Anastasia Danias / Associated Press

An NFL official holds samples of Super Bowl tickets, which start at $850 each. State Sen. Kevin de León is getting one for free as part of a Democratic fundraiser.

The Buzz: CA Senate Democrat heads to Super Bowl -- on party's dime

Published: Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 3A

State Sen. Kevin de León is off to New Orleans to watch the San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens in the Super Bowl – on the California Democratic Party's dime.

The Los Angeles Democrat is getting a free ticket to Sunday's game as part of a fundraiser to boost his party's bank account. The pass isn't subject to the $420 limit on gifts to lawmakers because the rules provide an exemption for admission to political and nonprofit fundraisers. Face value Super Bowl tickets start at $850.

Jason Kinney, a spokesman for the Senate Democrats' political efforts, said de León, who serves as chair of the Democratic Caucus and the powerful Appropriations Committee, was asked to represent the caucus at the event when Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, canceled.

Kinney declined to provide additional information about attendees or the itinerary, but said the party paid for overhead and will report everything in its campaign filings.

"Personally, I think it demonstrates impressive generosity of spirit that Los Angeles's own Kevin de León is willing to show up and pretend to root for a San Francisco team for three whole hours," Kinney said in a prepared statement.

– Torey Van Oot

BUDGET WATCH

The Obama administration will protect Medicaid funding and instead look for savings in Medicare, a senior White House adviser told health care advocates Thursday, according to The Hill. Gov. Jerry Brown has recently said that California could face $4 billion in higher annual costs from Medi-Cal if federal leaders target Medicaid in deficit negotiations.

– Kevin Yamamura

WORTH REPEATING

"I see your book, and I raise you a case of Natty Boh."

MARYLAND GOV. MARTIN O'MALLEY, via Twitter, closing his Super Bowl wager with Gov. Jerry Brown, who is betting a copy of the 1949 book "California: The Great Exception," by Carey McWilliams. Natty Boh, by the way, is Baltimore brewed National Bohemian beer.

© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.



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