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  • Budget watch

    Lawmakers voted unanimously Thursday to place a rainy-day reserve constitutional amendment on the Nov. 4 ballot, saying it would bring some control to a state budget marked by booms and busts since the dot-com windfall 15 years ago. Negotiated by Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders last week, the measure would transfer 1.5 percent of general fund revenue to a reserve, along with capital gains revenue that exceeds 8 percent of general fund taxes. One-half of the money would go to pay down state debt.

    – Bee Capitol Bureau

The Buzz: It’s home sweet home for Swearengin’s fundraising

Published: Thursday, May. 15, 2014 - 10:26 pm

Controller candidate

builds campaign fund

Ashley Swearengin’s Fresno connection continues.

The Republican mayor of California’s fifth-largest city picked up a solid $250,000 – and likely more – from a fundraiser for her state controller campaign held last week at the home of farmer Stuart Woolf.

“We wanted our fundraiser to be a $250,000 event,” said Tim Clark, Swearengin’s campaign consultant. “We ended up reaching that.”

From the start of her campaign, Swearengin has leaned heavily on Fresno for cash. Now, Clark said, she’s branching out. Swearengin has three Southern California fundraisers – in San Diego, Orange County and Los Angeles – in the week leading up to the June 3 primary election.

There are six candidates seeking to replace current Controller John Chiang, who is termed out of office, but only three are considered viable – Swearengin and two Democrats, former Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez and state Board of Equalization member Betty Yee.

Pérez is, by far, the leading fundraiser – though a Field Poll showed him behind both Swearengin and Yee.

– John Ellis, Fresno Bee

Worth repeating

“The building, as far as I’m concerned, is not a safe place.”

GEORGE RUNNER, Board of Equalization member, on his agency’s Sacramento headquarters, which has been plagued by pipe corrosion, mold and falling windows

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