Capitol Alert

AM Alert: Lobbyists gather in Napa for annual conference

Lobbyists huddle outside the Senate Chambers as they wait to talk to lawmakers about various bills on Sept. 10, 2015.
Lobbyists huddle outside the Senate Chambers as they wait to talk to lawmakers about various bills on Sept. 10, 2015. The Associated Press

It’s not just California lawmakers who get ensnared by the FBI. Lobbyists have been known to cause the occasional major political scandal, too.

So in this era of heightened criminal prosecutions of politicians, what are the perils for a lobbyist? Attendees at the Institute of Governmental Advocates’ annual conference today will hear from Benjamin B. Wagner, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of California, on “how not to get caught in the trap.”

The conference, which continues through Friday at the Andaz Hotel in Napa, also includes a panel on freshman lawmakers. Democratic Assembly members Bill Dodd of Napa, Tony Thurmond of Richmond and Jim Wood of Healdsburg will share their thoughts on their first years in the Legislature and expectations for the future.

NO USE CRYING OVER SPILLED OIL: In the wake of an oil spill in May that leaked more than 100,000 gallons of crude along the Santa Barbara coast, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a trio of bills requiring new spill control technology and annual pipeline inspections, among other safeguards. What effect do these catastrophic events have on the marine environment? Wei-Chun Chin, an associate professor of engineering at UC Merced, discusses the science of oil pollutants, noon at the UC Center Sacramento on K Street.

NAMING THE FORGOTTEN: Last year, the California Department of Veterans Affairs began a controversial process of adding to the state’s Vietnam War memorial the names of veterans not killed in action, but whose deaths have been linked to past combat through the effects of Agent Orange or post-traumatic stress. While family members fought for their loved ones’ service to be recognized, some veterans argued that it lessened the integrity of the memorial. The first batch of new names was added earlier this year and more continue to be investigated. The memorial honor committee will discuss those when it meets at 10 a.m. in Room 126 of the Capitol.

Alexei Koseff: 916-321-5236, @akoseff

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