Politics & Government

The Buzz: Center-right battle shaping up among Republicans challenging Ami Bera

Two potential Republican challengers to Rep. Ami Bera, D-Elk Grove, exchanged strong words last week when Igor Birman urged rival Doug Ose, a former congressman, to publicly sever ties with the Main Street Partnership, a centrist group that has accepted money from organized labor.

“If Doug wants to have any credibility whatsoever with Republicans, he needs to denounce the Main Street Partnership and pledge not to take any support from them,” said Birman, a former aide to conservative GOP Rep. Tom McClintock of Elk Grove, in a prepared release.

An Ose spokesman shot back that Birman’s campaign “is solely dependent on Washington-based interest groups.” “Rather than attack fellow Republicans, Birman should be more concerned with creating jobs and repealing Obamacare,” Ose spokesman Marko Mlikotin said.

Birman, Ose and another Republican, Elizabeth Emken, seek to take on Bera in 2014. While all three have criticized the congressman for supporting the federal health care overhaul, among other issues, the Birman-Ose dynamic seems to mirror a national trend of establishment Republicans facing tea party opponents.

– Christopher Cadelago


The Joint Legislative Audit Committee will meet today to review an audit on how the Department of Parks and Recreation and Cal Fire collected millions of dollars in off-budget accounts. The panel also will review an audit faulting the Department of Justice program intended to prohibit people with certain mental illnesses from owning guns. In addition, the panel will open an inquiry into a federal ban on new California grocery stores from participating in the WIC food-assistance program. The hearing begins at 10 a.m. in Room 126.

– Bee Capitol Bureau


“Oh we have sunk so low.”

Sen. Noreen Evans, a Santa Rosa Democrat, reacting on Twitter to word that Florida Atlantic University will name its new football stadium after private-prison company GEO Group Inc., which donated $6 million to the Florida Atlantic University Foundation Inc.