The Skinny

The San Francisco Chronicle is losing another Capitol
reporter to the Los Angeles Times. But <B>Christian Berthelsen</B> will not be
competing directly with his soon-to-be-former colleagues in Sacramento.
Bethelsen is off to the O.C. to cover local politics behind the Orange
Curtain for the L.A. paper, and be closer to his girlfriend, who is in law
school at UCLA. Berthelsen begins his new gig on Oct. 31, 10 days after he
leaves his job at the Chronicle. The Chronicle is still trying to fill the
vacancy left by <B>John Hubbell</B>, who left to attend grad school in North
Carolina earlier this year. No word yet on whether Berthelsen’s spot would
be immediately filled. During his two-plus years in Sacramento, Christian
developed a reputation for being one of the most dogged reporters in the
Capitol press corps. We’re sure more than a couple of politicians are happy
to see him go … Speaking of leaving Sacramento, we couldn’t help but
notice a few auto-reply e-mails from the office of <B>Abel Maldonado</B> spokesman
<B>Tom Kise</B>, who is back east getting married this week. We expect photos of
the happy couple in this space soon … Wedding bells are chiming for all
sorts of Capitol denizens. Schwarzenegger political consultant <B>Rick Claussen</B>
missed the GOP confab in Anaheim last month for his nuptials. Alliance for a
Better California consultant <B>Gale Kaufman</B> is getting hitched after the
special election this fall … Speaking of the alliance, a group of
firefighters are staging a photo op on Thursday to counter the governor’s
photo op in the Southern California fire zone last week. Firefighters’
spokesmen say the blaze battlers were "forced" to appear in the shot with
Schwarzenegger last week, even though their union is locked in a political
battle royal with the guv. Look for some rhetorical fireworks from Burbank
Thursday morning.

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