First lady rallies local Democrats |

First lady rallies local Democrats

Democrats may be outnumbered in Nevada County, but they found lots to laugh about Tuesday when Sharon Davis, wife of the governor, spoke at a Democratic Women’s Club luncheon in Grass Valley.

During a meal of “stuffed Simon” (stuffed salmon rechristened after Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Simon), Davis broke the ice with a story about a recent flight she took to Los Angeles in a small plane.

Following the flight, Gov. Gray Davis called his wife to find out if the plane had two pilots, which he prefers in case of emergency.

“Actually, I only had one (pilot),” Davis told her husband. “But I only needed one because it was a woman.”

She praised her husband’s record, saying he’s increased public school funding and performance, made it easier for 1 million children to get subsidized health insurance through the Healthy Families program and Medicaid, and set up the Department of Managed Care to help people resolve problems with health maintenance organizations.

“We have HMO reform in California which is a … model they could use nationwide,” said Davis. More than 40,000 people have won decisions against their HMOs with the agency’s help, she said.

Despite 100-degree-plus temperatures this summer, California had no electricity blackouts, she said. The energy crisis was a problem Gov. Davis inherited and dealt with, including helping to get 11 new power plants built, she said.

Mike Lasich, the luncheon’s master of ceremonies, got laughs by announcing that “after today’s meeting, there will be no street fighting.”

He was referring to a recent altercation following a Nevada County Republican Central Committee meeting.

“As long as they’re beating up themselves, they can’t beat up on us anymore,” Lasich said.

Davis was scheduled to be the featured speaker Tuesday night at a fund-raising dinner for 4th District state Senate candidate Marianne Smith.

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