Essential Politics: Sports spat starts with California teams and brings politics to the football field – Los Angeles Times

Trump said Sunday the White House has “totally finalized” a tax plan, but the particulars are substantially different from what’s been reported about the proposal. The rates he cited seem low.

The Supreme Court opens its new term Oct. 2. David G. Savage has a preview of the major questions before the court, involving Trump, immigration policy, religious liberty, gay rights and partisan gerrymandering.

What’s a dotard, anyway?

ABOUT THAT U.N. SPEECH

Our team gets all the uncomfortable details about how Trump’s speech and snubs of the North Korean dictator came about — against the wishes of his advisors.

We’ll be covering these stories and other news in the nation’s capital on Essential Washington all week.

HEALTHCARE TAKES CENTER STAGE

The single-payer healthcare debate, which has rattled California politics, is now going national, with Sen. Bernie Sanders unveiling a Medicare for All bill. Melanie Mason examined how the national push for single-payer will affect California’s effort.

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom promised single-payer backers that, should he be the next governor, “I will lead the effort to get it done. We will get universal healthcare.”

One of his Democratic rivals, Antonio Villaraigosa, accused Newsom of “parsing” his position on government-financed healthcare, and specifically, the controversial state bill that sputtered earlier this year

Even as he came to San Francisco on Friday to evangelize for single-payer, Sanders first took on the role of Obamacare defender. He urged supporters to mount an aggressive opposition to the latest GOP effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

CLIMATE ALLIANCE GROWS

On the same day Trump announced he would withdraw the country from the Paris agreement on climate change, California joined with New York and Washington to pledge their commitment to the goal. The U.S. Climate Alliance has since grown to 15 members, including Puerto Rico, and on Wednesday it added North Carolina. Gov. Jerry Brown was in New York for a press conference intended to demonstrate to the world that some states are still making progress despite resistance from Trump.

OIL COMPANIES ON THE HOOK FOR CLIMATE CHANGE?

San Francisco and Oakland have been looking at potentially billions of dollars in costs when it comes to preparing for the effects of climate change, such as rising sea levels. On Wednesday the city attorneys announced a lawsuit against five major oil companies, saying they should have to foot the bill because they helped cause the problem despite knowing the effects of greenhouse gas emissions.

VICTORY FOR GAS TAX FOES

In a rare court rebuke of the state attorney general’s office, a judge said that the title and summary written for a proposed initiative is misleading — and that he’d do a rewrite himself to make it clear the measure would repeal recently approved increases to gas taxes and vehicle fees.

Patrick McGreevy reports that Sacramento Superior Court Judge Timothy M. Frawley said he would draft a new title and summary to be placed on petitions for the initiative after attorneys for the state and proponents of the ballot measure could not agree on compromise language.

BORDER WALL LAWSUIT

In case you missed it last week, we detailed California’s latest front in its broad legal battle against Trump’s policies, a lawsuit alleging that the administration has overstepped its powers in expediting construction of a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border.

LOOKING TO 2018

Seema Mehta traced Villaraigosa’s arc from union organizer to union critic, reporting that it’s a remarkable evolution that could lead to one of the state’s most powerful interests trying to sink his gubernatorial campaign.

Meanwhile, California Republicans desperate to avoid another shutout on the ballot next fall, might change their rules to create an endorsement process to increase their relevance in statewide races and avoid an embarrassing repeat.

Next year’s elections were also the focus of a big party thrown Saturday night by Orange County Democrats, who declared “orange is the new blue” and had Rep. Keith Ellison as a guest speaker.

WHAT’S NEXT FOR SENATE LEADER?

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