Rep. Steve Knight (R-Lancaster) got an earful from his constituents at an early morning town hall meeting in Palmdale on Saturday that drew an at-capacity crowd of nearly 300 with dozens more protesting outside.
Though Knight ultimately was escorted to his car by several Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies as protesters booed him, the question-and-answer session remained relatively civil, if a bit raucous.
Knight drew a mixed reaction from the crowd. Local Democratic clubs from Simi Valley, Santa Clarita and the Antelope Valley were at the event, and many in the crowd sported pink caps and so-called "pussyhats" made popular during the Women's March earlier this year.
Gov. Jerry Brown isn't ready to declare California's drought officially over, but he recently said that the end is near.
On this week's California Politics Podcast, we take a closer look at the policy and political implications of state government standing down on the long crisis. That includes the impact to Brown's efforts on a long-term water reliability plan for the state.
We also discuss the governor's urgent plea to the Trump administration to sign off on a grant for a Bay Area electrified rail project that's linked to California's bullet train efforts. And we offer a segment of several political tidbits from the past week, from the saga of a silenced state senator to the mayoral election in Los Angeles on March 7.
California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra endorsed state Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez (D-Los Angeles) in the race to fill Becerra's old Los Angeles congressional seat.
"Jimmy Gomez will be an outstanding representative for the people I served in Congress," Becerra said in a statement. "He's been at the forefront against climate change and domestic violence, to increase the minimum wage and to make higher education affordable."
Becerra, who also cited his close working relationship with Gomez, is the latest in a long line of Democratic elected officials who have announced their support for Gomez. Gomez's other endorsers include dozens of state lawmakers, major labor unions, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti and U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris.
After pledging an internal review to investigate the removal of state Sen. Janet Nguyen (R-Garden Grove) from the chamber last week, Senate President pro Tem Kevin de Léon has designated a three-person panel to determine how the controversial incident occurred.
At a Senate Rules hearing on Wednesday, De Léon (D-Los Angeles) announced that he tapped three Senate staffers — the secretary of the Senate, the Senate ombudsperson and a senior staffer to Sen. Anthony Cannella (R-Ceres), the top Republican on the rules panel — to review Nguyen's physical removal from the Senate floor, after Democrats said she violated parliamentary rules in her attempt to criticize the anti-Vietnam War activism of the late state Sen. Tom Hayden.
De Léon said the panel's responsibilities include interviewing people involved with the incident, analyzing the emails exchanged in its lead-up and aftermath, reviewing pertinent Senate rules and considering additional training on rules for all senators.
A draft of House Republicans' proposed health care legislation to replace the Affordable Care Act is apparently available for House Republicans to view in a secure, undisclosed location somewhere in the Capitol, and a few California Democrats had a bit of fun Thursday looking for it.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ken.), a critic of the House plan, started the search, and Democrats jumped to join in, including Rep. Judy Chu (D-Monterey) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco).
Gov. Jerry Brown's proposed state budget may have mistakenly excluded some $22 billion from a formula to limit spending that was first imposed by voters in 1979, according to a new study by the Legislature's independent analysts.
The issue, arising from complex accounting of spending by local schools and state government, could leave lawmakers facing the tightest legal restrictions on state spending in more than a quarter-century when they craft a budget later this year.
"We're a lot closer than we think we are" to hitting the legal limit, said Ryan Miller, one of the analysts who drafted the report.
One state employee used his work computer extensively to play video games, another misused her state car for personal commutes and two tax officials improperly referred taxpayers to private businesses to prepare their taxes.
Those are some of the findings of State Auditor Elaine Howle based on tips from the state whistle-blower telephone line, she said Thursday.
“Through our investigations, we found misuse of state time and resources, failure to keep accurate time and attendance records, disclosure of confidential information, neglect of duty to supervise and improper payments,” Howle wrote to the governor.
Rep. Steve Knight (R-Lancaster) on Thursday urged Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions to "step aside" from any investigation of Russian involvement in the presidential election, adding to mounting pressure from congressional Republicans.
Knight, a second-term congressman, represents a potential swing district in northern Los Angeles County. National Democrats have identified Knight as a prime target in their efforts to win seats during the 2018 midterm elections.
A chorus of California Democrats are joining House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) in calling for Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions to resign over news that he lied to Congress about meeting with the Russian ambassador during the presidential campaign.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said if Sessions won't recuse himself, he should resign.
"The fact that he spoke with Russians and then, under oath, denied it is unacceptable," Feinstein said in a statement. "The ties between Russia and those close to Trump are far deeper than previously admitted and it’s clear the Trump administration is in no position to handle an investigation on its own.”