The California Senate on Tuesday remembered one of its own, late former state Sen. Tom Hayden, who spent nearly two decades in the state Legislature after serving as a leading voice in the campaign to end the Vietnam War.
Hayden, who died Oct. 23 in Santa Monica at age 76, is perhaps best known as a counterculture figure who led civil rights and antiwar protests in the 1960s.
But he later served 10 years in the state Assembly and eight years in the Senate, representing a district that included much of West Los Angeles County.
It wasn’t just talk — Senate leader Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) is proposing legislation that would require California to generate all of its electricity from renewable sources.
The measure, SB 584, was introduced without fanfare before last week’s deadline for new proposals in the Capitol.
If approved, 100% of the state’s electricity would need to come from clean sources such as solar and wind by 2045. De León first suggested the idea in a conversation with The Times last month.
Feb. 21, 2017, 1:59 p.m.
California in Congress
President Trump’s plan for mass deportations is an affront to our values as Americans, and will strike fear in our immigrant communities that will harm our economy and public safety. These guidelines imply that all immigrants should be treated as criminals, regardless of their background or lack of criminal history, and will drain our local law enforcement resources because it makes them responsible for enforcing federal immigration law.
The United States needs an independent investigation of Russian attempts to influence the 2016 election before voters return to the polls for a national election in 2018, Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Dublin) said Tuesday.
“We’re getting too close to sweeping this under the rug and losing the opportunity to do something about it," Swalwell told The Times. "We’re rolling into a midterm election season that’s going to get kicked off pretty soon, and it would be very unfortunate if we started to see more Russian-style influence campaigns start to take place. We owe the American people a report of what happened and recommendations to make sure that it never happens again.”
A report from the U.S. intelligence community in early January found that Russian President Vladimir Putin personally ordered an intelligence operation against the U.S. presidential race and ultimately sought to help Donald Trump win the White House. The Trump administration vehemently denies there was any collusion between the campaign and Russia.
Ann Ravel is headed back home to California, tired of fighting Republicans at the nation's campaign finance agency and conceding control of the Federal Election Commission to President Trump.
"I compromised, but the other side never would," the FEC commissioner said in an interview on Tuesday.
Ravel announced her resignation from the FEC over the holiday weekend, posting online a copy of the letter she sent to Trump. She said she has not received any response from the White House, and will leave her post on March 1.
But at least one audience member was interested to know Sanders' thoughts on the 34th Congressional District, where former Sanders campaign aide Arturo Carmona is running to replace former Rep. Xavier Becerra, who is California's new attorney general.
"What about 34?" came the shout from the audience as Sanders was being interviewed by Los Angeles Times political cartoonist David Horsey as part of the Times' Ideas Exchange series.
New legislation at the state Capitol seeks to ensure that the heirs of California's wealthiest residents pay taxes on estates they inherit, even if the federal law is scrapped by President Trump and Congress.
The bill, introduced by state Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), would ask California voters to keep in place an estate tax that generated $4.5 billion in 2015. The proposal would have to go to voters because a state-level estate tax was prohibited in a pair of 1982 ballot measures.
But Wiener insists that his tax would take effect only if GOP leaders in Washington repeal the federal law.
Democratic National Committee chair candidate Rep. Keith Ellison is trying to build on his support in California by rallying other Democrats in Western states.
Tina Podlodowski, chair of the Washington State Democratic Party, will formally announce on Monday she's backing Elllison, who is from Minnesota.
“Not only is he committed to competing in every county, providing the resources we need, and focusing on turning out the vote, he has a proven track record of doing each of those things in Minnesota," she said.
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders got a rock star’s welcome when he spoke in downtown Los Angeles on Sunday in what was theoretically a book tour stop but amounted to more of a political rally, urging progressives to play by new rules as they resist President Trump’s administration.
“We are looking at a totally new political world,” he said. “If we play by the old rules, we will lose and they will win. Our job is not to play by the old rules.”