The Buzz: National GOP eyes Democratic scandals in California

July 17, 2014 

Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, is one of three Democrats in the upper chamber embroiled in scandal. State Republicans have been hesitant to make that a big issue, so far.

HECTOR AMEZCUA — hamezcua@sacbee.com

  • UC watch

    The University of California Board of Regents on Thursday confirmed Sam Hawgood, dean of the School of Medicine at the university’s San Francisco campus, as the 10th chancellor of UCSF. Hawgood will receive an annual salary of $750,000 plus benefits, including a $500,000 base salary paid by state or other funds and a $250,000 endowed chair. That is an increase from the $450,000 base salary of incumbent Chancellor Susan Desmond-Hellmann, who stepped down to run the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

    – Alexei Koseff

National Republican leader

points to Dems’ scandals

In their pursuit of relevance at the statehouse, California Republicans have largely avoided invoking the trio of scandals involving Democratic lawmakers.

That could be changing.

“California Democrats right now are reeling from scandal, after scandal, after scandal,” said Matt Walter, president of the Republican State Leadership Committee, a national group that works to elect down-ballot GOP candidates.

Outlining top targets in November, Walter said the results from primaries have the GOP positioned to end Democratic supermajorities in the Legislature. The legal morass includes Democratic Sens. Leland Yee and Ron Calderon being indicted on federal corruption charges and Sen. Rod Wright’s perjury conviction.

A spokesman for Assembly Democrats pooh-poohed the group’s impact.

“As entertaining as the Republican Beltway bravado is, here on Planet Reality, California’s Democratic legislative candidates are running on their records of erasing the state’s deficit, turning around the economy, and making sure more than 1.6 million more Californians have the health care they deserve,” said Steve Maviglio.

– Christopher Cadelago

Worth repeating

“It was an inartful comment.”

KEVIN DE LEÓN, D-Los Angeles, during a mea culpa visit to Fresno this week after referring to the region as “out there in the tumbleweeds.”

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