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540 posts
  • California Democrats
California Democratic Party Chairman Eric Bauman.
California Democratic Party Chairman Eric Bauman. (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

The California Democratic Party has launched an investigation into unspecified allegations of sexual misconduct against Chairman Eric Bauman involving party staff members.

In a statement released Saturday evening, Bauman confirmed an investigation was underway but did not address the allegations against him. He said that independent counsel has been hired to investigate the matter.

“I look forward to putting these allegations behind us and moving forward as unified Democrats,” Bauman said in the statement.

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It was Gavin’s big moment. But first it was Jennifer’s.

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A coalition of bail bond industry groups took a major step Tuesday toward blocking California’s historic overhaul of the bail system, submitting more than enough signatures required for a statewide referendum on the law in 2020.

  • California Legislature
California state Sen. Roderick Wright in court in 2014 while on trial on charges he lied about living in his district.
California state Sen. Roderick Wright in court in 2014 while on trial on charges he lied about living in his district. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

The California Supreme Court on Tuesday paved the way for Gov. Jerry Brown to consider a pardon for former state Sen. Roderick Wright, who resigned after he was convicted in 2014 on felony charges of lying about living in his district.

The court recommended that the governor grant a pardon, according to Jorge E. Navarrete, the clerk of the court. Brown’s office has signaled he is likely to grant clemency in the case before he leaves office in January.

“As the Board of Parole Hearings has found, Sen. Wright's application presents a favorable case for a pardon,” Peter A. Krause, the governor’s legal affairs secretary, said in a letter to the court last month.

  • State government
Los Angeles County fire Capt. Victor Correa helps put out a Woolsey fire hotspot in Malibu.
Los Angeles County fire Capt. Victor Correa helps put out a Woolsey fire hotspot in Malibu. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

California’s costs to fight two deadly wildfires that ignited less than two weeks ago have already topped $118 million — a sizable financial hit to a program that needed an unexpected cash infusion just two months ago.

Cal Fire officials said Tuesday that $589.7 million has been paid out by the state’s fire emergency, or “e-fund,” account since July 1. Officials are poised to free up additional dollars before lawmakers consider a new state budget early next year.

Cal Fire officials said battling the Camp fire, which has killed 79 people and burned more than 151,000 acres across Butte County, has cost more than $68 million. The state’s response to the Woolsey fire, which has burned almost 97,000 acres in Ventura and Los Angeles counties and killed at least three people, has cost more than $50 million.

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California must significantly increase the money it spends on child care, food assistance and other social services — by as much as $1.6 billion in the first year alone — to narrow an income divide that has left almost 2 million children living below the poverty line, a new state task force said Monday.

 Three prisoners in the north segregation unit of death row at San Quentin State Prison.
Three prisoners in the north segregation unit of death row at San Quentin State Prison. (Eric Risberg/AP)

Members of Catholic organizations and other anti-death penalty groups on Monday urged Gov. Jerry Brown to place a moratorium on the death penalty or commute the sentences of all California death row inmates, saying he should take a moral stand on a practice that costs the state money without making people safer.

Their request was echoed in more than 6,000 letters and petitions collected from residents and wheeled to the state Capitol in plain, white cardboard boxes. It comes more than a year after the California Supreme Court kept in place a 2016 measure passed by voters to speed up executions.

Standing outside the governor’s office, Marciano Avilla said Brown had a bold chance to move the state into the future, as he had on so many other issues, before leaving his post in January.

(Patrick T. Fallon / For The Times)

The California Supreme Court refused on Monday to block counties from accepting late absentee ballot signatures, a practice election officials have said isn’t explicitly banned under a new state law.

The court denied the petition filed by Brian Harrington, a San Diego resident and campaign consultant to a Republican running for an Orange County Assembly seat. Harrington challenged a Nov. 13 legal advisory from the California secretary of state’s chief counsel that extended the length of time for voters to submit their signature if failing to sign the absentee ballot envelope.

In his filing with the court, Harrington said the 2015 law allowing a voter to fix the unsigned envelope — which otherwise would cause the ballot to be rejected — doesn’t allow signatures to be collected after the close of business on the eighth day after the election. Counties were told in the advisory from Steven Reyes, chief counsel for Secretary of State Alex Padilla, that they could accept ballot signature statements “up to the point in time where it would interfere with the duties of completing the county’s official canvass” of votes cast.

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  • Ballot measures
  • 2018 election
Vote by mail ballots are sorted by staff to be counted at the L.A. County Registrar-Recorder's office on Nov. 7 in Norwalk.
Vote by mail ballots are sorted by staff to be counted at the L.A. County Registrar-Recorder's office on Nov. 7 in Norwalk. (Patrick T. Fallon / For the Los Angeles Times)

Earlier this month, Californians voted to support $6 billion in new bonds to help build low-income and homeless housing across the state and provide home loans to veterans. Voters also rejected efforts to expand rent control and add property tax breaks for homeowners 55 or older.

On this episode of “Gimme Shelter: The California Housing Crisis Podcast,” we break down how the election results affect the state’s answers to housing affordability and debate the future of rent control at the Capitol.

Our guest is Angela Hart of Politico California, who talks with us about incoming Gov. Gavin Newsom’s ambitious housing plan.

Gil Cisneros defeated Republican Young Kim on Saturday in the last of Orange County’s undecided House races, giving Democrats a clean sweep of the state’s six most fiercely fought congressional contests and marking an epochal shift in a region long synonymous with political conservatism.