Capitol Alert

AM Alert: Hillary Clinton, Scott Walker top California’s early presidential picks

Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks at the Massachusetts Conference for Women in Boston on Dec. 4, 2014.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks at the Massachusetts Conference for Women in Boston on Dec. 4, 2014. The Associated Press

While Democratic voters in California have coalesced around the idea of a Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, Republicans are more divided between a wide-open field of potential contenders, according to a new Field Poll.

Clinton has yet to declare her intentions to run for president, but 59 percent of likely Democratic primary voters in the state are inclined to support her in 2016. Her closest potential competitors trail distantly: Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Vice President Joe Biden are the choice of 17 percent and 9 percent of likely voters, respectively.

On the Republican side, intense jockeying between a crowded pack of hopefuls has divided Californians’ allegiances. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker currently leads with 18 percent of likely Republican primary voters – still fewer than the 19 percent who are undecided. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky follow with 16 percent and 10 percent, respectively. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who has positioned himself as a frontrunner on the national stage, is the choice of only 3 percent of likely Republican voters in the state.

David Siders has more in his story from today’s paper, including links to the statistical tabulations prepared exclusively for Capitol Alert, and the publicly released results of the poll.

VIDEO: Rep. Janice Hahn's plan to run for the powerful Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has set off a political game of musical chairs, Dan Walters says.

NO DN-WAY: The passage of Proposition 47 in November, which reduced penalties for some nonviolent crimes and reclassified a number of felonies as misdemeanors, had the unintended consequence of halting analysis on hundreds of thousands of DNA samples taken by law enforcement in recent months. State law requires that only suspects arrested for felonies have their DNA collected, so about 250,000 samples related to those crimes reclassified as misdemeanors can no longer be analyzed and many more may be expunged from the state database. Assemblyman Jim Cooper, D-Elk Grove, will join with Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert and San Bernardino County District Attorney Mike Ramos to introduce legislation closing that loophole, 11 a.m. in Room 126 of the Capitol.

FPP-SEE YOU LATER: The Fair Political Practices Commission slapped lobbyist Kevin Sloat with a record $133,500 fine last year for hosting numerous political fundraisers that exceeded gift limits placed on lobbyists and counted as prohibited campaign contributions. The decision led to legislation banning fundraisers at lobbyists’ homes, which was among the few ethics reforms bills to pass in a year full of scandal at the Capitol. But lobbyists have since raised questions over whether they can continue to host in-home fundraisers as long as they are reimbursed for the cost of the event, leading the FPPC to develop regulations strengthening the intent of the law. It will consider those changes during its 10 a.m. meeting at the commission headquarters on J Street.

H 2 ON: Capitol Weekly and the UC Center Sacramento co-host a daylong conference on California water policy, including the impact of the water bond passed by voters in November and new groundwater regulations being implemented by the state, starting at 9 a.m. at the Sacramento Masonic Temple on J Street. State Sen. Lois Wolk, D-Davis, will deliver the keynote speech at noon, and Assemblyman Henry Perea, D-Fresno, is also scheduled to participate.

CELEBRATIONS: Happy birthday to state Sen. Connie Leyva, D-Chino, who turns 48 today.

Call The Bee’s Alexei Koseff, (916) 321-5236. Follow him on Twitter @akoseff.