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  • Governor's race
  • 2018 election
  • California Democrats
(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

Gubernatorial candidate John Chiang’s longtime political advisor has resigned after new consultants were hired to change the direction of the race the state treasurer is running, a campaign official said on Wednesday.

The person, who spoke to The Times on condition of anonymity to freely discuss internal personnel moves, said Parke Skelton decided to leave the campaign after new consultants were hired around the end of the year.

“The campaign was planning on making a change in direction a little bit after the first of the year — ramp up the team, build capacity and bring in additional talent with the intention of collaboration,” the official said. “Somewhere along that line, Parke made the decision he wanted to resign. It’s unfortunate because that wasn’t the intention.”

  • State government
  • Governor's race
  • 2018 election
  • California Republicans
(Sylvia Flores / For the Los Angeles Times)

GOP gubernatorial candidate Travis Allen called on the Trump administration to prosecute California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra for warning businesses that he would seek fines if they violate a new state law that prohibits them from voluntarily giving employee information to federal immigration authorities.

Allen, speaking on Fox News on Monday night, said Becerra is obstructing justice.

“He has crossed the line. This is now a criminal offense,” Allen said. “Department of Justice needs to come, [U.S. Atty. Gen. Jeff] Sessions and Trump need to come to California, literally arrest, indict Xavier Becerra for breaking federal law.”

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  • California Legislature
The Napa Valley home of Tom and Susie Jinks of Robinson Family Vineyards in fall 2017
The Napa Valley home of Tom and Susie Jinks of Robinson Family Vineyards in fall 2017 (David Bridges)

With devastating wildfires and mudslides spanning the state, California lawmakers are proposing a host of new bills designed to aid victims.

The bills deal with insurance coverage, emergency alert systems and penalties for those at fault among other policy changes. Gov. Jerry Brown also is asking for a lot more money to boost fire fighting.

  • Congressional races
  • 2018 election
(Courtesy of Gil Cisneros for Congress)

Los Angeles Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard endorsed Democrat Gil Cisneros this week in the race to represent the 39th Congressional District. Roybal-Allard is the latest Latino leader to endorse Cisneros’ bid for the seat being vacated by Rep. Ed Royce, who recently announced he won’t seek reelection.

Cisneros, a Navy veteran and former shipping manager at a Frito-Lay, has become a well-known philanthropist in the Latino community since he and his wife won a lottery jackpot in 2010. 

In addition to Roybal-Allard, Cisneros has earned endorsements from several Latino members of Congress members from California, including Democratic leader Rep. Linda Sanchez of Whittier; her sister, former Rep. Loretta Sanchez; labor rights icon Dolores Huerta; and actors George Lopez and Eva Longoria, who were recently featured in a video ad for him.

  • California Republicans
Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Monday blasted President Trump’s move to allow increased offshore drilling, saying he ought to drill in the waters off his Palm Beach, Fla., resort rather than California. (Jan. 23, 2018)

Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Monday blasted President Trump’s move to allow increased offshore drilling, saying he ought to drill in the waters off his Palm Beach, Fla., resort rather than California.

“Don’t touch California. If you want to drill, do it off Mar-a-Lago,” Schwarzenegger tweeted. “Or better yet, look to the future, follow CA’s lead & go green and we can all breathe easier. The US’s largest economy is nearly 50% renewable. #ProtectThePacific

“Our fishing, tourism, and recreation industries employ hundreds of thousands of great people. Our coasts are an economic gold mine. Do not put them at risk,” Schwarzenegger added in a second tweet.

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Did you miss the new USC-Dornsife/Los Angeles Times national poll? It found President Trump ends his first year in a notably weakened position.

About 1 in 8 people who approved of Trump's job performance when we did our last national poll in April now disapprove. Very few have moved in the opposite direction.

As important, in April, about 1 in 7 people said it was too early to make up their minds about Trump's job performance. Because our poll repeatedly queries the same panel of people (just over 3,800 respondents in the current survey), we know that most of those who were uncertain then have made up their minds now. And by about 2 to 1, they've gone against Trump.

  • Congressional races
  • California in Congress
  • 2018 election
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  • California Legislature
Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens)
Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens) (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

A state lawmaker said she will attempt to block a proposed November 2018 ballot measure that could hand taxpayers a bill for the cost of lead paint cleanup. 

Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens) said she will introduce legislation to combat a proposed $2-billion bond sponsored by three large paint companies, ConAgra, NL Industries and Sherwin-Williams. If passed, the bond would nullify a state appellate court judgment requiring the companies to pay hundreds of millions of dollars to remediate health hazards caused by lead paint in homes. Instead, under the bond, state taxpayers would assume those costs. 

Garcia called the paint companies’ measure “abusive.”

  • California in Congress
California Sens. Dianne Feinstein, left, and Kamala Harris.
California Sens. Dianne Feinstein, left, and Kamala Harris. (Bill Clark / CQ Roll Call)

California Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris voted no on an effort to end the government shutdown Monday, saying they don’t have the assurances they need that a legislative fix for the so-called Dreamers will happen.

The funding measure, which needed 60 votes and allows the Senate to move forward to reopen the government, passed Monday by a 81-18 vote, signaling the three-day government shutdown will end soon. The House already passed a stop-gap spending bill with nearly party-line support and is expected to quickly bring up the Senate measure and give it final approval.

An agreement to end the shut down came together with an assurance from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that the Senate will vote on a legislative fix for Dreamers by Feb. 8, the day the stop-gap funding runs out.

  • Congressional races
  • California in Congress
  • 2018 election
Tom McClintock (R-Elk Grove)
Tom McClintock (R-Elk Grove) (Bill Clark / CQ Roll Call)

California Republicans are trying to turn the tide of opinion over the unpopular GOP tax bill ahead of the midterm elections.

Over the weekend, U.S. Rep. Mimi Walters (R-Irvine)  joined four other Republican House members from California to publish an op-ed in the Orange County Register defending the bill. The editorial, written by Walters, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield, and Reps. Ed Royce of Fullerton, Tom McClintock of Elk Grove, and Steve Knight of Palmdale, is part of a larger messaging war between the two parties over the massive tax overhaul passed late last year.

Walters, McClintock and Knight are among the targeted Republicans in this year’s midterms; Royce, facing a similarly competitive race, announced recently he would not seek reelection.

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