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  • California Legislature
Sustainable cannabis farmer Dillon Turner applies fertilizer to a crop of plants at Sunboldt Farms in Redcrest, Calif.
Sustainable cannabis farmer Dillon Turner applies fertilizer to a crop of plants at Sunboldt Farms in Redcrest, Calif. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Two legislators called Tuesday for changes to regulations for growing marijuana in California to better protect small family farmers from being driven out of business by big corporate cultivators.

Initial proposals to cap licensed marijuana farms at one to four acres were discarded by the state Department of Food and Agriculture, which has since proposed new rules without any cap, according to a letter of complaint to the agency by State Sen. Mike McGuire (D-San Rafael) and Assemblyman Jim Wood (D-Healdsburg). McGuire and Wood support a one-acre cap.

 “We support the protection of small family cannabis farmers — the backbone of California’s cannabis industry — and are deeply concerned that a lack of a cap on small cannabis cultivation permits is undermining the desires of California voters expressed through Proposition 64,” the two lawmakers wrote, referring to the initiative approved by voters last year to legalize recreational marijuana.

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  • California Democrats
  • 2018 governor's race
State Treasurer John Chiang speaks with voters at the Summer Solstice Festival in Santa Barbara in June.
State Treasurer John Chiang speaks with voters at the Summer Solstice Festival in Santa Barbara in June. (Mariah Tauger / For The Times)

State Treasurer John Chiang plans to launch a new attack against Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom in the California governor’s race Tuesday by pointing out that a prominent Republican praised Newsom’s 2013 book “Citizenville.”

“Why did Newt Gingrich call Gavin Newsom’s book ‘A blueprint for the Republican Party?’ ” reads a post that will be published on www.gavinfacts.com, a site Chiang created about Newsom’s record. It has had a single post that criticized Newsom’s tenure as mayor of San Francisco.

The new critique centers on former House Speaker Gingrich’s praise for the book.

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  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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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
  • 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.

  • 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.