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675 posts
  • California Democrats
Mark Leno, seen here in August 2016, filed paperwork on Monday to run for mayor of San Francisco
Mark Leno, seen here in August 2016, filed paperwork on Monday to run for mayor of San Francisco (David Butow/For The Times)

Mark Leno, once one of California’s most seasoned and powerful state lawmakers, officially launched his campaign Monday to become mayor of San Francisco.

The Democratic politician filed the paperwork for a race he’s been preparing for since leaving the state Senate due to term limits in 2016.

Leno, 66, served in both the Assembly and Senate and before that on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. In Sacramento, he was a key architect of most state budgets over the last decade. Last week, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that Leno was tops in a recent poll of potential candidates.

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Assemblyman Richard Bloom has agreed to pay $5,000 in fines to the state Fair Political Practices Commission for violations of the state campaign finance disclosure rules.
Assemblyman Richard Bloom has agreed to pay $5,000 in fines to the state Fair Political Practices Commission for violations of the state campaign finance disclosure rules. (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

Democratic Assemblymen Richard Bloom of Santa Monica and Al Muratsuchi of Torrance have agreed to pay fines for violating state campaign finance disclosure laws, according to documents released Monday.

Bloom has agreed to pay $5,000 in fines to the state Fair Political Practices Commission for failing to disclose 11 contributions made and received by his 2014 campaign within 24 hours of the donations, a requirement during the last days before an election.

The contributions not disclosed on time totaled $80,420 and included checks from Paramount Pictures, Anheuser Busch Companies and the Assn. of California Life & Health Insurance Companies PAC.

  • California in Congress
  • 2018 election
(Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

San Francisco billionaire Democratic donor Tom Steyer said Monday he’s not going to run for Senate or the governor’s office in California this year.

“I'm not going to run for office in 2018; that's not where I can make the biggest difference,” Steyer said at a news conference he called in Washington, D.C. “My fight is not just in California, my fight is in removing Donald Trump from office and from power.”

The former hedge fund manager said he will instead pour tens of millions of dollars into Democratic efforts to retake the House.

  • Governor's race
  • 2018 election
  • California Republicans
(Silvia Flores / For The Times)

GOP gubernatorial candidate John Cox said Sunday that he will contribute up to $1 million to his own campaign to match donations made to a new Republican rival in the race.

Cox, who has already contributed $3 million to his campaign, was responding to the Friday announcement by former Rep. Doug Ose that he was running for governor.

Cox’s campaign argued that Ose’s late entry to the race further splintered the GOP vote, increasing the prospect of a Democrat-on-Democrat general election because of the state’s top-two primary system.

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  • California Legislature
  • Politics podcast
  • Sexual harassment

California’s Legislature has returned to work facing a political landscape quite unlike ever before: complicated and controversial challenges from both the federal government and from within.

On this week’s California Politics Podcast, we discuss how lawmakers are reacting to the sexual misconduct allegations that led two of their colleagues to resign this past fall.

We also take a look at the serious challenges waged last week by the administration of President Trump, from a promise to beef up immigration enforcement to a move that could expand offshore oil drilling.

  • California Republicans

A Los Angeles-area Republican group is kicking off the new year with a breakfast gathering Saturday headlined by a local leader of the controversial John Birch Society.

Joe Panzarello, the society’s Southern California field director, is scheduled to speak at an El Monte restaurant for a “Victory Elephant Breakfast” hosted by the Los Angeles County GOP’s 49th Assembly District Central Committee.

The society, an anti-communism group that opposed the civil rights movement and deemed President Eisenhower a communist, has been disowned by most mainstream Republicans.

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A customer peruses marijuana buds at the Green Pearl Organics dispensary in Desert Hot Springs, Calif., on Jan. 1.
A customer peruses marijuana buds at the Green Pearl Organics dispensary in Desert Hot Springs, Calif., on Jan. 1. (Robyn Beck / AFP/Getty Images)

A public service commercial aimed at preventing drugged driving has been pulled from television stations by state officials after some viewers complained that it promoted the use of marijuana.

The ad, part of a “DUI Doesn’t Just Mean Booze” campaign by the California Office of Traffic Safety, began running just before the state began issuing licenses for the sale of marijuana for medical and recreational use.

The video features men and women talking about why they use cannabis and why they don’t drive after doing so.

  • Governor's race
  • 2018 election
  • California Democrats

California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday blasted a company that has employed and donated heavily to gubernatorial race rival and fellow Democrat Antonio Villaraigosa.

Newsom, campaigning at a union hall in Riverside, was asked about his position on Cadiz Inc.’s proposal to pump water from a Mojave Desert aquifer to provide water to Southern California.

“I don’t support it,” he replied. “… I’m worried about what it means to the Mojave Desert. I’m worried about what it means for the environment. I don’t like people buying influence. I don’t like money determining the fate of even good ideas, let alone bad ideas. I don’t like the way this whole thing has played out. It doesn’t sit well with me.”