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  • Brian Baer / The Sacramento Bee

    Bonnie Garcia, shown here at the Republican National Convention in 2008, is running for the state Senate seat vacated by the man who hired her for his staff, Bill Emmerson.

  • Hector Amezcua / hamezcua@sacbee.com

    Senator Kevin de Len, D-Los Angeles speaks with Senator Noreen Evans, D-Santa Rosa after a joint session in the Assembly chambers in Sacramento on Monday, March 11, 2013.

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  • At the Capitol

    The Joint Legislative Audit Committee will consider a request to audit the finances of California’s judicial branch when it meets today at 1:30 p.m. in Room 126 of the Capitol. The request from Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer, D-Los Angeles, to look into spending and staffing of the courts’ central administrative office would be the fourth audit of the judiciary in three years. It has been sought by a group of judges that maintains the administrative budget has swelled at the expense of courtroom operations.

    – Alexei Koseff

The Buzz: Staff post could provide an edge in Senate race

Published: Tuesday, Mar. 4, 2014 - 12:00 am

Former Assemblywoman Bonnie Garcia, who is running for the state Senate, recently got a jump on getting a Senate paycheck.

With no public announcement, Garcia, R-Cathedral City, joined the staff of then-state Sen. Bill Emmerson in October. Garcia is the field representative in the Palm Desert office of the 23rd Senate District, which Emmerson represented until he resigned Dec. 1.

Garcia represented much of the Coachella Valley in the Assembly from 2002 through 2008, and before that was a field representative for former state Sen. Jim Battin. That background, she said, is why Emmerson picked her for the $1,006-a-month part-time job, which Garcia called “an honor and a privilege.”

She dismissed any suggestion that the job helps her bid for the new 28th Senate District, which includes Palm Desert, the rest of the Coachella Valley and other parts of Riverside County. Emmerson has endorsed Garcia, as have most state lawmakers.

“I seriously doubt that such a minimal amount of time gives anyone an advantage,” Garcia said.

Garcia is one of three well-funded Republicans running for the GOP-leaning 28th.

– Jim Miller


AT THE CAPITOL

The Joint Legislative Audit Committee will consider a request to audit the finances of California’s judicial branch when it meets today at 1:30 p.m. in Room 126 of the Capitol. The request from Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer, D-Los Angeles, to look into spending and staffing of the courts’ central administrative office would be the fourth audit of the judiciary in three years. It has been sought by a group of judges that maintains the administrative budget has swelled at the expense of courtroom operations.

– Alexei Koseff


WORTH REPEATING

“It’s very close to my home and my family.”

Sen. Noreen Evans, Santa Rosa Democrat, tearfully presenting a resolution declaring this week as Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Week. She said four family members have been afflicted with the disease.



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