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

Feb. 25

If you were wondering whether anyone would endorse former Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi in her run for the state Senate, wonder no more.

Hayashi, 47, of Hayward -- who was convicted two years ago of shoplifting $2,450 worth of clothes from a Neiman Marcus store in San Francisco -- announced Tuesday that she has the United Farm Workers' endorsement in her campaign for the 10th state Senate District seat.

Hayashi's news release said UFW President Arturo Rodriguez wrote that Hayashi's actions "have demonstrated a strong commitment to the farmworker movement and helped improve the lives of farmworkers. We hold you in the highest regard and consider you to be an individual with platinum status in the eyes of farmworkers."

Hayashi will be competing for the Senate seat -- from which Ellen Corbett, D-San Leandro, is term-limited out -- against Assemblyman Bob Wieckowski, D-Fremont; Democrat Roman Reed, a spinal-injury research advocate and planning commissioner from Fremont; and Republican Peter Kuo, an insurance agent from Santa Clara.


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Wieckowski announced last week that he had received the sole endorsement of the Alameda and South Bay Labor Councils. Also, local Democrats at a regional caucus meeting earlier this month gave Wieckowski 105 votes for pre-endorsement, while Reed received eight and Hayashi got none. That means Wieckowski's name will be placed on the consent calendar at the state Democrats' convention next month in Los Angeles, an almost surefire route to the party's endorsement.

But endorsements don't pay for elections. Campaign finance reports filed at the end of last month show Hayashi finished 2013 with $734,000 in her campaign account and no outstanding debts. Wieckowski had about $125,000 in the bank and owed $32,000; Reed had about $49,000 after lending his campaign $40,000; and Kuo had $24,000 including a $5,000 loan from his own pocket.

Kuo is holding a campaign kick-off fundraiser this Thursday, Feb. 27, at the Bay Club Santa Clara (formerly the Decathlon Club), seeking from $100 to $1,000 per person.

And the fun might not be limited to these four candidates. The Alameda County Registrar of Voters' log shows two other people have taken out papers for this race, which they might or might not file by the March 7 deadline: Alameda County Superior Court Judge Roy Hashimoto and former Assemblywoman Audie Bock.

Bock, you'll recall, was elected to the Assembly as a Green, then went decline-to-state for her unsuccessful re-election bid, then switched to the Democratic Party -- and now seems to be a registered Republican.

Yes, this 10th state Senate District race seems to be the gift that keeps on giving. Stay tuned ...

Feb. 28

The venture capitalist who wants to break California into six states has put his money where his mouth is.

Well, some money, at least. Tim Draper, of Atherton, gave $750,000 to his "Six Californias" committee on Wednesday, according to a report filed Thursday with the secretary of state's office.

That's not chump change for us ordinary folks, but it's a small percentage of Draper's sizable personal fortune. Nor is it nearly enough by itself to bankroll the paid petition circulation that would be needed to gather 808,000 signatures by mid-April in order to put the measure on this November's ballot.

Nice down payment, though, especially given that when asked Monday how much he was willing to spend on this, Draper replied, "as little as possible." He also said he knew several other people who were eager to contribute to the measure, but he refused to name them; so far, Draper remains Six Californias' only donor.