Capitol Alert

AM Alert: Obama wraps up California travels

President Barack Obama concludes his west coast fundraising swing today, following another big-donor event in Los Angeles and some policy talk this afternoon at a southland community college before jetting back to Washington.

Obama, who headlined Democratic fundraisers in Seattle and the San Francisco Bay Area earlier this week, arrived in Los Angeles yesterday for an evening reception. The president will attend another party fundraiser this morning before making remarks at Los Angeles Trade-Technical College, where he is expected to highlight the value of job-training programs for healthcare and other sectors.

California has been a fundraising mother lode for both parties, but particularly Democrats, and Obama has made repeated trips to the Golden State campaign ATM. During the 2012 election cycle, the state generated almost a fifth of every Democratic campaign dollar, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

The latest westward trip has been criticized by Republicans and even questioned by some fellow Democrats as ill-timed given the international crises in Gaza and Ukraine and the flood of Central American refugees along the U.S. southern border.

“Even when President Obama is on the road, he's more concerned with raising money than dealing with America's problems or international crises,” U.S. Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield, said in a statement that knocked Obama for failing to address the California drought during his trip.

Some Los Angeles commuters piled on Wednesday after authorities closed some streets for the president’s visit. “Today I was late to work because of POTUS #ThanksObama,” one Twitter user posted Wednesday.

VIDEO: Gov. Jerry Brown's appointment of Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar to the California Supreme Court is symbolic on many levels, Dan Walters says.

WEDGE ISSUE: Away from the campaign trail, visitors to the California State Fair today will be able to tour the “Wedge,” a tent cabin prototype designed by architecture students at Cal Poly Pomona. The structure will be among several tent cabin designs that will be highlighted by the Department of Parks and Recreation and the Parks Forward Commission as low-cost and eco-friendly alternatives to traditional park lodging, 10 a.m. California State Fairgrounds at Cal Expo, state parks exhibit, building 3.

CARBON COUNTS: The California Air Resources Board, kicking off its two-day meeting, will take testimony about the best way to quantify statewide concentrations of heat-trapping gases blamed for climate change, 9 a.m., Air Resources Board, 1001 I Street.

POLL DOWNLOAD: Fresh off its new “Californians and the Environment” survey of people’s attitudes about climate change, the Public Policy Institute of California will host a noontime review of the poll’s findings. Following the presentation by PPIC researcher Sonja Petek, there will be a panel discussion featuring Assemblyman Richard Bloom, D-Santa Monica, Rob Lapsley of the California Business Roundtable, and Anne Baker of the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies. Registration is closed. Noon, CCAC conference center, 1020 11th Street, second floor.

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