The Skinny

A couple of weeks ago, we told the tale of two unfortunate legislators — Karen Bass and Ted Lieu — who, as requested by their speaker, each gave $50,000 to the Yes on 93 campaign. But, as is turns out, $50K is the trigger to get your name on the fundraising committee, an honor that Bass and Lieu both now share. Other Assembly Democrats, like Dave Jones and Fiona Ma, got wise, and each gave $45,000 to the cause, allowing them to keep their names off the committee. Then, Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata opened an account of his own, and the pro tem candidates were clambering to pony up. Darrell Steinberg gave $150,000 to the committee, which would, of course, mean that Steinberg’s name would land on the Perata committee. That might explain why the $150,000 was returned to Steinberg. In its place, Steinberg gave, you guessed it, $45,000. But fret not. From what we hear, that other $105,000 will soon find its way into the Perata-affiliated Voter Education and Registration Fund. … Speaking of the VERF, the committee, which uses Perata’s political team to run its activities, held a fund-raiser smack in the middle of the Senate Democrats’ retreat in Sonoma this week. Invitations to the dinner were $25,000. Perata spokeswoman Alicia Trost says the retreat was not a pure policy retreat. In fact, many of the Senate’s top policy experts were not in attendance. Instead, budget expert Dianne Cummins painted the bleak budget picture for the caucus in the morning, while  Perata political doyenne Sandi Polka gave a briefing on the political state of affairs in the afternoon. … And there’s a new junior lobbyist in town! Lobbyists Randy Perry and Amy Brown welcomed Jack Brown Perry into the world on the evening of Dec. 4. Brown went into labor at the retirement party for CSAC’s Steve Keil. Some creative driving to the hospital Perry-style ensued, and three hours later, baby Jack was born. Upon hearing the news, a rush of legislators immediately hit the kid up for campaign contributions.

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