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Sen. Tony Mendoza had his leave of absence extended up to 60 days on Thursday.
Sen. Tony Mendoza had his leave of absence extended up to 60 days on Thursday. (Steve Yeater / Associated Press)

Montebello Mayor Vanessa Delgado, a Democrat, took out candidacy paperwork Monday to become the first challenger to state Sen. Tony Mendoza (D-Artesia), who is under investigation over allegations of sexual harassment.

Delgado, a commercial developer, could not be reached for comment late Monday. She sought the papers from the Los Angeles County Registrar of Voters two days after Mendoza failed to win 70% of the vote in a pre-endorsement meeting of local activists for the state Democratic Party.

Mendoza won 58% of the pre-endorsement meeting vote, which means he can seek an endorsement from delegates at the state Democratic Party convention next month.

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State Senator Ricardo Lara presents a bill on the Senate floor. (D-Bell Gardens)
State Senator Ricardo Lara presents a bill on the Senate floor. (D-Bell Gardens) (Gary Coronado)

The state Senate on Monday approved a bill that would prohibit federal immigration agents from entering schools, courthouses and state buildings to arrest or question people without a warrant.

Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) introduced Senate Bill 183 as part of a broader move by Democrats to counter President Trump’s calls for increased immigration enforcement and deportations.

On the Senate floor Monday, Lara said his legislation would help assuage the fears of hardworking immigrant parents dropping off their children at school, serving as court witnesses or paying their traffic tickets. 

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Billionaire Democratic donor Tom Steyer plans to start airing new ads for his impeachment effort around President Trump’s first State of the Union address Tuesday night.

Steyer has pledged $40 million toward his effort to impeach Trump, which already has funded national ads, a petition drive and billboards in Times Square. The new ad is tightly focused on a ticking clock and features Steyer giving examples of the kind of damage a president could do in 30 seconds: order the deportation of immigrant children, threaten an unstable dictator, and “go into a rage” and use the nuclear launch codes.

It concludes: “How bad does it have to get before Congress does something?”

  • California Legislature
(Dreamstime / TNS)

In the wake of intensifying criticism over the growing number of automated “bot” accounts on social media, a California assemblyman wants the state to require these accounts be easily identified and ultimately linked to a human user.

The bill introduced on Monday by Assemblyman Marc Levine (D-San Rafael) would require a disclaimer to be displayed for automated accounts on sites such as Facebook or Twitter.

"From Big Tech to social media startups, it's clear that self-regulation is failing society and damaging our democracy," Levine said in a statement.

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This post was updated to include Sharp, who is from Redding.

  • Congressional races
  • 2018 election
(Eggman For Congress)

After saying last June he wouldn’t make a third run against Rep. Jeff Denham, Central Valley beekeeper Michael Eggman will enter the race for the 10th Congressional District race on Monday.

Eggman, of Turlock, said in a news release that people asked him to reconsider his decision not to run.

"I received countless calls from local Democratic Party officials, local labor representatives and Central Valley working people who told me I was the only candidate who could beat an entrenched incumbent like Jeff Denham,” he said.

  • Politics podcast

Within a span of less than eight hours last week, Californians saw the current governor deliver an early closing statement on his time in office and a fiery exchange between the leading candidates to replace him in 2019.

This week’s episode of the California Politics Podcast takes a closer look at Gov. Jerry Brown’s State of the State address on Thursday and the Los Angeles forum that night featuring six gubernatorial hopefuls.

We also check in on the rising tensions over a state senator’s leave of absence — and how lawmakers have now taken the unprecedented step of changing their standing rules to keep state Sen. Tony Mendoza (D-Artesia) from returning to work later this week.

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  • California Legislature
Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles)
Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) (Rich Pedroncelli / AP)

A bid to help Californians dodge the effects of President Trump’s tax plan has gotten a little less generous.

State Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) has changed his bill allowing those who donate to a new state-run nonprofit to receive relief on both their state and federal taxes. In the new version of the bill, those who give to the nonprofit will reduce their state income taxes by 85% of the donation plus receive a federal charitable deduction.

Previously, De León was aiming to provide a dollar-for-dollar reduction in state taxes for those who donated. But tax law experts working on the bill with De León worried that amount could cause the federal Internal Revenue Service to crack down on the plan, and advised that a lower percentage was more legally defensible.