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Colorful straws on the bar counter at a restaurant in Los Angeles on June 28, 2016.
Colorful straws on the bar counter at a restaurant in Los Angeles on June 28, 2016. (Los Angeles Times)

For Assemblyman Ian Calderon, it was apparently the last straw.

The Democratic legislator from Whittier read reports by environmental groups that up to 500 million plastic beverage straws are used every day in the United States and then immediately discarded, adding to the flow of trash to landfills and litter polluting lakes and beaches.

Calderon said Tuesday he plans to introduce legislation this week that would prohibit sit-down restaurants in California from providing straws to customers unless they are requested. The measure would exclude fast-food restaurants.

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  • California Democrats
(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

The twitter account belonging to gubernatorial candidate John Chiang tweeted and then deleted a snarky comment about fellow Democrat and front-runner Gavin Newsom.

On Sunday, Newsom took part in a town hall in Lincoln Heights that was disrupted by anti-immigration protesters.

A Newsom intern that evening tweeted Times video of the event with the title “What a day on Team @GavinNewsom.” Later Sunday night, Chiang’s Twitter account responded, “Is it because no one actually believes #newsomforgov is a good idea?” in response to the intern, Newsom and The Times photographer.

  • California Legislature
  • Sexual harassment
Sen. Tony Mendoza (D-Artesia) awaits floor session on Jan. 3, before agreeing to a leave of absence during an investigation into sexual misconduct allegations.
Sen. Tony Mendoza (D-Artesia) awaits floor session on Jan. 3, before agreeing to a leave of absence during an investigation into sexual misconduct allegations. (Steve Yeater / Associated Press)

Both the leader of the California Senate and the chair of the Legislative Women’s Caucus have clashed with state Sen. Tony Mendoza in recent days over the Southern California Democrat’s behavior while on leave during an investigation of sexual misconduct allegations. 

Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) called Mendoza to voice concern about reports the Artesia lawmaker was in and around the state Capitol building while on leave. More recently, aides to De León told Mendoza to drop an advertising campaign seeking new office interns. The dispute was first reported by the Sacramento Bee.

“The recruitment of interns was a part of an annual senate program and you will find similar recruitment efforts posted on other senate member’s websites,” said Robert Alaniz, a spokesman for Mendoza. “The recruitment effort from Senator Mendoza has since been withdrawn.”

  • Governor's race

A small group of protesters gathered outside a Gavin Newsom town hall event in downtown Los Angeles on Sunday where they banged on a door and demanded to be let in.

Arthur Schaper, a well-known agitator who frequently leads pro-Trump protests outside the speaking engagements of Democratic elected officials, was among the protesters. The Los Angeles Police Department was called to control the crowd.

Newsom campaign spokesman Nathan Click said the event, which was hosted by several area Democratic clubs, was not organized by the lieutenant governor’s gubernatorial campaign. Campaign volunteers at the event said the protesters had bullhorns and were criticizing those inside for aiding immigrants who entered the country illegally, he said.

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  • California Legislature
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California Attorney General Xavier Becerra on President Trump's reported comments: "What he is showing us is that he is a racist." Full interview coming up on Fox News at 2pm & 10pm ET.

Posted by Fox News Sunday on Sunday, January 14, 2018

After President Trump rejected a bipartisan solution to aid so-called Dreamers, reportedly disparaging African, Latin American and Caribbean countries in the process, California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra said Sunday that Trump was showing himself to be a racist “in every respect.”

“Let me put it to you this way: mental instability, mendacity, having any one of those in the White House is dangerous — having the combination, that is lethal,” Becerra said on “Fox News Sunday With Chris Wallace.”

Last week, Trump reportedly asked why the United States should accept immigrants from “shithole countries” during an Oval Office meeting as he rejected a compromise to resolve the standoff over the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA. The program has provided temporary work permits to 700,000 people brought into the U.S. illegally as children — roughly 200,000 in California, more than any other state.

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

This morning Californians will see the first clash between six of California’s top candidates for governor, with front-runner Gavin Newsom expected to take the brunt of the attacks on the debate stage at USC.
 
Newsom leads in the polls and, by a wide margin, in fundraising, which could mean that the rest of the field will be battling for second place in the June primary.
 
But in California, second place is good enough. Under the state’s top-two primary system, only the two candidates who receive the most votes in June will win a ticket to the November general election.
 
Until now, voters have had only a few small tastes of the candidates going after one another on stage.
 
During a candidate forum in October between the top four Democrats in the race, former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa accused Newsom of “selling snake oil” when he promised to support a state-sponsored single-payer healthcare system, but didn’t say how he would pay for it.
 
Newsom brushed off the charge, saying he proved it could be done while he was mayor of San Francisco, when the city enacted the nation’s first municipal universal healthcare system.
 
Republican candidates John Cox and Travis Allen also went after each other during the first GOP debate, in the Inland Empire earlier this month, with the sharpest and most frequent barbs traded over their support — or lack of it — for President Trump.
 
The newest Republican to join the race, former Sacramento Republican Doug Ose, was not invited to the USC town hall — and he wasn’t not too happy about it
 
With six candidates on stage and only 90 minutes to carve out their political positions, the town hall is expected to serve as a display of each candidate’s style, demeanor and political reflexes rather than a showing off the depth of their knowledge of the issues facing California.
 
The candidate town hall is being hosted by USC, Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and the Empowerment Congress, a nonprofit civil organization in Los Angeles.
 
KABC-TV news anchor Marc Brown will moderate the debate along with KPCC-FM public radio political reporter Mary Plummer.