Manny Crisostomo Bee file, 2012

Connie Conway, right, R-Tulare, easily won re-election as head of the Assembly Republican Caucus. After the vote, Assemblywoman Kristin Olsen was told to move to a smaller office.

The Buzz: Connie Conway stays on as Assembly Republican leader

Published: Friday, Feb. 22, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 3A
Last Modified: Friday, Feb. 22, 2013 - 12:55 am

Assemblywoman Connie Conway can breathe a little easier now.

After caucusing for about an hour Thursday, the 25-member Assembly Republican Caucus voted nearly unanimously not to replace the Tulare Republican who has held the top post for two years.

Scant hours later, Assemblywoman Kristin Olsen was ordered to move immediately into the much smaller office she occupied in 2011 and 2012.

The development was widely regarded as punishment for the Modesto Republican, whom some Assembly Republicans had touted as Conway's potential successor.

Only one Assembly member voted in the closed-door session not to retain Conway, members said.

"I don't know the exact circumstances of the reason for the move, but I do know that Assembly member Olsen was not the vote to vacate the chair," said Kim Nickols, Olsen's spokeswoman.

Office assignments are controlled by Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez, but historically the leader of the lower house has consulted with the chief of the minority party regarding the latter's offices.

Assembly administrator Jon Waldie conveyed the message to Olsen that she must move to the smaller digs. The change will be made today, he said.

– Jim Sanders


A political action committee aimed at electing Latino Republicans in California has hired Ruben Barrales, a former aide in President George W. Bush's White House and San Mateo County supervisor, as its president and CEO. GROW Elect spent less than $150,000 last year, mostly in local races. It was funded largely by Republican activist Charles Munger Jr.

– David Siders


"I'm honored to host the W(hite) H(ouse) Correspondents dinner. Get ready for 2 minutes of jokes, then 40 minutes on public employee pension reform."

CONAN O'BRIEN, late night television host, via Twitter this week. The dinner is April 27.

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