Capitol Alert

AM Alert: Gavin Newsom pouring ‘prestigious’ Napa wines

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom introduces U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., at the California Democrats State Convention in Anaheim, Calif.
Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom introduces U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., at the California Democrats State Convention in Anaheim, Calif. AP

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, the self-described bridesmaid of California politics, is wasting no time raising money for his 2018 gubernatorial bid.

Newsom, a believer in baseball as a unifying force, recently held a fundraiser/contest where the winners joined he and his wife, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, at AT&T Park in San Francisco for a game between the hometown Giants and rival Los Angeles Dodgers.

On Friday, he’ll host a wine tour to Napa, with tickets running $5,000 apiece, $10,000 for sponsors. An advisory for the event says attendees are invited to meet the winemakers, enjoy behind-the-scenes winery tours and indulge in exclusive samples of Newsom’s three “prestigious” Plumpjack wineries.

Meanwhile, Rep. John Garamendi, D-Walnut Grove, is having a lunch reception at the Sutter Club in Sacramento. He still has not ruled out a run for U.S. Senate, a contest that already includes fellow Rep. Loretta Sanchez and Attorney General Kamala Harris.

MORE FUNDRAISERS: Newsom and Garamendi aren’t the only one fortifying their campaign committees.

While the state Senate remains on a self-imposed blackout period, Assemblyman Rob Bonta, D-Alameda, is holding his third annual chili cook-off and barbecue Saturday at a union hall in Oakland. Tickets range from $8,500 (habanero) to $250 (poblano).

Also in Oakland, former Assemblyman Sandré Swanson will be joined by Rep. Barbara Lee at a Sunday event as he runs to succeed Democrat Loni Hancock in the 9th Senate District. Though incumbent senators are not supposed to raise money in the run-up to the state budget, the ban does not apply to non-incumbent candidates.

DROUGHT DISCUSSIONS: With the punishing drought now a front-of-mind issue, Gov. Jerry Brown will travel down to the South Bay to talk conservation efforts. The meeting at San Jose City Hall comes as the governor convenes city, business and water agency officials to work on solutions for the record dry spell.

ACCREDIT THIS: Students and teachers will rally outside the Oakland Airport Hilton where the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges will hold biannual meetings. A news release ahead of the 1 p.m. demonstration says the group plans to protest what they believe is the panel’s “overzealous” attempt to close City College of San Francisco while looking the other way as Corinthian-operated Heald “preyed on thousands of students.”

CONFERENCE COMMITTEE: With the June 15 deadline looming, the budget conference committee will meet today to continue reconciling differences between the Senate and Assembly spending plans amid talks with the Brown administration. The panel’s work could continue though the weekend. Maybe the lieutenant governor can bring the wine?

Christopher Cadelago: (916) 326-5538, @ccadelago