california

Ghirardelli chocolate and Napa Valley wine: Pelosi pays off Warriors-Raptors bet to Trudeau
Consolation prize: Canadian prime minister gives speaker a Raptors championship t-shirt

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau exchange gifts as they settle a wager over the NBA basketball championship series between her Golden State Warriors and his victorious Toronto Raptors on. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

If there wasn’t enough salt in Nancy Pelosi’s wounds after the Toronto Raptors defeated her Golden State Warriors for this year’s NBA championship, she can just steal some from the pistachios she gifted Justin Trudeau. Oh wait, never mind — those are salt-free.

The Speaker held up her end of a “friendly” wager with the Canadian prime minister Thursday when she gave him the basket of all baskets, chock-full of some of California’s finest:

Opponent pounces after Duncan Hunter’s wife switches to guilty plea
“Those who know Hunter the most, trust him the least,” Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar says

Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar is seeking a rematch against GOP Rep. Duncan Hunter in California’s 50th District. (Thomas McKinless/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Democrat challenging indicted Rep. Duncan Hunter went on the attack Thursday after the California Republican’s wife entered a guilty plea in the federal campaign finance case against her and her husband. 

Margaret Hunter pleaded guilty Thursday to a single count of conspiracy to misuse campaign funds, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported. The plea comes with a sentence of up to five years and a fine of $250,000. 

Rep. Duncan Hunter’s wife to plead out in case against the couple

The wife of Rep. Duncan Hunter will plead out in the federal case against them. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Margaret Hunter, wife of California Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter, has agreed to change her plea of not guilty in the federal campaign finance case against her and her husband.

The couple were indicted last summer for allegedly using $250,000 in campaign funds for personal expenses and covering their tracks in campaign finance filings to the Federal Election Commission.

Ben Carson says Rep. Katie Porter asked ‘Ha! Gotcha!’ questions. She said it was ‘not a joke’
Porter: ‘Start by sending me answers for the American people, not cookies’

Rep. Katie Porter garnered headlines when Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson answered her question about REOs: “Oreo?” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Katie Porter sparred with Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson on Twitter on Wednesday after Carson dismissed his headline-grabbing misunderstanding during testimony as “silly.”

Carson was accused of incompetence in May while testifying to the House Financial Services Committee when he did not recognize a common abbreviation used to describe government-owned foreclosed properties. 

It’s not just the citizenship question. 2020 census faces other woes
From cybersecurity concerns to untested methods, last-minute hurdles remain

The 2020 census is not the first to face last-minute challenges. Problems with handheld electronics during the 2010 census required the bureau to reintroduce paper enumeration. (Mario Tama/Getty Images file photo)

A project meant to be a decade in preparation, the 2020 census, still faces a number of uncertainties, which experts warn could lead to an inaccurate count with potentially large impacts on federal spending and congressional maps.

Though a pending Supreme Court decision over a citizenship question has dominated much of the conversation surrounding the census, other hurdles include the Census Bureau’s overall funding, cybersecurity concerns and untested methods.

Freshman lashes out after House ethics rules bar promoting bone marrow drive
Rep. Katie Porter says rules favor lobbyists and interests over ‘ordinary people’

Rep. Katie Porter, D-Calif., is frustrated that House ethics rules prohibit her from promoting bone marrow donor drives that could save a constituent's life. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

When a seriously ill constituent asked if Rep. Katie Porter could raise awareness of potentially life-saving bone marrow drives in her Southern California district this month, a simple constituent service turned into a sticky House ethics issue.

Now Porter is questioning whether rules designed to prevent misuse of taxpayer dollars need to be reviewed.

House passes plus-upped disaster aid package

Relief for Puerto Rico after deadly hurricanes is among the issues hanging up a broader disaster aid package in Congress. (Angel Valentin/Getty Images)

The House passed a $19.1 billion disaster aid package to help victims of recent storms and flooding rebuild, with the price tag growing by about $1.8 billion on the floor through amendments to add funds for repairing damaged military facilities, highways, levees, dams and more.

The vote was 257-150, with 34 Republicans crossing the aisle to support the bill drafted by the Democratic majority. President Donald Trump and GOP leaders tried to tamp down defections on the bill, which they oppose because it would pump more money into Puerto Rico, which hasn’t yet been able to spend much of the $20 billion previously appropriated after 2017′s Hurricane Maria.

States spend big on make-or-break 2020 census
California has already allocated $100 million as citizenship question looms

People gather outside the Supreme Court in April to protest the Trump administration’s census citizenship question. The question will lead to inaccurate population counts, opponents say. (Win McNamee/Getty Images file photo)

Freed from the budget constraints that dogged them during the last census and with a growing understanding of what accurate population counts mean for the possibility of federal dollars, states are spending at an unprecedented rate on efforts to boost census outreach.

California has already allocated more than $100 million on efforts aimed at getting all its residents counted in the 2020 census. No state approaches that total, but 10 others have enacted laws to spend a total of $31.7 million to make sure as many residents as possible are counted, according to data from the National Conference of State Legislatures.

California remains ground zero for data privacy fight
New law seeks to define internet users’ rights

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra will be tasked with rulemaking for the state’s first-in-the-nation data privacy law. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Gov. Jerry Brown signed it almost a year ago, but it’s still unclear what California’s first-in-the-nation data privacy law will look like in practice. 

The law was the first in the United States to attempt to define internet users’ rights over their personal data that companies often sell for marketing purposes. But ahead of the law’s Jan. 1, 2020, implementation date, the state is still grappling with the balance between consumer protection and a light regulatory approach that has allowed the tech sector to become a major part of the California economy.

California Democrats brand attack by Duncan Hunter campaign ‘racist’
Republican renewed effort to tar challenger Campa-Najjar as ‘national security threat’

Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., faces condemnation from two Democratic members of the California delegation. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A California lawmaker ripped Rep. Duncan Hunter for relying on a “racist” campaign strategy by repeatedly describing his challenger, who has Palestinian heritage, as a “national security threat.”

Democrat Rep. Mike Levin called on the Hunter campaign to stop relying on anti-Muslim conspiracy theories to undercut his challenger in the 2020 race, Ammar Campa-Najjar.