SACRAMENTO _ The prize is a $17,500 pay increase, a massive office, giant staff, instant renown, control over millions in campaign contributions and a coveted seat at the table of power beside celebrity Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in the nation's largest state.
Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez's pending departure has sparked a mad scramble among 10 would-be successors that has included:
-- Assemblyman Charles Calderon sweetening his campaign with bouquets of Valentine's Day roses. Click here to find out more!
-- Assemblywoman Fiona Ma pitching colleagues with a letter claiming the "time has finally come" for a female Democrat to be speaker.
-- A major public employees union targeting candidates with a questionnaire asking how they'd address key union issues – including pay hikes.
California Common Cause President Kathay Feng jokingly calls it a "cat brawl," the massive behind-the-scenes jockeying, wooing, cajoling, persuading, politicking and arm-twisting that is scheduled to end with a Democratic caucus vote March 11.