Capitol Alert

AM Alert: California presidential campaigns enter home stretch

jvillegas@sacbee.com

We’re one day away from a genuine contested California presidential primary, and the rarely-seen Golden State campaigns make their final push today.

A California win would allow Sen. Bernie Sanders to sustain his second-place campaign and claim the momentum. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton could point to a victory as the decisive evidence of a voter mandate and turn all of her focus to Republican Donald Trump. Feeding the drama, the latest polling shows Sanders has closed the gap and pulled into a virtual tie.

Both campaigns will host some star-studded events to get out the vote. Sanders will be in San Francisco for a massive 5 p.m. get-out-the-vote rally at Crissy Field that features the Dave Matthews Band and Fantastic Negrito as well as celebrities like Danny Glover and Dr. Cornel West. Clinton will be rallying the faithful in Los Angeles, and she has her own stable of top-flight performers: musicians taking the stage for a pro-Clinton show at the Greek Theater include Stevie Wonder, John Legend, Ricky Martin and Christina Aguilera.

Meanwhile, the once-in-a-generation opportunity of an open U.S. Senate seat beckons. The latest poll suggests the top two primary finishers will be Democrats, with California Attorney General Kamala Harris and Rep. Loretta Sanchez, D-Orange, threatening to publicly disrobe a well-known Sacramento consultant. Harris will be campaigning in Los Angeles and Santa Barbara. Sanchez’s plans were not final as of writing time.

DECISIONS, DECISIONS: Still unsure who you’re voting for tomorrow? Our handy candidate matcher tool can help - think of it as like speed-dating for elections!

And if you want to base your decision on who’s getting money from which interests, take a look at our helpful feature, The Money Trail.

BROWN BALLOT: The November ballot has been taking shape as measure after measure qualifies, but Gov. Jerry Brown’s parole initiative remains in limbo pending a legal challenge from the California District Attorneys Association. The California Supreme Court is scheduled to announce a final decision this morning on whether the measure can go before voters this year or not.

VILLARAIGO-FOR IT: “What's next for Southern California political leader?” asks the preview for former Los Angeles mayor and legislative leader Antonio Villaraigosa’s speech at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco this evening. It’s a question a lot of us are asking as the field for the 2018 gubernatorial race slowly takes shape. Villaraigosa has stayed mum on his plans, although he has announced a foray into politics with a new political action committee meant to “combat the anti-immigrant policies” emanating from Republicans. Perhaps he’ll tell us more about what the future holds during tonight’s talk, which starts at 6:30 p.m.

GASSY: The massive breach of a natural gas facility in Aliso Canyon shined a spotlight on the risks of methane leaks, with residents complaining of health problems and lawmakers submitting a flurry of bills to deal with the situation. Today energy officials and experts will glimpse the larger picture (there were over 200 leaks in the course of a few months) with a symposium on methane emanating from natural gas facilities. The long list of speakers includes representatives of the California Air Resources Board, the California Energy Commission and the U.S. Department of Energy, as well as members of research institutions like Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and advocacy groups like the Environmental Defense Fund. Starting at 8:15 a.m. at the Cal/EPA headquarters.

Jeremy B. White: 916-326-5543, @CapitolAlert

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