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459 posts
  • State government
  • California Legislature
The governor has signed a new law aimed at improving the tracking of hate crimes by local law enforcement agencies.
The governor has signed a new law aimed at improving the tracking of hate crimes by local law enforcement agencies. (Associated Press)

After a state audit faulted law enforcement agencies including the Los Angeles Police Department for underreporting hate crimes, Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a measure that seeks to improve the investigation and tracking of incidents based on race, gender and sexual orientation, officials said Thursday.

The new law, which takes effect in January, sets minimum standards for how local law enforcement agencies investigate and report hate crimes, and addresses issues in a May 31 state audit that found hate crimes are underreported by 14% in California.

“We can’t stop the problem unless we know how big it is,” said Assemblyman Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), who introduced AB 1985. “My bill requires law enforcement to use the same language and follow the same reporting procedures so that we can get an accurate picture of the prevalence of hate crimes in California.

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  • Ballot measures
  • 2018 election
Gavin Newsom, the Democratic candidate for governor, mixes with supporters at a rally Wednesday, saying he opposes breaking up the state.
Gavin Newsom, the Democratic candidate for governor, mixes with supporters at a rally Wednesday, saying he opposes breaking up the state. (Patrick McGreevy)

California’s Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gavin Newsom said Wednesday that he has been a friend of Silicon Valley venture capitalist Tim Draper for 20 years, but he is opposing a November ballot initiative championed by Draper to break California into three states.

“He is an incredibly bright and capable person,” Newsom told reporters at a campaign event in Sacramento. “That is not [exemplified] in this initiative, and I will not be supporting the initiative, and I don’t expect the people of this state will support it.”

Newsom, the lieutenant governor, faces Republican John Cox in the November election for governor.

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  • 2018 election
Sen. leader Toni Atkins, left, state Democratic Party Chair Eric Bauman and Gov. Jerry Brown listen to Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom speak at rally
Sen. leader Toni Atkins, left, state Democratic Party Chair Eric Bauman and Gov. Jerry Brown listen to Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom speak at rally (Jonathan J. Cooper)

Rallying Democrats for the November election, Gov. Jerry Brown said Wednesday that he looks forward to passing the baton to Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, the party’s candidate for governor, who in turn promised to continue the progressive agenda pursued by Brown.

Standing in front of about four dozen activists and other Democratic candidates for state office, the 80-year-old governor said he would campaign for Newsom, saying the 50-year-old candidate would bring a “creative, energetic” approach to the governor’s office.

“Gavin Newsom will get stuff done. There is a time for an old guy, and there is time for a young guy,” Brown said, drawing laughter during the event at the state Democratic Party headquarters in Sacramento. “I was the right man at the right time, and right now Gavin Newsom is the right man at the right time for the next four years in California.”

  • Ballot measures
  • 2018 election
It would be the first division of an existing U.S. state since the creation of West Virginia in 1863.

California voters will have a historic decision to make in November’s election: whether they should live in three new states instead of one.

The proposal that qualified Tuesday for the fall ballot is far from the final step in the process, nor is its passage a guarantee that Northern California, Southern California and California would be newly drawn onto maps of the United States.

Here’s what would happen if voters approve the ballot measure by simple majority on Nov. 6.

  • California Legislature
  • Sexual harassment
California Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia, D-Bell Gardens, poses for picture at her campaign headquarters in Downey, Calif.
California Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia, D-Bell Gardens, poses for picture at her campaign headquarters in Downey, Calif. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

A groping allegation against Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia will get further legislative scrutiny, as lawmakers review the appeal of a complaint originally found to be unsubstantiated.

Daniel Fierro, a former legislative staffer who said Garcia (D-Bell Gardens) inappropriately touched him at a legislative softball game four years ago, filed a notice of appeal last month, after the initial months-long investigation did not substantiate his claim.

This week, an attorney for the Assembly notified Fierro’s lawyer by letter that the leaders of the Assembly Rules Committee, which oversees the investigation process, “both received and reviewed Mr. Fierro’s Notice of Appeal and instructed that further investigation be conducted with respect to Mr. Fierro’s allegations and the issues you identify in your Notice of Appeal.”

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Larry Thomas, a San Diego native who parlayed a newspaper job writing about politics into a career as a press spokesman and strategist for a mayor, a governor, a vice president, and one of the largest real estate development companies in California, died Monday night at his home in Newport Beach from complications of cancer.

A bank has seized a Tulare County dairy farm owned by Rep. David Valadao and his family to resolve more than $8 million in loans that have not been repaid, according to court documents.

  • 2018 election
Assemblywoman Former Assembly Republican leader Kristin Olsen, shown when she was still in office, warned Monday of voter fatigue.
Assemblywoman Former Assembly Republican leader Kristin Olsen, shown when she was still in office, warned Monday of voter fatigue. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

Californians are suffering from “voter fatigue,” so candidates who survived the June 5 primary will have to hone their message to better address specific issues and provide solutions for problems if they want to connect with the electorate in November, members of a panel of political experts said Monday.

Campaign workers found stacks of unread campaign mail on porches and in mailboxes and volunteers had trouble getting voters to open their doors and respond to canvassers, according to Bill Wong, a political consultant for Assembly Democrats.

“The voters are very disengaged. They weren’t answering phones,” Wong said during a forum on the election sponsored by California Target Book. “Clearly we are not connecting with voters and if we don’t do that in November we’re going to be in deep trouble.”

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  • Ballot measures
Guests line up to place bets at the sports book at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino in March.
Guests line up to place bets at the sports book at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino in March. (Ethan Miller / Getty Images)

An initiative to legalize sports betting in the state was proposed Monday for the November 2020 ballot by a political consultant working with California card clubs, online and out-of-state gambling firms and sports leagues.

Russell Lowery said he approached the gaming industry and received interest in a ballot measure from half a dozen firms, so he submitted a formal request Monday to the state attorney general’s office to prepare a title and summary for a possible initiative.

“I think the biggest reason for this is consumer protection. It’s going on now,” Lowery said of betting on sports. “Because of the revenue the state could generate from legal activity plus the consumer protections that could be afforded the gambling public, it ought to be regulated.”

  • Governor's race
  • 2018 election
  • California Republicans
Republican gubernatorial candidate John Cox.
Republican gubernatorial candidate John Cox. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Republican gubernatorial candidate John Cox said Monday that President Trump would travel to California to campaign for him in his bid to defeat Democrat Gavin Newsom in the November general election.

“Gavin Newsom is going to make this race all about President Trump. Well, you know what, I welcome it,” Cox told GOP supporters at a hotel in San Diego. “President Trump is going to come here and campaign for me and for you!”

The Rancho Santa Fe businessman, who snagged the second spot in last week’s primary to move on to the general election, was speaking to a San Diego GOP monthly gathering at the Town and Country Resort alongside other Republican statewide candidates who made it past Tuesday’s election, including Secretary of State candidate Mark Meuser.