Ah, springtime in Sacramento. Where to begin? This week, we got a new speaker, a new budget (could have done without that one, thank you very much), and a whole lot of political mudslinging. Tis the season. The independent expenditure money started moving in earnest this week, including in the 40th Assembly District race. Bob Blumenfield has received a boost from a group called Valley Democrats for Change, a group that is funded both by Blumenfield’s biological father, Michael, who has chipped in $50,000 to the PAC and his political father, Berman, who has dumped $100,000 from his campaign committee into the cause. A dentist-backed coalition called California Alliance for Progress and Education has boosted Stuart Waldman to the tune of about $70,000 to date…And with the recent leadership change, there’s been some minor committee reshuffling. Curren Price will replace Alberto Torrico as chairman of Assembly GO, creating a vacancy at Assembly Elections. Also, Torrico’s selection as Bass’s No. 2 means that the Approporiations Committee chairmanship, which was a rumored landing place for Torrico, is up for grabs. Front-runners for that post include Kevin DeLeon and Fiona Ma. We’ve heard rumblings of Mary Hayashi at Health and Noreen Evans at Budget, but nothing is confirmed. The speaker’s office says the major committee shift is not expected until later, with Bass focusing most of her energies on the state budget…And we couldn’t help but chuckle a bit at a campaign filing amendment filed by some former supporters of the former Denham recall. The Strengthening Our Lives Through Education PAC, funded by a series of labor organizations, filed a amended spending report with the Secretary of State’s office this week. When asked for the reason for the amended filing, the report stated, “election cancelled.” Of course, that may be spiritually, but not technically accurate. But it’s the first time we’ve ever seen that reason given in a campaign report…And if you missed the Nicole Parra reunion, there’s still time to make the June 14 George Deukmejian reunion. Former Duke staff will gather to remember the 25th anniversary of the Iron Duke’s election. Parra’s free party was at Simon’s. Duke’s fete is at the Hyatt Regency, and costs $46 per head.