Of the more than 70,600 voters who signed petitions to hold a recall vote on state Sen. Josh Newman of Fullerton, only 849 asked that their signatures be withdrawn by the deadline, clearing a major hurdle for an election on whether to oust the Democratic lawmaker, officials said Tuesday.
Opponents of the recall needed to get more than 7,000 voters to withdraw their signatures to deprive supporters of the 63,593 signatures needed to put the measure on the ballot, under a new system approved recently by the Democratic-controlled Legislature that slows down the process.
“Sen. Josh Newman has spent months lying to his constituents by claiming people were duped into signing the recall petition against him, and with today’s tally, he has been unmasked again as a pathological liar who is unfit to hold office," said Carl DeMaio, a Republican activist heading the recall drive. "We eagerly look forward to voters having a chance to vote him out for his lies and his decision to increase the gas tax.”
House Republicans are opening investigations of the Obama administration’s 2010 decision to approve the sale of American uranium mines to a Russian-backed company, and California Rep. Devin Nunes is at the forefront.
Nunes (R-Tulare), the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said at a news conference that his panel and the House Oversight Committee would jointly probe the deal, which President Trump has called “the real Russia story.”
Nunes and other Trump supporters have raised the 7-year-old uranium deal while four congressional committees and Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III are looking into Russia interference the 2016 election and whether Moscow had any direct links to the Trump campaign.
A former deputy director of the state Board of Equalization said Tuesday he was improperly fired this month after cooperating with a state Department of Justice investigation into allegations that agency officials improperly used public resources.
Mark DeSio was fired Oct. 12 as the director for external affairs of the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration, which recently was split off from the board in an agency shakeup. He has filed a whistleblower complaint and appeal to the state Personnel Board seeking reinstatement to his position.
He alleges the agency before its split up was rife with nepotism and that there is improper hiring and use of employees from one fund to instead help elected board members in field offices.
The campaign manager for Orange County congressional challenger Phil Janowicz resigned last week following allegations he had sexually harassed women while working as a top official with the Democratic Party of Orange County.
Erik Taylor, who had worked for Janowicz's campaign for less than five months, resigned Thursday, according to Janowicz, a Democrat who is running to unseat GOP Rep. Ed Royce in the 39th Congressional District.
In a Facebook statement Friday, Janowicz identified Taylor as a "senior member" of his campaign staff who "vehemently denies the allegations."
The Sierra Club is setting some ground rules for California gubernatorial candidates that may want its endorsement.
No. 1 on the list is independence from the oil industry, which has been a fault line in the Capitol during debates over climate change policies.
"This year, given how important California's role has become to the nation for leadership on the environment, it made sense to lay out in advance what some of the overall characteristics that the endorsement committee will be looking for in candidates," said Kathryn Phillips, director of Sierra Club California.
Gubernatorial candidate Gavin Newsom says California officials should set a goal to help 3.5 million new homes get built by 2025 to stem the state’s housing problems.
“Simply put, we’re experiencing a housing affordability crisis, driven by a simple economic argument,” the lieutenant governor said in a post on Medium outlining his housing plan. “California is leading the national recovery, but it’s producing far more jobs than homes. Providing adequate housing is fundamental to growing the state’s economy.”
The initiative would repeal the landmark Costa-Hawkins Act, a 1995 law that barred rent caps on single-family homes and apartments built after that year. If it passes, local governments would be able to implement rent control on newer properties.
“Rent in California is out of control,” Ismail Marcus Allgood, a South Los Angeles resident and a leader with faith-based community organization LA Voice, said in a press release announcing the measure. “I moved here in 2013, and have already moved four times due to my rent being raised. That is just ridiculous. The homeless problem in L.A. is only going to get worse if we don't repeal Costa-Hawkins right now.”
De León announced Monday he has hired the law office of Amy Oppenheimer to conduct an external investigation into harassment and assault allegations, and the consulting firm CPS HR Consulting to review Senate policies on harassment, discrimination and retaliation.
State Senate leader Kevin De León has millions of dollars socked away in state campaign accounts, but federal law prohibits him from rolling over the money into his federal campaign for the U.S. Senate.
So what options does the Los Angeles legislator have as he puts together a campaign to unseat Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a fellow Democrat, in next year's election?