Newsletter: Essential Politics: Will the Wisconsin shooting become a campaign trail issue?


I’m Christina Bellantoni. Welcome to Essential Politics.

We’re waiting to see how much of what’s happening in Wisconsin will spill over to the campaign trail.

The National Guard was activated Sunday after an angry crowd set fire to buildings and attacked police cars in response to a police shooting in Milwaukee. The upheaval began after police shot and killed a black man on Saturday who officials said was armed.


Given the summer’s unrest, it is pretty like to surface in the day’s events.

Hillary Clinton will appear with Vice President Joe Biden in Scranton, Pa., on Monday, a trip rescheduled last month after the shooting of police officers in Dallas. She’ll campaign in Pennsylvania and Ohio before a fundraising blitz (more on that below).

Donald Trump is in Youngstown, Ohio, and on Tuesday is scheduled to head back to Wisconsin, where it’s almost certain to come up as he’ll be campaigning in West Bend, just north of Milwaukee. President Obama continues his final Martha’s Vineyard getaway as commander-in-chief.

It was a relatively quiet weekend in politics, with the most dramatic headlines coming from Trump’s continued criticism of the press. He threatened to revoke credentials for the New York Times after the paper’s report that he has been shunning the advice of top aides.


(Don’t miss Lisa Mascaro’s profile of top Trump aide Paul Manafort.)

The week closed with more arguments over taxes as Clinton released returns showing an adjusted gross income of $10.6 million in 2015, down from nearly $28 million the year before. The Clintons’ combined payments in federal, state and local taxes amounted to an effective tax rate of 43.2%, the sixth time in 15 years it has exceeded 40%.

As Mike Memoli reports, the former first couple’s considerable joint income dropped by nearly two-thirds last year when the former secretary of State began her run for president. Her running mate Tim Kaine released returns showing 2015 income of $313,441, reflecting the vice presidential nominee’s pay as a U.S. senator and his wife’s as Virginia’s secretary of education.

The move was about more than numbers, given Democrats are pressuring Trump to release his own returns.



Trump has been raising the potential of voter fraud this fall that could cheat him out of victory. Michael Finnegan reports on remarks with strong racial overtones he made to a mainly white rural crowd in Pennsylvania on Friday. The GOP nominee vowed to dispatch police who support him to monitor polls in “certain parts” of the state.

“We’re going to have unbelievable turnout, but we don’t want to see people voting five times, folks,” Trump said in Altoona, Pa. He added that he’d “heard some stories about certain parts of the state, and we have to be very careful.”

We put together a handy primer on how elections work, from voter ID laws to who counts the votes.


Get the latest from the campaign trail on Trail Guide and follow @latimespolitics. Check our daily USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times tracking poll at the top of the politics page.


Democratic Assemblyman Roger Hernández has kept a low profile since a judge slapped him with a domestic violence restraining order in July.

He has been on medical leave from the statehouse for two weeks, and though he has less than 90 days until San Gabriel Valley voters decide if he goes to Congress, he hasn’t been running much of a campaign either, Javier Panzar reports.



More than 1,000 pages of documents in two cases in Cincinnati and New York, reviewed by the Los Angeles Times, demonstrate how accusations of racial discrimination dogged the family business from the earliest days of Trump’s career. And they illustrate how a young Trump, faced with an early crisis, responded aggressively to charges of bias.

Noah Bierman and Joseph Tanfani have the story.



The Clinton California fundraising blitz started Saturday in Oakland with the former president and continues over the next week.

We’ve reported about the upcoming Kaine and Clinton fundraisers in Southern California. In addition, Kaine will be in San Francisco at the home of Dawn and Doug Hickey for a morning fundraiser this coming Sunday and later that day in Portola Valley at a reception hosted by Linda Yates and Paul Holland (who own what TechCrunch dubbed the greenest house in America.) Both events are listed as costing donors $1,000 and up. The big-ticket fundraiser is Sunday in Atherton, an event billed as a roundtable starting at $33,400 per person and benefiting the Democratic Party.

The Clinton Beverly Hills fundraiser we reported on also includes a reception at the home of Cookie and Earvin “Magic” Johnson.

On Aug. 23, Clinton will head up to the Bay Area for a $33,400 “dinner and conversation” at the home of Quinn Delaney and Wayne Jordan in Piedmont and a $2,700 and up lunch the next day at Amy Rao’s home in Redwood City. (She was among Clinton’s die-hard supporters we profiled in Nevada earlier this year.)


On Aug. 24, Clinton attends a $2,700-and-above reception at the home of Apple CEO Tim Cook and Lisa Jackson.


Supporters and proponents of high-profile ballot measures affecting your lungs were in Sacramento Superior Court on Friday asking judges to change what you’ll see in November’s official voter guides.

Opponents of a $2-per-pack cigarette tax hike scored a victory when a judge agreed to force the state to make more explicit in the measure’s official summary that money from the increase is exempt from the state’s strict school funding requirements.


And those on both sides of the measure to legalize recreational marijuana use convinced a judge to dial back their opponents’ claims in the voter guide.


As we previewed Thursday, the Legislature had more than 450 bills to deal with in clearing the so-called suspense file of measures from the Assembly and Senate appropriations committees. Next up, two and a half weeks of activity.

Among the biggest highlights Thursday:


Lawmakers killed a bill to put an excise tax on medical marijuana after advocates for cannabis users said it would put a financial burden on patients.

They punted a proposed $3-billion ballot measure for low-income housing subsidies to the 2018 election, though it still faces a high hurdle to get on the ballot. A supermajority in the Assembly plus Gov. Jerry Brown still need to sign off, and already Brown has expressed opposition.

Legislation could become cheaper in California if the Senate approves two measures that cleared the suspense file.

And scores of other bills were squashed in the flurry, including an effort to make Olympic medals tax free for their California champions and a bill to lower the fine for drivers to roll through a red light while making a right-hand turn.


Keep an eye on our Essential Politics news feed for the latest.


As the California Legislature heads into its last frantic weeks, the politics team put together snapshots of the 10 biggest issues legislators are considering and will track where they are in the legislative process.

Among them are decisions about whether to toughen up sex crime sentences, a reaction to the former Stanford University student who was sentenced to six months in prison for sexual assault. At the same time, legislators are deciding whether to loosen up on Internet poker by making it legal and regulating the game in certain establishments. Another big issue we’re very interested in: Efforts to further regulate medical marijuana just ahead of a November ballot measure that could legalize recreational marijuana throughout the state.


As things progress, we’ll be tracking the current status of particular pieces of legislation, and explaining the backstory behind each as opponents and proponents of the issues maneuver in Sacramento. Follow along with us.


California hasn’t had an open U.S. Senate race in almost a quarter century, and yet this year’s race has been missing in action during a summer full of other political action.

On this week’s California Politics Podcast, John Myers leads a discussion of the seemingly sleepy race between Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris and Orange County Rep. Loretta Sanchez.


Also on this week’s episode: The growing chances of no further big political deals before the Legislature adjourns on Aug. 31.


-- How do Americans view poverty? Many blue-collar whites, key to Trump, criticize poor people as lazy and content to stay on welfare, David Lauter writes. This new poll is a bit of a sequel to the 1985 one that launched this poverty series.

-- Matt Pearce evaluates Trump’s Twitter habits and their effect on the race. And don’t miss our look at how to tell when Trump himself is doing the tweeting.


-- House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi paid her respects at a memorial outside Pulse nightclub in Orlando, where a shooter killed 49 people in June. The San Francisco Democrat was in Florida to campaign for former Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who is facing a difficult primary challenge.

-- Prosecutors have asked a federal judge to send the father of Rep. Ami Bera (D-Elk Grove) to a year in prison for illegally funneling money to his son’s 2010 and 2012 congressional campaigns. Babulal Bera is scheduled to be sentenced in a Sacramento courtroom later this week.

-- Actress Rose McGowan released an open letter blasting the media, Trump and the family of media mogul Rupert Murdoch, saying they are poisoning the public with hateful rhetoric.

-- Lawmakers sent a measure to potentially speed up construction for four Hollywood mega-projects and similar efforts statewide to Brown’s desk.


-- Myers and columnist George Skelton were recognized in the Capitol Weekly Top 100 last week. Brown administration officials topped the list.

-- What do you think of Hillary Clinton? We want to hear from you.

-- Who will win the November election? Give our Electoral College map a spin.



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