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294 posts
  • Congressional races
  • 2018 election
  • California Republicans
(Christine Mai-Duc / Los Angeles Times)

Rep. Mimi Walters painted a dire picture for her fellow California Republicans on Friday night. Headlining a congressional dinner at the state party’s annual confab, Walters warned that Democrats are targeting Republicans “and nowhere harder than right here in California.”

Walters, who is facing a competitive race with four Democratic challengers, acknowledged that winning crucial House seats this year will be tough. Democrats are going after 10 GOP-held House seats in California, seven of which were won by Hillary Clinton in 2016.

“The Democrats think there’s no stopping them this time. They’re not just coming for any one of us, they’re coming for all of us.” But, she added, “this isn’t going to go the way they think it is.”

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Two years ago, U.S. Rep. Tony Cárdenas ran away with his reelection contest, defeating his challenger by nearly 50 percentage points in his San Fernando Valley district.

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President Trump signs an executive order on immigration.
President Trump signs an executive order on immigration. (Susan Walsh / Associated Press)

California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra said he will file a motion today seeking to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the Trump administration that would block California’s so-called sanctuary state laws aimed at protecting immigrants in the country illegally.

A lawsuit filed in March by federal officials argued that three laws passed by the California Legislature last year improperly obstruct federal immigration law and therefore violate the Constitution's supremacy clause, which gives federal law precedence over state law.

The state laws prohibit local law enforcement from alerting immigration agents when detainees are released from custody, bar business owners from voluntarily helping federal agents find and detain undocumented workers, and create a state inspection program for federal immigration detention centers.

  • California Legislature
Cell tower interceptors, often called "stingrays" or "dirtboxes," mimic traditional cell towers.
Cell tower interceptors, often called "stingrays" or "dirtboxes," mimic traditional cell towers. (Jeff Roberson / Associated Press)

A coalition of civil rights and immigrant advocacy groups has penned a letter in support of a state bill that would force California police and sheriff agencies to disclose all of their surveillance gear, as Oakland this week approved similar requirements through what may be the strongest city surveillance ordinance in the country.

Supporters say they believe the legislation will propel other cities and counties across the state to follow the lead, ensuring law enforcement officials are not obtaining powerful public safety tools behind closed doors.

For years, privacy advocates in Oakland have pushed back against the ways that law enforcement, through new technology and shared databases, collects the personal information of criminal suspects and innocent bystanders alike. Under the city’s latest ordinance, police will have to report all of their surveillance technology, keep more public data on its use and obtain community input before buying new equipment. The new rule also includes protections for whistleblowers who report any violations.

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California gubernatorial candidates John Cox, left, and Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom at a debate at UCLA in January.
California gubernatorial candidates John Cox, left, and Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom at a debate at UCLA in January. (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, the Democratic front-runner in the 2018 governor’s race, is releasing a new campaign ad attacking Republican rival John Cox for being pro-gun and pro-President Trump.

“Why is John Cox attacking Gavin Newsom for supporting common-sense gun safety? John Cox stands with Donald Trump and the NRA,” the ad says. “Cox called gun laws a ‘waste of time,’ opposes background checks and a ban on assault weapons.”

The attack ad could deliver a two-pronged political benefit to Newsom.

  • Ballot measures
  • 2018 election
  • California Democrats
(XiFotos / Getty Images / iStockphoto)

As three national paint companies move closer to getting a measure on California’s November ballot that would wipe out a court ruling against them, state lawmakers are pushing the companies to back down from some of their claims.

The three companies, ConAgra, NL Industries and Sherwin-Williams, announced Thursday that they have started to submit more than 680,000 signatures to ensure their initiative appears on the ballot. The companies’ plan would eliminate a court order for them to pay an estimated $700 million to clean up lead paint. It would replace it with a $2-billion taxpayer-funded bond to finance the cleanup of lead, mold and other hazardous materials.

The companies have also started a digital ad campaign asking Californians to persuade their lawmakers to propose bills that would overturn the court ruling. The companies’ contend that the court ruling “red tags” millions of homes and makes homeowners potentially liable for lead paint cleanup.

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  • Governor's race
  • 2018 election
  • California Democrats
Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa meets African American leaders at the Los Angeles Sentinel.
Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa meets African American leaders at the Los Angeles Sentinel. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

A group of prominent African American political, religious and civic leaders gathered Thursday to endorse Antonio Villaraigosa for governor, arguing that the former Los Angeles mayor has a history of working to lift their community.

“It’s important for us to ensure we have an individual in Sacramento that’s not afraid to lead, and I submit to each and every one of you that person is Antonio Villaraigosa,” Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson said. “Now a lot of people say, ‘Herb, he’s your boy, your friend, that’s why you support him.’ I’m saying to each and every one of you, friendship has nothing to do with this. I have friends that I love who I wouldn’t send to the store to get a loaf of bread. Antonio realizes governing is not about doing what you want to do. Governing is about doing what you have to do.”

Wesson was joined by elected officials from Los Angeles, Compton, Inglewood and Carson; leaders of the First African Methodist Episcopal Church, the Nation of Islam and other houses of worship; and community activists.

Assemblywoman Autumn Burke (D-Marina del Rey) has introduced a bill that would create a tax-credit system.
Assemblywoman Autumn Burke (D-Marina del Rey) has introduced a bill that would create a tax-credit system. (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

A new proposal from a Los Angeles lawmaker has emerged aiming to help Californians evade a key provision of the federal tax overhaul passed last year.

Assembly Bill 2217 from Assemblywoman Autumn Burke (D-Marina del Rey) would create a tax-credit system linking charities, educational institutions, the state treasury and individual taxpayers in an effort to allow Californians to sidestep the new $10,000 federal cap on state and local tax deductions.

Under Burke’s plan, taxpayers could make a contribution to nonprofits, universities, community colleges or K-12 public school districts, and those entities would transfer 90% of that donation to the state. In turn, the state would lower a taxpayer’s state income tax liability by issuing a credit equal to 80% of the original donation. And by making a charitable donation, California taxpayers would be able to deduct that entire amount from their federal taxes, Burke said.