove, has been named appointments secretary in the Office of the Governor. She is currently the president of Pasquil Associates & Strategic Communications. Pasquil was previously chief of staff to Lieutenant Governor John Garamendi from 2008 to 2009 and served as acting Lieutenant Governor upon Garamendi’s election to Congress from 2009 to 2010. She was vice president with MSHC Partners from 2003 to 2006 and was a business development consultant with IBM from 2003 to 2006. Pasquil has also served as deputy political director for John Kerry’s presidential campaign, political director for Governor Gray Davis’ gubernatorial campaign, California political director for Al Gore’s presidential campaign and western political director for the White House Office of Political Affairs under President Bill Clinton. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $147,900. Pasquil is a Democrat.

Nettie Sabelhaus, 63, of Sacramento, has been named special advisor to the Governor on appointments. She has been the appointments director of the California Senate Rules Committee since 1999. Previously, Sabelhaus was the deputy director of the Center for California Studies at California State University, Sacramento from 1992 to 1998. She served as the Senate’s federal relations coordinator and floor manager and was the coordinator of the California Senate Fellows Program from 1984 to 1991. She was chief of staff to Senator Barry Keene from 1978 to 1983, Consultant to the Assembly Majority Consultants from 1976 to 1977, and legislative aide to U.S. Senator Alan Cranston from 1973 to 1976. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $147,900. Sabelhaus is a Democrat.

Governor Brown also named the following California Department of Finance appointments:

Michael Cohen, 37, of Sacramento, has been appointed as chief deputy director for budget at the California Department of Finance. He served as deputy legislative analyst, director of state administration and local government finance analyst with the Legislative Analyst’s Office from 1997 to 2010. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $152,484. Cohen is a registered decline-to-state.

H.D. Palmer, 51, of Sacramento, has been appointed as deputy director for external affairs at the California Department of Finance. He has served in this role since 2003. Palmer was a press staffer on Governor Schwarzenegger’s campaign and transition in 2003. He worked as the communications director for the California Senate Republican Caucus from 2001 to 2003, as the communications director for Idaho Governor Dirk Kempthorne from 1999 to 2001 and as an assistant director at the Department of Finance from 1993 to 1999. Palmer spent 12 years prior on Capitol Hill as a spokesman for Senators S.I. Hayakawa of California, Jim McClure of Idaho and John Seymour of California. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $125,592. Palmer is a Republican.

Pedro Reyes, 49, of Davis, has been appointed as chief deputy director for policy at the California Department of Finance. He has served as deputy policy director in the Speaker of the Assembly’s Office since 2000. Reyes was the assistant program budget manager for the Department of Finance from 1989 to 2000 and worked at the Department of Health Services from 1986 to 1989. He is currently the chair of the Golden 1 Credit Union board of directors. Reyes served as chair of the Woodland Healthcare Community advisory board from 2003 to 2010. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $152,112. Reyes is a Democrat.

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