Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Gov. Jerry Brown won't be attending Democratic National Convention

Governor Jerry Brown

File photo by Andres Aguila/KPCC

Capitol spokesman Gil Duran said Thursday that Governor Jerry Brown will be skipping out on the Democratic National Convention next week.

Capitol spokesman Gil Duran said Thursday that Governor Jerry Brown will be skipping out on the Democratic National Convention next week, citing a death in the family and urgent legislative work. 

According to the Sacramento Bee, Brown's father-in-law Rockwell Gust had died earlier in the week and the governor still needs to review hundreds of bills before the Legislature concludes on Friday.

"We certainly understand, and our thoughts and our hearts go out to him and his wife during this critical time," says Democratic spokesman Tenoch Flores.

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Live Blog from Tampa: Final night of the Republican National Convention, including Mitt Romney's speech

Romney Accepts Party Nomination At The Republican National Convention

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Displays show Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney during the final day of the Republican National Convention at the Tampa Bay Times Forum on August 30, 2012 in Tampa, Florida. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney was nominated as the Republican presidential candidate during the RNC which will conclude today.

Bye Bye. Thanks for checking us out.  See you on the radio.

8:27 p.m...yes, I know, its 11:27 p.m. EST.  My apologies. I am guessing Romney will enjoy good reviews of this speech.  He was mostly businesslike - his nature, probably - but also showed more passion than he usually does.

8:23 p.m. : big white balloons; medium size red, white and blue balloons; tiny confetti flittering down upon the heads of Republicans from Alaska to Puerto Rico.  Its an impressive site.

8:17 p.m. : The balloons have dropped. People are popping them as a vocalist sings "America the Beautiful." A smiling Mitt and Ann Romney, extended family, plus the Paul Ryans standing at the front of the stage.  Is this our next president and vice president? We'll know in 69 days, presumably.  Unless we have hanging chads.

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Behind the scenes at the 2012 Republican National Convention (slideshow)

Republican National Convention Instagram

Frank Stoltze / KPCC

A driver waits for the last presidential nominee to arrive for the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida.

Republican National Convention Instagram

Frank Stoltze / KPCC

Various local, state and federal police walk the streets outside the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida.

Republican National Convention Instagram

Lauren Osen / KPCC

Signs to help media agencies at the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida.

Republican National Convention Instagram

Frank Stoltze / KPCC

The final steps to the NPR at the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida.

Republican National Convention Instagram

Lauren Osen / KPCC

Red, white and blue colored balloons at the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida.

Republican National Convention Instagram

Lauren Osen / KPCC

KPCC Producer Jasmin Tuffaha interviewing during the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida.

Republican National Convention Instagram

Gina Delvac / KPCC

A crowded 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida.

Republican National Convention Instagram

Jasmin Tuffaha / KPCC

Newt Gingrich, middle, and Callista Gingrich, right, pose for photos during the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida.

Republican National Convention Instagram

Lauren Osen / KPCC

Previewing the Democratic National Convention with KPCC at the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida.

Republican National Convention Instagram

Frank Stoltze / KPCC

New Jersey Republican National Convention delegate stands on the floor at the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida.

Republican National Convention Instagram

Gina Delvac / KPCC

RIck Santorum on the floor at the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida.

Republican National Convention Instagram

Lauren Osen / KPCC

Congressman Darrel Issa talks fast and Furious with KPCC at the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida.

Republican National Convention Instagram

Jasmin Tuffaha / KPCC

KPCC Political Reporter Frank Stoltze blogging during the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida.

Republican National Convention Instagram

Jasmin Tuffaha / KPCC

KPCC Producer Lauren Osen, left, warms up for an interview while AirTalk host Larry Mantle, right, blogs during the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida.

Republican National Convention

Collin Walzak/KPCC

AirTalk producers Anny Celsi, Collin Walzak and engineer Justice Levinthol man the AirTalk helm in Pasadena while Larry and the rest of the crew broadcasts live from the RNC in Tampa.


Our trip to the RNC in Tampa is coming to a close, but we’ve spent time with so many interesting people that our memories will stay strong. We hope you’ve enjoyed the photos, tweets and blog posts that have expanded our coverage beyond what we provide live on the air two hours a day.

This is the first political convention where KPCC has used multiple ways of bringing you here without time off from work or having to take a plane ride. There are many great stories to tell and people to share. 

We trust our photos give you a more complete sense of how much goes on at a massive convention like this. For KPCC journalists, it’s particularly exciting to interact with you in these new ways. 

We welcome your tweets and retweets (@AirTalk), comments on our politics blog Represent! (www.kpcc.org/blogs/politics), and feedback on our AirTalk segment pages. All this helps create a real-time way to connect listeners and users of social media in one big conversation. We hope you enjoy taking part in the convention with us, as much we enjoy sharing it with you.

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Romney’s top policy advisor is a rising star from the San Gabriel Valley

Lanhee Chen, 34, was born in Taiwan and grew up in Rowland Heights. He holds a law degree and PhD from Harvard.

Have you read Mitt Romney’s 59-point position paper on the economy? 

As Romney's campaign policy director, Lanhee Chen is largely responsible for the 172-page document. He also likely played a role in crafting Romney's speech at the Republican National Convention here in Tampa.

Chen, 34, was born in Taiwan and grew up in Rowland Heights. Like many Taiwanese-Americans in the San Gabriel Valley, his family is Republican. Many in the community consider the GOP, more so than the Democratic Party, to be strong supporters of Taiwan.

That doesn’t mean Chen's family talked American politics all the time in their Rowland Heights home.

“As with many Asian-American parents, they were much more interested in home country politics than U.S. politics,” Chen says. “Although that’s probably changed since I’ve gotten more involved in politics here in America.”

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California Republicans love Paul Ryan, even if some were shut out of his speech

Michael Saragosa, a delegate from Northern California, was blocked from getting to his seat during Paul Ryan's speech.

Michael Saragosa was thirsty. He wanted to grab a quick soda prior to settling in for Wednesday night’s big speech by Wisconsin Congressman and vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan at the Republican National Convention.

So, Saragosa — a delegate from the Northern California town of Placerville — climbed the stairs from where the Golden State delegation is seated on the floor of the Tampa Bay Times Forum, tucked "stage right" just in front of a VIP section where Mitt Romney sat the day before.

“But I got stuck off the floor,” he said later. The Tampa Fire Marshal said too many people were crowding the area. Indeed, from the press box above, every aisle looked jammed. “Even though we were delegates, and had the right to be on the floor. Unfortunately, we didn’t make it back in time.” 

Saragosa, Republican to the core, was forced to watch the party’s fastest rising star on a TV in the hallway.

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