Posts Tagged: leader

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Time machine: Kevin McCarthy, Rookie of the Year

Former state Assemblyman Kevin McCarthy, from the August 2004 California Journal. (Illustration: Tim Foster)

The most difficult job in the Legislature is that of an Assembly rookie. Mastering Sacramento is learning curve is akin to scaling Mount Everest, where the summit is shrouded in a fog of policy and politics and the climb must begin even before one is sworn into office. It must be made with a minimum of missteps, and there are few veterans to help show the way.

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A country boy’s odyssey: Nelsen takes over Sacramento State

Robert Nelsen, the new president of California State University, Sacramento. (Photo: Sacramento State)

As a boy growing up impoverished on a Montana ranch, Robert Nelsen did not expect to go to college. Years later, he is the eighth president of California State University, Sacramento. Nelsen, 63, former president of the University of Texas-Pan American, officially took over as the chief executive officer of the 30,000-student campus in July.

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Jerry Brown’s trifecta: Politics, Catholicism and advocacy

Gov. Jerry Brown, flanked by the head of the Ponitifical Academy of Science, Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, spoke recently at a Vatican conference on Modern Slavery and Climate Change. (AP Photo: Alessandra Tarantino)

When Gov. Jerry Brown traveled to the Vatican to attend Pope Francis’ conference on climate change, the Democratic governor allowed one of his most extended public glimpses into how Catholicism helped shape his career. Brown, who turned 77 in April, is nearly the same age as the Pope who turns 79 in December. Pope Francis is the first Jesuit Pope and Brown was a Jesuit seminarian until he dropped out of the Society of Jesus in 1960 to attend the University of California, Berkeley.

News

FPPC gets new enforcement chief

Galena West, a veteran lawyer at the Fair Political Practices Commission, has been named chief of enforcement at the agency, which serves as the state’s campaign ethics watchdog. West replaces Gary Winuk, who left earlier to go into private practice. West, who has been on the FPPC staff for 10 years, has served as acting enforcement chief since March.

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Kevin de León on policy, politics and the future

State Senate Leader Kevin de León on Feb. 1, 2014, at the Golden Dragon Parade in Los Angeles(Photo: Betto Rodrigues, via Shutterstock)

GRIZZLY BEAR PROJECT: After some hard feelings and bruised egos, De León accepted his defeat and ran for the Senate seat that he never really wanted. But in the Senate, de León has matured and grown as a legislator. Early on, he helped ease roadblocks between the Senate and the governor’s office. In the meantime, he reconstructed and expanded his personal relationships, and was elected by his colleagues last year as the new leader of the state Senate.

News

Changes loom for Covered California board

Three seats on the powerful board that governs California’s multibillion-dollar health insurance exchange are up for grabs, giving the Brown administration – whose allies already comprise a majority on the five-member board — an opportunity to name two new directors. Two seats held by appointees of former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger expired last week. A third became vacant following the resignation last month of Robert Ross, the president of the nonprofit California Endowment.

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From deep in the Valley: Perea and the ‘New Dems’

A highway sign in California points to the heart of the Valley. (Photo: Filip Bjorkman)

It should come as no surprise that a representative from the Central Valley’s largest city heads California’s New Democratic lawmakers. And with Perea at the helm, inland Democrats were vocal in staking out their turf in the year’s prominent battles.

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Kevin McCarthy: Political skills trump policy

Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield, shortly after being named House Majority Leader. (Photo: Associated Press)

Kevin McCarthy, the newly minted House Majority Leader, rose speedily through the GOP ranks during his time as a California legislator – and used political instincts he honed in Sacramento to achieve power in Congress. During his time in the state Assembly, McCarthy was known as a deal-maker. He became Assembly minority leader only two months after Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger took office in 2003, and worked closely with him to unite the party by engineering difficult votes on controversial issues.

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Pérez, Steinberg: A tense relationship — but productive

State Capitol, Sacramento. (Photo: David Monniaux)

ANALYSIS: Senate Leader Darrell Steinberg of Sacramento and Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez of Los Angeles are both Democrats, but the two are hardly friends. The events of the last week captured the uneasy, though often productive, working relationship between the two leaders.

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GOP’s Brulte leads the uphill fight

Jim Brulte, who served as GOP leader in both the Assembly and Senate, heads the California Republican Party – not exactly a dream job in a state dominated by Democrats. Exactly a year into his new gig, Brulte faces a basic problem: Can he put Republicans on the road to a political comeback? It’s a long, difficult journey back and the challenges are daunting.

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