Good Wednesday Morning!
The California Legislature is in session. Today’s schedule is here.
Gov. Jerry Brown is scheduled to take his pitch for his compromise tax measure to the California State Association of Counties, whose members are in Sacramento today and Thursday for a legislative conference.
Brown is also expected to discuss his revised budget proposal at a luncheon scheduled at the Hyatt Regency across L Street from the Capitol, according to the program agenda for the event.
County supervisors will also be talking about realignment of health and human services as well as the end of redevelopment agencies.
Other listed speakers at the CSAC conference include Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, Senate Republican leader Bob Huff, and Brown adviser Diane Cummins, all of whom address a general session starting at 8:30 a.m.
On to today’s California headlines:
The Board of Equalization, meanwhile, is holding a public hearing on implementing last year’s Assembly Bill 155, the compromise legislation on collecting sales tax from Amazon.com and other Internet retail operations.
Alert readers will remember that Amazon agreed to drop its efforts to put a measure on the ballot in exchange for the state delaying collection of that tax until Sept. 15 of this year — that is, unless Congress comes up with a deal by July 31. (Capitol Alert is not holding its breath.) The meeting starts at 10 a.m. at 450 N St. Click here to read the agenda.
While the Democrats have been busy mining Hollywood for campaign contributions, the Republicans’ presumptive nominee — La Jolla’s own Mitt Romney — will drop into both Northern and Southern California on Wednesday and Thursday for fundraisers thrown by some of the state’s GOP high rollers.
Thursday’s event is set for the art-filled Beverly Crest mansion of billionaire investor and philanthropist Tony Pritzker, heir to the Hyatt Hotels fortune. The 7:30 p.m. gathering is a dinner for the candidate with tickets going for $50,000 per couple. As with previous Romney fundraisers in Los Angeles, there likely will be a few Hollywood names and a large showing by the investment and finance communities.
Wednesday’s fundraiser is notable for site alone: The spectacular Carolands Chateau in the old-money Bay Area enclave of Hillsborough. Romney’s hosts include the home’s owners — Charles Bartlett Johnson, the billionaire investor and heir to the Templeton Franklin fortune, and his wife, Dr. Anne Johnson — along with former Secretary of State George Schultz and ex-California Gov. Pete Wilson.
The event’s co-chairs are a who’s who of the Northern California finance and technology elite, including Seagate CEO Steve Luczo, HP honcho and former gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman (who made her bones at eBay), Cisco director Brian Halla, private-equity chief Dick Boyce, Goldman Sachs’ Brad DeFoor, Pacific Private Equity’s Grant Finlayson and Romney’s one-time Bain Capital partner, Vince Tobkin.
Former Los Angeles Mayor Richard J. Riordan’s political moderation and penchant for reaching across party lines hasn’t always sat well with many of his fellow California Republicans. They’ve long derided him as a “RINO” (Republican In Name Only) and soundly rejected him for a more conservative pol when he ran for the GOP nomination for governor in 2002.
Now the wealthy businessman and philanthropist is playing the maverick again. He’s launched a campaign aimed at coaxing Latinos into the Republican fold — and he’s doing it without the state party’s involvement.
On Memorial Day, Riordan launched a radio ad campaign under the auspices of Republicans Rebuilding California, a new political action committee he funded. The PAC will neither support specific candidates nor work with the party but is asking Latinos to consider “the Republican values: jobs, education and safety.”
Riordan has spent $43,000 on ads on bilingual and Spanish-language radio stations in areas where Republicans are in competitive races and there are large Spanish-speaking populations. They include Riverside, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties and the Central Valley communities of Modesto, Stockton and Bakersfield, according to a spokeswoman for the new organization.
The California state Senate on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved legislation that would legalize sports betting in California if federal law is also amended.
Senate Bill 1390, by Sens. Roderick Wright, D-Inglewood, and Joel Anderson, R-Alpine, would make such betting legal at currently licensed gambling establishments, horse racing tracks or satellite wagering facility. The bill would not make betting legal anywhere that does not already have a license.
Federal law now prohibits these wagers, but Wright said he believes it “will be amended.”
“When this law is changed, and we believe it will be, you want California to be in the position to move forward with this,” he said.
Enjoy your morning!