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536 posts
  • California Legislature
  • California Democrats
Sen. Josh Newman (D-Fullerton), shown last year, spoke angrily Monday about being recalled on June 5.
Sen. Josh Newman (D-Fullerton), shown last year, spoke angrily Monday about being recalled on June 5. (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

Just days after voters acted to recall him from office, state Sen. Josh Newman (D-Fullerton) on Monday condemned Republican members of the Senate in an angry floor speech for what he said was their failure to stand up against a deceptive campaign by GOP operatives to oust him from office.

Newman said the campaign got voters to sign the recall petitions by saying it would repeal a gas-tax increase and they unfairly blamed him for the tax, even though many others, including a Republican senator, voted for the measure.

“It saddens me colleagues, Republican colleagues, that despite all your nice sotto voce words, not a single one of you had the integrity, the decency or the courage  to say this is wrong… this is an abuse of the recall process,” Newman said in a speech toward the close of the day’s session.

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  • California Legislature
Luz Rivas, center, was sworn into the state Assembly on Monday.
Luz Rivas, center, was sworn into the state Assembly on Monday. (Jazmine Ulloa / Los Angeles Times)

The state Assembly on Monday welcomed Democrats Luz Rivas and Jesse Gabriel, who were sworn in after winning special elections last week to replace two former San Fernando Valley members accused of sexual misconduct.

Rivas, a science educator and Los Angeles Public Works commissioner, will fill the remaining term of former Democratic Assemblymen Raul Bocanegra in the 39th district. Gabriel, an Encino attorney with degrees from UC Berkeley and Harvard, will take over for former state Assemblyman Matt Dababneh, a Democrat, in the 45th district.

Nearly 150 women last year came forward to denounce what they called a culture of sexual harassment within the state Capitol community. The movement led to an overhaul of policies within the California Legislature and to the resignations of Bocanegra and Dababneh after multiple women reported allegations of harassment and misconduct.

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  • State government
(Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press)

A dispute between the governor and lawmakers over how to pay for a crackdown on the illicit marijuana market in California has resulted in the $14 million for the effort being left out of a proposed budget, officials said.

Last month, Gov. Jerry Brown proposed the funding to create five teams in the state attorney general’s office to investigate California’s black market for marijuana. The proposal was made after businesses with state licenses warned that they are at a competitive disadvantage against illicit growers and sellers.

However, a budget plan negotiated between legislators and the governor did not include the funding. The Legislature will vote on the plan this week.

  • State government
The dome of the California Capitol in Sacramento is lighted up.
The dome of the California Capitol in Sacramento is lighted up. (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

For the second time in a month, a member of the state’s campaign finance watchdog agency has resigned, officials said Monday.

Commissioner Maria Audero, a Los Angeles attorney, said in a letter submitted to the governor on Friday that she was quitting the state Fair Political Practices Commission before her term ends to accept an appointment as a U.S. magistrate judge.

“Though it saddens me that this appointment precludes me from completing my term as commissioner, I look forward to this new path of public service,” Audero said in a letter three years after her appointment.

  • U.S. Senate race
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The Los Angeles County elections chief said Friday that he was seeking an independent review after more than 118,000 people were left off voter rosters this week.

  • Politics podcast

On this week’s episode of the California Politics Podcast, we dive deep into the results from last week’s biggest statewide races.

The race for governor and U.S. Senate offered fascinating glimpses into the impact of the state’s top-two primary system. And now, the stage is set for one-on-one showdowns in November for these races and a handful of key contests for the House of Representatives.

  • California Democrats
Lindsey Buckingham will perform at a meet-and-greet fundraiser for Democratic congressional hopefuls.
Lindsey Buckingham will perform at a meet-and-greet fundraiser for Democratic congressional hopefuls. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

A star-studded fundraiser for Democratic candidates in key House races is scheduled for next month.

Former Fleetwood Mac lead guitarist Lindsey Buckingham will perform at the Los Angeles home of California Coastal Commissioner Chair Dayna Bochco on July 31. 

The event’s co-hosts include directors Cameron Crowe and Callie Khouri, affordable housing developer Tom Safran, producers Doug Wick and Bill Mechanic and “Game of Thrones” co-creator David Benioff.

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Assemblywoman Sydney Kamlager-Dove prepares for the oath of office from Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon with her husband, Austin Dove.
Assemblywoman Sydney Kamlager-Dove prepares for the oath of office from Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon with her husband, Austin Dove. (California Assembly Democrats)

The Clippers are again asking state lawmakers to help them speed up construction of the team’s proposed arena in Inglewood.

Assemblywoman Sydney Kamlager-Dove (D-Los Angeles), whose district includes Inglewood, introduced new legislation that would provide shortcuts for approval should the arena proposal face challenges under California’s primary environmental law governing development.

The bill would encourage judges to decide any lawsuit under the California Environmental Quality Act, or CEQA, within nine months and prohibit a judge from stopping construction on the arena unless there were imminent life and safety risks.

  • 2018 election
Gavin Newsom (left), John Cox
Gavin Newsom (left), John Cox (File photos)

The results of California’s gubernatorial primary means the state’s next governor has big promises to fulfill on housing affordability.

Democratic Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom has set a goal for developers to build 500,000 new homes annually for the next seven years — a number the state has never reached since the building industry began keeping statistics in the mid-1950s. Not to be outdone, Republican businessman John Cox wants 300,000 new homes built every year, a level of production that far outpaces the state’s current rate. Both agree that the state needs a lot of new homes to keep pace with soaring demand.

On this episode of Gimme Shelter: The California Housing Crisis Pod, we talk about the differences between Newsom and Cox’s housing plans and round up action in the Legislature on key housing production and tenant bills.