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  • Rich Pedroncelli / The Associated Press

    Assemblyman Kevin Mullin, right, said Senate Republicans scuttled his attempt to rewrite the rules of state election recounts before last week’s legislative deadline.

  • Hector Amezcua /

    Assemblywoman Mariko Yamada, D-Davis, during a session in the Assembly chambers in Sacramento, Calif. on Monday, March 11, 2013.

The Buzz: California automatic recount bill stalls in Senate

Published: Tuesday, Sep. 2, 2014 - 12:00 am

Weeks after the tight finish in the June controller’s race highlighted major weaknesses in California’s recount law, legislation to create taxpayer-funded automatic recounts in close contests bogged down in partisan fighting and died.

Assemblyman Kevin Mullin, D-South San Francisco, blamed the failure of Assembly Bill 2194 on Republican senators who, he said, have blocked efforts to waive Senate rules that prohibit committee hearings after Aug. 18.

Senate GOP spokesman Peter DeMarco said Mullin “has only himself to blame” for missing the Aug. 18 deadline.

“Last I checked, the primary was in June,” DeMarco said. “This is last-minute. It’s not the way public policy should be enacted.”

Under California’s existing recount rules, a voter can seek a recount in any area as long as they cover the expense, and then another voter can do the same, and so on. The law attracted nationwide criticism after former Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez requested hand recounts in 15 counties following his narrow third-place finish – 481 votes out of more than 4 million cast. Pérez abandoned the recount July 18 after hand recounts in two counties.

Jim Miller


With longtime Senate Secretary Greg Schmidt planning to retire in October, senators on Friday unanimously elected veteran Capitol staff member Danny Alvarez to the top administrative position in the upper house. Alvarez has worked for the Senate since 2003, as the staff director to the Senate budget and fiscal review committee, and more recently as the staff director to the Senate education committee. Alvarez’s salary was not immediately released, but Schmidt was being paid $205,584 a year.

Laurel Rosenhall


“I don’t want to wish you too well on that.”

Assemblywoman Mariko Yamada, D-Davis, wishing GOP Assemblyman Dan Logue “well in your future endeavors” before quickly noting she supports Rep. John Garamendi in their race.

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