President Trump's voter fraud commission will not be getting the names and addresses of California's registered voters. The panel's request was denied on Thursday by Secretary of State Alex Padilla, who said it would only "legitimize" false claims of massive election cheating last fall.
Padilla refused to hand over data, including the names, addresses, political party and voting history of California's 19.4 million voters. Kris Kobach, the secretary of state of Kansas who serves as vice chairman of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, sent letters to all 50 states on Wednesday for information he said would help the group examine rules that either "enhance or undermine the American people’s confidence in the integrity of federal elections processes."
Padilla, though, suggested the effort is little more than a ruse.
Supporters of state Sen. Josh Newman filed a lawsuit Thursday seeking to stop a recall campaign against the lawmaker, alleging that signature gatherers have misled voters and the petition contains false information.
The Democratic legislator from Fullerton faces a recall funded by the California Republican Party for voting with other lawmakers to increase the state’s gas tax and vehicle fees to raise $5.2 billion annually for road repairs.
On Tuesday, the state party announced it had submitted 84,988 signatures to election officials, some 20,000 more signatures than would be needed if officials determine they are valid.
A group of nine state attorneys general, including California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra, filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the Department of Homeland Security on Thursday seeking records that would clarify how the Trump administration is enforcing federal immigration law.
The request seeks the number of immigration detentions, deportations and detainer requests, and the rationale for each, as well as clarifying information on whether Trump is following through on comments that he will not target young people who were brought to the country illegally by their parents.
The attorneys general also want to know whether immigrants in the country illegally have been detained at schools, hospitals and places of worship, which the state officials feel should be off-limits for enforcement.
For 50 years, California has had a law that aims to encourage developers to build housing.
But the law has failed at helping stem the statewide shortage of homes that drives California’s affordability problems. The reason? The law requires cities and counties to produce prodigious reports to plan for housing — but it doesn’t hold them accountable for any resulting home building.
Cities and counties resent the law. To avoid complying, they've asked the state to let prison beds count toward their low-income housing goals, among other things. And despite knowing about the law's weaknesses for decades, state lawmakers have provided no incentive, such as a greater share of tax dollars, for cities and counties to meet their housing goals.
When former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort belatedly filed as a foreign agent on behalf of a pro-Russian Ukrainian political party this week, he listed a meeting with just one U.S. politician — Rep. Dana Rohrabacher of Huntington Beach.
Manafort's years-late filing with the Justice Department details $17 million in political consulting work he did between 2012 and 2014 for the Party of Regions, a Ukrainian party considered friendly with the Kremlin.
Rohrabacher told the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday that the March 2013 meeting happened over dinner at the Capitol Hill Club, a popular Washington Republican social club. He said Manafort billed it as a chance to get reacquainted decades after they worked together in the 1970s on President Reagan's campaign. Still, he assumed Manafort had an agenda.
Two months after a state audit found mismanagement at the University of California, Democratic state lawmakers on Wednesday blocked a Republican legislator’s proposal to have auditors go back in and look deeper at spending, this time with an eye for possible criminal activity.
Assemblyman Dante Acosta (R-Santa Clarita) said the follow-up examination was justified after an audit in April found the UC Office of the President had failed to disclose a $175-million budget surplus to the Board of Regents and the public, was paying excessive salaries and expenses and had inadequate financial safeguards in place to prevent abuse.
The lack of controls, the audit concluded, was “putting millions of dollars at risk of abuse.”