Advertisement
675 posts
  • California Legislature
  • Sexual harassment
Former Assemblyman Matt Dababneh (D-Woodland Hills) opened a new fundraising committee that would enable him to tap previously raised funds.
Former Assemblyman Matt Dababneh (D-Woodland Hills) opened a new fundraising committee that would enable him to tap previously raised funds. (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

Matt Dababneh, the former Democratic assemblyman who resigned last year amid allegations of sexual misconduct, has opened a new fundraising committee that would enable him to tap into previously raised campaign cash.

Dababneh, who represented Woodland Hills from 2013 through 2017, stepped down at the end of last year after being accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women, including a female lobbyist who said he masturbated in front of her. Dababneh denied any wrongdoing but resigned in December, saying the current environment made it too difficult to do his job. A legislative investigation into those claims is ongoing.

A prolific fundraiser, Dababneh had more than $1.1 million in his reelection account as of January. Under campaign finance law, those funds would become “surplus” 90 days after he left office. Surplus funds are restricted in how they can be used, such as paying off debts or refunding contributors. They cannot be used for future elections.

Advertisement
  • Governor's race
  • 2018 election
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

GOP gubernatorial candidate John Cox launched a radio ad in the Central Valley on Monday blasting Democratic rival Antonio Villaraigosa over his support for high-speed rail.

“L.A. Democrat Antonio Villaraigosa would spend billions on the bullet train because - quote – ‘it connects the two engines of the California economy.’ Apparently, Mr. Villaraigosa doesn’t realize that the Central Valley is home to another economic engine – one that actually produces something,” Cox says in the 60-second ad. “It’s called California agriculture, and it’s feeding the world.”

Cox, who inched ahead of Villaraigosa in a recent poll for second place in the race, is spending about $70,000 to air the ad for two weeks on radio stations between Bakersfield and Modesto, according to his campaign.

Advertisement
  • California Legislature
Curtis Gordon, center, the uncle of Stephon Clark, speaks at a rally in Sacramento on Saturday calling for police reforms.
Curtis Gordon, center, the uncle of Stephon Clark, speaks at a rally in Sacramento on Saturday calling for police reforms. (Rich Pedroncelli/Associated Press)

Lawmakers’ tempers flared Monday as the California Senate adjourned in memory of Stephon Clark, an unarmed African American man who was shot to death by Sacramento police officers on March 18.

Sen. Steven Bradford (D-Gardena) denounced the shooting, saying Clark did not get a day in court “because the police chose to be judge, jury and executioner.”

Bradford, who is black, said the shooting was part of a pattern of “brutalization of African Americans by law enforcement.”

  • State government

Gov. Jerry Brown’s move on Friday to pardon five immigrants facing possible deportation for past criminal acts prompted a Twitter tit-for-tat with President Trump over Easter weekend.

Brown granted pardons to 56 people as part of his traditional Easter act of clemency. Among them were five people who face potential deportation due to their criminal records, including one person who is in Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody.

That prompted a Saturday morning rebuke from Trump, who used the nickname “Moonbeam,” which has dogged Brown since a newspaper columnist called him that in the 1970s.

California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra supports expanding a task force that has been investigating the underground economy in Los Angeles.
California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra supports expanding a task force that has been investigating the underground economy in Los Angeles. (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

State officials on Monday proposed expanding a task force that has gone after tax scofflaws operating in the underground economy in Los Angeles and Sacramento, saying California continues to lose billions of dollars in revenue from the illicit activity.

The underground economy is made up of unlicensed individuals and businesses selling services and goods that are often counterfeited, without paying the state income or sales taxes, or paying legally required wages and benefits to employees.

Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra said he supports legislation that would expand the Tax Recovery and Criminal Enforcement Task Force, a pilot project in the state Department of Justice, to also operate in San Diego, the San Francisco Bay Area and the San Joaquin Valley.

Advertisement

Five immigrants with criminal records who face possible deportation were pardoned by California Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday, continuing his tradition of granting clemency around the Easter holiday.

The five individuals were among 56 pardons granted by Brown, as well as 14 sentence commutations for current inmates.

Brown’s inclusion of those at risk of deportation — which he has now done for several rounds of pardons — is yet another sign of how California has diverged on immigration from the federal government, which has increased arrests and detentions under President Trump.

Compton Mayor Aja Brown, Rep. Nanette Barragán and actress-turned-conservative commentator Stacey Dash are on the ballot in District 44.
Compton Mayor Aja Brown, Rep. Nanette Barragán and actress-turned-conservative commentator Stacey Dash are on the ballot in District 44. (Los Angeles Times staff and AP)

Actress-turned-conservative commentator Stacey Dash is calling her congressional candidacy quits a little over a month after jumping into a Los Angeles House race

Dash tweeted a statement that she is “withdrawing” from the race because “the overall bitterness surrounding our political process, participating in the rigors of campaigning, and holding elected office would be detrimental to the health and wellbeing [sic] of my family.”

She will still appear on the June 5 primary ballot as a Republican “Actress/news analyst.”

California's attorney general is suing Sutter Health for allegedly anticompetitive business practices.
California's attorney general is suing Sutter Health for allegedly anticompetitive business practices. (Ken James / Bloomberg)

The state attorney general has sued Sutter Health, the largest hospital system in Northern California, alleging anticompetitive business practices that unfairly drove up costs for consumers, officials announced Friday.

The lawsuit filed in San Francisco County Superior Court alleges that Sutter engaged in “anticompetitive contractual practices” and that it charged prices for hospital healthcare services that far exceed what it would have been able to charge in a competitive market.

The complaint also alleges that the excess profits received went toward extreme levels of executive compensation, purchasing other health firms and financing its own insurance arm.

Advertisement

Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is in stable condition Friday after undergoing emergency open-heart surgery during a procedure to replace a valve in his heart, according to his spokesman.

Two years ago this month, The Times investigated one of the longest-lingering questions in California politics: Are some voters mistakenly joining a political party when what they really want is to be an electoral free agent?