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Essential Politics: 'Hispanics love me' and other myths from this election

I’m Christina Bellantoni. Here we go.

We take readers first into the heart of Orange County, the birthplace of the Reagan revolution and reliable conservative stronghold, where Republicans are coming to terms with what Donald Trump might mean for GOP gains with minority voters over the last few years.

"I think some of the rhetoric has been over the top and not helpful and certainly I don’t think that castigating one group in society is the way to deal with the problem of illegal immigration," Fred Whitaker, chairman of the Orange County Republican Party, told Cindy Carcamo and Anh Do.

Trump’s candidacy has been particularly difficult for Asian voters, they write, even as they find Latinos and Asians in Orange County who support Trump and who are tuning into politics for the first time.

CLOONEY FOR CLINTON

Hillary Clinton called in a little megastar power this week, starting a fundraising contest for supporters to win a chance to hang out with George Clooney and his wife, Amal, next month.

The actor offered two nods to what’s happening with the campaign, first suggesting that Clinton is on her way to the convention without mentioning Sen. Bernie Sanders.

"As this primary process continues, Hillary could soon have an insurmountable delegate lead and with that, the Democratic nomination," Clooney wrote in the pitch. "That would then make her the only grown-up in the room. And if ever there was a time for a grown-up, that time is now."

He also made a clear reference to Trump.

"If you listen to the loudest voices out there today, you'd think we're a country that hates Mexicans, hates Muslims and thinks that committing war crimes is the best way to make America great again," he wrote. "The truth is that the only thing that would prevent America from being great would be to empower these voices."

'HISPANICS LOVE ME' AND OTHER MYTHS ABOUT THE ELECTION

David Lauter rounds up the common misconceptions about this wild campaign, from the new voters Trump has supposedly lured into voting to who is favored by Latino voters.

TRUMP’S DAY IN WASHINGTON

Trump’s one-of-a-kind campaign for the White House briefly nodded toward the traditional on Monday for a day of friendly dealings with the Washington establishment that he has generally fought and scorned. He named several foreign policy advisors for the first time, including a former Army officer and a consultant on international oil and gas businesses.

But the main event was his much-anticipated address to a leading pro-Israel lobbying group. The speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee was light on his trademark improvisation and full of standard rhetoric favoring the U.S. ally. Trump mostly stuck to prepared remarks read from a teleprompter, declaring at the outset that he's "a newcomer to politics but not to backing the Jewish state."

Clinton, again with her eye on the general election, lashed out at the GOP front-runner as unfit to be commander in chief. During her AIPAC speech, the former secretary of State questioned Trump's temperament as much as his overall foreign policy vision — or lack thereof.

For now, the focus is on contests in Arizona and Utah Tuesday. We’ll have live results and analysis all night, so keep an eye on Trail Guide and follow @latimespolitics.

LAWYERS FOR IMMIGRANT CHILDREN

Immigration advocates recoiled when it was reported this month that a Justice Department official testified in federal court that 3- and 4-year-old immigrant children could represent themselves before a judge. Now, Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-San Jose) is among more than 50 U.S. House members working to ensure that the U.S. provides attorneys for those children and certain people with special needs.

SENATE SCOTUS FIGHTS

Lisa Mascaro sees a barrage of public pressure directed toward Republican senators from swing states as interest groups call for confirmation hearings for Merrick Garland.

Pennsylvania, Ohio and New Hampshire all have become staging grounds for the largest mobilization over a Supreme Court pick seen in years.

TODAY’S ESSENTIALS

Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s office was mourning the loss of longtime aide Percy Pinkney, who was based in Los Angeles.

— Former Rep. Gabby Giffords, who was shot at a massacre in her district in 2011, appeared with Clinton at a rally in Arizona Monday.

Ted Cruz named Phil Gramm his economic advisor. Michael Hiltzik explains Gramm's economic legacy.

Dolores Huerta endorsed embattled Rep. Mike Honda.

— A fight over free speech in Baldwin Park is just the latest example of actions that legal experts say appear to be driven by a desire from politicians to silence outspoken and annoying critics.

— Almost three-quarters of states across the country are at least considering rules on public access to police body camera footage. The nonprofit Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press has a cool map showing all the laws.

— The Los Angeles City Council moved one step closer to establishing "Indigenous Peoples Day."

LOGISTICS

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