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A few upcoming political events

Political junkies have some great opportunities coming up.

On Monday, Oct. 6, Assembly Speaker Emeritus John Perez, D-Los Angeles, will speak on “changes in the California electorate and the road to a Democratic supermajority in the Legislature” in the Institute of Governmental Studies Library, 109 Moses Hall on the UC-Berkeley campus. The event starts at 4 p.m.

On Tuesday, Oct. 7, activist, blogger and author Pamela Geller will address the Conservative Forum of Silicon Valley in the IFES Portuguese Hall, at 432 Stierlin Road in Mountain View. Geller is founder, editor and publisher of AtlasShrugs.com/PamGeller.com; president of the American Freedom Defense Initiative and Stop Islamization of America; and author, with Robert Spencer, of “The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration’s War on America.” Tickets for the 7 p.m. event cost $10 in advance or $15 at the door for forum members, and $20 in advance or $25 at the door for non-members, and are available online.

On Wednesday, Oct. 8, U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., will be in conversation with Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg for a 3 p.m. program and 4 p.m. book-signing at the Commonwealth Club of California, on the second floor of 595 Market St. in San Francisco. Gillibrand will discuss “why it’s critical for women’s voices to be heard to make issues like affordable daycare, paid family leave and equal pay political priorities.” Tickets cost $10 for club members, $15 for non-members or $7 for students with valid ID, and are available online or by calling 415-597-6705.

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Upcoming events with FCC chair, First Lady & me

Tom Wheeler (AP photo)This Thursday, Jan. 9, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler will be in Oakland for a town hall giving local residents a chance to share their stories and speak about the impacts of an increasingly corporate media environment. The event – from 7 to 9 p.m., in Nile Hall, 1233 Preservation Park Way – is hosted by Voices for Internet Freedom, the Center for Media Justice, Free Press, ColorOfChange and the National Hispanic Media Coalition. Other featured speakers will include California Public Utilities Commissioner Catherine Sandoval, Greenlining Institute energy and telecommunications policy director Stephanie Chen, CIVIC Co-Executive Director Christina Mansfield, The Utility Reform Network Executive Director Mark Toney, and representatives from the host organizations. The event is free and open to the public but seating is limited, so attendees should RSVP online.

In the realm of shameless self-promotion (though not really, as I don’t get paid), I’ll be part of the Commonwealth Club’s “Week to Week” news roundtable at 6:30 p.m. next Monday, January 13, in the club’s offices on the second floor of 595 Market St. in San Francisco. I’ll be joining attorney Melissa Griffin Caen, a contributor to KPIX-TV and San Francisco magazine, and the Chronicle’s Joe Garofoli, with the club’s John Zipperer as moderator. Come early at 5:30 p.m. for a wine-and-cheese social – current events are always better after wine. Tickets cost $5 for club members, $15 for non-members or $7 for students, and are available online.

Michelle ObamaAnd, First Lady Michelle Obama will join House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to headline a women’s luncheon and reception to benefit the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee on Friday, Jan. 31 at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco. The fundraising page makes no mention of the First Lady, but a White House official speaking on background confirmed Monday that she’s scheduled to attend. Tickets range from $500 each to $32,400, the latter of which buys two tickets to the VIP reception and photo line and a table for 10 at lunch. The First Lady had been scheduled to raise money for Democrats in October in the Bay Area, but cancelled her trip amid the government shutdown.

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A few upcoming Bay Area political events

Julian Castro at DNCThis Saturday, March 16, the Peralta Community College District presents the second installment of the 2012/2013 Barbara Lee-Elihu Harris Lecture Series with a speech from Julian Castro, mayor of San Antonio, Tex., and a featured speaker at last year’s Democratic National Convention. Castro’s address on “Moving Forward… Together” is co-produced by the Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Center and Merritt College. The 7 p.m. event at the Oakland Marriott City Center, 1001 Broadway, is free of charge but space is limited and so reservations are encouraged; call 510-434-3988.

Carly FiorinaOn Thursday, March 21, former HP CEO and 2010 Republican U.S. Senate nominee Carly Fiorina will speak to the Commonwealth Club of California on “our financial future and the next tech revolution.” The club says Fiorina, now chairwoman of Good360.com and a CNBC contributor, “will share her thoughts on how the U.S. and California are performing in terms of innovation, job creation and economic growth.” Tickets to the 7 p.m. event at the Schutlz Cultural Hall in the Oshman Family Jewish Community Center, 3921 Fabian Way in Palo Alto, cost $20 for the public, $12 for club members or $7 for students with valid ID, and are available online.

George MillerAnd way out on May 4, donors are invited to help Rep. George Miller, D-Martinez, celebrate his 68th birthday (which actually is May 17) at a fundraiser with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, at the Shadelands Ranch, 2660 Ygnacio Valley Road in Walnut Creek. The event aims “to support George’s re-election campaign and George and Nancy’s efforts to win back the House of Representatives,” the invitation says. Tickets start at $125 each.

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A few upcoming political events

Pete StarkRep. Pete Stark, D-Fremont, is holding two town meetings this Saturday, Jan. 22, so constituents can “ask questions about important national issues. Likely topics include the agenda for the new Congress, Republican attempts to repeal the health reform law, and job creation efforts.” The meetings will be from 9 to 10:30 a.m. in the Fremont Senior Center, 40086 Paseo Padre Parkway, and 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the city council chambers at San Leandro City Hall, 835 E. 14th St.

Daniel BorensteinBay Area News Group-East Bay’s very own columnist and editorial writer Daniel Borenstein will join Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association President Jon Coupal, former Assemblyman and Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research lecturer Joe Nation and SEIU Local 1021 President Roxanne Sanchez for a Commonwealth Club of California discussion on “The True Cost of Public Pensions: Reform or Bust?” at 6:30 p.m. next Tuesday, Jan. 25, in the Lafayette Library and Learning Center, 3491 Mt. Diablo Blvd. “California’s financial situation is in shambles, and some pundits have identified the states public-employee pension obligation as a central part of the problem,” the club says. “But what is the true cost of pensions to the states structural deficit? Nineteen states reformed their public pension benefits in 2010.California has the largest pension system in the nation; is it now time for our state to reform our program too?” Tickets cost $12 for club members, $22 for nonmembers or $7 for students with valid ID, and are available online.

Barbara Lee (Dec-2010)Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, will headline a Commonwealth Club of California panel discussion on “The Obama Effect: Where Does the African American Community Stand Now?” at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 7 in the Lafayette Veterans Memorial Hall, 3780 Mt. Diablo Blvd. Also participating will be Green For All CEO Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins and ColorOfChange.org cofounder and Executive Director James Rucker. “The panel will discuss the effects the election and new president have had on the black community,” the club says. “Has Obama landed the final blow needed to break the glass ceiling? Or has electing the first African-American president during one of the worst times in our country’s history created an unfortunate association that will become more of a hindrance than a help to the African American community?” Tickets cost $12 for club members, $22 for nonmembers or $7 for students with valid ID, and are available online.

John GaramendiRep. John Garamendi, D-Walnut Grove, will host his annual crab feed – a fundraiser for his Garamendi for Congress committee – with guest speaker Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla, D-Concord, at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 18 in the Antioch Community Center, 4703 Lone Tree Way. Tickets are $45 per person, with more expensive sponsorships available, and are available online.

Jerry McNerneyAnd Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Pleasanton, is accepting applications for college and post-graduate internships in his Stockton and Pleasanton offices: “I encourage students who are interested in public service and learning about a congressional office to apply for an internship in one of my offices. It is an excellent way to gain professional experience and to serve our community.” High school students will be considered on a case-by-case basis. To apply, mail or fax a cover letter and resume either to the Stockton office, attn: Internship Coordinator, 2222 Grand Canal Blvd. #7, Stockton, CA 95207 (fax: 209-476-8587) or to the Pleasanton office, attn: Internship Coordinator, 5776 Stoneridge Mall Rd. #175, Pleasanton, CA 94588 (fax: 925-737-0734).

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Upcoming political events: Pelosi, Newsom, Dunn

Nancy Pelosi Fresh from her win on health-care reform, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, will address the Commonwealth Club of California at noon on Tuesday, April 6 in the Peacock Court of the Mark Hopkins Intercontinental Hotel, at 1 Nob Hill in San Francisco. She’s expected to explain the financial ramifications of the new law and describe how it will affect the future of American health care. Tickets are available online at a cost of $20 for club members, $35 for non-members and $7 for students with valid ID, or for premium seating in the first few rows, $45 for members and $65 for non-members.

San Francisco Mayor and Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor Gavin Newsom will chat with Commonwealth Club of California President & CEO Gloria Duffy at 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 7 in the club’s offices on the second floor of 595 Market St. in San Francisco. Tickets are available online at a cost of $15 for club members and $25 for non-members, or for premium seating in the first few rows, $30 for members and $45 for non-members. Newsom today announced his endorsement by the California Teachers Association; on Friday he’d announced endorsements from Bay Area Assemblymembers Mary Hayashi, Jerry Hill, Jared Huffman, Ira Ruskin and Sandré Swanson.

Arthur RosenfeldRenowned physicist and energy efficiency expert Arthur Rosenfeld will speak on efficiency and conservation at the Lamorinda Democratic Club’s meeting on at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 8, in the Orinda Community Church, 10 Irwin Way. Rosenfeld began his physics career at Cal and the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory in the 1950s and chose to focus on energy conservation after the 1973 Arab oil embargo. In 1975 he founded the Center for Building Science for development of energy-efficiency standards and technologies; from 1994 to 1999 he served as Senior Adviser for the U. S. Department of Energy’s Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy; and now, after 10 years on the California Energy Commission, he’s returning to the Berkeley Lab to continue working on energy efficiency projects. “The Rosenfeld” was recently proposed as the name for “electricity savings of 3 billion kilowatt-hours per year,” the amount needed to replace the annual generation of a 500-megawatt coal-fired power plant. Tickets to this event cost $5 per person but are free for students with valid ID.

Damon DunnThe Alameda County Republican Party will host a tribute to Abraham Lincoln, the first Republican president, with GOP Secretary of State candidate Damon Dunn as the guest of honor from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 8, at a home in Piedmont; tickets cost $50, and reservations and directions are available by calling 510-665-7886. All Republican candidates for governor, state and local offices have been invited; California Republican Party Vice Chairman Tom Del Beccaro and Bay Area Regional Vice Chairman Morgan Kelley will attend.

(UPDATE @ 4:13 P.M. TUESDAY: The Alameda County GOP’s Jeff Wald tells me tickets for the event with Dunn are available online.)

The Northern California American Political Items Collectors show returns to Berkeley from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 10 in the Finnish Brotherhood Hall at 1970 Chestnut St. Thousands of new and vintage political buttons, posters and ephemera will be on sale from a variety of dealers; free appraisals are available. Admission costs $3, but is free for children or students with valid ID.

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Clash of the ‘citizen journalism’ titans

Fresh from his bail hearing, James O’Keefe – the conservative activist whose surreptitiously recorded videotapes sparked a firestorm of criticism against ACORN, and who was arrested Monday for allegedly trying to tamper with a U.S. Senator’s phones – will address the Commonwealth Club of California at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 1, in the club’s offices on the second floor of 595 Market St. in San Francisco. Club members get in free; tickets are available online for nonmembers at $18 and for students with valid ID at $7.

This all assumes that a federal court officer will give O’Keefe permission to come to California for the event, per a U.S. Magistrate Judge’s order issued Tuesday; I’d say it’s a good bet.

The moderator of this discussion of “undercover journalism” will be UC-Berkeley journalism graduate student, blogger and freelance journalist Josh Wolf, himself widely known for being jailed for contempt of court as he refused a federal judge’s order to surrender raw video he’d shot at a 2005 street protest of which he was part.

Meanwhile, the O’Keefe backlash begins. Labor-backed liberal advocacy group Americans United for Change today is taking to task House Republicans – including Rep. Dan Lungren, R-Gold River, and Rep. John Campbell, R-Irvine – who co-sponsored a resolution in November honoring O’Keefe for the ACORN tapes.

“It wasn’t too long ago that Representatives Campbell and Lungren believed that James O’Keefe was deserving of national recognition and praise – that is, before Mr. O’Keefe was arrested by the FBI for allegedly plotting to tamper with the phone lines of a United States Senator,” AUC acting executive director Tom McMahon said in his news release. “The people of California might be interested to know if these Representatives have any regrets for taking up valuable time in Congress to ‘honor’ Mr. O’Keefe’s special brand of ‘investigative journalism’ that apparently devolved into Watergate-style schemes.”

I e-mailed Lungren’s and Campbell’s press people about 90 minutes ago, haven’t heard back from them yet.

UPDATE @ 10:52 A.M. MONDAY 2/1: This event has been postponed until further notice.