The San Francisco Bay Space has performed host this week to an uncommon dose of worldwide diplomacy — in addition to a really typical spherical of political fundraising.

President Biden and Chinese language President Xi Jinping met Wednesday in Silicon Valley, vowing to scale back tensions between the world’s two greatest superpowers. The leaders agreed to renew communications among the many two nation’s navy leaders and crack down on exports of the chemical substances used to make fentanyl.

Gov. Gavin Newsom didn’t have a task on the Biden-Xi confab, regardless of his personal current assembly with the Chinese language president in Beijing. At a reception later that night, although, Biden gave Newsom fairly a toast: “He’s been one hell of a governor, man. Matter of truth, he may very well be something he desires. He might have the job I’m searching for.”

The high-profile occasions are all tied to the Asia-Pacific Financial Cooperation summit, which has attracted leaders from greater than a dozen nations and executives from a slew of main companies to downtown San Francisco all week. The town spent days cleansing up for the massive occasion — the most important gathering of world leaders in San Francisco because the UN constitution was signed in 1945 — and reactions from locals ranged from pleasure to protest.

The night time earlier than assembly with Xi, Biden held a reelection fundraiser in San Francisco that included a who’s-who of California politicos. Newsom and Vice President Kamala Harris attended the occasion that was hosted by Clint Reilly, an actual property developer and longtime political strategist. Additionally there: former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, present San Francisco Mayor London Breed and Jeffrey Katzenberg, the Hollywood mogul and Democratic megadonor who’s a co-chair of Biden’s reelection marketing campaign.

The Bay Space is at all times a wealthy supply of marketing campaign funds for Democrats, however with Hollywood’s strikes now over, political fundraising is anticipated to quickly return to L.A. too. Prepare for California to renew the total energy of its position as America’s political ATM.

I’m Laurel Rosenhall, The Occasions’ Sacramento bureau chief, bringing you the most important information this week in California politics:

Responsible verdict in Pelosi assault

Paul Pelosi and an intruder in an image from police body-cam footage.

Police body-cam footage captured Paul Pelosi preventing for management of a hammer along with his assailant on Oct. 28, 2022.

(Related Press)

David DePape was discovered responsible this morning on federal fees of trying to kidnap former U.S. Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi and assaulting her husband with a hammer after he broke into the couple’s San Francisco residence final yr.

The jury spent a day deliberating the 2 federal fees earlier than reaching their verdict, concluding a high-profile and, at instances, weird trial that lasted solely 4 days, Hannah Wiley experiences from the San Francisco courtroom.

DePape sat quietly beside his attorneys as the decision was learn, however didn’t outwardly react to the choice. He faces as much as a mixed 50 years in jail.

The fascinating trial featured a shocking argument from protection attorneys. They by no means disputed that DePape “did horrible issues” and “dedicated severe crimes,” Wiley wrote. As an alternative, they centered on his motivation to argue that he’s not responsible of the federal fees.

To land a conviction, prosecutors needed to show past an affordable doubt that DePape’s actions had been motivated by Pelosi’s official duties in Congress. His attorneys argued that as an alternative, he was impressed by elaborate and baseless conspiracy theories that will have appeared “bogus” however had been nonetheless his deeply held beliefs.

In closing arguments, a public defender mentioned the case was not a “who executed it,” however a “why executed it.”

The prosecution argued that Pelosi’s position as a public official was a central motive DePape tried to kidnap her after which attacked her husband with a hammer when he found she was not at residence. Jurors heard parts of a recorded police interview during which DePape mentioned he thought of Pelosi Democrats’ “chief of the pack,” and claimed he would “break her kneecaps” if she didn’t admit to corruption and different unfounded claims of human trafficking and little one abuse by public figures.

“She was the speaker of the U.S. Home of Representatives,” a prosecutor mentioned. “She was the pinnacle of the Democratic Get together within the Home. That was her job. And due to her job, the defendant focused her.”

These tales have extra particulars on the trial’s most compelling moments:

Rural Latino voters really feel ignored

Workers make their way down rows of strawberry plants.

Farmworkers choose strawberries in Salinas in September 2023.

(Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Occasions)

As California hurtles towards one other monumental election, many Latino voters in a rural nook of the state really feel neglected, Occasions political reporter Benjamin Oreskes discovered on a current journey to Salinas. He talked to a lettuce packing firm worker who has voted since changing into a citizen in 1998 and knew that Sen. Dianne Feinstein had died. However he had no thought who was working to interchange her — despite the fact that one of many candidates, Rep. Adam B. Schiff, had simply swung by means of city.

Candidates want to indicate up, marketing campaign in Spanish and hone a message that focuses on alternative for individuals who got here to this nation in search of a greater life, many individuals advised The Occasions.

“Our communities typically don’t get a variety of focus and a focus. Loads of the statewide candidates are specializing in giant city areas,” mentioned Luis Alejo, chair of Monterey County Board of Supervisors — who hasn’t endorsed within the Senate race but.

“Amongst all the highest candidates, I’ve but to see any of them have a direct message for Latino voters. None of them have come out with a powerful message to cater to Latino voters to talk to what their wants are. In contrast to a number of the previous elections, I believe they should come out with a very working class, financial plan.”

Learn extra on this article: California’s rural Latino voters feed the nation, however starvation for recognition by Senate candidates

Democrats divided over driverless automobiles

Gov. Gavin Newsom stands next to a red Tesla.

Gov. Gavin Newsom excursions a Tesla manufacturing facility final month in Shanghai.

(Laurel Rosenhall / Los Angeles Occasions)

Once I was in China final month protecting Newsom’s journey to develop clear power partnerships, the governor made some fascinating feedback as he exited the Tesla manufacturing facility in Shanghai. He started expressing actual pleasure about developments in autonomous automobile know-how and advised reporters he envisions a future in California the place the “complete transportation system is totally reorganized” by driverless automobiles and flying taxis.

“I believe it’s going to come back very quick,” Newsom mentioned. “With AI particularly aiding this development, I believe it’s simply going to blow up and also you’re going to start out seeing driverless flying automobiles as effectively.”

These feedback struck me as a result of in Newsom’s hometown of San Francisco, the explosive progress of driverless automobiles has been a serious political flashpoint — even earlier than a Cruise robotaxi dragged an individual down the road and the DMV suspended the corporate’s permits. Since then, rigidity over the know-how has additionally erupted in Los Angeles, the place Mayor Karen Bass is pushing for the metropolis to have extra say in regulating driverless taxis.

You may learn extra concerning the governor’s effusive feedback on autonomous automobiles — and the way his views put him in battle with many fellow Democrats — on this article I wrote: Gavin Newsom is mesmerized by the expansion of driverless automobiles. Different California Democrats, not a lot

PS: In case “driverless flying automobiles” seems like faux information to you, they had been on show this week on the Asian Pacific Financial Cooperation convention in San Francisco.

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Maintaining with California politics

Florida Democrats’ lesson for California: Don’t take anybody’s assist as a right
New polling within the 2024 presidential contest exhibits that Latino voters particularly are much less keen about Biden than they had been 4 years in the past and are supporting Trump in bigger numbers.

Contained in the world’s largest AIDS charity’s troubled transfer into homeless housing
In 2018 and 2020, the AIDS Healthcare Basis poured a mixed $64 million into poll measures to increase hire management throughout California, marketing campaign finance information present. The inspiration is now sponsoring a 3rd initiative for the 2024 poll. However a Occasions investigation has discovered that most of the 1,300 residents who reside in buildings owned and operated by the muse dwell in squalid circumstances, with dozens underneath the specter of eviction.

Why Hollywood political donations are on account of spike
President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris have been largely unable to lift marketing campaign cash from California’s donor-rich leisure trade this yr on account of strikes by writers and actors.

Freeway closure and snarled visitors pose a contemporary political take a look at for Mayor Bass
The closure of a significant piece of civic infrastructure presents a brand new, doubtlessly thorny problem for Mayor Karen Bass. A lot of what occurs subsequent — repairs to a state-maintained freeway, presumably utilizing federal {dollars} — will probably be out of her direct management. However that doesn’t imply she received’t be held accountable.

Kevin McCarthy foe accuses former speaker of ‘sucker punch’ elbow in Capitol hallway
Tennessee Rep. Tim Burchett accused former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield), whom he helped oust from the publish final month, of elbowing him in a Capitol Hill hallway on Tuesday. McCarthy denied the cost, telling reporters that he “didn’t shove or elbow him, it’s a good hallway.” Burchett insisted that McCarthy hit him intentionally, telling reporters that he “can nonetheless really feel it.”

Column: It’s about time California constructed the Websites Reservoir
California’s state authorities started drawing up plans for Websites Reservoir within the Sacramento Valley 70 years in the past. And it nonetheless solely exists on paper. So, kudos to Gov. Gavin Newsom for deciding that it’s lastly time to place this tardy challenge on the quick observe, writes columnist George Skelton.

Column: Newsom will get no California love for his political ambitions. Possibly he ought to attempt elsewhere
California’s governor will not be working for president. Take him at his phrase, writes columnist Mark Z. Barabak. Nonetheless, the gallivanting governor has acted very very like a presidential candidate, striding the worldwide stage and trolling the GOP’s White Home contestants every time he has the prospect. Possibly he’s positioning himself for a run after his time period ends in January 2027. Both method, California voters usually are not happy.

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