Maybe it’s just because the Assembly’s bigger, but it was clear from the number of VIPs present Monday that the Assembly swearing in was the hot invite on inauguration day. The Senate Republicans, of course, had more drama, settling their leadership dispute just minutes before the beginning of session. But over in the “people’s house,” everyone from Ron Dellums to Dennis Mountjoy (that about covers the gamut, doesn’t it?) was seen ambling around. A few honored guests got to sit on the dais, including L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, former Sen. John Burton and constitutional officers past and present (or both, in Jerry Brown’s case). Also present was Gov. Schwarzenegger, who spoke briefly and even shook the hand of his former rival Phil Angelides. While waiting to take the mic, staff couldn’t help but note that the governor was sitting in “the king’s chair.” According to a Capitol tour guide, there are chairs for both the king and the queen in the Assembly chambers. That’s because the Legislature was remodeled using England as an example: green for the House of Commons, red for the House of Lords. As for the decorative chairs, “they remain empty unless we get a visit from the queen of England or a high government official,” says the tour guide. But one Assembly clerk noted that whenever the place gets packed for special events, the chairs are often put to use. … Looks like there’s an early entrant in the race to unseat controller-elect John Chiang. Chiang’s colleague on the Board of Equalization, Republican Bill Leonard, has opened a committee to run for the job in 2010. … And finally, good news for cookie lovers. Goodie Tuchews, the cookie shop located in the bottom of the “Trotsky Building” on 10th and J streets, was threatened when the building was sold to make room for a boutique hotel. But now, it looks like the store is moving closer to the Capitol. Early next year, the shop will relocate next to See’s Candy on L Street, across the street from the Capitol.
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