Those we lost in 2014

John Vasconcellos, the second longest serving member of the California Legislature (with 38 years), was one of the notables to leave us in 2014. Another was State Treasurer Bert A. Betts, who as a B-24 pilot in WWII, flew “30 consecutive missions over Germany and enemy occupied territory without once failing to complete a mission.”

A more recent figure in the Capitol, Ira Ruskin served in the Assembly until terming out in 2010. Six months after leaving office, doctors diagnosed Ruskin as having incurable brain cancer. He lived with the cancer for more than three years. As the opponent of the first candidate I ever worked for, Ruskin’s victory in 2004 played a major part in motivating my interest in California’s political history.

FEBRUARY
Shirley Temple Black – Actress and Congressional candidate (1967)
Ollie Speraw – State Senator (1979-1984)
Jim Keysor – Assemblyman (1970-1978)

MAY
Bert A. Betts – State Treasurer (1959-1970)
John Vasconcellos – State Assemblyman (1966-1996), State Senator (1996-2004)
Mickey Harrington – Legislative candidate

JULY
Ira Ruskin – State Assemblyman (2004-2010)

SEPTEMBER
John F. Foran – State Assemblyman (1962-1976), State Senator (1976-1986)
Richard “Dick” Dickerson – State Assemblyman (1998-2002)

OCTOBER
Earl S. Smittcamp – Disaster Acting Governor (1967-2014)