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495 posts
  • California Legislature
  • California Republicans
Assemblywoman Marie Waldron, right, talks to Assemblywoman Laura Friedman.
Assemblywoman Marie Waldron, right, talks to Assemblywoman Laura Friedman. (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

California Assembly Republicans on Thursday elected a new leader, Assemblywoman Marie Waldron of Escondido, who said the minority party needs to take action to end its decline.

Waldron takes over as Assembly Republican leader from Assemblyman Brian Dahle of Bieber, who is stepping down from the role to run for a state Senate seat being vacated by incumbent Ted Gaines, who was elected to the state Board of Equalization on Tuesday.

The share of registered Republican voters in California has declined steadily from 35.5% in 1998 to 24% this year, and the party appears to have lost seats in the Legislature after Tuesday’s election, although votes are still being counted.

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(Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra on Thursday hailed a federal court’s decision to block the ending of a program that provides temporary protections to immigrants who were brought to the country illegally as children.

Becerra said the ruling would provide relief to thousands of young so-called Dreamers across the country, calling it an unexpected and “tremendous victory” for believers in the American dream and the rule of law. But he said the legal battle would continue should the case go to the U.S. Supreme Court.

“This fight is personal to so many communities in California,” he said. “As the son of immigrants, this fight is personal to me too.”

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  • Politics podcast

California voters have a lot of choices in front of them come election day — perhaps none larger than whether they see the state’s political choices as part of a national referendum on President Trump.

On this week’s podcast, we take a close look at the candidates in the races for governor and U.S. Senate. We also dive deep into the congressional battleground of Orange County — home to four closely watched contests. And we examine the potential impact if the polls are right and two major California ballot measures are rejected.

  • California Democrats
Gov. Jerry Brown, shown in a picture from June, on Friday blasted Proposition 6 as a "scheme and a scam."
Gov. Jerry Brown, shown in a picture from June, on Friday blasted Proposition 6 as a "scheme and a scam." (Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

In his last campaign as governor, Jerry Brown rallied Friday against Proposition 6, tying the initiative to supporters of President Trump and warning it will hinder California’s efforts to repair roads and bridges.

“Prop. 6 is a scheme and a scam put on the ballot by some partisans,” Brown said at a campaign rally in Palo Alto. “Actually they are acolytes of Donald Trump. They don't have the best interest of California in mind."

The measure, which would repeal an increase in the state’s gas tax and vehicle fees, was qualified for Tuesday’s ballot by a committee funded by the GOP leaders including House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield, House Speaker Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin and Republican gubernatorial candidate John Cox. Republican leaders hope the measure will drive conservative voters to the polls on Tuesday to boost the chances of their party’s candidates.

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  • State government
  • California Legislature
State Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) on the Senate floor in 2016.
State Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) on the Senate floor in 2016. (Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

A man accused of mailing bombs to top Democratic officials and public figures researched a state legislator from Southern California as a potential target, according to the lawmaker’s office.

A spokesman for Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) said the FBI notified the lawmaker of his connection with the case on Tuesday. Lara, a candidate for California insurance commissioner, has not received any suspicious packages. 

“The FBI notified Sen. Lara that the suspect researched him as a possible target,” said Michael Soller, Lara’s spokesman. “He had a conversation with the FBI and the investigation is ongoing.”

Supporters of rent control march past the Capitol in Sacramento in April.
Supporters of rent control march past the Capitol in Sacramento in April. (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

Proposals to address the state’s housing-affordability problems fill the November statewide ballot.

On this episode of Gimme Shelter: The California Housing Crisis Podcast, we talk about all of them.

Gubernatorial candidates Gavin Newsom and John Cox have made housing affordability central to their platforms, and we detail what they both want to do. And we break down the four housing ballot measures voters will decide on:

  1. Proposition 1: A $4-billion bond to help finance new low-income housing and provide home loans for veterans.
  2. Proposition 2: A $2-billion bond to subsidize housing for homeless residents with severe mental illness.
  3. Proposition 5: An expansion of property tax breaks for homeowners 55 or older.
  4. Proposition 10: An expansion of cities’ and counties’ ability to implement rent control. 

Less than a week before the election, the California Democratic Party headquarters in Sacramento was evacuated for two hours Wednesday after the police bomb squad was called in to investigate a suspicious package received in the mail.

The evacuation ended around 2 pm after a team of FBI and Sacramento Police Department officials determined the large envelope was not dangerous.

State Party Chairman Eric Bauman said the package arrived at party headquarters just days after a Florida man was arrested for allegedly sending pipe bombs to Democratic leaders including former President Obama and the Sacramento office of U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris of California.

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Gov. Jerry Brown calls Proposition 6 “dangerous” in a new digital ad that warns the initiative that would repeal an increase in the gas tax jeopardizes $5 billion annually in road repairs and transportation projects.

A week before the statewide election, the “No on 6” campaign put the ad up on social media. It will also run this week in select markets on broadcast and cable television. It features footage of Brown in a suit and tie interspersed with scenes of road and bridge construction projects.

“We are finally making progress,” Brown says in the ad. “Thousands of road repairs are under way, fixing bridges and overpasses to meet earthquake standards and improving the safety of our roads. But Proposition 6 would stop these critical repairs.”

Gavin Newsom speaks during a bus tour kickoff outside San Francisco City Hall on Tuesday.
Gavin Newsom speaks during a bus tour kickoff outside San Francisco City Hall on Tuesday. (Eric Risberg/Associated Press)

Kicking off a week-long bus tour in the run-up to election day, Gavin Newsom cast the stakes of the upcoming election in national — even international — terms.

“It’s not an exaggeration to say not just the country but the world is looking to all of you at this moment, the next seven days, to step up and to step in and to send a message and repudiate this moment,” Newsom told a crowd of supporters at San Francisco City Hall on Tuesday. “Because we are better than Washington, D.C. We’re better than Trump and Trumpism. We’re better than the rhetoric and the reality of the last 72 hours.”

The Democratic lieutenant governor spent less time touting his own candidacy for governor than taking jabs at President Trump and urging get-out-the-vote efforts for Democratic congressional candidates.