Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti speaking at the California Democratic Party convention in San Diego Saturday.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti speaking at the California Democratic Party convention in San Diego Saturday. (Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)
U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris addresses the California Democratic Party convention.
U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris addresses the California Democratic Party convention. (Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

California Democrats got a glimpse Saturday of four up-and-comers considered potential contenders for the White House in 2020, each of whom talked of ending what they described as the dark era of President Trump.

Three were California’s own, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Sen. Kamala Harris and billionaire political activist Tom Steyer. The fourth, Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley, lives a state away.

Just back from a trip to the early presidential primary state of South Carolina, Garcetti was the first of the group to address the California Democratic Party convention in San Diego.

Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg speaks at an Oculus developers conference in San Jose.
Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg speaks at an Oculus developers conference in San Jose. (Glenn Chapman / AFP/Getty Images)

The lead proponent behind a proposed voter measure that would expand online privacy protections for California consumers has a message for Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg: “Put your money where your mouth is.”

In a letter to Zuckerberg, emailed to the social media company and posted on Zuckerberg’s Facebook page, Alastair Mactaggart, chairman of Californians for Consumer Privacy, says he was disappointed to learn Facebook has chosen not to support the privacy ballot campaign — and is pouring hundreds of thousands of dollars into an attempt to sink privacy advocates’ efforts.

The letter comes as the Federal Trade Commission has opened an investigation into how a data analytics firm, Cambridge Analytica, accessed the personal data of 50 million Facebook users, without their knowledge, to help elect President Trump.


A few months before the state Senate confirmed Lucy Dunn's reappointment to the California Transportation Commission in 2013, she made a political contribution to the president pro tem of the state Senate, whose support was crucial to her staying on the panel.

Last year, Dunn, the president and CEO of the Orange County Business Council, was confirmed for a third term on the influential transportation panel. Three months later she contributed to a political campaign for the current Senate leader, Kevin De León.

California Gov. Jerry Brown gave a forceful defense of one of his signature projects Monday night, responding to critics of the escalating costs of the state's high-speed rail program.

"That's bullshit," Brown said, at the outset of a 15-minute speech to California labor leaders at a Sacramento hotel.

Brown said the high-speed rail effort, with a newly escalated cost estimate of $77.3 billion to connect Los Angeles to San Francisco, was a small investment when compared with the scale of the California economy. Other countries such as Spain with much smaller economies, Brown said, have already built major high-speed rail lines.

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

In his final floor session before stepping aside for a new leader, Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León urged his colleagues on Monday to reject the suggestion that lawmakers should be “measured” in their approach to governing.

“This moment is fleeting,” De León said of the term limits era of legislating in Sacramento. “Take advantage of this moment and seize it.”

On Wednesday, state Sen. Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) will take over as leader of the upper house of the California Legislature. De León, who will leave his post in Sacramento at the end of the year due to term limits, had led the Senate since October 2014. He is the first Latino in California history to hold the position.

  • California Legislature
A lot in the 400 block of East Florence Avenue in Los Angeles was slated for a homeless housing project.
A lot in the 400 block of East Florence Avenue in Los Angeles was slated for a homeless housing project. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

A California lawmaker wants to make it easier to build homeless housing across the state and is taking aim at Los Angeles.

Legislation from Assemblyman David Chiu (D-San Francisco) would require cities and counties to approve permanent supportive housing projects for homeless residents anywhere housing is allowed under that local government’s zoning rules.

Assembly Bill 2162 is necessary to remove barriers to housing California’s growing homeless population, which now tops 134,000 people, Chiu said. He’s also planning to make changes to the bill that would block policies, like those in Los Angeles, that allow local elected officials to spike homeless housing in their districts if those officials don’t provide explicit support prior to a vote.

There are fewer than 80 days until the California midterm primaries that might set up Democrats to reclaim control of the House.

The contests in California are essential for the party, which has based its strategy on winning at least a few of the Republican-held districts in the state that backed Hillary Clinton for president.

  • State government
State Treasurer John Chiang
State Treasurer John Chiang (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Despite pleas from relatives of those killed in the 2015 mass shooting in San Bernardino, the state retirement board on Monday rejected a proposal by California Treasurer John Chiang to consider divesting from retailers who sell assault weapons.

Chiang’s motion was defeated by the Board of Administration for the California Public Employees' Retirement System, or CalPERS, with nine members voting in opposition and three in support. Opponents of the motion said divestment would take away their ability as major investors in retail firms to affect store policies on the sale of assault rifles.

“We obviously have a significant problem in this country,” said board member Bill Slaton. But, he added. “We have found engagement is a better alternative in order for us to accomplish something in this arena.”


President Trump's new attacks over the weekend against the man leading the Russia probe put renewed pressure on California House Republicans already facing a tough reelection campaign.

Trump repeated his characterization of the investigation as a "witch hunt" and for the first time criticized by name Robert S. Mueller III, the former FBI head who is leading the probe into Russia's election meddling and possible collusion with the Trump campaign.

(Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images)

The very mention of Conor Lamb’s name got the crowd of Democrats packed into a Palmdale community center for a congressional debate Thursday night hooting and clapping.

The Pennsylvania Democrat’s apparent upset victory in a U.S. House district that President Trump carried by a large margin in 2016 is giving liberal activists fever dreams of a blue wave that could flip dozens of seats currently held by Republicans. 

So the question was posed to the three Democratic candidates looking to oust Republican Rep. Steve Knight this November in a district that Hillary Clinton won in 2016: What lessons does Lamb’s victory offer Democrats?

Althea Krim, 62, watched from the front row as the three top Democrats trying to defeat Republican Rep. Steve Knight squared off at a debate Thursday night.

It was the first political debate Krim, a recently retired audio visual installation manager from Palmdale, had attended. She didn’t follow politics until Donald Trump was elected president in 2016.

Now, the 32-year Antelope Valley resident is a bona fide political agent: She is knocking on doors trying to boost turnout to oust Knight from the Democratic majority district.