This is Essential Politics, our daily look at California political and government news. Here's what we're watching right now:
- Gov. Jerry Brown told the Times Wednesday that a decision by President Trump to withdraw from the Paris Accord on climate change would be "tragic."
- Legislators at the state Capitol will winnow down the hundreds of bills pending by Friday afternoon, quietly killing some of them which have been sitting in what's called the "suspense file."
- African Americans in the California Democratic Party want an apology made to Rep. Maxine Water (D-Los Angeles) after her microphone was cut off at last weekend's convention.
The head of the California Democratic Party African American Caucus said Monday he was working with state party officials to determine who was responsible for cutting off the sound to U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters' microphone as she spoke to the group at the party's convention on Saturday.
"This is a very unusual situation, and we are collectively trying to figure out a path forward to address what happened and make sure these things do not happen in the future," Caucus Chairman Darren Parker said.
Waters, a Los Angeles Democrat whose acerbic comments on President Trump have brought her national attention in her 14th term, was in the middle of a rousing speech against Trump on Saturday night when she was approached by a man who appeared to work for the convention center.
"Hey, leave her alone," audience members shouted as he interrupted to speak to her privately, prompting Parker to show the man away.
"That's all right, that's OK — they try to shut me up all the time," Waters quipped to loud cheers as she continued to speak.
But the sound from her microphone was cut off shortly thereafter, sending the room of about 300 people into confusion. That didn't stop Waters. As a few voices shouted in anger, she got down from the podium, telling the audience they could still have a conversation.
She finished her speech from the floor, as the crowd chanted "Impeach 45."
A manager for the Sacramento Convention Center told The Times on Monday that the contractors who pulled the plug on the event were not center employees. Parker said the caucus had initially believed the man to be a convention staff or city employee. But after working with a Sacramento City Council member over the weekend, caucus leaders determined the audio was provided by an outside firm hired by the state Democratic Party.
The audio company has not been identified, he said, and a look into what happened is ongoing. Parker called the incident unusual and disrespectful.
The caucus meeting ran late. When an event has run over its time slot in the past, Parker said, the caucus has been billed for the extra expenses.
"We are working directly with statewide officers to make sure that these outside contractors are properly instructed on how to act and how to treat our guests," he said.