Thank You, DiFi

If you don’t already know that U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein has officially announced she will not seek re-election, it means that Calpeek is your main source for political and government information and that makes us just tickled pink.  Now, back to DiFi…  Senator Feinstein, whose current term in office does not end until December 2024, has a legacy that is unmatched, breaking glass ceilings as she rose in the ranks of government.  One of California’s most memorable campaign commercials was Feinstein’s “The Grabber,” which ran during her unsuccessful 1990 campaign for Governor and arguably helped her win the 1992 U.S. Senate race.  Thank you for all the hard work, Senator.  We hope your next two years in D.C. are also productive.


Awkward Conversations Around a Sacramento Dinner Table

It could be very awkward if an Assemblymember has to look across the dinner table and say “Sorry honey, you can’t have any more money”.  Also awkward would be the State Attorney General saying, “but, honey, I really need that money.”  Hopefully, clear heads in Sacramento will quickly solve the dilemma that has people throughout the Capitol Building snickering.  Assemblywoman Mia Bonta has been appointed to Chair the Assembly Budget Subcommittee that oversees funding for the Department of Justice which is run by her husband, Attorney General Rob Bonta.  This situation raises concerns about ethics and a conflict of interest.  Instead of quickly appointing Bonta to a different subcommittee, Bonta and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon dug in their heels.  According to Ashley Zavala, Correspondent with KCRA News, Assemblymember Bonta has stated.  “The suggestion of a conflict of interest shows a lack of understanding about the legislative process.”  Those watching Sacramento politicians misreading the situation have started to call them out. Yesterday’s L.A. Times’ editorial says Rendon “…chose to gaslight those who raised concerns…”  The Fresno Bee’s editorial says “She must immediately step down from the subcommittee.”


60% Approval Rating Means No Schedule?

Those who routinely read news or newsletters about government and politics might have noticed that there is rarely any public information about Governor Gavin Newsom’s work schedule. We don’t really know what the big boss is up to.  Politico’s daily newsletter “California Playbook” provides information about what California’s governor is doing each day.  Now that Newsom is Governor, it usually says “Nothing official announced”.  The Sacramento Bee wrote about how other prominent elected officials provide, at least, some information about their daily schedules.  It’s unclear why the Governor doesn’t release his schedule.  Democratic Consultant Steve Maviglio suggested it’s hard to question if his strategy is working when he has a 60% approval rating.  Politics 101 teaches that voters tend to be happier with less information, not more.  


Independent Expenditures Rule California

Here’s a puzzler: what campaign is bigger than a race for U.S. Senate from California and is not a U.S. Presidential campaign?  The answer is an independent expenditure (IE) campaign for the U.S. Senate.  IEs are run separately from a candidate’s campaign and can be in support or opposition of a candidate.  They are not subject to campaign donation limits, so they often have larger budgets than a candidate’s campaign.  In the race to replace U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, two IEs have already been set up; one in support of Congresswoman Barbara Lee and one in support of Congressman Adam Schiff, according to Jeremy White with Politico.  Let the multi-million dollar advertising blitz begin.


Will We Need a New Captain of the Capital City? 

Commentary by Watering Hole – Will Darell Steinberg remain as Sacramento’s mayor? For a glorious seven years, Darrell Steinberg has been at the helm of Sacramento. Under his great leadership, we have seen the capital city’s housing prices and homeless population skyrocket, making Sacramento feel as though it is a true metropolitan city. Nonetheless, all good things must come to an end, and it seems Darell may be ready to pass the torch. In recent months, an option for him to jump ship before his term ends has opened up. According to KCRA, Governor Gavin Newsom is considering Steinberg for a judgeship at the 3rd District Court of Appeals. If he is nominated and accepts the position, Sacramento would need to hold a special election to find a new mayor. 

Who would be willing to take on this challenge of running the state’s 6th largest city? It’s not all champagne and caviar at either of the one-star Michelin restaurants in Sacramento.  It’s a hard job being mayor and only for the brave. Nonetheless, it’s rumored that two gallant former city council members may be interested in carrying the torch. Former city councilmember Steve Hansen is rumored to be in the mix. In 2020, he lost his city council seat to Katie Valenzuela but has been fundraising ever since then…maybe to run for mayor? Former council member Jeff Harris has recently filed paperwork to raise funds, according to the Sacramento Bee. It was only two months ago that Harris lost his city council seat to redistricting. If we have a special election, who in addition to Hansen and Harris might throw their hats in the ring? 

In the end, it is all up to Darrell. Is being a judge appealing enough for him to step down? If so, who will step up? Calpeek will continue to keep you apprised of what unfolds in our capital city.    


Krekorian Said to Be Eyeing Schiff Seat

I hope no one is using a sharpie pen when it comes to tracking elected officials, because more changes could be coming to the political landscape.  According to the Los Angeles Times, L.A. City Council President Paul Krekorian may be eyeing Adam Schiff’s Congressional seat as Schiff works to fill the vacant seat of U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein.  Krekorian served in the Assembly before coming to the City Council.  He stepped forward to serve as Council President and bring some civility to council chambers while activists continue to call on L.A. City Councilmember Kevin de Leon to step down.  


The California Teachers Association is hiring for the position of Communications Manager.  The Communication Manager serves as a member of the senior management team of the Training, Information and Development Division (TIDD), provides strategic counsel to the Associate Executive Director and plays an integral role in the development and administration of the programs and initiatives of the Division. The Communications Manager is in charge of developing and implementing a comprehensive internal and external communications strategy for the Association, including message development, media relations, social media and multimedia advocacy, association publications, member engagement, and training. Please visit our job posting page to view the complete job description and to apply.

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