Capitol Alert

AM Alert: Bill Clinton boosts embattled California House Democrats

Former President Bill Clinton jokes around with congressional candidate Ami Bera after stumping for area democrats at UC Davis on October 9, 2012.
Former President Bill Clinton jokes around with congressional candidate Ami Bera after stumping for area democrats at UC Davis on October 9, 2012.

Facing an extremely tight race for re-election, Rep. Ami Bera is once again getting major back-up from former President Bill Clinton, who will headline a get-out-the-vote rally for the Elk Grove Democrat, 12:30 p.m. at UC Davis.

Will Clinton’s visit give Bera the edge he needs to defeat Republican businessman Doug Ose in what has become one of the most expensive House contests in the country? In 2012, Clinton made a similar trip to Davis, and Bera unseated Republican incumbent Dan Lungren by 9,000 votes.

Clinton will have a busy travel day. In the morning, he is scheduled for a rally in Oxnard to boost threatened Democratic Reps. Julia Brownley of Thousand Oaks and Raul Ruiz of Palm Desert, who are facing serious challenges from Republican Assemblymen Jeff Gorell of Camarillo and Brian Nestande of Palm Desert.

As Dan Walters notes, Clinton is standing in for President Barack Obama, whose sinking approval ratings have made him more of a liability than an asset for candidates this election cycle, even in California.

1, 2 STEP: Continuing his focus this fall on passing Propositions 1 and 2, Gov. Jerry Brown will be in San Diego this morning to tout “bipartisan support” for the ballot measures, which would authorize a $7.5 billion water bond and expand the state’s budget reserve. The news conference is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. at the San Diego County Water Authority Headquarters’ “drought-tolerant garden.” Brown will continue on to a noon rally in Arvin, near Bakersfield, and another at 2 p.m. in Modesto.

TAKING IT TO COURT: Much of this year’s closely-contested state superintendent of public instruction race has revolved around Vergara v. California, a lawsuit alleging that the state’s teacher tenure and dismissal laws protect bad teachers and disproportionately deprive low-income and minority students of a quality education. While challenger Marshall Tuck supports a ruling that declared those policies unconstitutional, incumbent Tom Torlakson asked the state to appeal. What would it mean for teachers and students if that decision is upheld? Policy Analysis for California Education hosts a discussion with education and legal experts, 4 pm. at UC Berkeley.

WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS: The California Victim Compensation Program, along with nonprofits WEAVE and the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault, collected professional attire, children’s clothing, diapers and toys during the month of October to raise awareness of domestic violence. They’ll turn over the donations to local organizations serving domestic violence survivors during a ceremony at 10 a.m. on the west steps of the Capitol. Assemblymen Jimmy Gomez, D-Los Angeles, and Ken Cooley, D-Rancho Cordova, as well as Marybel Batjer, secretary of the California Government Operations Agency, are slated to appear.

MANURE MANEUVER: Proposition 45 is lagging in polls and may be headed for defeat, but not without a stunt-filled fight. Supporters of the initiative, which would give the state insurance commissioner regulatory control over health insurance rate hikes, will deliver buckets of steer manure to a dinner gala at San Francisco’s Fairmont Hotel at 5 p.m., where executives from some of the insurance companies that have given tens of millions of dollars to defeat the measure are expected to be in attendance.

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

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