• Governor's race
  • 2018 election
  • California Democrats

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom launched his first digital ad in the governor’s race on Monday, timed to the 14-year anniversary of when San Francisco issued the first marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

The minute-long spot argues that Newsom showed courage by being out front on issues such as gay marriage as well as universal healthcare and gun control.

The online ad starts with archival video of gay couples exchanging vows in 2004, as Newsom’s voice is heard declaring, “Today we can confidently say is the first day in the state of California that we are providing marriage equally and fairly to everyone and denying no one their right and their opportunity to live their lives out loud.”

  • Governor's race
Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa
Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (Los Angeles Times)

The California Police Chiefs Assn. on Monday endorsed former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa for California governor, the second major law enforcement organization to back the Democratic candidate.

In January, Villaraigosa was also endorsed by the Peace Officers Research Assn. of California, the largest law enforcement organization in the state, with 70,000 members.

During Villaraigosa’s eight years as mayor, he hired hundreds of police officers and violent crime plummeted in the city. Villaraigosa has made his record one of the pillars of his campaign for governor.


Seven years ago, at the depth of the state's budget crisis, Gov. Jerry Brown eliminated an urban renewal program that provided billions of dollars annually for economic development and low-income housing. Ever since, lawmakers have tried and failed to bring it back.

Now, with Brown on his way out of office next January, legislators are gearing up for another attempt. This time will be different, they say, not only because state government finances have improved, but also because they could have the support of Brown's would-be successor. Leading Democratic gubernatorial candidates Gavin Newsom, Antonio Villaraigosa and John Chiang have all endorsed the program's resurrection.

Republican candidate for governor Travis Allen praised President Trump during his rally on the steps of the state Capitol Sunday afternoon.
Republican candidate for governor Travis Allen praised President Trump during his rally on the steps of the state Capitol Sunday afternoon. (Phil Willon / Los Angeles Times)

Calling himself the only “true conservative” in California’s race for governor, Republican Travis Allen revived up a crowd of supporters at the state Capitol Sunday with praise for President Trump and calls for cutting taxes and securing the border.

A few hundred people showed up to hear Allen, an assemblyman from Huntington Beach, at his “Take Back California” rally Sunday afternoon, an event peppered with patriotic chants and signs slamming Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown and calling for the repeal of the gas tax.

Allen rattled off a list of “day one” policy changes he would make if elected governor: repealing the newly approved gas tax; scrapping plans to replumb the state water supply system with the Delta tunnels; nixing the high-speed rail system and tossing out California’s so-called “sanctuary state” law.

  • California Legislature
  • 2018 election
  • Sexual harassment

Lawmakers returning to the state Capitol on Monday will find that one of their colleagues has taken a leave of absence after new sexual misconduct allegations.

And the case again raises important questions about how these investigations should proceed.

This week’s California Politics Podcast episode examines the accusations made against Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens), as well as the final action last week on a new law granting whistleblower protections to legislative employees.


President Donald Trump's vision for a "big, beautiful wall" along the U.S.-Mexico border faced its first substantial legal challenge in a San Diego federal courtroom Friday.

At the center of the case — three lawsuits that have been consolidated into a single matter — is whether the federal government had the authority to waive its compliance with a host of laws in order to rush border construction projects in San Diego and Calexico, including the eight border wall prototypes that have already been completed on Otay Mesa.

A Los Angeles-area assemblywoman has voluntarily taken leave of her seat Friday after facing allegations of sexual harassment, an unusual twist of the gender dynamics shaping the misconduct controversies engulfing California's state Capitol.

Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens) denied allegations that she made inappropriate advances on two men: a then-legislative staffer and a lobbyist. In a statement, she said she would take an unpaid leave of absence from the Legislature while she faces an investigation into her conduct.

Californians wanting to carry concealed weapons such as these Glock handguns would face new requirements under legislation.
Californians wanting to carry concealed weapons such as these Glock handguns would face new requirements under legislation. (Robyn Beck / AFP/Getty Images)

Gun owners would have to undergo specific training and pass a live-fire shooting test on a firing range in order to get a permit to carry concealed weapons in California under legislation proposed Friday.

The bill was introduced by Democratic state Assembly members Todd Gloria and Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher, both of San Diego, who said county sheriffs can currently issue concealed carry weapons permits without proof of proficiency, although some sheriffs have set standards.

“Under current law in California, a person who has never even fired a gun or received proper training on how to safely handle one can receive a permit and carry a loaded firearm in public,” Gloria said. “This jeopardizes public safety and has to be addressed.”

  • California Legislature
  • Sexual harassment
One, a former legislative staffer, said California Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia groped him during a legislative softball game in 2014. She confirmed that she attended the game, but said she has “zero recollection of engaging in inappropriate behavior.”

Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia on Friday denied accusations of sexual misconduct but said she would voluntarily take unpaid leave while an investigation takes place.

“Upon reflection of the details alleged, I am certain I did not engage in the behavior I am accused of,” Garcia (D-Bell Gardens) said in a statement. But she added that “any claims about sexual harassment must be taken seriously, and I believe elected officials should be held to a higher standard of accountability.”

Garcia said she would take an unpaid leave “so as not to serve as a distraction or in any way influence the process of this investigation.” She urged the Assembly to conduct a “thorough and expeditious investigation.”