— The wife of ex-Democratic state senator Steve Peace is no longer a member of the state's Integrated Waste Management Board following the expiration of her term last month. Senate President Pro Tempore Don Perata named ex-state senator Wes Chesbro of Arcata, who had previously served on the board for eight years before getting elected to the senate in 1998, to the $117,818-a-year position. Cheryl Peace was named to the board in 2003 by then-Pro Tem John Burton, a close friend of her husband, now an advisor to Padres owner John Moores. ... Call them nuts, but last December the Barona Indian band handed out 11 "cashew tins" as "holiday gifts" to various members of the state legislature and state Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell, each valued at $31.59 and supplied by the Squirrel Brand Company of McKinney, Texas. The tribe also hosted Candy Hacegaba, a staffer for Assemblywoman Bonnie Garcia, at the Holiday Bowl game for $40. ... Meanwhile, Sempra Energy, whose SDG&E subsidiary wants to build a big new power line through Anza-Borrego state park in the face of fierce environmental protests, continued its usual round of blandishments to state officials. Biggest freeloader was Republican assemblyman Bill Emmerson of Redlands, who was treated to $210 worth of "Tickets, Food, & Bev" at Staples Center in L.A. on December 10. On November 17, Republican Assemblyman Sam Blakeslee, vice chair of the Assembly's Utilities and Commerce Committee, and four of his staffers partook of "Food & Bev" worth $26.25 each at Buona Tavola in San Luis Obispo. The event, according to a Sempra press release, came the day after the "Elections, Energy and Your Business' Bottom-Line" dinner November 16, sponsored by Southern California Gas Company, another big Sempra subsidiary. Besides Blakeslee, it included Dan Walters, the "syndicated Sacramento Bee columnist and political pundit" and covered "the topics of energy legislation, energy-efficiency programs that can help businesses save money, challenges and opportunities in California's energy markets, and the impact of the November elections on California."

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