675 posts
  • Congressional races
  • California in Congress
  • 2018 election
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Costa Mesa)
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Costa Mesa) (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Former Trump campaign aide Richard W. Gates III is expected to plead guilty today to conspiracy and lying about a 2013 Ukraine-related meeting between his former business partner Paul Manafort, a lobbyist and California Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Costa Mesa).

The meeting became public in the summer when Manafort belatedly filed a disclosure form for his work as a foreign agent on behalf of Ukraine. Rohrabacher at the time called it a “nice little dinner” and said that Russia and the Baltic states probably came up, but it wasn't the focus of their conversation.

Three days after the dinner, Manafort contributed $1,000 to Rohrabacher's reelection campaign. Gates was Manafort's deputy on the campaign and continued to serve as a senior advisor through Trump's inauguration. He is expected to testify against Manafort if his case goes to trial.

Top from left, Gavin Newsom, Antonio Villaraigosa and John Chiang. Lower from left, Delaine Eastin, Dianne Feinstein and Kevin de León.
Top from left, Gavin Newsom, Antonio Villaraigosa and John Chiang. Lower from left, Delaine Eastin, Dianne Feinstein and Kevin de León. (Los Angeles Times)

Thousands of California Democrats are gathering in San Diego today for their annual convention, where potential presidential contenders will make appearances and state candidates will battle for endorsements from the party faithful in advance of the June primary.

Here’s what you need to know:

How many endorsements are up for grabs?

  • Governor's race

The Asian American Small Business PAC launched a broadside attack against Gavin Newsom’s campaign for governor with a website and digital ad accusing him of having inappropriate relationships and a history of violating the “public trust.”

The ad tries to draw a parallel between Newsom’s past and the “epidemic of sexual misconduct” in the White House and Sacramento.

Titled “You Don’t Know Gavin,” the ad and website focus on the 2005 relationship Newsom had with his then-appointments secretary and the wife of a top aide, Ruby Rippey Gibney, while he was serving as mayor of San Francisco and going through a divorce.

  • California in Congress
  • 2018 election

President Trump on Thursday criticized California officials for how they are dealing with gangs and threatened to pull immigration and border agents out of the state to show just how bad things would be without federal help. California’s Democratic politicians weren’t happy, and swiftly responded.

“This administration has continually put a target on California’s back and we won’t be bullied,” Sen. Kamala Harris said in a statement. “Instead of targeting immigrant communities, this administration should focus their energy and resources on violent criminals and transnational gangs.”

Sen. Dianne Feinstein called it “not only mean spirited but patently false.”

Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg
Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

Since 2011, California lawmakers have lamented the demise of redevelopment, a state urban renewal program that provided billions of dollars for low-income housing development. There’s a new proposal in the Legislature now to bring a version of it back.

On this episode of “Gimme Shelter: The California Housing Crisis Pod” we talk about why the program died in the first place — in part because in addition to housing, taxpayer dollars were financing things such as the construction of a downtown Sacramento bar featuring women dressed as mermaids swimming in an aquarium.

Our guest is Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg, who oversaw redevelopment’s dissolution as leader of the state Senate. Steinberg tells us what he’d like to see in a revived program, why homelessness is the most important issue facing California cities and how Sacramento is benefitting from an influx of Bay Area transplants.

Tony Mendoza, a former East Los Angeles elementary school teacher who moved swiftly from local to state government elected offices, resigned from the California Senate Thursday as his colleagues moved to formally expel him after a series of sexual misconduct accusations.


Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Alpine, is suggesting to the national media that questionable expenses of his campaign funds took place in California while he was in Washington, D.C., doing the people’s business.