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Some other year, under some other president, Republican Young Kim might have been a shoo-in to represent a majority-minority congressional district containing pieces of Orange, Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties.

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  • Congressional races

“I think you guys know I’m running in the 48th District against Dana Russiabacher, I mean Dana Rohrabacher.”

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  • State government
Priya Mathur, president of the CalPERS board of administration, lost her reelection bid.
Priya Mathur, president of the CalPERS board of administration, lost her reelection bid. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

The president of the board of administration of CalPERS, the state’s largest public employee pension fund, lost her bid for reelection to a Corona police officer, the agency announced Thursday after tallying votes from members cast over the last two months.

Priya Mathur, who has served on the board of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System since 2003, will be replaced by Jason Perez, a police sergeant who serves as president of the Corona Police Officers Assn. Mathur was selected in January as president of the CalPERS board, and her defeat marks the second shake-up of the pension fund’s leadership in less than a year.

Perez focused his campaign squarely on Mathur’s record representing public agency workers and on what he argues is a record by the pension fund of being overly focused on the political implications of its investments.

Former Vice President Joe Biden will take the stage Thursday at a rally for five of the California Democrats battling to capture U.S. House seats held by Republicans. The rally at Cal State Fullerton comes in a year when California, and especially Orange County, is one of the main battlegrounds in Democrats’ campaign to seize control of the House.

  • Congressional races
  • 2018 election
  • California Republicans
Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Alpine) leaves court in September. He and his wife pleaded not guilty to charges of misusing campaign funds.
Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Alpine) leaves court in September. He and his wife pleaded not guilty to charges of misusing campaign funds. (Gregory Bull / Associated Press)

Seventy current or former national security and foreign policy officials have signed a letter condemning a campaign ad by Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Alpine) that attempts to link his Democratic opponent to radical Islamists.

Hunter, who has been charged with misusing campaign funds, is facing a stiff challenge from 29-year-old Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar in the 50th Congressional District. Although Campa-Najjar is Christian, Hunter has sought to tie him to radical Islam.

Hunter has repeatedly mentioned Campa-Najjar’s paternal grandfather, a member of the terrorist group that killed 11 Israeli athletes and coaches at the 1972 Munich Olympics. Campa-Najjar has condemned his grandfather’s actions and pointed out that he was born 16 years after his grandfather was killed by Israeli commandos in 1973.

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  • Congressional races
  • 2018 election
  • California Democrats
Fresno County prosecutor Andrew Janz was one of three Democratic House candidates to announce he raised more than $2 million last quarter.
Fresno County prosecutor Andrew Janz was one of three Democratic House candidates to announce he raised more than $2 million last quarter. (John Walker / Fresno Bee)

Three Democratic candidates in competitive House races have announced large hauls for the fundraising quarter that ended Sunday.

Andrew Janz, a Fresno County prosecutor challenging incumbent Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Tulare) in California’s 22nd Congressional District, revealed Wednesday that his campaign brought in $4.3 million last quarter. He entered the quarter with $1.1 million in cash on hand, according to Federal Election Commission filings. Nunes, an eight-term incumbent who has consistently polled ahead of Janz, entered the quarter with more than $6 million on hand.

In the 10th District, Josh Harder’s campaign announced it raised $3.5 million between July and September. The single-quarter haul is more than any congressional candidate in the Central Valley district has raised in an entire two-year cycle, his campaign said. Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Turlock), who is trying to fend off the former venture capitalist’s challenge, has not released fundraising numbers for the past quarter ahead of the filing deadline, but his campaign had $2.4 million on hand as of June 30. FEC filings for the most recent quarter are due on Oct. 15.

Shown is the design for a roadway sign mentioning funds from California's new gas tax increase.
Shown is the design for a roadway sign mentioning funds from California's new gas tax increase. (Caltrans)

California’s transportation agency will remove a website address from roadside construction signs that proponents of Proposition 6 say are an improper use of taxpayer resources to campaign against the gas-tax repeal initiative, officials said Tuesday.

The decision to alter the signs was made after the Federal Highway Administration raised concerns about another issue involving the placards: Whether the long website address would cause motorists to take their eyes off the road for too long and put public safety at risk, said Matt Rocco, a Caltrans spokesman.

“They are all about trying to reduce any kind of distraction,” Rocco said of the federal agency. “We are going to remove the website from the signs.”

  • Congressional races
  • 2018 election
Democrat Gil Cisneros is running in the 39th Congressional District
Democrat Gil Cisneros is running in the 39th Congressional District (Ringo H.W. Chiu / Associated Press)

The Congressional Leadership Fund, a conservative super PAC spending millions of dollars on competitive House races across the state, will no longer run an ad centered on a now-recanted sexual harassment claim made against Democratic candidate Gil Cisneros. 

The move comes a day after the woman, who had accused Cisneros of inappropriate behavior at and after a Democratic Party conference months ago, called the episode a “huge misunderstanding.”

Cisneros is locked in a competitive battle with Republican Young Kim for the 39th Congressional District seat left open by retiring Rep. Ed Royce (R-Fullerton).

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A line of customers stretches around the South L.A. location of a California Department of Motor Vehicles office in August.
A line of customers stretches around the South L.A. location of a California Department of Motor Vehicles office in August. (Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

Supporters of Proposition 6 on Monday took their campaign to eight offices of the state Department of Motor Vehicles, saying the beleaguered agency is an example of mismanagement that should persuade taxpayers to approve their initiative that would repeal recent increases to the state gas tax and vehicle fees.

The DMV has come under fire in recent months for hours-long wait times, resulting in Gov. Jerry Brown ordering an audit on Sept. 21 by his Department of Finance. Proposition 6 campaign leader Carl DeMaio appeared at the DMV’s Clairemont office in San Diego and called for a more detailed and independent review to instead be done by the state auditor.

“You cannot trust California state bureaucracies with a single penny of your money,” DeMaio said after his news conference. “The DMV’s culture of chaos is another example of mismanagement.”

Gov. Jerry Brown ushered in a new era of transparency in California law enforcement on Sunday, signing two new laws that for the first time give the public access to internal police investigations and video footage of shootings by police officers and other serious incidents.