Both houses picked a timeline for new leadership Thursday, with the Senate annointing Darrell Steinberg as the heir to Don Perata
The Bee's Aurelio Rojas reports, "Sen. Darrell Steinberg
of Sacramento was designated Thursday by his fellow Democrats to be the next president pro tem of the California Senate, beating out Sen. Alex Padilla
, who conceded after the two had lunch."
Let's hope Steinberg picked up the check, at least...
"Under a transition process established by Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata
, a formal vote will not be taken until Aug. 21 and Perata will continue as the Senate's leader until November."
By then, hopefully we have a budget.
"Padilla said Steinberg did not make him any power-sharing offers on committee appointment or other issues. 'But one thing that became clear to me as I was talking to my colleagues is that Darrell Steinberg is not only liked as a nice guy, but tremendously respected, including by me,' Padilla said.
"Padilla, who represents a working-class district in the San Fernando Valley, said many of his district's needs 'that I'm here fighting for are issues that Darrell Steinberg has been championing for years.'
"Steinberg called Padilla 'a rising star,' adding that he looks forward to working with him 'in full partnership.'"
Meanwhile, Fabian Nunez set March 11 as the date the vote would be taken for a new speaker
. But like Perata, Nunez hopes to stay on through the end of this year.
Jim Sanders reports "Assemblyman Anthony Portantino
, D-La Cañada Flintridge, became the first candidate to issue a press release formally declaring his candidacy.
"Assemblywoman Karen Bass
, a Los Angeles Democrat widely regarded as the front-runner, confirmed through a staffer that she, too, is running.
"Others bidding to replace Núñez are Assembly Democrats Alberto Torrico of Newark, Fiona Ma of San Francisco, and Charles Calderon of Whittier
All in all, one heck of a first day on the job for Warren Furutani
"Los Angeles County elections officials yesterday agreed to address the 'double bubble' controversy over ballots given to independent voters
in this week's presidential primary," reports the AP.
"Potentially at stake is the county's final delegate allocation for Democratic presidential contenders Hillary Rodham Clinton
and Barack Obama
, who have 191 and 150 delegates, respectively, in California.
"Independent voters were allowed to vote in the Democratic Party or American Independent Party primaries.
"In Los Angeles County, independents who requested one of those ballots had to fill in an extra bubble stating which party's primary they were voting in. They then made their selection for president.
"If they failed to do both, the county's scanning machines would not record their selection for president. Many voters later complained they were not told they had to fill in the extra bubble."
Time to put Elizabeth Hill
on CCPOA's official enemies list. The LAT's Michael Rothfeld reports, "Lawmakers should reject Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's proposed 5% raise for California's politically powerful prison guards' union
, the state's nonpartisan fiscal watchdog said Thursday.
"Correctional officers have received more than adequate pay increases in recent years that have far surpassed those of other state workers, Legislative Analyst Elizabeth G. Hill said."
We can hear the commercials now..."While our officers are walking the toughest beat in the state, the Budget Nun sacrifices puppies."
Speaking of the political airwaves, while Charles Schultz may be dead, Charlie Brown is alive and well and starring in a painfully long radio ad
by the Education Coalition.
"Despite a stinging defeat before the California Coastal Commission, Orange County toll road officials licked their wounds Thursday and began weighing options for building their six-lane highway through one of the state's most popular parks
," write Dan Weikel and David Reyes in the Times.
"Following 12 hours of public testimony and debate Wednesday, commissioners decided 8 to 2 that building the Foothill South tollway through San Onofre State Beach would violate environmental laws that regulate development along 1,100 miles of California coastline.
"'The news was disappointing,' said Lance MacLean
, a board chairman for the Transportation Corridor Agencies, which has spent years and tens of millions of dollars planning the Foothill South.
"The toll road agency is expected to appeal the commission's decision to the federal government today, though it may ultimately decide to change the route of the highway instead."
"Republican Assemblyman Guy Houston
of San Ramon announced plans today to punish Berkeley's stance against Marine recruiting by withholding $3.3 million in state road funds
, atop a $2.3 million federal allocation that's now been challenged," reports Steve Geissinger in the Merc News.
"Meanwhile, Move America Forward - which calls itself the nation's largest grassroots pro-troop organization - scheduled an all-day demonstration against the Berkeley City Council on Tuesday, until the council meeting begins at 7 p.m.
"The council voted last week to tell the Marines that a recruiting office is not welcome in their town.
"Move America Forward today asked Berkeley to rescind its action and issue a formal apology to all military personnel. Some council members said Wednesday that they are considering actions to defuse the controversy.
"Houston, the Bay Area's lone GOP state lawmaker, said he will introduce legislation to strip Berkeley of $3.3 million in voter-approved transportation funds until Berkeley leaders rescind their 'war on the U.S. Marine Corps.'"
From our Too Little, Too Late Files
, "The San Francisco Zoo announced today that it has completed the first phase of improvements to its four big-cat grottos, which have been closed since a lethal Christmas Day attack in which a Siberian tiger named Tatiana killed one patron and mauled his two friends before being shot dead by police.
"The concrete moat walls, which were 12 1/2 feet high, have been extended to 16.4 feet, meeting the minimum guidelines of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums."
Perhaps we can start a collection to build a moat around Liz Hill's office.