FROM: Kim Alexander
DATE: December 28, 1998
RE: Gray Davis' Inaugural Festivities
In just a few days, Gray Davis will be inaugurated as California's new governor. Davis' inauguration marks the first time California's had a new governor in 8 years, and the first time a Democrat has governed the state in 16 years. This edition of CVF-NEWS covers this historic event.
* * * Governor-Elect Gray Davis' Web Site * * *
Kudos to Gray Davis and his staff for promptly publishing a "Governor-Elect" web site, located at http://www.governorelect.ca.gov. The site features information about serving in the Davis Administration, news releases announcing appointments, and contact info for reaching Davis' transition office.
* * * Inaugural Activities * * *
Many inaugural activities are scheduled for January 2 - January 4th. Unfortunately, all of these events, which include balls in Beverly Hills and Sacramento, are "invitation only". Davis will take the oath of office and be officially sworn in as California's new Governor on Monday, January 4th at 10:30 a.m. at the Sacramento Memorial Auditorium.
Although this event is closed to the public, Davis' inaugural committee staff has informed me that it will be webcast live on the Internet, as well as on the California Channel and CNBC. Some of the sites that are planning to carry the swearing-in ceremony next Monday include the Los Angeles Times (www.latimes.com) and MSNBC (www.msnbc.com). A live webcast of the swearing-in ceremony will certainly be a first, and an exciting event to watch on the Internet, but it's no replacement for a public event held in a venue where anyone could attend.
* * * Who's paying for all these parties? * * *
Gray Davis' Inaugural Committee has planned to raise $3.7 million to defray the costs of the festivities. A preliminary list of donors has been released by the committee, which is also planning to disclose a complete, final list to the Fair Political Practices Commission once the events are wrapped up. This is an important gesture, because (for some reason I've never completely understood) California's disclosure laws do not require inaugural contributions to be disclosed in the same way campaign contributions are.
We'll be sure to share the final list with CVF-NEWS subscribers once it's published. In the meantime, more details about who's footing the bill for the inaugural festivities are included in the news story below, by Scott Lindlaw of the Associated Press, published in the December 24th edition of the San Jose Mercury News.
-- Kim Alexander, President
California Voter Foundation
Lungren backers donate to Davis
Support shifts: Some who gave to GOP incumbent are
By Scott Lindlaw, Associated Press
SACRAMENTO -- Reaffirming that everyone loves a winner, some of Dan Lungren's big-business backers are now redirecting their largess to his gubernatorial race opponent, Gray Davis, to help finance the inauguration celebration.
Wednesday, Davis released a list of 134 individuals, companies and interest groups that are bankrolling the $3.7 million cost of his inaugural events Jan. 2-4. The donors gave from $10,000 to $250,000 each.
The list is peppered with companies and industry advocacy groups that are traditionally aligned with the GOP and that were heavy donors to Republican Lungren, who lost to Davis, a Democrat, by 20 percentage points Nov. 3.
At least seven firms and groups on the list were among Lungren's 50 biggest contributors, including Arco, the American Insurance Association, Chevron Corp., Hilton Hotels, the Irvine Co., Farmers Insurance Group and Sierra Pacific Industries.
Other historically Republican-leaning organizations and businesses that appear on the list include the California Chamber of Commerce and the California Manufacturers Association.
``What happened is that they bet their horse, but when they sit down and look at the type of administration that Gray Davis is going to run, they realize he's going be a strong supporter of California business,'' said Darius Anderson, executive director of the inaugural committee.
``We are extremely excited about having as many business supporters as we do. We think this sends a good coalition message to everyone across the board,'' Anderson said.
He pointed out that the manufacturers association and the California Labor Federation, AFL-CIO -- two historically adversarial groups -- were, along with Pacific Telesis Group, the biggest donors to the inauguration.
Many of Davis' heaviest contributors continued their donations to the inaugural festivities, including the California Labor Federation, AFL-CIO, the California Teachers Association, several Indian tribes, the Walt Disney Co. and California Professional Firefighters.
The large donations will help subsidize the cost of inaugural events so that people invited to them will be able to buy tickets in the $25 to $125 range.
In other news, Davis on Wednesday appointed veteran Los Angeles County firefighter and union leader Dallas Jones to head the state Office of Emergency Services.
He also named former U.S. Justice Department official Aileen Adams as secretary of state and consumer services.
Copyright 1998, Associated Press/San Jose Mercury News