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A new poll shows that Republican Assemblyman Rocky Chávez has taken a clear lead over 15 other candidates running to replace Rep. Darrell Issa in Congress and has overtaken Democrat Doug Applegate, the previous frontrunner.

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  • 2018 election
  • California Democrats
  • U.S. Senate race

A group that is supporting Kevin de León’s bid for the U.S. Senate launched a blistering ad against Sen. Dianne Feinstein on Thursday, questioning her progressive principles and tying her to President Trump.

The ad buy from A Progressive California is minuscule — $10,000 to air it in Los Angeles for one day on CNN and MSNBC during programming such as “The Rachel Maddow Show,” “Hardball with Chris Matthews” and “Anderson Cooper 360.”

The minute-long ad features news clips about Feinstein not getting the California Democratic Party endorsement earlier this year, as well as footage of Feinstein saying that Trump can be a good president and appearing to share a laugh with Trump.

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  • State government
  • 2018 election
A motorist prepares to gas up her vehicle in San Rafael, Calif., in 2015.
A motorist prepares to gas up her vehicle in San Rafael, Calif., in 2015. (Justin Sullivan / Getty Images)

A proposed initiative to repeal hikes to California’s gas tax has been caught in the middle of a dispute involving Republican rivals in the governor’s race.

Assemblyman Travis Allen, a Republican candidate for governor, decided in January to drop plans for his own initiative and said he would urge supporters to sign a separate petition being supported by several Republican members of Congress. Then last week, the committee Allen formed to finance his ballot measure reported a $300,000 contribution from PISF Inc., a Novato, Calif., real estate firm.

Now, an organizer of the still active “Give Voters a Voice” committee is urging the Allen committee to “immediately donate their funds” in support of the ongoing signature gathering efforts.

A Bay Area lawmaker’s housing proposal could expand the size and scope of home building efforts in California at an unprecedented scale.

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 Gubernatorial candidates debate at the USC campus in January.
Gubernatorial candidates debate at the USC campus in January. (Allen J. Schaben)

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom remains the clear front-runner in California’s race for governor, with businessman John Cox and former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa vying for second place, according to a new poll from the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California.

The survey, released Wednesday, found that 26% of likely voters backed Newsom, a Democrat and former mayor of San Francisco.

Only the top two finishers in the June 5 primary will advance to the November election, regardless of their party affiliation.

  • State government
A Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student pauses in front of the sidewalk memorial after a mass shooting in Parkland, Fla.
A Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student pauses in front of the sidewalk memorial after a mass shooting in Parkland, Fla. (Getty Images)

Two months after a gunman killed 17 people at a Florida high school, a new survey finds that most California parents are concerned about the threat of school shootings but that a large majority opposes allowing more teachers and school officials to carry guns on campus.

The statewide survey, released Wednesday, was conducted by the Public Policy Institute of California after a string of school shootings, including a Feb. 14 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.

“In the wake of the Florida mass shooting tragedy, many California public school parents are concerned about school safety,” said Mark Baldassare, president and chief executive of PPIC. “Yet most oppose having more teachers carry guns.”

  • Governor's race
  • 2018 election
  • California Democrats
(Andrew Harrer / Bloomberg)

Reed Hastings, the chief executive of Netflix and a wealthy supporter of charter schools, donated $7 million on Wednesday to an independent expenditure group supporting Antonio Villaraigosa’s candidacy for governor. 

Villaraigosa is the most prominent Democrat in California to challenge the teachers unions, a fight he has continued since leaving the mayor's office in 2013. 

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  • California Legislature
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks in Chicago in June.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks in Chicago in June. (Nam Y. Huh / Associated Press)

A representative for Facebook said Wednesday that the company would stop contributing funds to a campaign against a 2018 statewide ballot measure that would require companies to disclose what personal information from Californians they collect, buy or share.

The statement comes after Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg underwent a grilling by 44 lawmakers over the social media giant’s role in the 2016 election and its lax privacy protections.

“We took this step in order to focus our efforts on supporting reasonable privacy measures in California,” Facebook spokeswoman Rochelle Nadhiri said.

(Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

Gov. Jerry Brown agreed on Wednesday to expand the California National Guard’s efforts on crime and drug issues that cross the state’s border with Mexico, but insisted troops would not be used to enforce immigration directives from President Trump.

“This will not be a mission to build a new wall. It will not be a mission to round up women and children or detain people escaping violence and seeking a better life,” Brown wrote in a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and Defense Secretary James N. Mattis. “And the California National Guard will not be enforcing federal immigration laws.”

The decision comes one week after the Trump administration asked governors in border states to provide Guard troops for assistance with the duties of Border Patrol agents. On Saturday, Mattis signed an order to send up to 4,000 Guard troops to the border, but barred them from interacting with migrants detained by the Border Patrol in most circumstances. The president later wrote on Twitter that “We are sealing up our Southern Border.”