Senator-elect Kamala Harris is making her first hiring move, announcing Wednesday that her chief deputy in the attorney general's office, Nathan Barankin, will be her chief of staff when she replaces Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) in November.
"Nathan has been my trusted advisor and right hand for many years in the Attorney General’s office. He is an exceptional lawyer, legislative expert, and career public servant. He has served three different Attorneys General of California in executive roles and has worked as a constitutional litigator and an advisor to the California Senate leadership for many years. I look forward to continuing to work with Nathan in the United States Senate,” Harris said in a statement.
New senators are sworn in Jan. 3. Harris also announced half a dozen people to help set up her new office, including advisors Debbie Mesloh, Michael Troncoso and Tony West.
House Democratic Caucus Chairman Xavier Becerra (D-Los Angeles) is seeking to become the ranking Democrat on the House Ways and Means Committee following news Tuesday that the current ranking member Rep. Sandy Levin (D-Mich.) will not run for the position again.
Levin, 85, said it was time to give younger members a chance to lead Democrats on the powerful tax-writing committee ahead of expected fights with the Trump administration and House Republicans over healthcare policy and tax reform.
Becerra asked for support in a letter to colleagues Tuesday night.
Democratic congressional candidate Douglas Applegate came within a few thousand votes of knocking off GOP Rep. Darrell Issa of Vista, and now says he's going to give it another try in 2018.
“As a Marine Colonel, I know that the hardest fights often take a couple of battles — and I look forward to continuing our fight in the days, weeks, and months ahead,” Applegate said in a statement released Tuesday. “That’s why I’m announcing my intention to run for Congress in 2018.”
The chairman of the California Democratic Party wasn’t shy about calling it the “Liberal Party” in an email urging members to run to become delegates. For years Republicans have used the term “liberal” as a pejorative. Many Democratic politicians prefer to be called “progressive.”
The message sent by Burton, the former president pro tempore of the state Senate, also laid out “what California Democrats stand for” — a list of policy positions that largely mirrors the party’s official political platform.
Leaders of the California Republican Party are alleging that the state's online voter registration system is susceptible to voter fraud, and say they are considering possible legal action in the days or weeks to come.
Harmeet Dhillon, the state party's former vice chair and now a member of the Republican National Committee, said Sunday that party leaders believe the 4-year-old system allows multiple people to be registered from the same computer.
"The [California] secretary of state's website does not track the IP addresses of the people who register to vote," Dhillon said in a phone interview. "You could literally register hundreds or thousands of people from the same computer."
House Democrats come together Wednesday to vote on their leadership for the next Congress, and with a challenge to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) looming, her supporters have taken to social media in recent days to explain why they back the long-serving leader.
Pelosi, who has been in House leadership for nearly two decades, has cast herself as a steady hand for Democrats as they push back against President-elect Donald Trump's policies, including repealing the Affordable Care Act and deporting millions of people in the country illegally.
Pelosi's challenger, Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), represents a state that Trump won, and he has made the case that Democrats need to appeal to Middle America if they want to regain House control.