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March 21, 2014 | By Seema Mehta
One of four gubernatorial candidates introduced to California Republicans recently is a registered sex offender who spent more than a decade in state prison, convicted of crimes including voluntary manslaughter and assault with intent to commit rape. Glenn Champ, 48, addressed hundreds of GOP delegates and supporters Sunday at the site of the state party's semi-annual convention. Introduced by party chairman Jim Brulte and allotted 10 minutes, Champ spoke in between the main GOP candidates, former U.S. Treasury official Neel Kashkari and state Assemblyman Tim Donnelly of San Bernardino County.
March 20, 2014 | By Maeve Reston
For Republicans roaring into the midterm election, the last few weeks have brought a wave of good news. President Obama's poll numbers continue to hover in the 40s. Democrats' hopes of holding the Senate look slimmer by the day. And the GOP heralded last week's win in Florida's special congressional election as evidence that their anti-Obamacare strategy is working. But some Republican strategists and donors fear that buoyant mood spells trouble for the party down the road - by masking the long-term problems that were so evident after the 2012 election.
March 18, 2014 | Jean Merl
At a recent reception in their honor, four of California's Democratic freshman House members posed for photos and beamed at well-wishers. But signs of the battles they face were hard to miss. Asked by a fellow politician how his reelection campaign was going, Rep. Scott Peters of San Diego replied, "Hanging in. Got a tough race. " The same answer could have come from any of the honorees. Although the rest of their first-term colleagues occupy seats in strongly Democratic districts, for these four, California's deep blue hue looks more like pale violet.
March 16, 2014 | Michael Finnegan and Seema Mehta
The two leading candidates to challenge Gov. Jerry Brown's reelection bid put their clashing brands of conservatism on display Saturday at a state Republican convention where party loyalists conceded their election prospects were bleak this year in California. At a painfully low point for the state party, Republican gubernatorial rivals Neel Kashkari and Tim Donnelly each tried to convince hundreds of wary activists that he could oust the popular Democratic incumbent. Kashkari, a former Goldman Sachs investment banker preferred by the party establishment, stressed jobs, education and his heritage as the son of Indian immigrants.
March 16, 2014 | By Seema Mehta and Michael Finnegan
BURLINGAME, Calif. -- Republican gubernatorial candidates feted delegates to their state party's weekend convention late into the night Saturday with parties, cocktails and music. Former U.S. Treasury official Neel Kashkari had a cover band that introduced him to Michael Jackson's “Thriller.” “I love to dance but my campaign team has forbidden me from dancing,” he told supporters gathered in a hotel ballroom. “So the point of tonight is to have fun. This has been a fantastic convention,” Kashkari said.
March 16, 2014 | By Lisa Mascaro
WASHINGTON - The chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee said Sunday that the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 was "not an accident," but he stopped short of suggesting terrorism was involved. "One thing we know: This was not an accident. It was an intentional, deliberate act to bring down this airplane," Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) said on "Fox News Sunday. " "We don't have any evidence this was terrorist-related, although you can't rule that out at this point in time.
March 16, 2014 | By Michael Finnegan and Seema Mehta
BURLINGAME, Calif. -- The audience reaction told the story: For Neel Kashkari, polite applause; for his GOP gubernatorial rival, Tim Donnelly, a prolonged roar of cheers. With that, hundreds of Republicans wrapped up the state GOP convention near the San Francisco Airport on Sunday with a resounding - and unofficial - endorsement of Donnelly's candidacy for governor on a tea party platform that has left some moderates squirming. Kashkari, a Laguna Beach newcomer to California politics, has been collecting big-dollar donations from fellow investment bankers and other wealthy GOP donors to run a TV and mail campaign that he hopes will overcome Donnelly's apparent grassroots support.
March 15, 2014 | By Seema Mehta
BURLINGAME, Calif. - Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Saturday that the crisis unfolding in the Ukraine was the direct result of Russian control of oil in that region of the world and emphasized that the United States needed to develop its domestic energy resources, maintain a robust military and avoid isolationism. "I know that people are tired. I know that after more than 10 years of war and terrorism and engagement abroad, and sometimes it doesn't look like there's light at the end of the tunnel, we can think, well, we'll let someone else do it," Rice told hundreds of delegates and guests at a California Republican Party luncheon here.
March 12, 2014 | By Michael A. Memoli
WASHINGTON -- The House passed the first of a pair of bills aimed at reining in what Republicans call a pattern of overreach by the executive branch under President Obama . Democrats decried the base-pleasing measure as a political stunt. Immigration reform advocates said it threatens the administration's deferred action deportation program. The legislation is a response to what Republicans say has been an "imperial presidency" under Obama -- a term that one conservative lawmaker noted also fit the Nixon administration during the Watergate scandal.
March 11, 2014 | By David Lauter
Republicans scored a significant victory in a special congressional election Tuesday, holding on to a seat in a swing district in Florida that Democrats had high hopes of capturing after a campaign that focused heavily on President Obama's healthcare law. With all precincts reporting, Republican David Jolly held a 3,400-vote margin over Democrat Alex Sink in the district, which stretches along the Gulf Coast north of St. Petersburg. The returns remain unofficial until final mail-in and provisional ballots can be counted, but Sink conceded defeat in a statement to supporters shortly after the polls closed.
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