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535 posts
  • Congressional races
  • 2018 election
Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Alpine)
Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Alpine) (Gregory Bull / Associated Press)

Rep. Duncan Hunter, the indicted Republican from Alpine, has doubled down on unfounded attacks on his opponent with a letter signed by three retired Marine Corps generals that accused the Democrat of being “a national security risk.”

Hunter, who has pleaded not guilty to federal fraud charges of misusing campaign contributions, has labeled Democratic opponent Ammar Campa-Najjar a security risk in a widely condemned ad and has sought to tie Campa-Najjar to radical Islamists. The ad said Campa-Najjar — whose Mexican American mother raised him after his Palestinian father left the family — was trying to “infiltrate Congress.” Campa-Najjar, 29, is Christian and held a security clearance while working in the Obama administration. Campa-Najjar responded to the letter calling Hunter’s attacks on him “pathological.”

Roger White, Hunter’s campaign manager, said the three retired generals wrote the letter independent of the campaign, but that the campaign paid to reprint and distribute it. A picture of the letter was posted online Sunday evening.

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Former state Sen. Roderick Wright at a court hearing in 2014.
Former state Sen. Roderick Wright at a court hearing in 2014. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

An attorney for Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday asked the state Supreme Court to recommend whether former state Sen. Rod Wright should be pardoned for his felony convictions in 2014 on charges of voter fraud and perjury for lying about living in his district.

The request by the governor’s legal secretary, Peter A. Krause, was the next formal step in a process that began when the California Board of Parole Hearings recommended a pardon last month.

“The crimes for which Sen. Wright was convicted —  … perjury, false declaration of candidacy, and fraudulent voting — were non-violent in nature,” Krause wrote to the Supreme Court. “Moreover, Sen. Wright has devoted much of his life to public service, including serving six years in the California State Senate and six years in the California Assembly. Since his conviction, Sen. Wright has been employed as a consultant on government affairs and is an adjunct professor.”

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  • 2018 election
Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom.
Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom. (Los Angeles Times)

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom didn’t mention Gov. Jerry Brown by name on Friday after he toured a facility for homeless veterans in San Diego. But the Democratic gubernatorial candidate had some not-so-subtle criticism of the governor.

On homelessness, California has to “have a governor that is actually focused on these issues, which has not been the case for decades in this state,” Newsom said. “Governors have not campaigned on homelessness, governors haven’t talked about homelessness, that’s about to change in 25 days.”

Brown has faced repeated criticism for not making homelessness a bigger priority. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti complained earlier this year about Brown’s last State of the State speech, saying “there wasn’t one mention of homelessness. We need the state to step up.”

A line of people stretches around the South L.A. location of a California Department of Motor Vehicles office on Aug. 7.
A line of people stretches around the South L.A. location of a California Department of Motor Vehicles office on Aug. 7. (Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

The California Department of Motor Vehicles has decided to implement new quality control on its voter registration process following Monday’s revelation of as many as 1,500 non-citizens being wrongly registered to vote.

“This will ensure that only those persons who have attested to their eligibility to vote under California law are transmitted to your office,” DMV Director Jean Shiomoto and California Department of Technology Director Amy Tong said in a letter on Friday to California Secretary of State Alex Padilla.

DMV officials said they will begin checking representative samples of voter registration documents to ensure accuracy before those applications are processed.

The Orange County Transportation Authority provides bus services and improvement projects, including a planned widening of the 405 Freeway.
The Orange County Transportation Authority provides bus services and improvement projects, including a planned widening of the 405 Freeway. (Los Angeles Times)

An initiative to repeal an increase in California’s fuel taxes and vehicle fees may force a reduction of bus service in Orange County and elimination of some transit jobs, officials and union leaders said Friday.

Members of Teamsters Union Local 952 rallied against Proposition 6 outside the headquarters of the Orange County Transportation Authority, saying repeal of transportation taxes approved by the Legislature in Senate Bill 1 could force an 11% cut in the budget for bus operations, jeopardizing nearly 200 jobs.

“We were able to avoid service cuts and job losses because of SB 1, but now if this goes through we’re going to have a bunch of job losses and we’re going to have a negative impact on the traffic,” said Patrick D. Kelly, the secretary-treasurer for the union local.

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For years, Rep. Devin Nunes and the Fresno Bee got along just fine. But now, facing his first serious election challenge in years, the Central Valley congressman is on the attack — not against his Democratic opponent, but his district’s largest newspaper and what he calls its “band of creeping correspondents.”

  • Congressional races
  • 2018 election

Sen. Dianne Feinstein and state Sen. Kevin de León will meet Wednesday for a conversation moderated by the Public Policy Institute of California.

But is it a debate? Feinstein’s campaign says it is, De León’s team says it is not.

Moderator and PPIC president Mark Baldassare will sit between the two Democrats, posing questions to each. The candidates will have three minutes to answer each question and will not engage one another as in a traditional debate, but Baldassare will have discretion over allowing rebuttals. (PPIC says the face-off will be similar in format to a conversation last month between the state superintendent of public instruction candidates.)

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An inherited home once owned by comedian Dom DeLuise in Malibu has received a large property tax break.
An inherited home once owned by comedian Dom DeLuise in Malibu has received a large property tax break. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

Eliminating California’s inheritance tax break for vacation houses and rental property and restricting its use for primary homes could raise $2 billion a year in property taxes over time, according to a new analysis.

The tax break was subject of a recent Times investigation that found wealthy heirs across the state had received large tax benefits from inherited property and that the majority of heirs had not reported their homes as their primary residence.

For instance, actor Jeff Bridges and his siblings would have paid an additional $300,000 in property taxes if their Malibu beach property had been reassessed when they inherited it nine years ago. Earlier this year, the family listed the home for rent at $15,995 a month.

(Joe Raedle / Getty Images)

The Proposition 6 campaign on Tuesday cited six-figure salaries given to thousands of government transportation workers as a reason why California voters should approve the initiative to repeal fuel-tax and vehicle-fee increases enacted last year.

Less than a month before the Nov. 6 election, campaign chairman Carl DeMaio is set to host a news conference Wednesday in front of Caltrans headquarters in downtown Los Angeles, where he said he will argue that the state can fix roads and bridges without raising the gas tax and vehicle fees.

DeMaio said Tuesday that public records requested by the campaign show thousands of government transportation agency employees are getting excessive paychecks.