Capitol Alert

AM Alert: Democrats’ legislative supermajority hinges on several key races

California Republicans face an uphill battle to win any statewide constitutional office this November, but the party’s other major political goal – to roll back Democrats’ two-thirds supermajorities in both houses of the Legislature – is well within reach.

Competitive partisan battles in SD-14, where Democrats are pouring in money to defeat Republican state Sen. Andy Vidak of Hanford, and SD-34, a toss-up seat in a heavily Latino portion of Orange County, could swing the margin in the Senate. In the Assembly, Democratic incumbents Steve Fox of Palmdale and Sharon Quirk-Silva of Fullerton are highly vulnerable, while Democrats are hoping to swipe AD-44, which is being vacated by Republican Assemblyman Jeff Gorell of Camarillo.

You can explore those and the other 95 legislative races this fall with a new interactive tool from Capitol Alert that offers a demographic profile and breakdown of campaign money in each district in California. For a more in-depth look at individual contributions and independent expenditures, the Capitol Alert Insider Edition app has the latest campaign-finance information.

VIDEO: Even as California adds jobs, its unemployment rate remains stubbornly high, Dan Walters says.

THE BLACKLIST: One of organized labor’s big legislative priorities this session was a bill that would hold companies liable if they employ subcontractors that violate wage, workplace safety or workers’ compensation rules. It landed on the California Chamber of Commerce’s “job killer” list, and now sits on Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk awaiting action. Businesses groups – including the National Federation of Independent Business/California, the California Retailers Association and the California Manufacturers & Technology Association – are lining up against the proposal, and will rally on the north steps of the Capitol at 10:30 a.m. urging Brown to veto the legislation.

HOW IT’S MADE: Could seawater desalination help save California from future drought? Heather Cooley, water program director for the environmental policy group Pacific Institute, discusses the economic, social and environmental questions surrounding desalination as part of the Delta Science Program seminar series, noon at the Park Tower Building on 9th Street.

LAUGH-IN: Assemblyman Tom Ammiano is termed out this year, so the unique sense of humor that the San Francisco Democrat brought to the legislative process will be missing when the Legislature reconvenes in December. If you need one more fix, check out his recent appearance on the “Nato Sessions” podcast, where Ammiano discusses his former stand-up comedy career and the origins of his liberal politics. At 4:30, you can hear a vintage clip of Ammiano’s routine on then-San Francisco Mayor Dianne Feinstein’s response to the AIDS crisis.

CELEBRATIONS: Happy birthday to Assemblymen Rob Bonta, D-Alameda, who turns 43 today and Roger Dickinson, D-Sacramento, who turns 64.

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