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

June 9

Former Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi, who was eliminated in June 3's primary election for the 10th State Senate District, reported a few pre-election contributions right after the vote.

On June 5, she reported having received $1,000 from Rep. Karen Bass, D-Los Angeles, on May 31; Bass was Assembly Speaker during the second of Hayashi's three Assembly terms.

And on June 6, she reported having received $2,500 from San Ramon-based Chevron Corp. on June 2. That's interesting in light of Hayashi's opposition to fracking, and her attack upon rival Democrat Bob Wieckowski for not supporting a moratorium; Chevron semi-notoriously provided free pizza to residents near the site of a fracking explosion and fire this past February in Pennsylvania.

Hayashi, perhaps best known for her 2012 shoplifting conviction for which she's still on probation, finished third behind Wieckowski and Republican Peter Kuo.

June 10

Rep. Jeff Denham's amendment would cut off federal funding for California's high-speed rail project that was approved by the House on Tuesday.


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Denham introduced HR 3893, the Responsible Rail and Deterring Deficiency Act, in January with support from all California House Republicans. The House passed it Tuesday as an amendment to the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, HR 4745.

"Without a viable funding plan like the one voters supported, California's high-speed rail project is going nowhere fast," Denham, R-Modesto, said in a news release. "I'm pleased to have the support of so many of my House colleagues who recognize that we shouldn't be spending any more taxpayer money on a project without a future."

The roll call was 227-186. Among the six Democrats who voted for it were four Californians who face tough fights to keep their seats this November: Ami Bera, D-Rancho Cordova; Julia Brownley, D-Thousand Oaks; Raul Ruiz, D-Palm Springs; and Scott Peters, D-San Diego.

But before you get too excited: This has happened before. Denham offered the same amendment to the same THUD (!) appropriations bill in June 2012, and that one passed on a 239-185 vote; all California Democrats (and all but four House Democrats) had voted against it.

June 10

Rep. Barbara Lee is proud to report the passage of her amendment to block funding for Army regulations which ban many natural hairstyles worn by women of color.

Updated guidelines released in March included twists, large cornrows and dreadlocks on its list of unauthorized hairstyles. Lee's amendment, which prohibits any money being spent to implement these guidelines, was approved by the Appropriations Committee on a voice vote Tuesday and so will be included in the fiscal year 2015 Defense Appropriations Bill when it goes to the floor for a vote.

"I am pleased that my amendment to stop the implementation of the Army's new discriminatory regulations passed the appropriations committee," Lee, D-Oakland, said in a news release. "The army's use of words like 'unkempt' and 'matted' to describe the hairstyles of African American women are offensive stereotypes."

Lee said that as the daughter of a veteran, she recognizes the need for uniformity in the military. "But targeting women of color with no consideration of the unique challenges they face in maintaining their natural hair is prejudiced and wrong.

"While I am pleased that the Department of Defense is reviewing the regulation, we must halt implementation until we have a more comprehensive understanding of the impact to service members of color," she said. "With African-Americans representing one-third of the women in the armed forces, the U.S. Army must ensure that any proposed guidelines and policies are fair, balanced and culturally appropriate."