Capitol Alert

Brown’s takeaways + Assembly GOP leadership shift + Don’t talk turnout

Gov. Jerry Brown on California being the seat of resistance to President Trump

Gov. Jerry Brown on California being the seat of resistance to President Trump.
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Gov. Jerry Brown on California being the seat of resistance to President Trump.


Gavin Newsom will be California’s next governor. On Wednesday, Gov. Jerry Brown offered some insights for his successor and had a wide-ranging conversation with reporters from his Sacramento office. A few highlights:

  • On Proposition 3 water bond measure failing: “We do have a lot of bonds. You have to make sure that you’re long-term obligations are manageable, so people probably thought about that. I personally think investing in the environment is very, very important.” He declined to say how he voted.
  • On Proposition 6 failing: “I think it was a good title and summary. ... People knew what they were voting for.”
  • On Delta tunnels proposal: “If they don’t (get built), the Delta will be absolutely destroyed. ... Newsom will bring different perspectives to it.” He says he’ll work to reach a settlement within the next 30 days and says the tunnels have to be built.
  • Possible Supreme Court pick: “I’ve never regretted an appointment I haven’t made.” Brown declines to comment on a potential nominee for a current opening.
  • On his plans after his term expires: He says he’ll remain very involved in addressing climate change issues. “I have a lot of exciting things to do, so I’m not going to be missing a lot.”


Brian Dahle is officially vacating his leadership post at the start of the next legislative session. Dahle will instead run for a seat in the California Senate to be vacated with Sen. Ted Gaines election to the state Board of Equalization. Dahle’s successor? Assemblywoman Marie Waldron of Escondido. She has a majority of support within her Assembly GOP caucus to lead the group. Waldron said in a news release Wednesday the caucus will meet today to “seriously consider why our party continues to decline.”

Democrats are all but guaranteed a supermajority in the Assembly, and they are in prime position to do retain a supermajority in the Senate.

As for Gaines’ Senate seat, Dahle, R-Bieber, will not have a free ride. Assemblyman Kevin KIley, R-Rocklin, also announced he is running.


Election Night may be over, but several races still remain uncalled. By Wednesday night, The Associated Press had yet to project the outcomes of 10 Assembly races, six State Senate seats, four California congressional races and three statewide races. When will we start knowing more? According to Sam Mahood, spokesman for Secretary of State Alex Padilla, the first estimated outstanding ballots report from counties will be released by Thursday evening.

Mahood also offered one major tip on Twitter: Don’t talk about turnout! “It is incredibly premature and irresponsible to make claims about California voter turnout the day(s) after the election.”


President Donald Trump (@realDonaldTrump) — “We are pleased to announce that Matthew G. Whitaker, Chief of Staff to Attorney General Jeff Sessions at the Department of Justice, will become our new Acting Attorney General of the United States. He will serve our Country well. We thank Attorney General Jeff Sessions for his service, and wish him well! A permanent replacement will be nominated at a later date.”


Join The Sacramento Bee on Friday for the “California Priorities Summit.” The event is bringing political leaders together to offer tips for Governor-elect Gavin Newsom. Influencers will also discuss what happened in the election, what we still don’t know, and what the future of the state might look like. The summit is from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in Sacramento’s Sofia Tsakopoulos Center for the Arts. It is free and open to the public. Make sure to RSVP here.

MUST-READ: Here’s what happened in California’s election while you were sleeping


The Bee’s Editorial Board thinks Sacramento’s windfall from the Measure U sales tax hike cannot be wasted.

Larry Harris, chief economist of the Securities and Exchange Commission between 2002 and 2004, offers solutions to California’s affordable housing crisis in light of Proposition 10’s defeat.

Dan Schnur, communications director for former Gov. Pete Wilson, and Steve Merksamer, chairman of the transition from Gov. Jerry Brown to Gov. George Deukmejian and chief of staff to Deukmejian, provide suggestions for Newsom’s transition team.

Ben Boychuk, managing editor of American Greatness, thinks Republican gubernatorial hopeful John Cox was just weird enough to be interesting, but, like other Republican candidates, ultimately failed.


Jack Ohman checks out Gavin Newsom’s new ride