Essential Politics: When Pride gets political

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The storied Los Angeles Pride Parade this weekend — a protest march, complete with a hashtag in its name: the #ResistMarch.

I’m . Welcome to the Monday edition of Essential Politics.

Among the speakers at the event, which drew tens of thousands waving protest signs along with rainbow flags, were Democratic California Reps. of Burbank, of Los Angeles and San Francisco’s , the minority leader.

Waters . Schiff said President Trump lacked “basic human decency,” and addressed the shift in this year’s event. “This year we are proud as ever, but we are also mad as hell,” he said.

Schiff, of course, has been attracting a lot of attention lately as the ranking Democrat on the House Select Committee on Intelligence, one of the panels taking on .

Several bits of news emerged over the weekend related to the probe.

The House Intelligence Committee has requested the president provide any tapes, “to the extent they exist now,” by June 23. Trump, of course, has offered to testify under oath to rebut former FBI Director ’s account.

Trump Comey “cowardly.”

A defense lawyer for Trump said the president with special counsel ’s investigation. Jay Sekulow, appearing on Sunday talk shows, declined to rule out ordering at some later date the firing of the widely praised Mueller.

Meanwhile, fired U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said that sounded a lot like . “I’m not the FBI director, but I was the chief federal law enforcement officer in Manhattan with jurisdiction over a lot of things including, you know, business interests and other things in New York.”

We’ve got a running , detailing important moments that have more than one account of what happened.

And in coming attractions, Atty. Gen. announced to clear up some of the things Comey said the FBI had learned about his meetings with Russian diplomats.

Some things to keep in mind: , saying he wanted to answer questions raised by Comey’s testimony. Given reports about Sessions’ standing in the White House at the moment, it’s another intriguing twist.

Join us as we cover it all live on .


Thursday’s hearing attracted viewers. Among the senators making headlines were California’s own Dianne Feinstein and .

As Colleen Shalby reports, Harris and Senate Democrats’ campaign arm off of a moment Wednesday when two male senators interrupted the freshman senator’s questioning.

Feinstein had a noteworthy exchange with Comey, telling the 6-foot-8-inch-tall panel witness: “. I know the Oval Office, and I know what happens to people when they walk in. There is a certain amount of intimidation. But why didn’t you stop and say, ‘Mr. President, this is wrong – I cannot discuss that with you’?”

Comey’s reply? “Maybe if I were stronger, I would have.”


Two stories this week underscore the challenges ahead for a party that seemingly would have an advantage, given the Trump White House’s struggles and the president’s tanking popularity figures.

is made up of young, angry people who reflect a national disaffection with Trump and the Republican agenda that could propel a wave of victories. But, as Evan Halper reports on today’s front page, that’s only if party leaders can figure out how to channel it.

And California is viewed as the centerpoint of the liberal resistance to Trump, but top Democrats are worrying that in a state party race may fracture their membership and undercut their message, Phil Willon and Seema Mehta reported on Friday’s front page.


In the 2018 governor’s race, is getting more and more aggressive in attacking rival . The former L.A. mayor says the lieutenant governor bases decisions not on principle, but on “polls or popular whim,” Michael Finnegan reports. Villaraigosa’s latest shots at Newsom on Saturday.


By all accounts, Jimmy Gomez’s win over Robert Lee Ahn in last week’s 34th Congressional District runoff was a rout. Gomez was up 60-40 over Ahn by the end of the night, and Ahn called his opponent to concede well before 11 p.m. Tuesday.

Gomez said he woke up the next morning wondering if it was all a dream. “I’m still the community college kid with immigrant parents,” Gomez told Christine Mai-Duc .

On Thursday, Ahn’s campaign sent out a statement if he received a surge in provisional and mail ballots that hadn’t been tallied. By Friday, with all but about 1,700 ballots counted, and Ahn’s campaign aides said they were “satisfied” with the result.

Meanwhile, Gomez reflected on for his family and what his plans are as he prepares to head to Washington. One of his first orders of business, Gomez said, was to , particularly neighborhoods that , to get an idea of their needs and build relationships.


The state released new data last week on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The numbers show a small reduction in emissions in 2015, and provided more evidence that California will need to pick up the pace to meet an ambitious goal by 2030.

Meantime, state officials say with emissions-cutting measures despite the Trump administration’s move this week to delay implementation of Obama-era limits on ozone, the lung-searing gas in smog.


Lawmakers in Sacramento have the ultimate incentive this week to get their work done on time: A late state budget means they don’t get paid.

The deadline for a spending plan to be sent to Gov. ’s desk is Thursday night, and while , a few key issues remain, Sacramento Bureau Chief reports.

Tops on that list: How to spend $1.3 billion in new tobacco tax dollars. Lawmakers and advocates spent the weekend negotiating the final points of a compromise. Brown has insisted the money be spent broadly on the state’s Medi-Cal program, while backers of the tax (which was approved by voters last year) want it to spent on payments to doctors and dentists who treat Medi-Cal patients.

Among the things we do know: A plan to spend $400 million on low-income housing . The final plan does, however include . It’s not as much as Brown originally wanted, but his administration said it’s enough to keep the projects on track.

Keep an eye on for the very latest from Sacramento all week.


A new state-sponsored economic study projects a future legal marijuana market so vast that it will help make California a destination for pot-loving tourists from around the world. Patrick McGreevy .


For years, Uber and Lyft have been quickly and steadily eroding the taxi industry. Cabs, which have notoriously tough governmental regulations especially compared to ride-hailing, now have been thrown a lifeline from a state lawmaker. Assemblyman Evan Low (D-Campbell) wants to loosen taxi regulations as a way to help cabs compete. But, as Liam Dillon reports, .


A new poll finds the tax hikes in California’s $52-billion transportation plan signed into law in April — the kind of opposition that could provide badly needed fuel to the state’s ailing Republicans.

In his Sunday column, Myers takes a look at how a relatively small amount of campaign cash could put . It might give Republican candidates, who otherwise may be mired in all things Trump, a chance to change the conversation.

In related news, the Legislative Analyst’s Office lawmakers create accountability measures for spending the gas tax proceeds.


— On , the wrangling over a new state budget takes center stage. And the panel raises an interesting point about the 2018 race for governor: How long do second-tier candidates really have to make their move?

— With the Ahn vs. Gomez contest over, the campaign to replace Gomez in the 51st Assembly District can begin in earnest. Former CA34 candidate Wendy Carrillo for Gomez’s seat.

— L.A. Rep. to impeach Trump last week.

— David Savage has your quick look at the most interesting of the Supreme Court’s, including disputes over religion, free speech and immigration that could have broad significance.

— Becerra argued Thursday that Trump has no legal authority to revoke or modify national monuments created by previous administrations. “to take any and all legal action necessary” to preserve six California monuments, including one in Los Angeles’ backyard, that the Trump Administration may attempt to revoke or shrink.


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