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Newsletter: Essential Politics: A backlash to the California ‘resistance,’ even as the fight continues

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Essential Politics
(LAT)

Few states have thumbed a collective nose at President Trump more than California. But when it comes to the self-styled “resistance” of new federal policies, not everyone is on board.

ORANGE COUNTY: RESISTING THE ‘RESISTANCE’

The Republican-led Orange County Board of Supervisors not only disagrees with California’s new effort to limit local law enforcement’s communication with federal immigration officers, it’s willing to say so in court.

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On Tuesday, supervisors voted to join the lawsuit against the state filed earlier this month by Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions.

The decision came on the heels of an even more defiant stance from what’s historically been one of California’s most conservative urban communities — a place where demographic change may be clashing with political reality.

And speaking of reality: On Monday, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department began publicly releasing a list of of jail inmates — including those in the country illegally.

“We have an obligation to safeguard our community, and we will use every tool available to help hold criminals accountable,” Undersheriff Don Barnes said.

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MEANWHILE, BACK AT THE ‘RESISTANCE,’ THERE’S THE CENSUS

California’s attorney general and its chief elections officer both came out swinging on Tuesday at the late decision by federal officials to add a single question to the 2020 census: Are you an American citizen?

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross gave the go-ahead to the question on Monday night, even though former Census Bureau directors warned it could limit participation.

In California, state Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra quickly filed a lawsuit to block the action. At issue are federal dollars divvied up by population data and the once-a-decade apportionment of seats in the U.S. House of Representatives based on population. Smaller numbers from California could hit the state hard on both fronts.

NO TIME TO COMMENT ON THE ‘STORMY’ CLOUDS

Saying the president “has a country to run,” a White House spokesperson on Tuesday suggested Trump doesn’t have time to comment on the allegations made by adult film actress Stormy Daniels.

The actress’ accusations were presented in detail Sunday on “60 Minutes” and gave the show its biggest audience since 2008.

On Monday, Daniels took aim at Trump’s longtime attorney, Michael Cohen. Her updated lawsuit says the pact orchestrated by Cohen was an unlawful scheme to cover up the $130,000 payment that Daniels received 11 days before the November 2016 presidential election.

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Cohen set up a shell company to pay Daniels, who says it was effectively a campaign donation to keep voters from learning of Trump’s extramarital affair.

NATIONAL POLITICS LIGHTNING ROUND

-- The U.S. and South Korea have reached an agreement in principle to amend a decade-old free-trade pact that President Trump used to call “horrible” and a “disaster” — his first such deal, albeit a modest one.

-- Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens called for the repeal of the 2nd Amendment on Tuesday to allow for significant gun control legislation.

-- Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, blamed Russia on Tuesday for supporting Syrian President Bashar Assad and playing a “central role in the bombing of Syrian civilians into submission.

-- So far, 59 Capitol Hill lawmakers have announced their departures, the most since 1994, which was a tsunami of a midterm election. But is a Democratic wave really coming?

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE’S INTERIM PLAN TO RELEASE MISCONDUCT RECORDS

As lawmakers in Sacramento continue to work on long-term changes to sexual harassment policies, legislative leaders have decided to be more proactive for the time being in the release of some internal records.

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In a response to concerns from the state Capitol press corps, Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood) announced on Tuesday a policy to begin a more proactive release of some records. The decision means that journalists won’t have to file requests for public records on some of the investigations of lawmakers or senior staff.

TODAY’S ESSENTIALS

-- California’s Department of Justice will oversee a Sacramento police investigation into the shooting death of Stephon Clark, the unarmed black man who was killed by officers during a vandalism investigation.

-- The Los Angeles City Council voted Tuesday to oppose state legislation allowing residential buildings of four to eight stories on streets near public transit, despite objections from business leaders and groups that favor higher-density housing.

-- The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California will review details of a proposal to foot much of the bill to construct two delta water tunnels proposed by Gov. Jerry Brown.

-- Meet the reclusive Silicon Valley man who’s behind an online effort to push California toward single-payer healthcare.

-- Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens) faced rebukes from fellow Democrats after she acknowledged using a homophobic slur.

-- Who stole 31 handguns from a Compton city vault? Federal authorities are investigating.

-- Uber will not renew its permit to test autonomous vehicles on California public roads when it expires Saturday.

LOGISTICS

Essential Politics is published Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

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