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385 posts
  • Governor's race
  • 2018 election

Republican candidate for governor John Cox launched his first campaign ad for the general election Monday, blaming Democratic rival Gavin Newsom and California’s “political class” for a series of problems including water restrictions and the state’s high poverty rates.

In the two-minute digital ad, which will run on social media, Cox looks into the camera and tells viewers he’s the political outsider who can fix California’s ills. That’s been the theme of the Cox campaign since he announced his bid for governor in early 2017.

“This election is about the status quo versus change,” Cox says in the ad. “Gavin Newsom stands with the lobbyists and the corrupt insiders. It’s about time someone stands with the Californians he’s forgotten.”

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  • State government
(Andrew Harnik / Associated Press)

California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra announced Thursday that the state will join a lawsuit filed against the Trump administration to block the release of blueprints for 3-D-printed guns.

The announcement came weeks after Cody Wilson, known as the inventor of the 3-D-printed gun and founder of digital firearm blueprint developer Defense Distributed, reached a settlement with the U.S. Justice Department allowing him to publish the files online.

The suit, led by Washington state, was filed early this week. In addition to California, seven other states and the District of Columbia have signed on. On Tuesday, a Seattle federal judge issued an order temporarily preventing the public from accessing the blueprints. 

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  • Ballot measures
  • 2018 election
GOP gubernatorial candidate John Cox with Carl DeMaio, left, of Reform California and Jon Coupal of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Assn.
GOP gubernatorial candidate John Cox with Carl DeMaio, left, of Reform California and Jon Coupal of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Assn. (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

Supporters of an effort to repeal California’s fuel tax increase are looking for someone to fill the tank of their campaign bank account as new reports show the effort to pass Proposition 6 has spent most of the money it has raised.

State campaign reports filed on Tuesday show most of the $2.9 million that Proposition 6 supporters have collected this year has already been spent, leaving little for the fall campaign season. Opponents of the repeal, a coalition of transportation advocates, have raised more and spent much less.

Proposition 6 seeks to repeal the $52-billion transportation law enacted last year that finances a variety of road and highway repair projects. The law created additional taxes on gas and diesel sales as well as a new annual vehicle registration fee. Critics of the law quickly drafted a ballot measure to abolish the law and raised money from state Republican leaders to gather the signatures necessary for the proposition to qualify for the November ballot.

  • State government
  • California Legislature
State Sen. Richard Pan (D-Sacramento)
State Sen. Richard Pan (D-Sacramento) (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

A pair of anti-vaccine activists recently filed a lawsuit against a state senator who authored a controversial vaccine law for blocking the activists on Twitter, arguing that it limited their 1st Amendment rights.

The suit pointed to a recent court decision that deemed President Trump’s Twitter page a public forum and ruled that he must unblock users he had previously blocked. Although Trump unblocked the plaintiffs in that case, he is appealing the decision.

Along with forcing state Sen. Richard Pan (D-Sacramento) to unblock them, the activists are seeking attorney’s fees and financial relief as “deemed appropriate.”

(Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

Gov. Jerry Brown offered a high-stakes assessment on Wednesday of fears that California’s utilities might buckle under the weight of billions of dollars in fire-related payments. And he urged lawmakers to take action to revamp liability law when they return to work next week.

“There is concern that we could lose our utilities,” Brown said of possible investor-owned utility company bankruptcies during a news conference at an emergency operations headquarters in Sacramento. “And if we do that, our whole program, of trying to deal with renewable energy and mitigate climate change, would be adversely affected.”

The governor offered a draft proposal to lawmakers last week that would loosen the strict liability that utilities like Pacific Gas & Electric Co. now bear following fires like the deadly blazes that swept through Napa and Sonoma counties last year.

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  • California Legislature
(Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)

Legislative officials said Wednesday that they had closed the case on sexual harassment complaints against a former high-ranking Assembly staff member, six months after disclosing earlier allegations against him and other top staffers.

The investigation into the conduct of Pedro Reyes, who left his job last December as chief consultant to the Assembly Appropriations Committee, concluded he had violated sexual harassment policy. The documents, which were redacted to keep his accuser’s identity private, outlined allegations that Reyes had “forcibly kissed her on the lips” and had given her unwelcome hugs over a period of time spanning more than a year.

“Although you are no longer an Assembly employee, you were subject to the provisions of the Assembly’s policy when you were working for the Assembly,” said the July 12 letter signed by Debra Gravert, the Assembly’s chief administrative officer.

The activists behind the “Calexit” proposal to cleave California are scrapping their old plans in favor a new secessionist proposal, one that would create what organizers call an “autonomous native nation” within a new independent state.

  • Ballot measures
  • 2018 election
Renters facing eviction confront anti-rent-control advocates at the offices of Beachfront Property Management in Long Beach in June
Renters facing eviction confront anti-rent-control advocates at the offices of Beachfront Property Management in Long Beach in June (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

Opponents of expanding rent control in California raised nearly $10 million through the first half of this year, the beginning of what’s expected to be one of the costliest fights on the state’s November ballot.

Top donors to the campaign include apartment developers Essex Property Trust of San Mateo and Equity Residential of Chicago, which gave $2.3 million and $1.7 million respectively, according to state campaign finance reports released this week. The California Apartment Assn. has estimated its members will raise approximately $60 million to defeat the initiative, Proposition 10.

Rent control proponents raised $2.4 million in the first half of the year with almost all of it coming from the Los Angeles-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation. The campaign spent the lion’s share of that money on signature gathering to ensure Proposition 10 qualified for the ballot. Supporters of expanding rent control have said they expect to run a well-funded campaign, but that the opposition will outspend them.

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  • State government
  • 2018 election
Shown is the design for a roadway sign mentioning funds from California's new gas tax increase.
Shown is the design for a roadway sign mentioning funds from California's new gas tax increase. (Caltrans)

An Orange County state senator, who won a special election in June that was triggered by California’s recent gas tax increase, wants transportation officials to remove the signs that point out road repairs paid for with the funds.

Sen. Ling Ling Chang (R-Diamond Bar) wrote to California Department of Transportation officials last week to protest the signs as “inappropriate,” given voters might repeal the tax hike in November with Proposition 6.

“No matter what the issue, it is not the job of taxpayer-funded state departments to influence public opinion on matters considered on the ballot,” Chang wrote in a letter to Laurie Berman, the director of Caltrans.

  • Governor's race
  • 2018 election
  • California Republicans
Former gubernatorial candidate Travis Allen, left, has endorsed fellow Republican John Cox in the race.
Former gubernatorial candidate Travis Allen, left, has endorsed fellow Republican John Cox in the race.

Nearly two months after the primary, former gubernatorial candidate Travis Allen has endorsed fellow Republican John Cox in the race.

“It's time we put the Primary past us and UNITE to WIN IN NOVEMBER,” Allen tweeted on Sunday to back his onetime rival. “Join TODAY, and together let’s TAKE BACK CALIFORNIA!!”

Cox responded by complimenting Allen.