This is a sampling from Bay Area News Group's Political Blotter blog. Read more and post comments at www.ibabuzz.com/politics.

April 3

Rep. Mike Honda and challenger Ro Khanna aren't the only ones getting an early start on their campaign rollouts: Board of Equalization member Betty Yee this week announced her campaign team for her 2014 bid for state controller -- but she, too, might have some heavy-hitting fellow Democrats to contend with.

Yee said Parke Skelton of SG&A Campaigns in Pasadena will be her lead consultant. That firm helped Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones, Secretary of State Debra Bowen and current Controller John Chiang win their races.

And Nick Veach, a Long Beach native who recently worked on U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin's campaign, will serve as the campaign's finance and fundraising director. "Nick brings tremendous energy to my campaign after helping to elect the nation's first openly gay member to the United States Senate in an upset victory," Yee said in a news release.

Yee was elected to the Board of Equalization in 2006 and re-elected in 2010. Earlier, she served as the state Finance Department's chief deputy director for budget, where she led the development of the Governor's Budget, negotiations with the Legislature and key budget stakeholders, and fiscal analysis of legislation on behalf of the administration. Earlier yet, she held senior staff positions on several fiscal and policy committees in both houses of the Legislature.


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She won't be the only Democrat seeking the controller's office next year. Other Democrats who've filed statements of intention to run include state Sen. Ron Calderon, former state Sen. Dean Florez and former Assemblyman Dario Frommer, as well as state Treasurer Bill Lockyer -- a presumptive favorite, given his long record and fundraising prowess. I have it on good authority that at least one or two of the former lawmakers won't get into the race if Lockyer does, but Yee obviously is going for the gusto one way or the other.

April 3

House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy is bringing a group of House Republicans on an "Innovate to Create" tour of Silicon Valley this week to meet with leading tech entrepreneurs and discuss how innovation leads to American job creation and economic growth.

"Silicon Valley is the cradle of twenty-first century innovation and the home to businesses that have effectively harnessed the entrepreneurial spirit that has made this country so great. Visiting these companies and meeting with their leaders is a great opportunity for members of Congress to see firsthand how innovation leads to job creation and economic growth across the entire country and around the world," McCarthy, R-Bakersfield, said in a news release.

"Washington must be mindful of the impact its policies can have in either fostering or hindering this growth. House Republicans are committed to unshackling entrepreneurs from onerous government-manufactured burdens that threaten to dampen opportunities for development so that there are no limits to what America's innovators can imagine for our future."

The lawmakers will meet with representatives from Google, Facebook, the Internet Association Roundtable, Engine Advocacy, Good Technology and Palantir Technologies. Besides McCarthy, lawmakers on the tour include Reps. Susan Brooks, R-Ind.; George Holding, R-N.C.; Cory Gardner, R-Colo.; Patrick McHenry, R-N.C.; Patrick Meehan, R-Pa.; Mike Pompeo, R-Kan.; and Steve Scalise, R-La.