Shane Goldmacher is a former reporter for Capitol Weekly. He is a graduate of UC Berkeley, where he served as editor of the Berkeley Political Review.

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  • 1A: 76.9-23.1
    1B: 61.3-38.7
    1C: 57.4-42.6
    1D: 56.6-43.4
    1E: 64-36
    83: 70.6-29.4
    84: 53.7-46.3
    85: 45.9-54.1
    86: 48-52
    87: 45.2-54.8
    88: 23-77
    89: 25.5-74.5
    90: 47.6-52.4

    U.S. Sen.
    Feinstein 59.7
    Mountjoy 34.9
    Schwarzenegger 55.8
    Angelides 39.2
    Lt. Gov
    Garamendi 49.5
    McClintock 44.9
    Atty. Gen.
    Brown 56.7
    Poochigian 37.9
    Sec. of state
    Bowen 48.5
    McPherson 44.7
    Lockyer 54.8
    Parrish 37
    Chiang 50.9
    Strickland 40.1
    Insur. Comm.
    Poizner 50.7
    Bustamante 38.9

    For complete election results click here.

    Angelides 48.2
    Westly 43.1
    Lt. Gov
    Garamendi 42.9
    Speier 39.3
    Figueroa 17.8
    Atty. Gen.
    Brown 63.2
    Delgadillo 36.8
    Sec. of state
    Bowen 61.1
    Ortiz 38.9
    Parrish 56.4
    Richman 43.6
    Democratic primary
    Chiang 53.4
    Dunn 46.6
    Republican primary
    Strickland 40.9
    Maldonado 36.9
    Insur. Comm.
    Bustamante 70.5
    Kraft 29.5
    Supt. of Schools
    O'Connell 52.5, avoids run-off

    For complete election results click here.

    73: 47.4-52.6
    74: 45-55
    75: 46.6-53.4
    76: 38-62
    77: 40.5-59.5
    78: 41.5-58.5
    79: 38.9-61.1
    80: 34.3-65.7

    For complete election results click here.

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    Thursday, October 06, 2005

    Martha, Martha, Martha

    The following first appeared in Capitol Weekly

    Escutia on an urgent mission: Senator totes bills directly to Assembly in last-ditch lobby attempt

    As the Senate adjourned last month, Sen. Martha Escutia, D-Montebello, was on the Assembly floor, desperately lobbying Assembly leaders to pass through her bill on the digital divide, SB 909. Her bill was being used as a bargaining chip between the two legislative houses and, like many others, it was being held hostage by Capitol politicking.

    But when word spread that the Senate had adjourned--and that her legislation was dead for the year--Escutia stormed off the Assembly floor and back to the Senate chamber. The problem: With her went three Assembly bills that she had taken custody of to transmit to the Assembly.

    And so, like Escutia's bill, each of the three Assembly bills died for the year. Several in the Capitol have called the episode "unprecedented."

    "End of session is a hectic time where anything can and will happen," says Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, who was with Escutia at the time. "And in this case, it did."

    The story begins on the Senate floor.

    "Mr. Simitian, you better get on your horse, because I am going to shut this sucker down pretty soon," announced Senate Leader Don Perata in the waning minutes of session, telling his fellow Democrat that had only minutes to gain his bill back from the Assembly.

    Simitian hustled toward the Senate desk and huddled briefly with Escutia, who emerged from the impromptu gathering, folder in hand. Hoisting it up triumphantly in the air, she marched off the Senate floor--carrying the ill-fated three bills to the Assembly.

    "We scurried over together," recalls Simitian, who was trying to track down the fate of SB 426, his bill covering liquefied natural gas.

    The rest of the senators milled about the room, idly passing the time, but less than a minute later, Perata queried, "Is there any further business to come before the house?"


    "Seeing none, we are adjourned," Perata declared.

    The chamber broke out in applause, as senators and staffers, weary from a week of marathon floor sessions, were free to go home. But across the hall, the mood was much more sedate, as a handful of bills were delayed until next year with the sudden Senate adjournment.

    "As we were standing there [on the Assembly floor], someone said the Senate had adjourned," recalls Simitian. "We looked a little startled, went racing back to the Senate only to discover that the Senate had in fact adjourned."

    And with Simitian and Escutia went the three Assembly bills. Because they were not transmitted to the Assembly before the end of the legislative year, each of the bills must now wait until the legislature reconvenes in January for passage.

    "The bills surfaced in the Assembly the following day sometime in the mid-afternoon," said a spokesman for Assemblyman Calderon, whose bill to allow for the use of national diesel fuel for state truckers was in Escutia's hands. "We were disappointed that it didnÂ't make it out that day, but we are continuing the fight."

    There have been whispers that Sen. Escutia's action, physically taking the bills to the Assembly and then failing to deliver them, violates legislative rules. Escutia was unavailable for comment for this story.

    According to the Senate rules, "The Secretary of the Senate shall have custody of all bills, documents, papers, and records of the Senate and may not permit any of the bills, documents, records, or papers to be taken from the Desk or out of his or her custody by any person, except in the regular course of the business of the Senate."

    Secretary of the Senate Greg Schmidt says that EscutiaÂ's actions do not violate any rule, because it was "in the regular course of the business of the Senate."

    A parallel rule in the Assembly lists the responsibilities of the Chief Clerk as "to refuse to permit any bills, papers, or records to be removed from his or her office or out of his or her custody, except upon duly signed receipts from persons authorized."

    Several observers note that in the Assembly only the Clerk, or his staff, have traditionally delivered Assembly bills to the Senate.

    Not so, in the Senate, contends Schmidt, "I have carried [bills]. I have given them to the sergeants. We have the tradition that on the last night, senators carry bills."

    As for the concept that the episode was "unprecedented," Schmidt replied, "That's bullshit. Nothing happened. There was nothing weird or different about it."

    So why all the fuss?

    Schmidt, a veteran of Capitol politicking, retorts, "Maybe none of those people had been here on a closing night before."

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