House Rep. Steve Pearce rode a wave of national resentment and money from oil and gas companies to regain an office he vacated in 2008.
Now he's back, and he brought with him a former Washington insider and lobbyist who sought to roll back environmental legislation well before it was the hot new thing to do.
California's big alcohol industry fills the glasses of many Americans and the coffers of many politicians. The state's tax rates on alcohol are some of the lowest in the country as a result. Despite a large budget deficit, Gov. Jerry Brown and lawmakers are not looking to change this any time soon.
"They have hordes of lobbyists," California Assembly Member Jim Beall, Jr. (D-24) said, describing the alcohol industry's political army. "One of them called me 'the devil.'" Why? Simply because Beall authored a recent failed bill to impose a fee on alcohol purchases.