The Buzz: Museum loans blue marlin to California Gov. Jerry Brown

dsiders@sacbee.comFebruary 24, 2014 

A blue marlin now adorns the wall of Gov. Jerry Brown's reception area at the Capitol in a photo taken Feb. 4, 2014. The fish was caught by Brown's father, Edumund G. "Pat" Brown.

DAN SMITH — dsmith@sacbee.com

  • Bill watch

    Two San Francisco Democrats have bills addressing whether landlords can sidestep local rent-control laws and evict their tenants to convert units to condominiums. Sen. Mark Leno’s SB 1439 would allow San Francisco to prohibit evictions unless the property had been in the same ownership for at least five years. Assemblyman Tom Ammiano’s AB 2405 would allow any local government to prevent condo conversions if it has not met the state’s designated need for low- and moderate-income housing.

    – Dan Walters

Visitors to Gov. Jerry Brown’s office in recent months will have noticed a large, blue addition to the governor’s minimalist décor – a marlin caught by Brown’s father, former Gov. Edmund G. “Pat” Brown.

The fish, installed in the reception area of Brown’s Capitol offices, originally hung on the third floor of the historic governor’s mansion in Sacramento. It was donated to the state parks system in 2002, and Brown asked for it last summer.

The fish stands out in an office otherwise marked with little more than a coffee table, newspapers and magazines, and is a subject of frequent questions for the office receptionist.

The Governor’s Office is listed as the “borrowing institution” in a loan agreement with the state Department of Parks and Recreation. It puts the fish’s value at $1,500. Alas, the document provides no indication about the governor’s future plans for office, whether for himself or any fish.

The Democratic governor has raised millions of dollars for his re-election bid and is widely expected to run. But the loan agreement suggests the marlin will return to the parks system in January, at the end of Brown’s third term.

– David Siders


BILL WATCH

Two San Francisco Democrats have bills addressing whether landlords can sidestep local rent-control laws and evict their tenants to convert units to condominiums. Sen. Mark Leno’s SB 1439 would allow San Francisco to prohibit evictions unless the property had been in the same ownership for at least five years. Assemblyman Tom Ammiano’s AB 2405 would allow any local government to prevent condo conversions if it has not met the state’s designated need for low- and moderate-income housing.

– Dan Walters


WORTH REPEATING

“I don’t ever challenge people because of the risk of being wrong.”

John Caldwell, lobbyist for the California Hotel and Lodging Association, relating to a Senate committee a typical hotel employee response when guests claim their dog is “a service animal.”

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