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Essential Politics: The 'alt-right' officially enters the campaign

Hillary Clinton today will go after Donald Trump in a new way, tying him to fringe groups that she will say have fueled his rise and damaged the nation’s political discourse.

I’m Christina Bellantoni, and today’s Essential Politics begins with Clinton in Reno, Nev., known as “The Biggest Little City in the World.”

The Democratic nominee will make the case that Trump should be held accountable for support from white nationalists, neo-Nazis and other right-wing extremists.

As Evan Halper writes, Clinton “is taking aim at the so-called alt-right movement, a loosely defined and relatively new network of anti-establishment activists on the right that extends from mere outside-the-box protectionist thinkers to flagrantly racist and anti-Semitic hatemongers.”

At the same time, Trump’s actions of late have underscored the challenge of speaking to multiple audiences at once. Noah Bierman and Michael Finnegan look at how the GOP nominee has moderated his message a bit on immigration when his support among Latinos, blacks and other minority voters ranks, in some cases, among the lowest ever recorded in polls.

But toning down the rhetoric risks alienating many of his core supporters, who are drawn to his tough promises to deport immigrants here illegally and the belief that he says what he means.

“It’s a little late to say, ‘Oh, never mind,’” said Whit Ayres, a Republican pollster who advised Florida Sen. Marco Rubio during the primary.

Finnegan also writes that Trump suggested on Fox News he might allow some of those here illegally to remain in the United States if they pay back taxes.

“No citizenship,” he said. “Let me go a step further: They'll pay back taxes. They have to pay taxes. There’s no amnesty, as such. There’s no amnesty, but we work with them.”

Trump campaigns in New Hampshire on Thursday. We’ll be tracking the latest from the campaign trail on Trail Guide. You can also follow @latimespolitics and check our daily USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times tracking poll at the top of the politics page.

WHEN FUNDRAISING ANNOYS EVERYONE

Clinton wrapped up a three-day fundraising swing through California on Wednesday that included dinners and cocktail parties with A-list Hollywood celebrities, wealthy coastal residents and Silicon Valley royalty. The final numbers are still being tabulated, but Seema Mehta reports that Clinton had already raised well above $12 million in the first two days of the trip.

Still, Halper reports that Clinton’s big-dollar fundraising is unprecedented and makes some of her supporters chafe. And it creates potentially bad optics as her campaign is pushing the boundaries of fundraising further than any presidential nominee ever has.

A SWEEPING CLIMATE DEAL LANDS ON GOVERNOR’S DESK

At the beginning of the month, it seemed likely that no legislation on climate change would be passed in California this year. But after intense debate on Wednesday, two major measures had reached Gov. Jerry Brown, and he said he will sign them both.

The first one, Senate Bill 32, sets a new, tougher target for reducing the state’s greenhouse gas emissions. The second, Assembly Bill 197, increases legislative oversight of climate programs and prods regulators to help communities suffering the most from pollution.

And George Skelton weighs in, noting that the compromise wasn’t all Brown wanted, but is still a victory for the governor. He sums it up as Brown getting even with the oil lobby, one year later.

Don’t miss our comprehensive coverage of the climate debate and its many twists and turns.

There are six days left for the California Legislature to handle all of its business. We're tracking where the biggest issues stand and monitoring breaking news, so keep an eye on our Essential Politics news feed for the very latest from Sacramento.

TODAY’S ESSENTIALS

— Trump, who predicts he will be called “Mr. Brexit,” campaigned with man who led Brexit.

— Watch Brown criticize Trump over climate change.

— Here’s what Sens. Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein have in common with “The Killers.”

— California could decriminalize prostitution if Brown signs these two highly debated bills.

— Sex offenders would have to disclose their email addresses and usernames to law enforcement under a bill sent to the governor Wednesday. SB 448 would amend parts of California law enacted by statewide ballot in 2012 that have been challenged in court.

— California could soon expand its legal definition of rape. Assemblymembers Cristina Garcia and Susan Eggman introduced the legislation in the wake of public outrage over the Stanford sexual assault case.

— Cops and holders of concealed weapon permits who leave a firearm in a car would need to put it in the trunk or in a locked container out of plain view under a bill sent to the governor.

— A troubled water board in L.A. County is the target of a measure sent to Brown.

— This bill targets the use of drones in illegal activities, one of a few bills left after drone manufacturers and associations boosted politicking this legislative session.

— Some felons will have more time to ask for lighter sentences offered by 2014 ballot measure Proposition 47, which reclassified some nonviolent drug and property crimes as misdemeanors, if Brown signs this bill.

— Major legislation to limit California police’s ability to permanently seize people’s property without a criminal conviction is heading to Brown’s desk.

— Public schools soon could expel students for bullying through video or sexting if Brown signs two bills sent to him Wednesday.

— What do you think of Clinton? We want to hear from you.

— Who will win the November election? Give our Electoral College map a spin.

LOGISTICS

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