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House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, flanked by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and House Majority Whip Steve Scalise.
House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, flanked by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and House Majority Whip Steve Scalise. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin is among the Republicans from outside California who have contributed to the campaign to repeal the state’s gas-tax increase, showing the effort has national interest from GOP leaders who see it as a way to boost their party’s chances in the Golden State for this year's election.

Ryan’s congressional campaign committee gave $50,000 to Give Voters a Voice, the main group behind an effort to qualify a repeal measure for the November ballot, according to documents filed by the campaign. The campaign also received $25,000 from a political account of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.). House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) has also donated $300,000 to the Give Voters a Voice campaign.

Carl DeMaio, a leader of the repeal campaign, recently acknowledged in an email to supporters that the initiative is seen as a way to boost the chances for Republican candidates in California, where Democrats dominate the electorate. The contributions from Republican leaders come in a year when the GOP is fighting to keep its majority in Congress.

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With California and the Trump administration locked in a legal battle over immigration policies, a state Republican leader and an illegal immigration critic are quietly offering to help communities fight the state’s new “sanctuary” law.

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  • California in Congress
  • U.S. Senate race
(Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

Sen. Dianne Feinstein said Tuesday she “strongly supports” a federal law keeping the government from interfering in states like California that legalize marijuana use.

Long an opponent of legalized marijuana, Feinstein told the Sacramento Bee that her stance on marijuana shifted through conversations with constituents, particularly those with young children who benefited from its medical use.

“Federal law enforcement agents should not arrest Californians who are adhering to California law,” Feinstein said.

California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra
California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra (Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday announced a lawsuit by California and 17 other states against the Trump administration to protect national vehicle emission standards from being rolled back by the federal government.

The lawsuit filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, seeks to set aside and hold unlawful the Environmental Protection Agency’s effort to weaken the existing clean car rules.

The states argue that the EPA acted arbitrarily and capriciously, failed to follow its own regulations and violated the Clean Air Act.

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  • Congressional races
  • 2018 election