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.
EVERYONE (BUT KASICH) WINS
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
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.
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
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.
-- 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.
-- Clinton will appear on Fox News for the first time in a long time.
-- 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.
Did someone forward you this? Sign up here to get Essential Politics in your inbox daily. And keep an eye on our politics page throughout the day for the latest and greatest. And are you following us on Twitter at @latimespolitics? Please send thoughts, concerns and news tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.