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268 posts
  • California in Congress
(Courtesy of Masterman-Smith campaign)

Cancer biologist Michael Masterman-Smith is joining the race to challenge Rep. Steve Knight in the Antelope Valley’s 25th Congressional District, saying it’s time for scientists to help draft healthcare policy.

“Our leaders are defining these healthcare policies and yet they themselves have no experience in healthcare,” said Masterman-Smith, 46. If he won, he would join more than a dozen medical specialists, including doctors, in Congress.

Masterman-Smith’s research includes potential medical uses of marijuana, and he is chief executive of the cannabis pharmaceutical company CA Labs, Inc.

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  • California Legislature
Sarah Ramage with her son, Campbell Ramage-Grose.
Sarah Ramage with her son, Campbell Ramage-Grose. (Alejandra Reyes-Velarde)

Sarah Ramage went to the polls Tuesday in California’s Assembly District 51 with the hope of electing a woman to the seat that was recently vacated by now Rep. Jimmy Gomez. 

Ramage, who said she thinks there needs to be more women in office, voted for Wendy Carrillo in Tuesday’s special election, although she voted for Carrillo’s opponent, Luis López, when he ran for the seat in 2012.

Francine Fisher also chose Carrillo on Tuesday. She supported Carrillo's campaign by assisting with data entry, canvassing and calling voters. She also canvassed for Democrat Hillary Clinton in her failed run against President Trump.

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  • California in Congress
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Orange County U.S. Rep. Mimi Walters on Tuesday joined Central Valley congressmen David Valadao and Jeff Denham in urging House Speaker Paul D. Ryan to address the legal status of people brought to the country illegally as children before the end of the year.

“I feel strongly that we take care of the Dreamers in our country and that we try to get them situated as soon as we can,” Walters said. “I think there’s a lot of uncertainty out there for the Dreamers and I want to put that uncertainty at ease and at rest.”

In total, 34 House Republicans sent a letter to Ryan stressing that they support border enforcement and fixing a “broken” immigration system, “but in this moment, we must address the urgent matter before us in a balanced approach that does not harm valuable sectors of our economy nor the lives of these hard-working young people.” The lawmakers didn’t back a particular version of the handful of legislative fixes that have been proposed.

Los Angeles voters will decide Tuesday who will replace Democrat Jimmy Gomez in the state Assembly.
Los Angeles voters will decide Tuesday who will replace Democrat Jimmy Gomez in the state Assembly. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

Residents of Echo Park, Silver Lake, Chinatown, Lincoln Heights, Highland Park and City Terrace are heading to the polls today to vote for a new Assembly member in the special election to replace former Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez, who left office after being elected to Congress.

Democrats Wendy Carrillo and Luis Lopez emerged from a field of 13 candidates in the primary in October. Carrillo claimed 22.16% of the vote and Lopez came in with 18.59% in a low-turnout contest in which just 10% of the roughly 223,000 registered voters cast ballots.

Polls in Assembly District 51 opened at 7 a.m. and will remain open until 8 p.m. 

  • California in Congress
  • 2018 election

Another Democratic group is hitting Rep. Dana Rohrabacher hard on his connections to Russia, this time a political action committee run by former U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer.

The group, called PAC for a Change, released a digital ad Tuesday morning that features news clips detailing Rohrabacher’s long-held affection for and ties to the country accused of meddling in last year’s elections.

The ad, titled From Russia with Love, ends with Rohrabacher’s photo juxtaposed next to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s, a pink heart drawn around both. “Dana Rohrabacher: Putin’s guy, not ours,” a narrator says.

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  • California in Congress

Three California ACLU affiliates are running online ads urging five California Republican members of Congress to support a legislative fix to resolve the legal status of people brought to the country illegally as children.

The online ads target Reps. Paul Cook of Yucca Valley, Darrell Issa of Vista, Devin Nunes of Tulare, Ed Royce of Fullerton and Mimi Walters of Irvine, and depict a mother driving with her two young children when U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents arrest her.

Actress Rosario Dawson does the voice-over narration in the ad. A clock ticks in the background as a woman waits for immigration agents to knock on her car window. She pleads with them to let her drop her children off at school or call her husband. The children scream as she is handcuffed and led away.

  • State government
Gov. Jerry Brown, right, is briefed on the fall's wildfires by Mark Ghilarducci, director of the Governor's Office of Emergency Services.
Gov. Jerry Brown, right, is briefed on the fall's wildfires by Mark Ghilarducci, director of the Governor's Office of Emergency Services. (Donald Thompson)

Gov. Jerry Brown is considering upgrading the state’s emergency alert system in the wake of this fall’s devastating wildfires across Northern California, the governor’s emergency services director told legislators on Monday.

“This is something that we’ve been working on closely,” said Mark Ghilarducci, director of the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, at an informational legislative hearing about the state’s response to the wildfires.

Emergency alerting systems received widespread complaints for not notifying residents as wildfires ripped through Napa and Sonoma Counties in October. The blazes, along with others nearby, left 44 residents dead. Ghilarducci said the fires destroyed 8,900 structures, almost 6,000 of which were primary residences. It was the most homes destroyed in a natural disaster since the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, Ghilarducci said.

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  • California in Congress
  • 2018 election
(Misha Japaridze / Associated Press)

Orange County Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Costa Mesa) will testify before the House Select Intelligence Committee this month about a meeting with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in which the two discussed who stole emails from the Democratic National Committee ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

“As you can see, I am not worried,” Rohrabacher said after votes Monday. “I have no worries at all. Once the public understands that the regular media has given them a false impression of my meetings with Russians, it’ll be fine.”

WikiLeaks published the emails before voters elected a new president in November of last year. U.S. intelligence officials have said Russia was involved in the theft of Democratic Party emails and tried to influence the election to benefit then-presidential candidate Donald Trump.

  • California in Congress
  • 2018 election
(Bill Clark / CQ Roll Call)

With another round of votes looming on the Republicans’ tax overhaul bill, Democratic activists are planning a series of protests and rallies across the state to pressure GOP members to oppose it.

Rep. Ed Royce (R-Fullerton) is the target of at least a couple of those events, starting Monday when activists plan to dress up in Santa suits and hand out “lumps of coal” with notes attached saying Royce “has been naughty and endangers your family” with his previous tax vote.

Activists with a local Indivisible group are also expected to rally outside his Brea office Wednesday afternoon.