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675 posts
  • California Republicans
Republican Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa.
Republican Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa. (Alex Brandon / Associated Press)

Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst, an Iraq war veteran and up-and-comer in the GOP, will give the keynote address at the California Republican Party’s three-day convention in San Diego in early May.

Ernst, the first woman to represent Iowa in Congress, was considered to be on President Trump’s short list of potential vice presidential running mates in the 2016 campaign — but removed her name from consideration.

The senator has come out in opposition to the president’s plan to place tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. She also criticized the White House for the way it handled the Rob Porter domestic abuse scandal.

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  • California Legislature
  • Sexual harassment
Former state Sen. Tony Mendoza (D-Artesia) casts his vote for a Democratic Party endorsement
Former state Sen. Tony Mendoza (D-Artesia) casts his vote for a Democratic Party endorsement (Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times)

Although Tony Mendoza resigned from his state Senate seat last month under threat of expulsion, he could be back in the seat as early as June in time to vote on the state budget.

The Artesia Democrat, who was pressured to quit because of sexual harassment allegations, was among a handful of candidates who took out papers on Friday to run in a special election to fill the vacancy in the 32nd Senate District caused by his own resignation.

Mendoza, 46, is running in the special election for the remaining months of the current term that ends Dec. 3 as well as in the primary for the new, four-year senate term. That means voters on June 5 will see Mendoza as a candidate for two elections at the same time. 

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  • California in Congress
(Jose Luis Magana / Associated Press)

California Sen. Kamala Harris, who is serving her first term, has an estimated net worth that puts her financially near the middle of the pack in a delegation that includes both the richest and poorest members of Congress.

Harris reported an estimated minimum net worth of $391,100 in 2017, the first year she held federal office and had to submit the disclosures every member of Congress files.

Harris is thought to be considering a presidential bid in 2020, and the disclosure was among the first glimpses of the former California attorney general’s finances. Harris released tax returns during the 2016 campaign that showed she and her husband made $1.17 million in 2015 and paid $450,000 in state and federal income taxes.

  • State government
A homeless person wrapped in a blanket sleeps on the street under a bus stop across from Los Angeles City Hall.
A homeless person wrapped in a blanket sleeps on the street under a bus stop across from Los Angeles City Hall. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

California’s homeless population has grown to more than 130,000 people, an increase of nearly 14% over the last year. 

On this episode of Gimme Shelter: The California Housing Crisis Pod, we delve into some of the causes of the increase and discuss why a state-approved $2-billion bond to help finance new housing for the homeless is tied up in court

We recorded the show from the Housing California conference in Sacramento, one of the state’s largest annual gatherings of low-income housing developers and advocates. Our guests are advocates for the homeless from across the state: Ann English of the Corporation for Supportive Housing in Los Angeles, Laura Guzman of EveryOne Home in Alameda County and Stephen Russell of the San Diego Housing Federation. Our interviews focus on how homelessness is different around the state and how the homeless population has changed over the years.

  • 2018 election
(Los Angeles Times)

California’s relatively new system in which 16- and 17-year-olds can preregister to vote has been used by 88,700 teenagers during its first months in existence, with most of them declining to identify as Republicans or Democrats.

The data released by Secretary of State Alex Padilla on Thursday cover the first 18 months of a law designed to encourage teenagers to begin thinking about the voting process before they actually become eligible.

“It’s just picking up as time goes on,” Padilla said in an interview. “More and more young people are aware of it.”

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A legislative investigation into unwanted hugs by a state senator nicknamed “Huggy Bear” in California’s state Capitol found that he made people feel uncomfortable, but his behavior wasn’t sexually motivated.

  • Governor's race
  • 2018 election
  • California Democrats
Antonio Villaraigosa, accompanied by his wife, Patty, officially files to run for governor in Norwalk Thursday
Antonio Villaraigosa, accompanied by his wife, Patty, officially files to run for governor in Norwalk Thursday (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

Panicked callers to Alba Hernandez’s hotline reported a possible immigration raid. She rushed to the West Oakland home to find officers had blocked off traffic in what they described as a human-trafficking investigation.

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  • Congressional races
  • 2018 election
Former Orange County Republican Party chairman Scott Baugh started the process to file to run on Wednesday.
Former Orange County Republican Party chairman Scott Baugh started the process to file to run on Wednesday. (Jon Fleischman)

Former Orange County GOP chairman Scott Baugh plans to run for the House seat of Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, a fellow Republican, according to multiple sources close to Baugh.

The entry of Baugh, a well-known name in Orange County Republican circles, would scramble the already crowded field in the 48th Congressional District race. With more than half a dozen Democrats hoping to flip the district and the an ugly party-endorsement fight still lingering, Baugh could put Democrats at added risk of getting shut out of the November top-two runoff.

Baugh pulled filing papers at the Orange County Registrar of Voters’ office Wednesday and paid the $1,740 fee to run. He has yet to announce a campaign and did not respond to a request for comment. Baugh has until Friday to complete additional paperwork to get his name on the June 5 primary ballot. 

California's pot czar has begun warning marijuana sellers that they can no longer operate without state licenses.
California's pot czar has begun warning marijuana sellers that they can no longer operate without state licenses. (Mathew Sumner / Associated Press)

California’s pot regulation agency has sent 900 warning letters to marijuana shops suspected of operating without state licenses.

Lori Ajax, the chief of the state Bureau of Cannabis Control, also sent a cease-and-desist notice to the marijuana-location service Weedmaps, telling it to stop advertising sellers that lack a permit, officials said Wednesday.

Ajax, the first person to hold her post, notified Weedmaps that a new state law that took effect Jan. 1 requires all marijuana sellers to have state licenses and all advertisements to contain the state license number.