Newsletter: Essential Politics: Next stop, the ATM

Essential Politics

Welcome to Essential Politics, a new newsletter from the Los Angeles Times. I’m Christina Bellantoni, assistant managing editor for politics and your host today.

If you’re reading this newsletter, we’re guessing you probably watched at least one of the two debates for the Republican Party presidential candidates hosted by CNN Wednesday at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Museum and Library in Simi Valley. There will be endless hours of highlight reels and key moments. You can find all of that today in this front-page story from Mark Z. Barabak and Seema Mehta, plus this detailed analysis from Cathleen Decker. You can also check out Trail Guide, where Team Politics reported on every single twist and turn for what was the feisty evening we had predicted.

So for this morning’s edition, we’ll instead take a brief look ahead at what’s next for the 15 White House hopefuls following three hours of a prime-time forum and the lively undercard debate.

When you pass an ATM, you might as well get some cash, right? With the candidates in California, they are hitting a host of fundraisers planned for the next few days. (More on just how much cash is coming from the Golden State from our stellar data team here.)

Mehta detailed that Carly Fiorina, who also raised money Tuesday in Southern California, is scheduled to attend a fundraiser Thursday evening at a home in Los Angeles. Among the chairs are former Univision chairman Jerry Perenchio.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush will hit the Central Valley today for a breakfast reception. His wife, Columba, and his son Jeb Jr. raised money on his behalf Tuesday at a luncheon in Los Angeles.

Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky spoke at a fundraiser Tuesday for the San Bernardino County Republican Party.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich is spending his day in Irvine, speaking to a luncheon hosted by the New Majority Orange County.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is sticking around for the California Republican Party Convention in Anaheim as the Friday lunch headliner. We’ll have full coverage of the convention from Team Politics over the weekend.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker had been scheduled to attend a fundraiser for Rep. Ed Royce on Saturday at Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park, but it’s not clear if he will be there. Mehta reported last week Walker bailed on plans to speak at the state party convention.

As for that debate, seriously, our coverage was really good. If you’re still in the mood, check it all out.


— Meanwhile, Vice President Joe Biden was in town at the evening conference of Chinese and American political leaders in downtown L.A. and didn’t miss the opportunity to take a swipe at the GOP candidates assembled 50 miles away, saying some of them — like other Republicans in Congress — continue to deny the reality of climate change. He quipped the GOP politicians also "have denied gravity."

— Biden, by the way, had lunch with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.

— Gov. Jerry Brown talked to President Obama about the wildfires raging in Northern California, and said the president "will be there when we need him." Brown told CNN that "funding is running short," adding, "So the Congress has to take seriously these threats, both flooding but certainly the fires that are costing a billion dollars a year and are probably going to cost more. So, we’ve got a lot to do and these presidential candidates ought to face that."


This is our debut week for the new newsletter, and it’s been a blast hosting all week. I’ll be back Monday morning, because on Fridays, Washington bureau chief David Lauter will be crafting a late-afternoon version. It will focus on the week’s best stories that provide fresh insight on the presidential campaign and other great long reads to take you into the weekend.

Did you miss our explainer about this newsletter Monday? You can go read it here.

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