This is a sampling from Bay Area News Group's Political Blotter blog. Read more and post comments at www.ibabuzz.com/politics.

Jan. 29

Rep. George Miller endorsed state Sen. Mark DeSaulnier on Wednesday to succeed him in Congress after he retires at the end of this year.

"I know Mark DeSaulnier exceedingly well," Miller said in a news release issued Wednesday by DeSaulnier's campaign. "Mark is the most qualified and capable candidate to carry on my work in Congress on behalf of the residents in the 11th District. He is progressive, results-driven, and has a deep connection to the communities and neighborhoods in this district. Most importantly, Mark embodies the issues and values that I have fought for throughout my career."

DeSaulnier, D-Concord, has been rolling out endorsements on an almost daily basis since Miller, D-Martinez, announced Jan. 13 that he would step down after his 20th term expires at the end of 2014. Though some of those endorsements came from people who initially had considered running against him for the seat -- including Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan, D-Alamo, and Walnut Creek Mayor Kristina Lawson -- none are likely to have as much impact as the incumbent's.

Miller said he and DeSaulnier "share a common passion and profound commitment to public service. Mark has had a major impact on key issues in our community -- saving the county library system, building the county hospital, championing transportation improvements like the fourth bore in the Caldecott, fighting for the poor and vulnerable, and many other issues."

Miller also said DeSaulnier "brings enormous skill and integrity to everything he does. ... He will continue our fight in Congress for the world's best education and health care systems, and he will strive to end poverty and inequality once and for all."

DeSaulnier said Miller "represents all that is great about public service" and has been a role model and friend.

"I have a bookmark from Rep. Miller that says, 'You are not in public service to sit on your ass and watch the parade go by,' and indeed we have not," he said. "Together, we've engaged and have empowered the residents of Contra Costa County, and we have given them a strong voice in their state and federal government.

"I will do my very best, every single day, to live up to his work ethic, determination, and resolve for championing the many cornerstone issues he's fought for in Washington on behalf of the residents in the 11th District," DeSaulnier said.

Other potential candidates include retired immigration judge Tue Phan-Quang, a 71-year-old Republican from Danville; and refinery worker Jason Ramey, a 33-year-old Democrat from Concord. The 11th Congressional District's voter registration is 50 percent Democrat, 24.6 percent Republican and 21.2 percent nonpartisan -- a safe Democratic district in which DeSaulnier seems to have a firm lead in name recognition, funding and endorsements.

Jan. 29

State Senate Majority Leader Ellen Corbett will serve out her final year in the Legislature with a seat on one of its most vital committees.

Corbett, D-San Leandro, was named to the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee on Wednesday, and will chair its Health and Human Services subcommittee; the appointment, made by the Senate Rules Committee, takes effect immediately. The 16-member committee must analyze the state budget proposal that Gov. Jerry Brown offered this month.

"I look forward to working closely with all stakeholders to ensure that the state budget process continues to be transparent and constituent-oriented," Corbett said in a news release.

Corbett said she's confident she and her colleagues can produce a final budget "that is both reasonable and ensures that the best interests of Californians are protected," particularly in her subcommittee's area. "After previous years of cuts to important health and human services programs, I look forward to approving a budget that minimizes the short- and long-term impacts to the most vulnerable segments of our population, including children, seniors and adults with developmental and other disabilities."

Corbett also is campaigning this year to unseat Rep. Eric Swalwell, a fellow Democrat, in the 15th Congressional District.