California Politics Podcast: Gov. Jerry Brown strikes a careful tone in Washington


Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) on Saturday implored President Trump to be truthful, saying “presidential credibility, once squandered, may never be fully regained."

Schiff, who had a busy week as ranking Democrat on the House Select Committee on Intelligence, used the weekly Democratic address to lay out details of the committee’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, but ended with a plea directly to Trump.

Americans and U.S. allies need to be able to believe Trump if he says there is an international crisis, such as North Korea placing a nuclear weapon on a ballistic missile, Schiff warned. He added that Trump has chosen "two superb people" in Defense Secretary James N. Mattis and National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster.

“Seek their counsel. Listen to what they have to say," Schiff said. “And cherish the trust and hope that was placed in you by virtue of your office, by never again advancing claims that you know — or should know – are simply not true."

The weekly address is delivered by a different member of the minority party each week and is meant as a response to the president’s weekly speech.

Congressional candidate Kenneth Mejia raised 90% of his money from small donors in the most recent campaign finance filing.

More than 17% of individual contributions to all candidates in the 34th Congressional District came in small donations of less than $200, according to the latest campaign finance reports.

The reports, which cover fundraising and spending between Jan. 1 and March 15, show that more than $250,000 of the $1.4 million raised by the candidates in the race came from un-itemized small donors, or those who gave less than $200 and are not named in campaign finance reports.

Three candidates who raised a significant chunk of money from small donations were Arturo Carmona, Wendy Carrillo and Kenneth Mejia, all of whom are vying for votes from supporters of former presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, who has preached the need to rid politics of special interest money.

Many of the candidates have sent email pitches to supporters asking for donations of $10, $20 or $27, the amount made famous by Sanders, who often cited the number as the average donation given to his presidential campaign.

Carmona, a former Sanders campaign advisor, raised the most in small donations, with $57,125, or 52% of his total. Small donors gave Carrillo $25,948, about 32% of her fundraising total and Mejia, an accountant and Green Party candidate, received nearly 90% of his total funds, or $31,957, in amounts of $200 or less.

Federal law does not require candidates to itemize, or report the names of, donors who give below that amount.

Alejandra Campoverdi raised $44,210 from small donors, who made up 28% of her haul, while Raymond Meza raised 48%, or $14,764 of his money from small-dollar contributions.


7:45 p.m. This post was updated to clarify that the numbers reported are based on un-itemized donations of $200 or less to candidates.

Robert Lee Ahn, left, and Vanessa Aramayo, second from left, join the other candidates for the 34th Congressional District.

Congressional candidate Robert Lee Ahn far outstripped some of the top fundraisers in the 34th Congressional District, taking a surprise lead in campaign finance reports filed Thursday.

The reports cover fundraising and spending between Jan. 1 and March 15 and will be the last numbers we’ll have before the April 4 primary election, in which 24 candidates are running.

Ahn, a former L.A. city planning commissioner, raised a whopping $338,702 in contributions and loaned himself an additional $295,000, bringing his total to more than $630,000 raised since January. Ahn, an attorney and the only Korean American candidate in the race for a district that includes Koreatown, got more than $100,000 in contributions from donors with Korean surnames.

The closest behind Ahn was Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez, who raised $244,766 over the same period, the majority of it from political action committees, including many donations from fellow legislators in Sacramento. Sara Hernandez, a former teacher and L.A. City Hall aide, was close behind Gomez with $224,783 raised. Alejandra Campoverdi, a former White House staffer and former Los Angeles Times employee, raised $156,432.

Ahn has also spent the most money so far this year, at $352,538, and has $271,271 in the bank, more than any other candidate. Gomez ended the period with $274,830 cash on hand, while Hernandez and Campoverdi have $149,990 and $122,961 left to spend, respectively.

Then-state Sen. Isadore Hall III, left, talks with Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León in Sacramento last year. Rep. Steve Knight (Marl Ralston / AFP/Getty Images)

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