Crossroads GPS, the Karl Rove-affiliated outside group, has added a second TV ad into the rotation that takes on Democratic Rep. Ami Bera of Elk Grove. The ad, nearly identical to a spot running in San Diego against fellow freshman Rep. Scott Peters, faults the congressman for presiding over a spiraling national debt and for refusing to back a GOP-led effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

As Gov. Jerry Brown runs for re-election, he has adopted “California Comeback” – voiced during his State of the State address in January – as his informal slogan.

During his first campaign for president, Barack Obama sparked a lucrative cottage industry of artists who depicted the first black commander in chief in various forms, none more recognizable than Shepard Fairey’s “Hope” poster.

As the Legislature closed down in the predawn hours Saturday, it left on Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk a thicket of bills – including a sweeping ban on plastic bags and measures concerning gun control and bilingual education – with potential election-year effects for the governor and fellow Democrats.

It was about noon on a weekday, and Jordana Steinberg, 20, sat at a round-topped kitchen table in her Rocklin apartment, her therapist by her side. A faint aroma of tomato sauce on toasted crust lingered from the previous night’s pizza.

As the Legislature adjourns, an activist Capitol era ends, but its long-term effect remains uncertain.

In a year marked by scandal in the state Capitol – including two senators indicted on bribery charges and dozens of politicians warned by the state’s campaign finance watchdog for raising money at the home of a prominent lobbyist – California lawmakers pledged to clean up some of their political practices.

Among the slew of bills lawmakers sent to Gov. Jerry Brown as the legislative session ended Saturday morning was one that was not even printed when it got its first hearing at 2:09 a.m.

Not everyone appreciates a well-placed garden gnome, a dachshund-themed yard or a concrete orange the size of a trailer.

The coalition opposing a fall initiative to mandate random drug and alcohol testing of doctors and quadruple the state’s decades-old $250,000 cap on medical malpractice awards is out with its first television and radio ads of the campaign.

In the waning hours of their session, California lawmakers passed a measure to provide workers with three paid sick days a year, capping tense negotiations that splintered supporters.

California lawmakers narrowly approved a sweeping plastic bag ban Friday, leaving Gov. Jerry Brown to decide the fate of the controversial bill in an election year.

California could soon become the last state in the West to regulate water pulled from beneath the earth, with the Legislature on Friday advancing an unprecedented groundwater-management strategy.

Weeks after the tight finish in the June controller’s race highlighted major weaknesess in California’s recount law, legislation to create taxpayer-funded recounts in close contests has bogged down in partisan fighting and is dead for the year.

With Greg Schmidt planning to retire in October, the California Senate on Friday unanimously elected longtime Capitol staff member Danny Alvarez to the top administrative position in the upper house.

Days after the families of those killed in the Isla Vista shooting pleaded for action, California lawmakers sent to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk a measure that allows parents to obtain a restraining order barring gun use for someone displaying mental instability.

For people who work at the state Capitol, the idea that federal agents are in “the building” raiding offices has become uncomfortably common in recent months. So it was with some despair Friday that they received word of another visit from the dreaded G-men.

Democratic Rep. Ami Bera, facing a tough challenge from former GOP Rep. Doug Ose, has released a TV ad that reintroduces him to voters and seeks to make the case that he’s delivered on his campaign promises. The 30-second ad, “People Come First,” which is running in the suburban Sacramento district, touches on the congressman donating his pay to charity during the partial federal government shutdown.

An effort to require political advertisements to display their top donors stalled in the final hours of the legislative session Friday after its supporters said it didn’t have the backing needed to earn passage.

Four months after a federal judge in Sacramento declared that conditions for mentally ill inmates in the state’s prisons were “horrific,” California corrections officials unveiled sweeping new policies that will house them in specially designed units, provide greater time out of their cells and offer vastly increased treatment for the ill prisoners.

Proposed legislation to help woo electric car manufacturer Tesla’s $5 billion battery gigafactory to California will not emerge before lawmakers finish their work for the year, state Sen. Ted Gaines, R-Roseville, said Friday.

The state Senate approved legislation Friday to reduce the value of gifts lobbyists may give lawmakers and state officials, moving the bill forward at the end of a legislative session marked by scandal.

A popular eatery inside the state Capitol building was closed Friday after the U.S. Marshals Service effected what is known as a “till tap,” taking money from the cash register to satisfy a court order.

Editor’s note, 3:40 p.m.: This post has been updated with a quote from Board of Equalization Chairman Jerome Horton.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson will appeal the June court ruling that California’s teacher tenure laws are unconstitutional, he decided Friday.

The state Senate on Friday approved legislation prohibiting private EMTs and other contractors from using logos for public agencies they serve without identifying themselves as contractors.

Hundreds of thousands of unemployed Californians have been forced to wait for their unemployment checks because the state wrongly denied claims only to have the decisions reversed on appeal.

Editors note, 3:18 p.m.: This story has been changed to include a quote from Mike Lopez, president of California Department of Forestry Firefighters Local 2881.

Separation of powers be damned: fond farewells allow exceptions.

Despite a summer replete with natural disasters – fires, drought, earthquake – Labor Day weekend will bring out the crowds.

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