PolitiCal

Northern California lawmakers razz L.A. legislators over Dodgers shutout sweep

Taunting over the Giants' three-game sweep, all shutouts, of the Dodgers reaches the California Assembly floor

California Assemblyman Bill Dodd, a Democrat from Napa, brought an unusual accessory to Friday's floor session: a kitchen broom, a not-so-subtle nod to the three-shutout series sweep inflicted on the Dodgers by the San Francisco Giants this week.

The Giants-Dodgers acrimony has been one of California's most enduring sports rivalries -- one that often creeps into life at the Capitol, from Twitter banter between members to office decor. 

With the Giants winning three World Series championships since 2010, the Northern California partisans have recently held the upper hand in the rivalry. When the Giants were honored for their latest World Series win in January, Bay Area lawmakers roped in Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez (D-Los Angeles) to pose with them in a photo with the championship trophies. He wore a Dodgers hat.

Gomez, whose district includes Dodger Stadium, has emerged as the most ardent defender of Dodger Blue in the Capitol.

"There's an obvious Giants bias in Sacramento," Gomez said. "We have to stand strong."

On Friday, that meant starting a parliamentary squabble over Dodd's prop, which Gomez, feigning grevious insult, said was a distraction.

Dodd, a first-year lawmaker whose family has held Giants season tickets since the 1970s, said he got the necessary permission to bring the broom -- which he swiped from a Capitol kitchen closet -- but backed away from a roll-call vote on whether it should be allowed. 

"He could do the math about where most of the members come from," Gomez said, alluding to the sizable contingent of Los Angeles lawmakers.

Dodd said the ribbing was all in good fun.

"We’re all fighting for bills and it’s getting to be a more stressful time up here," he said. Jousting over sports, he added, helps "to add some levity and have fun with your colleagues" and Capitol staff.

Gomez, meanwhile, saw a silver lining in the Dodgers' recent woes.

"Last year, we swept the Giants pretty much all of last season and then they ended up winning the World Series," he said. "Hopefully this is sign of great things to come for the Dodgers in the postseason."

Follow @melmason for more on California government and politics.

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