This is Essential Politics, our daily look at California political and government news. Here's what we're watching right now:
- 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."
- Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Alpine) said Friday that a Montana congressional candidate's alleged attack on a reporter was wrong "unless the reporter deserved it."
- 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.
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.
"I've been reading a lot about him and what he does and how sincere he is," said Kimbrew, 63, of La Puente. "I'm very impressed that he did take the time."