U.S. Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions on Sunday disputed criticism from California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra that a federal immigration crackdown is “reckless,” and accused state officials of jeopardizing public safety with so-called sanctuary city policies that restrict cooperation with federal agents.
Taking their disagreement to the national stage, Sessions and Becerra appeared live but in separate interviews on the ABC-TV news show “This Week,” hosted by George Stephanopoulos.
Becerra said on Friday that threats to withhold federal funds from states and cities that limit cooperation with federal immigration authorities are reckless and undermine public safety.
Will environmental activist and mega political donor Tom Steyer make a run for governor? Keep waiting for that answer.
Steyer gave a fiery speech in front of a large, cheering crowd at the Los Angeles March for Science Saturday that had all the hallmarks of a stump speech, including talk about rebuilding the state, creating jobs and helping children.
But when The Times asked if he was close to making a decision about a gubernatorial bid, he responded: "I don't think I have to make a decision yet."
It may have looked like a break on the calendar, but the spring recess for many in California's congressional delegation found voters back home in a feisty mood.
This week's California Politics Podcast takes a closer look at town halls recently held by a number of lawmakers, events that offered some common themes and often a large crowd demanding resistance to President Trump's agenda.
We also take a look at how April income tax collections are shaping up — a month that's crucial in crafting a state budget and the potential for political fights over the new spending plan.
California officials reacted with defiance Friday to a threat by federal officials to withhold some $20 million in criminal justice grants from the state and its counties as part of the dispute over so-called sanctuary city policies.
“It has become abundantly clear that Atty. Gen. [Jeff] Sessions and the Trump administration are basing their law enforcement policies on principles of white supremacy — not American values,” Senate leader Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) said in a statement. “Their constant and systematic targeting of diverse cities and states goes beyond constitutional norms and will be challenged at every level.”
De León’s statement on “white supremacy” drew an immediate rebuke from Republican Assemblyman James Gallagher of Yuba City.
Nearly half of the money spent by all congressional candidates in the primary election to replace Xavier Becerra was unleashed in the final weeks of the campaign.
From March 16 to March 31, the 24 candidates in the 34th Congressional District race spent $1,285,800, or 44% of the total spent overall in the race so far. The final three days before the April 4 election are not covered in the most recent campaign finance reports.
Robert Lee Ahn and Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez, two Democrats who beat the crowded field to advance to a June runoff, spent a large share of that.
In the fast and furious primary campaign in Los Angeles' 34th Congressional District, the crowded field of 24 candidates spent about $2.9 million trying to sway voters, according to campaign financial reports.
In the end, 42,914 voters cast ballots in the race, bringing the average amount spent per vote to $67.97.
Earlier this month, a White House official floated the possibility of negotiations with California to resolve a brewing dispute over vehicle emission rules. The federal government has started the process of rolling them back, while state regulators here are pushing forward with tough pollution-reduction requirements, raising the possibility that automakers would need to meet different standards in different places.
However, California hasn't heard from the Trump administration about beginning talks.
"We haven’t been asked," Mary Nichols, chair of the Air Resources Board, told reporters during a conference on climate change in San Francisco.