Millions of dollars and one especially nasty campaign later, voters in the San Francisco East Bay have chosen Democrat Steve Glazer to be their next senator.
With all precincts reporting late Tuesday, Glazer defeated Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla, D-Concord, by more than 9 percentage points in the Orinda-to-Livermore 7th Senate District, according to unofficial results.
The ballot capped a long and costly fight to determine which Democrat would win the vacant seat, with a monsoon of independent spending flooding mailboxes and airwaves in a proxy battle over issues like taxes and union protections.
If nothing else, the contest has proven that same-party races can attract just as much money as the most bitter Republican-on-Democrat contests, with independent expenditures alone amounting to around $7.2 million through Monday. It also demonstrates that a key dynamic in a Democratic-dominated California are the fissures within the majority party – and how interest groups seek to exploit them.
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TRUSTEE IN CSU: Count Speaker Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, among those unimpressed by the higher education funding plan in Gov. Jerry Brown’s revised budget – she said it failed to change how the University of California functions and provides too little additional money to a California State University system that Atkins said “has taken a more responsible approach to student fees.” She’ll be visiting the more responsible party today when she sits in on the CSU’s trustees meeting in Long Beach.
WATEREACTION: Perhaps California’s most closely watched state panel these days, the State Water Resources Control Board will hold a public workshop on drought response in the ever-disputed San Francisco Bay/Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Actions on the agenda would affect how much water state plumbing projects must release for the environment and how severely water rights will be curtailed. Starting at 9 a.m. at the CalEPA Headquarters Building on I street.
TRANSIT-ION: With transportation funding on the agenda for Brown and the Legislature, public transit advocates will convene in Sacramento today to hear from lawmakers and urge them to remember public transportation. Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León, D-Los Angeles, who has advocated cap-and-trade dollars going to public transit, will kick things off with a morning speech to the California Transit Association’s spring conference.