Minutes after resigning his seat in Congress on Tuesday, Xavier Becerra took the oath of office as California’s new attorney general, and he immediately made plans for a sit-down with sheriffs from throughout the state to talk about law enforcement issues.
Becerra, 58, was given the oath of office at the Capitol by Gov. Jerry Brown, who predicted earlier that “Xavier will be a champion for all Californians.” The ceremony was held before Brown was scheduled to deliver his annual State of the State address, and a day after Becerra received final confirmation by the state Senate.
“I will do my utmost to uphold your faith in me to serve as our great state’s next chief law enforcement officer and legal advocate,” Becerra said in a letter to Brown on Tuesday, letting him know he had resigned from Congress.
California's senators split Monday night on the confirmation of Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.), President Trump's pick to lead the CIA.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who serves on the Senate Select Intelligence Committee and backed Pompeo, said in a statement that Pompeo gave straightforward answers to her questions, and that House colleagues called him "smart, hardworking and devoted to protecting our country."
"Congressman Pompeo has committed to following the law regarding torture, promised to provide objective analysis of Iran’s compliance with the nuclear agreement and insisted that he would continue to keep the Senate Intelligence Committee fully informed of CIA activities," Feinstein said.
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and her staff can begin moving today into her official Senate office, the same space she interned in as a college student.
Few offices can hold a staff as large as the ones allocated to the California members and as expected, Harris was assigned an office in the Hart Senate Office Building, the same space occupied by former Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.). Harris can start moving in this morning, her staff said.
Back home, Harris plans to have state offices in Fresno, Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego and San Francisco, her staff said.
With California's face-off against Washington, D.C., getting widespread attention, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon has turned to a veteran of national politics to help shape his public image: White House veteran Bill Burton.
Burton, who once worked as deputy press secretary in the Obama administration, was hired this month by Rendon, a Democrat from Paramount, for communications strategy.
Now a managing partner in the Los Angeles office for SKDKnickerbocker, a prominent liberal public affairs firm, Burton said he relished being involved in California politics, which he said sets a model for liberals nationwide.
The state Senate on Monday voted 26-9 in favor of final confirmation of Rep. Xavier Becerra as California’s attorney general, putting on watch a veteran politician who has promised to block efforts by President Trump to roll back state policies on immigration, civil rights and the environment.
Becerra, a Los Angeles Democrat and 12-term congressman, is set to take the oath of office on Tuesday before Gov. Jerry Brown’s State of the State address.
"As Attorney General, Xavier will be a champion for all Californians," Brown said in a statement after the party-line vote.