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268 posts
  • California Republicans
  • California Democrats
State Sen. Josh Newman (D-Fullerton) has raised $1.8 million to fight a threatened recall effort by Republicans.
State Sen. Josh Newman (D-Fullerton) has raised $1.8 million to fight a threatened recall effort by Republicans. (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

The California Republican Party has spent $822,000 on a petition drive for a recall election against State Sen. Josh Newman, while the Democratic lawmaker from Fullerton has raised $1.8 million to fight the effort to remove him from office, according to campaign finance reports.

The state party has submitted enough signatures to qualify a recall measure for the ballot, but the state is conducting a review of the cost of the recall before calling an election. Republicans say Newman should be recalled for voting to increase the state gas tax in April, but the party also sees the chance to deprive Democrats of a two-thirds majority in the Senate by removing Newman.

In addition to the petition costs borne by the state GOP, a separate committee sponsored by the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Assn. has so far raised $126,225 to campaign for Newman’s ouster.

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  • 2018 election
  • California Democrats
Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom.
Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom. (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)
(Phil Willon / Los Angeles Times)

State Treasurer and candidate for governor John Chiang has launched a website attacking the record of Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, the front-runner in the race.

Chiang's political consultant, Parke Skelton, on Thursday tweeted out a link to www.gavinfacts.com, which the campaign says will "give California voters the facts about Gavin Newsom’s record, as Mayor and as Lieutenant Governor.” Chiang also tweeted a link to the site, then appeared to delete the tweet.  After he was criticized by the Newsom campaign for deleting his tweet, Chiang sent out a new tweet highlighting the website.

The site highlights a 2009 San Francisco Weekly article critiquing Newsom’s tenure as mayor of the city. The headline: "Why was Mayor Gavin Newsom's San Francisco Called 'the Worst Run Big City' in the U.S.?"

  • California in Congress
  • California Legislature
Lobbyists and advocates watch the action on the Assembly floor on a monitor at the Capitol in Sacramento in 2014.
Lobbyists and advocates watch the action on the Assembly floor on a monitor at the Capitol in Sacramento in 2014. (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

Corporations, unions and other interests spent $86.2 million on lobbying state government during the last quarter, with the oil industry leading the way as the Legislature approved an extension of California’s cap-and-trade program.

So far this year, $256 million has been spent lobbying state government, according to financial disclosure statements filed this week.

For the three-month period ending Sept. 30, the Western States Petroleum Assn. and Chevron were the top two spenders on lobbying, paying out $2.2 million and $1.1 million, respectively.

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

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) said the state's Republican members are lining up "like lemmings" to support a tax bill Democrats say will harm their constituents.

"For California it is devastating," Pelosi said. "The Republicans from California have gone straight down the line like lemmings to the sea to vote against the interest of their constituents, against the interest of our state."

With the midterm elections critical to the battle for control of the U.S. House, vulnerable California Republicans, especially those in Southern California where wealthy constituents save thousands on their taxes by deducting state and local tax taxes, are being closely watched.

  • California in Congress
  • 2018 election
An image distributed by the California GOP on Tuesday night, hours before the new gas tax increase took effect.
An image distributed by the California GOP on Tuesday night, hours before the new gas tax increase took effect.

California's gas tax went up by 12 cents a gallon overnight, and state Republicans who opposed the increase were determined not to let that go unnoticed.

Reps. Dana Rohrabacher of Costa Mesa and Darrell Issa of Vista, both vulnerable Republican House members who represent districts in Orange County, reiterated their opposition to the tax hike in separate statements Wednesday.

Issa called the tax increase "misguided" and called for its repeal, and Rohrabacher predicted the "beginning of a new tax revolt."

  • California Legislature
  • California Republicans
  • California Democrats
State Republican Party Chairman Jim Brulte, left, KQED reporter Marisa Lagos and state Democratic Party Chairman Eric Bauman at the Sacramento Press Club on Wednesday.
State Republican Party Chairman Jim Brulte, left, KQED reporter Marisa Lagos and state Democratic Party Chairman Eric Bauman at the Sacramento Press Club on Wednesday. (Phil Willon / Los Angeles Times)

The chairman of the California Democratic Party said a Pacoima Assemblyman accused of groping a woman must “come to terms” over whether he can continue serving.

Party leader Eric Bauman stopped short of indicating whether he thought the state lawmaker, Democrat Raul Bocanegra, should step down. Bauman added that Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Paramount) should help Bocanegra decide on “what his future is going to be.”

“I think Assemblyman Bocanegra needs to look into his own heart and decide what he’s going to do,” Bauman said.

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  • California Democrats
California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra
California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra (Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra is upping the pressure in the state’s lawsuit challenging President Trump’s plans to end a program that protects young immigrants from deportation.

Becerra on Wednesday filed a motion in federal court in San Francisco, seeking a preliminary injunction that aims to put a hold on Trump’s efforts to eliminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA.

"Our Dreamers deserve to know that we respect their values and grit," Becerra said in a news release. "And they deserve to know that we will fight at every turn for their rights and opportunities so they may continue to contribute to America."

(Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

California's teachers pension fund will consider canceling its investments in national retail companies selling guns and ammunition banned in the state after Treasurer John Chiang argued for action following last month's mass shooting in Las Vegas.

"Neither taxpayer funds, nor the pension contributions of any of the teachers we represent, including the three California teachers slain in Las Vegas, should be invested in the purveyors of banned military-style assault weapons," Chiang said during an investment committee meeting of the California State Teachers' Retirement System, or CalSTRS, on Wednesday.

Chiang, who sits on the board of both of California's major public pension funds, brought with him the brother of a woman killed during the Oct. 1 mass shooting at the outdoor concert in Las Vegas where 58 people were killed.