The California Democratic Party convention started with a bang Friday night, with protesters disrupting speeches at the official kickoff and state party Chairman John Burton unleashing a series of F-bombs aimed at the demonstrators.
The chanting began when Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg and Burton stepped up to the podium in a cavernous hall at the state capital's convention center, with protesters shouting demands that the party reject corporate donations and work to implement a single-payer healthcare system.
Burton, known for his salty language, lashed out quickly. He told protesters that the Democratic Party had been fighting for single-payer healthcare “since before you were born.”
Billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer was one of several declared and potential candidates for governor seen roaming the halls of the Sacramento Convention Center on Friday, the opening day of the California Democrats' three-day convention.
But, like many others, he remained coy about his plans, saying, "We are considering our options."
He rushed off after answering a couple questions from reporters, but stopped when he was approached by political activist Basil Kimbrew, who asked for Steyer's help in tackling veteran homelessness.
The California Democratic Party on Friday came closer to adopting a new policy that would require party leaders to fully disclose any compensation they receive to advocate for a statewide ballot initiative or candidate for state office.
The push for transparency comes after Eric Bauman, chairman of the Los Angeles County Democratic Party and a candidate for state party chair, faced criticism after his political consulting firm was paid by opponents of Proposition 61, which voters rejected on Nov. 8.
The contract has become a pivotal issue in the party's contentious race for party chair between Bauman and Kimberly Ellis, a Democratic organizer who has become the favored candidate among many Bernie Sanders supporters.
Supporters of a bid for California independence are again submitting plans for a 2018 statewide ballot measure to potentially leave the United States.
Members of the California Freedom Coalition gathered outside the state Capitol on Friday before turning in their proposed initiative to the state attorney general’s office for review.
Cindy Sheehan, who gained international attention as an anti-war protestor after her son died during the Iraq war in 2004, told the Los Angeles Times at the gathering that the state should stop subsidizing a federal government that she characterized as out of step with California values.
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher laughed when a reporter from The Hill newspaper asked Friday whether he is getting paid by Russia.
"Am I getting money from Russia? No," the Huntington Beach Republican said.
The question stemmed from a Washington Post story this week that disclosed an audio recording from last year in which House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) said he thought Rohrabacher and then-candidate Donald Trump were being paid by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Dublin) and his wife Brittany announced the birth of their first child Friday, a boy.
The couple named their son Eric Nelson Swalwell and plan to call him Nelson, according to the congressman's Instagram. He was born in San Ramon, Calif. Swalwell reports that mom and baby are healthy and well.
Swalwell is serving his third term in Congress and is head of the Future Forum, a group of younger House members focused on issues millennials care about, such as student loan debt.