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.
President Trump may not be running for California insurance commissioner but that doesn’t mean he won’t be a political target in the campaign.
State Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) devoted his first online ad in the 2018 race to depicting Trump as anti-immigrant, anti-woman, anti-healthcare and a climate change denier. Lara urged voters to support his campaign for insurance commissioner so he can protect California from Trump’s reach.
“His hate has only made me more determined to empower Californians to control their own lives,” Lara proclaims in the ad, which was released on Monday.
In the ad, Lara walks down the median of Ocean Boulevard in downtown Long Beach while he criticizes the Republican president for continuing to attack immigrants such as his mother and father, a former seamstress and a factory worker.
The ad notes Lara’s support of tough environmental laws, equal pay for women and the Dream Act, which makes immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally while they were children eligible for state assistance to pay for college.
Lara is one of three Democrats who has officially declared an intention to run for insurance commissioner, joining Assembly member Henry Perea and Paul Song, a Santa Monica radiation oncologist and former leader of the California progressive group Courage Campaign.
FOR THE RECORD
8:30 a.m.: An earlier version of this post stated that Assembly member Susan Bonilla is running for insurance commissioner. She dropped out of the race in March.