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As Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia explained why he was endorsing Gavin Newsom for governor on Thursday, he recalled two key moments in his life.

The first was in 2004, soon after Garcia graduated from college and was trying to figure out how to tell his family that he was gay.

“I remember clearly watching the TV and seeing Gavin Newsom as the mayor of San Francisco telling the country and the world that gay people, that the LGBTQ community were equal and should be allowed the right to marry,” Garcia said. “It impacted me. It left a piece of my heart really, really touched by that moment.”

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  • State government
  • California Legislature

Republican opponents of a recent increase to the state gas tax have launched a television ad campaign aimed at getting California voters to sign petitions for an initiative that would repeal the new levies.

The ads have started running on broadcast and cable television stations in the San Diego area and on YouTube. They are part of a $400,000 first-week launch for a drive to collect more than 587,000 signatures to qualify a measure for the November 2018 ballot that would repeal the increase in gas taxes and vehicle fees approved by the Legislature in April.

“Sacramento politicians did it again,” one of the ads says. “They forced a massive hike on our car and gas taxes while raiding our road funds.”

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Tom Steyer's drive to impeach President Trump includes a billboard in New York's Times Square.
Tom Steyer's drive to impeach President Trump includes a billboard in New York's Times Square. (Spencer Platt / Getty Images)

From its very founding, California has been a land of reinvention. The creed is practically written in the state Constitution: If you don’t like who you are, or your place in life, start over.

Gold was the first lure. Since then, countless have sought fame. Others, acceptance.

Tom Steyer has no end of wealth, a measure of fame and a seeming appetite for political office.

  • 2018 election
  • California Republicans
Rep. Ed Royce (R-Fullerton)
Rep. Ed Royce (R-Fullerton) (Bill Clark / CQ Roll Call)

Two Orange County congressional seats are now considered more vulnerable by one of the country’s top campaign handicappers.

Analysts for Larry J. Sabato’s Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia Center for Politics moved the 39th Congressional District held by Rep. Ed Royce (R-Fullerton) and the 45th District held by Rep. Mimi Walters (R-Irvine) from the “likely Republican” category to the “leans Republican” category, signaling they think Democrats have a better chance of winning them.

  • California in Congress
  • California Republicans
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield, front left, and House Speaker Paul D. Ryan talk with reporters about the GOP tax plan.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield, front left, and House Speaker Paul D. Ryan talk with reporters about the GOP tax plan. (Jacquelyn Martin / Associated Press)

House leaders are considering keeping a version of the state and local tax deductions used widely in California in order to get the state’s Republican members on board with the final GOP tax bill.

Three California Republicans voted against the House version of the tax bill in October, and several others said they voted to advance the bill with the hope that their concerns would be fixed in a final compromise with the Senate.

Chief Deputy Whip Patrick T. McHenry of North Carolina told Roll Call on Tuesday that the potential deduction tweak would be made to appease lawmakers from California.

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  • California Legislature
  • Sexual harassment
Assemblywoman Laura Friedman (D-Glendale)
Assemblywoman Laura Friedman (D-Glendale) (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

Top staff members in the California Assembly sought to offer information Tuesday on how sexual harassment allegations are reported and investigated, but some key elements of the process seemed to leave lawmakers still confused about the process.

“This has to end,” said Assemblywoman Laura Friedman (D-Glendale), the chair of the subcommittee that discussed the problem of sexual misconduct in the Capitol during the afternoon hearing. "It's my commitment to you that we’re going to do our best to end that culture."

Lawmakers asked the Assembly’s top staffers, the chief administrative officer and the human resources director, for information on how complaints are filed and how frequently complaints are made. The Los Angeles Times requested similar information last month. The records requests were only partially granted.

  • California in Congress

Sen. Kamala Harris wore an Astros shirt under her suit jacket Tuesday afternoon and donned an Astros World Series hat as she took a deep breath and knocked on Sen. Ted Cruz’ office door.

“This is one of the most painful moments of my life,” she said with a laugh.

It was time to settle a bet over which state’s hometown team would win the 2017 World Series, which the Los Angeles Dodgers lost to the Houston Astros in seven games. Los Angeles-area House members settled their own bets earlier this month.

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Capitol Community Cultural Changes: Assault, Harassment & Retaliation - Part 1. Please visit...

Posted by California Legislative Women's Caucus on Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Members of the California Assembly are meeting to review how the chamber handles reports and investigations of sexual harassment claims, the first hearing by either legislative house on reporting processes that some women in state politics say leaves victims with little recourse and fearful of retaliation.

The Subcommittee on Harassment, Discrimination, and Retaliation Prevention and Response is headed by Assemblywoman Laura Friedman (D-Glendale), a former Hollywood producer. The vice chair is Marie Waldron (R-Escondido).

Other subcommittee members are Assemblywoman Eloise Gomez Reyes (D-Grand Terrace) and Assemblymen Vince Fong (R-Bakersfield), Timothy Grayson (D-Concord) and Jordan Cunningham (R-San Luis Obispo).

  • State government
  • Sexual harassment