GOP Dispatches: Day 1

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[With me close to home these days expecting some family news, my KQED colleague Scott Shafer is covering this weekend's biannual California Republican Party convention. He's also filing a few short journal entries for CapNotes. Listen for his GOP confab coverage this afternoon on the newsmagazine edition of The California Report, starting at 4:30 p.m. on many public radio stations statewide. --JM]

Afternoon: Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner is wasting no time pouncing on a Sacramento Bee article reporting that fellow GOP gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman apparently never registered to vote until 2002. And didn't bother to vote after that. As Republicans gather at their statewide convention in Indian Wells this weekend, Poizner sent out a press release saying Whitman feared "the California press corps, which is the only thing she avoids more than debates and voting."

Is a little Whitman piling on happening? As Poizner tries to ride "not voting-gate" -- Governor Schwarzenegger is dismissing the former eBay CEO's promise to delay implementing AB 32 regulations if she becomes governor.

And what better place to announce you're suing Jerry Brown than the GOP convention? Sen. George Runner (R-Lancaster) has called a press conference for tomorrow at the Esmeralda Resort where he'll reveal he's taking Brown to court over the ballot title and summary the AG wrote for an initiative now being circulated for signatures. Conservatives are still fuming over Brown's revision of the summary for Proposition 8 -- the anti-gay marriage measure -- a revision pointing out that Prop 8 would remove a right to marriage for same sex couples.

Morning: The fall GOP Convention is getting underway down in Indian Wells and the talk will be on keeping the governorship in Republican control. But as the curtain raises at the posh Esmeralda Resort and Spa, some state party activists are buzzing about progress toward tossing one Republican out of office.

Conservative blogger Jon Fleischman, chair of the party's southern California efforts, says 50,000 signatures have now been gathered to recall state Assemblymember Anthony Adams (R-Hesperia), one of three Republican assemblymembers who joined with Dems to pass a state budget earlier this year. The budget included nearly 13-billion dollars in temporary tax increases -- placing a giant bull's eye on the San Bernardino Republican's back. A special election to bounce him out of office could happen as soon as January.

It's getting hot down here in the desert. Now where did you say the pool is? --Scott Shafer

Photo Slideshow from GOP Convention

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About John Myers

John Myers is senior editor of KQED's new California Politics & Government Desk. He has covered California politics for most of the past two decades, serving previously as Sacramento bureau chief for KQED News and most recently as political editor for KXTV News10 (ABC) in Sacramento. In 2014, he was named one of the nation's top statehouse reporters by The Washington Post. Follow him on Twitter @johnmyers.

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