Board of Equalization

An East Bay Express headline asks, “Did 500 Stoners Swing Betty Yee’s Race for Controller?” Some say Yee has the marijuana industry and its supporters to thank for her win.

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  • Campaign watch

    Gov. Jerry Brown continues to expand his financial advantage over Republican Neel Kashkari in his bid for re-election, reporting Thursday that he had $22.4 million on hand as of June 30. The Democratic governor raised $5.7 million in the first half of the year and spent less than $270,000 in the primary election. He is polling far ahead of Kashkari early in their general election contest. Kashkari relied on $2 million of his own money in the primary. He has not yet filed his semi-annual finance statement, which is due July 31.

    – David Siders

The Buzz: Betty Yee’s margin fueled by green bud brigade?

Published: Thursday, Jul. 24, 2014 - 8:07 pm

Did green bud brigade push Betty Yee to victory?

Of the various postmortems on Board of Equalization member Betty Yee’s hair-thin second-place finish in the California state controller’s race, an East Bay Express headline was particularly eye-catching:

“Did 500 Stoners Swing Betty Yee’s Race for Controller?” asked the weekly, positing one theory for the 481votes that allowed Yee to advance to the Nov. 4 election.

The item went on to quote California National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Law director Dale Gieringer writing that Yee “courted us aggressively with her forthright support for legally taxed and regulated cannabis, and we all plugged her in our election guides.”

At an event held by the California Cannabis Industry Association last year, Yee was a marquee speaker.

Standing in a room replete with green-clad advocates and tables offering treats like “medicinal chocolate,” Yee pointed to beneficiaries of the herbal remedy such as retirees, veterans and the terminally ill, and praised the potential of what some consider California’s largest cash crop.

“We know,” Yee told her audience, “that this industry is going to continue to grow and thrive.”

– Jeremy B. White

Worth repeating

“When 50 percent of the kids ... are of Latin descent, it’s important that they see, in all ... positions of power, people who they identify with.”

GOV. JERRY BROWN, on nominating Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar to the California Supreme Court

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