With the holiday season over, politicians across Orange County geared up this week to get back to work. In Sacramento, new legislators spent Monday mingling with each other as they prepared to hear Gov. Jerry Brown offer his inaugural address.
Just outside the capitol, the Orange County Employees Association put the county in center slot serving up more than 4,000 hot dogs to just about every legislative worker in the state capitol and hosting every top politician in the building throughout the day.
A host of legislative aides, lobbyists and government workers sped through the hot dog line served by OCEA. While the last inaugural featured long lines for hot dogs at the “People’s Inaugural,” this year more hot dogs were actually served with less lines with OCEA board members greeting workers and preparing hot dogs.Throughout all the hot dogs, OCEA General Manager Nick Berardino pressed a host of elected officials, like Assemblyman Tom Daly, on the county’s legislative goals: getting more property tax dollars back to Orange County.
Jennifer Muir, assistant general manager for OCEA, plots strategy with Art Pulaski, Executive Secretary Treasurer of the California Labor Federation, which represents over two million workers across California.
Newly-elected Assemblyman Matt Harper, from Huntington Beach, was giddy on his first day in the legislature proudly announcing that having a fat campaign account doesn’t always translate into electoral success. Harper, who had less funding that Newport Beach Mayor Keith Curry, soundly dominated the polls on election day.Assemblyman Don Wagner was on hand even though he is gearing up for a run on the open seat vacated by outgoing Sen. Mimi Walters, who was just elected to Congress. Wagner will take on County Supervisor John Moorlach, who has announced he is also seeking the seat.
Gov. Brown celebrated his long family history in the state by acknowledging his family in the visitors gallery above.State Senator Janet Nguyen, who was elected by soundly beating former Democratic Assemblyman Jose Solorio, seems ready to make herself a presence in the senate.Former Assemblywoman Diane Harkey, now on the State Board of Equalization, stood talking with former State Treasurer Bill Lockyear. Harkey has been mentioned by several legislators as one of the most effective advocates on property tax for OC.State Senator Pat Bates went from a panel where she and Nguyen almost made up half the legislators to a new reality where women are at a historic low in terms of being represented in the state legislature.
Standing room only: the crowd for Steel’s ceremony spilled out the courtroom and into the hallway.