Part of the Bay Area News Group

Archive for the 'Sacramento' Category

The tastes of Gov. Jerry Brown’s 4th inauguration

Experience the tastes of Gov. Jerry Brown’s fourth inauguration.

The Orange County Employees Association, California Labor Federation and other partners are holding a “People’s Inauguration” from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the State Capitol’s north lawn, serving up free hot dogs. The labor groups say inaugurations usually are exclusive events designed for politicians, lobbyists and other insiders, but their party is a testament to Brown’s commitment to representing all Californians.

“During his last inauguration, Gov. Brown came out and shared a hot dog with the people he represents, right in the middle of the crowd,” OCEA General Manager Nick Berardino said in a news release. “It’s inspiring that he stands with all the people – especially all of us in the cheap seats.”

But if Brown grabs grabs a frank, I’d bet he’ll be saving room for the “Taste of California” reception, hosted from 5 to 7 p.m. at the California State Railroad Museum by Visit California and California Grown with food, wines, beers and ciders produced here in the Golden State.

“Visitors come from all over the world to enjoy California’s culinary bounty, and this reception is an opportunity to showcase the wine and food that make our state a premier travel destination,” Visit California President and CEO Caroline Beteta said in a news release.

California Grown is an initiative of the Buy California Marketing Agreement, a joint effort of agricultural industry groups representing the products of California’s farms, ranches, forests and fisheries. Working as an advisory board to the California Department of Food and Agriculture, BCMA brings together industry and government resources to increase the awareness, consumption and value of California agricultural products.

BCMA Executive Director Nick Matteis said the menu will include:

  • Braised chicken mole tosdadas
  • Roasted pasilla pepper and artichoke cream cheese on California endive
  • Beet hummus on crostini with goat cheese
  • Harris Ranch Oak smoked prime rib slider with creamy horseradish sauce on a smoked Gouda cheese roll
  • Hamachi poke on taro chip with ginger beef sauce and micro shiso
  • Duck pastrami in a rye cup with sauerkraut salt
  • Grappa-soaked cherries and micro greens
  • “I can’t think of a better way to make sure that the Governor and his guests are enjoying the best agriculture products in the world,” California Food and Agriculture Secretary Karen Ross said in the release.

    UPDATE @ 3:10 P.M.: And in case you wondered how Jerry Brown takes his hot dog, the Sacramento Bee has video:

    Posted on Monday, January 5th, 2015
    Under: Gov. Jerry Brown, Jerry Brown | No Comments »

    Governor Jerry Brown’s fourth inaugural address

    My esteemed colleague Jessica Calefati has the story on Gov. Jerry Brown’s fourth inauguration and address – a speech encompassing not only the sweep of California’s history, but also the governor’s own:

    “As I embark upon this unprecedented fourth term as governor, my thoughts turn to a time long ago when I first entered this chamber, January 5, 1959, for my father’s inauguration. I sat there in front of the rostrum, next to my 81-year-old grandmother, Ida Schuckman Brown, feeling awkward in my priestly black suit and Roman collar. My perspective was different then. The previous August, as a young Jesuit living in what was then a pre-Vatican II seminary, I had taken vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. To me, the boisterous crowd, the applause, the worldliness of it all was jarring.”

    Read the entire text of Brown’s inaugural speech, after the jump…
    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted on Monday, January 5th, 2015
    Under: Gov. Jerry Brown, Jerry Brown | No Comments »

    Debra Bowen spending the morning in court?

    Outgoing Secretary of State Debra Bowen posted this to Facebook about an hour ago:

    At noon my service as Secretary of State comes to an end. In the morning, I should be present for the swearing in of Governor Brown and the State of the State address. But I may miss both. My husband’s attorney agreed to a short extension of time – but because I made a paperwork error, my husband is refusing to change the date. So I may miss my last morning as SOS in order to defend against a motion my husband has filed in divorce court. Pretty sad, huh.

    A few dozen followers and friends have posted expressions of gratitude for her service and support for her in a difficult time.

    Posted on Monday, January 5th, 2015
    Under: Debra Bowen, Secretary of State | 14 Comments »

    Some of my favorite stories of 2014

    As 2014 draws to a close, I’ve been ruminating on my favorite political moments of this year – not the most important or impactful ones, perhaps, but the ones that either made me shake my head in amazement, or guffaw out loud, or both.

    And so, in no particular order:

    Homeless NeelNeel Kashkari takes it to the streets: Republican gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari, distrusted by the more conservative elements of his own party, managed to beat out a more right-wing rival to finish second behind Gov. Jerry Brown in June’s top-two primary. In July, he made an inspired attempt to rekindle his unusual momentum (for when was the last time you saw a statewide GOP candidate running on so ardent an anti-poverty platform?) by spending a week “undercover” pretending to be jobless and homeless on Fresno’s streets. I said it then and I still believe it: “You’ve gotta give him credit for cojones. Whether California voters believe the state is worse off under Brown’s stewardship remains to be seen, but this is not something you would’ve seen Meg Whitman, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bill Simon, Dan Lungren or Pete Wilson do in a million years.”

    Neel's drowning kidNeel Kashkari drowns himself in hyperbole: Aaaaand then we had the rest of Kashkari’s campaign. Unable to maintain the buzz that his “homeless” stint created, polls shows his campaign on the slide as contributions dried up. In October, he aired a television ad depicting his rescue of a child that Brown had left to “drown” in poor schools. Candidates want people talking about their ads, but if the viewers’ main sentiment is, “Are you freakin’ kidding me?,” you’re probably doing it wrong.

    ManoramaManorama K. Joshi (or Manorama J. Kumar): The 17th Congressional District battle between Rep. Mike Honda, D-San Jose, and Democratic challenger Ro Khanna, had a lot of weird moments, but few that rivaled the revelation that Khanna donors and supporters had been instrumental in getting Republican Joel Vanlandingham onto the ballot. It seemed the idea was to dilute the GOP vote that would’ve gone to Republican Vanila Singh, as a means of ensuring Khanna would finish second behind Honda in June’s top-two primary. “No, I don’t want to talk to anybody, thank you,” Joshi replied when I buzzed her Newark apartment. Yeah, I’ll just bet you don’t.

    Leland Yee (photo by Karl Mondon)“Uncle” Leland Yee gets pinched: When an editor called me early one morning in late March to tell me state Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, had been arrested, I could never have anticipated the circumstances. Payoffs and gun trafficking and a Dragon Head named Shrimp Boy… oh, my! The affidavits accompanying the original criminal complaint and the superseding indictment filed in July made for 2014’s most compelling political reading, hands down. And yet Yee finished third in a field of eight candidates for Secretary of State in June’s top-two primary. Seriously, California?

    DRAPER map 022514Six Californias comes apart at the seams: Honestly, it took me a while to figure out whether renowned Silicon Valley venture capitalist Tim Draper was serious about his plan to split California into six states, or if he was doing some sort of Andy Kaufmanesque political performance art demonstrating the absurdities enabled by our ballot initiative system. As it turned out, Draper was for real, and so was the $5.2 million he sank into gathering signatures to put his measure on 2016’s ballot. But not enough of the signatures were real, so he blew it, depriving all of us of two years worth of joke-making.

    Posted on Wednesday, December 31st, 2014
    Under: Leland Yee, Mike Honda, Neel Kashkari | No Comments »

    Assemblyman decries city council replacement

    One of new Assemblyman Kansen Chu’s first acts will be to decry the process by which his San Jose City Council replacement is being chosen.

    Kansen ChuAs my colleague Mike Rosenberg reports, the council is slated to vote Friday afternoon, in its last meeting of the session, on an interim appointment before a special election next year to replace Chu, who left his District 4 council seat for the state Assembly earlier this month.

    Mayor-elect Sam Liccardo and outgoing Mayor Chuck Reed have named former District 4 councilwoman Margie Matthews – who endorsed Liccardo for mayor – as their pick. The proposed appointment is seen by the mayor-elect’s critics as a political maneuver that could tip the balance of power at City Hall in his favor. But Liccardo and his supporters say it’s merely a chance to ensure the District 4 residents of north San Jose are represented on key issues, as the winner of the upcoming election will not take office until as late as August.

    Chu issued a news release late Thursday saying he’ll hold a news conference Friday morning at San Jose City Hall along with Councilman Ash Kalra and representatives from various community groups to “express their outrage at the anti-democratic, unethical tactics” Liccardo is using to fill the seat.

    “The effort to hastily appoint a caretaker to represent the constituents of Council District 4 has been an example of government secrecy and deception,” the news release said. “With moving application deadlines, no community outreach, and an application and interview process with a pre-identified and selected candidate, the community has had little opportunity to voice its concerns about the potential candidates or the process being used.”

    Posted on Thursday, December 18th, 2014
    Under: Assembly, Kansen Chu | 8 Comments »

    Banker named to run California-China trade office

    A prominent Bay-Area based international banker has been tapped to run the California-China Office of Trade and Investment, established last year by Gov. Jerry Brown.

    Kenneth Petrilla“The hiring of Ken Petrilla, one of the most experienced international banking executives in California, shows how serious California is about its trade relationship with China,” Mike Rossi, Brown’s senior jobs advisor, said in a news release.

    Petrilla, 68, of Ross, has served for several years in San Francisco as head of the China desk at Wells Fargo, facilitating opportunities involving Chinese companies doing business in the United States.

    Brown created the California-China Office of Trade and Investment to serve as a hub for California companies interested in entering or expanding in China – the world’s second largest economy – and for Chinese companies seeking investment opportunities in California – the world’s eighth largest economy by GDP. California exported $24.2 billion to mainland China and Hong Kong in 2013, as the combined China region became the Golden State’s number one export market.

    “There is a Chinese expression that opportunities multiply as they are seized, and Ken Petrilla is just the person California needs to seize these opportunities,” said Jim Wunderman, president and CEO of the Bay Area Council, which manages the Trade Office for the state.

    Petrilla said it’s hard to imagine a more exciting job “than straddling two of the world’s most dynamic economies and lending my expertise to helping them both grow more intertwined.

    “The people of California and China have so much to gain as trade shifts into what many people have called the Century of the Pacific,” he added. “I hope in this role I can give back to California as much as this state has given to me.”

    Petrilla earlier held other posts within Wells Fargo, including responsibilities for all Wells Fargo business and activities within Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

    Posted on Thursday, December 18th, 2014
    Under: economy, Gov. Jerry Brown, Jerry Brown | 1 Comment »

    No leadership post or committee chair for Campos

    Notably missing from the lists of Assembly leadership and committee-chair assignments sent out in recent weeks was Assemblywoman Nora Campos.

    Campos wields the gavel in January 2013Campos, D-San Jose, who has just been sworn in for her third term, had served from August 2012 through this month as the Assembly’s speaker pro tempore, a leadership position in which she presided over floor sessions on the speaker’s behalf.

    But when new Speaker Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, rolled out her leadership team Nov. 25, she named Kevin Mullin, D-South San Francisco, as speaker pro tempore and freshman David Chiu, D-San Francisco, as assistant speaker pro tempore. And when Atkins named committee chairs Dec. 3, Campos’ name wasn’t on that list, either.

    Campos’ tenure hasn’t been without blemishes. San Jose Inside reported earlier this year that she has developed a reputation as being abusive toward her staff, which allegedly has made it hard for her to recruit and retain aides.

    Atkins’ office declined to comment Monday. But an Assembly staffer familiar with the situation said the decision had nothing to do with Campos’ office, which apparently has stabilized significantly this year.

    “It’s more about what the Speaker wanted, and I think there were some members that were not that happy with her (Campos) presiding – they didn’t think she was the best spokesperson for the Assembly,” the staffer said, adding that once the decision had been made to replace Campos with Mullin, “there really wasn’t anyplace else to put her.”

    Campos most likely will get some new, better committee assignments so that she can pursue some issues in which she has shown special interest, the staffer added.

    Campos spokesman Steve Harmon said she’s happy with her lot.

    “To her, it’s never been about being the face of the Assembly or a big-shot title. It has always been about her doing work. And, although it was an honor, she was far less concerned with titles and focused on the work and the legacy she leaves behind,” Harmon said Monday. “She enjoyed serving as Speaker pro Tem, but wanted to move forward to meet new challenges. She’s taken up an important role on the Assembly Rules committee, and is now using the freedom and flexibility of building relationships with her colleagues to champion issues that are important to her.”

    Posted on Monday, December 8th, 2014
    Under: Assembly, Nora Campos, Toni Atkins | 4 Comments »

    He’ll be back. Again. And again.

    Ladies and gentlemen, the former governor of the great state of California: Arnold Schwarzenegger.

    Looks as if our fair state’s landmarks are well represented; I see the Griffith Observatory and the Golden Gate Bridge.

    Posted on Thursday, December 4th, 2014
    Under: Arnold Schwarzenegger | No Comments »

    Brown names Bay Area lawyer as Cal/OSHA chief

    Gov. Jerry Brown has named a Bay Area attorney with a background in organized labor as the permanent chief at Cal/OSHA, the Department of Industrial Relations Division of Occupational Safety and Health.

    Juliann SumJuliann Sum, 58, of Berkeley, has served as acting chief since September 2013 at the agency tasked with watchdogging California workers’ health and safety through its research and standards, enforcement, and consultation programs.

    Sum was special advisor to the director at the California Department of Industrial Relations from 2012 to 2013 and held several positions at the University of California, Berkeley from 1994 to 2012, including project director at the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment and attorney and industrial hygienist at the Labor Occupational Health Program.

    She was an associate attorney at the Environmental Law Foundation from 1994 to 1995; a litigation associate at Carroll, Burdick and McDonough LLP from 1991 to 1994; and an industrial hygienist and business representative for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1245 from 1979 to 1986.

    Sum holds a law degree from the UC-Hastings College of the Law and a Master of Science degree in environmental health sciences from the Harvard University School of Public Health.

    This position requires Senate confirmation and the annual salary is $139,092. Sum is a Democrat.

    Posted on Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014
    Under: Gov. Jerry Brown, Jerry Brown | No Comments »

    Assembly committee chairmanships assigned

    Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, rolled out her committee-chair choices Wednesday for the upcoming 2015-16 session, with Bay Area members taking some key slots. From the Bay Area:

      Freshman Assemblyman Tony Thurmond (D-Richmond), will chair the Budget Subcommittee No. 1 on Health and Human Services.
      Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla, D-Concord, keeps her chair at the Business and Professions Committee.
      Assemblyman Rob Bonta, D-Alameda, keeps his chair at the Public Employees, Retirement and Social Security Committee while also picking up the Health Committee’s chairmanship.
      Freshman Assemblyman Kansen Chu, D-San Jose, will chair the Human Services Committee.
      Assemblyman Mark Stone, D-Scotts Valley, who formerly chaired the Human Services Committee, instead picks up the gavel at the Judiciary Committee.
      Assemblyman Bill Quirk, D-Hayward, will chair the Public Safety Committee.
      Assemblyman Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, will chair the Revenue and Taxation Committee.
      Assemblyman Rich Gordon, D-Menlo Park, will continue chairing the Rules Committee.
      Assemblyman Jim Frazier, D-Oakley, who used to chair the Accountability and Administrative Review Committee, will now instead chair the Transportation Committee.
      Assemblyman Marc Levine, D-San Rafael, will chair the Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee.

    Full committee rosters will be assigned before the year’s end.

    See a full list of committee chairs, after the jump…
    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted on Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014
    Under: Assembly, Bill Quirk, Jim Frazier, Kansen Chu, Phil Ting, Rich Gordon, Rob Bonta, Susan Bonilla, Toni Atkins, Tony Thurmond | 1 Comment »