california

For Nancy Pelosi, a woman is chief
Terri McCullough returns home to the Hill in pinnacle role as speaker’s chief of staff

Terri McCullough, incoming chief of staff for Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is photographed in the Capitol on Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Terri McCullough is coming home.

The 50-year-old San Francisco Bay Area native, who began her career as an intern for Rep. Nancy Pelosi and has spent more than half her life since working for the California Democrat, is returning to the Hill on Monday.

He wrote the background check bill. He also shoots a mean pigeon
Mike Thompson won ‘Top Gun’ at a congressional tournament

Rep. Mike Thompson, D-Calif., talks strategy with Olympic gold medalist Kim Rhode during the 2005 Congressional Shoot-Out in Maryland. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

After demolishing target after target in a hotly contested shooting tournament, Rep. Mike Thompson earned the title of “Top Gun.” He’s owned guns for as long as he can remember, loves a good duck hunt and eats all the meat he kills.

Oh, and he’s also the one who introduced the background check bill poised to pass the House this week.

Kamala Harris wants marijuana legalized, cites her Jamaican roots
California Democrat also says she smoked a joint in college and ‘inhaled’

Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., has said she wants to legalize marijuana at the federal level. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Kamala Harris said Monday that she is in favor of legalizing marijuana at the federal level, pushing back against detractors in her own party who say she has a history of being too aggressive on drug offenders.

The California Democrat is running for president in 2020 and is widely considered a front-runner for the party’s nomination. 

Pelosi holds firm on delaying State of the Union until government reopens
The speaker, asked if she thinks a steel slat fence is the same as a wall, said ”Isn't it all in the president's mind?”

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., speaks at a press conference in the U.S. Capitol on Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Reports: Kamala Harris to launch 2020 presidential run around MLK Day
California Democrat could put campaign headquarters in Baltimore

Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris of California is finalizing plans to announce a 2020 presidential run, multiple outlets have reported. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/Pool file photo)

Sen. Kamala Harris is finalizing plans to announce her entry into the 2020 presidential race around Martin Luther King Day, multiple outlets reported late Wednesday night citing sources close to the California Democrat.

Harris would be the fourth person so far to join the race for the Democratic nomination, though that number is expected to balloon to dozens of candidates by the time campaign season kicks into full swing.

Trump cuts off federal funds to California to fight ‘Forrest fires’
‘Unless they get their act together, which is unlikely,’ president tweets

President Donald Trump escalated his feud with California state leaders on Wednesday, tweeting he has cut off FEMA funds to the state over his view it mismanages the money in fighting forest fires. (Win McNamee/Getty Images file photo)

President Donald Trump on Wednesday said he has ordered FEMA to withhold funds from California’s state government until officials there “get their act together” fighting forest fires. But he tweeted he thinks that is “unlikely.”

The president long has criticized California state officials, sometimes with dubious claims, over wildfires there and their steps to prevent and nix them. But stopping the flow of federal funds is an escalation of the feud, and one that might raise the ire of lawmakers — even the sizable House GOP delegation from the Golden State.

House Primaries on the Horizon for Democrats in 2020
Illinois’ Dan Lipinski is most likely to face intraparty challenge

Rep. Dan Lipinski, D-Ill., narrowly beat back a primary challenge earlier this year. He’s unlikely to go unchallenged in the next cycle, Gonzales writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

We already know the Democratic presidential primary is going to be crowded and crazy as a few dozen candidates battle for the right to take on President Donald Trump.

But at least a handful of 2020 House primaries are also on the horizon for Democrats as the party fights over ideology and loyalty. And there’s still plenty of time for more intraparty races to take shape.

Sen. Kamala Harris Aide Resigns After $400,000 Sexual Harassment Settlement Emerges
California senator did not know about the lawsuit, her office says

A top aide to Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., resigned Wednesday after a settlement for $400,000 over a lawsuit levying gender harassment allegations against him surfaced. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A longtime aide to Sen. Kamala Harris resigned Wednesday after another news publication asked about a $400,000 sexual harassment and retaliation settlement stemming from his time working for the California Department of Justice.

The Sacramento Bee first reported this story.

The Largest Congressional District, Montana’s, Also Had the Highest Turnout
In contrast, California’s 21st District saw fewest number of voters show up

Rep. Greg Gianforte, R-Mont., won a first full-term representing Montana’s at-large district, defeating Democratic opponent Kathleen Williams by 5 points. Above, the two talk at the Crow Fair in Crow Agency, Mont., on Aug. 18. Rep. Bruce Westerman, R-Ark., appears at left. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The turnout for the midterm elections was the highest — 49 percent of those eligible to cast ballots did — since 1914, according to the United States Election Project.

But the enthusiasm was not evenly spread. The number of votes cast in some House districts was much higher than others and it did not depend on the competitiveness of the races.

Judge Sets September Trial Date for Rep. Duncan Hunter
California Republican and his wife are accused of misusing more than $250,000 in campaign funds

A federal judge in California on Monday set a September date for Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter’s trial on charges of misusing campaign funds. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Duncan Hunter will face trial starting September 10, a federal judge in California said Monday.

Hunter and his wife Margaret face 60 federal charges related to spending more than $250,000 in campaign funds on personal expenses such as family vacations and golf outings.