Capitol Alert

AM Alert: Apple CEO Tim Cook hosts fundraiser for Hillary Clinton

Apple CEO Tim Cook responds to a question during a news conference at IBM Watson headquarters in New York on April 30, 2015.
Apple CEO Tim Cook responds to a question during a news conference at IBM Watson headquarters in New York on April 30, 2015. The Associated Press

It’s all about the Benjamins, baby.

Up by 30 points in California – and trying to put states into play that haven’t gone blue in decades – Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is making another swing this week through the political ATM that is the Golden State with nary a thought to public appearances.

After a stop in Los Angeles, where she visited the homes of NBA legend Magic Johnson and pop star Justin Timberlake, Clinton is in the Bay Area today for two big-dollar fundraisers with Silicon Valley elite.

A “luncheon conversation” at the home of Amy Rao – CEO of the data firm Integrated Archive Systems and a longtime Clinton supporter who has given more than $550,000 to Democratic presidential and congressional candidates and party committees since 2002, according to the Center for Responsive Politics – will run donors between $2,700 and $27,000 for tickets.

Then in the evening, Clinton will join Apple CEO Tim Cook for a reception with a top ticket level set at $50,000. The event also features Lisa Jackson, a former head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency who now works as the company’s environmental director.

Cook is a less prolific donor than Rao, but has given about $21,000 to federal candidates of both parties since 2008, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. He most recently hosted a fundraiser for Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan earlier this summer.

WORTH REPEATING: “Thank you for droning on and on.” - Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León, to Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara, after she spent more than four minutes presenting a bill on drones

DON’T STOP BELIEVIN’: Ferret lovers are nothing if not persistent. Pat Wright, founder of, has been pushing for decades to lift a 1938 state ban on the slinky pet, and though his legislative efforts have ended in failure – he came closest in 2004 when Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed a legalization bill – the saga continues. First there was last year’s unsuccessful signature-gathering drive for a ballot initiative. Now Wright is hoping for a regulatory miracle. He and other supporters are petitioning the California Fish and Game Commission to change the ferret rule during its meeting, which starts today and continues tomorrow at the Lake Natoma Inn Hotel and Conference Center in Folsom.

OPEN ARMS: While lawmakers and advocacy groups are still playing the legislative game, trying to pass their bills before the end of session next Wednesday, some are already looking ahead to the next challenge: getting Gov. Jerry Brown to sign them. Ahead of Women’s Equality Day on Friday, California Legislative Women’s Caucus leaders Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara, and Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia, D-Bell Gardens, will deliver petitions to the governor’s office at 10 a.m. asking him to support their priority measures, including a “bill of rights” for domestic workers and expanded leave for new parents. They will be joined by the Stronger California Advocates Network, which promotes economic security for women.

SEPARATE WAYS: More evidence that 2016 is the Year of Trump? Al Muratsuchi, a Democrat running to reclaim the coastal Southern California Assembly district he lost two years ago to Republican David Hadley, will hold a rally Wednesday near Trump National Golf Club in Rancho Palos Verdes to denounce the GOP standard-bearer and link him to Hadley. While Hadley has said he will not vote for Trump (or Clinton), Muratsuchi said he plans to focus on the on "policy similarities," between the assemblyman and the New York businessman. He has even created a hit website: Joining in the noon rally at Founder's Park are Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Torrance, and Los Angeles County Democratic Party Chairman Eric Bauman.

Alexei Koseff: 916-321-5236, @akoseff. Christopher Cadelago contributed to this report.