Curious what our legislators thought of the governor's State of the State speech on Thursday? Here are a few of their remarks.
Tom Berryhill: "Surprised Governor didn't mention prisoner realignment in the State of the State. Big problem in Central Valley."
Anthony Cannella: "I agree with Gov, don't doubt California's greatness or potential!"
And later from Cannella: "Light applause on Gov goal for CEQA reform. Awkward! We have to do something!"
Kristin Olsen: "Love @JerryBrownGov commitment 2 increasing local control & flexibility 4 schools 2 improve student achievement. Hope leg Dems agree."
And more: "@JerryBrownGov compares High Speed Rail to Little Engine that Could. Geez. Don't taint one of my favorite books."
All three legislators put out longer statements later by email, with grammatically correct sentences and none of that numbers as words lingo that is so popular in texting. But their instant responses appeared on Twitter.
Twitter is the social media site that forces everyone to keep it short 140 characters max, counting spaces. It's the playground of celebrities, who make major announcements and trivial comments. It's also become a communications tool for politicians, especially during a campaign but year round for some.
I try to monitor what our elected reps are saying on Twitter because, well, it's part of my job. I seldom see anything surprising.
Olsen got into a bit of a social media feud with Sen. Leland Yee when he was running for mayor of San Francisco. That had roots in the stink he raised about Sarah Palin's appearance at California State University, Stanislaus, where Olsen used to work. I'm not revisiting that subject.
These days, Olsen is the most prolific Tweeter among our legislators and even in the state Capitol. A staff member says Olsen does all of her own tweeting and encourages staff members to have Twitter accounts as well.
I think age has something to do with it, but the stereotype doesn't hold true across the board. Olsen, 39, and Cannella, 43, are among the active tweeters, but the youngest legislator from our area, Adam Gray, 35, isn't on Twitter, according to a staff member. He is on Facebook.
Assembly newcomer Frank Bigelow, 58, has started tweeting, although I got one of his young staff members to acknowledge that a staff member sometimes posts on Bigelow's behalf.
Sen. Cathleen Galgiani, 49, isn't a tweeter either. With all due respect, I think that 140-character limit would be hard for Galgiani, who loves a good, long policy conversation.
Twitter, along with Facebook, might be the best way to reach younger constituents. It also provides an easy way for our representatives of both parties to assure us they're on the same side of one issue the 49ers in the Super Bowl. I'm seeing lots of Go Niners posts.
Mark Looker, an ag communications consultant here in Modesto, thinks Twitter can be useful. "I find Sen. Cannella and Assemblywoman Olsen to be adept at using Twitter for what it was intended short blurbs about issues that are relevant to their constituents. They don't talk about what they had for lunch or how nice the weather is. For the most part, their Tweets are tied into policy issues."
In my last column, I speculated that there would be a lot of interest in the District 4 race for the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors if Dick Monteith retired. I have an update: Monteith told me fully intends to run in 2014 for a third term on the board. Will he have challengers? Too soon to guess.
I have another confirmed candidate for 2014: Local attorney Tom Hallinan says he will run for the 12th state Senate District seat held by Republican Anthony Cannella of Ceres, who plans to run again.
Hallinan has served on the Yosemite Community College District board since 1996, and was unopposed for re-election in 2012. He is the contract attorney for several smaller cities, on the front line and occasionally in the midst of the fray in places such as Riverbank and Oakdale.
A Democrat, Hallinan ran for the Assembly in 2002, losing to Greg Aghazarian of Stockton. He said he always intended to run again and believes the time is right.
Tom Berryhill, R-Modesto, also has a committee formed to run for the Senate again in 2014.
Redistricting created a quirky situation for the state Senate, leaving about 4 million Californians with no senator and some with two senators, according to the Los Angeles Times. That will be rectified with the 2014 election.
The temporary solution is for some senators, Berryhill included, to represent people who aren't really in their district. Berryhill will caretake three mountain counties, including Calaveras, out of an office in Jackson.
Berryhill represents District 14, which has been dramatically redrawn. In 2014, he'll have to run in the new Senate District 8, which stretches along the Mother Lode and Sierra, all the way from Mather Air Force Base outside Sacramento south past Mount Whitney.
Berryhill owns a vacation home in Tuolumne County, so it won't be a difficult transition to run in District 8.
Sly is editor of the Opinions pages. Contact her at (209) 578-2317 or email@example.com or on Twitter @judysly.