Sacramento’s Blissful Calm Soon to Be Savagely Shattered

It’s quiet in the state Capitol.

Too quiet.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is in China, touring supermarkets and touting California goods.

Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado, acting governor in Schwarzenegger’s absence, is in San Bruno coordinating “state efforts” in the aftermath of the deadly September 9 natural gas explosion and fire.

The Legislature is in recess.

For it being the 72nd day of a new fiscal year and no budget signed – let alone in sight – the mood is remarkably muted. Downright placid.

But that all changes next week.

Thirteen fundraisers are scheduled between September 13 and September 15 in Sacramento.

Some are for statewide candidates. GOP Attorney General wannabe Steve Cooley has a $2,000-a-head lunch scheduled at Spataro’s.

The ever-whimsical current attorney general, Jerry Brown, the Democratic candidate for governor, is hosting a $10,000-a-throw September 14 cocktail reception and dinner at the “governor’s mansion.”

This “mansion” would be apartment #9 at 1400 N St., across from Capitol Park, where Brown lived, sleeping on a mattress on the floor, when he was previously governor – 30-some years ago.

Clever marketing. Will guests sit cross-legged on the carpet to dine or will there be vintage beanbag chairs?

Three out-of-town legislative incumbents, apparently feeling no shame over their performance this year, are willing to show their faces in Sacramento seeking campaign contributions.

Assemblyman Bill Monning, a Santa Cruz Democrat, wants $1,250 for dinner and the pleasure of his company at McCormick and Schmick’s seafood eatery.

Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi, a Hayward Democrat, and Assemblywoman Mariko Yamada, a Davis Democrat, have a $1,000-minimum lunch and cocktail reception, respectively, scheduled for September 15.

Most shocking are the fundraisers by people crazy enough to seek election to the Assembly.

Andy Pugno, the Republican candidate for the 5th Assembly District centered in Carmichael near Sacramento, wants $1,000 for September 14 lunch at Frank Fat’s.

Jeff Gorell, a former writer and press aide to Gov. Pete Wilson and now part owner of a public relations firm in Ventura, is the GOP candidate for the 56th Assembly seat. His website says he is an “accomplished attorney” and that the state needs “budgetary reform in Sacramento to prevent continued irresponsible spending.”

Lobbyists can enjoy drinks with him at Chops on September 14 for as little as $1,000.

Allan Mansoor, the mayor of Costa Mesa, is the GOP candidate for the 68th Assembly district.

He believes “taxpayers are paying for a full loaf of bread and getting half a loaf’ and, if elected, wants to lower taxes, balance budgets and put “parents and families first.”

Hear more over cocktails at the Cosmo Café September 15 for $1,000.

The fundraising solicitations are bipartisan.

San Jose City Councilwoman Nora Campos is a Democrat running for the 23rd Assembly district. She pledges to continue “putting people first” if sent to the Assembly. She’ll explain in fulsome detail at a September 15 $1,000-a-plate lunch at Ella’s.

Democratic 79th District Assembly candidate Ben Hueso and Roger Hernandez, Democratic candidate for the 57th Assembly District hold dueling receptions at the L Wine Lounge on September 15. Both seek $1,000 minimum from guests. But couldn’t one just pay once and then sneak into the other event?

Hernandez, the mayor of West Covina and a fan of semi-colons, says he will have three main goals as a state legislator:

“Rebuilding California’s world-class education for our kids; breaking the Sacramento budget gridlock by advocating for long-term fixes; and, protecting open space so residents of the San Gabriel valley can have the quality of life that we have enjoyed for over 100 years”

Hueso is slightly more ambitious. He will “create quality jobs,” then “reform health care,” followed by fixing the state budget deficit and topped by providing quality education and protecting the environment.

It’s somewhat troubling that candidates advocating crappy education systems, fouling the environment, running sky-high deficits and saying to hell with health care and new jobs are so poorly represented on next week’s fundraising tour.

Don’t they need money too?


Filed under: Venting


  1. I won\’t be at any of them. Thank God for aarp board prohibition on writing checks. Should have gone on the national board years ago. 6 years of no checks. Perhaps they will eek out some time for budget talks when they drop in. Have a swell time at Best Buddies

    Comment by barbara o\'connor — 9.10.2010 @ 1:15 pm

  2. Loved this piece….need to change your header to the Rolling Stones “Magical Mystery Tour” however…more in sync with “the bubble” we work in.Love those semi-colons!!!

    Comment by virginia strom-martin — 9.10.2010 @ 1:19 pm

  3. “Magical Mystery Tour” was the Beatles…”Satanic majesty’s request” was the Stones.

    Comment by virginia strom-martin — 9.14.2010 @ 4:17 pm

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