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POLITICS


One wants to end the death penalty. The other thinks capital punishment is just. One campaigned for tax increases that the other opposed. One tried to put Hillary Clinton in the White House. The other helped elect President George W. Bush. What both men believe, however, is that Latinos—California’s largest ethnic group—suffer disproportionate levels of poverty in part because they barely turn out to vote. That common ground helps form the basis of an unlikely political alliance that could shape the 2018 race to determine the next governor of California. Democrat Antonio Villaraigosa—a former mayor of Los Angeles and speaker of the Assembly—has hired a Republican political consultant to work on his campaign to become California governor.

It’s an example of how the The Legislature’s exemption from the Whistleblower Protection Act has garnered attention in recent weeks, as a groundswell of women complaining of pervasive sexual harassment in the state Capitol publicly call for such protections for legislative employees. But the whistleblower act isn’t the only area of the law in which the Legislature has demonstrated a “do as I say, not as I do” mentality.

Twice  this week, the Democratic candidates in the 2018 California governor’s race assembled to discuss state issues—and largely agree. But there are a few issues where there’s a sliver of daylight between the candidates.

This weekend the rank-and-file of the state’s second favorite political party are descending upon the Anaheim Marriott in Orange County to rub elbows, pass bylaws, cheer keynote speaker/bomb-thrower Steve Bannon, and formulate a strategy to attempt to re-take political power in California. Or barring that, to at least reclaim political relevance. We speak, of course, of California Republicans.

Gov. Jerry Brown is famously enigmatic, a difficult-to-predict politician who said decades ago that he likes to “paddle a little bit on the left side, then… a little bit on the right.” But every year he drops clues to his governing approach in a raft of letters he writes to the Legislature detailing why he’s vetoed certain bills. Together, they offer a window into the governor’s mind.

There’s sometimes a fine line between good governance and trolling. One of this year’s most controversial—if not quite as consequential—state bills is a proposal by Democratic Sen. Mike McGuire of Healdsburg that would require presidential candidates to release their tax returns before they can appear on a California ballot. Proponents insist this is simply about providing voters with necessary information about any and all presidential candidates. Did you have one in mind?

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