Politics

Essential Politics: What a Trump presidency could mean for the economy

I’m Christina Bellantoni, and this is Essential Politics. Welcome to the week.

We’ll begin with a flashback: Fourteen years ago, Donald Trump bought a golf course along the Southern California coastline, promising that no one would be able to match the beauty and challenge of the new Trump golf club. In fact, "No course in L.A. will even be able to compete," he told the L.A. Times.

And his pitch to the residents as he tried to get his massive project approved: "Are we going to have a superlative course, a great course, a course to rival Pebble Beach with a world-class driving range?" 

We relive the moment when Trump bought a golf course in Palos Verdes.

On a related and more current topic, our business staff evaluates what a Trump presidency would do for the economy and takes stock of how economists view his policy proposals.

Establishment Republicans continued over the weekend casting him as a shady businessman who rips people off with questionable enterprises such as the defunct Trump University.

EVERYONE (BUT KASICH) WINS

In the series of caucuses and primaries over the weekend, each of the remaining candidates in the race won a contest — except for Ohio Gov. John Kasich. Track the delegate race on our handy chart.

'GOVERNATOR II'

But Kasich did score one victory: former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger endorsed him — first on Snapchat, then in person. The Buckeye State votes March 15.

Meanwhile, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is still facing backlash for standing with Trump, both literally and figuratively.

THE DEBATE IN FLINT

Watching "Downton Abbey" instead of Sunday’s Democratic debate? It was a clash over trade and touched on issues of class, race and the environment. Catch up quick.

And don’t miss a development all day: Follow us on Twitter: @latimespolitics and keep an eye on Trail Guide.

21 TO SMOKE?

The state Assembly approved a package of anti-tobacco bills, including measures that would raise the legal smoking age from 18 to 21 in California and ban the use of electronic cigarettes in restaurants, theaters and other public places where traditional smoking is prohibited.

Melanie Mason and Patrick McGreevy have the back story of how lawmakers broke a political logjam.

George Skelton suggests the Legislature could show more courage, given California’s tobacco tax is among the lowest in the nation and hasn’t been increased since 1998.

We’ll track the Senate vote on the tobacco measures — and all of the developments in Sacramento and across the state — on our Essential Politics news feed.

A NEW ASSEMBLY LEADER

Anthony Rendon officially becomes Assembly speaker in Sacramento today. Get to know the man through his interest in philosophy and punk rock.

Will his speakership lead to more productivity in the Legislature?

CLINTON RETURNS TO L.A.

Hillary Clinton will be back in Los Angeles for a fundraiser this month.

The March 24 event includes a Q&A. Tickets cost $250 (sold out), $500 and $1,000, or $10,000 to be a co-host and receive a photo with the candidate. The donation to be considered a co-chair is $32,400.

Shefali Razdan Duggal is one of the hosts.

STUDENT HEADED BACK TO EGYPT

Meet the Egyptian student who will be leaving America following his arrest for disparaging remarks he made about Donald Trump on his Facebook page.

REMEMBERING NANCY REAGAN

Nancy Reagan died Sunday at age 94. We look at her life and legacy and revisit the astrologer who advised the first lady.

George Skelton, who covered Ronald Reagan for 20 years, reflects on Ronald and Nancy.

WATCH THE DEBATE WITH US

We're hosting a debate watch party Thursday night at the Regent in downtown Los Angeles. Join us! We’ll start with a political panel featuring me, John Myers and Seema Mehta, and we’ll be raffling off prizes and playing the best debate bingo in the business.

FOLLOW OUR TEAM

With our new California Politics Editor Allison Wisk getting started today, it seems like a good time to showcase our team for Essential Politics readers.

Here’s everyone covering politics — from the Washington bureau to the campaign trail, in Sacramento and right here in Los Angeles.

TODAY’S ESSENTIALS

-- Tre’vell Anderson finds "Saturday Night Live" is taking a stand on Trump.

-- Tony Barboza explains the power struggle and top executive’s firing at the Southern California air quality board, and why it matters for the state.

-- Cathleen Decker spent some time with Clinton in church on Sunday. She also sees black voters as a reason Sanders hasn’t been able to claim momentum.

-- Clinton will appear on Fox News for the first time in a long time.

-- Mary McNamara identifies the moment the GOP debate turned into an episode of "Real Housewives."

-- Doyle McManus believes the establishment effort to take down Trump almost certainly will fail.

-- Why were protesters going after Assemblywoman Cheryl Brown?

-- Bullet train planners have turned their construction plans upside down, attempting to fit the mega-project within the state's limited budget.

-- Today's Korean American and Asian American political power players in many cases worked their way up through the ranks after politicians representing mainly other ethnic majorities hired them in low-level positions, Victoria Kim reports.

-- Last week we had a bad link in an item about retiring Rep. Janice Hahn (D-Los Angeles) speaking about what it’s like to be a female lawmaker in Washington at a Women’s History Month event. Here it is.

LOGISTICS

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