This is Essential Politics, our daily look at California political and government news. Here's what we're watching right now:
- 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."
- Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Alpine) said Friday that a Montana congressional candidate's alleged attack on a reporter was wrong "unless the reporter deserved it."
- 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.
Thousands of Democrats are gathering in Sacramento this weekend for a convention full of political questions, perhaps more than at any time in a generation.
On this week's California Politics Podcast, we take a closer look at some of the biggest items to watch. That includes a fascinating -- and intense -- race for leader of the state party, and how Democratic candidates for governor will be seeking some early support from key constituencies in Sacramento.
I'm joined by Times staff writer Melanie Mason and Marisa Lagos of KQED News.