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  • Brian Baer / Sacramento Bee Staff Photo

    Jon Waldie, shown in the Capitol Dome in 2008, led the Assembly Rules Committee for years. He has now retired, and legislators honored him Monday with a resolution.

  • Gavin Newsom

The Buzz: Assembly bids farewell to longtime insider

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014 - 12:00 am

Thirty-four years after he entered the State Capitol with a gig in the mailroom, longtime Assembly Rules Committee guru Jon Waldie received a hero’s sendoff on Monday.

Waldie announced his retirement earlier this year. He has since handed off his position guiding the indispensable Rules Committee, which keeps the house’s machinery humming and deals with countless internal debates and a changing cast of elected bosses.

Members showered Waldie with accolades before presenting him with a special resolution. Former Speaker John A. Pérez called him “the example of fair play for everyone.” Others praised his equanimity and consistency.

“I came to know him as the heart of the Assembly, but also as a very pragmatic and great thinker,” said Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley.

In his nearly 20 years at Rules, lawmakers said, Waldie gleaned intimate knowledge of the Assembly’s inner workings. Pérez presented Waldie a California map marked with several pairs of footprints.

“I finally figured out why he’s had this role for so many years,” Pérez said. “He literally knew where all the bodies were buried.”

Jeremy B. White


California lawmakers on Monday joined a national chorus urging a name change for the Washington Redskins football team. Native Americans and others have decried the name as an offensive racial slur. Assembly members took up the campaign, passing by a 49-5 vote a resolution urging the National Football League “to adhere to the wishes of the millions of people who have joined Indian Country in urging that they change the team mascot.” California has the nation’s largest Native American population.

Jeremy B. White


“The noise was a bit of a problem at first ... I just wear headphones.”

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, to the San Francisco Chronicle, describing his work space at an open, communal office designed for high-tech entrepreneurs.

Read more articles by Jeremy B. White

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