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  • Politics podcast
  • 2018 election
  • California Democrats

The leading Democratic candidates for governor and U.S. Senate want to draw a sharp contrast with each other, but they don’t want to be seen as throwing the first punch.

On this week’s California Politics Podcast, we take a look at the pitch each candidate made to delegates at the recent California Democratic Party convention in San Diego.

We also discuss the decision by former Rep. Doug Ose to drop out of the race for governor, winnowing the field of Republicans to two prominent hopefuls as candidate filing season comes to a close.

  • Congressional races
  • 2018 election
  • California in Congress
(Alex Wong/Getty Images)

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi was optimistic Thursday that the Republican-controlled Congress can pass comprehensive gun legislation, but said she doesn’t expect an assault weapons ban to be part of such a measure.

“It might not be [an] assault weapon ban, but practically anything short of that is what we would expect,” Pelosi (D-San Francisco) said at her weekly news conference. “That might take longer. We need to have the best package we can get done now.”

President Trump seemed to embrace a variety of bipartisan proposals to address gun violence at a White House meeting Wednesday, and urged Republicans to consider adding an assault weapons ban to a popular bipartisan Senate background check bill. The moment left the author of the ban, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, outwardly showing glee. She’s pushed to reinstate the ban since a GOP-controlled Congress let it expire in 2004.

  • California in Congress

Even though they didn’t visit President Trump at the White House to celebrate their 2017 NBA Finals win, the Golden State Warriors got a face-to-face with two California lawmakers in Washington.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco), Reps. Barbara Lee (D-Oakland) and Mike Thompson (D-St. Helena) waited to congratulate the Warriors outside the locker room after their 109-101 victory over the Washington Wizards on Wednesday.

Pelosi wore her Warriors gear (a golden scarf with a map of the UC Berkeley campus) during her weekly news conference at the Capitol to celebrate the win.

President Trump on Wednesday threatened to delay building border barriers in California until his long-promised wall goes up elsewhere, seemingly slinging another arrow in his running battle with the nation’s most populous state.


For a party halfway in the grave, the news thudded like another shovelful of dirt — thwack! — heaved atop its coffin: The Republican Party may soon slip into third place among registered California voters, trailing Democrats and self-declared independents.

Nearly two years after California lawmakers approved a $2-billion bond to help finance new housing for the state’s homeless, not a penny has been spent, and it’s unclear when any of the money will be available.

Three months after Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra resigned amid allegations of sexual harassment, an Assembly investigation has found the Pacoima Democrat likely engaged in “unwanted conduct” toward three subordinate employees while he worked as a legislative staffer.


Sen. Dianne Feinstein shook with glee on Wednesday after President Trump suggested an assault weapons ban should be included in a bipartisan bill to expand background checks on gun sales.

The California Democrat, who became mayor of San Francisco after the shooting deaths of George Moscone and Harvey Milk in 1978, authored the original assault weapons ban in the 1990s and has been pushing to reinstate it since Congress let it expire in 2004.

Amid a nationwide reckoning over the latest mass shooting at a school, Trump said during a White House meeting with lawmakers Wednesday that he wants a comprehensive gun bill, something Congress has repeatedly struggled to get done.

  • California Legislature
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti at a news conference this week.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti at a news conference this week. (Maria Alejandra Cardona / Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is not on board with high-profile state legislation designed to substantially increase new housing near transit despite pending changes intended to protect renters from displacement.

Garcetti believes Senate Bill 827 from Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) doesn’t go far enough to address concerns about housing affordability and the existing character of Los Angeles’ neighborhoods.

“Mayor Garcetti appreciates Sen. Wiener's bold proposal to help address our housing crisis, and the most recent amendments are encouraging,” Garcetti spokesman Alex Comisar said in a statement. “But this bill is still too blunt for our single-family home areas.”