I'm Christina Bellantoni. Today's Essential Politics starts with a presidential campaign speed-read.
Chris Megerian reports from Oregon that if Bernie Sanders wins the state's primary on Tuesday, his victory will have been secured back in April. That's when his campaign launched a statewide effort to get unaffiliated voters to sign up as Democrats in hopes of breaking a trend: There have been eight closed primaries so far this year, and Hillary Clinton has won all of them.
Kurtis Lee took a look at some potential running mates for Donald Trump and details their willingness to consider joining him.
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said Sunday that Trump would have to answer for allegations about repeatedly disrespecting women, but deflected concerns that it posed a major challenge for his presidential candidacy.
Mark Z. Barabak and Melanie Mason explored the continued resistance Trump faces from GOP donors, grass-roots activists and other party loyalists in many of the battleground states he needs to win the White House.
Some Republicans who are most dismayed by Trump's rise are expecting him to lose the general election, and hoping the party fundamentally reevaluates itself in his wake, Noah Bierman reports. With the Republican Party enmeshed in a generational struggle over its identity, the debates already have begun over what a post-Trump party would look like.
A REALLY LONG BALLOT
While the presidential race is likely to be the thing driving California voters to the polls on Nov. 8, they will face one of the longest lists of ballot measures in decades. John Myers reports that as many as 18 propositions will appear on the fall ballot — everything from condom use for porn stars to reforming the death penalty.
ON THE BALLOT NEXT MONTH
Patrick McGreevy reports on the measure that will appear on the June 7 primary ballot for voters statewide, a response to the 2014 scandals that tarnished the California Legislature's reputation. Former legislators Leland Yee and Ronald Calderon continued to draw paychecks as they fought corruption charges. Proposition 50 would allow lawmakers to withhold pay from their suspended colleagues.
BUDGET TALKS BEGIN
One month and counting for legislators to send Gov. Jerry Brown a budget for the state's new fiscal year. Today, the home stretch of negotiations begin, and Brown has a simple message for his fellow Democrats: Hold the line.
"Right now, the surging tide of revenue is beginning to turn," the governor said on Friday.
State GOP lawmakers liked Brown's emphasis on fiscal restraint in the budget and worried more about their Democratic colleagues in the Legislature pushing for more spending.
The governor did give his blessing to a $2-billion measure to help homeless people find housing. Gale Holland and Abby Sewell have the the details on how the proposal would work and the hurdles it faces.
Even with the state housing costs continuing to spiral upward, Brown resisted calls from Assembly Democrats to spend money on affordable housing subsidies. Instead, he said he had a better idea.
Brown is proposing a new package of legislation to ease restrictions on affordable housing development by making it easier to get permits. His hope is that developers will build more homes and help alleviate the housing crunch with more supply. Liam Dillon explains how the governor plans to do it and what the opposition will be.
THE PENNY-PINCHER IN SACRAMENTO
Brown has his costly priorities — the multibillion-dollar bullet train project among them — but when it comes to crafting the state's budget, he's a spendthrift, George Skelton writes in his Monday column. The governor's penny-pinching ways have earned him many fans over the years, and have helped burnish his reputation as a prudent, conservative spender.
As the budget negotiations continue, keep an eye on our Essential Politics news feed.
(SOME OF) CALIFORNIA'S 55 MEMBERS OF CONGRESS TAKE SIDES
Sarah D. Wire reports that about half of the Republicans in California's U.S. House delegation aren't ready to say Trump is their guy. Like others in the GOP, several California lawmakers couch their support by saying only that they will be for the "Republican nominee."
For California Democrats, all but four back Clinton. Wire talked with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Reps. Barbara Lee, Alan Lowenthal and Norma Torres about why they aren't ready to publicly support either Clinton or Sanders, who is popular but lagging in delegates.
Search our database to see whom your member of Congress supports, and if they plan to attend their party's national convention this summer.
Several members are skipping the conventions, including Rep. Duncan Hunter, even though he was one of Trump's earliest Congressional supporters and a convention delegate.
CALIFORNIA SENATE RACE HITS AIRWAVES
Cathleen Decker writes in her Sunday column what the language and imagery in the ads say about the voters each is trying to court, and why Elizabeth Warren will be seen on a California TV screen near you.
FELONS IN THE MEDICAL MARIJUANA TRADE
With more than $30 million in annual sales, Steve DeAngelo's Harborside Health Center in Oakland may be the largest medical marijuana dispensary in the U.S. Under a new law, the "ganjapreneur," who was once convicted of a drug felony, will have to get a state license by 2018. But the state can reject applications from those with such crimes on their records. Industry leaders say the requirement could put many in the medical pot trade out of business, McGreevy reports.
POLITICS PODCAST: BREAKING DOWN THE BUDGET
On this week's California Politics Podcast, Myers leads a discussion on some of the broader themes in the governor's new budget.
One key point: Brown has spent five years staking out a philosophy about state spending more akin to Republicans than his fellow Democrats. And odds are this year won't be any different.
— Brown vetoed a bill that would have required disclosure of which companies are lobbying for state government contracts. Brown said in his veto message that there already are enough laws to provide the public with information, so the bill was not necessary.
— Megerian reported from a Wiccan prayer circle for Sanders in Oregon.
— Mason lays out the many errors on Trump's California delegate list.
— Voters will have a chance to decide this fall if cigarette taxes should increase $2 per pack.
— Senate Republican candidate George "Duf" Sundheim admitted he made a mistake in his attack on Harris during Tuesday's debate in San Diego.
— Christina Aguilera, Andra Day, John Legend, Ricky Martin and Stevie Wonder are slated to perform at a Hillary Clinton event on June 6 at the Greek Theatre.
— Kate Linthicum writes how Trump's candidacy has helped embolden those who favor stricter immigration enforcement at the local level. In Indiana and more than a dozen other states, lawmakers have pushed legislation targeting immigrants in the country without legal authorization as the Republican billionaire has thrust the issue into the spotlight.
— Stephen Battaglio tees up Tuesday's Megyn Kelly-Trump rematch.
— "We should use our opinions to start discussions, not to end them," Madeline Albright, who faced protesters ahead of her appearance at Scripps over the weekend, told graduates.
— Nigel Duara explains why Arizona has so many problems with voting.
— Doyle McManus explores election forecasting in the age of Trump.
— The Times Editorial Board has endorsed Nanette Barragan in the race to replace Rep. Janice Hahn, who is running for supervisor.
— What do you think of Trump? Readers can weigh in with our quick survey.