Capitol Alert

AM Alert: Roger Hernández’s tricky campaign calculus

Assembly member Roger Hernández at the California State Capitol in Sacramento on Thursday, January 10, 2013.
Assembly member Roger Hernández at the California State Capitol in Sacramento on Thursday, January 10, 2013. RBenton@sacbee.com

Summer recess, which stretches the length of July, affords lawmakers a reprieve from the chaos of Sacramento. It’s also giving legislators in the thick of contested campaigns some space to take a breath, regroup, and look to November.

Some have little to think about because they’re running unopposed in safe districts or, like former Senate Minority Leader Bob Huff, R-San Dimas, have lost their shot at a runoff.

Assemblyman Roger Hernández, D-West Covina, on the other hand, has a lot to consider. When returns began flowing in on June 7 the termed-out Hernández lagged behind Republican contender Gordon Fisher as the two vied for a shot at Rep. Grace Napolitano, D-Norwalk.

And then, just as provisional ballots pushed Hernández ahead of Fisher, leadership stripped Hernández of his committee assignments. Having alleged a pattern of violent abuse, the Assemblyman’s estranged wife won a restraining order. The resulting rebuke from Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, D-Paramount, followed calls from members of both parties for Hernández to step aside.

For now, Hernández’s campaign won’t comment on how his sidelining might affect the race. But given that he is running against a female Democratic incumbent – not to mention the recent anger over his erstwhile committee killing a priority Women’s Legislative Caucus bill – Hernández and his campaign staff should have a lot on their minds this July.

FISHY BUSINESS: Refilling reservoirs have replenished hopes that farmers and others will see more water deliveries, but proposals to protect fish species are complicating the picture after warmer waters killed huge numbers of salmon. Today the State Water Resources Control Board will get an update on the Sacramento River Temperature Control Plan and how much water it will require to keep behind Shasta Dam. Last time around, board chair Felicia Marcus expressed skepticism that the there would be enough cool water in the Sacramento River for this year’s winter-run Chinook.

Board members will also be talking about emergency drought regulations that have compelled urban users to slash consumption. Water regulators have voted to ease those cutbacks, recognizing a decently wet winter, and today they’ll hear how urban water providers are responding. Already, each of the 10 largest districts in the Sacramento region told the state that their water supplies are healthy and there is no need to impose mandatory percentage-based cuts again this year. Many Southern California districts also say they’re doing fine. The meeting begins at 9 a.m. at 1001 I Street.

Jeremy B. White: 916-326-5543, @CapitolAlert. Bee staff writer Ryan Sabalow contributed to this report.

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