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675 posts
  • California Legislature
  • 2018 election
Sen. Tony Mendoza had his leave of absence extended up to 60 days on Thursday.
Sen. Tony Mendoza had his leave of absence extended up to 60 days on Thursday. (Steve Yeater / Associated Press)

With state Sen. Tony Mendoza (D-Artesia) on a leave of absence pending a sexual harassment probe, Montebello Mayor Vanessa Delgado said Tuesday that one reason she is considering a possible election challenge to the incumbent is that there is no one standing up for the Senate district with him absent.

Mendoza, a Democrat from Artesia, is facing criticism from within his party for allegations he acted inappropriately with three former female aides. Mendoza denies wrongdoing. 

“I am seriously considering it,” said Delgado, who is also a Democrat. “We’re unrepresented. We have been for some time, given Tony Mendoza’s leave. The way the timeline works out for his leave and a possible expulsion, somebody has to be positioned to run if he is going to leave early or not.”

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(Douglas Graham / CQ Roll Call)

If the worst were to happen on Capitol Hill during President Trump’s speech tonight, Rep. Mike Thompson would be tasked with helping to rebuild the government.

The concept of a designated survivor is by now well known: The little known Cabinet secretary who doesn’t attend the State of the Union in order to preserve the line of succession in case the country’s leaders are attacked when they are all in one building. Since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, House and Senate leaders have picked members who would restart the legislative branch as well.

Thompson of St. Helena, who along with Rep. Doris Matsui of Sacramento was tapped by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi as Democrats’ designated survivors, said it is not exciting at all. He’s done it once before, and there is no underground bunker or undisclosed location. He’ll be at his home in Washington. 

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  • California Legislature
Plastics and other detritus line the shore of the Thames Estuary earlier.
Plastics and other detritus line the shore of the Thames Estuary earlier. (Dan Kitwood / Getty Images)

The state Senate on Tuesday deadlocked for the second year in a row on a measure that would have prohibited California restaurants from providing take-out orders in disposable polystyrene food service containers starting in 2020.

Sen. Benjamin Allen (D-Santa Monica) was unable to get votes from even some fellow Democrats as the bill failed 18-16, three votes shy of the majority needed for passage.

Allen signaled that he may bring the proposal back next year.

  • California in Congress
UCLA graduate and Dreamer Denea Joseph speaks at a news conference. She will attend President Trump's first State of the Union address.
UCLA graduate and Dreamer Denea Joseph speaks at a news conference. She will attend President Trump's first State of the Union address. (Pete Marovich)

Hoping to keep pressure on President Trump and Congress to find a legislative fix for “Dreamers,” nearly two dozen members of Congress, including seven Californians, are bringing people who entered the country illegally as children to the State of the Union on Tuesday night.

“What I want Donald Trump to see tonight are the faces of these Dreamers,” Rep. Judy Chu (D-Monterey Park), the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus chairwoman, said at a news conference Tuesday.

Chu said her guest, Jung Bin Cho, 23, of Springfield, Va., is representative of the country’s 130,000 Asian American Dreamers.

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  • Congressional races
  • 2018 election

Tom Steyer isn’t the only politico launching ads in California during tonight’s State of the Union address.

Sara Jacobs, a congressional candidate running for Rep. Darrell Issa’s seat, will launch her first TV ad during Tuesday’s coverage of the President’s speech. 

The ad features video of Trump and says, “If we want to hold him accountable, we need to win back Congress.” Jacobs, who turns 29 this week and has the backing of pro-abortion-rights group Emily’s List, closes the 30-second spot by saying “It’s time for a new generation to change Washington.”

For years members of Congress have used their State of the Union guests to send a silent message to the president. More and more, they are sending a different message by sitting it out entirely.

  • Governor's race
  • 2018 election
  • California Republicans

Republican John Cox plans to launch the first television ad of the 2018 race for governor on Tuesday, moments before President Trump’s State of the Union address.

The 30-second ad, titled “Bacon,” is scheduled to debut 12 minutes before the speech. It will run for 10 days on Fox News Channel in California and cost $200,000, according to Cox spokesman Matt Shupe. It depicts lobbyists as pigs roaming through Sacramento and eating from a trough.

“Every legislative session, the special interest lobbyists head to Sacramento. They roam the corridors of power, buying influence and basically sticking it to the middle class,” a narrator says in the ad over the scenes of pigs. “Corporate welfare, liberal causes, and of course there’s the public employee unions, the biggest special interest of all. Ready to clean out the barn? Join John Cox. Because he has a plan to deal with the corrupting influence of the special interests.” 

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  • California in Congress
  • 2018 election
Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Hillsborough) and House Democrats plan to wear black this evening in support the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements.
Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Hillsborough) and House Democrats plan to wear black this evening in support the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements. (Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images)

Rep. Jackie Speier of Hillsborough and other members of Congress are rallying colleagues to wear black to Tuesday night’s State of the Union address to recognize sexual harassment and assault, similar to the visual statement actors and musicians have made at award shows this year.

"This is a culture change that is sweeping the country, and Congress is embracing it," Speier told NBC News.

Staff for at least a half-dozen California members say lawmakers will join Speier and the Democratic Women’s Working Group in wearing black to the speech in solidarity with women in multiple industries standing up to sexual harassment. It is meant to mirror the actresses and others in the Hollywood anti-harassment group Time’s Up, who wore black to the Golden Globes.

  • State government
Chevy Bolt EV
Chevy Bolt EV (Chevrolet)

California is on pace to exceed its goal of 1.5 million electric cars on the streets by 2025, according to a new report from public policy think tank Next 10.

Nearly 350,000 electric vehicles have been sold in the state, and 2017’s growth rate in sales was almost 30% higher than 2016’s rate, the report found. Researchers credited reduced battery costs, lowering the overall price tag of the vehicles, and strong demand worldwide as key drivers of the increase in sales.

“The movement around the globe to move away from gas-powered vehicles is very significant and California is at the center of that,” said F. Noel Perry, a venture capitalist and Next 10’s founder.