Capitol Trivia

Capitol Trivia tests the memories of the seasoned Capitol hands and offers
newbies a chance to learn something about the dark underbelly of California
political history.
1. Which lawmaker, irritated at the slow pace of legislative business,
was best known for asking “permission to speak to the condition of the
2. Who was known, ironically, as “Mr. Touchy-Feely?”
3. What is hijacking?
4. Who said, “I give you a dollar, you give me a hot dog,” and why?
5. Why is the Ransohoff Building at 11th and K famous in Capitol lore?
6. What was “the Legislature of 1,000 drinks?”
7. What was the “Legislature on wheels?”
8. Who was chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee but didn’t have a law degree?
9. Who was know as “Willie’s conscience?”
10. Who said, “Paul gets all the sweet deals?”

1. Sen. Newton Russell, R-Glendale 2. Sen. John Vasconcellos, D-Santa Clara
3. Taking another lawmaker’s bill, rewriting the contents and pushing it
through the Legislature as one’s own, usually on the orders of the
leadership. 4. Sen. John Burton, D-San Francisco, when describing the
process of eminent domain and the seizure of power plants during the energy
crisis. 5. It is where undercover FBI agents, posing as businessmen,
launched a corruption sting against the state Capitol. The sting came to
light in 1988. “I knew there was something funny about those guys. They
never let anyone in to clean their room,” one building resident said later.
6. The nickname given to the first California legislative session in San
Jose in the mid-19th century. The quip came from Sen. Thomas Jefferson Green
of Sacramento, who said, “Let’s have a drink. Let’s have 1,000 drinks!”
7. The nickname given to the California Legislature after it met in several
cities before settling on Sacramento in 1854. 8. Bill Lockyer, now state
attorney general. 9. Maxine Waters, former assemblywoman and now a member
of Congress, referring to her influence on former Assembly Speaker Willie
Brown. 10. Former state Sen. Joseph Montoya, caught on a federal undercover
agent’s tapes at a J Street restaurant, upon hearing that fellow Sen. Paul
Carpenter received a bigger payoff than he did.

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