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268 posts
  • California in Congress
(Olamikan Gbemiga / Associated Press)

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista) said Tuesday he can’t vote for the current version of the GOP tax bill.

“I think that we can do better than this,” Issa said.

While some of the other 13 Republicans in the California delegation have said they are still reviewing the bill, Issa was the first to indicate he would vote no on the tax overhaul championed by leaders of his party unless changes are made.

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  • 2018 election
  • 2018 governor's race
Portrait of John H. Cox, Republican candidate for governor, at the the California Republican Party convention in Anaheim.
Portrait of John H. Cox, Republican candidate for governor, at the the California Republican Party convention in Anaheim. (Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

GOP gubernatorial candidate John Cox is attacking one of his rivals in the race – but not the candidate one would expect.

Rather than critiquing the record of the other main Republican in the race, Assemblyman Travis Allen of Huntington Beach, Cox is blasting Democratic front-runner Gavin Newsom in a fundraising plea.

Cox sent voters mailers urging them to send a “pink slip” to Newsom, the state’s lieutenant governor, and tied Newsom to termed-out Gov. Jerry Brown.

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  • California Democrats
(Eric Risberg / Associated Press)

California and the European Union will begin discussions together with China about possibly creating a common carbon market to cut greenhouse gas emissions, Gov. Jerry Brown announced Tuesday at a conference in Brussels focused on combating climate change.

“The European Union is definitely a leader, if not the leader, in coping with climate change. That’s why I’m here to link up with the European Union to encourage even greater efforts,” Brown said at the European Parliament in Brussels.

Brown met leaders from EU institutions as part of a 10-day European tour that includes a United Nations climate conference in Bonn, Germany. On Saturday, he spoke at an event with scientists at the Vatican.

  • Congressional races
  • 2018 election

Plenty of California congressional challengers have invoked the name and face of President Trump in their early ads, but not many have waded into the debate over whether the president should be impeached.

That's starting to change.

A new ad released by Orange County Democrat Andy Thorburn says explicitly that Trump should be impeached "for obstruction of justice" and "repeatedly lying to the American people." The 30-second ad, which will run online over the next few weeks, also criticizes "Silent Ed" Royce, the GOP congressman Thorburn is running to unseat, for not commenting on the issue.

  • 2018 governor's race
Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom applauds for Gov. Jerry Brown after a State of the State speech.
Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom applauds for Gov. Jerry Brown after a State of the State speech. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

State flags in California will be flown at half-staff Monday in remembrance of those who lost their lives in a shooting at a Texas church over the weekend.

"Jennifer and I offer our deepest condolences to the families, the Sutherland Springs community, and all those grieving following the horrific mass shooting at a house of worship in Texas, yesterday," Acting Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a statement, referencing his wife, Jennifer Siebel Newsom.

Newsom, who is running for governor, also called for broader federal action on gun control in the statement.

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  • Congressional races
  • 2018 election
(Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times)

One year from now, California voters will be deciding dozens of races in the 2018 midterm elections, and the stakes are high. Among the contests on the Nov. 6, 2018, California ballot are governor, U.S. Senate, 53 U.S. House races, plus seats in the state Assembly and Senate and policy-changing state propositions. 

About a dozen of the House races will be particularly intense because Democrats can't win back control of the House without taking back at least a few Republican districts here.

The statewide primary is June 5, when voters will pick the top two finishers to move on to the general election regardless of party.

  • State government
  • Sexual harassment

Lawmakers and activists alike say they want to tackle the problem of sexual harassment in politics and government circles across California. But how to do so remains an open question

On this week's California Politics Podcast, we discuss the allegations that came to light when The Times wrote about the complaint one statehouse staffer filed in 2009.

We also talk about big tax news from Capitol Hill and at gas pumps across California, as both efforts threaten to reshape some key 2018 races across the state.

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  • California Legislature
  • 2018 election
(Los Angeles Times)

Supporters of an effort to create a California Legislature with up to 12,000 representatives of individual neighborhoods submitted voter signatures on Friday for their dramatic proposal to reshape the state's version of representative democracy.

The plan, which would appear on next November's statewide ballot, would create new community political districts of between 5,000 and 10,000 Californians. Those microdistricts would choose representatives who, in turn, would meet to select the 120 members of the California Legislature who write laws in Sacramento. Because the small districts would be of a fixed size, the number of legislators will vary depending on the state's population.

The "neighborhood Legislature" plan was submitted by John Cox, a Rancho Santa Fe Republican who is a candidate for governor. Cox bankrolled the signature drive, and state elections officials report the campaign has turned in 627,633 voter signatures for verification. A spokesperson says that more signatures will be turned in soon, with the total that were gathered closer to 800,000.

  • California Legislature

The state Senate is ramping up efforts to look into sexual harassment in politics by asking women who signed the open letter decrying the culture of the Capitol to speak with an independent investigator.

Secretary of the Senate Daniel Alvarez sent a letter Friday to women who signed the letter and were employed by the Senate within the last five years, urging them to voluntarily speak with Amy Oppenheimer, an employment attorney who specializes in workplace harassment investigations. Current and former staffers received the letter via email, several recipients told The Times.

When he announced the hiring of Oppenheimer in late October, Senate leader Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) said her firm would "request interviews with all relevant Senate staff and identify any actionable steps to properly address any and all allegations raised in this course of this investigation."