California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra on Monday took the oath of office for a new term, saying he would continue his role as a leading challenger to Trump administration actions that he believes are counter to the state’s interests.
Becerra, a former 12-term congressman, has become a national opposition figure to Trump, having sued the federal government 45 times since he was appointed as the state’s first Latino attorney general in 2017.
“We’ve been a little busy stopping the dysfunction and insanity in Washington, D.C., from infecting California,” Becerra told an audience during a swearing-in ceremony at the California Museum in Sacramento.
Daraka Larimore-Hall, a top official at the California Democratic Party, said Monday he’s running to replace former chairman Eric Bauman, who resigned abruptly in November after being confronted with allegations of sexual misconduct.
Larimore-Hall, a longtime state party activist and former chairman of the Democratic Party of Santa Barbara County, was one of the party leaders who urged Bauman to resign following the allegations.
In an email to supporters announcing his bid, he urged “both structural and cultural change at every level of our Party.” He also repeated his call for a “top-to-bottom investigation” of the allegations, the party and its culture.
Building on the theme of California exceptionalism that defined his campaign, Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom will depict the state as a guardian of progressive values and a counterweight to President Trump in his inaugural address Monday, according to excerpts of his prepared remarks.
“What we do today is even more consequential, because of what’s happening in our country,” read the excerpts obtained by The Times. “People’s lives, freedom, security, the water we drink, the air we breathe — they all hang in the balance. The country is watching us. The world is waiting on us. The future depends on us. And we will seize this moment.”
The speech casts California’s political stakes in a decidedly national scope, promising an agenda that will unify and be an example to the rest of the country. It contrasts the governing goals of Newsom, a Democrat, with that of Trump, the incoming governor’s perennial foil.
On the eve of the gubernatorial inauguration, California’s political class rubbed elbows in Sacramento for a benefit concert hosted by Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom and headlined by the rapper Pitbull.
Newsom told the crowd gathered at the Golden 1 Center on Sunday evening that the fundraiser brought in nearly $5 million for the California Wildfire Foundation, a 501(c)(3) that supports the families of fallen firefighters and communities affected by wildfires.
“You know, a lot of folks feel anxious about not just politics, but government,” Newsom said on stage before introducing the rapper and activist Common. “But those firefighters, they are the antidote to the fear and cynicism; they are the manifestation of why government matters and why you should care.”
Incoming Gov. Gavin Newsom doesn’t officially take the oath of office until Monday, but the parties celebrating his inauguration were in full swing all day Sunday.
Newsom and his family were mobbed by well-wishers at the California State Railroad Museum at the Old Sacramento Waterfront in the afternoon, where his inaugural committee hosted a free party for families.
“He just has charisma. He’s able to really connect with people,” said Rosielyn Pulmano, an attorney from Elk Grove who came to see Newsom with her husband, two sons and her niece. “I think he cares about working Californians and a lot of their issues.”
California’s incoming governor, who must send his first state budget plan to the Legislature this week, has already signaled a significant new focus on programs to help families and children from infancy to college.
Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom campaigned on a platform that included a number of child-focused efforts specifically aimed at helping lower-income families. The price tag for the initial efforts is expected to approach $2 billion — a cost paid out of an unrestricted tax revenue windfall that could be one of the largest in state history.
Newsom may also seek help for families through new subsidies paid by California employers. The governor-elect is expected to propose a dramatic expansion of paid parental leave — from six weeks to six months — according to an internal document provided by a source close to the Newsom transition team, first reported on Sunday by the New York Times.
Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom on Friday named two advisors on issues related to the California economy, each recognized for their expertise on business and labor.
The incoming governor will appoint Julie Su as secretary of the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency and Lenny Mendonca as chief economic and business advisor and director of the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development.
Su, 49, has served as state labor commissioner under Gov. Jerry Brown since 2011 and has led an office tasked with the enforcement of California’s labor laws. She won a MacArthur Foundation “genius grant” in 2001 and previously worked as a civil rights attorney representing low-wage workers. In her new position, Su will be tasked with coordinating the work of several workforce departments in state government, including those that administer unemployment benefits and oversee the relationship between agriculture workers and employers.
“We live in a highly chaotic, ever-changing and ever-confusing world,” Groban said in prepared remarks at the Stanley Mosk Library and Courts Building. “But I’m happy to report that I’m joining an institution whose fundamental purpose, at core, is to provide stability and consistency amidst this chaotic place we live. I look forward to doing that with a sense of reflection, respect, fidelity to the law and compassion.”
Elected officials accused of harassment or discrimination would be barred from using political contributions to cover their legal defense costs under legislation proposed by California’s campaign watchdog agency.
The state Fair Political Practices Commission has agreed to pursue a law change to clear up confusion after an attorney for one former state lawmaker argued political funds could be used in such legal defenses.
Commission Chairwoman Alice Germond said putting a prohibition into the law would “provide some much needed clarity.”