The head of the Democratic National Committee on Thursday blasted Fresno Republicans for inviting controversial former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Arizona to headline a party fundraiser.
“It is shameful that the Fresno County Republican Party is fundraising off one of the nation’s most notorious agents of racism and bigotry,” said DNC chairman Tom Perez, who oversaw federal prosecution of Arpaio when he led the U.S. Department of Justice’s civil rights division.
Arpaio was convicted in July of criminal contempt for violating a federal court order to stop racially profiling Latinos and had been scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 5. But in late August, President Trump pardoned Arpaio, who was an early supporter of the candidate during the 2016 presidential campaign.
Billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer ventured to the Inland Empire on Thursday to show his support for a powerful public employee union’s three-day strike against Riverside County — just like three of the top Democratic candidates for governor have done this week.
But Steyer said not to read anything into it.
Speculation abounds about whether the former hedge fund manager from San Francisco, who has spent tens of millions of dollars funding Democratic candidates and liberal causes across the country, may run for governor or perhaps U.S. Senate.
On the heels of a clash between white supremacists and counter-protesters in Virginia last month, Rep. Barbara Lee wants statues of Confederate heroes removed from the U.S. Capitol.
The Oakland Democrat filed legislation Thursday that would require that all statues of people who voluntarily served the Confederate States of America be removed from the Capitol's Statuary Hall. Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) filed similar legislation in the Senate, which is co-sponsored by California's Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris.
Furor over the removal of Confederate statues from public spaces grew after a protest about a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville, Va., became violent.
With the first marijuana licenses due to be issued in January, California lawmakers proposed Thursday that growers and sellers be able to group multiple permitted operations together.
The change would allow a store that is licensed to sell marijuana for medical use to also sell pot for recreational use if it is licensed to do so. In addition, a marijuana store would be able to run a manufacturing operation at the same site, and businesses could group together multiple cultivation licenses in one facility, which would allow medical pot to be grown next to adult-use cannabis, said Hezekiah Allen, head of the California Growers Assn.
The measure also would repeal a rule that licensed medical-cannabis manufacturers can provide products only to medical pot retailers.
An effort to shed more light on a little-scrutinized part of the prescription drug supply chain — pharmacy benefit managers — sputtered on Thursday after facing concerns from the Brown administration.
Pharmacy benefit managers, or PBMs, such as Express Scripts or CVS Caremark, act as go-betweens connecting drug makers and purchasers, such as health plans and consumers. By negotiating in bulk with manufacturers, PBMs claim they can secure steep discounts, which can be passed on to purchasers.
But drug makers and consumers alike have said there is little assurance that such savings actually reach consumers. As concerns continue to mount about high prescription prices, PBMs have increasingly been scrutinized.
A bill that would block the public release of police body camera footage or other videos that depict victims of rape, incest, sexual assault, domestic violence or child abuse is headed to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk.
The measure, AB 459 from Assemblyman Ed Chau (D-Arcadia), overwhelmingly passed the Assembly on Thursday with no debate.
California lawmakers voted Thursday to allow elections officials to print only summaries of ballot measures in statewide voter guides, concluding that the bulky paper documents could easily be replaced with more information posted online.
"The book is so burdensome," said state Sen. Bob Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys) during debate on the floor of the Senate.
Assembly Bill 606, which now awaits the signature of Gov. Jerry Brown, requires the secretary of state to make clear in future voter guides the Internet address where voters can find the full text of ballot measures. Voters would also be given the option of calling a toll-free number to request a full guide of the legal language.
Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton, an up-and-comer in the GOP and — at 40 — the youngest member of the Senate, will highlight the conservative lineup of speakers at the California Republican Party’s convention in Anaheim in October.
Cotton, who served as an Army officer in Iraq and Afghanistan, was a harsh critic of President Obama and is considered a hawk on national defense. During a hearing in June, Cotton openly mocked the idea that the Trump administration may have colluded with Russia to influence the 2016 election.
“As we gather to focus on electing Republicans in a blue state, these speakers will remind us that Republican values are California values — entrepreneurship, belief in a better future for our state and our country, and freedom,” California Republican Party Chairman Jim Brulte said in a statement Thursday.