This is Essential Politics, our daily look at California political and government news. Here's what we're watching right now:
- Gov. Jerry Brown told the Times Wednesday that a decision by President Trump to withdraw from the Paris Accord on climate change would be "tragic."
- Legislators at the state Capitol will winnow down the hundreds of bills pending by Friday afternoon, quietly killing some of them which have been sitting in what's called the "suspense file."
- African Americans in the California Democratic Party want an apology made to Rep. Maxine Water (D-Los Angeles) after her microphone was cut off at last weekend's convention.
Sam Altman, a Silicon Valley venture capitalist, is considering a run for governor.
Altman, 32, is the president of Y Combinator, a start-up technology incubator that has invested in companies such as Airbnb, Dropbox and Stripe. When he was 19, he co-founded a social media app that later sold for $43 million.
"As I've said before, I am actively seeking out California governor candidates, because I think we desperately need to address the cost of living, especially housing and broader economic inequality in this state,” Altman said in a statement. “Some people I've talked to have urged me to run. I of course love California, but that would be a huge decision, and one I'd have to really think about. I really love my current job — I honestly think it's one of the best jobs in the tech world."
The San Francisco resident is a registered Democrat, according to his spokeswoman. Earlier this year, he traveled the country interviewing voters who supported President Trump.
The possible run came to light after former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown wrote in the San Francisco Chronicle on Saturday that Altman sought his advice on a potential gubernatorial bid.
Although self-funders have not had a great deal of luck in California politics — billionaire Meg Whitman launched an unsuccessful 2010 gubernatorial bid, on which she spent $144 million of her own money — the entry of a candidate who is able to fund his or her own campaign would immediately jolt the 2018 race.
Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, state Treasurer John Chiang and former state schools chief Delaine Eastin are the Democrats who are running to replace Gov. Jerry Brown, who is termed out. Rancho Santa Fe venture capitalist John Cox, a Republican, is also running. Other candidates are also eyeing the field.