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112 posts
  • Governor's race
  • 2018 election
  • California Republicans
  • California Democrats
Top, from left: Gavin Newsom, Antonio Villaraigosa, John Chiang. Bottom, from left: Delaine Eastin, Travis Allen, John Cox.
Top, from left: Gavin Newsom, Antonio Villaraigosa, John Chiang. Bottom, from left: Delaine Eastin, Travis Allen, John Cox.

Three Democratic candidates for governor have millions of dollars to spend in the closing days of the California primary, according to campaign finance reports filed with the secretary of state’s office. Their rivals are badly lagging, though the top Republican candidate in the race has the ability to pour more of his personal wealth into his campaign.

The reports, filed Thursday with the state, insure that Californians will continue to see a barrage of advertisements and mailers up until the June 5 primary.

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, the long-time polling and fundraising front-runner, once again leads the pack with nearly $9.8 million cash on hand. That’s roughly the amount he spent between April 22 and May 19, the period covered by the fundraising reports. About 85% was spent on television ads.

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State Treasurer John Chiang is taking his two main Democratic rivals in the governor’s race to task in a new ad, hitting Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom for boosting a Republican and former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa for his wealthy backers.

“I call it like I see it. The race for governor has turned into a scam,” Chiang says in the new spot.

He singles out Newsom, the front-runner in the race who has been running campaign ads against leading Republican John Cox, calling him too conservative. The attacks may actually serve to help Cox in the June election by consolidating Republicans behind him. Newsom has said he’d prefer to face a GOP contender than a fellow Democrat in November.

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(Daily Pilot)

Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (Costa Mesa) told a group of California Realtors this month that it should be OK for homeowners to refuse to sell their homes to gays and lesbians, prompting the National Association of Realtors to withdraw its endorsement.

“Every homeowner should be able to make a decision not to sell their home to someone (if) they don’t agree with their lifestyle,” the congressman said, according to the Orange County Register.

Rohrabacher, who is prone to off-the-wall statements and positions, told the paper in an interview, “We’ve drawn a line on racism, but I don’t think we should extend that line. … A homeowner should not be required to be in business with someone they think is doing something that is immoral.”

  • Congressional races
  • Governor's race
  • 2018 election
  • California Republicans

President Trump’s reelection campaign released a video on Thursday touting his endorsement of GOP businessman John Cox for governor of California.

The video, which has been viewed more than 272,000 times and shared more than 2,500 times in less than 24 hours, could be a boon to Cox’s effort to consolidate the Republican vote and come in second in the June 5 primary.

“President Trump endorsed businessman John Cox in his campaign for governor because John Cox is the one person in this race who will cut taxes, secure the border and fight crime,” Lara Trump, the wife of the president’s son Eric, says in the 48-second video. “As a successful businessman, John Cox can reform California’s government by cutting taxes, including the regressive state gas tax, and reduce state spending.”

  • State government
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

California lawmakers on Friday shelved a proposal to reduce pot tax rates in an effort to help licensed businesses compete with the black market.

The sidelining of the proposal came a week after a report found pot tax revenue is far below projections.

The bill, AB 3157, would have reduced the state excise tax on cannabis from 15% to 11% and suspended a cultivation tax that charges $148 per pound.

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  • California Legislature
Assemblyman Ash Kalra (D-San Jose)
Assemblyman Ash Kalra (D-San Jose) (Jonathan J. Cooper / Associated Press)

A sweeping California proposal to curb healthcare costs by imposing price controls sputtered Friday, but backers vowed to continue the effort next year.

The measure, Assembly Bill 3087 by Assemblyman Ash Kalra (D-San Jose), would have created a state commission to determine prices for a large swath of healthcare services, including doctor’s visits, hospital stays and medical procedures. The bill would have applied to the commercial insurance market, including those who get healthcare coverage through their employers, but not those on public plans such as Medi-Cal.

The plan was sponsored by labor unions and consumer groups, and it faced fierce opposition from physicians and hospitals.

  • California Legislature
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  • Governor's race
Gavin Newsom speaks at the California Democrats' state convention in San Diego on Feb. 24.
Gavin Newsom speaks at the California Democrats' state convention in San Diego on Feb. 24. (Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

Antonio Villaraigosa’s campaign filed a complaint Thursday against an independent political committee supporting Democratic rival Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom in the governor’s race, alleging that the committee failed to disclose its efforts to help the top Republican in the race.

The complaint, filed with the state Fair Politicial Practices Commission, accuses Citizens Supporting Gavin Newsom for Governor of assisting the campaign of GOP candidate John Cox with a television ad.

The complaint alleges that the effort is an attempt to help Cox finish in the top-two primary in June to advance the Rancho Santa Fe businessman to a general election face-off with Newsom, the front-runner in the race — instead of Villaraigosa or another Democrat. No Republican has won a statewide race in California since 2006, so facing Cox in the November election would be to Newsom’s advantage.

Patrons shop at Bud and Bloom, a Santa Ana marijuana dispensary.
Patrons shop at Bud and Bloom, a Santa Ana marijuana dispensary. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Last year, a Santa Cruz medical marijuana group headed by Valerie Leveroni Corral gave away $230,000 worth of cannabis to low-income residents with medical problems including HIV/AIDS and cancer.

However, California’s new pot legalization rules that took effect Jan. 1 now require her to pay taxes on such donations. If she made the same level of charitable contributions of cannabis this year, her tax would be up to $85,000. “It’s just too costly,” said Corral, director of the Wo/Men’s Alliance for Medical Marijuana, which has been shut down for the last five months.

On Thursday, state lawmakers announced a new bill to exempt compassionate care programs from paying state cannabis taxes when they are providing free medical pot to financially disadvantaged people living with serious health conditions.