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675 posts
  • State government
  • 2018 election
  • California Republicans
(Andrew Burton / Getty Images)

When Meg Whitman stepped down as chief executive of Hewlett Packard Enterprise, political observers wondered if she would run again for political office in California.

Never again, the billionaire said.

“I won’t be running for public office again,” Whitman told Variety magazine in an article about her new job as chief executive officer of a Jeffrey Katzenberg-backed mobile content start-up.

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  • State government
Men work on a natural gas valve at a fracking site in South Montrose, Pa.
Men work on a natural gas valve at a fracking site in South Montrose, Pa. (Spencer Platt / Getty Images)

California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra on Wednesday marked his one-year anniversary in the post by filing his 25th legal challenge to Trump administration policies, this time over the federal decision to repeal restrictions on the oil-extraction method known as fracking.

The latest lawsuit says the Trump administration violated federal law when it decided to repeal regulations on hydraulic fracturing, in which water and chemicals are injected under pressure into the ground to break rock and release oil and gas.

“Once again, President Trump and Interior Secretary [Ryan] Zinke didn’t let the law or facts get in their way in their zeal to repeal the 2015 Fracking Rule,” Becerra said. “The Interior Department’s own factual record shows that the risks to our health and environment are real. So, once again, the California Department of Justice will get in the way of another reckless Trump violation of our laws.” 

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  • State government
The California Growers Assn. requested a temporary restraining order Tuesday in Sacramento Superior Court, just weeks after the state began issuing licenses to grow, distribute and sell marijuana for medical and recreational uses.

A group of small marijuana farms in California has filed a lawsuit challenging new state rules that allow growers to obtain multiple licenses to put together cultivation operations of more than one acre.

The California Growers Assn. requested a temporary restraining order Tuesday in Sacramento Superior Court, just weeks after the state began issuing licenses to grow, distribute and sell marijuana for medical and recreational uses.

The lawsuit says the rules adopted by the California Department of Food and Agriculture are in conflict with the voter-approved Proposition 64, which it said “ensures the nonmedical marijuana industry in California will be built around small and medium sized businesses.”

Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian is one of more than 100 tech executives backing housing legislation from Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco).
Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian is one of more than 100 tech executives backing housing legislation from Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco). (Kim Hairston / Baltimore Sun)

More than 120 top executives of California tech companies and venture capital firms are supporting high-profile state legislation aimed at dramatically increasing housing production.

The executives, including Marc Benioff of Salesforce, Logan Green of Lyft, Jeremy Stoppelman of Yelp, Alexis Ohanian of Reddit, Jack Dorsey of Twitter and Reid Hoffman, who co-founded LinkedIn, said that the state’s housing crisis makes it hard to recruit and retain employees and is pushing tech firms to relocate out of the state.

“The lack of homebuilding in California imperils our ability to hire employees and grow our companies,” the group said in a letter dated Wednesday to Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), the author of Senate Bill 827. “We recognize that the housing shortage leads to displacement, crushing rent burdens, long commutes, and environmental harm, and we want to be part of the solution.”

  • Congressional races
  • 2018 election

With retirement announcements, a slew of new candidates and yet another vulnerable Republican on the list, the ground has shifted since we first published our rankings of the toughest congressional contests in California.

Our race tracker debuted last fall with 13 contests both parties identified as potentially vulnerable. Democrats, feeling ambitious, have added Rep. Tom McClintock, in a strongly Republican Northern California district, to the list of seats they believe have the potential to flip. He joins our list at No. 10.

Even more significant: Two Republicans who were under electoral pressure in their Southern California districts decided to bow out, giving Democrats even more hope they could add to their majority in the delegation.

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Ricardo Aguilera identified a teenager with a bald fade haircut and a mustache as the drive-by shooter who fired a bullet into the back of his head. He picked the potential suspect out of a photo lineup of 10 people. But the picture was at least eight years old. And several of the other images did not match his description of the assailant.

  • State government
  • Governor's race
  • 2018 election
  • California Republicans
(Sylvia Flores / For the Los Angeles Times)

GOP gubernatorial candidate Travis Allen called on the Trump administration to prosecute California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra for warning businesses that he would seek fines if they violate a new state law that prohibits them from voluntarily giving employee information to federal immigration authorities.

Allen, speaking on Fox News on Monday night, said Becerra is obstructing justice.

“He has crossed the line. This is now a criminal offense,” Allen said. “Department of Justice needs to come, [U.S. Atty. Gen. Jeff] Sessions and Trump need to come to California, literally arrest, indict Xavier Becerra for breaking federal law.”

  • California Legislature
The Napa Valley home of Tom and Susie Jinks of Robinson Family Vineyards in fall 2017
The Napa Valley home of Tom and Susie Jinks of Robinson Family Vineyards in fall 2017 (David Bridges)

With devastating wildfires and mudslides spanning the state, California lawmakers are proposing a host of new bills designed to aid victims.

The bills deal with insurance coverage, emergency alert systems and penalties for those at fault among other policy changes. Gov. Jerry Brown also is asking for a lot more money to boost fire fighting.

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  • Congressional races
  • 2018 election
(Courtesy of Gil Cisneros for Congress)

Los Angeles Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard endorsed Democrat Gil Cisneros this week in the race to represent the 39th Congressional District. Roybal-Allard is the latest Latino leader to endorse Cisneros’ bid for the seat being vacated by Rep. Ed Royce, who recently announced he won’t seek reelection.

Cisneros, a Navy veteran and former shipping manager at a Frito-Lay, has become a well-known philanthropist in the Latino community since he and his wife won a lottery jackpot in 2010. 

In addition to Roybal-Allard, Cisneros has earned endorsements from several Latino members of Congress members from California, including Democratic leader Rep. Linda Sanchez of Whittier; her sister, former Rep. Loretta Sanchez; labor rights icon Dolores Huerta; and actors George Lopez and Eva Longoria, who were recently featured in a video ad for him.

  • California Republicans
Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Monday blasted President Trump’s move to allow increased offshore drilling, saying he ought to drill in the waters off his Palm Beach, Fla., resort rather than California. (Jan. 23, 2018)

Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Monday blasted President Trump’s move to allow increased offshore drilling, saying he ought to drill in the waters off his Palm Beach, Fla., resort rather than California.

“Don’t touch California. If you want to drill, do it off Mar-a-Lago,” Schwarzenegger tweeted. “Or better yet, look to the future, follow CA’s lead & go green and we can all breathe easier. The US’s largest economy is nearly 50% renewable. #ProtectThePacific

“Our fishing, tourism, and recreation industries employ hundreds of thousands of great people. Our coasts are an economic gold mine. Do not put them at risk,” Schwarzenegger added in a second tweet.