SIGNATURE-GATHERING BILL PASSES: A bill levying penalties on companies or people who knowingly employ signature gatherers who don't meet state requirements has moved ahead in the state Senate. Senate Bill 1686, co-authored by Sens. Jeff Denham, R-Atwater, and Gloria Romero, D-East Los Angeles, would result in a $5,000 fine or one year in county jail for a company or person who is found to have employed signature gatherers who are from another state, for example. Denham is facing a recall election June 3. His supporters have said many who collected signatures for the recall were not from Denham's district or California, in violation of election law. The bill passed the state Senate last week with a 34-0 vote, and moves to the Assembly.
CIVICS 101: Civics 101 will be the topic at the monthly meeting of the Central Valley Democratic Club today at the Barkin' Dog Grill, 940 11th St., in Modesto. Optional dinner at 6 p.m., meeting at 7. Sandy Lucas, former California Democratic Party regional director, Region 7, will lecture and take questions regarding our local elected representatives: what they are doing, who they are and what we need to know. There also will be a brief description of the propositions for the June 3 election. Discussion about the direction of the club and its activities will follow. For more information, call club President Leslie Howard at 576-0096.
DeMARTINI FUND-RAISER: Jim DeMartini, incumbent running for the District 5 seat on the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors, is having a fund-raiser dinner Friday at the Patterson FDES Hall, 501 Ward Ave. Social starts at 6 p.m., dinner at 7. Contribution is $50 per person. For more information, call 892-4503.
WHITE MAKING ROUNDS: Taylor White, candidate for State Assembly District 25 against incumbent Tom Berryhill, R-Modesto, is kicking off his "Person-to-Person Listening Tour" this weekend and will be out and about attending local events, including the Oakdale Chocolate Festival, the Hughson Fruit & Nut Festival and Lt. Gov. John Garamendi's Annual Basque BBQ on Saturday. He will be discussing issues and concerns of local residents. For more information, go to www.taylorwhitestateassembly2008.com.
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McCAIN IN STOCKTON: Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain will visit Stockton on May 22 for a rally and a fund-raiser. The rally is at 4 p.m. at the Spanos Jet Center. McCain will attend a fund-raiser later at the home of Stockton developer Alex Spanos.
VOTER REGISTRATION DRIVES: The League of Women Voters of Stanislaus County will have registration drives on Monday -- the last day to register to vote in the June 3 state primary -- at three Stanislaus County libraries. Registration will be from 5 to 7 p.m. in Modesto at 1500 I St., 4 to 6 p.m. in Turlock at 550 Minaret Ave and 2 to 5 p.m. in Patterson at 46 N. Salado Ave. The Stanislaus County Democrats club also is conducting a drive Monday at the following locations: Modesto-Red Rock Media Center-Downtown, 915 14th St., 9 a.m to 4 p.m.; Modesto-Safeway, 2001 McHenry Ave., 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; California State University, Stanislaus, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Turlock-Safeway, 3051 Countryside Drive, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Riverbank-Target, 2425 Claribel Road, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Oakdale-Raley's, 1550 E. F St., 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.; and Save Mart-Patterson, 1035 Sperry Ave., 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, call 869-5609.
BOWEN TO SPEAK IN MODESTO: California Secretary of State Debra Bowen will be the keynote speaker at a Central Valley Democratic Club event on June 26 at the McHenry Mansion. Bowen, who was first elected in 2006, recently was awarded the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage award for her office's investment in new voting technology for California. For more information about the event, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 869-5609.
WANTED: YOUNG DEMOCRATS: The Central Valley Young Democrats club is looking for new members to help in 2008 elections. Members should be ages 14 to 35 and may be asked to help in such activities as precinct walking, voter registration and phone banking. The club will have elections for new officers soon. For more information, call 869-5609 or e-mail email@example.com.
Have comments about or contributions for Election Connection? Send them to Election Connection, P.O. Box 5256, Modesto 95352; or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. It appears weekly on Thursdays. Deadline for publication is 6 p.m. Tuesday. Endorsements, yard signs and precinct walk announcements will not be published.