Capitol Alert

George Clooney joins Hillary Clinton for California fundraisers

George Clooney, left, and his wife, Amal, arrive in Venice, Italy, on Sept. 26, 2014.
George Clooney, left, and his wife, Amal, arrive in Venice, Italy, on Sept. 26, 2014. The Associated Press

Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton has friends in high places, and she’ll draw on them this weekend for a fundraising swing through California with George Clooney.

The movie star and his wife, human rights lawyer Amal Clooney, will accompany Clinton at a pair of high-dollar private events to raise money for the Hillary Victory Fund. The first, tonight at the Bay Area home of venture capitalist Shervin Pishevar, will require couples to contribute or raise more than $353,000 for a spot at the main table with Clinton and the Clooneys. They will reunite tomorrow at Chez Clooney in Los Angeles for a dinner that starts at $33,400 per person, including a photo with Clinton.

With the Republican nominee still up in the air and Bernie Sanders gaining on Clinton among Democratic voters, California’s usually irrelevant late-calendar primary has suddenly made the Golden State a hot destination on the campaign trail. Sanders drew thousands in San Diego last month, while all three remaining Republican contenders are scheduled to speak the California GOP convention at the end of April.

LIFELONG LEARNERS: Capitol dwellers who would like to use the lunch hour to get better informed have two options today. University of Southern California education Professor Katharine Strunk will present her research on the impact of mass teacher layoffs in Los Angeles during the economic recession, 11:30 a.m. at the UC Conference Center on K Street. Dr. Garen J. Wintemute, the director of the Violence Prevention Research Program at UC Davis, discusses his work studying the causes of gun violence, noon in Room 126 of the Capitol.

TAKE THE MONEY AND RUN: Feeling the pinch in your pocket after filing your taxes this week? You are not alone. More than half of California voters believe they pay too much income tax, according to a new Field Poll. While the sentiment is overwhelming among Republicans, 52 percent of Democrats are actually okay with the current tax rates. Taryn Luna has more in her story, including statistical tabulations for the poll prepared exclusively for The Sacramento Bee.

CELEBRATIONS: Happy birthday to Senate Republican Leader Jean Fuller, who turns 66 tomorrow.

Alexei Koseff: 916-321-5236, @akoseff