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548 posts

Hey, California voter, way to go! People may say you’re sun-baked, a bit too laid back and, when it comes to picking presidents, largely irrelevant.

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  • California Legislature
Assemblyman David Chiu (D-San Francisco)
Assemblyman David Chiu (D-San Francisco) (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

In 2018, the big California housing political debates happened early in the year, or will reach a resolution when voters decide on the ballot in November.

At the beginning of the year, lawmakers rejected plans to expand rent control and boost housing density near transit stops. California voters will now decide on the fate of rent control expansion in the fall. 

On this episode of Gimme Shelter: The California Housing Crisis Podcast, we talk about the housing bills that made it through in the final few weeks of the legislative session, including a measure from Assemblyman David Chiu (D-San Francisco) that, if signed by Gov. Jerry Brown, would give the Bay Area Rapid Transit District more authority over housing development on public land near their stations — a move away from the state’s history of allowing only cities and counties to make land-use decisions.

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Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice arrives to introduce Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh at his confirmation hearing.
Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice arrives to introduce Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh at his confirmation hearing. (Jacquelyn Martin)

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice endorsed Republican John Cox for California governor on Thursday, saying he has the vision to address the state’s most vexing problems.

"California’s future depends on what we do today. John’s commitment to education, affordable housing, and better-paying jobs will put California on a course towards a better tomorrow,” Rice said in a statement released by the Cox campaign.

Rice served as secretary of State and national security advisor under the George W. Bush administration. She’s now a political science professor at Stanford University and also teaches at its graduate school of business.

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, left, and Rancho Santa Fe businessman John Cox.
Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, left, and Rancho Santa Fe businessman John Cox. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times; Christina House / Los Angeles Times)

With less than two months until election day, California’s two gubernatorial contenders remained locked in a standoff over whether they’ll meet to discuss the issues facing the state.

The debate over debates marked a new chapter this week when plans for an Oct. 1 faceoff hosted by CNN fell apart, a network source confirmed Tuesday. Democratic candidate Gavin Newsom had agreed to that debate, while Republican John Cox had not committed, expressing concerns about the event’s format and moderators.

Cox, who agreed to four other debates that Newsom declined, said last week he would participate in the CNN debate only if it focused on housing, cost of living, water and other California-specific issues, and if a California journalist was included as a moderator. Newsom’s campaign said Cox was trying to limit the scope of questions asked.

  • California Republicans
Former Republican gubernatorial candidate Travis Allen during a speech to the Tea Party California Caucus last year.
Former Republican gubernatorial candidate Travis Allen during a speech to the Tea Party California Caucus last year. (Silvia Flores)

Having fallen short in his recent campaign for governor, conservative state Assemblyman Travis Allen said Monday that he is weighing a run for chairman of the state GOP with the goal of “leading California Republicans back to statewide relevance.”

Allen, a resident of Huntington Beach, said he talked Monday with party Chairman Jim Brulte about the operations and priorities of the state party in preparation for making a decision on whether to vie for the leadership job.

Brulte has said he will not seek another two years as leader when his term ends in February, and a candidacy by Allen would set up another contest with former Assemblyman David Hadley, a social moderate who also ran for governor before dropping out of the race after two weeks in 2017.

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  • California Legislature
The governor on Monday vetoed a bill that would have set mandatory minimum penalties for cannabis retailers caught selling to minors.
The governor on Monday vetoed a bill that would have set mandatory minimum penalties for cannabis retailers caught selling to minors. (Mathew Sumner)

Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday vetoed a bill that would have set mandatory minimum penalties for California pot shops that sell to minors, including revocation of the state license for a third violation in three years.

The measure by Sen. Jean Fuller (R-Bakersfield) would have restricted the Bureau of Cannabis Control’s “ability to carry out enforcement actions based on the pertinent facts of a violation,” Brown said in his veto message.

“This bill is not necessary,” the governor added. “The bureau already has the authority to revoke, suspend and assess fines if a licensee sells to a minor.”

  • State government
Gov. Jerry Brown, seen here in May, said that President Trump is helping China become the world's leader at producing electric cars.
Gov. Jerry Brown, seen here in May, said that President Trump is helping China become the world's leader at producing electric cars. (Rich Pedroncelli / AP)

California Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday accused President Trump of undermining the nation’s efforts to produce more electric vehicles, arguing that efforts to slow down the focus on clean energy will ultimately hurt the U.S. auto industry.

“The big driver besides California is China,” Brown said in an interview with The Times about improved battery technology. “The big saboteur is Donald Trump. He’s trying to subsidize coal and destroy the electric car.”

The governor, who had earlier signed a landmark bill to move California toward 100% clean electricity, is hosting an international climate change summit later in the week in San Francisco. Brown said the three-day event is designed to keep “building momentum” toward expanded and new efforts at reducing greenhouse gas emissions across the world. It is an agenda that has put the veteran Democratic politician on an occasional collision course with the Republican president.

Under the glare of neon signs and unforgiving fluorescent office lights, bail agents are spending time processing a new California law signed just days ago by Gov. Jerry Brown that could decimate their industry.

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(Los Angeles Times)

An effort by the California Legislature to reduce voter confusion through a ballot redesign was vetoed Friday by Gov. Jerry Brown, who said the problem doesn’t need to be solved with a new law.

The bill would have mandated new language to make voters aware of how many candidates they could choose in any given race. In the last two statewide primaries, long lists of candidates for the U.S. Senate and governor have led to calls for a wholesale redesign of ballots.

Assembly Bill 2552 would have imposed rules on the color or style of wording instructing voters to “vote for one” in single-candidate contests, an attempt by lawmakers to address confusion over long lists that may appear to apply to more than one race.