Check out the new California section
News and analysis on California politics
Pizza, barbecue on the line in World Series wager between governors

Major League Baseball's World Series is underway and the bets are in – between California Gov. Jerry Brown and Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon.

If the Kansas City Royals beat the San Francisco Giants in the series, Brown promised to buy Nixon dinner at Tommaso’s -- home of San Francisco’s oldest wood-fired pizza oven.  

If the Giants take the series, Nixon will buy Brown dinner at Kansas City’s Gates Bar B.Q.

The wager was consummated, of course, on Twitter.

Brown added a few hashtags to his tweet -- #OrangeOctober #GoGiants -- that may not be too well received in Los Angeles Dodger territory.

Read more
Gov. Brown talks Ebola readiness with officials, hospitals, nurses

Even with no confirmed cases of Ebola in California, the state's readiness for the disease was on Gov. Jerry Brown's agenda Tuesday, with the governor holding a series of meetings with public health officials and medical providers. 

Among the agencies represented at Tuesday morning's meeting were the state's Health and Human Services Agency, the Department of Public Health and the Division of Occupational Safety and Health, which deals with workplace safety. Brown also met with hospital executives and nurses; he's set to have a discussion Tuesday afternoon with emergency responders and local health directors.

Most of the state's preparedness efforts have centered on communication between health departments, medical providers and state agencies. According to the governor's office, the Department of Public Health has been providing weekly updates to local officials, emergency responders and healthcare providers.

The state's workplace safety agency also released interim guidance on Ebola...

Read more
Big donors dominated California congressional primaries, report says

A small group of deep-pocketed contributors to California's congressional primary campaigns this election season outpaced a larger group of modest donors, an analysis by a watchdog group has found.

The California Public Interest Research Group, or CALPIRG, analyzed contributions to congressional campaigns across the nation and found that, in California, there were 864 donors who gave $1,000 or more to candidates running in the June 3 primaries.

But there were at least 34,000 contributors who gave less than $200 apiece, the analysis found; the smaller donors accounted for just 33% of the $43.9 million kicked in for all California congressional primary campaigns.

The smaller group of big donors accounted for 67% of all contributions, CALPIRG found.

Among 49 states, California ranked 22nd in terms of the disparity between the amounts candidates received from big donors and those from more modest contributors. Texas ranked first, with 80% of contributions there coming from big donors....

Read more
Beyond the airwaves, Prop. 46 backers and opponents use grassroots tactics

The battle over Proposition 46, the medical malpractice and drug testing initiative, has led to a deluge of TV and radio ads, mostly from the opposition.

But although the fight on the airwaves may be the most visible element of the campaign, both sides are also using grassroots tactics to get their message out.

The California Medical Assn. has supplied physicians with reading material for patients: brochures in English and Spanish, as well as small rectangular handouts dubbed “lab coat cards,” which fit in a doctor's front pocket. The cards outline the ‘no’ side's arguments and advertise its campaign's website, Facebook account and Twitter page.

Dr. Ruth Haskins, an obstetrician and gynecologist in Folsom, said she is against the initiative and tells her patients the measure could affect her ability to practice.

“Common sense tells me that if I currently have to carry up to $250,000 [in malpractice insurance] and if I’m going to have to cover up to $1.1 million, I’m certainly going to...

Read more
Brown releases new ads touting water bond, rainy-day fund

With the election 15 days away, Gov. Jerry Brown unveiled additional television and radio ads Monday in support of the $7.5-billion water bond measure and state rainy-day fund proposal that are the centerpieces of his re-election bid.

Brown appears in one of the television ads, but once again does not mention his bid for an unprecedented fourth term. Rather, he reiterates the themes he outlined in other television spots unveiled earlier this month.

“It’s been over 50 years since we built the state water project that has been the backbone of California. To stay strong, we need a reliable water supply and a stable budget,” Brown says in the 30-second spot that features imagery of bodies of water and downtown Los Angeles’ skyline. “That’s why there’s almost unanimous support for Propositions 1 and 2. Prop. 1 saves water so we’re prepared for drought. Prop. 2 saves money in a rainy-day fund so we’re prepared for economic downturns.”

That spot is paid for by Brown’s $23-million re-election...

Read more
Gov. Jerry Brown touts decades of experience on water policy

Gov. Jerry Brown pitched his decades-long political career as an asset in tackling California's vexing water problems in a speech at Stanford University on Monday, portraying this year's major water legislation as a continuation of his first gubernatorial term nearly 40 years ago.

Amid the state's crippling drought, water was a top policy priority this year, including the crafting of a $7.5 billion water bond now on the ballot as Proposition 1. Brown and lawmakers also pushed through the first statewide groundwater regulation law in California's history, an accomplishment Brown called "quite heroic."

Oct. 20, 11:27 a.m.: An earlier version of the photo caption accompanying this post described Sen. Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) as the Senate president pro tem. Steinberg used to hold that position. The current president pro tem is Sen. Kevin de Leon (D-Los Angeles).

Noting he began work on groundwater back in 1978, Brown said "this is not...

Read more