268 posts
  • California in Congress
  • 2018 election

Another Democratic group is hitting Rep. Dana Rohrabacher hard on his connections to Russia, this time a political action committee run by former U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer.

The group, called PAC for a Change, released a digital ad Tuesday morning that features news clips detailing Rohrabacher’s long-held affection for and ties to the country accused of meddling in last year’s elections.

The ad, titled From Russia with Love, ends with Rohrabacher’s photo juxtaposed next to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s, a pink heart drawn around both. “Dana Rohrabacher: Putin’s guy, not ours,” a narrator says.

  • California in Congress

Three California ACLU affiliates are running online ads urging five California Republican members of Congress to support a legislative fix to resolve the legal status of people brought to the country illegally as children.

The online ads target Reps. Paul Cook of Yucca Valley, Darrell Issa of Vista, Devin Nunes of Tulare, Ed Royce of Fullerton and Mimi Walters of Irvine, and depict a mother driving with her two young children when U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents arrest her.

Actress Rosario Dawson does the voice-over narration in the ad. A clock ticks in the background as a woman waits for immigration agents to knock on her car window. She pleads with them to let her drop her children off at school or call her husband. The children scream as she is handcuffed and led away.

  • State government
Gov. Jerry Brown, right, is briefed on the fall's wildfires by Mark Ghilarducci, director of the Governor's Office of Emergency Services.
Gov. Jerry Brown, right, is briefed on the fall's wildfires by Mark Ghilarducci, director of the Governor's Office of Emergency Services. (Donald Thompson)

Gov. Jerry Brown is considering upgrading the state’s emergency alert system in the wake of this fall’s devastating wildfires across Northern California, the governor’s emergency services director told legislators on Monday.

“This is something that we’ve been working on closely,” said Mark Ghilarducci, director of the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, at an informational legislative hearing about the state’s response to the wildfires.

Emergency alerting systems received widespread complaints for not notifying residents as wildfires ripped through Napa and Sonoma Counties in October. The blazes, along with others nearby, left 44 residents dead. Ghilarducci said the fires destroyed 8,900 structures, almost 6,000 of which were primary residences. It was the most homes destroyed in a natural disaster since the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, Ghilarducci said.

  • California in Congress
  • 2018 election
(Misha Japaridze / Associated Press)

Orange County Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Costa Mesa) will testify before the House Select Intelligence Committee this month about a meeting with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in which the two discussed who stole emails from the Democratic National Committee ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

“As you can see, I am not worried,” Rohrabacher said after votes Monday. “I have no worries at all. Once the public understands that the regular media has given them a false impression of my meetings with Russians, it’ll be fine.”

WikiLeaks published the emails before voters elected a new president in November of last year. U.S. intelligence officials have said Russia was involved in the theft of Democratic Party emails and tried to influence the election to benefit then-presidential candidate Donald Trump.

  • California in Congress
  • 2018 election
(Bill Clark / CQ Roll Call)

With another round of votes looming on the Republicans’ tax overhaul bill, Democratic activists are planning a series of protests and rallies across the state to pressure GOP members to oppose it.

Rep. Ed Royce (R-Fullerton) is the target of at least a couple of those events, starting Monday when activists plan to dress up in Santa suits and hand out “lumps of coal” with notes attached saying Royce “has been naughty and endangers your family” with his previous tax vote.

Activists with a local Indivisible group are also expected to rally outside his Brea office Wednesday afternoon.

  • California Democrats
(Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)

Gov. Jerry Brown said Monday morning that GOP leaders in Congress who are advancing a major federal tax overhaul are “wielding their power like a bunch of Mafia thugs.”

“The most immediate evil of this cynical maneuver called the tax bill is to further divide America when we’re at one of our most divisive periods in history,” Brown said during a conference call with reporters.

Brown, who was joined on the call by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Gov.-elect Phil Murphy, argued that the tax plan would hurt those living in states that voted against President Trump in the 2016 election while funding massive tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.

  • California Legislature
  • California Democrats
  • California in Congress
(Julia Schmalz / Bloomberg)

Members of California’s congressional delegation are asking their colleagues for $4.4 billion more for fire-related disaster relief.

In a letter led by Rep. Mike Thompson (D-St. Helena), the delegation asked the House Appropriations Committee to include the funding in legislation to provide supplemental disaster relief to areas of the country hit by recent natural disasters.

In mid-November, the White House requested $44 billion for supplemental disaster aid but that request did not include funding to rebuild after this year’s California fires, which killed 43 people and destroyed nearly 9,000 structures, a move that’s sparked an outcry from Thompson and his fellow lawmakers, who had asked for $7.4 billion in aid.

Sen. Josh Newman has filed papers to not accept a pay raise going to most of his colleagues Monday
Sen. Josh Newman has filed papers to not accept a pay raise going to most of his colleagues Monday (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

State Sen. Josh Newman (D-Fullerton), who is facing a recall election, is among a small group of legislators who are turning down pay raises that take effect Monday.

Gov. Jerry Brown, state legislators and other elected state officials will see their salaries increase 3% on Monday as a result of a vote by a citizen commission earlier this year.

Citing his vote for a gas-tax increase, Republicans have turned in enough signatures to qualify a recall election against Newman for next year, although a date has not been finalized. When the raises were approved, Newman said: "Having been recently elected, and out of consideration of the challenges currently confronting so many hard-working Californians, I have decided to forego any increase in my own compensation in the coming year."