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

Aug. 19

Texas Gov. Rick Perry -- a 2012 Republican presidential primary candidate who some think will try again in 2016 -- will headline the California Republican Party's fall convention this October in Anaheim.

"Gov. Perry's leadership is a major reason why Texas has emerged as one of America's leading forces for economic opportunity and personal freedom, and we're delighted that he accepted our invitation," state GOP chairman Jim Brulte said Monday.

Republican National Committee Co-Chairwoman Sharon Day and National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Greg Walden also are scheduled to speak at the convention, which will run Oct. 4-6 at the Hilton Anaheim.

Day, now in her second term as RNC co-chairwoman, will discuss "the committee's historic investment in California," according to the party's news release. The RNC less than a month ago announced it had hired 23-year-old San Diego campaign operative Clinton Soffer as its state director for California, charged with overseeing GOP field operations as the besieged California party works to rebuild from the ground up.


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Rep. Walden, R-Ore., "will focus his remarks on California's critical role in maintaining the Republican majority in the House of Representatives," the state GOP's news release said. Much like last year, California should see a bunch of competitive House races in 2014.

Aug. 19

A state lawmaker wants to make sure there's no chance that the builders of the Bay Bridge's new eastern span will receive a $20 million bonus.

State Sen. Anthony Cannella, R-Ceres, issued a statement Monday saying he'd been pleased last month to hear that the bridge's opening might be delayed in order to ensure that safety issues -- broken anchor rods embedded in seismic stabilizers -- could be addressed.

"I was surprised that just two days following the announcement that the bridge opening would be delayed, there was a last-minute proposal to use shims as a temporary fix," he said. "The news that the eleventh-hour decision to open the Bay Bridge will result in a $20 million bonus warrants an investigation.

"I find it egregious that the lead builder is going to be in line to receive $20 million in bonuses when the increased costs stemming from construction errors could well exceed that amount," Cannella said. "I am working with my colleagues in the Legislature to ensure that this decision to use a last-minute temporary fix is completely investigated. We have already been working to address issues relating to other safety issues, massive cost overruns and previous delays in construction. As an engineer, I continue to be baffled by the decisions made in the building of this bridge."

As my colleagues Lisa Vorderbrueggen and Matthias Gafni reported last week, American Bridge/Fluor Enterprises -- the main contractor for the self-anchored suspension span segment -- could earn as much as $20 million in incentive payments for completing a set of seismic readiness construction tasks whether or not the bridge opens to traffic Sept. 3. Bay Area Toll Authority executive director and oversight committee Chairman Steve Heminger has cast doubt on whether the contractor would get the money, given the cracked-rod fiasco.